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Angola prisoners return from farm work, web

UN Human Rights Committee finds US in violation on 25 counts

Recently, the U.N. Human Rights Committee issued a report excoriating the United States for its human rights violations. It focuses on violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the country is party. The report mentions 25 human rights issues where the United States is failing. This piece focuses on a few of those issues – Guantanamo, NSA surveillance, accountability for Bush-era human rights violations, drone strikes, racism in the prison system, racial profiling, police violence and criminalization of the homeless.

Behind Enemy Lines

Voice from Menard: Chicago’s racist war against Blacks and Latinos continues in Illinois prisons

Apr 23, 2014
'I am a man' 'Close Tamms' Melvin Haywood, 8 yrs Tamms solitary, 30 yrs prison by Lora Lode, Tamms Year Ten, 2012

Although the hunger strike has officially come to an end here – the struggle continues. The drastic and suppressive hand of Illinois prison-crats has had the unintended effect of heightening the consciousness of a new generation of captured colonials into the history of the prison rights movement and “teaching” them about the true nature of the beast.

Coalition opposes all proposals to expand California jails and prisons

Apr 22, 2014
Seal of California Senate

This week members of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), advocates and activists representing diverse communities are attending the Senate Public Safety and Assembly Budget Committee hearings in Sacramento to speak out against billions in funding for new prison and jail expansion. The Assembly Budget Committee hearing will begin on Wednesday, April 23, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 437 of the Capitol in Sacramento.

We are relying on the legislature to rein in CDCR’s gross abuse of power, this year

Apr 22, 2014

There can be no doubt that the legislators’ courageous act of publically acknowledging our protest issues in late August 2013 saved many lives, and it gave many people real hope that substantive changes will be forthcoming. And now that there has been additional public exposure – via the two public hearings – demonstrating CDCR’s refusal to institute real, meaningful changes, on its own, people are relying on the legislature to do all in their power to pass legislation reining in CDCR’s gross abuse of power, this year.

Our historical obligation: to pursue the total liberation of all oppressed people

Apr 21, 2014

We New Afrikans have a historical obligation to protect and serve the people by joining forces with ALL like-minded individuals, regardless of race, color, creed or gender. Our historical obligation in particular is rooted in the year 1619 via the Trans-Atlantic slave trade from which the Abolitionist Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Liberation Movement and the New Afrikan Independence Movement were spawned.

California moves to curb solitary confinement

Apr 14, 2014

Following a mass hunger strike by prisoners in California last year, some state legislators promised to reform the use of Security Housing Units (SHU). This week, Assembly Bill 1652, passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee. It now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. If the bill becomes law, prisoners would only be sent to SHU for specific serious rules violations that come with determinate SHU sentences.

Menard hunger strikers still fighting to be treated like human beings
Women prisoners plead for help
Public Safety Committee to hear Ammiano’s solitary confinement bill
Step Down Program: Orwell’s story come true
Security Threat Group policy is sugarcoated racial profiling aimed at torture
Petition for Black Victims’ Restitution
An end to ‘the hole’? 6 signs that solitary confinement reform is coming
We are the world
Demand a special review into the death of Shadae ‘Dae Dae’ Schmidt
Not just me, we!
Proven innocent: The case of Bobby McClelland
Power concedes nothing: A discussion on CDCr’s insidious regulatory semantics and judicial collusion in maintenance of SHU torture units
The hearts of warriors
Pelican Bay earthquake prompts double locking of cells, reveals need for united front
Blood in my pen

News & Views

The peace that wasn’t: Rwanda 20 years after the genocide

Apr 24, 2014

I woke up on the morning of April 7, 1994, from a fretful slumber. I managed to walk to the gate of my house. I had to know if there were any other houses left standing. What were all of those screams I heard throughout the night? What would happen now that the president was dead? I was benumbed with fright, but I made it to the gate. I had to know what was left of our neighborhood.

France and Rwanda hostile after Kagame accuses France of genocide planning

Apr 22, 2014
Paul Kagame

An international argument between French and Rwandan officials broke out this week after Rwandan President Gen. Paul Kagame accused the French of playing a direct role in the political preparation of genocide in an interview with Jeune Afrique. Justice Minister Christiane Taubira canceled her plan to attend the genocide commemoration in Kigali, but then the Rwandan government announced that they had canceled her invitation anyway.

Rwanda 2014: 24 years after the Ugandan invasion

Apr 17, 2014

Twenty-four years after the Ugandan invasion of Rwanda in October 1990, both the history of the four-year war that followed and realities of life on the ground in Rwanda today are fiercely disputed. Claude Gatebuke survived the violence and founded the African Great Lakes Action Network (AGLAN) to promote truth and reconciliation in Rwanda and the rest of the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

Memphis leads nation in use of deadly force by police, activists charge

Apr 16, 2014

The Memphis Black Autonomy Federation has asked the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate “a pattern or practice” of misconduct by the Memphis Police Department. Memphis police killed 23 people in 2012 and 2013 – the largest number of people killed by police in this time period in America, the federation maintains.

