June 14, 2012
On Thursday, May 31, the Stockton, Calif., families of James Earl Rivera and Luther (Champ) Brown hosted a rally co-sponsored by Occupy Stockton and Oakland. The purpose of the Stockton rally was to protest the police murders of James Rivera, age 16, and of Luther Brown, age 32.
June 14, 2012
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity (PHSS) will be organizing community actions to commemorate the one year anniversary of the California prisoners’ hunger strike, which began on July 1, 2011. As a part of these community actions, we plan to have some visual images that express aspects of what it means to be in solitary confinement.
June 12, 2012
Today, residents throughout the state celebrate as AB1270, a bill to lift the media access ban in California prisons, passed the Senate Committee on Public Safety in a 4-2 vote. Since 1996, media have been prohibited from choosing their interview subjects inside prisons, and nine versions of this bill have been vetoed by three different governors.
June 9, 2012
Most people do not know enough about the Black Panther Party, which was founded at Merritt College in Oakland in October of 1966 by Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton and Chairman Bobby Seale. This happening is important to Black history nationally and worldwide because the Panthers were and are an example of Black people fighting for self-determination no matter the cost.
June 7, 2012
CDCR Deputy Director Stainer said that the STG (security threat group regulations) will replace the six-year inactive status program – big whoop! Yeah, it will but it will have the same end result. Only this time, we’ll all be bouncing back and forth like a ping pong ball between step 1 and step 2, all while we’re in the same cell until we die.
June 5, 2012
The SAFE California Act to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole will be on the November ballot in California. Here are the perspectives of three men on San Quentin’s death row. Kevin Cooper writes: “Please don’t get me wrong, as I have my say concerning this SAFE California Act. I am not in favor of capital punishment either! But I do know that there has to be a better way to end capital punishment within this state than the SAFE California Act.”
June 2, 2012
The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a federal lawsuit Thursday on behalf of prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison who have spent between 10 and 28 years in solitary confinement. The legal action is part of a larger movement to reform inhumane conditions in California prisons’ Security Housing Units (SHUs) dramatized by a 2011 hunger strike by thousands of prisoners.
May 29, 2012
Tobacco-related diseases kill more Blacks than AIDS, violence and other non-tobacco related cancers combined. Over 160,000 African Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in this year alone. Whether it is from breast, prostate or lung cancer, The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council urges all Californians to Vote Yes on 29!
May 27, 2012
On May 22, brave prisoners at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison began a hunger strike. A recently released prisoner discusses torture at Red Onion: “having your fingers broken, being bitten by dogs, being strapped to beds for days, being forced to defecate on yourself – I mean all of this has led to these men demanding to be treated as human beings.”
May 25, 2012
The guard confiscated four items: 1) a document titled “So That We Don’t Fool Ourselves — Again: Study Notes on Secure Communication”; 2) an article titled “History is a Weapon! Black August Resistance,” by Watani Tyehimba; 3) an article from Prison Focus newspaper, which included a picture of George Jackson; and 4) the photocopy of “Blood in My Eye.”
May 23, 2012
The increase in hunger strikes in state prisons throughout the United States, inspired by the courageous examples of Ohio and California prisoners, show we don’t fear death or persecution, but minimizing losses is a part of wise strategy. We struggle to win. Unnecessarily losing some of our best minds to indeterminate isolation won’t help this purpose.
May 23, 2012
On Tuesday, May 15, the bereaved family members of Alan Dwayne Blueford eloquently addressed those members of the Oakland City Council who were present, seeking justice in a case that is looking suspiciously like a criminal assassination of the 18-year-old student in his senior year at Skyline High School. He was due to graduate in June.
May 19, 2012
On May 12, Sonoma State University awarded honorary doctorates in humane letters to former Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill and his wife Joan, paid for with a $12 million “donation.” On the same day, William Penn University awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, despite his army’s atrocities in Rwanda and Congo.
May 17, 2012
His name is almost legendary: Russell “Maroon” Shoatz, an affiliate of the Black Panther Party, activist and Black revolutionary.
May 10, 2012
I am sure that I speak for all cancer victims, cancer survivors and their families in voicing our wholehearted support for Prop 29. We want to unleash the power and creativity of California’s best and brightest researchers. Contrary to your comments, Dr. Porter, this funding will stay in California, but hopefully all Americans will one day benefit from the discoveries made in our great state.
May 7, 2012
On March 24, 2012, Leonard “Mousy Brown” Fulgham passed away while in the custody and care of the California Department of Corrections. His obituary read: “Mousy’s formative years occurred during the period known as the Black Power Struggle and the Civil Rights Movement … This man’s presence will forever be felt, missed and recognized by the masses!”
May 7, 2012
The name Beasley has rung true in the streets of Bayview Hunters Point since before the Double Rock housing projects were built in the 1950s. Of all of the Beasleys, there was none who controlled the streets like James Beasley Jr. James tells his amazing story in the soon-to-be-released autobiography and documentary entitled “Deep Rooted.”
May 6, 2012
DeBray “Fly Benzo” Carpenter. He was busted on Oct. 18, 2011, by two of SFPD’s finest, John Norment and Joshua Fry, for (gasp!) participating in a community organized rally while playing a boom box in Mendell Plaza in the heart of Bayview Hunters Point. For speaking out against police brutality, especially the SFPD murder of Kenneth Harding last July, he was brutally arrested, tried and now is barred from Mendell Plaza by order of Judge Jerome T. Benson.
May 6, 2012
Hundreds of men at Calipatria State Prison in the Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) participated last year in the Pelican Bay State Prison hunger strike that spread statewide in July and again in September. They starved themselves in unity with the five core demands, but the men at Calipatria added their own demand, which was to have a TV or radio.
April 4, 2012
Professor Michelle Alexander’s new book “The New Jim Crow” is a monumental, well researched piece of work that presents documented facts in down to earth English about the mass incarceration of Black people within the United States’ national concentration camp system. At one point in “The New Jim Crow,” Professor Alexander presents evidence that more Black people are enslaved behind bars today than were enslaved on the plantations in 1850, before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.