1951 - 1990

Criminal Justice: 1987

Homeless in LAHomeless in LALos Angeles police seize or destroy the property of hundreds of homeless people in Skid Row. Nearly a thousand are arrested for not complying with Police Chief Daryl Gates’s order to leave the area. But City Attorney James Hahn refuses to “prosecute people for being poor.”

Censorship: 1988

A state court of appeal strikes down the ban on books by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Brautigan in Shasta County schools.

Disability Rights: 1988

To protest a Social Security decision to cut off critical and necessary assistance if he accepts royalties for an academic book he wrote, scholar and activist Paul Longmore burns a copy his book in front of the Los Angeles federal building. The Social Security Administration ultimately decides that authors with disabilities can accept book royalties and still receive government assistance.

World War II Incarceration: August 1988

President Ronald Reagan signs HR 442, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which authorizes a formal government apology to former incarcerees, payments of $20,000 to each surviving incarceree, and the formation of a fund to help the general public learn about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Labor: 1989

Federal judge rules in Pearl Meadows Mushroom Farm v. Nelson that the Immigration and Naturalization Service agents cannot enter workplaces without a warrant or consent, nor can they round up workers simply because they “look Mexican.”

Censorship: 1989

San Francisco school superintendent confiscates copies of literary magazines created by junior high school students; their teacher and her union protest, charging that it is in violation of education code. Magazines are restored to the students.

Immigrants' Rights: 1989

Federal judge Robert Takasugi strikes down a Pomona ordinance requiring business signs with foreign lettering to be at least half in "English" alphabetical characters.

Women: 1990

A state court of appeal rules in FEHC v. Johnson Controls that workplace rules that discriminate against women because they may become pregnant are illegal; in 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court maintains the same position.

Religion: 1990

Federal legislation bars the completion of the G-O road, primarily based on environmental factors, but preserving the sacred native land.

Disability Rights: 1990

President George H.W. Bush signs the “Americans with Disabilities Act” (ADA) into law.

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