On Aug. 11, white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, against the removal of the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, It turned deadly. The Charlottesville events happened just a week before Aug. 19, the date of the planned mass rally in Washington, D.C., against mass imprisonment. This rally and the growing movement of which it is part are aimed at dismantling not merely symbols of past racism and slavery like Confederate monuments, but the 13th Amendment, which still authorizes slavery today and is directed predominantly against people of color.
Sep 18, 2017
It is urgent that the security of Shaka Shakur and Jimmy Jones be ensured, but the only way is through mass pressure from the outside. IDOC Watch asks that people call Wabash Valley warden Richard Brown at 812-398-5050 and IDOC Commissioner Robert E. Carter Jr. at 317-232-5711. Say that you are aware that Shaka Shakur, 135647, is being charged for defending himself against mistreatment by guards and that Jimmy Jones, 891782, is facing repression for exposing the situation. Demand that charges against Shaka be dropped and all disciplinary action against Jones be ceased.
Sep 17, 2017
The following interview was conducted over a week after Hurricane Harvey hit. Rachel’s husband is incarcerated in Beaumont Federal Prison, located about an hour outside of Houston and 40 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico. Although some local media have denounced the conditions in the prison, in general, the media have remained silent on the plight of those who are incarcerated.
Sep 17, 2017
I am a prison abolitionist in my heart. But I’m a prison reformist in the world by virtue of the sad fact that I can’t yet imagine a working society without prisons. I’ve spent every birthday since my 13th in an institution, so I’ve seen only prisons, heard only “prisons.” I want to abolish prisons; I just don’t have the imagination. Part of my failure is a lack of language to describe such a world convincingly. Likewise, a barrier we face trying to dismantle the prison industrial complex is we continue to use the language that helped build it.
Sep 16, 2017
Should you or a loved one ever have the great misfortune of being tried and convicted in the state of Texas, your sentence, no matter how great or small, could very well be a death sentence. If you are resilient, strong of mind and body, then perhaps you would survive the conditions: deadly heat, toxic water, squalid living quarters and ill prepared food – and struggle through the conditioning: slave labor, consistent degradation, dehumanization in a variety of fashions – bowing down to insulting, offensive verbal abuse from staff, group strip searches, zero privacy.
Sep 11, 2017
Black Panther Party political prisoner Herman Bell was viciously assaulted by guards at Great Meadow Correctional Facility (Comstock) in New York on Sept. 5, 2017. While being “escorted” by a guard back to his housing unit, Herman, age 69, was struck in the face by a guard, causing his glasses to drop to the floor. The guard pushed Herman against the wall, Herman stumbled and fell to the ground. The guard then continued viciously hitting and kicking Herman.
Sep 16, 2017
I spoke to Jonathan Chartian this morning. Released from prison Dec. 14, 2016, he is confined to his home when not at work, his job suspended since Hurricane Harvey. He is really concerned about the excessive show of police and military presence, which is not protecting the rights of citizens, rather complicating an already volatile situation between Black and Brown people and law enforcement.
Sep 15, 2017
More than 100 people turned out for a community meeting on Tasers Tuesday night, first breaking into small groups of roughly 25 each and then convening in a fiery public comment session that at one point erupted into activists chanting, “No Tasers!” and drowning out Police Commissioner Sonia E. Melara’s calls for order. The Police Commission has voted against the use of Tasers three times in recent years – in 2004 and twice in 2010.
Sep 13, 2017
Las Vegas cops jumped NFL star Michael Bennett, held a gun to his head and threatened to blow it off. How else could they have chosen the perfect target to prove that the U.S. is a racist police state? How else could their police union have followed up with a letter imploring NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to investigate Bennett for defaming them by telling his story and claiming that the LVPD had racially profiled him? You can’t make this stuff up.
Sep 10, 2017
Dr. Maryse Narcisse, presidential candidate of Fanmi Lavalas, addressed an overflow audience in Oakland in late April. She spoke in the wake of the selection of Haiti’s new president, Jovenel Moise, a right-wing businessman and protégé of former president Michel Martelly, who took office via an electoral process so replete with fraud and voter suppression that opposition forces called it an “electoral coup.”
Sep 10, 2017
I watched a homeless Black man wander between and among these whites with their “Black Lives Matter” signs. They would make no connection between the content of the signs they strutted and the poor human asking for a dollar to buy a Big Mac. But from the point of view of the homeless Black man, who is still asking for a dollar among the self-conceited crowd at the color-blinded rally, neither group – the anti-fascists nor the Fascists – mean anything to him. The signs communicate their indifference.
Sep 5, 2017
Lori Nairne, women’s, queer rights and anti-racist campaigner, nurse and homeopath, died of natural causes on Saturday, Aug. 19, aged 65. She was a founding member of Wages Due Lesbians (now Queer Strike) and the Wages for Housework Campaign/SF (WFH) and joint coordinator of the Global Women’s Strike (GWS) Bay Area and a member of the California Nurses Association.
Sep 5, 2017
Dr. Richard Claxton “Dick” Gregory, 84, joined the ancestors Aug. 19, the same day as the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington, D.C. A longtime advocate for human rights, Gregory ran for president of the United States, went to Iran to negotiate the release of Americans held hostage, is also known for his Bohemian diet and extensive fasts for human rights. Ten years ago he visited Oakland to honor the lives of the 918 adults and 305 children – including 40 infants – who lost their lives along with U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan and a United Press International film crew.
Sep 4, 2017
SFUSD in collaboration with the San Francisco Alliance of Black School Educators will host the Fifth Annual Historical Black College and University (HBCU) Fair on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, at Mission High School from 4:00-7:30 p.m. U-CAN President Alan H. Rowe says about last year’s fair that it drew a large number of students and parents districtwide. “The College Fair was an overwhelming success with many students receiving on-the-spot admissions and scholarship offers.”
Sep 3, 2017
Oakland’s own Stanley Petey Cox – aka Mistah FAB (as well as Fabby Davis Jr.) – launched the world premiere of his autobiographical movie in August. Titled “My Ten Thousand Hours,” it is an inspirational and must-see rap-umentary for true fans of hip-hop and the rich O-Town scene. The film covers some of the highs of the rap industry, but it also, and most critically, deals honestly with the low periods and major lessons of his life. Thus far.
Sep 2, 2017
Shipyard Trust for the Arts (STAR) is excited to announce the selection of our 2017-2018 Artist in Residence at the Hunters Point Shipyard: Ira Watkins. Ira Watkins is a self-taught artist who has shown an amazing devotion to his passion. He has been painting for almost 30 years. Even a period of homelessness did not disrupt his art practice. During that time, he lived and painted in his van in the Tenderloin. He now lives in the Dr. George Davis Senior Center in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood.