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California and the U.S.

The Kanye conflict over the slavery exception clause: Amending the amendment that ‘abolished’ slavery

October 14, 2018

Kanye West has never been afraid to speak out even if what he had to say wasn’t in line with popular opinion. Kanye saying slavery was “a choice” offended many people by degrading the lives of the millions of people who suffered for centuries as slaves. Recently, at the White House, Kanye sprinkled some gold gems in with the foolishness, especially his statement about the 13th Amendment, which did not abolish slavery, not in prison. I refuse to reject the help when entertainers like Kanye West join prisoners in advocating for prisoners’ rights.

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If cannabis is legal in California, why are so many Black-owned cannabis businesses considered illegal?

October 7, 2018

One of the great advantages of Proposition 64 – the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized adult use of cannabis – was the idea that it could start to address the disproportionately negative impact of marijuana arrests among communities of color. Prop 64 not only promised to reduce or expunge certain past convictions, it also presented employment opportunities in the newly legalized cannabis industry as a gateway to the middle class for many underserved communities.

Hey, Mr. Tangerine Man …

October 2, 2018

They got Jel-Low Puddin’ Man – — one less backwards Taliban — treating women like beasts – — Packs of predator priests — next they’re comin’ for you – — your whole predator Krew — silver bracelets, orange — jumpsuit await you too! — Hey Mr. Tangerine Man – — They’re comin’ for you next — Before you tweet or text — Hey Mr. Tangerine Man – — your FOX-hole country — only needs one tree —

New report calculates the first unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated people: 27 percent, highest since Great Depression

September 29, 2018

For the 5 million formerly incarcerated people living in the U.S., landing a job means more than just personal success: It means finding a place in their communities and being able to care for their loved ones again. It’s well known that the obstacles to finding a job are severe for people who have been to prison. The scale of this problem, however, has been difficult to measure – until now.

Saving ‘Mona’

September 11, 2018

She is known by one name. Say the name, Ramona, and all know of whom you speak. Ramona Africa, of course. She is a revolutionary. A scarred veteran of May 13, 1985, when local, state and federal cops conspired to bomb and kill MOVE members in West Philadelphia. Ramona survived – but didn’t escape the flames, the smoke, the deadly fumes, the hatred, unscathed. Several weeks ago, we learned she was ill, fell into a coma, and was hospitalized. MOVE needs your help to support her in the rest and recuperation that she needs. Please donate on GoFundMe page: Help Save Ramona Africa.

‘We love the CIA!’ – or how the left lost its mind

September 10, 2018

On July 22 this year, nearly two years after Trump’s election and the rise of “The Resistance,” I tuned in to KPFA-Berkeley’s Sunday Show and heard host Philip Maldari speaking to The Nation’s national affairs correspondent John Nichols. Philip Maldari: John, just last Monday we had this fabulous press conference in Helsinki, Finland, where these two heads of state [Trump and Putin] had a chance to speak to the world. Do you want to decode what happened there? John Nichols: Do I want to what? PM: Decode – explain.

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UPDATED: Ramona Africa needs our help – now!

August 25, 2018

The MOVE Organization held a news conference earlier this week to provide an update on the health of its Minister of Communications Ramona Africa. She is the sole survivor of the May 13, 1985, MOVE Massacre. Ramona was unjustly charged and convicted of riot and conspiracy, and served seven years in prison. Ramona has been gravely ill for the past few months. Ramona’s despicable insurance company is throwing her out of the hospital in a few days. Please help so she can survive, heal and regain her strength at home. A Go Fund Me account has been established. Please help.

Anti-fascists outnumber, outlast and drown out Patriot Prayer, Proud Boys in Seattle

August 20, 2018

Hundreds of anti-fascists confronted a coalition of far-right extremist bullies in Seattle on Aug. 18. The fascist event was part of the “National March Against Far-Left Violence” that was scheduled to take place in several cities one week after “Unite the Right II” in Washington, D.C. In Seattle, the far-right event was only confirmed two weeks prior. A local coalition came together quickly and called for a “unified, militant and orderly” counter-protest at City Hall with the theme of “Unite against fascism: Remember those lost to far-right violence.”

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Federal ad spending with Black-owned firms dismal; NNPA demands action

August 12, 2018

Over the past five fiscal years, from 2013 to 2017, federal government agencies have spent approximately $5 billion in advertising, but a minute share – $327 million – went to minority-owned businesses, according to a long-awaited report from the Government Accountability Office. “This factual report exposes gross racial discrimination and the refusal of the federal agencies cited in the report to be serious about diversity and inclusion with respect to annual federal spending on advertising.”

