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News and Views

Four new judges: A breath of fresh air

May 25, 2018

My first five minutes in court were a revelation. Law school prepared me to write motions, make oral arguments and meet with clients. But I was startled when the uniformed bailiff bellowed “All rise!” and rows of working people, family members from all walks of life and suited-and-booted attorneys all scrambled to their feet. I realized I had underestimated the concentrated power of one person in this courtroom constellation whose entrance required a public show of fealty: the judge.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón refuses to charge cops who killed Mario Woods or Luis Gongora Pat

May 24, 2018

We are enraged and disheartened by the cowardly decision of the San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón NOT to file charges against the officers who killed Mario Woods and Luis Gongora Pat. Charges for killer cops are among the three demands we have made since our start in December 2015. This DA has never – not once, in all of his tenure, and all of the egregious cases during his watch – filed any charges against officers who kill. Spread the word: Protest and press conference Tuesday, May 29, 12 noon, at 850 Bryant.

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Ruth Williams Memorial Theater, a historic monument, desecrated on Mother’s Day

May 24, 2018

On May 9, 2018, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon’s White Collar Crime Division issued a letter to the San Francisco Ethics Commission referring allegations of “willful misconduct” violations of the Sunshine Ordinance under San Francisco Administrative Code section 67.34 by management of the San Francisco Arts Commission. Twenty-four hours after receipt and distribution of the District Attorney’s letter, the decade’s old signage marking the “Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theater” was vandalized and quickly removed.

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Let us remember Memorial Day by waging peace

May 23, 2018

This Memorial Day, let us renew our commitment to work for peace. Dr. King stated, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Let us ask ourselves, “What would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. say today?’” Let us remember Dr. King’s sermon. Let us reclaim our belief in the sanctity of human life. Let us turn swords into plowshares. Let us work for peace in our world.

John Crew: Don’t be fooled by the POA, No on H, more aggressive use of Tasers

May 22, 2018

This June, San Francisco voters will make an important decision on whether to hand over a dangerous power to the San Francisco Police Officers Association (POA). Proposition H, a measure funded by the POA, is an attempt to loosen important use of force restrictions on Tasers that were pushed on the troubled SFPD by a team of experts from the Obama Justice Department. Police unions don’t get to decide their own use of force policies. Don’t be fooled. Vote No on Prop H!

Sparks fly at Mayoral Candidates Forum hosted by Commonwealth Club

May 22, 2018

On May 14, 2018, a Mayoral Forum was held at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club. The race for mayor of San Francisco is close to the wire, with the election coming up on June 5. If elected, front-runner and San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed will become San Francisco’s first Black woman mayor.

Bay View Voters Guide: VOTE 100%! Make BVHP known for ballots, not bullets

May 19, 2018

Why do Black folks catch more hell in San Francisco than just about anywhere else? Why has a larger portion of the Black population been pushed out of San Francisco than any U.S. city? We detect the reason is Black Power, which used to be wielded skillfully by community leaders back in the day. With London Breed, a Black woman born and raised in the projects – someone who understands us as we understand her – leading the mayor’s race, this election is our opportunity to rebuild our Black Power by making up our minds to VOTE 100%!

Challenging Democratic Party corruption in Pennsylvania’s District 197

May 19, 2018

In 2017, Cheri Honkala, the founder of the Poor People’s Campaign for Economic Human Rights, ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in Philadelphia’s District 197. I spoke to her about what happened. It was a special election last year for a representative to the Pennsylvania State House. On the night of the election, there were literally hundreds of calls to our campaign headquarters and the district attorney’s office about election fraud.

Black Alliance for Peace condemns slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza

May 18, 2018

While a delegation from the Trump administration and leaders from various parts of the world gathered in Jerusalem to witness the illegal and immoral move of the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to the beleaguered and contested city, Israeli soldiers slaughtered unarmed Palestinians in Gaza. The latest count reports more than 50 dead and 2,700 wounded. The Black Alliance for Peace demands the United States condemn Israeli state violence and the use of U.S.-supplied weapons to murder unarmed Palestinians, a violation of U.S. law.

Jovanka Beckles, candidate for State Assembly District 15, urges Oakland to continue opposing coal shipments – as youth plan to protest tonight 6 p.m.

May 17, 2018

I am deeply disappointed in the U.S. District Court ruling that could allow transport of coal to the planned new bulk terminal at the Port of Oakland. I urge the City to continue seeking to protect people’s health by preventing the coal shipments. Oakland youth will hold a spirited protest in the face masks they will be forced to wear if the toxic dust and climate chaos promised by the terminal arrive in Oakland. Students will join in the environmental justice protest organized by Youth vs. Apocalypse.

