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California and the U.S.

Charleston

July 2, 2015



White supremacy is the mother’s milk of Charleston, of South Carolina, of the South, of America. For surely as slavery funded and built America, the underlying principle was the devaluation, exploitation and oppression of Black life. It’s the only thing that makes the church massacre in Charleston even remotely intelligible. Nine Black people were sacrificed to the blind idol of white supremacy.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters speaks at 'Walk for Life' LA 080914, web cropped

Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ twist of fate

July 1, 2015



The pain and suffering of the nine months since unarmed Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer has given birth to a new era of intolerance for police brutality. On the heels of Mother’s Day, more than a thousand community members turned out for a luncheon to honor those whose children lost their lives to violence and to join forces with the Black Women’s Forum (BWF), of which Congresswoman Maxine Waters is co-founder.

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Birmingham Police Chief Bull Connor turned vicious police dogs and water hoses on children when their Children’s Crusade in May 1963 attempted for several days to march to City Hall to meet with the mayor. In September 1963, the brutal suppression culminated in the murder of the four little girls at the 16th Street Baptist Church. Today, the events are memorialized in lifelike statues mounted in Birmingham’s Kelly Ingram Park. – Photo: Shino, Flickr

Officer of the Year Eric Casebolt’s brutality inspires courageous youth to fight back

June 30, 2015



The honorable bronze statues at Birmingham, Alabama’s Kelly Ingram Park show a display of courageous youth who refused to be silent and stood up for justice. Dear children, do not continue to be distracted by the ways of the world and its falsehoods. Your great legacies are at stake, and THAT is worth fighting for. And one day my grandchildren will visit your statues of courage in beautiful parks because you, too, like our ancestors, are not afraid.

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Dr. Vickie M. Mays

Racism and African American men: Killing without a gun

June 28, 2015



Dr. Vickie M. Mays, a clinical psychologist and professor of health policy and management at UCLA, has published a number of studies showing how experiencing racism contributes to high morbidity and mortality in African Americans. Mays said she is concerned that not enough attention is paid to the lethal consequences of discrimination African American men face every day.

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Fifteen most outrageous responses by police after killing unarmed people

June 25, 2015



Police kill a lot of unarmed people. So far in 2015, as many as 100 unarmed people have been killed by police. So far in 2015, there have been around 400 fatal police shootings; one in six of those killings, 16 percent, was of unarmed people, 49 had no weapon at all and 13 had toys, according to the Washington Post. Here are 15 of the most outrageous reasons given by police to justify killing unarmed people in the last 12 months.

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Rebuke and praise after Charleston, South Carolina, church tragedy

June 24, 2015



Early reports revealed that Dylann Roof, a high school dropout, had a seldom used Facebook page and many Black friends. Then the Facebook photo of Roof sitting on his car with a Confederate flag license plate was revealed and another of Roof wearing a jacket with the flags of Apartheid South Africa and White-run Rhodesia, indicating that Roof was capable of tragically putting into practice what had been preached to him.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government agency that actually listens

June 19, 2015



The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created five years ago by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law to be a “cop on the beat” to protect consumers in their dealings with banks, credit card companies and other financial firms. The CFPB clearly takes its job seriously. Some members of Congress who take their marching orders from Wall Street have been trying to weaken CFPB ever since it was created, but happily they haven’t succeeded.

The Bay View joins all people of good will in saluting and praying for these dear souls, pastor and members of Emanuel African American Methodist Church, whose lives were taken in a terrorist assassination there on June 17: Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Myra Thompson and Daniel Simmons.

White terrorist slays nine in Charleston church founded by Denmark Vesey on anniversary of his 1822 rebellion

June 18, 2015

Nine people were killed at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, co-founded by Denmark Vesey, whose rebellion was planned for June 17, 193 years ago. Victims included South Carolina Sen. Clementa Pinckney, pastor of the historic church. This is nothing short of a terrorist assassination. Watch the videos updating this story, including President Obama’s eulogy of Pastor Pinckney on June 26 and the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol grounds by a Black woman, Bree Newsome on June 27.

