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California and the U.S.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg: Fingerprint public housing residents and visitors

August 16, 2013

In this morning’s John Gambling radio show, Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized Davis v. City of New York, a putative class action lawsuit filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) and co-counsel the Legal Aid Society on behalf of plaintiffs challenging the NYPD’s policy and practice of unlawfully stopping and arresting public housing residents and their guests for trespassing.

For Trayvon Martin: How did the world get here?

August 5, 2013

How did the world get here? Did you hear what they said: Another young brother is dead. Meanwhile Zimmerman is set free; how the fuck can this be? A man with a gun killed Sybrina and Tracy’s son. Yet he received an acquittal while Trayvon was only armed with a bag of skittles, showing once again how little America values Black life.

I am an angry Black man

August 4, 2013

I saw nothing in the Zimmerman case that surprised me. The system worked as it was intended. Zimmerman, a White man, was tried by a White justice system for killing a Black boy. The outcome was predictable. Many White people saw this as a non-racial event. As an angry old Black man I have seen the diminution of racism in my lifetime. We are not there yet. It is unlikely that we will get there in the lifetime of my grandchildren.

Trayvon Martin and implicit bias

August 3, 2013

As we continue to struggle with the verdict in this murder case – as the only juror of color states that George Zimmerman “got away with murder” and as the nation lurches through yet another tragic episode that forces us to deal with our racial legacy – new ways of viewing race are surfacing. Social scientists have been studying these issues for decades. Unconscious bias. Implicit bias.

Crossing the Siraat

August 2, 2013

As we take a moment to honor the short but strong life and legacy of El-Hajj Malcolm Latif Shabazz, let us remember that success is truly with Allah. That it is He, the One Creator of everything including human beings, from whence we come and must all return. I pray that Allah ta ala replace any grief with love, strength and peace and guide my words to you and yours.

New Jersey billboard erected night before FBI announcement Assata Shakur 050213

Prisoners urged to sign NCBL petition: Assata is not a terrorist!

August 2, 2013

On July 16, 2013, Assata Shakur’s birthday, prisoners in FCI (Federal Correctional Institution) Cumberland spontaneously showed their strong support for her and the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL), whose online petition calls for Assata’s removal from the government’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list and revocation of the $2 million bounty on her.

Commemorate 1963 March on Washington with plan as bold as original: militant mass shutdown of nation’s capital

August 1, 2013

The original plan for the 1963 March was for a militant mass shut-down of the nation’s capital in order to compel the Kennedy administration and the U.S. Congress to enact immediate federal legislation to end the practices connected with segregation throughout the United States at that time. This proposal had come from the youth wing of the Civil Rights Movement, in particular those grouped in and around the SNCC.

50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington

August 1, 2013

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech resonates with renewed urgency as a national coalition prepares to observe the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. The Realize the Dream March and Rally for Jobs, Justice and Freedom will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The Jackson Plan: Lessons from Jackson, Mississippi

July 30, 2013

Chokwe Lumumba, a veteran of the Black Liberation and New African Independence movements, was elected mayor of Jackson on June 2, 2013. Jackson is the capital of Mississippi and is a city that is over 85 percent Black. If the election of Obama to the presidency of the United States constituted the alleged end of the Black Liberation Movement, the election of Chokwe Lumumba must then represent its resurrection.

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Mass march against police brutality in Anaheim: Basta ya!

July 30, 2013

There was an ocean of signs in a sea of banners of struggle and liberation in front of Anaheim’s City Hall and the adjacent park on July 21, 2013. The signs held faces of those cut down in the prime of their lives in loving memory and detail. There were informational signs and signs with slogans of liberation, with demands, statements of fact and advice – such as “Fuck the system” and “FTP” (“Fuck the police”).

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Acquittal

July 13, 2013

A jury in Sanford, Florida has found George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin. I know I am not alone in my outrage, anger and heartbreak over this decision. When a teenager’s life is taken in cold blood, and there is no accountability for the man who killed him, nothing seems right in the world, but we cannot let these emotions alone rule.

