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In one of many dramatic events during their 17-day hunger strike, on May 3, the Frisco 5 – Ike Pinkston, Ilych “Equipto” Sato, Selassie Blackwell, Cristina Gutierrez and Edwin Lindo – “marched” in wheelchairs pushed by the doctors and medical students who tended to their health from the site of the strike, outside the Mission Police Station, to City Hall, where they expected to finally meet with the mayor. He stood them up, so they continued down the hall to the weekly Board of Supervisors meeting, then underway, and made passionate statements that probably speeded their success. They ended their strike after being hospitalized on May 7, and on May 19, SFPD Chief Suhr resigned, fulfilling their No. 1 demand. – Photo: Joel Angel Juárez, El Tecolote

Members of the Frisco 5 officially reject the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s Hero Award

July 27, 2016

On July 28, 2016, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission will be presenting the Frisco 5 with a Hero Award. While we appreciate the consideration, some of us cannot accept this award. It is insulting to us that the very administration who executes the will of developers and big business instead of the will of the voters would think that awarding us for fighting their failed policies would be acceptable. How can we accept such an award when our city is in a state of crisis?

Phyllis Haugabook MFT

The psyche of a sexually abused child: Why children may protect the cops who abuse them

July 27, 2016

In hopes of getting people to understand the mind and psyche of a sexually abused minor, I took a moment to speak with child psychologist Phyllis Haugabook. Phyllis is a therapist who has worked with sexually, mentally and physically abused children for over 17 years. Listen to what she has to say about the effect sexual abuse has on the psyche of the child and why so many sexually abused children often protect their abusers.

Moments before murdering Oscar Grant, BART Officer Johannes Mehserle pins him face down to the platform, on Jan. 1, 2009. – Screenshot: Tommy Cross via LA Superior Court

The ‘fundamentalism’ in police operations

July 27, 2016

As police murders accumulate, and police chiefs get fired and replaced because they cannot stop it – as in Oakland and San Francisco – the notion that this represents a political crisis becomes a truism. It is not a “crisis of policing,” which would suggest a situation beyond the capacities of the police. It is the police who have become the crisis.

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Nearly half the prisoners in San Francisco County Jail at 850 Bryant are Black at a time when gentrification, police occupation and absence of economic opportunities has pushed most Blacks out of the City, a disaster reflected in the name of a local Black Lives Matter group, “Last 3 percent.” – Photo: Michael Macor, SF Chronicle

Coalition that stopped new SF jail wins human rights award as jail system blasted by civil grand jury

July 25, 2016

The No New SF Jail Coalition has been selected to receive the prestigious Hero Award by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and its Equity Advisory Committee. The coalition celebrated a monumental victory last December, when, after years of community organizing and advocacy, they persuaded the Board of Supervisors to reject plans for a new jail in San Francisco.

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The horrors of war and guilt of killing sear the soul of even the toughest soldier. This is Fallujah, Iraq, in 2007.

Indeed, Western Civilization is in a war

July 25, 2016

Republican Newt Gingrich, long known for his fascistic views, recently declared that “Western Civilization is in a war.” Truth be told, he is on solid ground. Indeed, Western Civilization is in a war, a war that has been raging since its inception. It has been at war with itself and with the entire non-European world for centuries. Long before anyone heard of Jihadists, Al-Qaeda and ISIL, Western Civilization was at war.

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As the powers-that-be forge ahead relentlessly to realize this architect’s rendering of Treasure Island that will enable mega-developer Lennar Corp. to house and entertain millionaires and billionaires with fabulous views, these wealthy, connected politicians are fully aware that the current residents stand in the way of their vision and enrichment. John Stewart’s working class market rate renters as well as subsidized at-risk-for-homelessness folks have few resources. Some have become the canaries in the coal mine, sick from the radiation and other deadly toxins that may never be removed. Their swift punishment for speaking out is engineered by the movers and shakers who fear they’ll alert potential buyers to the chemicals and radiation lurking in the groundwater under the luxury condos soon to be built.

Treasure Island whistleblowers face immediate retaliation from power broker consortium

July 25, 2016

The truth about the radiation and chemicals that poison Treasure Island has been deliberately hidden from view since 1941, when the Navy began using the island as a trash dump. To conceal the extent of the toxicity and the poisoning of many sailors and civilians, recent plans to redevelop the island have required powerful players to shroud activities there in an even thicker fog than the mist that daily crawls under the Golden Gate Bridge.

