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Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s ‘The Vietnam War’ mandates we examine ourselves, our nation

“The Vietnam War” provides us a new opportunity to examine the history of the war and to examine ourselves and our nation. Burns’ and Novick’s documentary will be evaluated based on the historiography they employ, the balance and fairness of their approach, whether they give equal weight to the Vietnamese voices as to the American voices, and their objectivity. Let us not forget the Vietnam War. Let us not, in the name of misguided foreign policy, allow the government to send our young men and women abroad to kill and to be killed.

Behind Enemy Lines

War on Blacks at Wabash Valley: Shaka Shakur charged with attacking guard

Sep 18, 2017

It is urgent that the security of Shaka Shakur and Jimmy Jones be ensured, but the only way is through mass pressure from the outside. IDOC Watch asks that people call Wabash Valley warden Richard Brown at 812-398-5050 and IDOC Commissioner Robert E. Carter Jr. at 317-232-5711. Say that you are aware that Shaka Shakur, 135647, is being charged for defending himself against mistreatment by guards and that Jimmy Jones, 891782, is facing repression for exposing the situation. Demand that charges against Shaka be dropped and all disciplinary action against Jones be ceased.

Harvey’s victims: Prisoners drink toilet water in a fight to survive under lockdown

Sep 17, 2017

The following interview was conducted over a week after Hurricane Harvey hit. Rachel’s husband is incarcerated in Beaumont Federal Prison, located about an hour outside of Houston and 40 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico. Although some local media have denounced the conditions in the prison, in general, the media have remained silent on the plight of those who are incarcerated.

The right words can help tear down the prison system

Sep 17, 2017

I am a prison abolitionist in my heart. But I’m a prison reformist in the world by virtue of the sad fact that I can’t yet imagine a working society without prisons. I’ve spent every birthday since my 13th in an institution, so I’ve seen only prisons, heard only “prisons.” I want to abolish prisons; I just don’t have the imagination. Part of my failure is a lack of language to describe such a world convincingly. Likewise, a barrier we face trying to dismantle the prison industrial complex is we continue to use the language that helped build it.

The condemnable and the condemned: To live and die in Texas prisons

Sep 16, 2017

Should you or a loved one ever have the great misfortune of being tried and convicted in the state of Texas, your sentence, no matter how great or small, could very well be a death sentence. If you are resilient, strong of mind and body, then perhaps you would survive the conditions: deadly heat, toxic water, squalid living quarters and ill prepared food – and struggle through the conditioning: slave labor, consistent degradation, dehumanization in a variety of fashions – bowing down to insulting, offensive verbal abuse from staff, group strip searches, zero privacy.

US prisons practice the same slavery and racism celebrated by Confederate monuments

Sep 15, 2017

On Aug. 11, white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, against the removal of the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, It turned deadly. The Charlottesville events happened just a week before Aug. 19, the date of the planned mass rally in Washington, D.C., against mass imprisonment. This rally and the growing movement of which it is part are aimed at dismantling not merely symbols of past racism and slavery like Confederate monuments, but the 13th Amendment, which still authorizes slavery today and is directed predominantly against people of color.

Political Prisoner Herman Bell assaulted
Ruchell Cinque Magee: Real people not scared of freedom support the truth regarding your rights
San Quentin Six: Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March on Washington, D.C., Aug. 19, 2017, Solidarity Statement
Kwame Shakur indicts legalized slavery
Texas prisoners denied mail as 5,000 are evacuated
New Alabama law restores voting rights for many convicted felons
Penal abolition and the razor wire plantations
From street combatant to revolutionary servant of the people
We must affect the bottom line
Plot to prevent power: Florida bribes prisoners with fancy food to distract from Millions for Prisoners March
Florida locks down all 97,000 prisoners, blocking them from Aug. 19 Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March
Millions 4 Prisoners March: Abolish ‘legalized’ slavery
Aug. 8, 1978: MOVE members remain in prison 39 years later solely because they are MOVE members
Building peace with love and respect during Black August 2017 – with all eyes on NABPP-PC

News & Views

An open letter to Black America: Rally ‘round Colin Kaepernick

Sep 20, 2017

My premise is a simple one: Why are we not rallying around Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco football player and quarterback? Colin Kaepernick has earned our love, our trust and support. Colin Kaepernick did what we all should be doing. Colin Kaepernick deserves better. If we do not give it to him, he will not get it. Colin Kaepernick is worthy of emulation. Colin Kaepernick made a supreme sacrifice.