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The Los Angeles action for May 23 was a very well-received play, “If the SHU Fits: Voices from Solitary Confinement,” compiled by Andy Griggs and Melvin Ishmael Johnson, directed by Andy Griggs and performed at Chuco’s Justice Center. It will be performed again during Torture Awareness Month at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena 91103, on Tuesday, June 23, at 7 p.m.

On the 23rd of every month, Californians demand, ‘End solitary confinement!’ – May report

June 17, 2015



On May 23, 2015, families and loved ones of people in solitary, community organizations and prisoner-class human rights advocates once again mobilized Statewide Coordinated Actions to End Solitary Confinement (SCATESC) throughout California and in Pennsylvania. Since the actions began on March 23, 2015, over 30 organizations – statewide, nationwide and worldwide – became co-sponsors, 45 endorsed, and the movement keeps growing.

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The people of McKinney, like Black youth all over the country, are taking the freedom fighters of Ferguson, Missouri, as their model. – Photo: Elroy Johnson

Brutal, child abusing cop at Texas pool party resigns, should be charged

June 9, 2015



Resignation is not enough to hold former patrol supervisor Cpl. Eric Casebolt accountable or shift the discriminatory and violent culture of policing. He must be prosecuted. Unless violent and discriminatory officers face criminal charges, they will continue to target and harm Black communities. Police accountability is critical for transforming deeply entrenched policing culture that says it’s OK to racially profile and brutalize Black folks.

Chicago creates reparations fund for police torture victims

June 1, 2015

In front of a packed chamber May 6, the Chicago City Council unanimously approved a reparations ordinance allocating $5.5 million for many of those tortured and framed by police commander Jon Burge and his notorious “Midnight Crew” from 1972 to 1991. Burge and his “crew” extracted false confessions to win convictions of at least 120 people, mostly Black men, using electric shocks, mock executions, suffocation and beatings.

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Visitors to Allensworth are inspired not only by this sterling example of Black self-determination but by the founder, Col. Allen Allensworth. Born a slave in 1842 and “sold down the river” at age 12 when he was discovered learning to learn to read and write, he founded Allensworth in 1908, and it thrived until the Depression. It was declared a state historical park in 1976.

Allensworth State Park Festival July 11: Celebrating and elevating the pioneering spirit of African American women

May 31, 2015

Allensworth is the first town in California founded by an ex-slave and is the only Black historical park in California. The Allensworth Volunteer Community Association, the Friends of Allensworth and the We Can Foundation invite you to attend our Women’s Celebration. It will be held on Saturday, July 11, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the Black historical township and park of Allensworth in Delano, California.

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Marylin Zuniga

Teacher fired for students’ get-well letters to Mumia says we should rethink ‘leadership’

May 30, 2015



Support for the now-suspended New Jersey teacher who allowed her third-graders to write get-well letters to former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal was undeniable at the fateful Orange Public School Board meeting April 14. Supporters flanking both sides of Marylin Zuniga called for her reinstatement while she appealed to the board to allow her to continue teaching after the highly-criticized writing activity.

On Quest for Democracy Day at the capitol in Sacramento, April 27, 2015, 250 people split up into 30 teams to visit legislators’ offices to advocate for legislation relevant to formerly incarcerated people and their communities.

Quest for Democracy 2015: Formerly incarcerated people lobby for justice in Sacramento

May 28, 2015



Our Formerly Incarcerated Quest for Democracy (Q4D) Day continues to grow and evolve. This year we had over 250 committed people. We had around 30 teams advocating on legislation relevant to formerly incarcerated people and our communities. Grassroots co-sponsors got a chance to educate community members about their bills. And Sen. Holly Mitchell as well as Assemblymembers Reginald Jones-Sawyer and Autumn Burke addressed participants.

