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Hundreds marched Saturday, July 12, to protest District Attorney Jill Ravitch’s refusal to indict Sheriff’s Deputy Gelhaus for the murder of Andy Lopez. The march was called “Ravitch Says Justified, The People Say Homicide!“ – Photo: Daniela Kantorova

Andy Lopez inspires the people to rise up, to defend! educate! resist!

July 13, 2014

When I first heard about Andy, I had no doubt that there would be no justice coming from the D.A.’s office; it will come from the people. Expecting the D.A. to provide justice in this case would be like asking Israel to stop shelling Palestine. The oppressors will never police themselves. But what did give me hope was seeing the people rising up in Santa Rosa demanding an end to state terror.

A Palestinian boy inspects the damage following overnight Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City. – Photo: Mohammed Omer

Gaza: Nowhere to run

July 12, 2014

I am writing this as ambulance and rescue crews continue to search for bodies. Gaza is currently enduring one of Israel’s heaviest bombings. In the last hour, during and after Iftar, the meal breaking the daily Ramadan fast, 80 air strikes were launched on Gaza, according to Israeli sources. These strikes targeted homes, streets, schools, mosques, governmental buildings, greenhouses and agricultural fields.

Justice sought for Black woman savagely beaten by CHP officer

July 11, 2014

More than 23 years after the videotape release of White uniformed LAPD officers beating unarmed Black motorist Rodney King in 1991 – which sparked civil unrest in Los Angeles and throughout the country in 1992 – the savage beating of 51-year-old African American woman Marlene Pinnock by a yet to be named White California Highway Patrol officer on the Santa Monica Freeway on July 1 was captured by cell phone video. A community is outraged, civil rights and community leaders are planning a protest and the victim’s attorney is demanding justice.

10 arrested blocking trucks sent to shut off water services in Detroit

July 10, 2014

Detroit activists concerned about the massive water shutoffs across the economically devastated city blocked entrances into the yard of Homrich, a firm given a nearly $6 million contract to terminate services for hundreds of thousands of people. The firm was hired by emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who was appointed by right-wing Gov. Rick Snyder, who forced the city into the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history a year ago.

Sixty-five million left out of July 4 celebration

July 5, 2014

Over 65 million people in the U.S., perhaps a fifth of our sisters and brothers, are not enjoying the “unalienable rights” to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” promised when the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. They are about 20 percent of our U.S. population. This July 4 can be an opportunity to remember them and rededicate ourselves and our country to making these promises real for all people in the U.S.

Oscar Grant III hugs his daughter Tatiana in this 2007 photo.

Jury denies damages to father of Oscar Grant

July 3, 2014

The father of Oscar Grant III, whose shocking death at the hands of a transit police officer was memorialized in the award-winning film “Fruitvale Station” was denied damages yesterday by a federal jury. The jury found that the father – who had been in prison all of his son’s life – failed to show he had a close familial relationship with his son and failed to prove the officer intentionally harmed his son for reasons “unrelated to legitimate law-enforcement objectives.”

Hunters Point to Treasure Island: From the frying pan into the fire

July 2, 2014

Gentile, soft-spoken Sandy Agee represents a group of African-American Bayview Hunters Point residents who thought they escaped radiation and chemicals that the Navy dumped at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, turning it into one of the nation’s most radioactive EPA Superfund sites. They discovered the Navy also carpeted their refuge, Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay.

Yuri Kochiyama – Photo: Kamau Amen-Ra

Yuri Kochiyama: A life in struggle

July 1, 2014

Her name was Yuri, a Japanese woman born in the United States. I hesitate to call her a Japanese-American, for to do so suggests she was a citizen. In light of how she, her family and her community were treated during World War II, especially after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, to call any of them citizens would be an exaggeration. Yuri Kochiyama, freedom fighter, after 93 summers, has become an ancestor.

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Campos, Adachi and tenant advocates seek right to legal representation for any tenant facing eviction in San Francisco

June 30, 2014

In the midst of San Francisco’s affordability crisis, where evictions of tenants in rent controlled housing units have skyrocketed, Supervisor David Campos, Public Defender Jeff Adachi and tenant advocates are asking the City of San Francisco to fund enough attorneys to provide a right to counsel for any tenant facing an unlawful detainer eviction.

Daryle Washington on the job at Recology

Noose hung on Recology worker’s job

June 29, 2014

Daryle Washington is the victim of a racist employer who has jeopardized his ability to provide for himself and his five children. According to Mr. Washington, he is not the only one mistreated by this employer, Recology Corp. of San Francisco. There has been a pattern of poor training, physical stress, injuries and emotional distress of racial jokes and remarks, as well as nooses placed in full view of Black employees.

Berkeley public housing residents protested for years but were finally evicted or threatened with eviction by Charles Ramsey until they left “voluntarily.” – Photo: Alexander Ritchie

Eviction attorney Charles Ramsey wants to be Richmond’s next mayor

June 28, 2014

Eviction attorney Charles Tillman Ramsey is in the race to be Richmond’s next mayor. Competing candidates include Mike Parker of the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), City Councilman Nat Bates, and Uche Uwahemu, CEO of Cal Bay Consulting Group LLC. Voters will choose when they go to the polls in November for the next general election.

Every week, as some 3,000 additional families’ water is shut off by their “public” utility, Detroiters protest on Freedom Friday. – Photo: Ryan Felton

‘We are hiding out with no water’: Detroit privatizers deny poor people their right to water

June 28, 2014

In March 2014, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department announced it would begin shutting off water ser­vice for 1,500 to 3,000 customers every week if their water bills were not paid. Thousands of families are now without water. A coalition of grassroots groups submitted a report to the United Nations naming these shut-offs as a violation of human rights.

