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A candle-lit message “speaks.”

A silence that speaks: Ayotzinapa, the Zapatistas and the politics of listening

November 21, 2014

The disappearance of 43 students from a rural school in Ayotzinapa, Mexico, dedicated to training teachers that are mostly from indigenous communities has sparked outrage and solidarity throughout Mexico and the world. These horrible acts of violence must be understood within the context of an increasingly vile and murderous narco state.

St. Louis rebels Chip Wiley and his friend Tommy exchange war stories and pictures from the previous night. These photos were taken in August, in over 100-degree heat. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

From the front lines in Ferguson: ‘We will go out hard’

November 19, 2014

They’re like, “Fuck it. I can die out here for nothing going at these cats from the other side or I could die for justice tonight with these police.” They’re fearless – they’re ready to be a martyr. Now all of this money that it must cost to bring all these cops in, … all y’all had to do was put one man in jail. That’s it! A thousand police officers are going to be here in St. Louis and for what? To go out and kill another unarmed Black kid in the streets and then leave him there for four hours? I think that the ripple effect of this is going to rock the whole nation. It could be the tipping point for race relations in America when it comes to policing.

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“Police officers move in to arrest protesters as they push and clear crowds out of the West Florissant Avenue area in Ferguson, Mo., early Wednesday, Aug. 20,” reads the AP caption. – Photo: Curtis Compton, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ten illegal police actions to watch for in Ferguson

November 18, 2014

When the Michael Brown verdict is announced, people can expect the police to take at least 10 different illegal actions to prevent people from exercising their constitutional rights. The Ferguson police have been on TV more than others, so people can see how awful they have been acting. But their illegal police tactics are unfortunately quite commonly used by other law enforcement in big protests across the U.S.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reviews U.N. troops in Haiti. – Photo: Blog do Planalto

Et tu, Brute? Haiti’s betrayal by Latin America

November 18, 2014

Without Haiti’s help, there would not have been any independent country in Latin America. On January 1, 1816, when Simon Bolivar arrived in Haiti, downtrodden and desperate for help to fight the Spanish, the only two republics in the Western Hemisphere were the United States, where slave ownership was in force, and Haiti, which had fought for and earned its independence in what is still the only successful slave rebellion ever in the world.

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The International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda indicted 93 Rwandan Hutus, and no Tutsis, for the 1994 massacres in Rwanda. The court never indicted anyone for the assassinations of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents that shattered Rwanda’s fragile peace and, by the court’s own admission, started the slaughter.

Phil Taylor: ICTR celebrates 20 years of establishing impunity

November 16, 2014

Nov. 8, 2014, was the 20th anniversary of the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, and the court celebrated itself with a new legacy website and video tribute. CIUT-Ontario radio host Phil Taylor, a former private investigator for ICTR defense attorneys, who became a prominent critic of the court, called the video contemptible self-promotion and endorsement of Paul Kagame’s military dictatorship in Rwanda.

On Saturday we march with our Congolese comrades against the politics of death

November 8, 2014

We do not count to this society and this world. We can be driven from our homes, beaten, tortured and murdered with impunity. It is our responsibility to build a new politics, a politics that respects the dignity of all people, a politics that restores the land and wealth of the world to the people, a politics in which there are no people who can be freely driven from their homes and freely killed, a politics in which everyone counts.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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Advocates celebrate Prop. 47 victory against mass incarceration and war on drugs but raise concerns about where the funding will go: four perspectives

November 6, 2014

On Nov. 4, California voters passed criminal justice reform measure Proposition 47. Proposition 47 changes the lowest level drug possession and petty theft crimes from felonies to simple misdemeanors for some people. Although re-sentencing is not guaranteed, up to 10,000 people in California’s prisons and jails will be eligible for resentencing, and newly sentenced individuals who meet the requirements will be under county jurisdiction.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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David Campos – Photo: David Paul Morris, Bloomberg

Elect David Campos, worthy successor to Tom Ammiano, the conscience of the California Assembly

November 3, 2014

Tim Redmond, executive editor of the website 48 Hills, the Secrets of San Francisco, says that 17th District California State Assembly candidates David Campos and David Chiu are quite different candidates, especially on hard core economic issues. However, the race between them is now so close that it’s all about who most effectively gets their voters to the polls.

Prop 47: We support it, but it’s complicated …

November 3, 2014

You may be aware of California’s ballot initiative Prop 47, which would reduce six crimes that could be charged as felonies to misdemeanors and prevent thousands of people from being incarcerated. Prop 47 represents an important opportunity to push back on overcharging people for crimes that leads to mass incarceration. All of Us or None will continue to loudly demand an end to overcharging and for the freedom of our people.

Rwandan prisoner Victoire Ingabire takes case against Rwandan regime to international court

November 2, 2014

After becoming the leader of the Rwandan Diaspora’s opposition to the authoritarian regime of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Victoire Ingabire returned to Rwanda to run against him in the 2010 election. She was instead placed under house arrest shortly after her return and is now serving a 15 year sentence. This week the African Court of Human and People’s Rights agreed to hear her case on appeal, in Arusha, Tanzania.

Protestors in Ougadougou lit the Parliament Building on fire to keep its members from amending Burkina Faso’s Constitution to allow Blaise Campoare to cling to power.

People of Burkina Faso drive Blaise Campaore from power

November 1, 2014

In 1987, African revolutionary Thomas Sankara, the president of Burkina Faso, called on his fellow African heads of state to join him in refusing to pay debt they could not rationally owe to their former colonizers. Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Ouagadougou to demand the resignation of Sankara’s assassin, President Blaise Campaoré.

