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Wiping the stain of capital punishment clean

Soon the Supreme Court will decide whether to hear a case with the potential to end this nation’s abominably long and freakish experimentation with the death penalty. That’s right, drum roll, please. Because, if it grants certiorari in Hidalgo v. Arizona – a case Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe describes as emblematic of “the problems with our [country’s] current capital punishment regimes” – America’s broken and vile “machinery of death” can finally be trashed in the junkyard of our dark, wayward humanity. Implore the Supreme Court to wipe capital punishment’s bloody stain away. Forever.

Behind Enemy Lines

Two years after historic settlement ending indefinite solitary confinement in California, CCR details ongoing violations, releases report showing lasting consequences of SHU post-release

Nov 21, 2017

Two years after the historic settlement of Ashker v. Governor of California marked the end of indefinite solitary confinement in California, the Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel filed a motion to extend the terms of the settlement by one year, noting that substantial reforms are still needed and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) continues to violate the constitutional rights of Ashker class members.

Workers World challenge overturns Pennsylvania prison ban

Nov 18, 2017

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections sent a letter to Workers World Publishers on Oct. 13, informing us that the denial of Workers World issue 35, Aug. 31, into Pennsylvania prisons has been “overturned.” A previous DOC letter to Workers World Publishers on Sept. 11 stated: “The August 31 issue of Workers World newspaper has been denied to all inmates housed in Pennsylvania prisons.” Their reason: The issue contained articles that “call for people to join the fight against white supremacy.”

After seven years of solitary confinement, I’m heading to population … and snitch school?

Nov 18, 2017

After spending over seven years in solitary confinement, I was finally given the opportunity to go back to the general population through a re-entry program in which we must re-enact scenarios that focus on putting one in a no-win situation where they’re accused of something someone else did, know who the culprit is, and are threatened with a disciplinary case. In situations like these, most of us will stand firm and not snitch, but from the looks of these classes they are designed to train us into snitching in efforts to avoid petty sanctions.

Hunger strike at Wabash Valley

Nov 17, 2017

Several inmates at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility have announced that they have begun a hunger strike to protest their deteriorating conditions. Their immediate demands include removal from camera monitored cells, relocation from abusive staff, and the cessation of tampering with food and the confiscation, reading and withholding of mail by administration. Charges are often brought as a form of reprisal, beginning with disciplinary reports filed by disgruntled or sadistic guards looking to punish inmates for refusing passive obedience to their oppression.

Are California prisoners the property of prison staff?

Nov 9, 2017

I frequently hear correctional officers make statements such as, “Inmate, get off my table,” “Inmate, get off my yard,” “Inmate, get off my bed” and so on. The idea that they own everything in the prison sounds like they have serious ownership issues, along with superiority complex and delusions. It could also be the reason they abuse prisoners so much. If correctional officers believe we are their property, they could justify abusive treatment of “their” property.

Glenn Dyer Jail hunger strike: ‘We have people that are only getting out of cell twice a month’
Jalil A. Muntaqim: The making of a movement
We are all bound by the same chain
Demand justice for women in West County Jail
Only 22 with freedom less than a year away, TB was damn sure not suicidal
Incarcerated women risk their lives fighting California fires – part of a long history of prison labor
Support demands of Prisoners United on hunger strike in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties
Don’t let CDCR reverse our hunger strike-won legal victory: Statement of prisoner representatives on second anniversary of Ashker v. Brown settlement
Free speech is a battlefield and the oppressed must unite
‘Security/welfare checks’: Call for 602s, 22s and artwork
Aljerwon Moran: Can a Black man get George Zimmerman’s verdict?
Letter to a young gangster
Watani Stiner: Tending to historical wounds
Let’s fight hard to get Rashid out of Florida now!
O’ dungeon master, my dungeon master!

News & Views

BAJI denounces DHS’ inhumane decision to terminate program for Haitian earthquake survivors

Nov 21, 2017

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration denounces the Department of Homeland Security’s inhumane decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 60,000 Haitian immigrants who are firmly rooted in the United States. On Nov. 20, DHS announced that it would terminate TPS for Haitian nationals effective July 22, 2019. TPS was first granted to Haitian immigrants in 2010 following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the island, killing 230,000 residents and displacing nearly 3 million.

The Caribbean is being killed: Time to fight back

Nov 20, 2017

A while back, people might have argued that this was a statement of journalistic exaggeration, a way to grab the reader’s attention by fear mongering, but today it is an unfortunate statement of fact when one looks around the region. While the intensity and unrelenting nature of this year’s hurricane season has captured a great deal of media attention, the way these storms have intersected with the region’s indebtedness, vulnerable, dependent economies and correspondingly weakened state capacity has not.

US-UN-backed Haitian police massacre teachers and students demanding money for schools, not the army

Nov 18, 2017

Monday, Nov. 13, was a day of extra-judicial killings of men and women estimated by community residents to total 14, plus a number of disappeared. Many are reported wounded by police gunfire and beatings with hammers. In addition, news reports mention 31 arbitrary arrests, and many children and adults were injured by the very potent tear gas used by the police. In the northern city of Cap-Haitien, marching students shouting, “Down with the army, long live education, long live schools!” were brutally attacked by the police using tear gas and batons.

