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Supporters of Fanmi Lavalas party presidential candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse protest recent preliminary election results in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday, Nov. 12. – Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery, AP

Defiant Haiti: ‘We won’t let you steal these elections!’

Hooded gangs attacked a large demonstration against election fraud today in the Haitian capital. Haitians, determined to thwart what they see as an ongoing “electoral coup d’état,” have been in the streets almost daily in their tens of thousands since the Oct. 25 first round presidential elections. There were huge demonstrations, punctuated by police firing into the crowd, wounding several, on Nov. 18. On Nov. 1, a big election protest in the Bel Air popular district, led by a Rara band, was attacked and two marchers shot dead; later that day a third protester was ambushed and killed on the way home.

Behind Enemy Lines

Prisoners, where is thy victory?

Nov 25, 2015
“No Price Is Too High” – Art: Damon Shuja Johnson, E-20385, RJDCF FA5-116, 480 Alta Rd., San Diego CA 92179

“You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.” – Gandhi. Corrections Corporation of America and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is the epitome of this quote, and it is not enough for those reading this to agree with the truths delineated herein.

Do Black lives matter behind prison walls?

Nov 24, 2015
This powerful painting was created on something like a professional painter’s canvas, a piece of white cloth 22 inches square, that we plan to frame and hang on the wall. Maybe the artist will write again and tell us how he was able to do this. The message we see in it is the unconquerable dignity of New Afrikan people, so we’re calling it “We Are Kings and Queens.” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore, G-02296, HDSP D3-121, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville CA 96127

Does being convicted of a crime forfeit all your rights as a human being? Does being railroaded through a clearly unjust, unequal and racist judicial system forfeit your human rights? Guilty or not, I am still a person. I am a human being. We need people to understand that the struggle for human rights, the struggle to be free and not murdered by the state or its agents doesn’t stop at the prison gates.

The Ricky Davis affair: A Hurricane Katrina story

Nov 23, 2015

It is clear that Ricky Davis never had a chance of receiving fairness in a toxic judicial environment. The Ricky Davis affair is just one of the little known travesties that has arisen as a result of Hurricane Katrina. In Louisiana, a life sentence means you die in prison. Mr. Davis’ act of heroism has turned him into a victim of an arbitrary racially motivated legal lynching. If Black Lives Matter, it’s hard to tell down here in Louisiana.

Ohio death row political prisoner Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar) speaks

Nov 19, 2015

The Block Report speaks wit’ Ohio death row political prisoner Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar) about the Lucasville Rebellion, the recent hunger strike that he came off of, the state of Ohio planning to set his execution date and more. Tune in for more at The Justice for Keith LaMar Campaign is asking you to join the fight to #FREEKeithLaMar. We must call for freedom not death.

Rev. Pinkney: I believe Berrien County officials have put a hit on me, inside the prison system

Nov 16, 2015
'Free Rev. Edward Pinkney' graphic

A heavy and cruel hand has been laid upon me. On Oct. 6, 2015, I was transferred back to Marquette Branch Prison, a two-day ride on the bus, shackled, mistreated and intimidated. I was forced to strip on five different occasions. I am forced into overcrowding, inadequate exercise, lack of clean clothing and inadequate medical care which violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Keith LaMar (Bomani Shakur) and other Lucasville prisoners on hunger strike since Nov. 9
Prison guards face jury in retaliatory abuse of solitary confinement case – pack the courtroom through Friday, Nov. 20!
Political prisoners for 45 years – yet Mondo and Ed live lives that matter
Comrades hail hero and martyr Hugo Pinell
FCC cuts predatory phone rates to reconnect prisoners’ families
Tactical targeting of iconic activist Hugo Pinell
Attica book ban
Georgia, land of peanuts, pecans and prisons, has always been a penal colony
Women’s prisons as sites of resistance: An interview with Victoria Law
Stand firm collectively and denounce the actions that caused the death of Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell
‘Together to End Solitary’ unites activists nationwide
Brother Hugo Pinell: The tragic loss of a true servant
Prison officials, ACA inspectors ignore contaminated water in Texas prisons
Representative or the represented?
Bolivian President Evo Morales honors Leonard Peltier, National Lawyers Guild joins call for clemency

News & Views

Morongo Band of Mission Indians gives over 900 Thanksgiving turkeys to needy in San Francisco – 14,000 statewide

Nov 24, 2015
Gwendolyn Westbrook, chief executive officer of United Council of Human Services, and former Morongo Tribal Council Member Tom Linton with some of the 200 turkeys donated by the Southern California tribe to the organization. There will be plenty for everyone at Mother Brown’s Kitchen this Thanksgiving at 2111 Jennings St. in Hunters Point.

Five San Francisco groups that help provide Thanksgiving dinners to the homeless and less fortunate received more than 900 free turkeys this week from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Palm Springs. The turkeys will help feed nearly 14,000 people across San Francisco. Statewide, Morongo donated another 13,000 turkeys this month to mark the 30th anniversary of the tribe’s Thanksgiving Outreach program.

Sister shares story about police profiling and beating her autistic brother

Nov 24, 2015
Marcus Abrams, 17, was attacked when police found him and a couple of friends on the Metro Transit tracks. Abrams, who has autism, says police slammed him to the ground, causing him to suffer a seizure. He was not charged with a crime. – Photo: Adrienne Broaddus, KARE

I’m used to reading about and advocating for adults with disabilities, but today our Black and Brown youth with disabilities are increasingly targeted for police brutality and incarceration. Everybody cares about kids, so when will disabled and Black community activists focus more on stopping state violence against youth with disabilities and providing programs after the tragedy?

