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As the powers-that-be forge ahead relentlessly to realize this architect’s rendering of Treasure Island that will enable mega-developer Lennar Corp. to house and entertain millionaires and billionaires with fabulous views, these wealthy, connected politicians are fully aware that the current residents stand in the way of their vision and enrichment. John Stewart’s working class market rate renters as well as subsidized at-risk-for-homelessness folks have few resources. Some have become the canaries in the coal mine, sick from the radiation and other deadly toxins that may never be removed. Their swift punishment for speaking out is engineered by the movers and shakers who fear they’ll alert potential buyers to the chemicals and radiation lurking in the groundwater under the luxury condos soon to be built.

Treasure Island whistleblowers face immediate retaliation from power broker consortium

July 25, 2016

The truth about the radiation and chemicals that poison Treasure Island has been deliberately hidden from view since 1941, when the Navy began using the island as a trash dump. To conceal the extent of the toxicity and the poisoning of many sailors and civilians, recent plans to redevelop the island have required powerful players to shroud activities there in an even thicker fog than the mist that daily crawls under the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Retired Judge LaDoris Cordell, a member of the three-judge Blue Ribbon Panel, reads from the report on discipline, transparency and other SFPD issues. – Photo: Connor Radnovich, SF Chronicle

San Francisco Civil Grand Jury and Blue Ribbon Panel rip SFPD for racial bias

July 21, 2016

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Law Enforcement has released its final report detailing its year-long investigation into issues of potential bias in the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). The panel found that the SFPD is in need of greater transparency, lacks robust oversight, must rebuild trust with the communities it serves, and should pay greater attention to the potential for bias against people of color, with respect to both its own police officers and members of the public.

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Paula Beal, who was recently forced out of her home by a sudden 27 percent rent increase and who has seen her seven children, 27 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren displaced out of Oakland, is the subject of an April 21, 2016, story in the London Guardian called “Oakland's housing crisis: ‘I’m the last one here. I don’t know if I can stay or go.’”

Oakland displaced housing activist Paula Beal speaks

July 19, 2016 talks to Oakland-based housing activist Paula Beal, who is herself a displaced senior, about the lack of affordable housing, a crisis in Oakland. She talks about the struggles that homeless displaced people go through in this town, her recent demonstration at the door of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and what people can do to assist displaced families and to support the fight for affordable housing in Oakland. Paula says: “Right now … it’s a housing crisis! … From 2010 to 2015, 50,000 people have been evicted,” 5,000 already this year, just in Oakland.

In Ferguson, Uncle Bobby talks with Ron Davis, father of Jordan Davis, and Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin, on Aug. 27, 2014. – Photo: Kumasi Aaron

Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby speaks on Alton Sterling, Phil Castile, Obama, Dallas and OPD – now with full transcript

July 18, 2016

Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, aka Cephus Johnson, speaks about the recent police execution of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Phil Castile in Minneapolis. We talk about the role of new media in exposing these two cases. He also discusses Obama’s response to the police executions of Black and Brown people and his inaction. We also discuss the Dallas sniper killing a number of police officers last night in response to the rampant police terrorism plaguing the Black communities of the U.S.

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At a converted movie theater in the Mission, an anti-racism event called Let’s Take Action drew a mostly white packed house on July 12. – Photo: LaRon L. Barton

Whites face race: Let’s talk and act

July 16, 2016

“Let’s Take Action,” a think tank organized by Los Angeles native Michael Morgenstern and New York transplant Joe Conte, aims to bring people together who may have a tough time talking about race but want to do something about the conditions they see. When I decided to attend this function, I had one question on my mind: Why now? Why all of a sudden are whites caring about the deaths of Black men in America at the hands of police?

Iris Canada loves her home at 670 Page St., where she has lived since the 1950s, when her neighborhood was part of the renowned Fillmore, Harlem of the West. Once nearly all Black, it has been gentrified and is now nearly all white. – Photo: Sydney Johnson, KGO-TV

3 days away: Eviction fighter Iris Canada marches toward her 100th birthday

July 10, 2016

In three days, Iris Canada turns 100. Did you expect to live this long? Did you imagine bearing witness to the Black community’s dwindling to 3 percent of the population of San Francisco? In your dreams, did you think that your building would be sold and that you would have to endure an Ellis Act eviction whose sole aim was to extricate you from your home? Iris, with a voice so soft – tell me.

