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Students and teachers celebrate after listening to a live, nationally broadcast speech by Cuba’s President Raúl Castro about the country’s restoration of relations with the United States. – Photo: Ramon Espinosa, AP

Cuban President Raúl Castro: We must learn the art of coexisting with our differences

December 17, 2014

As a result of a dialogue, which included a phone conversation I had yesterday with President Obama, we have been able to make headway on some topics of mutual interest. The last three of the Cuban 5 have arrived today to our homeland, we have sent Alan Gross back to his country and we have agreed to renew diplomatic relations. But this in no way means that the heart of the matter has been solved. The blockade must cease.

Kayla Moore’s sister, Maria, and father, Arthur, protest at a rally before the Berkeley City Council meeting on April 30, 2013, where they were attacked by BPD. The pain of police murders – the sense of betrayal by those we pay to protect us – runs so deep that loved ones never forget. – Photo: Emilie Raguso, Berkeleyside

Berkeley Copwatch: Make the police obsolete

December 16, 2014

Berkeley Copwatch co-founder Andrea Prichett spoke to KPFA about justice for Kayla Moore and organizing for the long haul, to make police obsolete. Berkeley Copwatch has been taking action against police violence in Berkeley since 1990. The Copwatch organizing model and investigative techniques have spread across the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. This week Berkeley Copwatch posted a list of local campaigns to create real change in Berkeley.

Supervisor Avalos introduces resolution to review racial profiling and use of force by SFPD, upholds right to nonviolent protest

December 16, 2014

On Dec. 9, Supervisor John Avalos introduced a resolution to the Board of Supervisors to address racial profiling and the use of force by police officers, nationally and locally, as well as to uphold the right to nonviolent protest. Supervisors David Campos, Jane Kim, Malia Cohen and Eric Mar signed as cosponsors. A final vote on the resolution will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 16, and a large showing of support is vital to its passage.

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Supporters of Rev. Pinkney gather outside the courthouse after his sentencing. He is strongly supported in Benton Harbor, loved for his courage in defending the town from extinction at the hands of officials who take orders from Whirlpool and other corporate bosses rather than the people. – Photo: ABC News

Civil rights leader Rev. Edward Pinkney sentenced to 2 ½ to 10 years by Berrien County Court

December 15, 2014

Berrien County Judge Sterling Schrock sentenced the leader of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization, Rev. Edward Pinkney, to 30-120 months in prison based on an all-white jury’s verdict of guilty on five felony counts of forgery. The charges stemmed from a successful recall petition drive against Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower, who is perceived as a tool of the Whirlpool Corp. and the political power structure in the area.

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Black protest organizers give a Black Power salute as the climber ascends the flagpole. – Photo: BaySolidarity

Protesters shut down Oakland Police Department for almost 4.5 hours today, demand end to police aggression against Black people

December 15, 2014

At approximately 7:30 Monday morning, the Oakland Police Department Headquarters was blockaded by protesters demanding an end to racist violence against the Black community. One person climbed the flagpole directly in front of the OPD Headquarters to fly a banner in honor of Black people murdered by police. Minutes later, a group of about 30 Black protesters occupied the space in front of the police department and called for an immediate end to the war on Black people.

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No justice, no peace: National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area chapter turns up the heat against police violence and racism

December 14, 2014

The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) calls for an immediate end to police violence, the taking of Black lives and the terrorizing of Black communities. We are inspired by the determination and courage of the people of Ferguson, Black people across the United States, and solidarity protests. In the face of such incredible injustice, we openly support this people’s rebellion.

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Raheim Brown was murdered by Oakland Unified School District police officer Barhin Bhatt as he sat in a car outside a high school dance on Jan. 22, 2011.

Raising issue of OUSD police murder of Raheim Brown leads to reinstatement of Urban Dreams website

December 13, 2014

Three weeks after the initial public promise to repost Urban Dreams and stop police control of Oakland school curriculum, Urban Dreams had still not been posted, ostensibly for aesthetic reasons. Two and a half hours after the following letter to Oakland Superintendent Antwan Wilson was sent – detailing OUSD’s official role in covering up the murder of Raheim Brown by school district police – Urban Dreams reappeared.

Panelists Microsoft General Manager for Global Diversity and Inclusion Gwen Houston, Cisco Chief Collaboration and Inclusion Officer Shari Slate, Google Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion Yolanda Mangolini, Pandora Diversity Program Manager Lisa Lee and Intel Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Rosalind Hudnell were phenomenal as they talked about these companies’ efforts to be more inclusive. – Photo: Kia Croom

Tech jobs for Blacks? Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH convene tech companies for diversity and inclusion forum

December 13, 2014

Intel hosted Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s “Next Steps for Technology Forum” Wednesday, Dec. 10, at the Intel Campus in Santa Clara. The forum, which was sponsored by Rainbow PUSH Silicon Valley Digital Connections Project, is a part of the Rainbow PUSH “21st Century Technology Innovation Diversity and Inclusion Campaign,” which nudges technology companies to implement an actionable diversity and inclusion strategy.

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A white undercover police officer, his hand and gun shaking after being spotted and identified as a cop posing as a protester, points his gun at the photographer as his partner wrestles the protester who outed them to the ground and arrests him. The white cop, suspicious for his out-of-date clothes, acted scared and confused, losing the scarf that had masked his face and handling his gun with cowboy bravado to conceal his fear. – Photo: Noah Berger

Outed undercover cop pulls gun on Oakland protesters

December 11, 2014

A Berkeley-Oakland march protesting police violence following the murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner ended abruptly late Wednesday night, Dec. 10, after an undercover police officer pulled a gun on protesters and arrested and assaulted the Black man who blew their cover. From the Frantz Fanon quote on several banners to the faces in the protest crowd, the march Wednesday night was largely Black and other people of color and was Black-led.

