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?
December 26, 2011
My good friend, Brother James Bess, is a political prisoner. Brother James was the minister of the Seattle Chapter of the Nation of Islam for at least 10 years during the 1980s and early 1990s, and was well known and highly respected in Seattle’s Black community. He is coming up for parole review and is asking for support.
December 23, 2011
On Sept. 11, 2011, Stanford University announced that Don Griffin, an Oakland native and 1965 honor graduate of Oakland’s Fremont High School, would be one of the 2011 inductees into Stanford’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Don was the third Black to play basketball for Stanford and was twice the season’s leading scorer.
October 4, 2011
October is Maafa Commemoration Month. The term Maafa refers to the Black Holocaust, that period when African people were stolen and traded in the greatest, most widespread cooperative economic venture to date, which resulted in the displacement of human beings as commodities. The Kiswahili term Maafa extends that definition of loss and trauma, that is, PTSD or post-traumatic slave syndrome – the flashbacks, both conscious and unconscious, reoccurring instances of the atrocities 150 years after the end of slavery which have direct association to the brutality of chattel slavery.
October 4, 2011
As the renewed prisoner hunger strike enters its second week, the federal receiver’s office reports that at least 12,000 prisoners were participating during the first week. Family members of striking SHU prisoners reported that their visits this weekend were denied by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which is threatening participants with disciplinary action and banning two lawyers who represent the strikers. “Historically, prison officials have used extreme measures, including physical violence to break strikes,” says Dorsey Nunn, a member of the mediation team working on behalf of the strikers.
October 4, 2011
It’s become standard procedure for real estate companies and their eviction attorneys to “move quickly to take the homes from these homeowners, harassing and scaring them, using guerrilla tactics like threatening to get the sheriff to remove them in four hours. But if we all stay together,” Delia Aguilar, an organizer with the Bay Area Moratorium (BAM), said, “we can defeat them and keep our homes.”
September 29, 2011
The Supreme Court ordered California to release 33,000 prisoners due to unhealthy conditions and prison overcrowding in the Plata vs. Brown prisoner lawsuit. The high court showed it was serious by demanding the release of 10,000 of these prisoners by a December 2011 deadline.