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Mansour Id-Deen heads the Berkley NAACP. – Photo: Berkeleyside

Mansour Id-Deen of the Berkeley NAACP speaks on Barbara Lee funding 18 new cops

Mansour Id-Deen speaks wit’ The People’s Minister of Information JR about the Berkeley police stopping Black motorists at a disproportionate rate in violation of our human rights. “The disparity is unbelievable,” says Id-Deen. Blacks are stopped more and often “for no reason.” We also speak about “progressive” Congresswoman Barbara Lee securing over $2 million to hire 18 police officers in her district, which includes Berkeley and Oakland. She needs to pay “more attention to local issues and have conversations with local leaders,” Id-Deen says, to make “a better decision.”

Behind Enemy Lines

In largest one-time release, 6,000 inmates will walk out of federal prison

Oct 9, 2015

In an unprecedented move, 6,000 inmates will soon be released from federal prisons in what the Washington Post calls history’s “largest one-time release of federal prisoners.” This change is due to last year’s decision by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to lower sentencing guidelines for drug crimes and apply the change retroactively. Remarkably, this release is only the beginning.

Menard hunger strike, Sept. 23-28: Trying to make it better for the next person who rests in this tomb

Oct 4, 2015
This is the grim façade of the Menard Correctional Center, built in 1878, Illinois’ second oldest prison, on the banks of the Mississippi River in Chester, Ill. – Photo: The Southern

On Sept. 23, 2015, at least 19 and possibly as many as 22 men in Administrative Detention at the Menard Correctional Center began a hunger strike that ended on Sept. 28. It was nearly a week after the hunger strike ended before we received any mail from them. The following is a composite account based on what they sent us, written on the first and last days of the hunger strike.

Hugo Pinell, like George Jackson, shall ever be an example of New Afrikan manhood: three perspectives

Sep 30, 2015
“Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell” – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 1859887, Clements Unit, 9601 Spur 591, Amarillo TX 79107

Today I sit in my caged existence away from the outside world and still connected to the revolutionary community. Recently a New Afrikan brother and comrade wrote me with news: Hugo Pinnell was executed on the prison yard at Folsom. This was heartbreaking news and it sent me into a rage. Hugo Pinnell, like George Jackson, was and shall ever be an example for New Afrikan manhood.

Messing with Major

Sep 30, 2015

Major George Tillery is a Pennsylvania lifer, 65, who confronted SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes over Mumia Abu-Jamal’s deteriorating health. Prison authorities retaliated against Major Tillery – repeatedly ransacked his cell and denied him medical treatment for seeking medical assistance for Mumia and other prisoners. Tillery was transferred to SCI Frackville and then falsely charged with drug possession, disciplined and given six months in “the hole.”

Gracias for the anti-solitary class action settlement from a named plaintiff

Sep 27, 2015

Can you please give me a little space in Bayview, so that I can say gracias – thank you. I’m one of the named plaintiffs in our class action lawsuit, Ashker v. Brown, at Pelican Bay SHU. By now you have all heard that it was settled Sept. 1, 2015. I’m happy for all of us in the SHU. For now we must enjoy this ONE victory of many more to come. It’s just the beginning.

Summary of settlement terms in anti-solitary confinement class action, Ashker v. Brown
Update from Menard: Hunger strike resumes Sept. 23
Eva Contreraz: San Quentin Adjustment Center from my perspective
Good men, not worst of the worst
Build unity: Don’t let CDC undermine the Agreement to End Hostilities
Revolutionary eulogy by Texas Chicano POW-political prisoner Alvaro Luna Hernandez for Comrade Brother Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell
For Mumia, we demand no retaliatory transfer and treatment to cure his Hepatitis C now!
Karima Al-Amin speaks on the health of her husband, Imam Jamil Al-Amin
Prisoners report on San Quentin health crisis: Legionella outbreak prompts water shutdown
Stop the execution of Imam Jamil, the former H. Rap Brown, by medical neglect in federal prison
California prisoners win historic gains with settlement against solitary confinement
Hugo Lyon Antonio Pinell, aka Daddy
KPOO interview: Kiilu Nyasha and Terry Collins remember Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell
Testimony of Everett D. Allen, M.D., former chief physician and surgeon at Pelican Bay State Prison, to US Senate Judiciary hearing, Part 2
The other death sentence: Deliberate indifference at Corcoran SHU

