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California and the U.S.

Honkala to Greens: Democrats, not Russians, stole election in Pennsylvania’s poorest district

July 16, 2017

The U.S. Green Party is holding its annual meeting in Newark, New Jersey, this weekend. Cheri Honkala, Philadelphia Green and founder of the Poor People’s Campaign for Economic Human Rights, addressed the gathering about election theft in Pennsylvania’s District 197, the poorest in the state. She needs to raise $7,000 to take her case to federal court. Since she swore to do so, her tires have been slashed, her life threatened, and she and her family have been evicted from public housing.

Arcata police chief and other city officials hold press conference with mother of slain Humboldt State student

July 12, 2017

Almost three months have passed since the stabbing death of Humboldt State University student David Josiah Lawson, and no one is currently in custody for his murder. The Arcata Police Department and other Arcata city officials held a press conference Friday, June 30, on HSU’s quad. The mother of Lawson was also in attendance along with Shelley Mack of Martin & Mack, a local civil rights firm in Arcata, California. Mack is serving as a liaison for Lawson family attorney Justin Sanders.

Dear Gov. Brown, be a democrat and unleash Medicare for All

June 30, 2017

We can only guess at how few Californians know that you have been resisting Medicare for All legislation the past six years and that you are in cahoots with Anthony Rendon to assure that such a bill doesn’t get to your desk this summer. Do you, hopefully unlike the Republicans in Congress and Mr. Trump, actually believe that we ought to live in a democracy where the will of the people is solicited and honored? Because if you do believe in that notion, even a tiny bit, there is no way you would collude with the Assembly speaker to prevent the Assembly from voting on 562.

Three reactions: ‘The second death of Philando’ by Mumia, ‘The 395 kids Philando Castile left behind’ and ‘Philando Castile’s skin color ended up being a death sentence’

June 29, 2017

The video is riveting. A woman is rapt with rage, her voice slow and controlled, as a cop points his gun at her, as her lover bleeds his life away beside her, and her baby daughter looks on in what can only be called wonder. Philando Castile is dying as a discussion goes on, but it isn’t with him, it’s about him. The cop’s gun quivers and quakes, pointed at this woman, as the cop’s voice also quivers and quakes, fear thick in every breath. The cop, Jeronimo Yanez, has just killed Philando.

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Get ready! The Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March on Washington is Aug. 19

June 27, 2017

Good morning and welcome to Wanda’s Picks, a Black arts and culture program with the African Sister’s Media Network. We are joined in the studio by Robert King, Albert Woodfox and Malik Rahim. Welcome to the show. Today we are going to be talking about the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March on Washington. We can talk about solitary confinement, political prisoners, the 13th Amendment. We can talk about what the need is for having such an event.

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Colin Kaepernick, Philando Castile and the lost wisdom of Roger Goodell’s father

June 25, 2017

When Philando Castile’s killer, Officer Jeronimo Yanez, was found not guilty on Friday – despite the fact that Castile’s murder was livestreamed on Facebook – shock immediately spread from the streets to social media. Some celebrities in the world of sports and entertainment used their expansive platforms to spread the message that a great injustice had occurred. They decried the fact that a man had been killed solely because of a police officer’s reaction to the color of his skin, and there would be no penalty for that killing.

Your internet privacy – a thing of the past?

June 24, 2017

Remember when you were a child and adults told you that you had better do right because “someone” is always watching? They meant God, but these days there is also a human made omnipotence watching your every move. Your internet service provider (ISP) is an all seeing eye in the clouds. That reality is not so new. What is new is that ISPs can legally sell your entire web browsing history to anyone who wants it. They don’t have to ask you first and they don’t have to let you know they did it.

Where are the police in the murder investigation of Humboldt State student David Josiah Lawson?

June 22, 2017

It has been two months since the murder of David Josiah Lawson, a Humboldt State student who was stabbed at an off-campus party Easter weekend. Lawson was a 19-year old sophomore at HSU from Perris, California, in Riverside County. Police arrested 23-year-old Kyle Zoellner at the scene. After five days of preliminary hearings and 17 witness testimonies, Eureka Judge Dale Reinholtsen released Zoellner due to a lack of physical evidence.

Mumia Abu-Jamal: The fall

May 31, 2017

It has been exceedingly difficult to write about the Trump presidency, seemingly crumbling before our eyes. In part that’s because of the sheer pace of new revelations, scandals superseded by new scandals, the inane utterances – and tweets – of the president, a daily cascade of craziness. Part of this is the news media, which rushes at us on a 24-hour clock, with no sense of cessation. Part of it is Trump’s sheer obsession with social media.

Americans can have better healthcare at lower cost

May 26, 2017

In other countries, people enjoy better healthcare at lower cost. Everyone has access to healthcare and average life expectancy is greater. In Canada, with their version of Medicare for All, no one goes bankrupt because of healthcare expenses. In the U.S., healthcare bankrupts more than a million every year. In a recent Kaiser poll, 81 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of all voters supported an Improved and Expanded Medicare for All. What is being done to move us in that direction?

