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Witnesses to a police murder are mysteriously dying

October 17, 2017

As the trial over the police murder of Luis Demetrio Gongora Pat, an innocent, unhoused Mayan father, husband, brother and son who was killed 18 months ago on the streets of San Francisco, approaches, the witnesses to his murder are mysteriously dying. One witness, John Visor, died in his single room occupancy (SRO) hotel room on Aug. 11. Last week another person related to the case also died mysteriously in his SRO room in the same hotel. “It is critical that the death of John Visor be examined by an independent agency to uncover any foul play that might have occurred,” said lawyer for the people Adante Pointer.

Hipsters de-Blacken Oakland, cause the encampments they abhor

October 13, 2017

Gentrifiers, the City and developers all share responsibility for gentrification – the process and system that created the encampments. For years, Oakland leaders wanted to make Oakland a hipster playground. They invested in making Oakland attractive to outsiders – gentrifiers. City planners courted the businesses and high-end condos that catered to them. Making Oakland into a hipster playground meant whitening, or at least “de-blackening,” Oakland. The fact that the “hip” people are mainly white and the people in the encampments mainly Black reminds us that not everyone benefits equally from the “new” Oakland.

Goodbyes hurt the most when the story was unfinished

October 5, 2017

It is with deep regret that I write about the tragic death of Arnulfo T. Garcia, a friend, colleague and former editor of the San Quentin News. My heart goes out to his family, especially his 17-year-old daughter. I can only imagine how she must feel having waited her entire life to reunite with her father only to lose him again. Arnulfo T. Garcia and his sister Yolanda Louise Hernandez were killed in a car accident in Hollister, California. I am most concerned with the fact that a daughter lost her father, a family lost two members in one accident, and we lost a valuable member of our community.

Welcome her home

October 2, 2017

Speech delivered for Mianta by Julia Arroyo of the Young Women’s Freedom Center at the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March Aug. 19, 2017, in San Jose, Calif.: My name is Mianta McKnight. I am the Community Engagement Director at Justice Now. As a person who came home from a women’s prison after serving 18 years and one day on a 15 to life sentence, I realized exactly how important transitional resources and assistance are.

Picking up the torch of abolition: Millions for Prisoners Day of Action!

October 2, 2017

Speech delivered at the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March Aug. 19, 2017, in San Jose, Calif.: We’re out here in conjunction with all the people who are marching in D.C. on this day with the same message. We have a “justice system” that perpetuates the institution of racism in this country through its targeting of the most marginalized communities: people of color, women and the LGBT community.

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Morehouse graduates team up with local rappers for East Oakland charity event

September 30, 2017

Oakland was experiencing unprecedented heat the weekend of Sept. 2, 2017. Yet, many in the East Oakland community still came out of the comfort of their homes and gathered at the Rainbow Community Center. Rainbow Community Center was hosting the first annual Celebrity Basketball Game and Backpack Giveaway. The event was made possible through the collaboration of local rappers and non-profit organizations.

Hope needs a witness and a witness hope

September 28, 2017

We are here together to make a more humane, just, compassionate society. To do so we must first dispel the myth about America. Then confront the self-deception and lies we have come to believe as truths. Move from the illusion into the heartbreaking reality that it is. We will be disoriented. “The very time I thought I was lost, my dungeon shook and my chains fell off,” wrote James Baldwin.

Consultant hired to help the Treasure Island Development Authority consortium dodge legal bullets as it eases low income San Franciscans off the island

September 27, 2017

After 18 years subjecting San Franciscans who were homeless, poor and mostly of color to massive toxic hazards and environmental racism on radiation and chemically contaminated Treasure Island, the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA)’s redevelopment consortium – Five Point, Stockbridge Capital Group, Lennar, Wilson-Meany, John Stewart Co. and other financial interests – seem to be attempting to induce tenants to leave the island while forestalling possible legal roadblocks.

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Lucy Siale: Saying ‘Black Lives Matter’ isn’t enough; we have to act like it

September 25, 2017

On Friday, June 16, as soon as she heard that the cop who murdered Philando Castile was acquitted, 16-year-old Lucy Siale posted on Facebook a call for a Black Lives Matter protest the next day, less than 24 hours after the verdict, at Oscar Grant Plaza outside Oakland City Hall. About 400 people came out. We have to continue because saying “Black Lives Matter” isn’t enough. We have to act like it.

Allen Temple homelessness forum reveals Oakland leaders place low priority on housing

September 24, 2017

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf faced heated questions and comments from attendees at a community forum on homelessness held at Allen Temple Baptist Church on Sept. 22. The discussion went from cordial to contentious when the subject of homeless encampment removal was raised. Many residents of the Deep East Oakland neighborhood were angered by perceived inertia on the part of city and county officials regarding the creation of adequate shelter.

