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Stop the McFarland GEO women’s prison!

On Thursday, July 31, communities impacted by incarceration, immigrant detention and escalating violence against women and children will march to the site of a new women’s prison in McFarland to demand its immediate closure. Advocates will convene at McFarland Park, 100 Frontage Rd, McFarland, Calif., at 5 p.m. CDCR has contracted with the GEO Group to run the McFarland prison. The GEO group, like the state of California, has been challenged by prisoner hunger strikes, protests and lawsuits due to the deplorable and inhumane conditions of their facilities.

Behind Enemy Lines

Chess vs. checkers

Jul 30, 2014

Life is like a game of chess and checkers. Many of us play checkers. And many of us think we’re playing chess, but, in practice, we’re actually playing checkers. So it should be of no surprise to any of you when I say, most poor people play checkers, prisoners in particular. Now what does this analogy im­ply? Most people make decisions in life without thinking ahead or assessing the ramifications of their decisions, especially prisoners!

Rally to stop wrongful convictions planned in Louisiana

Jul 29, 2014

In reference to my case as told in the June issue of the Bay View, I have connected with Eric Brown, attorney Mummi Ibrahim and Rev. Melvin Slack, who is a candidate to be the next mayor of Shreveport. Slack is about positive change and he promotes Black-on-Black love. Pastor Brown is also supporting my cause, freedom. He is orchestrating a rally to stop wrongful convictions in Louisiana.

Medical ‘care’ at Soledad is degrading … and lethal

Jul 28, 2014

The people who are housed in this institution, Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad, Calif., are having a lot of issues with medical. It’s very degrading. Doctors are taking convicts off their pain medication, such as morphine, methadone and Gabapetine, known as Neurontin, saying it’s being abused. Correction officers don’t care about us convicts nor do the doctors.

Pennsylvania hunger striker: I’m in search of a voice to help me bring light to our struggles

Jul 26, 2014

I’m from SCI-Smithfield in Pennsylvania and I’m in search of a voice to help me bring light to the struggles that the inmates in this facility face. Now I’ve been on my hunger strike since June 11, 2014, and the reason for my hunger strike is policies being overlooked, harassment from COs, very poor calories on daily trays, refusal of proper medical treatment and denial of the equal protection of the laws and due process.

Inside a CCA private prison: Two slaves for the price of one, Part Two

Jul 25, 2014
Anthony Robinson Jr., cropped

In 1973, the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals issued a report which stated in part: “The prison, the reformatory and the jail have achieved only a shocking record of failure. There is overwhelming evidence that these institutions create crime rather than prevent it.” This same report stated directly: “No new institutions for adults should be built and existing institutions for juveniles should be closed.”

Racism in San Francisco County Jail
Imam Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) transferred to Butner Federal Medical Center, N.C.
Federal judge strikes down California’s death penalty
Guantánamo nurse refused to participate in ‘criminal’ force-feedings
To celebrate the movement: The California prisoner hunger strike one year later
Prisoners and advocates commemorate the one-year anniversary of the hunger strike by California prisoners and file lawsuit against CDCR
Events worldwide commemorate mass California hunger strike first anniversary
Supporters demand political prisoner Imam Jamil (H. Rap Brown), diagnosed with rare cancer, be hospitalized immediately
Largest hunger strike in history: California prisoners speak out on first anniversary
Outlaw to walk free July 14
Houston needs a civilian review board – but Texas needs much more!
Calipatria riots need to cease and unity needs to spread
Leonard Peltier, my cellmate: Simple man with a big vision
Leonard Peltier after 39 years in prison: Live to make our children proud
Attorney Anne Butterfield Weills: ‘Obscenity’ regs show ‘CDCR views many of its prisoners … as political prisoners’

News & Views

The Sandy Agee story, Part Two: We love Treasure Island, but we don’t want to die

Jul 30, 2014
Sandy Agee testifies before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June. “What can we do?” she asks. “There are more sick people out there.”

After working vigilantly to protect her kids from asbestos by moving out of an asbestos-filled home in Bayview Hunters Point onto Treasure Island, Sandy Agee found she had literally jumped from the frying pan into the fire. At this writing, Sandy and two of her children are exhibiting worrisome physical symptoms they developed only after moving to the island. Sandy’s blood tests came back positive for “thyroid problems.”

A new life for Sundial Park

Jul 29, 2014

Reclaiming Hilltop Park, better known as Sundial Park, as a neighborhood destination has been a long time coming. Through dedicated local advocacy, an active community of neighbors and productive partnerships, this park will finally be seeing a new life in Bayview Hunters Point. Come to the community meeting on Wednesday, July 30, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Joseph Lee Recreation Center, 1395 Mendell St.

Connecting the dots throughout the world leading to economic empowerment

Jul 29, 2014

From now on we are going to connect each and every city and nation that has significant numbers of members of the African Diaspora. We will begin to communicate on a regular basis and plan economic projects to employ more and more workers and build more and more wealth via entrepreneurship. These dots of people of African descent will become the envy of the world. Oh, how resilient we have been. Now we will not only survive but begin to thrive.

Survivors of Black Wall Street race riot still haven’t received any reparations

Jul 28, 2014
The people of Black Wall Street, the Greenwood District of Tulsa, look around at the devastation of the entire 1 square mile neighborhood after the smoke cleared. Many of their neighbors had died; estimates range from 300 to 3,000, proponents of the larger number citing stories of a mass grave. – Photo: Tulsa Historical Society

Some financial observers attribute the Black community’s economic woes to our unwillingness to financially support Black businesses. Well, back in 1921, in a Tulsa, Oklahoma, community named Black Wall Street, a dollar circulated 19 times before leaving the community. That was before a white mob destroyed the town. Given the ferocity of the attack and the complicity of Oklahoma police, one would think that by now survivors would’ve been compensated for what they endured, but they haven’t been.

