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Brightline joins Midtown residents and ALRP to file the biggest rent control petition in San Francisco history

February 9, 2014

On Monday, Feb. 3, residents of Midtown Park Apartments, joined by civil rights nonprofit Brightline Defense, legal services provider AIDS Legal Referral Panel and over 50 supporters, filed the biggest rent control petition in the history of the City and County of San Francisco. The petition requests protection against unlawful rent increases and evictions for 139 low- and moderate-income Western Addition households.

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Sonoma State University president seeks to impose new $500 annual fee on all students

February 9, 2014

President Ruben Armiñana is on a fast track to announce a $500 annual fee increase for all students at SSU. He has set up a number of Associated Students-controlled meetings starting Feb. 6 with the goal of informing his decision by Feb. 15. Experienced SSU observers believe that he has already made the decision to impose the fee and is just going through the motions of consultation required by CSU policy.

Dan Gertler flips DR Congo’s Atlantic Coast oil rights for huge gain

February 8, 2014

This week’s mining and business headlines reported that Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler turned a nearly 30,000 percent profit by buying the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s oil rights in waters off its Atlantic Coast in 2006, then selling the same rights back to them six years later. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to anti-corruption and resource theft watchdog Global Witness and filed this report.

Marcus Garvey, the African Union, the African Diaspora

February 5, 2014

In the year 2014, as we recognize this as the centennial year of the Jamaican, Caribbean born Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey’s (born Aug. 17, 1887, died June 10, 1940) founding of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League in 1914, Pan Africanists need to hold conferences to discuss the conditions of over 1,200,000,000 Africans and people of African descent.

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Midtown residents fight potential displacement

February 4, 2014

Nearly 100 residents of Midtown, representing virtually every household at a vibrant and diverse low and moderate income community in the Fillmore District, submitted a petition to Mayor’s Office of Housing Director Olson Lee asking him to withdraw his termination of Midtown’s 45-year-old lease with the City and County of San Francisco. Later that same day, Director Lee, a former Redevelopment Agency official, gave Midtown residents his answer: No.

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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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Joe Debro on racism in construction: A study of the manpower implications of small business financing

February 3, 2014

All the ingredients of human bondage and denigration which characterize Anglo treatment of minority peoples in the United States are also present in Oakland, California. A study of Oakland’s socio-economic situation demonstrates, as the Kerner Report and many other similar queries have done throughout the country, that the poor are cut off dramatically from the middle and upper classes.

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Marcus Books launches ‘Keep It Lit’ campaign and vows to remain a lighthouse for our community

February 2, 2014

Marcus Book Store is in the midst of a grassroots campaign – from Jan. 20 to Feb. 20 – to raise a million dollars in 30 days. Personally I am committed to reaching out to the people directly. The power is still in the people. Exercise your power. KEEP Marcus Books LIT! For the next 30 days we would like everyone to memorize and repeat the mantra, “Please, donate $20 in your own name and HELP ten others do the same! Thank you.”

Block Report: Plots, plans and the Dan Siegel campaign

February 2, 2014

The Block Report is in a rebuilding phase after being unjustifiably banned from the Pacifica airwaves under a plan engineered by former Pacifica lawyer and current Oakland mayoral candidate Dan Siegel. One of the main campaigns we are working on right now is to expose Siegel’s pro-police history to the left leaning crew that supports him in his Oakland mayoral campaign.

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John Stewart management evicts cancer surgery patient for having care provider

February 1, 2014

I’m writing to express what I believe to be fraud by The John Stewart Co., which manages the Martin Luther King Marcus Garvey Square cooperative apartments where I lived for 26 years. I was evicted for having a care provider in my home. To demand a thorough investigation of the fraud at King-Garvey, I’m asking all who read this to call HUD Operations Director Angela M. Corcoran: (415) 489-6400.

