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Finally, Albert Woodfox, locked in solitary for over four decades as one of the Black Panthers known as the Angola 3, can join forces with other freedom fighters, here with Minister of Information JR and Arthur League at the Malcolm X JazzArts Festival in Oakland on May 21, 2016. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

Albert Woodfox speaks on being a political prisoner interviews former Black Panther political prisoner Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3 about his case, his over four decades in isolation, his life as a Panther political prisoner and his release. Finally, Albert Woodfox can join forces with other freedom fighters, here with Minister of Information JR and Arthur League at the Malcolm X JazzArts Festival in Oakland on May 21, 2016. To learn more about Albert Woodfox, visit the Angola 3 website,

Behind Enemy Lines

Prisoner Human Rights Movement Blue Print

May 28, 2016
Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM) logo – Art: J. Heshima Denham, J-38283, KVSP B2-117U, P.O. Box 5102, Delano CA 93216

CDCr has systemic and dysfunctional problems that run rampant statewide within California’s prisons for both women and men which demand this California government to take immediate action and institute measures to effect genuine tangible changes throughout CDCr on all levels. The Prisoner Human Rights Movement Blue Print is essentially designed to deal with identifying and resolving primary contradictions by focusing on the various problems of CDCr’s dysfunction.

You can stand

May 27, 2016
Natalie DeMola (right) with a friend

It is better to be hated for who you were created to be than to be loved for who others want you to be. Not everyone will agree with you and you may be hated for the purpose you were created to be, but if you were to live to please others, you will end up hating your own life because you compromised yourself. Embrace who you are, and embrace opposition as opportunity to be strengthened.

PHSS Committee to End Sleep Deprivation asks for letters about the ‘security/welfare checks’

May 26, 2016
Sleep deprived prisoners’ supporters protested outside the headquarters of the California Department of Corrections in Sacramento on Nov. 30, 2015. – Photo: Liberated Lens

Guards have been jarringly waking prisoners every 30 minutes on death row at the Central California Women’s Facility since May 2014, and in the Pelican Bay SHU since Aug. 2, 2015, for so-called “security/welfare checks.” This is serious, ongoing sleep deprivation which is torture. These checks may also be harming people in other prisons; PB SHU and CCWF death row is where we have heard the most complaints.

Coordinated offensive on STG kickouts

May 25, 2016
Jose Villarreal 2005

Having been one of the many who have been let out of the control units (SHU), I can say that there is some victory in this development, but there is much work to be done outside the SHU and still a ways to go before victory is complete. This accomplishment of opening the gates of SHU for many simply means we face new forms of oppression; it changes in form but not in essence.

George Jackson University – a statement from its founder

May 25, 2016
This is Abdul Olugbala Shakur’s tattoo. When CDCr or the courts ask him what it means, he says, “Don’t eat pork.”

Within the California Department of Corrections (CDCr), the name George Jackson evokes both fear and hate among prison guards. His very name represents resistance – the epitome of our Black manhood – and this explains in part why the CDCr has spent the last 44 years attempting to censor the name George L. Jackson from within its prisons.

Terrible Tier II: We are fighting for our lives
Amend 13!
Prison labor strike in Alabama: ‘We will no longer contribute to our own oppression’
Court rules no punishment for California prison hunger striker
My brotha Yogi – two comrades with long memories
CHOOSE1 Three Strikes Reform Act needs 365,880 signatures by June 1: Volunteer today!
Exposing toxic work conditions inside Texas Prisons
Political prisoner Luis V. Rodriguez: Aztlan warrior passes to the spirit world
Tipping point in Texas prison strikes? The history of slavery is at stake
Urgent: Call to support tortured hunger-striking prisoners in Louisiana
Stiff resistance is a human right! Malcolm X Grassroots Movement statement on Dr. Mutulu Shakur
Abolish ALL prisons, private and public
Prisoners in multiple states call for strikes to protest forced labor
Mondo mourned
Our hero has not been forgotten

News & Views

Drug discount helping African Americans is at risk

May 28, 2016
AIDS activists protesting high drug prices are asked to leave.

It is well established that low-income African Americans tend to be sicker when they arrive at the emergency room. It’s the mission of safety-net providers to treat them – and all patients – regardless of ability to pay. Unfortunately, the drug industry is working hard in Washington to make that much more difficult. At issue is a little known but enormously important federal statute called the 340B drug discount program.

Honoring the life of Jessica Williams

May 27, 2016
Jessica Williams

Join the Last 3% and the family of Jessica Williams today at 6:30 p.m. at Third Street and Palou in Bayview Hunters Point for a march to the Bayview Police Station. On the morning of Thursday, May 19 – National #SayHerName Day – a San Francisco Police sergeant killed Jessica Williams, 29, with a single shot at close range while she was unarmed, sitting in a car in the Bayview. This is the same neighborhood where a sergeant recently expressed a desire to kill Black people.

Who’s behind unpaid prison labor in Texas?

May 27, 2016
Prisoners in Texas grow 24 different crops and tend 10,000 head of cattle.

The Texas Board of Criminal Justice, which oversees Texas Correctional Industries, the prison industry division within the state’s Department of Criminal Justice, has authority over how much compensation inmates working for the state receive for their labor. Currently, inmates working for TCI are not paid for the work done while serving their time; the only inmates who are paid anything are the small fraction who are employed by TCI’s private sector prison industries program.

