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Courage Campaign in the News

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Activists arguing that Nestle's bottling of water from the San Bernardino National Forest is illegal due to a long-expired permit gathered Saturday at Sprouts Farmers Market locations across the U.S., including one in La Quinta, in order to protest the chain's sale of Nestle Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water.

The protest, headed by the Courage Campaign Institute and Story of Stuff Project, was planned for 18 Sprouts locations across the western half of the country, targeting the major retailer because of its advertised commitment to sustainability.

Members of the Courage Campaign Institute and Story of Stuff Project are scheduled to deliver petitions Saturday to Sprouts stores in several cities, calling on the chain to live up to its values of sustainability and to stop selling the water, which the groups say is being illegally pumped from the San Bernardino National Forest using a permit that expired more than 25 years ago.

Opening a new front in the effort to remove Judge Aaron Persky from office, activists Tuesday announced they have collected more than 5,000 signatures online from Californians who are so incensed about his decision to spare former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner prison for a sex crime that they refuse to ever serve in his court on a jury.

The "Don't Serve in Judge Persky's Court" petition was posted by the national women's advocacy group UltraViolet, and the California-based organization Courage Campaign, which supports a variety of progressive causes.

In a lawsuit filed in October 2015, the Center for Biological Diversity, joined by The Story of Stuff Project and The Courage Campaign, claimed that the Forest Service allowed Nestle Waters North America to maintain pipelines, pumps and other structures in the San Bernardino National Forest for 28 years after its permit expired. The company bottles the water under the Arrowhead brand.

The groups that are suing the Forest Service – which also include the Center for Biological Diversity and the Courage Campaign Institute – have demanded the agency halt Nestle’s use of wells and a 4.5-mile water pipeline in the forest “unless and until it issues a valid special use permit.”

“We selected Sprouts because they emphasize the sustainability issue,” Tim Molina, spokesman for the Courage Campaign, said in an interview Friday.

Molina said a few weeks ago, his organization and Sprouts executives met about Nestle and asked them to pull their product from Sprout’s shelves.

“There was no sense of urgency (at Sprouts),” Molina said. “So we want to put pressure on management.”

Several Democrats, including Dababneh, were recently criticized by the Courage Campaign, a left-leaning advocacy group. The organization gave Dababneh an “F,” and called him one of the “least progressive Democrats in the Assembly, despite his district’s clear preference for more progressive policies."

California-based Courage Campaign sent a letter to Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to address state and local issues impacting California voters.

Eddie Kurtz, an Oakland resident and executive director of the civil rights organization Courage Campaign, said he was happy to hear the district attorney had reviewed Jaramillo's case for criminal wrongdoing but added that he was still dissatisfied that the Oakland Police Department has refused to answer questions about whether the officers involved in the incident were disciplined.

"The bottom line is that we still have an epidemic of police killing unarmed people and not receiving any consequences." Kurtz said.

A group of several organizations, among them the Courage Campaign Institute and The Story of Stuff Project, submitted a petition that they said was signed by 280,355 people demanding the agency carry out a “thorough and unbiased” environmental impact review before considering any request by Nestle to continue drawing water from its wells in the forest. The environmental groups argue that taking the water threatens sensitive habitat along Strawberry Creek, where the flow has dwindled during the drought.

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