News & Views

The Blue Angels air show: San Francisco’s choice

Oct 10, 2015
The Blue Angels FA-18s zoom past the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, in October 2007. – Photo: Clark Cook

Few aside from the USA’s military industrial giants have made more money on the Iraq War than California’s U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her husband, Richard Blum. The Blue Angels first came to San Francisco in 1981, when Feinstein was mayor. Will the MSF hospital bombing in Kunduz, Afghanistan, put a damper on San Francisco’s annual celebration of war and militarism? The Blue Angels are San Francisco’s choice. The Pentagon does not force them on San Francisco or any other city.

Black San Franciscans protest growing poverty as rich San Franciscans meet President Obama and Kanye West

Oct 9, 2015
San Francisco NAACP President Amos Brown meets with the Board of Supervisors about the growing racial income disparity in the city. – Photo: Scott Strazzante, SF Chronicle

Join the rally in front of the Warfield Theater, 982 Market St., San Francisco, Saturday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m., to protest racism toward African Americans in San Francisco by Dr. Amos C. Brown, Carletta Jackson-Lane, Fred Jordan, Shawn Richards, Mattie Scott and Rev. Arnold Townsend The Democratic fundraiser featuring President Obama and Kanye West at […]

Contra Costa County begins counting Richmond anti-rent control petition signatures

Oct 9, 2015

According to Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin, on Oct. 5, Contra Costa County began counting signatures from the petition that blocked renter protections in Richmond from taking effect on Sept. 4, 2015. When the petition was turned in Sept. 3, the California Apartment Association (CAA) announced that they were behind it. Now people in Richmond are anxiously waiting to find out if enough valid signatures were turned in.

‘Went in like Gestapo’: Sonoma sheriffs’ bloody rampage

Oct 8, 2015
Laurie Banks, left, mother of plaintiff Daniel Banks, is comforted by Karina Arango Lopez, sister of Jesus Arango Lopez, while Banks reads a letter from her son describing how he, Lopez and a total of 20 prisoners were beaten by guards at Sonoma County Jail, during a press conference at the law office of Isaak Schwaiger, far left, in Santa Rosa, on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. – Photo: Alvin Jornada, special to the SF Chronicle

A federal lawsuit was filed on Oct. 6 demanding damages and relief for prisoners assaulted and tortured by Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies inside the county jail on May 28, 2015. The plaintiffs, Marqus Martinez and Daniel Banks, were two of at least 20 prisoners viciously beaten in the jail’s Administrative Segregation (high security) section on that day. Other abused inmates may join the suit.

The Broken Windows Theory is broken

Oct 7, 2015
POOR WeSearchers present their “Broken Windows” report outside the Marriott Marquis Hotel as “Broken Windows” Theory creator Richard Kelling was speaking to the Downtown Association’s Conference inside. – Photo: Suze Leon, Poor News Network

The broken windows model of policing uses code words like “disorder” and the metaphor of “broken windows,” focusing on the importance of “fixing,” aka policing, getting rid of, cleaning out broken windows as a way of “preventing” more “serious crime.” The poor, disabled and houseless scholars from POOR Magazine who have experienced the violence of this private policing launched the WeSearch Policy Group in 2013.

Burundi accuses Rwanda of training rebels for cross border attacks
Physician Janette Sherman on US gun mania
Rwanda: Nahimana asks why the US wants to deport Munyakazi
Burkina Faso: France, the US and the spirit of Sankara
More street trees coming to Bayview Hunters Point in November
2,000+ Bayview residents celebrate learning at BMAGIC’s backpack giveaway
The cost of criminalizing homelessness just went up by $1.9 billion
Don’t be fooled by ‘Inclusive Capitalism’ – it’s still a disaster!
Largest rent control petition in San Francisco history denied, Midtown residents vow to continue their quest for justice
Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 12
In loving memory of Elzie Byrd, hero of Geneva Towers
Who gets hepatitis C drugs? Who pays?
As sheriff, John Robinson will aim to reduce disproportionate Black and Brown incarceration
World politics: 4 years after Qaddafi, 2 years after Chavez
Bernie Sanders files bill to ban private prisons for federal, state and local prisoners