People helping people survive Harvey: Dispatches from Beaumont and Houston

Sep 16, 2017

I spoke to Jonathan Chartian this morning. Released from prison Dec. 14, 2016, he is confined to his home when not at work, his job suspended since Hurricane Harvey. He is really concerned about the excessive show of police and military presence, which is not protecting the rights of citizens, rather complicating an already volatile situation between Black and Brown people and law enforcement.

San Franciscans push back on Tasers

Sep 15, 2017

More than 100 people turned out for a community meeting on Tasers Tuesday night, first breaking into small groups of roughly 25 each and then convening in a fiery public comment session that at one point erupted into activists chanting, “No Tasers!” and drowning out Police Commissioner Sonia E. Melara’s calls for order. The Police Commission has voted against the use of Tasers three times in recent years – in 2004 and twice in 2010.

Mercury in retrograde: Las Vegas cops assault NFL star Michael Bennett

Sep 13, 2017

Las Vegas cops jumped NFL star Michael Bennett, held a gun to his head and threatened to blow it off. How else could they have chosen the perfect target to prove that the U.S. is a racist police state? How else could their police union have followed up with a letter imploring NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to investigate Bennett for defaming them by telling his story and claiming that the LVPD had racially profiled him? You can’t make this stuff up.

Haiti in crisis: What next after the stolen election?

Sep 10, 2017

Dr. Maryse Narcisse, presidential candidate of Fanmi Lavalas, addressed an overflow audience in Oakland in late April. She spoke in the wake of the selection of Haiti’s new president, Jovenel Moise, a right-wing businessman and protégé of former president Michel Martelly, who took office via an electoral process so replete with fraud and voter suppression that opposition forces called it an “electoral coup.”

The new segregation: Antifa redefines ‘Black Lives Matter’
Kagame cracks down hard in Rwanda, Victoire Ingabire in danger
Bill Clinton’s favorite African, Paul Kagame, wins re-election by 99 percent, arrests opponent
Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington, D.C.
New Abolitionist Movement on the march
DACA repeal protest scheduled for early this evening
March with me
Economics of empire drowns Houston
Elders speak out at Transit Fair held at City College Southeast Campus
Colin Kaepernick salutes Fred Hampton, as NFL continues to snub him
Sens. Cory Booker, Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren propose that the U.S. ‘prevent genocide’
Xtreme Giveback makes Family Fun Day even bigger and better this year at MLK Park
Death camp Treasure Island
U.S. budget priorities
War on marijuana and disparate policing in communities of color must end

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
September 21, 2017
Camilo y Los Robot Ninjas, Free Concert 12:30 pm Yerba Buena Gardens Festival 760 Howard St, San Francisco, California 94103 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | Free. Outdoors. Fresh.

Oakland guitarist Camilo ... more>>
September 21, 2017
CCSF Celebrates Free City College with Special Guest Bernie Sanders 2:30 pm Diego Rivera Theatre CCSF Ocean Campus 50 Phelan Avenue San Francisco, CA 94112 U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders will Join Supervisor Jane Kim ... more>>
September 21, 2017
SF Bay View Third Thursday Meet & Greet 6:00 pm Sam Jordan's 4004 3rd St, San Francisco, California 94124 Our first meet & greet, on the third Thursday of August, ... more>>
September 21, 2017
Black reSurgence!TV 7:00 pm Comcast Channel 76, Astoud 30 and ATT 99 In honor of yet another innocent Black Male who has ... more>>
September 21, 2017
Black in Latin America: Cuba - The Next Revolution in Cuba [free film screening & discussion] 7:00 pm La Peña Cultural Center 3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, California 94705, United States "Black in Latin America" is an award-winning documentary series where ... more>>
September 22, 2017
J20 Resisters Solidarity Rosh Hashanah 8:30 am 850 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA 94103 Support the J20 Resisters Drop-the-Charges Campaign!

