Santa Maria Police Department placed “snipers” on mall roof to surveil protest against police violence

By Joe Payne The Santa Maria Police Department (SMPD) stationed two “long observers” with scoped rifles on the roof of the Santa Maria Town Center to surveil an April 24 protest against police violence in the city’s downtown area. The officers are usually part of the city’s SWAT team, SMPD Sgt. Woody Vega said, and…

Indigenous farmworkers organize and strike in Santa Maria with help from MICOP

By Joe Payne A group of dozens of indigenous farmworkers in Santa Maria, California walked off the field on April 15 after a coworker requested higher pay and was fired, according to organizers. Mixteco Indígena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) organizer Jeremias Salazar said the group of non-unionized fieldworkers quit in solidarity with their coworker, whose…


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