Asaf Shalev

Hilton breaks ranks and reaches a deal with its workers


After an 18-month contract impasse, hotel workers in San Francisco landed a breakthrough deal when Hilton decided to settle with its union’s negotiating team, which was announced by both parties in a press conference today.Read more »

The American dream, for sale

Thousands of hard-working immigrants are getting deported every month. But unregulated private companies are offering a deal: for $500,000, you can get a green card.


For Mao Huajun and Wen Lin, a trip to San Francisco is a chance to stock up on American retail. With at least five bags in each arm, the couple from China is all smiles. Through an interpreter, they point to the tags on their new clothes and cologne and explain: "Made in China."

Consumer products devised here and made there are too expensive or not available for Chinese shoppers, so Mao and Wen, who come from Wenzhou, where Mao made a fortune in wood products and real estate, are taking full advantage of their trip. Read more »

Queer Palestinian activists discuss "pinkwashing" and more


Queer Palestinian activists are on tour in the Bay Area speaking about queer struggles in the context of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. (Tonight is your last chance to catch the three representatives of the organizations Aswat and Al Qaws as they relate their stories, 7-9pm at the Pro Arts Gallery, 150 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakl. Facebook info here.)

Last night they spoke at Mission High School in an event organized by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center and co-sponsored by a diverse coalition of groups. Most asked be be identified by their first names only, fearing discrimination for the sexual orientation and reprisals for speaking out. Here are some highlights

“The Palestinian queer movement has managed to combine queer, feminism, and resistance to occupation into one integrated struggle,” said Haneen, who is active with Al Qaws, which promotes the development and growth of the Palestinian LGBTQ community. “When you talk queer rights in Palestine you cannot overlook the fact that Palestinians live under occupation. It is important not to overlook.”

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San Franciscans show solidarity with Egyptians


“Yesterday we were all Tunisian. Today we are all Egyptian. Tomorrow we will all be Free,” read one sign on at last weekend’s protest in solidarity with the wave of uprisings across the Arab world, an event drew thousands of people into the streets of San Francisco.Read more »

Activists and former prisoner call for Obama to close Guantánamo


The second anniversary of President Obama’s promise to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center was recognized this week at an event about torture and human rights abuse that continue to take place there.

“There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight…as far as we can tell the [Obama] administration has no intention to close it at this point.,” Rini Chakraborty, Western Regional Director of Amnesty International USA, said at a panel discussion about Guantánamo Bay human rights abuses Wednesday at UC Berkeley.Read more »

BART removes anti-Palestinian ad


Offensive advertisements promoting a right-wing Zionist viewpoint of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were removed from all BART stations this week. “They could be commonly interpreted as disparaging or demeaning to Palestinians as a whole,” according to BART spokesperson Jim Allison told us, saying the violated the district's advertising standards.Read more »