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Positive impact in African American community is key to Democratic infrastructure jobs plan

May 25, 2017

Today, May 25, congressional Democrats and a coalition of progressive organizations representing millions of Americans kicked off the long-anticipated infrastructure fight, launching a massive campaign to create millions of new jobs – and invest billions in much-needed projects in African-American communities across the country. The Millions of Jobs Coalition announced grassroots events across the nation next week touting the progressive plan.

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Gentrification hits Brooklyn House: Sugar Hill DJ Rob ‘Da Noize’ Temple faces eviction

May 24, 2017

When I started Krip-Hop Nation 10 years ago, the first artist I met online and face to face was Rob “Da Noize” Temple of Brooklyn. Since that time, Noize Studio has become a second home for Krip-Hop Nation and the studio that professionally produced and mixed most of my spoken word mixtapes and Krip-Hop Nation’s songs on our six CDs. Now Temple, his studio and family are being evicted as the forces of gentrification are burning and privatizing Brooklyn at a fast pace.

Bay Area leaders join National Mama’s Bail Out Day to highlight inhumane bail practices

May 12, 2017

by Bilen Mesfin Packwood and Layla Crater Oakland – Ahead of Mother’s Day, Bay Area leaders and advocates hosted a press conference as part of National Mama’s Bail Out Day, a coordinated effort to bail out Black “mamas” – mothers and other transgender and cisgender women – who would otherwise spend Mother’s Day in a […]

All charges against Kyle Zoellner dropped in the murder of Humboldt State student David Josiah Lawson

May 11, 2017

Kyle Zoellner, the suspect accused of stabbing Humboldt State University student David Josiah Lawson to death at an off-campus party Easter weekend, was released from Eureka’s jail. All charges were dropped. At the five-day preliminary hearing, I watched Zoellner’s girlfriend and her friends lie under oath. Black lives cannot matter as long as non-black people and their word is held in a higher regard than Black people. Black lives cannot matter within the realm of white privilege so long as the stereotypes of Blackness allow for others to use Black bodies as scapegoats.

Louisiana must decarcerate

May 3, 2017

Louisiana has per capita the highest incarceration rate in the world. This statistic includes comparisons to South Africa, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt. And, with 87 percent of these people being Black, the United Nations Human Rights Council should be investigating Louisiana’s legal system as a rather ingenious form of ethnic cleansing. Louisiana must decarcerate – or accept the fact that this is modern legal apartheid.

Net neutrality: Protecting your right to free speech in the 21st century

May 2, 2017

Along with the phrases “alternate truth” and “fake news,” another phrase, even more ominous, is being bandied about, “net neutrality.” Net neutrality means internet freedom. It means that everyone has equal access to internet content – that is, content and all applications regardless of the source. In other words, the bus that takes you to the mall may not control what you see and where you shop when you get there.

Poor people on Park Avenue?

May 1, 2017

“Hello, we are representing Black, Brown, First Nations and homeless peoples on a Stolen Land Hoarded Resources Tour to share the medicine of redistribution and community reparations.” Aunti Frances Moore, Black Panther, founder of the Self-help Hunger Program of North Oakland and houseless poverty scholar with POOR Magazine and Homefulness, spoke into the security intercom on 745 Park Ave., the first tour stop of the first tour in Lenape Lands of Eastern Turtle Island aka Manhattan.

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‘The public peace’: Race, class, control and the creation of the modern police in antebellum Baltimore

April 28, 2017

On April 19, 2015, Freddie Gray of Baltimore, Maryland, was murdered by officers of the Baltimore Police Department while in their custody. An article published in The Atlantic three days after Gray’s death pointed out the historical precedent for this particular kind of state violence. The author wrote, “Black men dying at the hands of the police is of course nothing new.” The “peculiar institution” of this violent and racist system can be better understood by tracing the lineage of the police back in time.

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Did police and EMT response contribute to Humboldt State student’s death?

April 27, 2017

Saturday morning, April 15, Humboldt State University student David Lawson was stabbed at an off-campus party and died as a result of his injuries. David Lawson, a young Black man, was a sophomore at HSU studying criminology. Elijah Chandler, a friend of David who was present at the scene, gives a chilling recount to reporters of what happened. What is most alarming is the ways in which Chandler describes how the police handled the situation. Humboldt State University, the Arcata Police Department and the community surrounding HSU have blood on their hands and there is no denying it.

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Alleged jaywalker Nandi Cain, 24, viciously beaten by Sacramento cops, abuse continuing in jail

April 26, 2017

Attorney John Burris and his law firm have been retained to represent Nandi Cain, the 24-year-old African American man who, according to Burris, is the “most recent victim of racial profiling by Sacramento Police Department.” Burris said that, “Mr. Cain’s only real crime was ‘walking while Black.’” The victim, Nandi Cain. explains that this ordeal made him feel “degraded, less than a man, ashamed, depressed and humiliated.” Mr. Cain feels that “all the involved officers should be fired” and that he “hopes no one ever has to go through anything like this again.”

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