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Posts Tagged with "California"

Crime and punishment

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?

Free political prisoner James Bess!

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.

Stanford celebrates one of our own: Donald Griffin

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.

Wanda’s Picks for October 2011

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.

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12,000 California prisoners on hunger strike

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.

Foreclosure victory as homeowners pack courtroom

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.”

DA’s race: Stop overcrowding prisons

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.

Hunger strike Round 2, Day 3: 6,000 on strike, threats from CDCR

September 28, 2011

Today, Sept. 28, lawyers and mediators with Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity’s mediation team confirm that at least 6,000 prisoners throughout California are resuming the hunger strike that began in July. The expansion of the strike demonstrates that CDCR’s atrocious practices and brutal conditions are in fact a system-wide issue and endemic of the CDCR. Support the prisoners in winning their demands! Call Gov. Jerry Brown and urge him to make the CDCR comply with the prisoners’ demands!

Palestinian prison hunger strikers declare solidarity with California prison hunger strikers

September 28, 2011

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat expresses its deepest solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike in Pelican Bay, California, in the United States. These prisoners, inside the racist and brutal U.S. prison system, have also stood together on hunger strike to demand an end to abuse and the use of isolation against prisoners, particularly long-term isolation, to demand proper food, and an end to torture and abuse.

California prisons: Torture by any means necessary

September 28, 2011

Solitary confinement in the Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (SHU) is a reflection of our inhumane treatment and clearly violates our constitutional rights under the First, Fifth, Eighth and 14th Amendments.

Call for prisoners in solitary nationwide to strike in solidarity with Pelican Bay

September 26, 2011

I am serving 21 years in federal prison – in solitary confinement – because I protested the Iraq War. I am with the men of Pelican Bay and am calling for a federal strike to support the men in PBSP as well as all those held in such housing in all U.S. prisons.

California prisoners resume hunger strike today

September 26, 2011

Today, prisoners at Pelican Bay’s Security Housing Unit (SHU) and Calipatria’s Administrative Segregation Unit (Ad-Seg or ASU) resume their hunger strike. Referring to the first round of the hunger strike, Mutope Duguma (s/n James Crawford), a strike representative in Pelican Bay’s SHU, writes, “This is far from over and once again, hopefully for the last time, we will be risking our lives via a peaceful hunger strike on Sept. 26, 2011, to force positive changes. We continue to struggle to be treated like decent human beings.”

Attica Solidarity Statement from the San Quentin Six

September 8, 2011

We have just finished commemorating the 40th anniversary of the assassination of our beloved Comrade George Jackson. Not forgotten by us was the horrific massacre perpetrated by the state of New York at Attica. At the time, we were in the adjustment center at San Quentin mourning our loss and recovering from the brutality inflicted upon us in the aftermath of the Aug. 21 incident when the state murdered our comrade.

Release my mother, son of terminally ill blind prisoner asks Gov. Jerry Brown

August 31, 2011

California spends millions of dollars every year guarding physically incapacitated prisoners. California has a $10 billion budget deficit. California taxpayers will spend nearly $2 billion to pay for the health care needs of state prisoners. A large percentage of those funds are used for a small group of severely incapacitated inmates.

More incarceration is not the answer

August 22, 2011

So far, the state’s plan for reducing the prison population relies heavily on simply shifting prisoners from state lockups to county jails and out-of-state rental space. But many other states are setting examples that California could follow.

Reflections on the victorious resistance at Sogorea Te

August 18, 2011

Glen Cove was a large village and ceremonial grounds that was used by many different tribes throughout the Bay Area. This area has been deemed, declared and even federally recognized as sacred to indigenous peoples. Many Natives alive today have ties to ancestors buried there.

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Housing authorities prepare for Section 8 housing cuts

August 9, 2011

Local housing authorities across the nation are preparing for major cuts to HUD’s Section 8 housing voucher programs after being directed in June by HUD to come up with lists to prioritize which voucher recipients would be dumped in the event of major cuts to the subsidized housing program.

Building a movement to end solitary confinement, against imprisonment

August 8, 2011

After hunger strike leaders reached an agreement last week with the CDCR to end the hunger strike that swept across California’s prison system, prisoners have started to transition to eating food again. Their concerns include not wanting fellow prisoners to die.

Wanda’s Picks for August 2011

August 4, 2011

How well indeed the creator saw fit to have the Muslim population worldwide join the hunger strike started by brothers in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay July 1, which continues in other California prisons, including I heard at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF).

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Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned: An interview with the mother of Kenneth Harding

July 27, 2011

Kenny was a real happy person. He had a beautiful spirit. He loved his mom. He was really into music and underground rap and really liked most of the local Bay Area underground artists – people from Hunters Point and Fillmore. Now that the police in San Francisco have killed Kenny, we’re going through a lot with the police in Seattle. They brought out the SWAT team to my home for nothing. The police said that my son was a piece of trash and that he got what he deserved. I don’t think nobody deserves to be killed in the fashion that my son was.

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