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Richard Bradley, dressed in a Union soldier’s uniform, cuts down the Confederate flag from atop the 50-foot pole in the San Francisco Civic Center, April 15, 1984.

1984: Confederate flag of slavery taken down from San Francisco Civic Center – 3 times!

August 2, 2015

When Bree Newsome pulled down the Confederate flag from in front of the South Carolina statehouse in Columbia on June 27, she gave brief, heroic expression to an anger felt far beyond the Lowcountry over the bloody massacre in Charleston 10 days earlier. The young Black activist’s exemplary act of protest recalled a series of events three decades ago, not in a bastion of the Old South ruled by Republican nut jobs, but 2,500 miles away in liberal San Francisco.

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In 2006, members of the Survivor Village tent city outside the St. Bernard public housing complex took their struggle to affluent Uptown New Orleans’ St. Charles Avenue near Tulane University. They wanted to return to their own homes, which were damaged very little or not at all by the storm, not be forced into the fake substitute of “mixed-income housing.” But instead, 4,000 safe and sound homes in public housing complexes were all demolished. – Photo: Indymedia

New Orleans land grab: Addressing the ‘elephant’ in the city 10 years after Hurricane Katrina

August 1, 2015

As we approach the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, let’s not ignore the “elephant” in New Orleans, notwithstanding the pressure to do just that. The elephant in our city is the rampant land grab displacing predominantly African American residents to the outskirts of the city, where public safety, reliable transit, nearby schools, accessible job opportunities and neighborhood amenities are lacking.

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New Orleans Katrina Pain Index at 10: Who was left behind?

July 31, 2015

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005, the nation saw tens of thousands of people left behind in New Orleans. Ten years later, it looks like the same people in New Orleans have been left behind again. The population of New Orleans is noticeably smaller and noticeably whiter. While tens of billions poured into Louisiana, the impact on poor and working people in New Orleans has been minimal.

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City of Richmond passes rent control

July 30, 2015

By a 4-1 vote, the City of Richmond passed a rent control and just cause eviction law on Tuesday, July 21. A broad coalition of tenants, labor allies, homeowners and progressive community groups packed the hearing chambers as Vice Mayor Jael Myrick joined Councilmembers Jovanka Beckles, Eduardo Martinez and Gayle McLaughlin in casting the votes to pass rent control.

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Oakland invites proposals for so-called affordable housing for 12th Street parcel

July 30, 2015

On July 16, Public Advocates, a nonprofit law firm, sent out a press release announcing that, bowing to community pressure, Oakland has invited new proposals for affordable housing at the controversial Lake Merritt East 12th Street parcel that local groups protested against as an illegal land deal with Urban Core that violated the Surplus Land Act governing the sale of publicly owned land.

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A man carries a baby after the Superdome was evacuated following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. – Photo: U.S. Navy

‘Katrina: After the Flood’

July 29, 2015

The New York Times sent Gary Rivlin to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, days after the storm, to cover Katrina as an outsider. Rivlin’s instincts had him looking forward “to the mess ahead. Eventually the flood waters would recede. How would New Orleans go about the complicated task of rebuilding?” This carefully researched, beautifully written book describes that process from then until now.

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Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, pastor of the Third Baptist Church and president of the San Francisco NAACP, denounces plans by a nonprofit formed by the church to develop and operate affordable housing at Frederick Douglass Haynes Gardens to now sell the development to speculators. He spoke at a news conference and rally outside Superior Court on Tuesday, July 28. – Photo: Paul Chinn, SF Chronicle

Third Baptist Church sues to keep 104 families in their affordable F.D. Haynes Gardens homes

July 28, 2015

Third Baptist Church in San Francisco asked a San Francisco Superior Court judge today to stop the landlord of the Frederick Douglass Haynes Gardens – a 104-unit Fillmore development that is home to mostly Section 8 tenants – from selling the building to speculators. The temporary restraining order request asks a judge to provide injunctive relief against what appears to be another case of affordable housing at risk in San Francisco.

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In the May 6, 2015, Walkout to Save City College, 200 students walked out of classes for a march, rally and flash occupation of the administration building.

The fight to save City College: Push back against push-out

July 28, 2015

The fight to save City College is taking place on two levels. We’re winning one but losing the other. Many elected and appointed city and state leaders have taken action to preserve City College as an accredited, accessible, community-friendly institution that serves all of San Francisco. But on another level, the fight to save City College has taken a terrible toll. Enrollment has dropped from 100,000 students in 2008 to 65,000 this year. The fight to save City College is also the fight to save San Francisco as a truly diverse city, not just a gentrified and overwhelmingly white enclave.

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Midtown-Park-Apartments-rally-against-300-2

Midtown Park Apartments residents, promised ownership, rally against 300% rent increase

July 27, 2015

On Monday, June 29, over a hundred working class families of Midtown Park Apartments were joined by community activists, concerned citizens and legal advisors for a rally in support of over 55 households whose rent increased 300 percent. The only such property that is owned by the City, Midtown’s original intent by then Supervisors Diane Feinstein and Ella Hill Hutch was to transform this complex into an equity cooperative – a promise that never materialized.