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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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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We stand with our sister: Stop the attacks on Myrlande Liberis-Pavert and the Lavalas Movement

January 31, 2014

On Friday, Jan. 17, it was reported by news agencies that a Haitian judge investigating the assassination of Jean Dominique, a crusading Haitian journalist who was killed in 2000, recommended the indictment of former Sen. Myrlande Liberis-Pavert, a founder and former director of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy, along with eight others. No legal documents to sustain these charges have been made public.

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Filed Under: Haiti and Latin America
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Appeals court rules 7,000 New Orleans teachers unfairly laid off post-Katrina

January 31, 2014

New Orleans teachers who lost their jobs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina were wrongfully terminated and deserve two to three years of back pay, an appeals court ruled Jan. 16. The ruling affects more than 7,000 teachers who were fired and comes after years of legal wrangling, The Times-Picayune reported. Katrina catalyzed the ground-up remaking of the New Orleans public school system, of which the mass layoffs of thousands of teachers was just one part. The layoffs also destabilized neighborhoods.

Andy Lopez coalition blasts DA Ravitch and SRPD for refusal to release report or indict Deputy Gelhaus

January 30, 2014

In what increasingly appears to be a concerted whitewash of the Oct. 22 shooting of 13-year old Andy Lopez by Deputy Sheriff Erick Gelhaus, DA Jill Ravitch and the Santa Rosa Police Department (SRPD) continued to maintain an impenetrable cloak of silence blanketing the “investigative report” into Deputy Gelhaus’ murder of toy gun touting Andy Lopez.

The rich ride for free, the po’ get po’liced: Mayor Lee orders Muni sweeps

January 29, 2014

“People are evading their fares. We are only here because the mayor wants to cut down on all the crime,” Officer Carrasco barked at me, while issuing a citation for alleged fare evasion to a young African-descendent student on his way to school. This young brother was one of over 25 people caught in a “sweep” – read invasion – of a Muni bus, who were pulled off the bus so citations could be issued.

Richmond’s people to people delegation: How beautiful is Cuba!

January 29, 2014

“Cuba is neither the hell that our enemies like to pretend it is nor the paradise that our friends wish it to be, but a country which struggles just like many others.” This is the assessment of our Cuban tour guide during the last day of our 10-day, 10-person people to people visit to Cuba in December 2013, led by the mayor of Richmond, California, Gayle McLaughlin.

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Filed Under: Haiti and Latin America
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IRS attacks Cuba-supporting IFCO for fiscally sponsoring Viva Palestina

January 28, 2014

In addition to condemning IFCO for its support of Viva Palestina, the IRS has also attacked our years of solidarity work with Cuba. In both instances our legal advisor eloquently described work we have historically done to advance the struggles of oppressed people for justice and self-determination. The projects we support and operate have faithfully furthered our mission and our organization’s tax-exempt purpose, as it was originally described.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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Cuba and Miami announce record low infant mortality rates – Cuba 30% lower than Florida

January 28, 2014

“Florida’s infant mortality rate is at an all-time low,” reports the Tampa Tribune. So is Cuba’s, according to Prensa Latina.
In Miami, the infant mortality rate dropped from 6.4 out of every 1,000 live births in 2011 to 6 in 2013. “State health officials credit improved prenatal and infant health care for the good news,” says the Tribune. By that measure, Cuba’s prenatal and infant health care must be much better than Miami’s, where 34 percent of the population is Cuban.

Three months since the police killing of 13-year-old Andy Lopez

January 24, 2014

When we got to the memorial site at the park, just to the right, Andy’s mother, Sujey, started crying, then wailing loudly. Her husband held her as she buried herself in his chest and arms. A small group of women surrounded them, as tortured sounds of grief poured out of her, heart-rending sounds that I cannot really describe. Some of us formed a loose circle around them. Everyone was quiet.

Peacekeepers depend on the Pentagon, in South Sudan, CAR, DRC, Uganda, Rwanda

January 23, 2014

The Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan all share borders. Each of these three countries is now engulfed in tribal or religious sectarian violence, and Uganda, a longtime U.S. military partner, has troops in both the Central African Republic and South Sudan. U.S. Special Forces have been on the ground with Ugandan troops in both countries since 2011.

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