Rwanda blocks legal counsel to political prisoner Victoire Ingabire with Kafkaesque bureaucracy

May 25, 2016
Dutch lawyer Caroline Buisman and Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire

On May 19, 2016, the Rwandan government ordered Dutch lawyer Caroline Buisman to leave Rwanda immediately, without even meeting her new client, political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. Buisman had arrived in the country’s capital Kigali on May 14, 2016, to consult with Ingabire regarding the appeal of her conviction for terrorism, inciting popular revolt and minimizing the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

Federal sentence enhancements keep Black low-level drug offenders in prison for life without parole

May 25, 2016
How can a prisoner even dream of raising a family when sentence enhancements keep him locked up forever? Yet to live, he must hope. This drawing is entitled, “Rise.” – Art: G. Lumumba Edwards, B-89208, San Quentin State Prison 5-N-23, San Quentin CA 94974

Over the past few years, President Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, members of both houses of Congress and many other elected officials have expressed the need for criminal justice reform. Much concern has been raised regarding overly harsh penalties for low-level drug offenses and firearms violations. There is, however, one particularly egregious judicial injustice that has not made the headlines, perhaps because it primarily effects only poor African Americans.

Police chief forced to resign in victory for Frisco 500
It’s personal: Bubba, your cover’s blown
Bay View Voters Guide: Cali can make Bernie president if we vote our hopes, not our fears
I’m a young Black woman in Oakland, single mom and student – and a Bernie Sanders delegate!
Come to the Afrikatown Anti-Eviction Block Party on May 28
Will George Lucas build Star Wars memorabilia museum on Treasure Island Death Star?
Haiti’s Election Verification Commission a step in the right direction
Do the Black lives on our planet really need another Clinton administration?
Uganda: Besigye and Museveni, a tale of two presidents
Hunger striker Hassani Bell speaks on the end of the Ethnic Studies hunger strike and what’s next
Four journalists covering Frisco 500 City Hall occupation file brutality complaint against S.F. Sheriff’s Department
Richmond Councilmember Jovanka Beckles: What really matters is improving the lives of Richmond residents
As attorney John Burris reveals SFPD sergeant transferred to Bayview to ‘kill niggers,’ Supervisor Jane Kim calls for new police chief
#Frisco500 shut down City Hall to stop police murders
Against all odds: Teens advocate in the rain for disability rights & to redefine ‘beauty’

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
May 30, 2016
Bernie 2016: A Future to Believe In Oakland Rally 4:00 pm Frank H. Ogawa (Oscar Grant) Plaza, 14th & Broadway, Oakland Bernie is coming to Oakland on Monday to hold a "... more>>

African American clergy defend their communities

May 28, 2016
Mt. Sinai Pastor George E. Hurtt – Photo: Dennis Wafford

Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles joined religious institutions across the nation as it hosted the first NoMenthol Sunday observance in Southern California. NoMenthol Sunday is a national interfaith effort that educates congregants about the role mentholated and candy-flavored tobacco products play in addicting African Americans to tobacco products.

‘A Small Temporary Inconvenience,’ a feature film about Black, disabled civil rights activist George Washington Eames Jr. in Jim Crow Louisiana

May 27, 2016
George Washington Eames Jr. was the longtime president of the Baton Rouge NAACP.

Cleve Bailey has taken the story of his great uncle and aunt, George and Kathy Eames, and created a screenplay entitled “A Small Temporary Inconvenience,” which chronicles the lives of this interracial couple who dedicated their lives to civil rights activism and fighting against racism in the Deep South. I caught up with Cleve, who now lives in the Bay Area in Hayward, to get his take on the film project.

OUSD recognizes Boost! West Oakland for phenomenal youth work

May 26, 2016
Ty-Licia Hooker, executive director of Boost! West Oakland, proudly displays the Oakland Unified School District’s Partner Organization of the Year Award they won.

Ty-Licia Hooker is one of the most dynamic Black women working in Oakland for the good of the Black community and other underserved communities. This former Black Girls Rock awardee is the executive director of Boost! West Oakland, a non-profit dedicated to empowering young people and strengthening their academic performance. They were just awarded the prestigious Partner Organization of the Year Award from the Oakland Unified School District.

The 3rd annual Sacramento Black Book Fair is June 3-5

May 25, 2016
Faye Kennedy, director of the Sacramento Black Book Fair, wants YOU!

The third annual Sacramento Black Book Fair is taking place from June 3 to 5 in Oak Park at many different locations, featuring a number of different people who have other talents and careers and are authors also. We need to support literacy in our community and to support authors writing the stories that come from our experience and are suited to benefit our people. I talked to the director of this monumental event, Mrs. Faye Kennedy, about this year’s happenings. Check her out in this exclusive Q&A.

The 7th annual Fist Up Film Festival wraps up this week

May 24, 2016
A scene from “Obsesión,” which screens Thursday, May 26, 8 p.m., at I-Seed, 1625 Clay St., Oakland. It’s free!

This week the seventh annual Fist Up Film Festival will be wrapping up with a free screening of “Divided Time” on Wednesday at the Oakland Hot Plate at 7:30 p.m. and a screening of “Lamb” on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Red Bay Coffee House in Oakland. The Fist Up Film Festival is arguably the best film festival in Northern California, when it comes to documenting international youth culture.

TKO! Raquel ‘Pretty Beast’ Miller deflates Sara ‘Mac Tire’ Flores in an outstanding pro debut
Remembering Yogi
Hip Hop for Change organizes the Environmental Equity Summit for May 21
‘Concerning Violence’ screening at Qilombo Friday
Oji and the Ascension Team rise to the occasion
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