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Marcus Abrams, 17, was attacked when police found him and a couple of friends on the Metro Transit tracks. Abrams, who has autism, says police slammed him to the ground, causing him to suffer a seizure. He was not charged with a crime. – Photo: Adrienne Broaddus, KARE

Sister shares story about police profiling and beating her autistic brother

November 24, 2015

I’m used to reading about and advocating for adults with disabilities, but today our Black and Brown youth with disabilities are increasingly targeted for police brutality and incarceration. Everybody cares about kids, so when will disabled and Black community activists focus more on stopping state violence against youth with disabilities and providing programs after the tragedy?

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
Burundian refugees in Rwanda’s Mahama refugee camp near the Burundian border in May 2015

Burundi: Insurgents claim attack on presidential palace

November 23, 2015

In Rwanda and Burundi, the massacres of the last 20 years have followed the assassination of Hutu presidents. First, the assassination of Burundian President Melchior Ndadaye in Burundi in 1993, then the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira in 1994. Now insurgents in Burundi claim to have fired mortar rounds on the Burundian president’s residence in Bujumbura, the country’s capital.

Supporters of Fanmi Lavalas party presidential candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse protest recent preliminary election results in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday, Nov. 12. – Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery, AP

Defiant Haiti: ‘We won’t let you steal these elections!’

November 23, 2015

Hooded gangs attacked a large demonstration against election fraud today in the Haitian capital. Haitians, determined to thwart what they see as an ongoing “electoral coup d’état,” have been in the streets almost daily in their tens of thousands since the Oct. 25 first round presidential elections. There were huge demonstrations, punctuated by police firing into the crowd, wounding several, on Nov. 18. On Nov. 1, a big election protest in the Bel Air popular district, led by a Rara band, was attacked and two marchers shot dead; later that day a third protester was ambushed and killed on the way home.

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Filed Under: Haiti and Latin America
In this architect’s rendering, the massive 5M project rises up out of SoMa like a ghostly – ghastly – tyrant. – Photo: Forest City

From 5M to The End (of SoMa): How does a corporation wipe out an entire community?

November 22, 2015

The light from their eyes was missing; in its place was the color of fear. This was the scene at City Hall last week as the people stood up to behemoth developer Forest City, about to build multiple luxury condominium towers and office buildings that will span almost an entire city block in San Francisco’s long-time Filipino community, effectively wiping out the last shred of this working class community of color.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
Black farmers proudly display their produce and show how to make a feast of it. – Photo: Fatima Nasiyr

The successful Black Urban Growers conference

November 22, 2015

One of the most important conferences hosted in Oakland over this past year for the Black community has been the Black Urban Growers Conference. With several hundred people attending, there seems to be a lot of interest surrounding one of the most fundamental things that human beings do: grow food to eat. I talked with Kevin Cartwright, who worked with the organizing committee to make this conference happen about his thoughts on the gathering.

Former Rwandan military officer Robert Higiro testifies before a Congressional subcommittee on May 15, 2015.

US State Department warns Rwandan dissident to evade assassins

November 22, 2015

The Canadian Globe and Mail reports that the United States has warned former Rwandan military officer Robert Higiro that his life is in danger because of evidence he gave to The Globe and Mail, to the BBC and to a U.S. House Subcommittee about the Rwandan government’s alleged efforts to assassinate dissidents who had fled abroad. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.

Eight hundred people filled Harvard’s Memorial Church on Oct. 30, 2015, when Alicia Garza, Oakland-based co-founder of the Black Lives Matter network, was the honoree of the ninth annual Robert Coles “Call of Service” Lecture and Award. She began by dedicating the award to the BLM network and the people “still fighting for humanity and dignity.” When she coined the phrase Black Lives Matter in 2013, she called it “a love letter to our people” and “a call to action.” – Photo: Jon Chase, Harvard staff photographer

Alicia Garza honored at Harvard: One equal temper of heroic hearts

November 21, 2015

Before I drew closer to the wide steps of the church, I realized my mistake – it was not empty at all. Three lines of people stood waiting to enter the doors to hear what Alicia Garza had to say. That evening she would be receiving the Robert Coles “Call of Service” Award. The Coles Award is certainly prestigious, if for no other reason than that Harvard’s famous Dr. Robert Coles is known to set the bar very high to encourage others to follow his example.

Dr. Léopold Munyakazi, right, poses with his wife, Catherine, and their friend, Nicole Lee Wills, who has organized a Léopold support committee.

Rwanda: Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to rule in Munyakazi case

November 20, 2015

Dr. Léopold Munyakazi is a Rwandan intellectual and former Goucher College French professor who expected to be deported from the U.S. to Rwanda on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. His attorney, Ofelia L. Calderón, had filed legal papers requesting a stay until his appeal could be heard in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, but the stay had been denied and his wife had been told to deliver a suitcase of no more than 40 pounds to the jail by 4 p.m. on Friday.

SF Supervisors split over controversial jail plan, communities demand alternatives to imprisonment

November 20, 2015

On Tuesday, Nov. 17, members of the No SF Jail Coalition mobilized against a controversial jail construction plan at the Board of Supervisors meeting, where legislation regarding the plan was introduced. The continuing pressure and testimony from community groups has compelled the board to seriously consider the harmful impacts of imprisonment on marginalized communities in San Francisco and to question whether a new jail is even necessary.

Get your Prop 47 convictions reclassified, even if you are not in California

November 20, 2015

Urgency to end mass incarceration and the criminalization of poor people and people of color is growing. The general public’s awareness that it simply does not make sense to lock up people with substance abuse or mental health issues is setting the stage for important reforms to our justice system. With this understanding, California voters passed Proposition 47 “The Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act.”