Workers march with pride and power on May Day, International Workers’ Day

May 14, 2018

May Day – International Workers Day – is celebrated around the world, including in the United States, honoring the fighting spirit and struggle of all working and oppressed people. It is a time when workers show their strength, demand their rights and forge global solidarity. Its roots are in the struggle for the eight-hour day in 1886 in Chicago. Only in the United States, whose working class gave birth to May Day, have the powers that be managed to conceal that history, erase the memory of May Day, and suppress the class struggle that it represents. ILWU Local 10 shut down all Bay Area ports on May Day for the fourth consecutive year.

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SFHDC celebrates 30 years in affordable housing with Power in Numbers gala

May 10, 2018

Marking its 30th year of providing affordable housing services in the City this spring, the San Francisco Housing Development Corporation is centering its annual gala and awards dinner around a theme demonstrated by influential civic actions taking shape across the nation. SFHDC’s 30th Anniversary Gala and Awards Dinner, will take place Friday, May 11, at the California Academy of Sciences. The Bayview-based SFHDC is a nonprofit community organization that has provided affordable housing, financial empowerment, supportive services and economic development to low-income communities of color since 1988.

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Board of Supervisors to hold public hearing May 14 on alleged massive fraud at Hunters Point Shipyard Superfund Site

May 3, 2018

After years of ignoring the well documented allegations of fraud and improper cleanup of the radioactive and toxic contaminated Hunters Point Naval Shipyard Superfund site, the Board of Supervisors will finally hold a public hearing on the issue. The Board’s Land Use and Transportation Committee hearing will be Monday, May 14, at 1:30 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to attend this important hearing.

We can’t stop now! Help single father in Uganda educate his disabled daughters

May 2, 2018

This is not charity. It is the right to have access to education, not only in the US but all over the world. This was our goal when Krip-Hop Nation of the USA and journalist Ronald Galiwango of Uganda, Africa, teamed up to write about a single father raising two disabled daughters who needed basic things to survive like wheelchairs and help to pay for the oldest daughter to go to school to become “a disabled advocate like Leroy Moore of Krip-Hop Nation!” Eunice Atim told Ronald in a video interview.

Nancy Pelosi opposes universal healthcare

May 1, 2018

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is a leading proponent of only incremental change to our broken healthcare system, and legislators at the state level are following her lead. Sens. Lara and Atkins have stopped advocating for SB 562. Sen. Scott Wiener, Assemblyman David Chiu and Assemblyman Phil Ting all say they support Medicare for All. How long must we wait before these Democratic Party leaders do something to help us achieve better healthcare at a lower cost?

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 18

April 30, 2018

In 1968, Joe Debro was reporting on an Oakland we would recognize today, where white arrests were down and Black arrests up, where in the first four months of 1968, police murdered about a dozen Black and Brown youth allegedly fleeing the scene of a crime, where “almost every ghetto Negro has a police record.” This is Part 18 of the report titled “A Study of the Manpower Implications of Small Business Financing: A Survey of 149 Minority and 202 Anglo-Owned Small Businesses in Oakland, California.”

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Darius Thomas, a promising young scholar from Bayview Hunters Point

April 29, 2018

Darius Ja’Quan Thomas was a promising young scholar from Bayview Hunters Point, whose life was cut short on April 20, 2018. Darius made such a positive impact in the lives of his family, friends, classmates and anyone connected to him during his life. Darius will be missed forever. For those of you impacted by the life of Darius Thomas, you are invited to join us in celebrating his life next Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at 11 a.m. Please reach out to the family for service information.

Eureka NAACP to HSU: Cease recruitment in minority-majority neighborhoods until substantial support is implemented

April 28, 2018

The Eureka chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has sent out a press release regarding Humboldt State University’s recruitment efforts in minority-majority neighborhoods –telling HSU to forgo the revenue these prospective students offer until they implement substantial support for students of color. Following is the press release, dated April 25, 2018.

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Do NOT privatize San Francisco’s public health clinics

April 28, 2018

Community and labor advocates rallied on Friday, April 20, 2018, at the San Francisco Potrero Hill Health Center to call for an end to the privatization of the center by Department of Public Health Director Barbara Garcia and also the retaliation against the center’s worker Cheryl Thornton, who is a member of SEIU 1021. Community members are angry that the clinic, which was founded after a long struggle, is being destroyed by city privatizers.

Black and Brown community control of the police: Organize or die!

April 26, 2018

The recent police murders of Stephon Clark, a 22 year-old shot and killed on the evening of March 18 by two officers of the Sacramento Police Department in Sacramento, and Saheed Vassell, 34, murdered by Brooklyn police in New York on April 7, again reminds us that Black Lives have never mattered to state-sanctioned organizations popularly known as police departments. The mass responses to the murders of the two young Black men will initiate a familiar and repeated mass ritual that we have become accustomed to.

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