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Posts Tagged with "California"

‘The Scottsboro Boys,’ a review

July 13, 2012

The parody currently on stage at American Conservatory Theater, “The Scottsboro Boys,” staged by director-choreographer Susan Stroman (“The Producers”), through July 22, 2012, takes a historic tragedy in American history and recasts it as buffoonery. Black America should not be surprised. Classic guilt is always re-envisioned in this paradigm. The boogeyman is always Black and male.

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Filed Under: Culture Stories
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Lessons from Lakeview: Families and students of color in crisis

June 27, 2012

Parents, young students, teachers, families and community members have seized Lakeview Elementary School in Oakland in response to the Oakland Unified School District’s decision to proceed with closure. Lakeview was recognized for having low suspension rates of Black boys. In theory, OUSD has shown interest in interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, but in practice, the school closures push our youth out of the schools and into the streets. Visit the People’s School and protest to Supt. Tony Smith!

Wells Fargo threatens foreclosure leader Archbishop King’s home – auction postponed again to July 20

June 20, 2012

Thanks to all who called Wells Fargo or went to City Hall on behalf of Archbishop and Marina King. Wells Fargo removed the home from the auction list on the morning of June 21, several hours before the public auction. Wells Fargo is currently reviewing the Kings’ case for modification a second time. Until a real agreement can be reached, the Kings and their supporters are planning to block the auction July 20 at City Hall. Call Grace Martinez at ACCE for more information at (415) 377-6872.

Solitary confinement on trial: an interview with law professor Angela A. Allen-Bell

June 18, 2012

On the morning of Tuesday, June 19, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights is having an important public hearing on “Reassessing Solitary Confinement.” This Senate hearing comes on the heels of widespread prisoner hunger strikes that have made the use of solitary confinement a central issue.

Reassessing the use of solitary confinement in America’s prisons

June 17, 2012

In testimony submitted to the first-ever congressional hearing on solitary confinement June 19, Dolores Canales wrote: “I am a mother of a Pelican Bay SHU prisoner, and since the hunger strike it has been my goal and passion to bring an end to such inhumane and torturous conditions going on right here in America – land of the free and home of the brave! When Americans are held in solitary confinement in other countries, it is considered barbaric and a form of torture, Sen. John McCain himself being one of those Americans.”

Families of California prisoners respond to controversial solitary confinement reform proposal

June 17, 2012

We are the families of thousands of loved ones who have been incarcerated indefinitely – some for decades – in California’s “supermax” segregated and administrative housing units. Solitary confinement, even for short periods, has been known for centuries to cause irreparable physical and psychological damage: torture. Yet California continues to condone this practice.

Child care dilemma: What would you do?

June 17, 2012

The governor’s budget proposal would cut funding for child care by over 20 percent, or $452 million. That would mean a cut of over 40 percent since 2008, or nearly $1 billion. Already over 100,000 child care slots for low‐income parents have been lost since 2008, and the governor’s proposal for 2012‐13 proposes nearly 30,000 more child care slots be eliminated.

Rally against gangland style assassinations by Stockton PD

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.

Gang validation images needed for July 1 hunger strike commemoration

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.

Senate Committee on Public Safety votes to lift the media access ban on California prisons

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.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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‘Merritt College: Home of the Black Panther Party,’ an interview wit’ filmmaker James Calhoun

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.

In response to CDCR’s security threat – gang – revisions

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.

Death row debate: Yes or no on the SAFE California Act?

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.”

Lawsuit challenges solitary confinement at California prison

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.

African American tobacco control experts unanimously support Prop 29

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!

Prisoners at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison on hunger strike

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.”

Federal judge sanctions confiscation of inmate’s book

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.”

Prison liberation movement needs new kinds of thinking

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.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Protesting police murder of Alan Blueford and war on Afrikans

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.

Sanford Weill and Paul Kagame: Doctors of Humane Letters?

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.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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