California prisoners launch new hunger strike to protest solitary confinement

July 8, 2013

Hundreds of people held in California prisons are expected to launch their third large-scale hunger strike in two years today. The current strike, announced by leaders at Pelican Bay State Prison on Feb. 14, is seen as a resumption of the large-scale strikes in June and September 2011, when thousands of prisoners across the state stopped eating for days or weeks in order to press for the five demands laid out by the strike organizers.

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Four months after JR’s suspension, problems with racism persist at KPFA

July 2, 2013

KPFA is not living up to its own creed when it ignores the fact that there are more Black people in prison now than were in slavery in 1850. The station is vacillating on whether or not to grant three hours of special coverage to the California prison hunger strike. Pacifica and KPFA are definitely ruining their brand of “progressive” radio with this racist activity. I want to thank all of you who signed the petition to restore me to the airwaves and contacted management at the station and the network on my behalf. But we can’t stop. We must loosen the grip of racism that is killing KPFA.

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Youth prisoners in Washington state will join the California prison strike on July 8

June 30, 2013

Prisoners at Green Hill juvenile prison in Chehalis have announced that they will go on strike on July 8. Their strike in solidarity with prisoners in California and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may take the form of a work stoppage, although a planned hunger strike was previously reported. The Green Hill prisoners have also issued their own demands; some of their demands focus on conditions inside the prison, while some seek justice for ex-prisoners on the outside.

Why Black people understand Rachel Jeantel

June 29, 2013

If ever I thought myself objective and unbiased, the George Zimmerman trial is definitely not that moment. So let’s cut to the chase. Any attorney, jury member, judge or white person in that courtroom is not going to understand Rachel Jeantel. And I don’t expect them to. In fact, I certainly, like my fellow writer Rachel Samara, understand why white people wouldn’t like Rachel.

In the wake of the Supreme Court voting rights ruling

June 29, 2013

“Now more than ever, we, as citizens of this great nation, regardless of your age, gender or skin color must get engaged on issues that are vital to move this country forward. We must pull together and encourage elected officials from the state level to the highest levels of government to enfranchise voters rather than disenfranchise them. The work begins anew, for the future of this country.”

Jackson, Mississippi, Mayor-elect Chokwe Lumumba on economic democracy

June 20, 2013

No one with Chokwe Lumumba’s grassroots organizing experience, and no one who has so openly challenged white supremacy has ever been elected mayor of a major American city. And, as Jackson native, scholar and activist Tom Head has written, he has the distinct advantage of promoting democratic economic policies as both a community organizer and a public official.

What is Juneteenth and why are 42 states and the District of Columbia celebrating it this year?

June 19, 2013

When Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Orders, Number 3, he had no idea that, in establishing the Union Army’s authority over the people of Texas, he was also establishing the basis for a holiday, “Juneteenth” (“June” plus “nineteenth”), today the most popular annual celebration of emancipation from slavery in the United States.

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Trayvon Martin killer George Zimmerman’s attorneys fabricate evidence

June 10, 2013

The trial of George Zimmerman begins today with jury selection. Zimmerman, former neighborhood watch captain, has been free on $1 million bail after being charged with the killing of Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012. During that time Zimmerman’s attorneys have launched an all-out war on Trayvon Martin’s credibility as if the deceased teenager were on trial.

Chokwe Lumumba, son Chokwe Antar, daughter Rukia, supporters celebrate mayoral victory 060513

From ‘Mississippi Goddam’ to ‘Jackson Hell Yes’: Chokwe Lumumba is the new mayor of Jackson

June 10, 2013

In a stunning turn of events, Chokwe defeated Jackson’s three-term incumbent and first African American mayor, Harvey Johnson, the white Republican-financed young Black businessman Jonathan Lee, and others to win leadership of the city with the second highest percentage of Black people in the United States.

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