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Posts Tagged with "California"

Spokesperson Melvin Ray, Free Alabama Movement

‘Let’s just shut down’: an interview with Spokesperson Ray of the Free Alabama Movement

December 2, 2014

My message is not just to the men and women in these solitary holes. I myself am in one right now. My message is to the whole 2.5 million victims of mass incarceration and prison slavery. Everyone! All of us around the country, let’s just shut down. Wherever you are, just stop working. If you are in solitary confinement, spread the word to those rotating in and out. When they try to lock up those who organize and lead the shutdowns in population, don’t even give up.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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When Cynthia McKinney spoke at the Kaos Network in Los Angeles on April 23, 2013, Kathleen Cleaver came with the Freeman brothers, Roland and Elder. They are standing on either side of Kathleen, Elder Freeman between Kathleen and Cynthia. Kathleen had come to California to raise money for Elder Freeman to travel to Cuba for cancer treatment, and her mission was accomplished though he was never strong enough to travel there. With the Panthers and KPFK broadcaster Dedan Kimathi, along with Minister of Information JR, host and organizer of Cynthia’s speaking tour, it was a gathering of veterans of the struggle. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

Salute to the Freeman Brothers! Last testament of Elder Freeman, a giant of a man

November 22, 2014

Here is the story of two legends who gave everything to their people for decades and continued to their last breaths. Salute to the Freeman brothers, Roland and Elder. Elder Freeman was a mentor and uncle-like community figure at whose feet I sat for half my life, learning from him and his comrades fundamental lessons: true African communalism and how to sincerely love Black people through action

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When it comes to solitary confinement, U.S. fails the mice standard

October 27, 2014

Federal agency guideline on the use of solitary confinement: An individual should never be locked in solitary confinement, except as an absolute last resort. Individuals, when in isolated confinement, must have the ability to socialize, to communicate and to physically interact with other individuals. This would be great news for those of us working on solitary reform, except for one thing: this guideline doesn’t apply to humans; it applies to mice.

Corcoran SHU prisoners start hunger strike for decent healthcare; support needed now

September 28, 2014

On Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, three men locked inside unit 4B-1L of the Secure Housing Unit (SHU) of California State Prison-Corcoran started a hunger strike: Heshima Denham (J-38283), followed on Sept. 27 by Michael Zaharibu Dorrough (D-83611), and Kambui Robinson (C-82830) will join them the following day for a few days or as long as he can considering his poor health.

Richmond City Councilmember and Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles

Keeping my eyes on the prize

September 3, 2014

I have recently been the target of attacks from the Chevron-run Richmond Standard and BAPAC, a conservative Black organization that historically sides with corporate and developer interests over the best interests of the people. As an elected official who accepts no corporate contributions, I serve and am beholden only to the people of Richmond.

Ending hostilities means no more violence on the yards – period!

August 30, 2014

I believe that a lot of racial tension in California prisons comes from this: The end of hostilities is being misinterpreted. When I left the SHU, I was asked to explain the end to hostilities even further, and that was for everyone to understand that the end of hostilities means no more bullshit violence on the yards – PERIOD!

That’s Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa in both photos, one taken in 2012 and the other in 1988. – Photo: Adithya Sambamurthy, CIR

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa: Worse than Pelican Bay

August 29, 2014

This place is worse than Pelican Bay State Prison in so many ways. The DRB (Departmental Review Board) lies to the public. They are playing CDCR prison politics as to who they are allowing to go directly to the general population (GP) and who is placed in Steps 1-4.

These photos were taken at Michael Brown’s funeral, held in Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, St. Louis, which was filled to capacity with 4,500 mourners, leaving hundreds more to wait outside. They were taken by The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey and posted to Facebook with the comments that appear beneath them. Enjoy them as we await his print quality photos. Here, a young woman reads a flier that is shown at the end of the story. – Photo: Minister of Information JR Valrey, Block Report

Thousands attend funeral of Michael Brown

August 26, 2014

Slain 18-year-old Ferguson, Missouri, resident Michael Brown was laid to rest on Aug. 25. The funeral was a local and national event with thousands in attendance. Brown was killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, on Aug. 9 while he walked through the streets of his neighborhood. His brutal death from six gunshot wounds fired at close range sparked immediate mass demonstrations in Ferguson that have continued for over two weeks.

Wanda’s Picks for July 2014

July 9, 2014

The Glide Memorial Church family worked wonders at the celebration of San Francisco native Maya Angelou’s life that she requested before she died. They juxtaposed carefully chosen visual moments with prerecorded Maya moments, which made her presence so palatable that the sanctuary lights came under the control of Spirit Maya and played with our collective vision – the room almost dark and the lights flickering off and on.

