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One billion in potential contract dollars lost annually by businesses owned by women and people of color due to Proposition 209

March 4, 2015

California’s minority and women business enterprises (MWBEs) have lost the potential equivalent of $1 billion in public contracts because of Proposition 209, according to a report by the Equal Justice Society. EJS released the report Feb. 24 during an informational hearing by the California State Assembly Committee on Judiciary. The hearing also heard other testimony related to the impact of Proposition 209 on public contracting.

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The local children wanted their picture taken with the four young Chicago bucket drummers – here they’ve been loaned African drums – on the beach in Senegal.

‘Drum Beat Journey’: an interview wit’ organizer and filmmaker Elilta Tewelde

March 3, 2015

Ever since I have known Elita Tewelde, she has been a Pan African organizer in one way, shape or form, teaching Africans born in the Americas about our brothas and sistas from the continent, and vice versa. She recently took a group of young Black male bucket drummers from the hood to Senegal, West Africa. She filmed the whole experience and is fundraising to get the documentary, “Drum Beat Journey,” made.

Banners with the names of 118 Jon Burge torture victims were displayed in the freezing cold on Valentine’s Day by supporters who filled an entire block. For some, the torture hasn’t stopped. Aaron Patterson, after being exonerated, was soon re-imprisoned when he spent his settlement freeing other victims. – Photo: Sarah Jane Rhee

Chicago shows love to torture survivors

March 3, 2015

The national protests catalyzed by the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson last August continue even as many have moved on. In Chicago, many have used the energy and opening created by these ongoing protests to re-animate existing long-term anti-police violence campaigns. On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of people gathered at the Chicago Temple to show our love for police torture survivors on the day after Jon Burge was released from house arrest.

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MyMy funeral program cover 0814

#JusiceForMyMy

March 2, 2015

On the night of Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, MiYana “MyMy” Gregory was leaving the movie theatre on Fourth and Mission with her aunt Loyresha Gage and her twin brother. As they walked across the street, MyMy was struck and killed by a car described as a white 1990s style Lexus, Honda or Camry type vehicle with a black bumper and black rims. This vehicle’s mismatched bumper is distinct, which is why it shouldn’t take this long or be this difficult to locate it.

Cops kill every 8 hours in 2015

March 1, 2015

As of Feb. 13, U.S. police have killed at least 131 people in 2015, an average of three per day, the vast majority by gunfire. The glorification of the police by the corporate media and politicians, the exaggeration of the dangers they face, and the high pay most receive are all due to the role the police play as the protectors, not of the people but of a system based on capitalist exploitation and national oppression.

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Haiti has been on the march for months. These politically astute protesters make their purpose clear. The face of the person holding the sign has been blurred to protect his identity.

With general strikes and marches, Haitians demand government by the people

March 1, 2015

The people of Haiti held a two-day general strike on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 9 and 10, as part of ongoing popular mobilizations throughout the country. They also successfully struck the week before on Feb. 2. The Martelly government responded with brutal repression in various communities such as in Montrouis, where massive use of tear gas killed two children and police gunfire wounded a number of community residents.

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After California passed from Mexican to U.S. control, American settlers disparaged Mexican landowners by likening them to Blacks. Mexicans were descended from the Spanish, they reasoned, and the Spanish have Moorish blood, so they must be akin to Hottentots, whose wildly distorted cartoon images struck terror in whites. – Cartoon: George Cruikshank, published in about 1820

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 10

February 28, 2015

During this same period, another major change was taking place. The Southern gold mines were running out, and quartz mining filled the vacuum. Wages by the summer of 1851 were $20 and $30 per week including board; now a new type of miner was needed, one who would work for wages. Yankees in California preferred to remain independent in the hopes of becoming owners of rich mines rather than working for others.

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Video: SFPD officer strikes, pepper sprays homeless man

February 26, 2015

On Feb. 26, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi released video showing a San Francisco police officer striking a homeless man repeatedly with a baton and pepper spraying him after the incapacitated man objected to being pushed off a Muni bus. The video is the second to surface this year in which an SFPD officer appears to dramatically escalate his use of force after overreacting to a minor conflict. In January, a private citizen released footage of an officer trying to dump a paralyzed man from his wheelchair.

The courageous students hung this banner outside Haviland Hall.

Graduate students host teach-in to address institutionalized racism at UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare

February 26, 2015

A contingent of 60 graduate students led a teach-in and mediation at UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare on Tuesday, Feb. 24, in response to racist comments made by a tenured professor. Present were Dean Jeffery Edleson and Professor Steven Segal. The action was organized in support of 25 graduate students enrolled in Segal’s Mental Health Policy course, which must be completed this semester by all students in the Community Mental Health concentration.

Rwanda: Free Victoire! international webcast

February 26, 2015

Over the weekend the organization Friends of Victoire hosted an international webcast to strategize about how to free Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. Ingabire has become an icon of freedom, democracy and peace since returning to Rwanda in 2010 to attempt to stand for the presidency against incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Ranking Member Maxine Waters hosts a roundtable discussion with Committee Democrats and HUD Secretary Castro on Feb. 4.

Congresswoman Waters calls for HUD to fulfill its mission, meet nation’s housing needs

February 25, 2015

Washington, D.C. – Following an announcement made Feb. 11 by Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling that the committee will embark upon “an extensive review and thorough examination of the successes and failures” of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ranking Member Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., issued this statement.