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.

‘To Protect and Serve Who?’ Mumia’s new pamphlet on organizing to abolish police violence

November 19, 2015

Internationally renowned political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal has just published a brilliant 15-page pamphlet about the challenge of the period we’re living in in this country. “To Protect and Serve Who?” is truly a handbook discussing the roots and history of the police in this country, a class and historical analysis of who the police are, and finally a strategy for transforming the role and definition of the police and their power relationships with the people.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.

Increased African-American enrollment is key goal in Year 3 of Affordable Care Act

November 18, 2015

Covered California is in the third year of helping millions of Californians gain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Still, hundreds of thousands of Californians don’t have insurance – many of whom are African-Americans. With that in mind, Covered California has launched a new marketing and outreach effort to boost African-American enrollment, emphasizing financial assistance available to help consumers pay for insurance coverage.

Cyndi Mitchell, sister of Vallejo police murder victim Mario Romero, marched beside Quentin Tarantino in New York City when #RiseUpOctober filled the streets, they crowd hearing directly from families of police murder victims who came from around the country.

That’s me in the picture next to Quentin Tarantino

November 16, 2015

With everything that has been going on lately in my life, I am just realizing that my picture is on every major news outlet that I can think of. Yes, that is me that you see in the many pictures floating around the internet with world renowned movie director Quentin Tarantino, holding a banner of my loved one. But what you may not know is the story behind why I was marching that day in New York and why I continue to fight for justice for Mario Romero.

'Canada in Africa' by Yves Engler cover

Canada and Justin Trudeau in Africa

November 15, 2015

Will the recent election results in Canada have an effect on the other side of the Atlantic? Canada is the world’s mining superpower and its mining corporations are aggressively engaged on the African continent, which contains much of the world’s remaining mineral wealth. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to Yves Engler, the author of “Canada in Africa: 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation.”

Pras Michel discusses his film, “Sweet Micky for President,” on Good Day LA.

Pras of the Fugees talks about his new film, ‘Sweet Micky for President’ of Haiti

November 14, 2015

The Fantastic Travelling Film Circus speaks with rapper and executive producer of “Sweet Micky for President” Pras Michel, founder of the Fugees, about his new movie on how he helped to inspire Haitian singer Michel Martelly to run for president of the world’s first Black republic, Haiti. We discuss Pras’ bandmate Wyclef entering the race, Aristide, the earthquake, the Clintons, Sean Penn and much more.

Berkeley High students rallied on the UC Berkeley campus Thursday, Nov. 5, in support of racial justice after a threat to lynch Black lives appeared on a BHS library computer. – Photo: Lance Knobel, Berkeleyside

Berkeley High students fight racist attacks: Navigating the shoals of increasing racial profiling

November 11, 2015

On Thursday, the majority of the 3,000 students at Berkeley High School marched from their school to rally on the UC Berkeley campus. In a statement, the BHS Black Student Union wrote: “Tonight the BSU was made aware of a hateful message that was posted on the Berkeley High website. The words ‘Fuck all the niggers in the world,’ ‘KKK forever public lynching Decmber 9th 2015,” and “I hung a n*gger by his neck in my backyard’ were left on the library homepage.” This is the third racist attack at BHS in the past 13 months.

Descendants of the Zanj, Black men in Southern Iraq in group prayer

The revolt of the Zanj (Blacks)

November 10, 2015

It was in early Iraq where the largest African slave rebellions occurred. Here, well over a millennium ago, were gathered tens of thousands of East African slave laborers called Zanj. Conscious of their large numbers and oppressive working conditions, the Zanj rebelled, inflicting defeat after defeat upon the Arab armies sent to suppress their revolt.

Claude Gatebuke leads a protest against an appearance by Rwandan President Paul Kagame at Carnegie Mellon University on Sept. 16, 2011. He is being interviewed by  WTAE TV-Pittsburgh.

Claude Gatebuke speaks on Kagame, Burundi and more

November 10, 2015

The Block Report speaks with our correspondent Claude Gatebuke, also of the African Great Lakes Action Network, about the politics in the African Great Lakes region. We discuss Rwandan President Kagame attempting to extend his reign for a total of 40 years, Rwanda working for Western powers, tension between Burundi and Rwanda, political prisoner Victoire Ingabire, the role Tanzania has played as a stabilizing factor and more.

iBurundi tweets: “#Burundi police say armed men have police/army uniforms. Then sent this one 2 search 4 weapons; Real police or not?” – Photo: iBurundi

Will the West create its next failed state in Burundi?

November 8, 2015

Charles Kambanda told KPFA that the West is trying to create a failed state whose resources will then be easier to control. “Burundi borders with Congo, and Congo, the other side, is so rich in minerals. So we have these corporations fighting to control Burundi, to create a failed state in Burundi, so that they can get involved in illegal business in that region,” he says.

Uber promised to create 1 million driver jobs for women by 2020. But many women have safety fears, though ride-hailing apps keep drivers safer than cab drivers by getting rid of cash and tracking each ride. – Photo: Washington Post

Opus for Work can help you find on-demand jobs

November 6, 2015

In an era when the 9-to-5 is being replaced by on-demand jobs and the costs of living are rising, Opus for Work empowers people to find flexible work that best fits their individual schedules and needs. New companies in this space have nearly tripled within the last five years, creating tremendous room for new on-demand jobs and employees.

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