Living in a world on edge: ‘It might not be safe to be here’

December 10, 2014

When you’re living in a world on the edge, you don’t know what to expect next. And we are on the edge, the edge of a new world war, with our own country the main instigator. When your nation’s own police departments and judicial system are so rife with injustice, racism and murder that it is no longer safe to be a Black male anywhere at any time, then “it might not be safe to be here.”

St. Louis Rams players Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and Kenny Britt took the field signaling “Hands up, don't shoot” to protest the police murder of Michael Brown at the start of the Oakland Raiders game on Sunday, Nov. 30. – Photo: Jeff Curry, USA Today Sports

Put those police cameras on the bankers

December 8, 2014

A week ago Sunday, five St. Louis Rams professional football players entered a game with their hands up, protesting the killing of Michael Brown. They stand in the lineage of John Carlos and Tommie Smith, of Muhammad Ali, identifying with the pain in their communities and turning protest into power. The gesture turned to chants – “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” – in demonstrations across the country.

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'Rwanda's Untold Story' by BBC

Rwanda continues inquiry into BBC ‘genocide denial,’ refuses Reyntjens’ testimony

December 8, 2014

The government of Rwanda has established a Commission of Inquiry to indict the BBC for the crime of genocide denial. In its recently aired documentary, “Rwanda’s Untold Story,” the government and its supporters have accused the BBC of bias and speaking only to one side. This week, however, when Belgian scholar Filip Reyntjens offered to speak to the commission in response to those attacking him for what he told the BBC, they refused to speak with him.

Protesters in New York City Dec. 4 demand change after the refusal to indict the police officer who murdered Eric Garner with a chokehold. – Photo: Ellen Davidson

People power grows, demands justice

December 7, 2014

This week tens of thousands of people in the United States flooded the streets to demand racial justice. It is one of many issues that have been building for years, reaching the tipping point and seeming to explode in a national awakening. We also saw that in the last two weeks with national protests for living wages. Four years ago we listed 15 crisis issues that the country needed to face; poverty wages and the injustice in criminal enforcement, including racially abusive police practices, were two of them.

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Rwandans protest Dutch support for Kagame dictatorship

December 6, 2014

Rwandan Dutch citizens and political asylum seekers in the Netherlands demonstrated in The Hague, the country’s capital, on Saturday, Nov. 29. They called on the Dutch government to stop supporting the dictatorship of Paul Kagame and stop deporting Rwandans at Kagame’s request. After watching the video of the demonstration, I spoke to Jean Flammé, a Belgian attorney for a Rwandan facing extradition for supporting Victoire Ingabire.

Mass evictions at Oakland’s Empyrean Towers

December 5, 2014

Many of the residents of Empyrean Towers are being bullied and tossed out of their housing with eviction notices served by the management company called Innovistech Realty Co. The Empyrean Towers used to be known as the Hotel Menlo and was owned by millionaire Tiburon resident Richard Singer. Singer landed in prison a few years ago for trying to hire an arsonist to burn down the occupied hotel as part of an insurance scam.

A man is arrested by police after kneeling in the street during a protest outside the Ferguson Police Department on Saturday, Nov. 29. – Photo: Jeff Roberson, AP

Why we won’t wait: Resisting the war against the Black and Brown underclass

December 4, 2014

Wait. Patience. Stay Calm. We’ve been waiting for dozens, hundreds, thousands of indictments and convictions. Every death hurts. Every exonerated cop, security guard or vigilante enrages. The grand jury’s decision doesn’t surprise most Black people because we are not waiting for an indictment. We are waiting for justice – or more precisely, struggling for justice. The young people of Ferguson continue to struggle with ferocity.

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“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” gasped Eric Garner, 43, an asthmatic father of six, as NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo held him in a death grip. Pantaleo has been accused of being heavy handed with other Black suspects in the past.

SF public defender: NYC grand jury decision on Eric Garner ‘would defy belief – if it didn’t happen so often’

December 3, 2014

As San Francisco Public Defender, I am profoundly dismayed by a Staten Island grand jury’s refusal to bring charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner. The struggle that ended in Garner’s death was caught entirely on video. A grand jury refusing to indict in such an evidence-heavy case would defy belief – if it didn’t happen so often.

Time to stop racially motivated killings

December 3, 2014

Every day on the news we see reports of young people being killed by police and other members of society, senseless murders that snuff out the lives of our youth before they have had the chance to truly live. So much potential lost, so many hopes and dreams gone down the grave, so many lives shattered. We get angry and organize protests and marches in the cities and towns where these murders occur but what are we doing to prevent them?

Besides her baby, she’s now carrying a weapon to defend herself.

Tired of being gang raped, Congo mother takes up weapon

December 2, 2014

The Congolese woman in eastern Congo – the rape capital of the world – has gotten tired of being gang-raped, of being mutilated, of having 3-to-5-foot wooden sticks shoved through her genitals after being gang-raped, then being killed or buried alive. So she has taken up a weapon now in order to defend her baby, her own body, her humanity, her village, her community and her country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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At the West Oakland station, the Blackout Collective’s carefully crafted plan worked, shutting trains down in both directions when members chained themselves to BART cars and to each other.

Blackout Collective obstructs BART trains on Black Friday in protest of police killings

December 1, 2014

On so-called Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S., members of the Blackout Collective and their allies obstructed BART trains on both sides of the track from moving out of the West Oakland BART station in an economic protest to the systemic wanton killing of Black people in this country, most recently symbolized by the police murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner.

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