All his life, Muhammad Ali made time to lift the spirits of young people, stopping often to spar playfully with them, making them feel like champs. Here he is on Canal Street in New Orleans on July 31, 1978. – Photo: AP

Muhammad Ali visits kids at San Francisco Juvenile Hall

July 7, 2016

From 1983 to 1993, I taught Bible to teenaged felons housed at San Francisco Juvenile Hall. Teaching teenaged felons with lives on hold due to youthful anger, ignorance and mistakes was a challenge but also a lot of fun. However, what made me good at what I did was in part due to a stabbing I witnessed away from the facility and a special moment I missed out on when Muhammad Ali came up to the SF Juvenile Hall.

Attorneys from the powerful law firm of John Burris, from left, DeWitt Lacy, Lateef Grey and Adante Pointer, listen to Burris speak at a Dec. 11, 2015, press conference on the SFPD execution of Mario Woods. Burris’ firm is among the most prominent and successful firms in the U.S. in holding police accountable. – Photo: KRON4

More on the Bay Area police sex scandal from civil rights attorney Adante Pointer

July 1, 2016

This disgusting Bay Area Police sex scandal has victims speaking out about the abuse they have received from the hands of sworn police officers. Many of these victims are confessing that they were underage during some of these sexual encounters. The community wants these criminal cops held accountable! Here is the second part of my interview with attorney Adante Pointer. Hear the encouraging words he has for the victims and what he believes we need to do as a community to bring justice to these victims.

To remove 30 percent of Hunters Point Hill – in order to create a grade separation between the poor Blacks and Samoans living in public and subsidized housing and the mostly white, upscale buyers they wanted for their condos – Lennar drilled for months into the serpentine bedrock, releasing arsenic and asbestos, both deadly. – Photo: Paul Chinn, SF Chronicle

Dr. Raymond Tompkins: How and why does pollution poison Bayview Hunters Point? Conclusion

June 30, 2016

The air has gotten worse, not better. So these are some of the things that are caused by the dust, the construction and the latent chemicals they have not cleaned up since World War II – plus the current concentration of light industry just outside our neighborhood that all blows into our neighborhood. Yet currently less than 1 percent of African Americans who live in Bayview work in that area and reap the economic benefits. All we get is the pollution and death.

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Vigils have been held outside Iris Canada’s apartment building at 670 Page, near Fillmore Street, for the last several evenings to try to convince the other “tenants in common” to waive the $164,000 in attorney fees the principle owner paid in a failed attempt to put her on the street. Then he won a court order to collect the money from Iris. Because they know she doesn’t have it, the villains in this saga are in effect calling for her eviction. – Photo: Tony Robles

99 seasons: A vigil for eviction fighter Iris Canada

June 29, 2016

Carved into the skin of San Francisco’s Black community is a desecration, a lack of recognition of the sacred. This desecration is being levied upon Iris Canada, a 99-year-old elder who has lived most of her life on Page Street – an elder who is in the fight of her life. She lived a life on Page Street long before condos, con-men and the poison cloud legacy they leave behind from places like New Hampshire – “home” of her landlord, Peter Owens.

Family and supporters of the Justice and Honor for Luis Góngora Pat Coalition listen stoically at John Burris’ law firm’s press conference at St. John the Evangelist Church in the Mission June 17. – Photo: Poor News Network

Mayan resistance to police terror

June 29, 2016

“Get on the ground! Get on the ground!” Moving in slowly like they were on a hunt, high-powered weapons pointed down, the descendants of slave-catchers aka police stalk an indigenous man crouching on Shotwell Street holding a soccer ball. They shout disgustedly and dismissively in English from the video screen; my heart stops. I try to keep watching, reminding myself I need to wear my reporter hat instead of my trauma-filled police-terror-from-my-life-of-houselessness blanket. We are watching the extrajudicial murder of Luis Demetrio Góngora Pat by San Francisco police. Why did they kill him? “He was a homeless man.”

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Oaklanders have been protesting constantly against the coal shipments since they learned of the dangers.

Oakland City Council votes to ban coal exports

June 28, 2016

On Monday, June 27, the Oakland City Council voted to approve an ordinance that would ban coal from being handled and stored in the City of Oakland, including a resolution to apply the ordinance to the proposed Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal. The council will hold a second vote on that ordinance at their July 19 meeting. Community members and advocacy groups applauded the council’s action.

Adante Pointer

Attorney Adante Pointer speaks on Bay Area police underage sex scandal

June 26, 2016

A predator who takes pleasure in sexual behavior with a minor has no place on any police force, period! The worst type of criminal is the one who wears a badge. No one is above the law. Check out what civil rights attorney Adante Pointer, with the law offices of John Burris, had to say about this underage sex scandal currently disgracing many Bay Area police departments. About Celeste Guap, Pointer says, “These officers knew that she was underage and that she was vulnerable and sought to exploit her vulnerability for their own interests.”