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For the first time, on the night Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger executed his old body-building competitor, author Stanley Tookie Williams, on Dec. 13, 2005, a huge crowd, largely Black youth, rallied outside San Quentin’s gate in opposition, vastly outnumbering death penalty supporters. A month later, Clarence Ray Allen was executed, but since then, public and legal pressure has, in California, held off the blasphemous act of killing in the name of God. – Photo: Minister of Information JR Valrey

The Death Penalty: Killing in the name of God is the ultimate act of blasphemy

June 27, 2014

The Death Penalty is one of many signs of a society that is morally deter­iorating, especially a society that proclaims an affinity with God and the Holy Scriptures. First of all, there’s nothing in the Holy Scriptures which gives moral support and/or credence to the implementation of the Death Penalty. This is a man-made evil, and it is this spiritual contradiction that will eventually condemn us all to a spiritual and moral death.

Kali Akuno at Jackson Rising on Laura Flanders Show 052014

Jackson Rising launches Cooperation Jackson to end economic exclusion and build community wealth

June 26, 2014

The Jackson Rising Organizing Committee and Cooperation Jackson sincerely thank all who attended and all our supporters for helping to make the New Economies Conference a total success. You, along with more than 500 other participants, helped to secure the legacy of the Lumumba administration and establish a solid foundation for the development of Cooperation Jackson as a vehicle to build economic democracy in Jackson, Mississippi.

Freedom Summer Youth Congress logo, web

Mississippi Freedom Summer Youth Congress: Once again youth are the swinging fist

June 26, 2014

Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference is underway! Join us through June 29 at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss., as we bring everything full circle. Just as in 1964, young people will be at the center of the Freedom Summer 50th commemoration with their own Youth Congress. The Youth Congress will cover topics like voting rights, education, healthcare and workers’ rights, but with a definite nod to a younger audience.

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Members of Project WHAT! mobilize to Sacramento to oppose more jail funding. Project WHAT! is led by youth who have had a parent incarcerated and sponsored by Oakland-based Community Works West.

The story behind the 2015 California Budget Act

June 25, 2014

​In mid-June, Gov. Brown signed the Budget Act of 2015, which shows no vision for the future of most Californians. In total, this budget underestimated the amount of resources available, overestimated the cost of vital programs, and chose spending on debt service, rainy day funds and prisons instead of the people of California and the vital services they need.

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Troy Williams at College of the Redwoods

At Sista’s Place, Troy Williams finds the liberty and justice he was denied for 27.5 years in prison

June 25, 2014

This is a story about music, radio and the connection to the human spirit. The date is Jan. 10, 1992, and Troy Williams and his cellmate at Pelican Bay Prison are using wire to make an antenna for a radio. Williams was looking for something on the radio he was familiar with, but as usual he was greeted by a flurry of country music. This particular night however, Williams and his cellmate were fortunate.

Kevin Weston’s wife and daughter, Lateefah and Lelah, the love of his life, sat in the front of the well attended memorial service for this great writer and editor. It was held Saturday, June 28, at the Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco. The community must make sure that we do all we possibly can for the family of a man who gave so much to Black journalism, ethnic journalism and youth media. Contributions to help his family pay massive medical bills can be made at www.GoFundMe.com/makeitrain4kevinsfamily or mailed to Lateefah Simon, Rosenberg Foundation, 131 Steuart St., Suite 650, San Francisco CA 94105. – Photo: Malaika Kambon

Kevin Weston, maker of media-makers

June 24, 2014

Kev seemed almost immortal to me. Two weeks before he passed, I went to hang out with him at his house. I could see the sickness visibly eating at him, but when he opened the door, his eyes lit up, and he smiled like in the old days. I believe wholeheartedly that Lateefah’s love kept his immune system intact as long as it was. I had to write this so his family could know the giant that Kevin Weston was to me. Salute to one of the greatest editors that I know. Salute also to Lateefah for giving Kev a love he’d never seen before and for showing that there is still such a thing as Black love.

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Parents and Children of African Descent (PCAD), led by Berkeley students, march down University Avenue on Malcolm X Day, a school holiday in Berkeley, demanding equity to close the large achievement gap for Black students. – Photo: Laura Savage

Berkeley parents rally for equity for Black students

June 20, 2014

Parents and Children of African Descent (PCAD), which advocates for equity and results in education, and other organizations sponsored a march and rally on Malcolm X Day, which is a school holiday in Berkeley, in support of accountable results by BUSD to close the achievement gap between Black students and their peers. “I have had zero Black teachers,” says ninth grader Nya Sandeford. “If you definitely believe that something needs to be changed, then fight for it. Don’t just sit back and let things happen.”

At an anti-FIFA protest on Mother’s Day, May 11, a mother fights police trying to arrest her son. She cries: “We cannot accept that the working poor youth continue to be terrorized and murdered throughout the whole country by the military police. Nor can we accept that every time we decide to lift our voices against injustice, we decided to protest and speak out, the state calls ‘security forces’ to repress us. They treat us like criminals, accuse us of ‘conspiracy,’ ‘vandalism’ etc. No! We are not criminals! We do not accept the criminalization of social struggles! We demand the right to free expression! We demand that all the arrested protesters be released, all charges against protesters be removed and all convictions be reversed so that no political activist is criminalized!”

Brazil: Who is the World Cup for?

June 17, 2014

The World Cup used to be a news item solely for the sports pages. Times have definitely changed! More than 30 billion Brazilian Reals ($13.5 billion) have been taken from the state budget to fund the Cup! In response, Juventude Marxista (Marxist Youth) are promoting the campaign “Public, Free and for Everyone! Transport, Health, and Education! Down with Repression!”

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