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Free Imam Jamil Al-Amin! His wife, attorney Karima Al-Amin, tells of the US’ 47-year campaign to silence H. Rap Brown

June 22, 2014

The fiery H. Rap Brown, chairperson of SNCC, minister of justice for the Black Panther Party and one of the original four targets of the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO to neutralize Black power, is presently entombed in the federal prison at Florence, Colorado, one of the world’s 10 worst prisons. Pursued relentlessly since the ‘60s, he was wrongfully convicted in 2002 – the prosecutor bragging that they finally got him after trying for 24 years. His wife, attorney Karima Al-Amin, tells his story on the Block Report.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Palestinian children deliver messages to the ICRC in Gaza City on June 18, calling for intervention on behalf of hunger strikers. – Photo: Ashraf Amra, APA

From Palestine to Pelican Bay, prisoners and their loved ones fight for justice and freedom

June 18, 2014

We know that repression in the U.S. and in Israel are deeply connected and use one another to attempt to legitimize and justify repressive actions and policies. Both Israel and the United States use policing, imprisonment, and especially solitary confinement, and surveillance as tools to keep people and movement down – often sharing weapons, technology and training. Israel plays a large role in the training of repressive police forces in the United States and elsewhere.

The African Development Bank uses this photo to illustrate its call for “concrete action to mitigate famine in the Horn of Africa” during its 50th anniversary meeting in May.

Africa’s betrayal by African leaders

June 8, 2014

Africa’s elite and the elite internationally have concluded the African Development Bank’s 50th anniversary celebrations and annual meeting under the theme: “The Next 50 Years: The Africa We Want.” Over 3,500 delegates, seven African heads of state, the governor of the Central Bank of China and the U.S. deputy secretary of treasury were among the dignitaries. Beneath the confident calm, Africa is on edge, and the participants in Kigali were aware.

Hundreds of California prisoners in isolation to join class action lawsuit

June 3, 2014

On June 2, a federal judge allowed hundreds of California prisoners to join a lawsuit challenging prolonged solitary confinement in California prisons when she granted the case class action status. Class certification allows the case to include all prisoners who are serving indefinite SHU terms as a result of gang validation who have not been placed in a new step-down program.

Californians gaining momentum against prison and jail expansion

June 3, 2014

Anti-prison expansion activists across California have had a busy spring pushing back against controversial expansion plans. Members of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) acted swiftly last month to defeat two legislative bills which would have rammed forward over $4 billion in prison and jail construction money [AB 2356 (Gorell) and SB 1377 (Nielson)].

Wanda’s Picks for March 2014

March 3, 2014

Russell Maroon Shoatz is out of solitary confinement! Hugo Pinnell had his first contact visit in 40 years last weekend. Kiilu Nyasha announced this wonderful news at a reception following the second public hearing on solitary confinement called by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Feb. 11.

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Toxic threats to people of color: Environmental justice leaders meet in Denver Feb. 11-12

February 11, 2014

Juan Parras explains: “Today is the 20th anniversary of Executive Order 12898 to address Environmental Justice in ‘Minority’ and Low Income Populations, issued by President Clinton. We came to Denver to celebrate our successes but, more importantly, we came because the work is far from done.” Mr. Parras and others are attending the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) meeting in Denver this week.

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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Georgia prisoner beaten with hammer fights for justice

October 29, 2013

I am scheduled to go to court on a fabricated charge put in place to protect the correctional officer who assaulted me with the hammer. This South Georgia district attorney has chosen to ignore the law and protect a good ol’ boy who has broken the very law he swore to uphold! Just goes to show you that the KKKonfederates still live in Georgia.

The best of the best, Andre ‘Son of God’ Ward, vs. the lip of the East, Edwin ‘La Bomba’ Rodriguez

October 27, 2013

Dominican-born Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (24-0-16 KOs) needs his mouth washed out with soap for making an obviously inflammatory, untrue, publicity stunt claim that Andre “SOG” Ward (26-0-14 KOs) is “definitely a dirty fighter.” Later, Rodriguez was quoted as having said: “I’m trying to be in a clean sport. I don’t believe he’s (Andre Ward) dirty at all. I think he’s a great fighter ….”

Hunger strikers: Our resolve remains strong

October 26, 2013

Our resolve remains as strong as ever, and we continue to press forward. No one should receive a sentence from a court and then have those responsible for carrying out that sentence exact revenge and arbitrary punishments at their whim. This is the reality that 30,000 men and women lent their collective voice to opposing.

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