Victory for academic freedom: Judge dismisses Israel Lobby suit against SF State and Palestinian professor

Nov 17, 2017

On Nov. 8, a federal judge said that he will dismiss a lawsuit against San Francisco State University, several SFSU administrators and Professor Rabab Abdulhadi. The suit was filed in June by The Lawfare Project, the self-described “legal arm of the pro-Israel movement.” Lawfare accused defendants of “fostering a hostile environment for Jewish students” by tolerating the activism of Palestinian students and loud criticism of Israel’s policies. “I am pleased that the judge saw through the bunch of lies by The Lawfare Project,” Abdulhadi said.

Burundi defies the Imperial Criminal Court, an interview with John Philpot

Nov 16, 2017

The International Criminal Court (ICC) propagates injustice as stark as slavery or South African apartheid. It’s a Western court that prosecutes Africans exclusively. In June 2011, the ICC indicted Libyan President Muammar al-Qaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam Qaddafi. Now, six years later, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has announced that she will investigate Burundian officials for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the country’s past three years of civil unrest.

How did friendly Berkeley come to be spying for the FBI?
Plan to protect San Francisco neighborhoods from fire after a major earthquake abandoned
Judicial sovereignty: Victoire Ingabire and the African Court
Healthcare is a human right!
Hipster-gentrifiers defend their illusions of ‘innocence’ in Oakland’s homeless crisis
Bayview nonprofit to transform liquor store into STEM school
ACLU calls on Alameda School District to lift Black Lives Matter ban
Mario Woods and the movement for justice in our second year
ISIS of Central Africa a new cover for plundering Congo
Public defenders stand up to money bail
Making sure ‘brothers and sisters’ attain real jobs and contracts on Alice Griffith Housing Development Project
Reclaiming our land when gentrifiers lurk
Burundi exits the ICC, an interview with David Paul Jacobs
Community pushes for equity in cannabis licensing
New Community Leadership Foundation announces creation of Oversight Board for Fillmore Heritage Center

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
November 22, 2017
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>>
November 23, 2017
HOLLA BACK! OPEN MIC POETRY NIGHTS 9:00 pm East Side Arts Alliance 2277 International Blvd., Oakland, CA 94606 Come check out one of the only open mic spots ... more>>

City attacks Black culture to erase Blacks from San Francisco

Nov 11, 2017

“My entire family enthusiastically applauds, supports and genuinely appreciates the Bayview Hunters Point community’s powerful expressions of appreciation for our mother, Ruth Williams’, hard fought struggles to insure that the neediest of the needy have access to that building, the Ruth Williams Memorial Theater Bayview Opera House, at a very nominal charge,” writes Kevin Williams. “All of my family has pledged, along with dozens of other families rooted deepest in BVHP, to simultaneously rise up in protest against Black culture being hijacked by local government controls.“

School to be named after Bayview’s own Mary L. Booker

Nov 9, 2017

Parents and community members working to open a new school in Southeast San Francisco gathered for a naming ceremony at the Bayview Opera House earlier this month. With hopes of creating a school that embodies the core values of equity and leadership, they chose to name the school Mary L. Booker Leadership Academy (MLBLA). Mary L. Booker was one of Bayview Hunters Point’s greatest community leaders.

3UFirst: Bringing billions back to you

Nov 8, 2017

So what is 3UFirst and how does it bring billions back to our community? 3UFirst was created specifically to solve the major problems in the Black community. The focus is on creating jobs, business and investment opportunities, building wealth, sponsoring, funding the best programs locally and across the country, solving the other problems in our community, and donating 50 percent of the net profits back into the community.

In the Bayview Imani Breast Cancer Support Group, women heal, feel safe and know they are not alone

Nov 7, 2017

The incidence of breast cancer among African-American women, which has typically been lower than among white women, increased 0.4 percent in the past 10 years, according to a 2015 report by the American Cancer Society. The Bayview Imani Breast Cancer Support Group meets on the third Wednesday afternoon of the month. Their website describes these meetings as “a place where women can find comfort, feel safe, gather information and understand that they are not alone in the fight against breast cancer.”

New report shows San Francisco schools near bottom statewide for low-income Black and Latino students

Nov 6, 2017

On Oct. 26, the nonprofit Innovate Public Schools released a new report that reveals a deep conflict between San Francisco’s image as a bastion of progressivism and the reality playing out in its public schools. Concerned parents and community leaders gathered on the steps of City Hall for a press conference on the findings of “A Dream Deferred: How San Francisco schools leave behind the most vulnerable students.”

Spreading the word to African Americans about PrEP
Can the military do some good?
Wanda’s Picks for November 2017
22nd annual Maafa Commemoration
Black psychologist Dr. Jonathan Lassiter fights for society’s ‘ultimate underdogs’
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