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San Franciscans push back on Tasers

September 15, 2017

More than 100 people turned out for a community meeting on Tasers Tuesday night, first breaking into small groups of roughly 25 each and then convening in a fiery public comment session that at one point erupted into activists chanting, “No Tasers!” and drowning out Police Commissioner Sonia E. Melara’s calls for order. The Police Commission has voted against the use of Tasers three times in recent years – in 2004 and twice in 2010.

The new segregation: Antifa redefines ‘Black Lives Matter’

September 10, 2017

I watched a homeless Black man wander between and among these whites with their “Black Lives Matter” signs. They would make no connection between the content of the signs they strutted and the poor human asking for a dollar to buy a Big Mac. But from the point of view of the homeless Black man, who is still asking for a dollar among the self-conceited crowd at the color-blinded rally, neither group – the anti-fascists nor the Fascists – mean anything to him. The signs communicate their indifference.

DACA repeal protest scheduled for early this evening

September 5, 2017

Demonstrators will amass outside the Federal Building in downtown San Francisco to protest the repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals at 5 p.m. tonight. DACA gave hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants arriving in the U.S. as minors the right to enroll in college, among other privileges typically reserved for citizens. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the repeal of the Obama-era executive order this morning in Washington, D.C.

March with me

September 5, 2017

I have chosen to use a piece of poetry as my editorial for this month. I had not written poetry in years but was inspired after reading an article written in the Bay View by Chinyere Egu, listening to the music of Grand Opus, and spending the weekend with my daughter and grandchildren. Spoken word, whether it came in the form of old Negro spirituals or old school hip-hop, has always inspired our people to move beyond the limitations of our current situation.

Elders speak out at Transit Fair held at City College Southeast Campus

September 4, 2017

“There’s no problem with public transportation in the Bayview if you’re able-bodied, but if you’re not …,” said Beverly Taylor, the facilitator of the recent Transit Fair for Elders at the Southeast Campus of SF City College. On Aug. 8, 2017, the Network for Elders, the Community Living Campaign and Bayview Moves sponsored The Bayview Transportation Fair, the first of its kind in the community. Taylor’s opening remarks expressed the feelings of many of those attending the event.

Xtreme Giveback makes Family Fun Day even bigger and better this year at MLK Park

September 1, 2017

Xtreme Giveback is a non-profit that reaches out to children, youth, families and community needs through educational, health and family events. Our goals are to build strong communities and families. What is important is family, friends and giving back to your community and finding meaning in life. And that’s exactly what it was on Saturday, Aug. 12, at our Second Annual Family Fun Day event held this year at MLK (Martin Luther King) Park and Swimming Pool.

Death camp Treasure Island

September 1, 2017

For those who are trapped here, San Francisco’s Treasure island shares similarities with a death camp they can’t escape. Men, women and children are stricken with tumors and cancers from exposure to radiation, chemicals and lead the Navy dumped into island soil during 50 years training sailors for nuclear war, as well as lung disease from asbestos and mold in the walls of military housing.

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Misconduct and collusion by CPS attorneys in San Francisco Superior Court

August 30, 2017

Parents are people. We are imperfect. We make mistakes. We struggle. And, sometimes, in the heat of the moment we say and do things we do not mean. For Donna Levey, her mistake was calling San Francisco Child Protective Services, or CPS, for support when her family was in crisis. If only she had known that that phone call would come to represent the point of no return. If only she had known that CPS would catapult their family crisis into a life-altering nightmare.

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Thousands turn out to claim victory over the alt-right

August 29, 2017

After days of costly preparation and heated contention, followed by sudden venue and schedule changes, the much-anticipated Patriot Prayer rally never happened in San Francisco Saturday. What actually did occur in that vacuum was a historical show of resistance across the city in several counterprotest gatherings that drew combined crowds rivaling the numbers of people that turned out to protest the presidential inauguration in November. Joey Gibson of the alt-right Patriot Prayer group was nowhere to be found at Alamo Square Saturday, but counter demonstrators and hundreds of SF police officers showed up in full force.

Longshore workers: Shut down the fascists!

August 24, 2017

We longshore workers support the call to action for our union to take the lead for the working class, to stop a deadly threat to the rights and the lives of us all. This weekend, fascist groups plan to stage rallies that threaten to repeat the racist terror of Charlottesville in the Bay Area. We’ve shut down the port against racism, war and police repression. Racists want Charlottesville terror here – It’s up to us to stop it! Assemble on Scott Street in Marina Green on Saturday, Aug. 26, 10 a.m.

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