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St. Charles Borromeo School, San Francisco, opened in 1894

Systemic racism and abuse of Black student at St. Charles Borromeo School goes to trial

On Dec. 21, 2011, St. Charles Borromeo School, the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Principal Dean, Superintendent Maureen Huntington and others were named as parties in a civil rights lawsuit filed in California’s Superior Court on behalf of Mildred Kayondo and her son, who is now 14, yet still suffers from the appalling, repeated abuse and indifference he experienced at St. Charles Borromeo. The jury trial – after nearly two years of litigation by attorneys Richard L. Richardson and Joel Siegal – is now set for July 14.

Behind Enemy Lines

California moves to curb solitary confinement

Apr 14, 2014

Following a mass hunger strike by prisoners in California last year, some state legislators promised to reform the use of Security Housing Units (SHU). This week, Assembly Bill 1652, passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee. It now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. If the bill becomes law, prisoners would only be sent to SHU for specific serious rules violations that come with determinate SHU sentences.

Menard hunger strikers still fighting to be treated like human beings

Apr 12, 2014

I am currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center in Illinois and housed in the high security unit in administrative detention. I was one of the inmates who was on hunger strike over harsh living conditions and denial of our due process, which is still going on. No! Things haven’t changed after the hunger strike was over. We still are in a fight to be treated like a human being. Just know we haven’t quit our fight.

Women prisoners plead for help

Apr 10, 2014

Two women writing to expose abuse that has terrorized them at CIW (California Institution for Women) wish not to reveal their identities for fear of more retaliation. We have no voice. There is no one to help us. PLEASE HELP! How you can help: Contact the CIW warden, Kimberly Hughes, at California Institution for Women, 16756 Chino-Corona Road, Corona, CA 92880, 909-597-1771.

Public Safety Committee to hear Ammiano’s solitary confinement bill

Apr 8, 2014
Joint hearing on solitary prisoner supporters in overflow room 021114

The Assembly Public Safety Committee, chaired by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, will hear Ammiano’s AB 1652 to control use of solitary confinement on Tuesday, April 8, at 9 a.m. in Room 126 of the State Capitol. The bill comes out of a series of in-depth hearings held in the wake of prisoner hunger strikes in 2011 and 2013. AB 1652 limits the violations and situations for which a prisoner can be placed in SHU.

Step Down Program: Orwell’s story come true

Apr 1, 2014

George Orwell’s book titled “1984” was about a police state that controlled every aspect of life, including thinking, enforced by the “Thought Police.” This book comes to mind when I hear of the new Step Down Program CDCR is implementing. Its components are not new. California has had and still has programs like this in juvenile facilities as an attempt – which is often successful – to reprogram the youth’s mind to become controlled and subservient to the police state. Submit your comments on the Security Threat Group/Step Down Program regulations by 5 p.m. on April 3 to m_STGRegulation@cdcr.ca.gov by email or 916-324-6075 by fax.

Security Threat Group policy is sugarcoated racial profiling aimed at torture
Petition for Black Victims’ Restitution
An end to ‘the hole’? 6 signs that solitary confinement reform is coming
We are the world
Demand a special review into the death of Shadae ‘Dae Dae’ Schmidt
Not just me, we!
Proven innocent: The case of Bobby McClelland
Power concedes nothing: A discussion on CDCr’s insidious regulatory semantics and judicial collusion in maintenance of SHU torture units
The hearts of warriors
Pelican Bay earthquake prompts double locking of cells, reveals need for united front
Blood in my pen
Panther unleashed
Striking Georgia prisoners name names, allege sexual abuse, ongoing threats and maltreatment by staff
Hunger strikes spread to Texas detention center
Major reform of solitary confinement introduced in California Senate

News & Views

Memphis leads nation in use of deadly force by police, activists charge

Apr 16, 2014

The Memphis Black Autonomy Federation has asked the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate “a pattern or practice” of misconduct by the Memphis Police Department. Memphis police killed 23 people in 2012 and 2013 – the largest number of people killed by police in this time period in America, the federation maintains.

A family destroyed by eviction

Apr 16, 2014
Sabrina Carter's plywood-covered door nailed shut on eviction day 040814 by PNN

On Wednesday, April 8, at 9 a.m., after weeks of last minute legal maneuvers, unanswered calls to the mayor and multiple pleas for a pro bono lawyer to save the single mama Sabrina Carter and her three sons from one of the most unjust evictions I have ever witnessed, we were exhausted. The San Francisco sheriffs were outside her door in the Plaza East apartments to change the locks and throw her and her sons into the street.

Treasure Island radiation cleanup Subsite 6: Fires to put out fires

Apr 9, 2014
Navy's boxcar-like containers of radioactive soil Site 6 Avenue M Treasuer Island 1113 by Michael Short, Bay Citizen

Behind a chain link fence on Site 6’s northern border across Avenue M from the island’s Wastewater Treatment plant, the Navy stores, moves out and continually replaces a trail of thousands of large boxcar shaped containers full of radiologically toxic materials to be shipped off-island. “There have been several (high-radiation) shipments and about a thousand intermodal (containers) of radium waste shipped from Treasure Island.”