11 queer activists are being ... more>>
September 22, 2017
2017 Fall Prevention Week / GUIDED MEDITATION FOR PHYSICAL RELAXATION AND SERENITY 11:00 am St. Mary's Center 925 Brockhurst Street, Oakland, CA 94608 St. Mary's Center Presents 2017 Fall Prevention Awareness Week
Theme: "I ... more>>
September 22, 2017
Rotunda Dance Series: San Francisco School of the Arts World Music and Dance Program 12:00 pm San Francisco City Hall 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States Free monthly dance performance, presented by Dancers’ Group and World ... more>>
September 22, 2017
Opening reception: PROTECTING MOTHER EARTH EXHIBIT 5:00 pm Front Page Gallery of City College of SF, Bungalow 615 (Below George M. Rush Statdium) 50 Phelan Avenue San Francisco, CA 94112 The CCSF Department of Journalism cordially invites you to "Protecting ... more>>

Lori Nairne, Oct. 23, 1951-Aug. 19, 2017: She leaves love in her wake

Sep 5, 2017

Lori Nairne, women’s, queer rights and anti-racist campaigner, nurse and homeopath, died of natural causes on Saturday, Aug. 19, aged 65. She was a founding member of Wages Due Lesbians (now Queer Strike) and the Wages for Housework Campaign/SF (WFH) and joint coordinator of the Global Women’s Strike (GWS) Bay Area and a member of the California Nurses Association.

Wanda’s Picks for September 2017

Sep 5, 2017

Dr. Richard Claxton “Dick” Gregory, 84, joined the ancestors Aug. 19, the same day as the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington, D.C. A longtime advocate for human rights, Gregory ran for president of the United States, went to Iran to negotiate the release of Americans held hostage, is also known for his Bohemian diet and extensive fasts for human rights. Ten years ago he visited Oakland to honor the lives of the 918 adults and 305 children – including 40 infants – who lost their lives along with U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan and a United Press International film crew.

Want to attend a Black college? Come to the HBCU Fair Sept. 11

Sep 4, 2017

SFUSD in collaboration with the San Francisco Alliance of Black School Educators will host the Fifth Annual Historical Black College and University (HBCU) Fair on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, at Mission High School from 4:00-7:30 p.m. U-CAN President Alan H. Rowe says about last year’s fair that it drew a large number of students and parents districtwide. “The College Fair was an overwhelming success with many students receiving on-the-spot admissions and scholarship offers.”

Mistah FAB’s ‘My Ten Thousand Hours’ is a FABulous movie

Sep 3, 2017

Oakland’s own Stanley Petey Cox – aka Mistah FAB (as well as Fabby Davis Jr.) – launched the world premiere of his autobiographical movie in August. Titled “My Ten Thousand Hours,” it is an inspirational and must-see rap-umentary for true fans of hip-hop and the rich O-Town scene. The film covers some of the highs of the rap industry, but it also, and most critically, deals honestly with the low periods and major lessons of his life. Thus far.

Meet Ira Watkins, new artist in residence at the Hunters Point Shipyard

Sep 2, 2017

Shipyard Trust for the Arts (STAR) is excited to announce the selection of our 2017-2018 Artist in Residence at the Hunters Point Shipyard: Ira Watkins. Ira Watkins is a self-taught artist who has shown an amazing devotion to his passion. He has been painting for almost 30 years. Even a period of homelessness did not disrupt his art practice. During that time, he lived and painted in his van in the Tenderloin. He now lives in the Dr. George Davis Senior Center in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood.

September: Please remember!
Dick Gregory
Black heaven: a review of Marcus Gardley’s ‘black odyssey’ at Cal Shakes through Sept. 3
‘We Charge Genocide’
Protests supporting Colin Kaepernick planned for NFL’s first week
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