Special assignment: George Jackson funeral

Jul 27, 2014
This is the front page of The Black Panther newspaper that came out Aug. 28, 1971, the day of George Jackson’s funeral, alerting mourners to attend; 8,000 came.

I was working at Central Headquarters of the Black Panther Party (BPP) when George Jackson was murdered by guards in San Quentin Prison in 1971. George Jackson was one of the leaders of the developing Prison Rights Movement at the time. He helped develop a new consciousness among prisoners based on political education, service to the community and the destruction of the evil capitalist system.

Child refugees: When children are ‘the enemy’
California’s death penalty is cruel, unusual and ‘arbitrary’
Will current clinical trial mean the end of sickle cell disease?
Hundreds of protestors flood Detroit streets to protest water shut-offs
Trail for Humanity: Mothers and children walk from Merced to the border
From Gaza with pain – and dignity
Using Twitter to challenge Twitter on workforce inclusion-diversity data
Eric Garner, father of 6, killed in chokehold by NYPD for selling untaxed cigarettes
Bigoted bullying at Richmond City Council meetings aims to end progressive leadership
In memory of Andy Lopez: Turn a negative into a positive
Doesn’t the Navy know the Boys and Girls Club left toxic Treasure Island?
Kenneth Harding Jr.: Three years after SFPD murdered my son, just demonizing, no justice
Andy Lopez inspires the people to rise up, to defend! educate! resist!
Gaza: Nowhere to run
Justice sought for Black woman savagely beaten by CHP officer

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions

    Jul 31 - 5:00 PM

  • Showing of the film and discussion of "Freedom Riders"

    Jul 31 - 7:00 PM

  • Black reSurgence!TV

    Jul 31 - 7:00 PM

  • Free Angela and All Political Prisoners

    Jul 31 - 7:00 PM

  • MUSICAL HAPPY HOUR at Radio Africa & Kitchen

    Aug 1 - 5:30 PM

  • Afrosolo in the Gardens tribute to Paul Robeson

    Aug 2 - 1:00 PM

  • Mandela Foods Co-op Diet and Disease Prevention Workshop

    Aug 2 - 2:00 PM

  • Chronicle Books Warehouse Sale-Save 65% on everything

    Aug 6 - 9:00 AM

  • Chronicle Books Warehouse Sale-Save 65% on everything

    Aug 7 - 9:00 AM

  • BAYCAT 10 Years Bold Summer Media Camp Open House

    Aug 7 - 6:00 PM

‘Kill Team,’ the mind state imperialism breeds

Jul 28, 2014

“Kill Team” is a very well put together documentary about a number of U.S. soldiers based in Afghanistan who were caught being a part of a kill team that would routinely kill innocent civilians. This documentary is for anybody fascinated by the mentality and psychology promoted in the U.S. military to get their paid mercenary soldiers ready to steal resources and control populations on an international level.

8th annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair Aug. 9 in Los Angeles

Jul 27, 2014
It’s a treat to meet young authors along with the celebrities and literary legends at the Leimert Park Village Book Fair.

The Leimert Park Village Book Fair, based in South Central Los Angeles, is the main annual literary event for the Black community on the West Coast. A number of authors and screenwriters attend every year to expose the community to their latest work, and thousands of book lovers come to see what all of these writers have cooked up. Check out Leimert Park Village Book Fair founder Cynthia Exum in her own words.

Umoja African Festival returns

Jul 26, 2014
The futbol (soccer) tournament at the Umoja African Festival is the first in the Bay to pit teams from different African nations against each other. Many players were stars back home. – Photo: Pochina Press

True cultural pan-Africanism has finally crept into the Oakland festival scene with the second annual Umoja African Festival on Aug. 16 at Lowell Park in West Oakland. This festival is a symbol of our self-determination. There will be food, music, vendors and, to top it off, there will be an African soccer tournament for teams from the continent and the diaspora. Check out cofounder of the Umoja African Festival, Effie Tesfahun in her own words.

Mary Ellen Pleasant, California’s Mother of Civil Rights, and her partner meet again on the corner of Bush and Octavia, where it all began

Jul 25, 2014
'House on the Hill Mary Ellen Pleasant Story' poster

It has been over 100 years since the story of Mary Ellen Pleasant, the Mother of Civil Rights in the state of California and the first African American woman millionaire, has been told on the location where she made most of her wealth. Mary Ellen Pleasant became a famous name in the city of San Francisco, described as “a Rosa Parks, a Martin Luther King and a Malcolm X all rolled into one.”

‘Virunga’ documents Congo battle pitting gorillas against greed over ocean of oil

Jul 17, 2014
Virunga National Park Congolese gorilla caretaker Andre Baum carries one of his “family members,” a gorilla held at the rehabilitation center to recover from injuries inflicted by poachers.

The documentary “Virunga” tells the story of the rangers at Virunga National Park in eastern Congo who are battling to keep the last remaining 800 mountain gorillas that live in the park alive – a battle against poachers, the M23 rebel forces and the British corporation Soco, which is trying to convince officials inside the park and in government to allow them to exploit the huge ocean of oil that lies under the park.

‘The 12 O’Clock Boys’ screens July 17 in Matatu Film Festival
Poetry returns to Oakland: The Golden Stair
Wanda’s Picks for July 2014
Comedian Leroy Stanfield talks Stop the Violence and Oakland Comedy Superfest Weekend
Meet Tawana Williams, motivational speaker born without arms, author of ‘Unarmed But Dangerous’
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