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“The Mission takes City Hall” was the battle cry demanding an end to gentrification and eviction and construction of unaffordable housing. – Photo: Poor News Network

California is not for rich people only! First Nation, Black, Brown and poor people stand together to take the state back for the people

From Oakland to Salinas, from San Francisco to Vallejo, hundreds of Black, Brown, First Nation and Poor people stood together on May 7 and 8 to demand the end of displacement, police terror and criminalization and the increasing apartheidization of this state. We are all connected. Our work and our revolutions can be stronger if we work together and support each other. To add your case to the elder and child abuse cases against speculators or to get involved in the statewide effort to resist a rich-people-only state, contact poormag@gmail.com.

Behind Enemy Lines

My struggle for freedom in the midst of Virginia’s Truth-in-Sentencing and Abolition of Parole laws

May 25, 2015
Uhuru Baraka Rowe, aka Brian Lee Rowe, web, cropped

I am a 38-year-old Black male from the city of Richmond, Virginia, who has been incarcerated for over 20 consecutive years. I am serving a 93-year prison sentence without the possibility of parole for my participation in a robbery that resulted in the shooting deaths of two innocent people. Having exhausted all available post-conviction remedies in the courts, prisoners like me have few avenues to regain our freedom here in the commonwealth of Virginia.

Pennsylvania prison bars Bay View; prisoner fights back – and wins

May 21, 2015

Rahsaan won his appeal and the release of his March Bay View. With his letter, he enclosed the “Final Appeal Decision,” dated April 30, 2015, and marked “Grant Inmate Appeal.” Now he is working to get his April and May Bay Views released. The Bay View thanks and congratulates this outstanding jailhouse lawyer and encourages others who encounter censorship to follow his lead.

Moving forward with our fight to end solitary confinement

May 20, 2015
“Prison Oppression” – Art: Michael D. Russell, C-90473, PBSP SHU D7-217, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

Greetings of solidarity and respect to all similarly situated members of the prison class unified in our struggle to end long term solitary confinement and win related long overdue reforms to the broken California prison torture system! As one of the four principle prisoner class representatives, I am presenting this further update on where things stand with our human rights movement from my perspective.

California draft budget backslides into aggressive prison construction, punting durable population reduction

May 15, 2015

The May Revision to Governor Brown’s 2015-16 budget delays plans to close the notorious decaying prison in Norco, a move supported by Sen. Hancock and CURB members earlier this week. The corrections budget continues to account for a total of $12.676 billion with plans for “aggressive” prison construction at Donovan and Mule Creek over the next year.

Starve the beast

May 6, 2015

African Americans constitute / 12 percent of the nation, / 50 percent of the prison population. / That’s mass incarceration / Modern day enslavement / Casting a wide net / Landing a big catch: / The poor, the Black, the innocent … / Forever strange fruit / Courtrooms abound with Black youth / Legal lynching ensues / The gavel is a noose / Freedom dismissed / American justice amiss / School to prison pipeline / Lucrative slave ship …

From SHU to mainline, you will be tested
Solitary confinement tricknology at Menard Concentration Slave Camp
Baridi Williamson at Pelican Bay: ‘I met with UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez’
The public execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal?
‘I contribute to peace,’ a pledge to end hostilities inside and out
At Ohio’s supermax prison, a hunger strike ends but extreme isolation remains
Wadiya Jamal: Help my husband get free! Mumia is dying in there!
Visitor decries racism at Pelican Bay in open letter to warden
Struggle without sacrifice is useless
Prisoner Human Rights Movement fights on many fronts to reclaim our lives and freedom
See how sick Mumia is – keep calling!
Mumia’s wife, Wadiya Jamal: It’s time to stop trying to kill my husband and free him now!
Let’s help Shuja come home to his family
Mumia’s life is in danger; only the people can save him – keep calling!
Mumia’s son says, ‘My father is in pain,’ as Mumia is sent back to prison

News & Views

West Papua’s rightful place

May 25, 2015
Demonstrators in the Solomon Islands, which lie east of Papua, show solidarity with West Papua’s bid to join Melanesian Spearhead Group. Melanesia, consisting according to Wikipedia of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Maluku Islands and West Papua, is named for the melanin that shows the people’s original home was in Africa.

In one month’s time, the eyes of the Pacific will turn to Melanesia as our leaders gather in Honiara (national capital of the Solomon Islands, located on the island of Guadalcanal) to decide on West Papua’s membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group. For more than 50 years, my people have suffered a creeping genocide under a repressive Indonesian military occupation that is estimated to have claimed 500,000 West Papuan lives.

No way to escape the eye of the state in Rwanda

May 24, 2015
Rwandan President Paul Kagame

On May 21, 2015, David Himbara told a U.S. Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on U.S. relations with Rwanda that “the smallest administrative unit is 10 houses, and every 10 houses is watched by one individual, and as you move on, the whole state machinery driving fear is very well established.” KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to David Himbara, a Rwandan exile in Canada, who addressed the House subcommittee about how this climate of fear is created.

The TIDA board plunges into redevelopment, burying Yerba Buena and Treasure Islanders’ concerns: A tragedy in three parts – Part Three

May 23, 2015
In the rendering by Lennar, the City’s “private partner,” new development on Treasure Island is located only on the part of Treasure Island that is relatively uncontaminated by the radiation and chemicals poisoning past and current residents. Development is also planned for Yerba Buena Island to the left, prompting plans to relocate those residents.

Yerba Buena Islanders’ Icarus-like plunge from their remote mountaintop into the contaminated air, soil and water of Treasure Island’s radiological and chemical cleanup zone is imminent. This was the main topic at the Treasure Island Development Authority board’s Wednesday, April 8, 2015, annual on-island meeting. Yerba Buenans facing fall 2015 eviction who normally don’t attend because they feel unheard and their issues ignored, presented their concerns.

The TIDA board plunges into redevelopment, burying Yerba Buena and Treasure Islanders’ concerns: A tragedy in three parts – Part Two

May 23, 2015
This newborn was exposed to the Navy’s radiation and chemicals on Treasure Island and was born burned.

With Yerba Buena islanders’ displacement imminent, six community members were present and vocal during the April 8, 2015, on-island meeting. The small group established politely assertive staying power. They asked a question which has for years remained front and center in collective City awareness. Where will the Treasure Island Development Authority get redevelopment funding?

The TIDA board plunges into redevelopment, burying Yerba Buena and Treasure Islanders’ concerns: A tragedy in three parts – Part One

May 23, 2015
Treasure Island: Your Contamination Destination – Photo: Carol Harvey

Is the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) board hearing San Franciscans’ concerns about radiation and chemical contamination, earthquake liquefaction risks and displaced persons’ relocation rights? Actually, no! Employing blocking techniques that capitalize on the fear of speaking in public, the formidable TIDA board is plowing ahead with Redevelopment, insisting on – while resisting – public input.

Rice and Museveni shake hands on crimes in Central Africa
The third edition of the ‘Monumental Battle Cry for Cuba and Zimbabwe’ has been released
22 months after Oscar Grant: OPD ‘justifiably’ murder unarmed Black barbershop owner in East Oakland
Coup attempt defeated in Burundi, US continues to recognize Nkurunziza
Protest racist sentencing of 14-year-old Black girl with clean record labeled ‘danger to society’
Two years after his murder, his imam recalls the life of Malcolm Latif Shabazz
Stop Rwanda and Uganda in DR Congo; implement Obama’s Congo bill
Clean energy supporters hail key milestone: CleanPowerSF not-to-exceed rates approved by SFPUC will meet or beat PG&E
German Solidarity Address for the May 13, 2015, MOVE Commemoration
Is the Shipyard safe? Dr. Sumchai writes EPA opposing transfer of more Hunters Point Shipyard land to San Francisco and Lennar, as NBC questions radiation testing
PUSHTech2020: Jesse Jackson and PUSH Silicon Valley host inaugural tech summit
The barbaric police bombing of MOVE: May 13th at 30
Long-time UNITE HERE Local 2 President Mike Casey stepping down
After Baltimore, mothers of police murder victims issue a call to reclaim Mother’s Day
The impact of Mumia on me: Reflections on Mumia Abu-Jamal

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
Worldwide Coalition to Confront Chevron at Annual Shareholder Meeting May 26 11:00 AM Sierra Club Offices, 85 2nd St. #2, San Francisco Company management to be confronted with multiple resolutions on corporate more>> ---------------
Community Tuesdays at Radio Africa & Kitchen -- dinner for $10 May 26 5:00 PM Radio Africa & Kitchen, 4800 Third St., San Francisco You’re invited to “break bread” with us in the Bayview more>> ---------------
Feisty Feminist Business! May 26 6:00 PM New Valencia Hall, 747 Polk St., San Francisco Learn how this grassroots, multi-racial, feminist organization decides political priorities more>> ---------------

John H. White: Legendary photojournalist

May 25, 2015
John H. White

Legendary photojournalist John H. White is world renowned in his field. A lecturer, a former U.S. Marine Corps photographer and an honored artist in residence in the photojournalism department at Columbia College in Chicago, where he has taught continuously for more than 30 years, Professor White has received over 300 awards from local, national and international organizations.

Romare Bearden: Afrikan artist, writer, photographer!

May 24, 2015
Romare Bearden

Romare Bearden, born on Sept. 2, 1911, in Charlotte, North Carolina, was an African-American artist and writer. He worked in several media including cartoons, oils, photography and collage. Educated at New York University in 1935 and at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, Romare Bearden worked during the artistic periods of social realism, modern art during the Harlem Renaissance.

Kamilah and Adrianna speak about their shoe company, 2 Dollz

May 22, 2015
2Dollz jeweled zebra wedge shoes

I recently was in Leimert Park and I met the owners of 2 Dollz, sisters Kamilah and Adrianna. 2 Dollz is a company that custom designs shoes. And when I looked down at these sistas’ feet, their shoe game was killin’ em. So all of you shoe collectors and fanatics as well as those who like to look unique and chic, check these sistas out in their own words. Then go and support Black business by showing your financial support.

‘Mac Dre: Legend of the Bay’

May 21, 2015

In November of 2004, Oakland-born and Vallejo-raised Hip Hop legend, Mac Dre, was shot and killed in the streets of Kansas City. “Legend of the Bay” is a must see documentary on the life of Mac Dre and the local independent rap industry that he helped to create. “Mac Dre: Legend of the Bay” will be screened for free to close out the San Francisco Black Film Festival: Sunday, June 14, 6 p.m., at the Boom Boom Room, 1601 Fillmore St., San Francisco.

‘Njinga, Queen of Angola’: Masterpiece premiering at San Francisco Black Film Festival

May 21, 2015

Queen Njinga Mbandi of the Ndongo people is a legendary as well as charismatic figure in the pantheon of African world leaders and freedom fighters against colonialism. Screewriter Isilda Hurst and director Sérgio Graciano brought this legendary matriarch to life in a beautiful cinematic way with their new film, “Njinga: Queen of Angola,” a masterpiece for anyone interested in African history, foreign cinema and good movies in general.

‘3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets’ film review
‘Mariposa and the Saint: From solitary confinement, a play through letters’ – final performance tonight 7pm
Oakland artist and educator Jonathan Brumfield receives top SF State honor
Remembering the Black Panther Party newspaper, April 25, 1967- September 1980
Wanda’s Picks for May 2015
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