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Mayor Ed Lee makes one of many pledges to support Marcus Book Store as he shakes the hand of co-owner Greg Johnson. Mayor Lee knows that Marcus Books is not only the oldest Black book store in the U.S., but it is the only Black business to survive Redevelopment devastation of the once thriving, world renowned Black Fillmore District. It’s not too late. “We are asking Mayor Ed Lee to step up and actually do the right thing and save this crucial landmark we all need,” Greg says. – Photo: The Foghorn, USF

What’s next for Marcus Book Store?

August 2, 2014

The purpose of this particular article is to clear up misconceptions that have surfaced about Marcus Book Store. By now, most people are aware that in May 2014 San Francisco Marcus Book Store became the site of a tragic event: The store was ransacked and dismantled in broad daylight by the people who acquired the building in a bankruptcy sale. Their action was part of an overall scheme to publicly embarrass our family and dismantle an African American-owned legacy business recently designated by City officials as a cultural landmark. The Sweisses are accountable for their actions, morally and legally.

“Black August Memorial, Black August Resistance” – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 1859887, Clements Unit, 9601 Spur 591, Amarillo TX 79107

Black August Memorial, Black August Resistance

August 2, 2014

Black August Memorial (BAM) is a 31-day salute to New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalists (NARN) who advanced and improved our struggle for New Afrikan liberation. BAM is important to me because we get the honor of uniting with the NARN. We get a chance to prove our level of endurance, dedication and commitment in struggling in the way of first-rate freedom fighters and we should take advantage of the opportunity given.

Several Jericho Conference delegates were able to visit renowned poet and political prisoner Mondo we Langa. From left are Norman Mogodishu, Linda Kennedy, Mondo we Langa, Dequi Kioni-Sadiki and Billy X Jennings.

Free all political prisoners: National Jericho Movement Conference, new effort to free Mondo

August 1, 2014

The Jericho Movement is stepping up its work to free political prisoners, especially those caught in FBI Director Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO web. Nineteen members of the Black Panther Party are in prison today. Collectively they have been incarcerated for 800 years. Jericho has long been a supporter of Nebraska’s political prisoners, Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa (né David Rice) and Ed Poindexter, known as the Omaha 2.

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The unholy alliance between Belize and Israel: A commentary for freedom

July 31, 2014

The unholy alliance between the Belizean governments both past and present with the occupiers of Palestinian land, the so-called state of Israel, is one of the biggest failures in Belize’s foreign policy. It will surely go down as the disgraceful use of elitist power which defies our socio-historical experience, morality and diplomacy strategies. The modern state of Israel is a recent imposition.

Oakland City Council postpones vote on WOSP gentrification scheme

July 30, 2014

On July 29, the Oakland City Council surprised observers by postponing a final vote on the West Oakland Specific Plan (WOSP) without setting a new date. WOSP is a massive redevelopment scheme spearheaded by some wealthy investors planning to gentrify the old Oakland Army Base and major portions of West Oakland that are cynically being called Opportunity Sites, and at first reading on July 15, the City Council voted 7-0 to approve it, with only Desley Brooks abstaining.

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Sandy Agee testifies before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June. “What can we do?” she asks. “There are more sick people out there.”

The Sandy Agee story, Part Two: We love Treasure Island, but we don’t want to die

July 30, 2014

After working vigilantly to protect her kids from asbestos by moving out of an asbestos-filled home in Bayview Hunters Point onto Treasure Island, Sandy Agee found she had literally jumped from the frying pan into the fire. At this writing, Sandy and two of her children are exhibiting worrisome physical symptoms they developed only after moving to the island. Sandy’s blood tests came back positive for “thyroid problems.”

A new life for Sundial Park

July 29, 2014

Reclaiming Hilltop Park, better known as Sundial Park, as a neighborhood destination has been a long time coming. Through dedicated local advocacy, an active community of neighbors and productive partnerships, this park will finally be seeing a new life in Bayview Hunters Point. Come to the community meeting on Wednesday, July 30, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Joseph Lee Recreation Center, 1395 Mendell St.

Connecting the dots throughout the world leading to economic empowerment

July 29, 2014

From now on we are going to connect each and every city and nation that has significant numbers of members of the African Diaspora. We will begin to communicate on a regular basis and plan economic projects to employ more and more workers and build more and more wealth via entrepreneurship. These dots of people of African descent will become the envy of the world. Oh, how resilient we have been. Now we will not only survive but begin to thrive.

The people of Black Wall Street, the Greenwood District of Tulsa, look around at the devastation of the entire 1 square mile neighborhood after the smoke cleared. Many of their neighbors had died; estimates range from 300 to 3,000, proponents of the larger number citing stories of a mass grave. – Photo: Tulsa Historical Society

Survivors of Black Wall Street race riot still haven’t received any reparations

July 28, 2014

Some financial observers attribute the Black community’s economic woes to our unwillingness to financially support Black businesses. Well, back in 1921, in a Tulsa, Oklahoma, community named Black Wall Street, a dollar circulated 19 times before leaving the community. That was before a white mob destroyed the town. Given the ferocity of the attack and the complicity of Oklahoma police, one would think that by now survivors would’ve been compensated for what they endured, but they haven’t been.

This is the front page of The Black Panther newspaper that came out Aug. 28, 1971, the day of George Jackson’s funeral, alerting mourners to attend; 8,000 came.

