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California and the U.S.

Standing Rock invaded, Oceti Sakowin Camp evicted

February 23, 2017

Late yesterday, Feb. 22, law enforcement invaded the main camp at Standing Rock, Oceti Sakowin, to evict the water protectors who had been desperately trying to move everything from the flood plain, where thousands of people were camped just a couple of months ago. During the invasion, all media were cut off and about 10 mediamakers arrested, possibly including the Bay View team. Prayer ceremonies were held on Wednesday, and part of the camp was set on fire before the eviction began. A couple dozen people are still remaining at the camp, which water protectors say sits on unceded Sioux territory, giving them a right to remain.

Wherever you are, you too can strike a blow against the Dakota Access Pipeline

February 18, 2017

The fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline takes many forms. Any blow that can be struck must be struck. Not everyone can make it out to the frontline here in Oceti Oyate. But everyone can divest. Divestment is the withdrawal of funds from organizations that finance the pipeline so that they feel financial pressure to withdraw their support. Individual divestment has already drained over $67 million from pro-DAPL banks alone. The work at Standing Rock also needs many hands. Are you ready to get on the bus to Standing Rock?

Black newspapers, now more than ever, must boldly tell the truth

February 18, 2017

Today, reading the current reporting and editorials of the large, white-dominated, corporate newspapers, I have a sense of déjà vu. But now it is not just the newspapers of the Southern segregationists that are spewing lies. The “alt right” haters have gained a prominent voice in the national discourse, and they are on their way towards gaining even greater influence, with Steve Bannon entrenched in the White House. So now, as much as ever, the voices of the Black newspapers are needed to combat the evil we face.

Standing Rock: Come help, come prepared

February 14, 2017

The Army Corps of Engineers has issued a Feb. 22 evacuation order to the Standing Rock Water Protectors, in accordance with President Trump’s executive order that the pipeline construction proceed. On Feb. 11, I spoke with Dawn Neptune Adams, a Penobscot Native who arrived at Standing Rock on Feb. 10. This is her third trip to support the Water Protectors. The people who are still here are the strong ones. They still stand. So come help, but come prepared.

Trump declares war on the media: Build the Bay View to fight back

February 4, 2017

Since long before the mainstream media was willing to acknowledge the reality of mass incarceration, systemic racism and economic inequality, the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper has been challenging the dominant narrative by amplifying the voices of people on the margins of society, particularly Black people, poor people and prisoners. Now, more than ever, independent media like the Bay View is in danger as the Trump administration has declared “war with the news media.” In order for the Bay View to continue speaking truth to the abusers of power, we need your financial contribution.

America’s continued exclusion of Black-owned businesses: Open letter to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao

February 2, 2017

If President Trump’s $1 trillion plan materializes in some shape, form or fashion, highly capable Black contractors will be virtually shut out of public sector contracting as they were during George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s administrations. Qualified Black-owned businesses received a disproportionate sliver of federal stimulus contracts, creating a rising chorus of demands for President Barack Obama’s administration to be more inclusive and more closely track who receives government-financed work, which they did not.

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The Black Panther Party and Black anti-fascism in the United States

February 2, 2017

Fascism has been thrust into the mainstream political vocabulary of the United States since the election of President Donald Trump on a platform grounded in xenophobia, corporate dominance and right wing white nationalism. If the growing resistance movement to Trump’s fascism is to realize its potential for societal transformation, it must draw from the deep well of Black anti-fascist resistance.

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‘The US Mail is not for sale’: Union victory over Staples and postal privatization

February 1, 2017

Five years ago the Post Office began a series of moves aimed at the step-by-step privatization of the U.S. Postal Service, the country’s largest unionized employer. One such move was a 2013 program to farm out postal window services to so-called “postal counters” at 500-plus Staples office supply stores. The American Postal Workers Union confidently swung into action, with an ambitious campaign to beat back the Staples challenge.

In a county with more babies than any other, childcare comes at a cost – and not just for parents

February 1, 2017

In California, childcare for infants costs as much as tuition in the University of California (UC) system, according to new data from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. In 2014, parents of infants in California spent an average of more than $13,300 on childcare. That year, UC tuition and fees were just over $13,200. At the national level, all eyes are on college affordability. But the lack of affordable early childhood options has even more dire long-term consequences.

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Custer died for their sins

January 30, 2017

Gen. George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) paid the ultimate price for the sins of certain white people of his time who committed damn near every type of crime against humanity upon the indigenous peoples of this country. So much so that many different tribes of indigenous peoples came together, some who were sworn enemies, to fight and defeat their common oppressor. Here in 2016, once again, many different tribes of indigenous peoples, and not just from this country but from around the world, have come together to defeat their common modern day oppressor.

