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City should reject Homeland Security SWAT training

January 31, 2017

As the Trump government rolls out executive orders against refugees and other immigrants, Bay Area leaders and residents are bracing for possible cuts in federal grants to sanctuary cities. In our region, these include San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda, which do not turn undocumented immigrants over to federal authorities if they have not committed a crime. But there is one area where we should welcome cuts and reject federal funding: militarized counter-terrorist police training.

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Third Street poles get red, black & green stripes in honor of Bayview’s Black heritage

January 31, 2017

Sunday morning, Jan. 29, San Francisco Public Works began a Bay beautification initiative, painting the poles along the Third Street commercial corridor, from Evans to Jamestown avenues, with red, black and green stripes to celebrate the neighborhood’s African-American heritage. The project was spearheaded by District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, who issued a statement explaining the reasoning behind the painting.

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.

In search of human rights: Is homelessness a crime punishable by lockouts?

January 29, 2017

The Concerned Network of Women partnered with the United Council of Human Services, governed by Gwendolyn Westbrook and Dr. Betty McGee, to issue hand warmers and hot chili to homeless people. On New Year’s Eve, we visited the homeless living under the Cesar Chavez Freeway exit. While under the freeway, we witnessed an eviction notice dated Dec. 29, 2016. Evicting the homeless serves little purpose, other than further implying that homeless people have no human and/or civil rights. Here is one solution: Bring services to the encampment, not locks and chains.

Berkeley: Toying with police accountability

January 29, 2017

It was the first time I’d ever attended a Police Review Commission meeting in Berkeley. Together with nine other community members, we went to express our opposition to three terrible policies of the city government and its police department: 1. Repeated police raids on homeless encampments, 2. City participation in the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center and its domestic spying operation, and 3. City participation in the Urban Areas Security Initiative.

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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.

Two young Ivorian inventors light up the night for rural Africa so students can study

January 28, 2017

According to the United Nations, 700 million Africans don’t have access to electricity most of the time in rural regions, far from urban zones. The “Fondation Energie,” founded by French political personality Jean-Louis Borloo, and the “Energy for Africa” project sponsored by Guinea President Alpha Conde are inspiring inventors to solve the problem. During 2016, two young Africans, Evariste Akoumian and Delphine Oulai, presented their responses.

Marcus Garvey Park in Oakland reclaimed for community housing and services by homeless residents, activists

January 27, 2017

At 4 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, a network of Oakland community members took over Marcus Garvey Park, moving in small homes, a hot shower, a healing clinic and other services – declaring it a people’s encampment for those who need housing and basic services. The group, which includes folks living on Oakland streets, activists from #FeedthePeople and #Asians4BlackLives and individuals from the community, said the move-in demonstrates their ability to provide what the City of Oakland cannot to its most vulnerable residents.

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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.

Fleeing family or teen dating violence? Here’s A Safe Place for you

January 26, 2017

A Safe Place is Oakland’s oldest domestic violence agency and Oakland’s only shelter for those who are suffering from intimate partner violence. The mission at A Safe Place is to end domestic violence by providing battered victims and their children with a safe shelter and resources to break the cycle through outreach and education. We also have a burgeoning Teen Program in which we hope to provide education and preventative services to youth about teen dating violence and family violence.

Following community pressure, SF Supervisors postpone vote on controversial Urban Shield, citing concerns of militarization and Trump administration

January 26, 2017

In a small victory for the Stop Urban Shield Coalition earlier today, the Budget and Finance Committee postponed voting on an item to allow San Francisco to apply for federal funding that ultimately goes toward the militarized SWAT training program and weapons expo known as Urban Shield. The program is funded by the Department of Homeland Security through the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grant.

Women march against Washington

January 25, 2017

They covered the streets like rain; women – in hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions. Millions marched in almost 700 cities in the U.S. and in world capitals. Millions against Trump. Millions against Trumpism. Who knew that it would be this vast? To paraphrase Trump, “It was huuuuuge!” They demonstrated by their incredible numbers that women are a force to be reckoned with.

Lighthouse Bank vice chairman leads assault on Richmond and Mountain View voters and renters

January 24, 2017

Stephen D. Pahl of the Pahl & McCay law firm, who is also a founding organizer and vice chairman of Lighthouse Bank in Santa Cruz and an ex-officio member of the board of directors of the California Apartment Association (CAA), is directly involved in the assault against Richmond voters and the voters of Mountain View who voted to approve rent control and just cause eviction protections last November.

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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Camp 120 in front of City Hall is protesting Mayor Lee and DA Gascón’s failure to charge SFPD killer cops

January 20, 2017

To honor the call for 120 hours of direct actions to uphold the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., local community organizers have been camping out in front of San Francisco’s City Hall until Jan. 20, 2017. Camp 120 is occupying space in front of City Hall to highlight the ineffectiveness and inaction of DA Gascón and Mayor Ed Lee regarding the heightened policing of Black and Brown residents by the San Francisco Police Department.

Fifty-five years after Lumumba’s assassination, Congolese see no relief

January 20, 2017

One of the most devastating U.S. interventions was the overthrow of the democratically elected leader of the Congo, Prime Minister Patrice Emery Lumumba, in 1960. That overthrow has been devastating for the Congolese people, because not only did the U.S. overthrow and assassinate the democratically elected leader, but they also imposed a dictatorship on the Congolese people for over three decades, and it has crushed and destroyed the country and the people.

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.”

Citywide homeless people’s assembly Tuesday to honor Martin Luther King

January 15, 2017

Homeless people and their allies will be honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign and Resurrection City on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 12:00-2:30 p.m., at Civic Center Plaza. They are gathering as part of Martin Luther King Day protests occurring across the West Coast, including Denver, Sacramento, Salinas, Oakland and Portland, to highlight increased criminalization of homeless people and to protect the rights of poor people, along with the Reclaim MLK Day 120 Hours of Action.

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