A family destroyed by eviction

Apr 16, 2014
Sabrina Carter's plywood-covered door nailed shut on eviction day 040814 by PNN

On Wednesday, April 8, at 9 a.m., after weeks of last minute legal maneuvers, unanswered calls to the mayor and multiple pleas for a pro bono lawyer to save the single mama Sabrina Carter and her three sons from one of the most unjust evictions I have ever witnessed, we were exhausted. The San Francisco sheriffs were outside her door in the Plaza East apartments to change the locks and throw her and her sons into the street.

Treasure Island radiation cleanup Subsite 6: Fires to put out fires
Treasure Island Subsite 31: The Chernobyl trees at Mordor
Treasure Island: Pandemonium at Halyburton Court
Site 12, Treasure Island’s toxic bullets: Someone’s about to get hit!
Systemic racism and abuse of Black student at St. Charles Borromeo School goes to trial
Who killed the Hutu? Remembering the Rwandan Genocide
Chokwe Lumumba: Dare to struggle, dare to win!
Rwandan Genocide Commemoration clouded by Rwandan president’s criminality
Exchanging her wheelbarrow for a wheelchair, Eunice Atim in Uganda finds education still out of reach
We’re sick and tired of being locked out
Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 3
Lawsuit challenges explosive crude-by-rail shipments to Richmond, Calif.
SFPD-enforced gentrification killed Alex Nieto
Richmond to have highest minimum wage in California
Take our Obamacare survey – after you sign up by Monday

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
  • Bridges to Health Medical + Dental Clinic

    Apr 23 - 7:00 AM

  • Sister Circle: Engage, Discuss, Celebrate

    Apr 24 - 5:00 PM

  • African American Historic Context Statement Open House

    Apr 24 - 6:00 PM

  • Black reSurgence!TV

    Apr 24 - 7:00 PM

  • Free Dental and Medical Care at the Bridges to Health medical and dental clinic

    Apr 25 - 7:00 AM

  • San Francisco Human Rights Commission to host the 2014 California Association of Human Relations Organizations (CAHRO) Statewide Training Conference

    Apr 25 - 8:00 AM

  • World premiere of BAYCAT youth-produced Community Cinema film, "Endangered: A Healthy Bayview for All?"

    Apr 25 - 2:00 PM

  • UNVEILING OF CHILDREN'S MEMORIAL STATUE to young murder victims in Alameda County

    Apr 25 - 3:00 PM

  • MUSICAL HAPPY HOUR at Radio Africa & Kitchen

    Apr 25 - 5:30 PM

  • A. Philip Randolph Institute San Francisco's 13th Annual Fundraising Dinner: Reaching Higher Grounds

    Apr 25 - 5:30 PM

Redouble our efforts …

Apr 21, 2014

When our Knights are captured — Or fall on battlefields, as they — Surely must, and we lose their — Brilliant light and we are — Scrambling to pry pens, — Swords, spears, bread and — Roses from stainless steel — Grips of their icy hands – Scrambling to hoist our — Fallen banners, temporarily — Mired in mud and blood, — Even higher, scrambling — To staunch rivulets of — Brine from our sweetly — Shattered hearts …

‘The Trials of Muhammad Ali’

Apr 21, 2014
Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X

Bill Siegel’s “Trials of Muhammad Ali” shows an evolution of consciousness rarely if ever seen when looking at an iconic figure, in this case the greatest boxer of the 20th century, Muhammad Ali. In this story of Ali, Siegel crafts a tale that without preconception allows his audience an opportunity to enter the Nation of Islam as Cassius Clay did.

Visual artist Eesuu speaks on his new body of work, ‘Sugar 2.0’

Apr 18, 2014

Oakland based artist Eesuu has been one of my favorite local visual artists for the last decade. I love his choice of colors and the ways in which he blends them, as well as I like the themes behind his work. He is exhibiting a new body of work during the month of April in downtown Oakland at SoleSpace, 1714 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. Called “Sugar 2.0,” it looks at the history of this substance that has been used as a tool to enslave people, colonize land and build empires.

Free performance of ‘Every Five Minutes’ at Laney College Saturday

Apr 18, 2014

The play “Every Five Minutes” by Scottish writer Linda McLean is an unique look into the effects of solitary confinement on a man named Mo – recently released after 13 years behind bars. Captured by insurgents, he was tortured, denied contact with family or others outside of his captors. The effects of this deprivation are one disorientated man whom we meet at his coming out dinner.

Rapper Soul performs downtown at Oakland Music Crawl Festival this weekend

Apr 16, 2014
Rapper Soul-3, web cropped

Soul is one of the newer voices from the Oakland music community that will be performing at one of the first music festivals of the year in the Town, the Oakland Music Crawl, which is this Saturday in downtown Oakland, starting at 2 p.m. There will be a number of concerts inside restaurants and galleries as well as outside in the streets. Soul will be performing at Spice Monkey, 1628 Webster St., in downtown from 8-10:30 p.m.

24 hours: What you do with them is up to you
Chillin’ wit’ Turnd Up Radio owner DJ X-1 of KPOO
‘PURPLE: A Circus Tribute to Prince’: an interview with circus artist and show producer Veronica Blair
Wanda’s Picks for April 2014
Third Street Stroll …
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