The Oscar Grant rebellions were Black and young, and protesters knew and loudly proclaimed exactly why they risked arrest or worse in their quest for justice. – Photo: Malaika Kambon

Centuries of rage: The murder of Oscar Grant III

February 25, 2015

Six years ago, on Jan. 1, 2009, Oscar Grant III, 22, was shot and later died of bullet wounds received when Johannes Mehserle, then a BART police officer, fired his gun at point blank range into Grant’s back – after Grant and his friends had been taunted with racial epithets and assaulted by Mehserle and other BART officers on the scene, while Mehserle’s partner, Tony Pirone, held Grant down with both hands and a knee on his head and neck.

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A Zimbabwean in Harare reads the state-owned Herald on President Mugabe’s 91st birthday, Feb. 21, 2015, also the anniversary of the assassination of another pan-Africanist, El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz  - Malcolm X – who was gunned down at 39. He would have been 89 today. – Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP

At 91, President Mugabe leads Zimbabwe, SADC and African Union – with vigor

February 24, 2015

As Zimbabweans and their loving neighbors in the Southern African Development Community region celebrate President Mugabe’s 91st birthday Feb. 21, it is in fact, every African’s cause for celebration. President Mugabe’s pan-Africanist and internationalist vision makes him connect with Africans at home and abroad. It is now time to turn our attention to this impressive club of Africans who lived into their 90s that President Mugabe belongs to.

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The group that shut down BART on Black Friday in November and shut down Oakland police headquarters in December – making Black Lives Matter a household phrase around the world – struck again on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, Saturday, Feb. 21, shutting down Home Depot in Emeryville for five hours, the length of time Yuvette Henderson’s body lay in the street after she was gunned down by Emeryville police. – Photo: Cece Carpio

Black Lives Matter activists shut down Emeryville Home Depot for 5 hours, demand answers in police murder of Yuvette Henderson

February 23, 2015

Activists locked down entrances to the Emeryville Home Depot to demand answers about the murder of Yuvette Henderson, a 38-year-old Black mother of two children who was shot and killed by the Emeryville Police Department on Feb. 3, 2015, allegedly accused by the store of shoplifting. Activists chained themselves to multiple store doors as supporters rallied outside. Protesters shut down the store for five hours, the amount of time Yuvette Henderson lay in the street after being shot by police.

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Rwanda: Deplorable prison conditions for Victoire Ingabire

February 19, 2015

On Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Rwanda’s capital city Kigali, Ambassador of the Netherlands Ms. Leoni Cuelenaere paid a courtesy visit to political prisoner and president of FDU-Inkingi Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza in her cell in the Kigali Central Prison. The visit took place after a long struggle by the ambassador, who wanted to see for herself the prison conditions of Ms. Ingabire. They have deteriorated since the change in leadership at the central prison.

Lynchings Florida 1934, Dominican Republic 2015

Haitian man lynched in Dominican Republic park

February 19, 2015

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2015, in the Dominican Republic, supposedly a paradise of European development, a Haitian man named Henry Claude Jean, known as “Tulile,” a humble shoe shine worker, was found hanging in a park in Santiago, his hands and feet bound. In Haiti, the U.S.-installed Martelly dictatorship and its controlled opposition remain silent about this atrocious lynching.

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Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch’s Rwanda ‘credential’

February 16, 2015

Loretta Lynch, Obama’s nominee for attorney general, has cited her service as special counsel to the prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda as a credential, unlike her controversial 2012 settlement with the HSBC bank after the bank admitted to facilitating money-laundering by Mexican drug cartels. Critics of the International Criminal Court and the dominant narrative about the Rwandan massacres dispute the account.

On a celebratory election night at Richmond Progressive Alliance headquarters, re-elected Richmond City Councilors Gayle McLaughlin and Jovanka Beckles listen as City Councilor Eduardo Martinez speaks. Chevron spent $1 million each to defeat them – and failed. In an October speech to a packed Richmond Auditorium, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, had said, “If you can stand up and beat (Chevron) with all of their money, you’re going to give hope to people all over America.” – Photo: Tom Goulding, Richmond Confidential

Does Richmond, California, have a progressive majority?

February 15, 2015

The Richmond Progressive Alliance, commonly known as the RPA, is backing Planning Commissioner Marilyn Langlois for the vacant seat on the Richmond City Council. The RPA made national and international headlines last November, when each of their three City Council candidates won their seats even though Chevron Corp, spent $1 million each to defeat them. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to Richmond City Councilor Eduardo Martinez.

Marshawn Lynch by Otto Greule Jr., cropped

Repression and a green light for murder: The government ‘shout out to the Africans out there’!

February 15, 2015

The message for the protectors of the white corporate and financial elite is that it does not matter if you execute a kid in cold blood in front of a dozen witnesses or you are caught on video murdering Eric Garner or 12 year-old Tamir Rice; you don’t have to fear prosecution from the state. It is now open season when it comes to policing and controlling the dangerous class of poor and working class Black people.

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As the Chevron refinery fire of Aug. 6, 2012, raged, this mushroom cloud hanging over Richmond spread toxic air pollution that sent 15,000 people to the hospital. – Photo: Harrison Chastang

Richmond residents to Chevron: Get your dirty money out of politics

February 13, 2015

Richmond residents, social justice advocates, elected officials and Chevron shareholders today announced a resolution being put forward at Chevron’s upcoming shareholders meeting that would prevent the company from dumping money into the political cycle. The resolution comes after Chevron spent more than $3 million to influence elections in Richmond – a small portion of the millions spent to influence elections at all levels across California and the country.

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