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This is the car where Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams died in a hail of 137 Cleveland police bullets on Nov. 29, 2012. – Photo: Ohio Attorney General’s Office

137 shots: Cleveland killer cop acquitted in murder of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams

May 27, 2015



On May 23, Cuyahoga County Judge John P. O’Donnell found Officer Michael Brelo not guilty of felony involuntary manslaughter in the killing deaths of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell. Williams and Russell were killed in November 2012 after Cleveland police officers unleashed 137 gunshots into the couple’s car following a police pursuit. The family of Timothy Ray Russell released the following statement in response.

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Congresswoman Lee leads letter to president urging fair chance hiring

May 26, 2015



More than 70 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, sent a letter to President Obama on May 21 to adopt a federal fair chance hiring policy. This effort was co-led by Congressmen Conyers, Scott and Davis and Congresswoman Jackson Lee and supported by various groups including Policy Link, the ACLU, National Employment Law Project, PICO Network’s LIVE FREE Campaign, and All Of Us or None.

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“The Mission takes City Hall” was the battle cry demanding an end to gentrification and eviction and construction of unaffordable housing. – Photo: Poor News Network

California is not for rich people only! First Nation, Black, Brown and poor people stand together to take the state back for the people

May 15, 2015



From Oakland to Salinas, from San Francisco to Vallejo, hundreds of Black, Brown, First Nation and Poor people stood together on May 7 and 8 to demand the end of displacement, police terror and criminalization and the increasing apartheidization of this state. We are all connected. Our work and our revolutions can be stronger if we work together and support each other. To add your case to the elder and child abuse cases against speculators or to get involved in the statewide effort to resist a rich-people-only state, contact poormag@gmail.com.

A crowd gathers to watch the conflagration, which had consumed the entire 6200 block of Osage Avenue in a Black middle-class neighborhood by the time the firefighters were told to aim their hoses at it.

The barbaric police bombing of MOVE: May 13th at 30

May 12, 2015



Why should we care what happened on May 13th, 1985? Because what happened then is a harbinger of what’s happening now – all across America. I don’t mean bombing people – not yet, that is. I mean the visceral hatred and violent contempt once held for MOVE is now visited upon average people – not just radicals and revolutionaries, like MOVE. A free screening of “Let the Fire Burn,” the documentary on the police bombing of MOVE in Philadelphia, takes place on the 30th anniversary of the bombing, Wednesday, May 13, 7-10 p.m., at Omni Oakland Commons.

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Mothers of victims of police murders stand outside of the White House following a refusal by Obama to meet with them in December 2014.  – Photo: Code Pink

After Baltimore, mothers of police murder victims issue a call to reclaim Mother’s Day

May 9, 2015



It’s now a century after the founding of Mother’s Day, and our sons are still being taken from us. Society has not disarmed, but instead has militarized to the teeth. Mothers’ sons everywhere are still killing and being killed. Police militarization has ripped apart the fabric of our communities. Armed with military-grade vehicles and weapons, warrior cops cultivate an atmosphere of tension and fear, exacerbating conflicts instead of resolving them. We all know we’re going to die one day, but it certainly shouldn’t be at the hands of a public servant who’s supposed to serve and protect us. Mothers are powerful; if we come together, we can be unstoppable.

Mumia is glowing here, on Feb. 6, 2012, shortly after he was released from 30 years of solitary confinement on death row to “general population,” or the mainline. Recent photos show how terribly sick he is, due to gross medical neglect and abuse by the prison.

The impact of Mumia on me: Reflections on Mumia Abu-Jamal

May 8, 2015



Mumia walked through the halls of my school, but no students know about Mumia. I believe that Mumia should be taught in all Philadelphia high schools because he is just as important as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. The school district of Philadelphia should have Mumia in the curriculum. Mumia inspires me to keep fighting for my rights.

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