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This photo of a Black Lives Matter protest in south Minneapolis illustrates a story from AFSC that offers advice to White people taking part in #BlackLivesMatter protests; examples are “Remember that you are there as an ally in solidarity – it’s not about you … It is not your job to police or tone down black protesters who have a right to express anger … Don't lead chants … Anticipate that reporters may seek you for a comment out of their own unconscious racial bias … Don’t hijack the message,” which is NOT “All Lives Matter.” – Fibonacci Blue, flickr

Do we need white revolutionaries to rise up?

July 23, 2016

The recent deaths of Alton Sterling, 37, and Philando Castile, 32, at the hands of state-sanctioned violence are additional tragedies in an endless list of Black victims, and a reminder that premature Black death continues to take center stage in the Black narrative. With our heads in our hands and our eyes swollen, we keep asking, when will Black lives matter? White silence about these atrocities is almost as dangerous as the hand that pulls the trigger.

On July 10, 2016, the Sunday after the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the cops in Dallas, as protests engulfed the nation, in Memphis, Chanel Trice holds a sign while standing on the cement median between the eastbound and westbound lanes of the Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River. Black Lives Matter supporters brought traffic to a standstill on both sides of the bridge by about 7 p.m. as the estimated crowd on the bridge swelled to more than 1,000. – Photo: Brad Vest, Memphis Commercial Appeal

Thanks, Mama Harriet!

July 23, 2016

I cried, “Help, Mama Harriet, help!” and you, … Beautiful young warriors, came Toyi-toying … from Ferguson, Baltimore, The Town, etc. … Through teargas clouds, pepper spray storms … You came tying traffic into hangman nooses, … shutting malls down like open and shut cases … of killer cops who walk. You came wrestling … Your minds out of the hands of exploiters!

Retired Judge LaDoris Cordell, a member of the three-judge Blue Ribbon Panel, reads from the report on discipline, transparency and other SFPD issues. – Photo: Connor Radnovich, SF Chronicle

San Francisco Civil Grand Jury and Blue Ribbon Panel rip SFPD for racial bias

July 21, 2016

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Law Enforcement has released its final report detailing its year-long investigation into issues of potential bias in the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). The panel found that the SFPD is in need of greater transparency, lacks robust oversight, must rebuild trust with the communities it serves, and should pay greater attention to the potential for bias against people of color, with respect to both its own police officers and members of the public.

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The FBI works through local law enforcement to shut down dissent. Here, Ieshia Evans is detained during a demonstration near police headquarters in Baton Rouge on July 9, 2016. When the 28-year-old mother of a 6-year-old, who’d never before been an activist, told her son she’d been arrested, he said, “I thought only bad people go to jail.” – Photo: Reuters

FBI gives green light to crack down on Black Lives Matter protesters – BLM statement follows

July 21, 2016

The violent events of the past week have placed the country at a decisive moment. Words matter but deeds matter more. Leadership matters. President Obama spoke about the need for real change and new “practices” following the murders by police officers of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Following this story is a Black Lives Matter statement on the murder of police and escalating protests to end state-sponsored violence against Black people.

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Paula Beal, who was recently forced out of her home by a sudden 27 percent rent increase and who has seen her seven children, 27 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren displaced out of Oakland, is the subject of an April 21, 2016, story in the London Guardian called “Oakland's housing crisis: ‘I’m the last one here. I don’t know if I can stay or go.’”

Oakland displaced housing activist Paula Beal speaks

July 19, 2016

BlockReportRadio.com talks to Oakland-based housing activist Paula Beal, who is herself a displaced senior, about the lack of affordable housing, a crisis in Oakland. She talks about the struggles that homeless displaced people go through in this town, her recent demonstration at the door of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and what people can do to assist displaced families and to support the fight for affordable housing in Oakland. Paula says: “Right now … it’s a housing crisis! … From 2010 to 2015, 50,000 people have been evicted,” 5,000 already this year, just in Oakland.

On Democracy Now! July 18, Cornel West explains “why I endorse the Green Party’s Jill Stein over ‘neoliberal disaster’ Hillary Clinton.”

What will Bernie delegates do in Philadelphia?