Treasure Island Subsite 31: The Chernobyl trees at Mordor

Apr 9, 2014
Art student Maria Johnson accidentally entered Treasure Island radiation zones not fenced off 0314 by Carol Harvey, web

Art student Maria Johnson, searching for Treasure Island friends, wandered in “cordoned off areas” to find bus stops.
She “saw many buildings with asbestos hazards laden on them, graffiti made with spray paint and shattered, old windows. It looked very desolate. I am just shocked that we’re allowed to access this ‘normal’ location even though the island is basically contaminated beyond repair.”

Treasure Island: Pandemonium at Halyburton Court

Apr 9, 2014
USS Pandemonium

Situated at Treasure Island’s northwest corner on Site 12, Halyburton Court consists of a small cluster of vacant 24-unit apartment buildings that, from the 1970s to 1996, housed military families. Considering all possible contamination sources, it is noteworthy that from 1957 to 1969, before Halyburton Court was built, the Navy operated a radiological training school just south along the perimeter facing San Francisco.

Site 12, Treasure Island’s toxic bullets: Someone’s about to get hit!
Who killed the Hutu? Remembering the Rwandan Genocide
Chokwe Lumumba: Dare to struggle, dare to win!
Rwandan Genocide Commemoration clouded by Rwandan president’s criminality
Exchanging her wheelbarrow for a wheelchair, Eunice Atim in Uganda finds education still out of reach
We’re sick and tired of being locked out
Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 3
Lawsuit challenges explosive crude-by-rail shipments to Richmond, Calif.
SFPD-enforced gentrification killed Alex Nieto
Richmond to have highest minimum wage in California
Take our Obamacare survey – after you sign up by Monday
The current state of recycling
Will Navy’s radiological survey of homes on Treasure Island mean evicting 2,600 residents?
Richmond Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles: Victories we can be excited about
Rainbow PUSH Coalition launches new Digital Inclusion initiative in Silicon Valley

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
  • THE 10th ANNUAL CubaCaribe Festival Of Dance & Music

    Apr 5 - 8:00 PM

  • Grand Opening of Phase I of Hunters View

    Apr 17 - 11:00 AM

  • POPUP COMMUNITY MARKET at the BAYVIEW OPERA HOUSE

    Apr 17 - 5:00 PM

  • Sister Circle: Engage, Discuss, Celebrate

    Apr 17 - 5:00 PM

  • Earth Day Celebration

    Apr 17 - 5:00 PM

  • Incite/Insight Film Series: 'Cincinnati Goddamn' about police brutality and grassroots resistance

    Apr 17 - 8:00 PM

  • 3rd Annual FRISCO Day Prepares SF High School Seniors for College

    Apr 18 - 10:00 AM

  • TENDERLOIN STATIONS OF THE CROSS

    Apr 18 - 12:00 PM

  • MUSICAL HAPPY HOUR at Radio Africa & Kitchen

    Apr 18 - 5:30 PM

  • POSTPONED: Oakland Book Release for “No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant”

    Apr 18 - 6:30 PM

Rapper Soul performs downtown at Oakland Music Crawl Festival this weekend

Apr 16, 2014
Rapper Soul-3, web cropped

Soul is one of the newer voices from the Oakland music community that will be performing at one of the first music festivals of the year in the Town, the Oakland Music Crawl, which is this Saturday in downtown Oakland, starting at 2 p.m. There will be a number of concerts inside restaurants and galleries as well as outside in the streets. Soul will be performing at Spice Monkey, 1628 Webster St., in downtown from 8-10:30 p.m.

24 hours: What you do with them is up to you

Apr 12, 2014

Whether it’s raining or sunny, warm or cold, the sun comes up and goes down with or without our approval. No day should go wasted, especially when there are so many exciting ways to spend time with your child or children. As anyone with grown children will tell you, those “growing up years” fly by. As a way of encouraging this time together, I thought I’d provide a brief list of some activities and resources that you might want to check out.

Chillin’ wit’ Turnd Up Radio owner DJ X-1 of KPOO

Apr 12, 2014
TURND UP RADIO logo

KPOO Radio is the first station on the dial to play local Hip Hop. DJ X-1 is one of the godfathers of the Bay Area Hip Hop radio movement, and he is famous for breaking local Hip Hop artists like JT the Bigga Figga and, within recent years, Beeda Weeda and J. Stalin. Although he is still on terrestrial radio, he has now turned his attention to owning audio real estate on the internet with his newest creation, Turnd Up Radio.

‘PURPLE: A Circus Tribute to Prince’: an interview with circus artist and show producer Veronica Blair

Apr 11, 2014
Veronica Blair-1

Veronica Blair has one of those superhero sounding names, and when you find out what her and her friends are into, it may be kind of fitting. Veronica is one of few Black circus artists that I know of in the Bay Area who takes it upon herself to organize events and push the knowledge of our people’s history of involvement in the art form.

Wanda’s Picks for April 2014

Apr 8, 2014
CCWF Alicia Walters, Women's Policy Institute, Angela Davis visit women prisoners 2010

Beverly Henry died. I just got the email today. The state of California owes women prisoners their lives back – imagine going into prison healthy and leaving with a terminal illness. This is the case for many of the women there. Beverly Henry told me to tell her story and I plan to begin right now. A warrior to the end, it was her voice that told women to stand up for their rights even perhaps especially behind bars.

Third Street Stroll …
Digital undivide: Say goodbye to Windows XP
‘Set Me Free’: an interview wit’ screenwriter and director Big Spence
Souls of Mischief’s Phesto Dee speaks
Evangelist Sabarah Israel – an extraordinary life
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