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Congo in the abyss

October 17, 2018

On Feb. 12, 2018, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that there were 4.49 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 630,500 refugees in neighboring countries. The IDP population had nearly doubled in the previous year alone, mainly as a result of clashes and armed attacks. This week I spoke to Swiss Congolese historian and activist Bénédicte Kumbi Ndjoko about recent developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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Pacifica stands with Wikileaks and Julian Assange

October 16, 2018

Julian Assange could have turned his cyber-genius into a multi-billion dollar tech empire like Mark Zuckerburg’s, but instead he devoted himself to peace and justice by exposing the machinations of state, corporate and oligarchic power. For that he’s spent the last six years of his life as an asylee, in effect a political prisoner, inside Ecuador’s London Embassy. “The Julian Assange case is a key case for freedom of the press,” and the Pacifica National Board voted to stand with Wikileaks and Assange.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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The Kanye conflict over the slavery exception clause: Amending the amendment that ‘abolished’ slavery

October 14, 2018

Kanye West has never been afraid to speak out even if what he had to say wasn’t in line with popular opinion. Kanye saying slavery was “a choice” offended many people by degrading the lives of the millions of people who suffered for centuries as slaves. Recently, at the White House, Kanye sprinkled some gold gems in with the foolishness, especially his statement about the 13th Amendment, which did not abolish slavery, not in prison. I refuse to reject the help when entertainers like Kanye West join prisoners in advocating for prisoners’ rights.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Media silent as Navy digs 1,280 radiological objects from Treasure Island

October 12, 2018

At the March 2018 Treasure Island Restoration Advisory Board meeting, remediation project manager Dave Clark “recollected” that, between 2006 and 2016, the Navy unearthed 1,280 radiological objects, one for every two residents. By contrast, on Sept. 13, San Francisco Chronicle reporters announced the “startling” discovery at Hunters Point of a single “radium deck marker about the size of a silver dollar” near condos on 75-acre Parcel A, which was transferred to the city in 2004 – startling because “contamination … was cleaned up years ago.”

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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San Francisco names Bay View newspaper a Legacy Business

October 8, 2018

On Sept. 24, our San Francisco Bay View newspaper was recognized as a Legacy Business by the San Francisco Historical Preservation Commission and Small Business Commission. This is quite significant! This status, which honors enterprises with 30 or more years of community service, means additional city and county support, education and promotional assistance to maintain their neighborhood’s traditions and excellence.

Hosted by the Center for Youth Wellness, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and Bayview Hunters Point parents discuss how early adversity affects the brains and bodies of children

October 7, 2018

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is an esteemed pediatrician and founder of the Center for Youth Wellness. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the science behind Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) everywhere she goes and in everything she does. At a recent community conversation about her book, “The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity,” she answered questions ranging from information about ACEs to questions about the beginning of her career.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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If cannabis is legal in California, why are so many Black-owned cannabis businesses considered illegal?

October 7, 2018

One of the great advantages of Proposition 64 – the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized adult use of cannabis – was the idea that it could start to address the disproportionately negative impact of marijuana arrests among communities of color. Prop 64 not only promised to reduce or expunge certain past convictions, it also presented employment opportunities in the newly legalized cannabis industry as a gateway to the middle class for many underserved communities.

Radical Black organization calls on U.S. government to shut down U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)

October 6, 2018

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has launched U.S. Out of Africa!: Shut Down AFRICOM, a campaign designed to end the U.S. invasion and occupation of Africa. October 1 marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of AFRICOM, short for U.S. Africa Command. Although U.S. leaders say AFRICOM is “fighting terrorism” on the continent, we believe geopolitical competition with China is the real reason behind AFRICOM’s existence. AFRICOM is a dangerous structure that has only increased militarism.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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Parents whose children were taken by CPS file to recall three Contra Costa judges; judges retaliate

October 6, 2018

The mother who filed judicial recall notices against Contra Costa Judges Fannin, Hardie and Haight has been threatened in an attempt to silence her. The week she filed the notices, when she visited with her daughter in CPS (Child Protective Services) care, she was forced to accept a mandatory police escort. She was humiliated; her small daughter was terrified. The mother said she will never forget her daughter’s terrified face – and the gut-wrenching feeling of power being abused.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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Vote courage: Join Gloria Berry’s grassroots campaign for San Francisco District 10 Supervisor

October 5, 2018

District 10 needs new ideas. It needs an uncompromising new voice that will fight for its people. That is why Gloria Berry is running for District 10 Supervisor. Gloria Berry’s candidacy is not being funded by a political machine or some old guard cronies with deep pockets. Hers is a grassroots campaign. She is proceeding forward handshake by handshake, door knock by door knock. Are you willing to fight side by side with a candidate with the courage to speak the truth who will make sure that your voice will be heard in San Francisco’s citadels of power?

