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Prison strike solidarity update: Solid Black Fist newsletter released as striking continues

Jailhouse Lawyers Speak (JLS) is currently continuing to focus energy on supporting strikers who’re suffering retaliation, raising awareness of those who continue to strike and educating policymakers of strikers’ demands. These will be our primary focuses in this season. Action points: Print and distribute Issue No. 6 of Solid Black Fist. Support prisoners still striking, raise awareness that the National Prison Strike continues in Ohio and California. Circulate the online petition to Congress demanding prisoners’ basic human rights needs be met.

Behind Enemy Lines

Rashid: The prison struggle continues

Sep 24, 2018

Fear and deference of prisoners toward their captors (conditioned through outright violent terror) replicates almost exactly that of Blacks towards whites under the chattel slavery and Jim Crow systems of the Old South. The absolute power of prison officials is no less extreme. And they exercise that power just as arbitrarily. But oppression breeds resistance and a movement is underway where prisoners across the U.S. are staging a range of protests in opposition to slave labor and inhumane treatment in U.S. prisons.

Prison-assisted drug overdoses: Deadly K2 epidemic is spreading in Texas and many other state and federal prisons

Sep 23, 2018

The number of K2-related deaths in Texas prisons is mounting, year after year. Due to this drug being undetectable by prison drug-testing kits, it has become a favorite drug of choice for prisoners and prison officials who profit handsomely from smuggling it in. This has caused other common prison drugs, like cocaine, marijuana and meth, to be discarded by prisoners who now have the ability to get high without worrying about failing drug tests.

Deceptions, lies and misappropriation of funds at McConnell Prison in Texas

Sep 17, 2018

Written Sept. 4, 2018 – Today the heat and humidity inside my cell has reached a level which has caused me to feel dizzy, and I have been experiencing migraine headaches. Senior U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle denied my request for an emergency preliminary injunction. One of my main requests was that she order TDCJ to fix the inoperable and malfunctioning HVAC system here on the McConnell Ad-Seg Unit.

National Prison Strike: State retaliates against South Carolina prisoners in the wake of Hurricane Florence

Sep 17, 2018

Perhaps no demonstration has been more effective in illustrating the states’ inhumane treatment of prisoners than officials’ decision not to safely relocate incarcerated people trapped in the red zone area of Hurricane Florence’s path after South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an evacuation order to citizens on Sept. 10. The state’s refusal to safely move prisoners out of the hurricane’s path is a blatant disregard to the humanity of those residing there dependent solely on the state’s protection.

Solidarity update: Continued resistance as a national coalition

Sep 16, 2018

The National Prison Strike flooded the media and transformed the national narrative surrounding prisoners’ human rights. While the symbolic end date of the national prison strike passed on Sunday’s 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising, prisoners take the lead in determining whether to continue striking depending on their individual circumstances at their institutions: some extending the call, others placing a new date on their call and even striking indefinitely.

Solidarity update: Second week of the National Prison Strike
Your first day of prison is your last day of being human
Reports back from the first week of the 2018 National Prison Strike
Nelson Mandela Day: Building a new type of unity
Large turnout for San Quentin action in support of National Prison Strike
Lansing and Chicago on the march as National Prison Strike grows
Palestinian prisoners’ message of solidarity to U.S. National Prison Strike
Comrade Malik exposes nationwide political repression program
Nationwide Prison Strike, Day 2
Woman in labor screaming for help in Santa Rita Jail ignored, baby born on cold concrete floor
NFL players: Adopt-a-federal-prisoner for President Trump’s pardon
Rally in solidarity: Join the California Hunger Strikes’ four ‘main reps’ in court Aug. 21
Political prisoner of war Robert Seth Hayes paroled after 45 years
Imam Hasan locked down in runup to nationwide strike, on hunger strike since July 28
Black August: The power of prisoner-led organizing

News & Views

Judge Rebecca Hardie allows Contra Costa CFS social worker to commit perjury

Sep 25, 2018

How is it that a social worker was caught committing perjury and yet no one has held her accountable? Where is the oversight of our child welfare system and juvenile courts? Where is the outrage that this is happening and American families are being unnecessarily destroyed in court proceedings that operate under a shroud of secrecy, in court proceedings in which criminal misconduct is covered up and the best interests of children are ignored?