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
Building Our Future: Celebrating 15 Years Towards A World Without Prisons Oct 10 1:00 PM Omni Commons, 4799 Shattuck Ave., Oakland "The future is not a place we are going to, ... more>> ---------------
Traffic Skills 101 (for urban bicycling): Classroom Workshop (Free) Oct 10 1:00 PM Noe Valley Branch Library, 451 Jersey St., San Francisco Looking for more than an introduction into urban riding? Our ... more>> ---------------
Black Artists on Art: The Legacy Exhibit Oct 10 5:00 PM Petaluma Arts Center, 230 Lakeville St., entrance on E. Washington across from CVS, Petaluma The Petaluma Arts Center announces Black Artists on Art: The ... more>> ---------------
Sr. Helen Prejean, Speaking, Philip Workman Interfaith Service Oct 10 6:00 PM St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1755 Clay St., San Francisco Contact Fr. River Damien Sims

... more>> ---------------

NYPD on trial: NBA player Thabo Sefolosha fights back after police beating

Oct 10, 2015
NYPD officers lead Thabo Sefolosha, grimacing in pain, out of the police station after booking him.

NBA player Thabo Sefolosha had his leg broken by the New York Police Department, an undisputed fact that is still stunning to contemplate. This week, Thabo has been in criminal court as prosecutors attempt to imprison him for the crime of “resisting arrest.” In actuality, he is being prosecuted for not going away quietly: choosing instead to fight back. His testimony, and the testimony of witnesses, could mean that they will not get away with it.

The spirit of Oakland Blues legend Augusta Lee Collins lives on …

Oct 9, 2015
Augusta Lee Collins and Anita Woodley – Photo: Leah J. Viramontes (Clark)

I was introduced to Augusta Lee Collins at Dave Petrelli’s Twinspace in San Francisco where thespian Anita Woodley performed her “Mama Juggs” one woman play about 5 years ago. Since Anita Woodley worked closest with him, I thought it would be fitting to get her to talk about her colleague, musical comrade and friend, who transitioned after being hit by a car in Oakland. Here is Anita Woodley in her own words.

Comrades of Malcolm Shabazz remember him on his 31st birthday

Oct 8, 2015
Gathered at the UNIA-ACL office in Philly are Shesheena; Keita, who is interviewed here; Baseemah; Goldii, Mumia’s daughter; Daly; Stephanie; JR; and Malcolm Shabazz. – Photo: Block Report

Because of his experiences he encountered people from every background regardless of ethnicity, nationality, economic class, gender, social class, age and mentality. Therefore he was able to attract a crowd, speak to every person’s heart and mind, reach and mobilize people towards what everyone essentially wants and needs; but specifically in the Black Community he was progressing the liberation work of his grandfather.

Shafia Monroe, founder of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing, seeks more Black midwives, doulas; Erykah Badu keynotes Oct. 9-11 conference

Oct 3, 2015

Shafia Monroe speaks wit’ the Block Report about how to stay healthy during pregnancy and the need for more Black midwives and doulas in the nation. Blacks have by far the highest infant mortality rates, with 17 of every 1,000 Black babies dying in their first year, compared with 3-4 in other communities. Learn more and meet keynoter Erykah Badu – who herself is a doula – at the ninth annual International Black Midwives and Healers Conference Oct. 9-11 in Portland, Oregon.

The water and the wind, a song for Dedon

Sep 30, 2015
Dedon loved surfing. He was a charter member of the Black Surfers Collective and past president of the Black Surfers Association.

Some heroes will be forever unsung — But I met one, when my consciousness was young — You helped a brotha out when he wasn’t solid — Guided me on my political path, introduced me to Dr. Khallid — When me and my queen arrived on the scene — Rocking boots and jeans, looking clean and mean — You told us you dig us doing our thing — And appreciated the things we would rap and sing

Third Street Stroll …
First fruits: Celebrating the future of our village
Mumia Abu-Jamal’s eighth book: ‘Writing on the Wall’
A-APRP comrade speaks on the work of the late Dedon Kamathi
‘The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution’
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