Police use of deadly force? Here’s one solution. Writer to cops: 'Break the blue wall of silence'

photo by Mark Comfort courtesy of Wikipedia
In May 1967, Black Panther members protesting police brutality and a new law marched on the State Capitol.

by George Gold
guest commentary

From The Sacramento Bee’s front page in 1967: “Two dozen armed Negroes entered the state Capitol at noon today and made their way to the back of the Assembly Chamber before they were disarmed and marched away by the state police.”

This happened in the midst of the ‘power to the people’ campaign organized to shine a light on police brutality in the Black community. After more than 50 years, has anything changed? read more

Pandemic is costly — and often violent — for women worldwide Chico volunteers address inequities on a local level

photo courtesy of DSA
Alexandra Wynter (left) brings supplies to a Chico woman living in a homeless encampment.

by Lindajoy Fenley and Leslie Layton

Alexandra Wynter is feeling optimistic – even in the middle of a global pandemic that has made a difficult life even more difficult for many women.

As a volunteer coordinator for an outreach program run by Chico’s DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), the pandemic has given her an opportunity to build relationships with unhoused women — she prefers “unhoused” to the stigma attached to “homeless” — throughout the community whose lives have been made even more precarious by the COVID-19 crisis. read more

Ineligible for government relief, unauthorized workers suffer Nonprofits overwhelmed by need

photo courtesy of NorCal Resist
A volunteer for NorCal Resist delivers food to an immigrant family.

by Leslie Layton

Until disaster struck, Susana and her husband were employed by two Chico restaurants, supporting their three children by working in food preparation and dishwashing.

They paid social security and other taxes, but when the restaurants that employed them were closed two months ago as part of the state-mandated shelter-in-place, there was no government relief available for the family.

As undocumented immigrants, they were ineligible for unemployment insurance or a stimulus check. Financial assistance to undocumented immigrants nationwide – many of whom perform services deemed essential, and in doing so, are subject to possible virus exposure – has largely been left to grass-roots, charitable organizations that struggle to keep up with a deluge of requests for help. read more

Demonstrators in plaza call for impeachment On 'impeachment eve,' Chicoans join nationwide mobilizations

photo by Karen Laslo
A demonstrator at City Plaza Tuesday evening shows his support for impeachment proceedings.

by Leslie Layton

More than 200 hundred people converged on Chico’s City Plaza Tuesday evening to support President Donald Trump’s impeachment, joining many thousands of people across the nation who mobilized.

Chico’s Jim Henson led a spirited series of chants as demonstrators waved signs, many saying, “Nobody is above the law,” until a man from a pro-Trump counter-protest that was also stationed at the plaza slipped into the middle of the larger group and raised a bright blue “Trump 2020” banner. Henson, who didn’t organize the event, then asked the pro-impeachment demonstrators to follow him to the City Council meeting and show support for sheltering the homeless; about half of the demonstrators followed him. read more

Sunrise Movement brings Green New Deal program to Chico

The El Rey Theater was filled to capacity Saturday night as a mostly young crowd turned out for a program organized by the youth-led climate change group, Sunrise Movement, that came to Chico as part of its nationwide tour, “Road to the Green New Deal.” (photo by Karen Laslo.)

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Out of Darkness becomes a Chico tradition Annual downtown walk promotes suicide prevention

photo by Jessica Lewis

by Jessica Lewis

A crowd of people hold hands in a circle around the City Plaza on Oct. 13, bowing their heads as the song “1-800-273-8255” by Logic rings over speakers through downtown, referencing the suicide prevention hotline and marking the end to the ninth annual Chico Out of the Darkness walk.

“I found out about the Out of the Darkness walk because I participated in the Sacramento one after losing a friend to suicide in high school. I went for a few years, and then was like ‘why don’t we have one of these in Chico?’ There were other people that felt the same way and so we started the Chico walk in 2010,” said Ariel Ellis, co-chair for the Out of the Darkness walk and board member for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. read more