Premier San Francisco artist Ronnie Goodman arrested, charges dropped, but artwork confiscated by city

Sep 24, 2018

Ronnie Goodman, a well known San Francisco artist who is experiencing homelessness, had his artwork confiscated by the City, and was then arrested and spent a night in jail. He was charged with a state anti-lodging law known as 647e, which is probably unconstitutional, and felony vandalism, which was then dropped for lack of evidence. Ronnie is a very gifted, creative individual who has struggled with many challenging issues, including poverty, homelessness, racism, hunger and injustice.

Two African heroes leave prison in Rwanda

Sep 23, 2018

On Sept. 15, Rwandan political prisoners Victoire Ingabire and Kizito Mihigo walked out of Nyarugenge Prison in Rwanda’s capital, along with nearly 2,000 more Rwandan prisoners whom President Paul Kagame had granted “executive clemency.” Victoire Ingabire is a politician and member of Rwanda’s Hutu ethnic majority. Kizito Mihigo is a gospel singer and a member of Rwanda’s Tutsi minority. Charging these two Rwandan leaders with terrorism was ludicrous to say the least.

When the white man who shot up an upscale Oakland neighborhood first shot me, a homeless man, nobody cared; I was the criminal

Sep 18, 2018

On Feb. 14, 2017, I was shot with a rifle by a sniper named Jesse Enjaian, a white guy. I was a homeless man sleeping in my car. I had parked for the night on the street in front of his house on the 9500 block of Las Vegas Avenue near Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. He shot out all four of my tires, all my windows, my dashboard got a bullet hole in it and my head was grazed by a bullet. I woke up to bullets flying, hit my horn, jumped out of my car and hollered for help.

Saving ‘Mona’

Sep 11, 2018

She is known by one name. Say the name, Ramona, and all know of whom you speak. Ramona Africa, of course. She is a revolutionary. A scarred veteran of May 13, 1985, when local, state and federal cops conspired to bomb and kill MOVE members in West Philadelphia. Ramona survived – but didn’t escape the flames, the smoke, the deadly fumes, the hatred, unscathed. Several weeks ago, we learned she was ill, fell into a coma, and was hospitalized. MOVE needs your help to support her in the rest and recuperation that she needs. Please donate on GoFundMe page: Help Save Ramona Africa.

‘We love the CIA!’ – or how the left lost its mind
Merchants of Butchertown
Bayview’s Sav-Mor Mart re-opens in new location with fresh produce, more healthful products
Sam Jordan’s Way celebrates the first major Black mayoral candidate in San Francisco
Mario Woods Remembrance Day 2018: Commemorating and celebrating life
Hunters Point Shipyard: A few caring people are changing the world
Uganda Krip-Hop Nation journalist Ronnie Ronnie beaten, tortured by police, recovering at home
Medicare and Medicaid, a major gift of the Civil Rights movement
Lives lost to the institution: No candlelight vigil for Jessica St. Louis
UPDATED: Ramona Africa needs our help – now!
Musician Bobi Wine arrested and tortured by USA’s ‘Man in Africa’
Anti-fascists outnumber, outlast and drown out Patriot Prayer, Proud Boys in Seattle
‘You wash us away, but we’re still here’: Homeless funding initiative headed for November ballot
Federal ad spending with Black-owned firms dismal; NNPA demands action
Paul Kagame’s paranoia strikes deep

