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Lateefah is running “for the 400,000 people who use this system, just like I do.”

Win transit justice: Lateefah for BART!

Over 200 community members, activists, union members, transportation experts, family and friends flocked to Oakland’s New Parish for non-profit leader Lateefah Simon’s kick-off fundraiser for her 2016 campaign to join the BART Board of Directors. Despite running as a first-time candidate, Simon has already built a broad coalition that includes some of the Bay Area’s top elected officials and civic leaders. True to her reputation as a tireless community advocate, Simon spoke passionately about her personal connection to BART and her commitment to transit justice for working people.

Behind Enemy Lines

‘May your spirit be with us’: Prisoners recall Comrade Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell

Nov 29, 2015

This photo of Hugo “Yogi” Pinell was taken in the New Folsom visiting room in early 2014, when he was first released from the Pelican Bay SHU. Derek Anderson says of this man who was a hero and role model to fellow prisoners, “He made it possible for us to walk with our heads held high in this wilderness.”

I had to write on brown paper bags when these rogues came and confiscated everybody’s writing paper

Nov 28, 2015
This is the story that Missouri prisoner Shyheim Deen El-Mu’min wrote on paper bags when guards confiscated the writing paper from him and all the prisoners in his solitary confinement unit. – Photo: Jamie Weinstein, who also transcribed the story

This is the story that Missouri prisoner Shyheim Deen El-Mu’min wrote on paper bags when guards confiscated the writing paper from him and all the prisoners in his solitary confinement unit. The entire story is one of the longest we’ve ever received, over 10,000 words that filled 14 single-spaced pages when transcribed, so we’ll be presenting it in parts. This is the introduction, addressed to Bay View publisher Dr. Willie Ratcliff.

Georgia DOC’s Tier II Program, extreme solitary confinement, is dehumanizing torture

Nov 27, 2015
Georgia’s extremely cruel Tier II program seems to have been instigated by the historic but short-lived Georgia prison work strike of Dec. 9, 2010, put down with unparalleled brutality: Guards threw one prisoner off a tier and beat two others with hammers. That strike and the successful hunger strike at Lucasville in Ohio the next month inspired the California hunger strikes of 2011 and 2013. So as Georgia intensified the cruelty of Pelican Bay with Tier II to protect its slave labor regime (Georgia prisoners are paid nothing for work in our outside the prison), the Pelican Bay hunger strike heroes are gradually returning to “normal” prison life. The rally pictured here, on Jan. 6, 2011, called for a federal investigation, which culminated this year in the conviction of several of the guards who put down the Georgia work strike. – Photo: Kristi Swartz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

I’m writing to you on behalf of myself and ALL of the other brothers who are sharing my same struggle as a captive of the Georgia Department of Oppression. Georgia is a “hate state,” so we have no “progressive” media outlets here in the state and we need to bring attention to our plight with hopes that the publicity will garner us some help in one fashion or another.

Inside prison or out, be a hero today, save a life that might be lost to suicide

Nov 27, 2015
Natalie DeMola

My message is: Take a little time out of your day to check on someone. Listen to your intuition, and observe the world around you. Wherever you are in life at this moment, even if you don’t like it, make use of your time, place and purpose to be a real life hero who saves a life. After all, heroes are not just those that we see on TV; they are everyday people like you and me who take the time to respond to the cry for help from others. Be a hero today.

Imprisoned people facing medical neglect and violence: Family members and organizers speak out

Nov 26, 2015
Woman prisoner hands shackled at waist

On Nov. 11, an imprisoned person at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) faced extreme violence at the hands of prison guards. Stacy Rojas and three others were detained, physically abused, sexually harassed, strip searched in the presence of male guards, and kept without water, food or restrooms for 11 hours. Requests to speak with members of the prison’s Investigative Services Unit have so far been ignored.

Prisoners, where is thy victory?
Do Black lives matter behind prison walls?
The Ricky Davis affair: A Hurricane Katrina story
Ohio death row political prisoner Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar) speaks
Rev. Pinkney: I believe Berrien County officials have put a hit on me, inside the prison system
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

News & Views

The ENOUGH Project calls for a conflict-free Black Friday

Nov 29, 2015

Earlier this week, the ENOUGH Project to, quote, “end genocide and crimes against humanity,” posted an appeal to consumers titled, “What if Black Friday were conflict-free?” ENOUGH is an NGO operating under the umbrella of the Center for American Progress, a neoliberal Washington D.C.-based Democratic Party think tank. They did not include an appeal to the nation’s weapons manufacturers who require minerals on the U.S. Strategic Minerals list.

The man beaten and choked at a Donald Trump rally tells his story

Nov 28, 2015

When activist Mercutio Southall Jr. was curled up on the ground getting kicked, punched and choked by Donald Trump supporters at a campaign rally in Birmingham, Alabama, he thought: “I can’t die today. I’ve got shit to do. I have little kids. Fuck these people.” Southall told ThinkProgress that he decided to go to Trump’s event with two friends in order to speak out against the frontrunner candidate’s “racist” rhetoric.

