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Ayanda Kota with Steve Biko pic

South Africa: Don’t vote for these messiahs

April 27, 2014

Elections should be the season of hope. Steve Biko declared that our fight was for an open society, a society where the color of a person’s skin will not be a point of reference or departure, a society in which each person has one vote. We have the vote – but the political parties do not represent the aspirations of the people. Millions of Black people remain poor and oppressed. When we organize outside of the ANC, we are violently repressed.

Rev. Edward Pinkney speaks Detroit by (c) Daymon J. Hartley, web

Civil rights fighter Rev. Pinkney arrested on trumped-up charges of election fraud for mayoral recall

April 27, 2014

Benton Harbor reminds me of Mississippi in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I have never been one to rave about how much progress my generation has made, but I had hoped to see an end to these horrors in my lifetime. All citizens have the civil right to recall an elected official or initiate a referendum by way of petition. This is our only outlet. Berrien County sheriffs are intimidating, harassing and using Gestapo tactics to infringe on the civil rights of citizens of Benton Harbor.

NUMSA graphic

From Marikana, South Africa, to Oakland, California: The struggle for workers’ power

April 26, 2014

Two decades after the fall of apartheid in South Africa, the ANC-led Tripartite government represents big business’ interests. This has led the government to brutally attack workers who fight back against austerity. Black poverty has worsened. Inequality has worsened. Trade union officials collaborate with employers against workers, youth and the unemployed. Does this sound familiar? Isn’t the situation similar in the U.S.?

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Treasure Island residents listen to testimony Navy meeting 041514 by Carol Harvey

Treasure Island whistleblower fighting retaliatory eviction

April 26, 2014

The City of San Francisco appears to be launching a discriminatory retaliatory eviction targeting its Treasure Island toxin whistleblower, Kathryn Lundgren, and her family. Lundgren, mother of three teens, has repeatedly sounded the alarm outing the City and the Navy for collusion in neglecting to warn her and her unsuspecting neighbors that Treasure Island is a radioactive dumpsite saturated with chemicals, toxic mold, asbestos and lead.

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'Gentrifukation' chalked on sidewalk by PNN

Degentrification Zones, a poor people-led plan to take back this stolen and gentrified land using a twist on ‘the man’s’ killer plans

April 25, 2014

For us po’ people from Oakland to the Bronx caught in the struggle of survival economies, we rarely if ever have the time, energy or resources to stop and examine the system that is criminalizing, incarcerating and gentrifying us out of our own neighborhoods, barrios and communities. But we must, ‘cause if we don’t de-gentrify, if we don’t decolonize, our hoods will die. And we can’t de-colonize without understanding the beast we have been forced to be a part of.

Kagame visit should not go without scrutiny

April 24, 2014

Rwandan President Paul Kagame visited Tufts April 22 to speak on his country’s recovery from genocide, but it’s important to remain aware of the darker parts of Kagame’s tenure. On Friday, April 25, he’s coming to Stanford, and students of Stanford STAND are calling a protest for 11 a.m., prior to Kagame’s speech at the Stanford Graduate School of Business 12-1 p.m. in CEMEX Auditorium. Join them!

The peace that wasn’t: Rwanda 20 years after the genocide

April 24, 2014

I woke up on the morning of April 7, 1994, from a fretful slumber. I managed to walk to the gate of my house. I had to know if there were any other houses left standing. What were all of those screams I heard throughout the night? What would happen now that the president was dead? I was benumbed with fright, but I made it to the gate. I had to know what was left of our neighborhood.

Angola prisoners return from farm work, web

UN Human Rights Committee finds US in violation on 25 counts

April 23, 2014

Recently, the U.N. Human Rights Committee issued a report excoriating the United States for its human rights violations. It focuses on violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the country is party. The report mentions 25 human rights issues where the United States is failing. This piece focuses on a few of those issues – Guantanamo, NSA surveillance, accountability for Bush-era human rights violations, drone strikes, racism in the prison system, racial profiling, police violence and criminalization of the homeless.

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Paul Kagame

France and Rwanda hostile after Kagame accuses France of genocide planning

April 22, 2014

An international argument between French and Rwandan officials broke out this week after Rwandan President Gen. Paul Kagame accused the French of playing a direct role in the political preparation of genocide in an interview with Jeune Afrique. Justice Minister Christiane Taubira canceled her plan to attend the genocide commemoration in Kigali, but then the Rwandan government announced that they had canceled her invitation anyway.

Rwanda 2014: 24 years after the Ugandan invasion

April 17, 2014

Twenty-four years after the Ugandan invasion of Rwanda in October 1990, both the history of the four-year war that followed and realities of life on the ground in Rwanda today are fiercely disputed. Claude Gatebuke survived the violence and founded the African Great Lakes Action Network (AGLAN) to promote truth and reconciliation in Rwanda and the rest of the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

Memphis leads nation in use of deadly force by police, activists charge

April 16, 2014

The Memphis Black Autonomy Federation has asked the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate “a pattern or practice” of misconduct by the Memphis Police Department. Memphis police killed 23 people in 2012 and 2013 – the largest number of people killed by police in this time period in America, the federation maintains.