Lynette Gibson McElhaney

Oakland City Council President Lynette McElhaney weighs in on OPD sex scandal

June 25, 2016

Oakland City Council President Lynette McElhaney has been one of the few fearless voices inside city government who is speaking out about the outrageous and unthinkable sex scandal where more than two dozen officers from law enforcement agencies all around the Bay had sex or inappropriate dealings with a young woman in the sex trade. Here she is in her own words.

Since the Clinton era destruction of the safety net that provided public housing, “welfare,” low college tuition and other programs, many young women have had little choice but “the life.” No photo of Diamond is being published to protect her safety and privacy.

Babies on the blade: ‘Diamond’ speaks out on police and young prostitutes

June 25, 2016

“Police are some of our best customers,” stated Diamond, 29, as we sat and talked. Diamond is one of the many names she goes by while working as a prostitute now in cities throughout the Bay Area. With the recent Bay Area police sex scandal, involving the sexual exploitation of Celeste Guap, much of it when she was a minor, it is important for victims of sexual violence to speak out! Here is Diamond’s story.

President McElhaney is a strong advocate for West Oakland, which in 1930 was home to 280,000 Black people and the center of Black life in the Bay Area. Today, Blacks are being pushed out by intense gentrification. To boost the spirits of those who remain, she attends “Friday Night Live,” a tradition of block parties on Fridays in various West Oakland neighborhoods during the summer. In 2014, she restored the funding and the fun, evenings of music, basketball, chess and dominoes, barbeque and children playing. “We want this to be the normal,” she says. – Photo: Max Gibson

City Council President McElhaney speaks on West Oakland conflict between developer and neighbors

June 23, 2016

There are concerns cited by the 2015-2016 Grand Jury report about my representation of the community’s concerns with a proposed development adjacent to my home. Prior to my election to office, an out of town investor purchased a historic Victorian house next to my home with the stated intention to rehabilitate it. The neighbors welcomed the promised renovation of the home and volunteered to keep watch over the site.

At last November’s Maafa Film Festival, Elilta Tewelde, Eliciana Nascimento and Kele Ntoto listen to fellow panelist Adimu Madyun, who is an award-winning filmmaker. – Photo: Wanda Sabir

Oakland’s Prosperity Movement fights gentrification by supporting local culture

June 18, 2016

Prosperity Movement, an Oakland-based group of artists and activists, is using its platform to promote peace and prosperity in a changing Oakland landscape. The group’s founder and front man, Adimu Madyun, makes it his mission to use art as a way of educating local youth and adults, who he says are bearing the brunt of gentrification in their native city.

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Oakland City Council President Lynette McElhaney

Oakland City Council President Lynette McElhaney speaks on OPD pedophile scandal – now with full transcript

June 17, 2016

Oakland City Council President Lynette McElhaney discusses the most recent sex scandal sweeping OPD and other Bay Area law enforcement agencies, where over two dozen officers and agents had sex or inappropriate dealings with the same underage girl. Councilwoman McElhaney equates sex work with slavery. She also stresses the need for the community to help organizations that support women and girls who have been abused by the sex industry.

An architect’s rendering of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin re-proposes toxic ‘special sauce’ for Treasure Island – George Lucas’ memorabilia museum

June 13, 2016

A “space mountain,” “a behemoth,” “a colossus,” “a palace for Jabba The Hut” and “a half-baked baked Alaska” – that’s how columnists have described George Lucas’ $400 million 300,000-square-foot Museum of Narrative Art, a collection of Americana and Hollywood memorabilia. On May 16, 2016, San Francisco Supervisor, Aaron Peskin, appeared on CBS Bay Area talk show “Matier in the Morning,” where he reintroduced Treasure Island as a site for the project.

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Ten families, the owners and operators of 10 small businesses on MacArthur – BlackArthur in Deep East Oakland – lost everything in a mysterious fire in the wee hours of the morning on May 21. This photo was taken at 4 a.m.

From fires to foreclosures: BlackArthur (MacArthur Blvd) displacement crisis

June 10, 2016

“No one in the neighborhood believes that fire was an accident,” continued Donald about the recent tragic three-alarm fire that completely destroyed 10 small and very small thriving businesses on 73rd and BlackArthur. Along with the eradication of people’s long-time rented and owned homes through all means of politrickster moves and paper trails which the youth skolaz reveal in their report, local businesses are under attack.

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