UpFront

SJ Rent Control, SF Comfort Women Memorial, Stop Urban Shield

San Jose Rent Control

On Tuesday, San Jose’s city council approved a plan to strengthen protections for renters.  The details will be worked out between now and December, but will likely include a lower cap on rent increases, and ‘just cause’ requirements for evictions.  How do these changes fit into the broader landscape of San Jose housing policy and what more does the city need to do to address displacement?

Guest: Mathew Reed, Organizer for the Sacred Heart Housing Action Committee

San Francisco Comfort Women Memorial

In San Francisco a historic monument is generating a lot of controversy.  In July, Supervisor Eric Mar introduced a resolution for the City of San Francisco to construct a memorial for the 200,000 women and girls from across the Asia Pacific who were held as sex slaves by the Japanese imperial army during World War 2.  They are often referred to as ‘comfort women’, and the survivors, now in their 80s and 90s, are demanding an apology from the Japanese government.

In Japan, there’s been a resurgence of right-wing nationalism in recent decades and it’s resulted in the rewriting of Japan’s wartime history.  Nationalist youth groups march through the streets declaring that Japan’s imperial conquests were part of a sacred war to liberate Asia from white colonizers.  So when the comfort women memorial was proposed in San Francisco, proponents of this right wing nationalism came out to deny the stories of the comfort women.

Why is this World War 2 history evoking such an emotional response?  And what is the relevance of remembering comfort women today?

Guest: Miho Lee, Japan Multicultural Relief Fund

Stop Urban Shield

Stop Urban Shield Protest, Oakland 2014.  Photo by Steve Rhodes via flickr.com.
Stop Urban Shield Protest, Oakland 2014. Photo by Steve Rhodes via flickr.com.

Urban Shield is returning to the Bay Area next weekend.  This is a four-day event where police, SWAT teams, fire departments, and EMS crews participate in military-style training exercises and test out weapons and technology from private vendors.  The Stop Urban Shield Coalition successfully kicked Urban Shield out of the Oakland Marriott.  This year, they’re taking on the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.

Guest: Kamau Walton, Stop Urban Shield Coalition

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