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California and the U.S.

Formerly Incarcerated People’s Policy Academy launches in Los Angeles

February 4, 2014

Typically we don’t show up to the fight until several of us have been shot. We don’t show up early on not because we don’t care, but because in general we don’t know how. That’s why Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) is establishing a policy academy to increase civic participation by formerly incarcerated people, both locally and statewide. Our first training drew 50 people to the Watts Labor Center in Los Angeles.

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California Homeless Bill of Rights: ‘We’re coming back and back till we get this thing!’

February 1, 2014

On Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP), coordinated its West Coast Days Of Action across three states and 11 cities. From 2005 to 2014, WRAP has worked to build a large people’s movement rooted in and accountable to groups and individuals defending poor peoples’ constitutionally-guaranteed human right to exist in public space, acquire housing and employment, and enjoy equal protection under law.

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Change comes when change is demanded

January 20, 2014

Dr. King led a movement that issued a stirring call for justice. Lyndon Johnson used his remarkable skills to drive an unprecedented response to that call. The prophet and the president were both remarkable leaders. We may not look on their like again. But even so, one thing is still clear: When we build the demand for change, leaders will arise to offer the response.

Cops walk who beat Kelly Thomas to death: Welcome to our world

January 18, 2014

As a Black woman, to hear Ron Thomas declare, “What this means is that all of us need to be very afraid now … Police officers everywhere can beat us, kill us, do whatever they want because it was proven here today they can get away with it,” I automatically want to ask him where has he been?

What Fox News and Hannity blocked me from saying: Mumia as fuel for right-wing agenda

January 14, 2014

In classic Fox form, the interview with me would not be about the case or about the appointment of Adegbile. In the end, the point of the segment was for Fox to call Mumia “a thrice-convicted cop killer” as many times as possible, and to associate that with Debo Adegbile so as to strategically energize a right-wing agenda against the gains of the civil rights movement – following the same pattern as in their successful campaign to decommission Van Jones.

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War on poverty wages on

January 10, 2014

Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon Johnson, lamenting that too many Americans “live on the outskirts of hope,” declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” This will not be “a short or easy struggle,” he stated, “no single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we will not rest until that war is won. The richest nation on earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it.”

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Eric Holder, Arne Duncan tell schools to stop pushing students into school-to-prison pipeline

January 8, 2014

Today, for the first time, the United States Departments of Education and Justice jointly released guidance that outlines civil rights obligations regarding school discipline that schools and districts throughout the country must follow affirming that “racial discrimination in school discipline is a real problem.” The guidance was included in a resource package with guiding principles and a resource guide from the Department of Education.

The City of Big Shoulders: Chicago stands up to Big Tobacco in a big way

December 28, 2013

The city of Chicago made history when it passed tobacco control legislation in mid-December that will regulate where menthol and other flavored tobacco products can be sold. Their bold ordinance will create a flavored tobacco buffer zone and prohibit the sale of menthol and other flavored tobacco products within 500 feet of Chicago schools.

Exoneration only the first step in making amends to the Scottsboro Boys

December 27, 2013

The state of Alabama may be a step closer to exonerating all of the Scottsboro Boys. But as state lawmakers prepare to introduce legislation to clear the youths’ names, Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen warned that it’s also “incredibly important” to ensure today’s criminal trials are free from discrimination that can lead to such injustices today.

The ethnic cleansing of broadcasters from Pacifica continues nationally: Jared Ball speaks

December 13, 2013

The ethnic cleansing of Black and Brown broadcasters off the airwaves this year claimed not only the careers of Luke Stewart, formerly of Washington, D.C.’s WPFW, Weyland Southon, formerly of the Bay Area’s KPFA, and myself, formerly of KPFA, but it also claimed one of its most talented producers, Dr. Jared Ball of WPFW.

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Immigration policy is good policy? If so, for whom?

December 2, 2013

On Monday, Nov. 25, President Barack Obama visited the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco to talk about his Common Sense Immigration Bill slowly making its way through the United States Congress. Immigration is always topical in a country where most of us are immigrants even in the visible absence of its First Peoples.

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Marissa Alexander released from jail just in time for Thanksgiving

November 29, 2013

Marissa Alexander is free from jail in time to spend Thanksgiving with family she has not seen for much of the last three years. The Florida woman – who had been serving a 20-year sentence for firing what she described as a warning shot at her abusive husband – was released from jail Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m. Her bond was set at $200,009. Although no one was injured in the incident, a jury convicted Alexander of multiple counts of aggravated assault with a firearm in 2012, requiring a 20 year sentence thanks to Florida’s “10-20-Life” law.

Kennedy died, but the haters did not win

November 18, 2013

Fifty years ago, on a cold day in Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated. To my mind, what is extraordinary about the Kennedy assassination is that the haters did not win. Instead, crucifixion led to resurrection. As a result, for decades, African-American homes across the nation featured pictures of three people: Jesus Christ, Dr. Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy.

Section 8 housing and public housing tenants at risk

October 29, 2013

Because the Democrats joined the Republicans in allowing the sequestration budget cuts to continue in the latest political deal known as a “continuing resolution” that ended the government shutdown on Oct. 16, it appears to be a very grim situation for Section 8 voucher holders in cities all across the nation. Housing officials claim that 140,000 voucher holders are at risk of losing their vouchers because of the sequestration budget cuts.

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Victory! Ban the Box is now the law

October 24, 2013

Over 10 years ago, All of Us or None initiated our Ban the Box campaign, which aims to prohibit employers, housing providers and other quality-of-life providers from discriminating against people with records. The signing of AB 218, the Fair Chance Employment Act, by Gov. Brown creates enormous potential for California, formerly incarcerated people and the community as a whole.

Revitalizing the demand for reparations

October 17, 2013

The Caribbean Community’s re-igniting of the reparations movement has raised the stakes to decisive governmental direct action. The 15 member regional bloc of nations established its Reparations Commission in July 2013, laying out the strategy for reparations for African enslavement and colonization and genocide of the indigenous populations of the Caribbean against the governments of Western Europe.

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Oklahoma police chief apologizes for 1921 attack on Black Wall Street

October 2, 2013

All too often, apologies are just empty words that aren’t worth the air they ride on. But there are times when an apology actually has meaning and impact. That was the case on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2013, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when Chief Chuck Jordan of the Tulsa Police Department apologized to the Black people of the city for the 1921 attack on “Black Wall Street.”

Democrats cave in to another round of sequestration budget cuts

October 1, 2013

The attack on low-income families in the Section 8 voucher program (Housing Choice Voucher Program) in Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco and across the nation intensified Sept. 27 when the U.S. Senate voted to continue with the catastrophic across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration with their vote for the Reid-Mikulski Amendment No. 1974 to House Joint Resolution 59.

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Police are more dangerous to the public than criminals

September 27, 2013

Every American faces brutal, armed psychopaths known as the police. The “law and order” conservatives and the “compassionate” liberals stand silent while police psychopaths brutalize children and grandmothers, murder double amputees in wheelchairs, break into the wrong homes, murder the family dogs and terrify the occupants, pointing their automatic assault weapons in the faces of small children.

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Amos Brown reflects on the 50th Anniversary March on Washington

September 6, 2013

As the nation celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 50th anniversary holds a special place in the life of the Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, senior pastor at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco and president of the San Francisco NAACP. Fifty years ago, Brown was at the March on Washington as a student from Morehouse College in Atlanta.

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