Rwanda conscripts Burundian refugees into new ‘rebel force’: an interview with Jeff Drumtra

Nov 27, 2015
Burundian refugees at Nyanza reception center prepare to depart for Rwanda’s Mahama refugee camp. – Photo: J. Novela, UNHCR

Western press and officials now warn that the Rwandan massacres of 1994 are close to a replay in Rwanda’s neighbor Burundi, which shares its Hutu-Tutsi-Twa demographic. In “Burundi’s dangerous neighbor,” a letter to the Washington Post, former U.N. official Jeff Drumtra argues that the Rwandan government’s conscription of Burundian refugees to fight in a new, so-called “rebel force” is a grave danger that the international community should recognize before it’s too late.

Black Lives Matter Solidarity Statement from First Nation Peoples on National Day of Mourning for Indigenous People

Nov 27, 2015
Each day for the remainder of this week, please lend aid to the rally in Washington, D.C., for Leonard Peltier. Call on President Obama to free Leonard Peltier: Call 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414; email President Obama at…/submit-questions-and-comments; post a comment on his Facebook page at; send a tweet to President Obama: @POTUS; and/or write a letter: President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500.

Just as we know Indigenous Life is Sacred, we know Black Lives Matter. There is a state of emergency. From British Columbia to Ferguson, from the Amazon forest to Oakland, from Alcatraz Island to Minneapolis, we are demanding our freedom. As First Nation people, we understand that OUR justice relies on the respect, appreciation and liberation of Black lives. Because if they can’t get it, we definitely won’t be seeing it. ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter!

#LaquanMcDonald: As video released, cop charged with murder 1, activists demand Police Supt. McCarthy, State’s Attorney Alvarez resign

Nov 26, 2015
Amid complaints from police that they’re being intimidated, Chicago youth, one on one, show they are not afraid during Nov. 24 protests over the dashcam video of Officer Van Dyke’s murder of Laquan McDonald. – Photo: Chicago Tribune

The City of Chicago has released, under court order, the dashcam video from the brutal killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer – and it’s as bad as we all expected. At the same time as they released the video, the county prosecutor announced she’d be pursuing first degree murder charges against McDonald’s killer, Officer Jason Van Dyke. Unfortunately, these are charges that should have been filed a year ago.

Morongo Band of Mission Indians gives over 900 Thanksgiving turkeys to needy in San Francisco – 14,000 statewide
Sister shares story about police profiling and beating her autistic brother
Burundi: Insurgents claim attack on presidential palace
Defiant Haiti: ‘We won’t let you steal these elections!’
From 5M to The End (of SoMa): How does a corporation wipe out an entire community?
The successful Black Urban Growers conference
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

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

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

‘To My Unborn Sons and Daughters, I’ll Make You Proud’ author Yakub Bey talks about writing and life

Nov 29, 2015
‘To My Unborn Sons and Daughters, I’ll Make You Proud’ by Yakub Bey cover

Yakub Bey is a very intelligent young writer from Oakland California. He has already authored one book called “To My Unborn Sons and Daughters, I’ll Make You Proud,” and he has a number of book and movie ideas as well as ways to dispel some of the international stereotypes plaguing the true perception of a lot of young Black people in this country. Check out our brotha in his own words.

‘Big Ole Pretty Girls’ founder Yolanda Y’Netta speaks

Nov 26, 2015
Yolanda Y’Netta, cropped

Yolanda Y’Netta has been thick all of her life and, in 2012, she took her destiny into her own hands by starting to make clothes she liked that fit her. Women around her were interested in the clothing designs and she later expanded to creating a T-shirt line with positive empowering messages for full figured women. I sat down with Yolanda Y’Netta of “I Love BOPG” to see what makes this entrepreneur tick. Check her out in her own words and check out her line of clothing and T-shirts.

The 1st annual Tahuti’s Ball!

Nov 25, 2015
Paradise the Poet, young Tahuti, organizer of the first annual Tahuti’s Ball, is everywhere, just as Baba Tahuti was! – Photo: Malaika H Kambon

Punctuated by shouts of “Whose ball is it?” “Tahuti’s Ball!” “Whose ball is it?” “Tahuti’s Ball!” in Afrikan call and response tradition, a spiritual, educational, uplifting and formidable global Afrikan community gave thanks, praises and an outpouring of love in tribute to one of its foremost Afrikan suns, the vibrant and illustrious Baba (Elder) Tahuti. Baba Tahuti made his transition on June 18, 2015.

‘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
3 lessons from University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe’s resignation
Maafa 2015: We remember the ancestors
Tosha Stimage’s Sandra Bland art piece is at Dia de los Muertos
Wanda’s Picks for November 2015
BayView Classifieds - ads, opportunities, announcements


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