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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

Parole threatened for organizing and writing for Bay View

May 30, 2016
Anthony Robinson Jr. in 2015

The majority of employees at La Palma Correctional Center who work on Compound 3 fit the description of a Security Threat Group due to their unlawful conduct, but who investigates them or makes them answerable? Certainly not themselves. Yet I am being targeted for my work; a work that was created to build a constructive Humanity; while these prison officials are rewarded for work that assaults the very fabric that makes us human and seeks to destroy lives.

Incarceration, justice and the planet

May 29, 2016
Fight Toxic Prisons Convergence poster

Prisons inspire little in terms of natural wonder. But prisoners, one could assume, must have little concern for the flowers or for otherwise pressing environmental issues. With all the social quandaries present in their lives – walls of solitude, the loss of basic human rights – pollution, climate change and healthy ecosystems must seem so distantly important: an issue for the free. In actuality, prisoners are on the frontlines of the environmental movement.

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
George Jackson University – a statement from its founder
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

News & Views

Racism reigns at James Rolph Park, San Francisco

May 30, 2016
Byron Gill

On May 12, 2016, Black gardener Byron Gill, who works for the City of San Francisco, was informed that a San Francisco Superior Court jury rejected his retaliation claim against his employer, SF Recreation and Park. Gill, represented by attorney Gregory P. Brock, described the matter in his closing arguments as “death by a thousand cuts.” He painted a picture of employer retaliation and harassment.

Voting, the final fig-leaf

May 29, 2016
People Magazine ran this photo in March and commented: “Back in 2005, Bill and Hillary Clinton were VIP guests at Donald Trump's wedding to his wife Melania – and it sure looks like all four had a pretty good time. … The billionaire businessman has, over the years, given at least $100,000 to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and made multiple cash donations to Hillary Clinton's various political campaigns before this one.” – Photo: Maring Photography

As elections near, voters face the choices before them with something like dread: Donald Trump: loud, bombastic, bellicose, rich as Croesus and xenophobic, or the presumptive Democratic nominee – unless Vermont’s Bernie Sanders manages to upend her – Hillary Rodham Clinton: slick as oil, flexible as a Slinky, bottled-blonde ambition and wife of the penultimate political animal, “Slick Willie” Clinton.

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

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
May 31, 2016
Informational Community Meeting on Southeast Health Center Renovation and Expansion Plans 11:00 am Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, 1601 Lane St., San Francisco Southeast Health Center (SEHC) Community Advisory Board members and San ... more>>
May 31, 2016
CODE RAMP Orientation 4:00 pm Success Center, 1449 Webster St, San Francisco Learn how you can become a coder!

In partnership with ... more>>
May 31, 2016
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>>
May 31, 2016
The State of San Francisco: The SFPD Community Trust & Use of Force Initiatives 5:30 pm Playland Bar's Upstairs Gathering Space, 1351 Polk St. at Pine St., San Francisco A friendly and thoughtful discussion on 'SFPD In-Place Use of ... more>>
May 31, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO PREMIERE OF 'KILLING THEM SAFELY' 6:30 pm Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St, San Francisco Join us for the San Francisco theatrical premiere of Killing ... more>>

SF State class of 2016 commencement speaker Richard Polote Jr. earned degree in Africana Studies

May 30, 2016
Richard Polote represented the 7,200 graduates in the SF State class of 2016 at commencement May 27 in front of 35,000 people at AT&T Park.

San Francisco State University held its 115th commencement at AT&T Park, with a crowd of 35,000 on hand to cheer for the 7,200 graduates in the class of 2016. The class was represented by two student speakers. Undergraduate speaker Richard Polote Jr. is a decorated U.S. Air Force veteran and received a bachelor’s degree in Africana studies. Like more than one-third of SF State students, he is the first member of his family to attend college.

World music hip hop musician Sia Love drops a masterpiece, ‘For the Record’

May 29, 2016
Sia Love ‘For the Record’ cover

Sia Love’s debut hip hop album, “For the Record,” was released last month. The production on the album goes from ‘80s pop to the ‘90s sound of Hip Hop to the traditional stringed instruments and drums of Africans from Latin America. Her vocals are rhythmic, strong, soothing, confident and filled with wisdom. Check out this flame on the rise in her own words.

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