July 18, 2016

The first major survey of Bernie Sanders delegates reveals big concerns about Hillary Clinton’s pending choice of a vice presidential candidate, with many delegates expressing their willingness to publicly denounce prospective running mates and even protest on the convention floor. I spoke to Jeff Cohen of RootsAction after they released the survey results.

In Ferguson, Uncle Bobby talks with Ron Davis, father of Jordan Davis, and Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin, on Aug. 27, 2014. – Photo: Kumasi Aaron

Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby speaks on Alton Sterling, Phil Castile, Obama, Dallas and OPD – now with full transcript

July 18, 2016

Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, aka Cephus Johnson, speaks about the recent police execution of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Phil Castile in Minneapolis. We talk about the role of new media in exposing these two cases. He also discusses Obama’s response to the police executions of Black and Brown people and his inaction. We also discuss the Dallas sniper killing a number of police officers last night in response to the rampant police terrorism plaguing the Black communities of the U.S.

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Thousands make deposits in Black-owned banks as a way to protest recent police shootings

July 17, 2016

Reacting to the most recent wave of shootings of Black men by police officers, thousands of African-American consumers across America are directing their dollars by opening checking and savings accounts in Black-owned banks. A grassroots effort being called a “Spend Movement” found the nation’s Black banks receiving calls and on-line requests to open accounts.

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At a converted movie theater in the Mission, an anti-racism event called Let’s Take Action drew a mostly white packed house on July 12. – Photo: LaRon L. Barton

Whites face race: Let’s talk and act

July 16, 2016

“Let’s Take Action,” a think tank organized by Los Angeles native Michael Morgenstern and New York transplant Joe Conte, aims to bring people together who may have a tough time talking about race but want to do something about the conditions they see. When I decided to attend this function, I had one question on my mind: Why now? Why all of a sudden are whites caring about the deaths of Black men in America at the hands of police?

Every day since the police murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, protesters have been shutting down major streets and highways all over the country.

Michelle Alexander: Something more is required of us now. What?

July 14, 2016

I have struggled to find words to express what I thought and felt as I watched the videos of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile being killed by the police. As I was preparing to write about the oldness of all of this, I heard on the news that 11 officers had been shot in Dallas, several killed from sniper fire. My fingers froze on the keys. I could not bring myself to recycle old truths. Something more is required. But what?

Dr. Cynthia McKinney

Cynthia McKinney speaks on Sterling, Castile, Dallas, Hillary, Trump, Brexit

July 14, 2016

BlockReportRadio.com interviews international peace activist Dr. Cynthia McKinney, live from Bangladesh, about the police executions of Alton Sterling and Phil Castile. We also talk about presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Dr. McKinney speaks on the Clintons’ history of corruption as well as Hillary’s role in the tragic situations in Haiti and Libya, where elected governments were overthrown, and Qaddafi was murdered. She also gives us her perspective on Brexit. The song at the end is by Mac Mall and M1 called “Killiminati.”

Ethiopian-Israeli activist Inbar Bugala gestures while a crowd of mostly Ethiopian-Israeli protesters sits in the roadway, blocking vehicular traffic. – Photo: Benny Woodoo

Ethiopians protest in Israel, call for end to state racism and police violence

July 13, 2016

Demanding an end to institutional anti-Black racism by the Israel government, hundreds of Jewish citizens of Ethiopian heritage marched through the streets of downtown Tel Aviv on July 3, renewing demonstrations that had galvanized the community a year earlier. The mostly young Ethiopian-Israeli protesters called for abusive police officers to be jailed and blocked a main street in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense.

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Professor Griff, cropped

Professor Griff of Public Enemy speaks on Micah Johnson and the media

July 12, 2016

Public Enemy’s legendary Minister of Information Professor Griff speaks about mainstream media trying to link him to the alleged Black Afghan war vet sniper Micah Johnson. Although there is a photograph of Professor Griff with Micah at one of Griff’s many speaking events, Professor Griff tells us in his own voice that he doesn’t know Micah Johnson. Check out what Professor Griff has to say about the mainstream media’s character assassination attempt.

Seattle City Councilor Kshama Sawant

Beyond Bernie: Socialist Alternative endorses Jill Stein

July 12, 2016

On Saturday, July 9, Socialist Alternative and Movement4Bernie held the first of a series of forums titled “Beyond Bernie: We Need a United Party for the 99%.” Socialist Alternative is a nationwide membership organization which initially endorsed Bernie Sanders but has now endorsed Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

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