Californians urged to sign up for health insurance as Jan. 31 enrollment deadline nears

January 28, 2017

You still have time. That’s the message Covered California officials are broadcasting across the state, encouraging residents to apply for health insurance before open enrollment ends Jan. 31. “We’re still open for business, and we want every eligible Californian to enjoy the protection and security that comes with having health insurance for themselves and their families,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said.

Why I had mixed emotions about the Women’s March

January 26, 2017

Millions turned out on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches around the world. I wasn’t one of them. I very much recognized the need for the united front against a new administration whose policies stand to infringe upon the rights of women, people of color, immigrants, the disabled and members of the LGBTQ community. And yet, I still had deeply complex feelings about how I, as a Black immigrant woman, fit into the equation.

FBI, the political police

January 23, 2017

When FBI director James Comey dropped a propaganda bomb that blew up the 2016 presidential election and probably changed how the U.S. will be governed for some time to come, he wasn’t acting for the Russians. Comey wasn’t acting as an individual rogue actor either. He was acting in the tried and true tradition of the FBI as a political police agency that uses its authority – legally, illegally and effectively – to intrude into the political processes of our country. One hallmark of what we like to think of as our great democracy is the separation of the police and military from our political processes.

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Former BPP members say, ‘NO! In the name of humanity we refuse to accept a fascist America’

January 19, 2017

We call upon ALL people to sign and ACT on the Call from RefuseFascism.org which appeared in the Jan. 4 edition of the New York Times and the following week in the Washington Post. Today the Fascist pig Trump, his pick for attorney general Jeff Sessions and the rest of those who make up the Trump-Pence regime – this whole legion of doom is shouting: “Law and Order!” as they threaten to force people to respect the police – respect their whole way of governing and ruling … or else.

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In a fiery statement, Congresswoman Barbara Lee announces inauguration boycott, promises to lead the resistance

January 19, 2017

In 2001, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., was the one and only member of Congress who voted to oppose authorizing the Bush administration to use military force in response to the 9/11 attack. She called the vote and the authorization a “rush to judgement” and warned it could lead to blank checks and endless war. Lee emerged as a resistance leader to George W. Bush’s agenda and now she’s stepping up to lead the resistance again, saying she will not be a part of normalizing “the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party.”

Wise words from Dr. King, a revolutionary thinker who practiced what he preached

January 16, 2017

Here are some quotes I think are apropos for today’s political reality, which shows what a revolutionary thinker Dr. King was; even better, he practiced what he preached. “When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

New study shows Covered California consumers saving and paying much less than expected for quality health care coverage – deadline Jan. 20

January 11, 2017

A new independent study by The Commonwealth Fund found Covered California consumers are protecting themselves from rate changes and paying much less than the average price of plans by shopping for the best value. The study looked at the policies Covered California consumers purchased between 2014 and 2016 and found the average price paid in each year has been between 11 and 15 percent less than the average price of the plans offered.

The politics of oppression

January 4, 2017

The late Eldridge Cleaver, minister of information of the Black Panther Party, once said that when fascism comes to America, it won’t need a swastika; it’ll be singing Yankee Doodle Dandy – and waving American flags. Welcome to the New Fascism – unleashed will be the most racist, vicious and nationalist forces in the country. That’s what “America First” really means. (Guess who’s last?) “New Fascism” – also known as Trumpism.

Disgraced former HUD secretary vouches for Trump pick Ben Carson to run HUD

January 4, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Ben Carson as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and, former disgraced HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson supports and vouches for Ben Carson to take his old job, according to the Dallas Morning News. Having Jackson endorse Carson is troubling. In May 2004, as secretary of HUD, Alphonso Jackson made headlines across the nation when he stated “being poor is a state of mind, not a condition.”

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We are all connected, from Standing Rock to Oakland

December 31, 2016

The snow shined against the afternoon sun. The multicolored flags bearing the images of our ancestors rippled and flapped in the afternoon breeze as the “Po’ Folx Delegation” from POOR Magazine and Decolonize Academy rode in on a rented four-wheel drive car. After a long, harrowing journey from Huchuin, Ohlone (Oakland, California), in two planes and a rental car we finally arrived to find an avenue of flags from hundreds of nations across Mama Earth, including our favorite, where we piled out of the car to take our first picture, the RBG flag of Black liberation.

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