Burundi: Insurgents claim attack on presidential palace

Nov 23, 2015
Burundian refugees in Rwanda’s Mahama refugee camp near the Burundian border in May 2015

In Rwanda and Burundi, the massacres of the last 20 years have followed the assassination of Hutu presidents. First, the assassination of Burundian President Melchior Ndadaye in Burundi in 1993, then the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira in 1994. Now insurgents in Burundi claim to have fired mortar rounds on the Burundian president’s residence in Bujumbura, the country’s capital.

From 5M to The End (of SoMa): How does a corporation wipe out an entire community?

Nov 22, 2015
In this architect’s rendering, the massive 5M project rises up out of SoMa like a ghostly – ghastly – tyrant. – Photo: Forest City

The light from their eyes was missing; in its place was the color of fear. This was the scene at City Hall last week as the people stood up to behemoth developer Forest City, about to build multiple luxury condominium towers and office buildings that will span almost an entire city block in San Francisco’s long-time Filipino community, effectively wiping out the last shred of this working class community of color.

The successful Black Urban Growers conference

Nov 22, 2015
Black farmers proudly display their produce and show how to make a feast of it. – Photo: Fatima Nasiyr

One of the most important conferences hosted in Oakland over this past year for the Black community has been the Black Urban Growers Conference. With several hundred people attending, there seems to be a lot of interest surrounding one of the most fundamental things that human beings do: grow food to eat. I talked with Kevin Cartwright, who worked with the organizing committee to make this conference happen about his thoughts on the gathering.

US State Department warns Rwandan dissident to evade assassins
Alicia Garza honored at Harvard: One equal temper of heroic hearts
Rwanda: Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to rule in Munyakazi case
SF Supervisors split over controversial jail plan, communities demand alternatives to imprisonment
Get your Prop 47 convictions reclassified, even if you are not in California
‘To Protect and Serve Who?’ Mumia’s new pamphlet on organizing to abolish police violence
Increased African-American enrollment is key goal in Year 3 of Affordable Care Act
That’s me in the picture next to Quentin Tarantino
Canada and Justin Trudeau in Africa
Pras of the Fugees talks about his new film, ‘Sweet Micky for President’ of Haiti
Berkeley High students fight racist attacks: Navigating the shoals of increasing racial profiling
The revolt of the Zanj (Blacks)
Claude Gatebuke speaks on Kagame, Burundi and more
Will the West create its next failed state in Burundi?
Opus for Work can help you find on-demand jobs

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions [google-calendar-events id="1" type="list"]

‘There’s no life without dance’: Mbongui Square Festival brings African dancers to San Francisco Dec. 12-13

Nov 16, 2015
Byb Chanel Bibene – Photo: Russell Yip

On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12 and 13, Mbongui Square Festival will be celebrating art and community through dance with over two dozen dancers and choreographers showing off their moves. We caught up with choreographer Byb Bibene of the Kiandanda Dance Theater Company to fill us in on what will be going on at the Mbongui Square Festival, as well as his history with dance and more.

The 6th annual successful Silicon Valley African Film Fest does it again

Nov 15, 2015
Festival Director Chike C. Nwoffiah welcomes guests at the opening ceremony of SVAFF 2015. – Photo: Elley Ho, Elley Photography

The images we see in the Western media of Africa and Africans show an Africa that is always on its knees, begging for aid, where there is nothing but wildlife and poverty. This myopic view needs to be changed so that Africa can take its deserved seat at the global table of economics and politics as equal partners. The Silicon Valley African Film Festival, from film screenings to food, entertainment, African marketplace, dialogue with filmmakers, Innovate Africa Technology forum, etc., is guaranteed is leave audiences with a deeper appreciation of Africa and Africans.

Stone Ramsey invades the street lit genre

Nov 12, 2015
Stone Ramsey and Mistah Fab, cropped

Stone Ramsey is one of the businessmen behind the curtain who has aided and assisted everybody from Dru Down and Yukmouth to the Gov and Pac. Now he has transformed his relationship in music with ghetto wordsmiths Keak Da Sneak and Mistah Fab into literature, and Stone Ramsey is writing street lit with these rappers. Check him out, as you think about what you and yours will be reading next year.

3 lessons from University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe’s resignation

Nov 11, 2015
Former University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe – Photo: Jeff Roberson, AP

Tim Wolfe makes $459,000 a year and the school would have to forfeit $1 million just for missing this weekend’s game against BYU. Black football players in particular have a social power often unseen and not commented upon. It’s there all the same. These athletes are a sleeping giant. At Mizzou, just 7 percent of the students are Black but a whopping 69 percent of the football players are.

Maafa 2015: We remember the ancestors

Nov 8, 2015
The red flowers were given out for the Ritual of Forgiveness. – Photo: TaSin Sabir

The 20th anniversary of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Maafa Commemoration, Sunday, Oct. 11, was really lovely. The day was slightly overcast, and when I arrived there was a drumming circle, with Afrikans dancing and singing. The lit walkway leading to the Doors of No Return and the shrine before the ocean was inviting, yet no one seemed anxious to make that journey – we knew where that path lay and were not looking forward to the turmoil – so the children of the children of the children of that time long ago stayed on the shores and watched the sea. We are looking for 20th anniversary reflections to publish on

Tosha Stimage’s Sandra Bland art piece is at Dia de los Muertos
Wanda’s Picks for November 2015
The ‘First Friday’ doc premieres this week at the New Parkway
‘Beasts of No Nation’
Third Street Stroll …
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