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Running Green in a frontline community

July 21, 2018

Green Party candidates neither seek nor accept corporate money, so fundraising against lavishly bribed Democrats and Republicans is always a challenge. Corporations commonly pour “donations” into both Democratic and Republican coffers to make sure they own a piece of whoever’s elected. We all know it’s going to be tough for California’s three Green Congressional candidates: Laura Wells, Kenneth Mejia nd Rodolfo Cortes Barragan.

More choices than Democrats and Republicans

July 12, 2018

Even though I am no longer a candidate, I continue to ask the same question of voters: Why do leaders in the Democratic and Republican Parties prioritize military spending over everything else? Cutting bloated military spending would free up funds to help people, not kill them. Greens value people, planet and peace over profit. Leaders in the Democratic and Republican parties do not.

How the 1968 uprisings gave us the Civil Rights Act of 1968

July 6, 2018

Dr. King’s assassination was the key marker in the transition of a great era of social change, from one where “inclusion” in the broader capitalist system was the general thrust to one where the general focus of the Black fight for equality became a broadly defined “self-determination,” rooted in a recognition of the entrenched nature of racism, not simply as a function of attitudes, but as a method of social control.

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When Democrats aren’t the least worst

July 4, 2018

What will Democrats do when they can’t campaign as the “least-worst” option, then shame and blame anyone who dares to vote Green? Greens are running against incumbent Democrats in three California congressional races with no Republican bogeymen in sight. The names of all three Greens will appear right alongside the Democrats’ names on the November ballot, so voters will readily see that they have a choice besides writing in their cat, their cousin, a Green, or some other marginalized candidate.

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Angela Rye stands by Maxine Waters, slams white Democrats for turning on her

June 27, 2018

CNN commentator Angela Rye didn’t mince words Tuesday, June 27, when she criticized Democratic bigwigs Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer for their rebuke of recent comments from fellow Democratic lawmaker Maxine Waters. Rye bumped heads with Trump official Steve Cortes during what began as a discussion on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s call for Waters to apologize for her statements encouraging people to harass members of President Donald Trump’s administration.

From CPS to ICE, the Separation Nation didn’t begin with these incarcerated babies

June 25, 2018

The violent Separation Nation didn’t begin with this generation — with these babies — or their incarceration — The Separation Nation began with the theft of Turtle Island — and the humans who lived here and thrived on it. As we grieve, show up, demand and scream for the freedom of these incarcerated babies, please don’t get confused by the blur of this present genocidal history. Take a refresher course with me through the violent herstories that built this stolen land – and continue to assist in the realization and manifestation of the most important aspects of what I call the Separation Nation.

Stop the heartless racism on the border: Make justice and decency prevail in our nation

June 20, 2018

As both the political left and right decry the heartless immigration policy that is separating children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, the white evangelical community is proving once again to be the taillight instead of the headline on issues of basic morality and justice. This is not the first time in U.S. history when those among us who most loudly cite from the Bible outright ignore or deny humanitarian crises.

The organized poor: Poor People’s March on Washington and HUD in honor of Dr. King’s March on Washington

June 17, 2018

“We are surrounded by Black cops,” said Leroy Moore, with POOR Magazine and Krip Hop Nation, about the 15 Black cops who surrounded us houseless and formerly houseless mamas, uncles, children and elders from the Poor People’s March when we walked humbly into the Washington, D.C., office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to demand our housing back. “We are here to meet with Ben Carson,” we all said.

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California’s chance to lead for poor children

June 11, 2018

The crisis of deep child poverty persists in California, which recently surpassed the United Kingdom as the fifth largest economy in the world. One in five California children was poor in 2016, and one in 12 children lived in deep poverty. In a high cost-of-living state where the monthly fair market rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is $1,608, many families lack the resources to cover rent and all their children’s basic needs.

‘Went Down to the Rich (White) Man’s House’: Poor and unhoused people march on Washington DC for their lives and self-determination

June 9, 2018

There we were – the unhoused, the evicted, the displaced, the disabled, Black, Brown, Indigenous, poor white, youth and elders on one accord, all colors, all nations, all cultures, all ages, all abilities. The 2018 Poor Peoples March on Washington was originally launched by impacted poor, houseless and formerly unhoused people from the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign 15 years ago. Poor folks walked in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor Peoples March on Washington in 1968.

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OSHA attorney Dr. Darrell Whitman: Whistleblower connects the dots

June 2, 2018

Dear friends and neighbors in Hunters Point: I’ve been reading the questions you’re asking about safety and health in your neighborhood and thought I might be able to point you toward some answers. I was born and lived in San Francisco for many years and know your neighborhood well. I remember when it was a vital part of our city and a good place to live. So, it’s been sad to see how poorly the years and the 1 percent have treated you. You deserve better.

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