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
September 25, 2018
THE BLACK WOMAN IS GOD EXHIBITION Assembly of Gods (2018) 12:00 pm SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St (between 8th & 9th Sts) San Francisco, CA 94103 Assembly of Gods Exhibition:
FREE ADMISSION from August 30–October 2, 2018
The ... more>>
September 25, 2018
Community Tuesdays at Radio Africa & Kitchen -- dinner for $10 5:00 pm Radio Africa & Kitchen, 4800 Third St., San Francisco You’re invited to “break bread” with us in the ... more>>
September 25, 2018
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION SESSIONS: Free Every Tuesday 7:00 pm St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church 2097 Turk St (at Lyon) San Francisco, CA 94115 Free, weekly, 30-minute meditation sessions. Each will begin with a 10... more>>
September 26, 2018
THE BLACK WOMAN IS GOD EXHIBITION Assembly of Gods (2018) 12:00 pm SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St (between 8th & 9th Sts) San Francisco, CA 94103 Assembly of Gods Exhibition:
FREE ADMISSION from August 30–October 2, 2018
The ... more>>
September 26, 2018
INSIDER | OUTSIDER: Visionary Art BY, FOR, and ABOUT Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated People 12:00 pm Shelton Hall Gallery at Oakland Peace Center, 111 Fairmount Ave, Oakland, CA 94611 Featuring a variety of artwork collected by Oakland-based East Point ... more>>
September 26, 2018
Free Drop-in Job Counseling Every Fourth Wednesday 2:00 pm Central Library, 2090 Kittredge at Shattuck, Berkeley Looking for a job? Or perhaps have a job and ... more>>

‘The Global Imagination of 1968: Revolution and Counterrevolution’

Sep 24, 2018

Movement people must start reading the great works from the past that give us the first steps of understanding how we can set this oppressive and neo-liberal world on fire. One of the good things about the book “1968” is how it delineates for 21st century revolutionaries the international composition of revolutionary activity in every country on the planet. It shows why this struggle, to be successful, must be international in scope and range. Capitalism-imperialism is a worldwide system. Our political and economic system called the World Proletarian Socialist Revolution must be international in scope and range.

Wanda’s Picks September 2018

Sep 24, 2018

We lost Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin on Aug. 16 (March 25, 1942-Aug. 16, 2018). We also lost Kofi Annan (April 8, 1938, to Aug. 18, 2018), the seventh United Nations Secretary General and the first from Sub-Saharan African to lead the International organization. When we think about Black women and their navigation of public spaces, we remember the recent deaths of Nia Wilson, 18, and Jessica St. Louis, 26, who were not safe when they should have been #safehername.

Cal Shakes’ stunning ‘War of the Roses’ closes Sept. 15

Sep 12, 2018

Cal Shakes’ stunning production of “The War of the Roses” by Eric Ting and Philippa Kelly, directed by Eric Ting, continues through Sept. 15. It is an amazing adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy and Richard III. I was not intimidated when I learned that the show was about four hours long. However, I did approach my seat cautiously and, at intermission, when I looked at my watch, I could hardly believe two hours had passed. I loved it. The time literally flew by.

Tribute to Big Man: Action is supreme

Sep 2, 2018

Poor is the word without the deeds … poor the deeds without the WORD – … During the time of Big Man his words were commitment to action … his determination exposed the people’s cries we HEARD – … Where the spectator merely shouts creates noise that static sound without rhythm or RHYME – … Big Man stood front and center at the eye of the storm in the arena of struggle … and intoned the poor and oppressed will rise time after time after TIME –

Aretha Franklin, the radical Queen of Soul

Sep 1, 2018

After gracing the planet for 76 years, Aretha Franklin joined the ancestors Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. President Obama: “Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade – our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.”

Arrest the president! Sue the government! Our Nia, our purpose will never die!
Reminiscing, and acting, this September!
Celebration of the Life of Richard Brown
Markle’s royal arrival blows lid off Britain’s glaring heritage secret
Community advocate Kelvin Brooks taken from us by asthma caused by the pollution he fought
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