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.
April 4, 2012
The Oakland International Film Festival is Friday-Sunday, April 6-8, at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Street, Oakland. Visit http://www.oiff.org/2012schedule.pdf. This year’s headliner is one of the most controversial independent films ever made, “The Spook Who Sat by the Door.” Watch it again here.
March 29, 2012
Top CDCR administrators admitted several times during our negotiations that the five core demands made by 12,000 hunger striking prisoners were reasonable and would all be addressed via meaningful, substantive changes. Our rejection of CDCR’s March 1 proposal is based upon its failure to act in good faith. CDCR is asking lawmakers and taxpayers to allow it to continue to violate thousands of prisoners’ human rights, torturing us with impunity. Our counter-proposal will bring this illegal torture to an end.
March 7, 2012
When the Occupy San Quentin rally ended, San Rafael police followed us to the Richmond Bridge. I don’t know if it was Jabari Shaw’s orange CDCR jumpsuit that kept them wondering – Is he an escapee, one of ours? – or if it was the sheer magnitude of fearlessness represented by women like Kelly, a former prisoner who would not let her traumatic experience silence her. One brother got so full looking at the guards on the other side of the gate watching that he looked like he was going to leap the gate and hurt someone as he recalled the violations of his person over and over again. Members of All of Us or None dropped everything to embrace him when he left the stage.
February 29, 2012
Amoeblog invited author, journalist, broadcaster and activist JR Valrey, aka the People’s Minister of Information, to be a guest contributor. The Oakland-based Valrey, who was interviewed and profiled on the Amoeblog last month, is known for his work on KPFA radio, the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, and his book “Block Reportin’.” The book will soon be available for sale in Amoeba Hollywood’s book section.
February 29, 2012
On Jan. 25, 2012, 8 a.m., at CSP-San Quentin II, West Block convicts revolted, shutting down the entire unit, as a result of prison guards and unit Sgt. Bloise abusing their authority and discretion by attempting to move convicts from cleaned cells to filthy ones.
February 6, 2012
DeBray “Fly Benzo” Carpenter, Kilo G and Claude Carpenter – along with the rest of the Black Star Coalition and unemployed Bayview residents – marched to the job site, bringing the contractor’s work to a screeching halt by standing unmoved in front of the heavy construction equipment. “We don’t work, nobody works,” declared DeBray. Support this young leader, Fly Benzo, who is facing four years in prison for copwatching. He refuses to stop fighting for justice for Kenneth Harding, the 19-year-old murdered by SFPD last July. Pack the courtroom Tuesday, Feb. 7, 1:30 p.m., Dept. 27 at 850 Bryant, and for the days to follow.
February 4, 2012
This is the month we wear our Blackness with pride – so walk on, walk on. I want to thank Rhodessa Jones, Shaka Jamal, Pat Jamison, Elaine Lee, Walter Turner, Vera Nobles and Elouise Burrell for your leads and references for South Africa.
January 5, 2012
Life isn’t fair: Too many kids and not enough food, fat cats bringing in all the money and government services like free hospitals and free education is not free for those who need it because, like everywhere, bureaucracy breeds corruption, whether we are in Madagascar or the United States.
January 3, 2012
California is going broke because crooks and corruption cannot properly run our government. In the last few years California prisons have been forced to lay off or retire over a thousand employees due to the budget problem.
January 2, 2012
California Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to send nonviolent prisoners back to county jails under a new law, AB-109, also known as “Realignment,” reclassifies certain nonviolent, non-serious and some sex offense felonies, allowing the convicted to serve time in a county jail, home detention or probation instead of prison.
January 1, 2012
Thousands of mothers currently incarcerated in the California state prison system are now eligible to serve out the end of their sentences at home or in local facilities. To qualify for the program, women must be “primary caregivers” convicted of non-violent, non-serious, non-sexual offenses with remaining prison sentences of less than two years.
December 30, 2011
God could not have sent us a more fitting setting for Occupy Cal at the University of California, Berkeley – the sun rising, yellow and warm. I was going devote today to observing and reporting on the social movement.
December 30, 2011
In 1978 California began building a concrete empire of jails and prisons across the state. After the building was completed, a new California Gold Rush began – a feeding frenzy for all the jobs in city, county and state law enforcement agencies.
December 27, 2011
“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons,” wrote Dostoyevsky. If what he says is true – and I believe it is – then America, which boasts the largest prison population in the world, is perhaps the most uncivilized country there is. Who better to speak to the reality of prison life than someone who is living the experience?