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Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe – Photo: VOA

Burundi’s tense northern border with Rwanda

July 26, 2015

The Burundian army has been engaged by troops near its northern border with Rwanda and this week Aljazeera reported that young men in Rwandan refugee camps are being recruited to join a rebel force to fight in Burundi. Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe, speaking to The Voice of America, said that the Burundian government had asked the Rwandan government to prevent any action threatening Burundi’s security.

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'#blacklivesmatter' cutiepie

What I meant when I said that #BlackLivesMatter

July 25, 2015

July 13 marks two years since #BlackLivesMatter was created. The #BlackLivesMatter movement has pushed to ensure that all Black lives are seen as an important part of an overall movement for social transformation. We have much to lose if we negate that all Black lives are central to the most well being for all of us. We must not rest until all of us are free.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Task Force shelter producing pounds of veggies on rooftop garden

July 25, 2015

The Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless has made good on its plan to help feed the homeless people it serves through an organic rooftop garden, involving bees and a rainwater collection system. The garden is so successful an expansion is planned. Residents at the shelter, located in downtown Atlanta’s Peachtree and Pine Streets, will gain real life work skills removing the old roof and laying the new roof.

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Freeing our families from the criminal justice chokehold

July 25, 2015

Calling all families: Come out for ‘A Fair Chance to Advance’ on Saturday, Aug. 1, 11-2, at At Thy Word Church, 8915 International Blvd, Oakland, to see how Prop 47, reducing many felonies to misdemeanors, can free your family – presented by Bay Area Black Workers Center, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, East Bay Community Law Center, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Assemblyman Rob Bonta.

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Shit storm erupts in Treasure Island townhouse when sewer pipes break after Lennar’s vibro-compaction

July 24, 2015

On May 29, 2015, on the Golden Gate Bridge side of Treasure Island, smelly brown chocolate ooze began to gush from the Lundgren family’s 1201-B Bayside Drive faucets. The other side of the island had just trembled. Between the Job Corps grounds and the San Francisco Bay Bridge, Lennar Corp. engineers had penetrated 50 feet of soil with huge vibrating bores.

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Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza

Rwanda and Burundi: Who’s ‘promoting instability through violence’?

July 22, 2015

As Burundian voters went to the polls on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department warned that “elections held under the current conditions in Burundi will not be credible and will further discredit the government.” It also said it planned to suspend partnerships that it hasn’t already suspended with “anyone promoting instability in Burundi through violence.” Will those “promoting instability through violence” include the renegade Burundian military officers who staged a failed coup attempt in May, then fled to Rwanda and declared war on Burundi? Will it include Rwandan military and political support for a rebel force?

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Black Expo banner 072515

The Bay Area Black Expo is coming to Frank Ogawa (Oscar Grant) Plaza on Saturday

July 21, 2015

The 24th Annual Bay Area Black Expo will be on Saturday, July 25, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Attendance and parking are free. There will be a Kiddie Corner, Black Girls Code with a robot, Kaiser Permanente’s health exhibit, a financial seminar (senior hour), food vendors, retail vendors, nonprofit companies, job recruitment for city, county and local government offices and more.

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After pier shooting, San Francisco immigrants mourn and organize

July 19, 2015

Over 100 immigrant rights supporters assembled on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall on Tuesday, July 14. It was a different kind of political event. There were no banners, no list of demands and no loud passionate speeches. Not on this day. It was a time to express their profound collective sadness over the senseless murder on July 6 of 32-year-old San Francisco resident Kathryn Steinle.

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The young leaders who have been studying and fundraising all year for their trip to South Africa are scheduled to leave in a few days but have not yet raised all the money they need. Please help as generously as you can.

West Oakland youth are going to South Africa

July 16, 2015

Over the years, Kharyishi Wigington has been a tireless advocate for empowering West Oakland youth at McClymonds High School. She is at it again, this time taking a group of students on a cultural exchange to South Africa. The young leaders who have been studying and fundraising all year for their trip to South Africa are scheduled to leave in a few days but have not yet raised all the money they need. Please help as generously as you can.

Sandra Bland drove to Texas to start a new job, so how did she end up dead in jail?

July 16, 2015

On July 9, 28-year-old Sandra Bland drove to Texas to start a new job at Prairie View A&M. On July 10, police stopped Bland just outside the campus for allegedly failing to signal while changing lanes. Police claim that during the stop she became combative, was thrown to the ground, arrested and charged with “assault on a public servant.” On July 13, around 9 a.m., before her family could bail her out, Bland was found dead inside a Waller County, Texas, jail cell.

Professors Darius Spearman and Roberta Alexander, a Black Panther Party veteran, welcome BPP co-founder and guest speaker Elbert “Big Man” Howard to San Diego. – Photo: Carole Hyams-Howard

The legacy lives on: Black Panther Party founding member Elbert ‘Big Man’ Howard carries the message to San Diego youth

July 16, 2015

Some of the important rewards about being a former member of the Black Panther Party include opportunities to pass on our history and legacy to the next generations and to learn what young activists in other communities are accomplishing. This give and take of information is vital to continuing the struggle for human rights and against this oppressive “injustice” system which exists here and worldwide.

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