Sabrina Carter's plywood-covered door nailed shut on eviction day 040814 by PNN

A family destroyed by eviction

April 16, 2014

On Wednesday, April 8, at 9 a.m., after weeks of last minute legal maneuvers, unanswered calls to the mayor and multiple pleas for a pro bono lawyer to save the single mama Sabrina Carter and her three sons from one of the most unjust evictions I have ever witnessed, we were exhausted. The San Francisco sheriffs were outside her door in the Plaza East apartments to change the locks and throw her and her sons into the street.

Navy's boxcar-like containers of radioactive soil Site 6 Avenue M Treasuer Island 1113 by Michael Short, Bay Citizen

Treasure Island radiation cleanup Subsite 6: Fires to put out fires

April 9, 2014

Behind a chain link fence on Site 6’s northern border across Avenue M from the island’s Wastewater Treatment plant, the Navy stores, moves out and continually replaces a trail of thousands of large boxcar shaped containers full of radiologically toxic materials to be shipped off-island. “There have been several (high-radiation) shipments and about a thousand intermodal (containers) of radium waste shipped from Treasure Island.”

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Art student Maria Johnson accidentally entered Treasure Island radiation zones not fenced off 0314 by Carol Harvey, web

Treasure Island Subsite 31: The Chernobyl trees at Mordor

April 9, 2014

Art student Maria Johnson, searching for Treasure Island friends, wandered in “cordoned off areas” to find bus stops.
She “saw many buildings with asbestos hazards laden on them, graffiti made with spray paint and shattered, old windows. It looked very desolate. I am just shocked that we’re allowed to access this ‘normal’ location even though the island is basically contaminated beyond repair.”

USS Pandemonium

Treasure Island: Pandemonium at Halyburton Court

April 9, 2014

Situated at Treasure Island’s northwest corner on Site 12, Halyburton Court consists of a small cluster of vacant 24-unit apartment buildings that, from the 1970s to 1996, housed military families. Considering all possible contamination sources, it is noteworthy that from 1957 to 1969, before Halyburton Court was built, the Navy operated a radiological training school just south along the perimeter facing San Francisco.

Treasure Island Elementary School class 2005-2006

Site 12, Treasure Island’s toxic bullets: Someone’s about to get hit!

April 9, 2014

Think of Treasure Island as an iridescent green glowing ghost ship whose prow divides the blue waves as it navigates San Francisco Bay waters gliding northwest under the Golden Gate Bridge. On the tidy front lawn of your market rate or low income Site 12 rental brought to you courtesy of The John Stewart Co., it is as if you are standing at the bow of the radioactive vessel as it carries its toxic contents ever forward into a stunning red-gold sunset.

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St. Charles Borromeo School, San Francisco, opened in 1894

Systemic racism and abuse of Black student at St. Charles Borromeo School goes to trial

April 8, 2014

On Dec. 21, 2011, St. Charles Borromeo School, the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Principal Dean, Superintendent Maureen Huntington and others were named as parties in a civil rights lawsuit filed in California’s Superior Court on behalf of Mildred Kayondo and her son, who is now 14, yet still suffers from the appalling, repeated abuse and indifference he experienced at St. Charles Borromeo. The jury trial – after nearly two years of litigation by attorneys Richard L. Richardson and Joel Siegal – is now set for July 14.

Rwanda Genocide, 1994

Who killed the Hutu? Remembering the Rwandan Genocide

April 7, 2014

WBAI AfrobeatRadio spoke to St. John’s University Law School Professor Charles Kambanda on April 9, 2011, during the first week of Rwanda’s 17-year commemoration of the 1994 genocide. Pacifica and AfrobeatRadio producer Ann Garrison and Professor Kambanda asked us to republish the audio archive and transcript as the 20th Anniversary Commemorations of the Rwandan Genocide begin.

Chokwe Lumumba at press conf Jackson, Miss. by Rogelio V. Solis, AP, web

Chokwe Lumumba: Dare to struggle, dare to win!

April 7, 2014

On March 8, hundreds of people, especially from the South and particularly Jackson, Miss., came to mourn and reflect on the life of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, who died suddenly on Feb. 25 at the age of 66. Starting with a March 5 tribute at the historically Black college, Jackson State University, Mayor Lumumba’s life was memorialized for several days, ending with the masses lining the streets for his burial motorcade. A collection of tributes to the late great mayor of Jackson, Miss.

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Rwandan Genocide Commemoration clouded by Rwandan president’s criminality

April 6, 2014

Kagame denies responsibility for the assassination attempts even as he welcomes their success, as he did that of his former intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya, who was strangled by multiple assassins. Shortly thereafter, Kagame told a Rwandan audience, mostly in their own language, Kinyarwanda, that you can’t betray Rwanda without being punished.

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