It was a full house at the Alex Pitcher Room for the African American Breast Cancer Conference organized by Concerned Network of Women. By some counts, Bayview Hunters Point has one of the highest rates of breast cancer anywhere, especially among Black women, even young mothers.

Breast cancer happens to real people, not abstractions on paper

October 30, 2014

Politics at any level will never completely determine the faith of a community with enormous concerns regarding poor health service. San Francisco city government has known for too many years the need for funding breast cancer services and for more than seven years has failed to provide such services. Witnessing this service gap, a newly created group of women called Concerned Network of Women picked up the project.

NAAFRA: We need a youth hip-hop vanguard for change

October 29, 2014

NAAFRA, our family movement, calls for a youth vanguard to provide added strength for immediate results. The need for a youth vanguard is made very clear in Ferguson, Missouri, where the world has been watching our youth confront a militarized police force prepared to fire on unarmed Black citizens. With these courageous youth directly in the line of fire, at that moment we were too close to a line we do not want to cross.

World famous commentator and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal gave the commencement speech Oct. 5 at Goddard College, where he earned his degree, at the invitation of the students and with the backing of the administration, which had to move the ceremony forward three hours to avoid threatened disruption from police who have long sought to silence Mumia. Immediately, Philadelphia’s Fraternal Order of Police pressured the state Legislature for this Victim Revictimization Relief Act, enabling victims to sue to stop a prisoner from causing them mental anguish, thus silencing Mumia and other state prisoners. “Unconstitutional Tom” Corbett, Pennsylvania’s very unpopular governor, urged legislators to pass the bill. They did and he signed it on Oct. 21. Prison censorship has hit a new low!

Another ‘Mumia Rule’

October 28, 2014

Anyone even remotely familiar with my case knows about the “Mumia Rule.” That’s when the court or agency changes its rule or precedent to go against me. When Amnesty International wrote about my case, that was its essential focus: that laws and precedents that applied to other cases would be changed when it came to me. Now, the Mumia Rule has been enacted into law, the so-called Victim Revictimization Act.

The stars came out in Richmond on Oct. 16: Eduardo Rodriguez, Gayle McLaughlin, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Jovanka Beckles and Tom Butt. – Photo: Malaika Kambon

City in the shadow of Chevron fights back: Vote Team Richmond

October 28, 2014

As Chevron Corp. tries to kill the world, one tiny corner of the world is fighting back. Running for seats on the 2014-2015 Richmond City Council, Team Richmond, comprised of Gayle McLaughlin, Jovanka Beckles and Eduardo Martinez, continue to rise to the occasion. Nov. 4 is days away. For the Bay View’s election recommendations, see Bay View Voters Guide: It’s time to claim our political and economic power http://sfbayview.com/2014/10/bay-view-voters-guide-its-time-to-claim-our-political-and-economic-power/

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Corrections Dept. agents bang on activist’s door at 8 a.m. over a postcard she wrote to a prisoner

October 27, 2014

This morning, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, at 8 a.m., I woke up to sounds of hard banging at my door. I thought it was the person to fix my broken heater, but once I looked outside my peephole I saw what I thought were two sheriff’s officers. My heart pounded thinking something terrible had happened to my child if two officers are standing outside my door with full blown police gear on.

Tanzanian President Jacaya Kikwete, right, has encouraged Rwandan President Paul Kagame, left, to negotiate with the FDLR militia for the safe return of Rwandan refugees in eastern Congo to Rwanda. Kagame has absolutely refused.

Will US policymakers review ‘Rwanda; The Untold Story’ before sending in the Marines?

October 27, 2014

“Rwanda: The Untold Story,” a controversial BBC documentary first aired in the U.K. on Oct. 1, undermines the rationale for military action against the FDLR fighters in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo’s North Kivu Provinces. The FDLR has been described as the militia that committed the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, but the documentary suggests that no one was more responsible than Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame himself.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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With San Francisco’s opulent City Hall in the background, National Day of Action protesters march through throngs of UN Plaza Farmers Market shoppers on Oct. 22. Though the shoppers seemed mostly disinterested, they must have read the placards. – Photo: Zo Khumalo

National Day of Action: It’s right to rebel!

October 27, 2014

October 22nd, National Day of Action – after weeks of planning, the day had finally arrived. Today we would gather in groups big and small all around the country to speak truth to power: “Black lives matter!” “Stop killing us off!” “We demand a stop to police violence and police brutality!” “We demand an end to mass incarceration!” My National Day of Action started in San Francisco.

The entrance to the Abu Jihad Museum for Prisoners Movement Affairs entrance at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem intentionally resembles a foreboding prison or checkpoint gate. – Photo: Midnight Jones

Abu Jihad: A living, fighting museum for prisoner movement affairs

October 26, 2014

On the final day of our May trip to Palestine we visited the Abu Jihad Museum for Prisoners Movement Affairs in the brilliant sunlight of Jerusalem. The simultaneous visit to Bethlehem of a Pope who paid respect to the Palestinian right to self-determination was nice enough. But the very thought of such an institution alone astounded me. Neither a “dead” museum nor a bourgeois one in the conventional style of Europe, the fact of its existence in Palestine exhilarated me.

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The official Michael Brown autopsy report doesn’t say what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says it does

October 24, 2014

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about the controversial leaked autopsy report quotes California forensics expert Dr. Judy Melinek extensively, but it turns out that she didn’t say what the story says she did. If you think the official autopsy report exonerates Darren Wilson, blame it on a couple of reporters who blithely misquoted a forensics expert to – apparently – support the headline they wanted to write.

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