The mid-term election

October 5, 2018

Nov. 6 is election day. If you haven’t done it already, register to vote. Encourage others to register and vote. Most of your ballots will be filled with local or state issues and candidates. Voters in the United States need more choices than Democrats and Republicans. If you see the name of a Green Party candidate, I hope you will check them out. Greens believe that people and the health of the planet should be more important than corporate profit.

Hundreds of students at HBCU Fair gain sense of hope and head start for college admissions

October 4, 2018

More than 500 high school juniors and seniors from around the Bay Area convened at San Francisco’s Mission High School for the Seventh Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Recruitment Fair. Dozens of students were admitted to schools on the spot while many walked away with merit-based scholarships. The annual fair provides students with an opportunity to get a head start in the college admissions process while learning about historically Black colleges and universities and seeing them as viable options.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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San Francisco twins, 11, win OneUnited’s I Got Bank Youth Essay and Art contest

October 3, 2018

As the largest Black-owned bank in America, OneUnited Bank takes educating our youth about making and keeping money very seriously. So seriously in fact that alongside our community partner BMe, for the eighth year we have given away $1,000 in savings accounts to 10 lucky kids who read any financial literacy book as inspiration for an essay or work of art. San Francisco twins Dontaye Ball Jr. and Ziontaye Ball, 11, are among the national winners. Please join us in congratulating them!

San Francisco’s new ‘Us v. Them’

October 3, 2018

In his essay titled, “San Francisco, You’ll Miss Your Tech Bros If They Flee,” Bloomberg opinion columnist Noah Smith warns that the tech bubble is a victim of outsiders’ antipathy towards techies. The essay suggests that it is more important that San Francisco retain its tech bubble than its long time and native residents. Smith argues that San Francisco will miss the tech bros if they flee. But San Francisco is already missing its long time and native residents. Many native and long-time residents miss San Francisco as well.

Hey, Mr. Tangerine Man …

October 2, 2018

They got Jel-Low Puddin’ Man – — one less backwards Taliban — treating women like beasts – — Packs of predator priests — next they’re comin’ for you – — your whole predator Krew — silver bracelets, orange — jumpsuit await you too! — Hey Mr. Tangerine Man – — They’re comin’ for you next — Before you tweet or text — Hey Mr. Tangerine Man – — your FOX-hole country — only needs one tree —

Parallels between national strikes, from prisoners in the US to teachers in Costa Rica

October 1, 2018

While I was immersed in the National Prison Strike back home, I had no idea how solidarity looked to others who felt trapped outside of the resistance. Some felt unable to connect with the people they desperately wanted to join in fighting for. Some Americans may say, How can I support a prisoner? in the same way that I struggled to connect with Tico Educators – in both cases knowing that their plight is worth fighting for.

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Filed Under: Haiti and Latin America
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Race and cash in the Assembly 15 campaign: Jovanka Beckles breaks the mold

September 30, 2018

Two underlying dynamics are at work in the East Bay race to represent Assembly District 15 in Sacramento. One is a contest between a traditional big-money campaign and an insurgent, volunteer-driven, grassroots campaign. The other is a subterranean racial dynamic. The campaign between out Black lesbian, eight-year Richmond City Council member Jovanka Beckles, 55, and campaign professional Buffy Wicks, 41, is increasingly testy. The Assembly seat was previously occupied by Tony Thurmond. If Beckles is not elected, the East Bay African American community will have no representative in Sacramento.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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New report calculates the first unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated people: 27 percent, highest since Great Depression

September 29, 2018

For the 5 million formerly incarcerated people living in the U.S., landing a job means more than just personal success: It means finding a place in their communities and being able to care for their loved ones again. It’s well known that the obstacles to finding a job are severe for people who have been to prison. The scale of this problem, however, has been difficult to measure – until now.

Jovanka vs. Buffy: In Assembly District 15 race, it’s a choice between local roots and outside money

September 28, 2018

This year’s primary contest to replace Tony Thurmond as Assembly District 15 representative in Sacramento produced what one local political observer called “the strongest field in California legislative history.” The “all-star” cast of talented public servants included six serving members of East Bay city councils or elected boards. Most of those who did not succeed in their primary campaigns have since rallied around one of their own, Richmond City Council member Jovanka Beckles, a leader of the Richmond Progressive Alliance.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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Hands off SF’s Sunshine Ordinance: Privacy proponents urge No on Prop B

September 27, 2018

A provision empowering the Board of Supervisors to amend San Francisco’s voter-enacted government-transparency law, the Sunshine Ordinance, is prompting at least two journalist organizations, the First Amendment Coalition, the local League of Women Voters, the San Francisco Labor Council and many other sunshine advocates to oppose a city Charter amendment, “Privacy First,” that will appear as Proposition B on the local ballot this November.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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