Special assignment: George Jackson funeral

July 27, 2014

I was working at Central Headquarters of the Black Panther Party (BPP) when George Jackson was murdered by guards in San Quentin Prison in 1971. George Jackson was one of the leaders of the developing Prison Rights Movement at the time. He helped develop a new consciousness among prisoners based on political education, service to the community and the destruction of the evil capitalist system.

The Christian nonviolence organization Pax Christie writes: “There is a refugee crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border and a war in Central America and Mexico against children … (They) are making a perilous journey north, … fleeing from the countries with the highest murder rates in the world. … Undocumented children have become the new scapegoats. … Do not deport these children. Protect them. Help them reunite with their families. Welcome the stranger. Welcome the children.”

Child refugees: When children are ‘the enemy’

July 27, 2014

I’ve been watching for days now as media reports display the growing hatred at the arrival of Central American children across the Mexican-U.S. border. American voices crackle with bile as they begin the drumbeat for their immediate deportation. They are refugees from want and war, almost all the result of U.S. interventions in Central America in support of murderous military governments and the mindless drug war.

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California’s death penalty is cruel, unusual and ‘arbitrary’

July 26, 2014

A federal judge issued a stunning decision July 16, holding that the dysfunctional administration of California’s death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. As Judge Cormac Carney, a Bush appointee, found, systemic delays result in execution of only a “random few (who) will have languished for so long on Death Row that their execution will serve no retributive or deterrent purpose and will be arbitrary.”

Will current clinical trial mean the end of sickle cell disease?

July 25, 2014

For as long as she can remember, Marissa Cors has had to learn to live with regular bouts of excruciating pain. Marissa was born with sickle cell disease, a nasty genetic condition where red blood cells, instead of being smooth and round and flowing freely, become rigid and sickle shaped, clumping together, blocking blood flow and causing pain and organ damage. In the U.S., it affects around 100,000 people, most of them African Americans.

Monica Lewis-Patrick of We the People of Detroit speaks out against cuts to water services for poor residents during July 18 rally and march in downtown Detroit. – Photo: Rasheed Shabazz

Hundreds of protestors flood Detroit streets to protest water shut-offs

July 25, 2014

Hundreds marched in the streets of downtown Detroit on July 18 to protest water services being shut off for thousands of residents too poor to pay their utility bills. Nurses organizing the demonstration declared a public health emergency and called for a moratorium on the water shutoffs, a violation of human rights. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department announced a brief reprieve.

The Trail for Humanity send-off rally in Oakland’s Fruitvale was more determined than celebratory – the adults resolute, the children a little apprehensive – as they prepare to walk 300 miles to the U.S.-Mexico border. – Photo: Al Osorio

Trail for Humanity: Mothers and children walk from Merced to the border

July 24, 2014

Cindy Cristal Gonzalez and Valeska Castaneda Gutierrez are young mothers and college students, deeply proud of their ancestral roots and motivated to help their people. The two worked together with a network of activists, and on Tuesday, July 22, they put their plan into action: mothers and their children walking 300 miles for 30 days to the border to draw attention to the mass deportations, imprisonment and suffering of our people.

Paris activists clash with police following a ban on pro-Palestinian rallies.

From Gaza with pain – and dignity

July 23, 2014

It is hard not to cry watching the unfolding horror in Gaza – children with heads blown off, a pregnant woman with her body torn by a shell, babies with missing limbs, targeting of playing children, targeting hospitals, targeting ambulances and even a handicap center, killing two handicapped children. Israeli forces then ratcheted up their attacks committing large scale massacres in places like Shujaia and Beit Hanoun.

Using Twitter to challenge Twitter on workforce inclusion-diversity data

July 23, 2014

This week, Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Color of Change launched a Twitter-based social media and online petition campaign to hundreds of thousands of their subscribers demanding that Twitter release its EEO-1 workforce diversity inclusion data and convene a direct dialogue with SF Bay Area community partners on solutions and strategies. On July 23, a few days after the launch, Twitter finally delivered its “pathetic” data.

Eric Garner, father of 6, killed in chokehold by NYPD for selling untaxed cigarettes

July 22, 2014

“They will try to scandalize the deceased,” Rev. Al Sharpton said of the NYPD and what he anticipated they would say. “The issue is not about an unarmed man selling cigarettes … It’s about a man who was subjected to a chokehold and is no longer with us.” At that point, Esaw Garner collapsed and had to be held up by Sharpton and Rev. Herbert Daughtry. All of Garner’s relatives were in pain and weeping as they left the stage. Sure enough, at a press conference, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton began his remarks by citing the arrest record of Garner and explaining that the police were there to apprehend Garner for the sale of illegal cigarettes.

Bigoted bullying at Richmond City Council meetings aims to end progressive leadership

July 21, 2014

After the Richmond City Council meeting of July 1, I experienced one of the most intense and hostile encounters I have had to endure as a public official and in my entire life for that matter. Since then, there has been at least one news report and a series of deliberate misrepresentations of what took place that night. It is not my intention to respond to false accusations raised or dignify the insults with a response.

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In memory of Andy Lopez: Turn a negative into a positive

July 18, 2014

I am proposing that a fund or funds be set up in memory of Andy Lopez to help students, especially Latino students and other disenfranchised students of color, who are in need of financial support and are struggling to achieve the goal of higher education. I strongly urge that the district attorney, the sheriff, the City Council and the Board of Supervisors, as well as all law enforcement agencies, contribute to these efforts.

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