November 20, 2017
A while back, people might have argued that this was a statement of journalistic exaggeration, a way to grab the reader’s attention by fear mongering, but today it is an unfortunate statement of fact when one looks around the region. While the intensity and unrelenting nature of this year’s hurricane season has captured a great deal of media attention, the way these storms have intersected with the region’s indebtedness, vulnerable, dependent economies and correspondingly weakened state capacity has not.
October 18, 2017
I recently attended the first Caribbean Peace Conference in Bridgetown, Barbados, Oct. 6-7, 2017. The theme of the Conference was “Resisting Nuclear and Environmental Disaster: Building Peace in the Caribbean.” Attendees included representatives from Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Venezuela and Barbados. The purpose of this conference was to consolidate a serious Caribbean Peace Movement equipped with a concrete agenda and guiding philosophy.
September 10, 2017
Dr. Maryse Narcisse, presidential candidate of Fanmi Lavalas, addressed an overflow audience in Oakland in late April. She spoke in the wake of the selection of Haiti’s new president, Jovenel Moise, a right-wing businessman and protégé of former president Michel Martelly, who took office via an electoral process so replete with fraud and voter suppression that opposition forces called it an “electoral coup.”
September 5, 2017
Dr. Richard Claxton “Dick” Gregory, 84, joined the ancestors Aug. 19, the same day as the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington, D.C. A longtime advocate for human rights, Gregory ran for president of the United States, went to Iran to negotiate the release of Americans held hostage, is also known for his Bohemian diet and extensive fasts for human rights. Ten years ago he visited Oakland to honor the lives of the 918 adults and 305 children – including 40 infants – who lost their lives along with U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan and a United Press International film crew.
August 31, 2017
Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is denying Texas prisoners the ability to send or receive mail in light of Tropical Storm Harvey. Although Houston is a major mail hub for Texas, this does not explain why prisoners in areas of the state unaffected by the flooding – for example, Clements Unit in Amarillo – would be denied access to mail. In a press release, TDCJ stated that five Texas prisons have been evacuated.
July 30, 2017
A federal judge in Houston ordered a geriatric prison in Texas to help inmates overcome extreme heat and rising summer temperatures, referencing climate change in a groundbreaking ruling this week. U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison deemed it cruel and unusual that state corrections are aware of dangerous and lethal heat risks – at least 23 men in Texas prisons have died from the heat in the last 20 years – yet have failed to impose safeguards.
April 11, 2017
The debate about what are considered fundamental human rights is constantly evolving and changing. And in the United States, incidents like the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan, have raised questions about whether or not access to clean water is a basic right – although arguably this has been a discussion among people all around the world, and in marginalized parts of the U.S., for quite some time. A new report issued by the NAACP also reframes access to energy service and electric power as a basic human right.
January 31, 2017
As the Trump government rolls out executive orders against refugees and other immigrants, Bay Area leaders and residents are bracing for possible cuts in federal grants to sanctuary cities. In our region, these include San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda, which do not turn undocumented immigrants over to federal authorities if they have not committed a crime. But there is one area where we should welcome cuts and reject federal funding: militarized counter-terrorist police training.
June 24, 2016
As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want. And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.
May 29, 2016
Prisons inspire little in terms of natural wonder. But prisoners, one could assume, must have little concern for the flowers or for otherwise pressing environmental issues. With all the social quandaries present in their lives – walls of solitude, the loss of basic human rights – pollution, climate change and healthy ecosystems must seem so distantly important: an issue for the free. In actuality, prisoners are on the frontlines of the environmental movement.
October 23, 2015
“An American Nightmare: Black Labor and Liberation” will be transformed from paper to the screen with a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a seven-part film series co-produced by Deep Dish TV and Cooperation Jackson and directed by Kali Akuno. Please go to Kickstarter and donate as generously as you can before Nov. 7. The theme: 150 years since an end to chattel slavery, anti-Black racism is still a virulent force in the U.S. The cause? The path to liberation?
October 13, 2015
President Evo Morales acknowledged Leonard Peltier as a defender of Indigenous Peoples and Mother Earth, and urged President Obama to grant him clemency. He was wrongfully convicted in 1977 in connection with the shooting deaths of two agents of the FBI on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota. The federal prosecutor has twice admitted that the government did not and cannot prove Peltier’s guilt.
July 13, 2015
Help transform more people from houselessness to Homefulness in East Oakland, where there’s room for four straw-bale houses, the first to be built in any city in the country, but the cost of building permits is sky-high. PG&E wants a total of $42,000, with the first $8,000 due in TWO WEEKS, and East Bay MUD wants $38,000. An effort to persuade the utilities to reduce or waive the fees and “sponsor” this historic project is underway, but the $8,000 must be raised now to keep the project alive. To offer help of any kind, contact Tiny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 22, 2015
What will Bay Area oil refineries have to do to comply with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s new emissions limits, as drafted? Refine more crude.
December 7, 2014
This week tens of thousands of people in the United States flooded the streets to demand racial justice. It is one of many issues that have been building for years, reaching the tipping point and seeming to explode in a national awakening. We also saw that in the last two weeks with national protests for living wages. Four years ago we listed 15 crisis issues that the country needed to face; poverty wages and the injustice in criminal enforcement, including racially abusive police practices, were two of them.
May 22, 2013
The Democratic Republic of Congo, the world’s poorest country, has not only been ravaged by civil wars, but by decades of grandiose development schemes that inevitably failed. The World Bank and other donors are now concocting the continent’s biggest pie in the sky: the $80 billion Grand Inga Dam on the Congo River.
November 15, 2012
Welcome to the climate crisis. There’s nothing abstract about it. It isn’t some apocalypse decades away or an event that comes down like one big hurricane to wipe us all out. It’s Hurricane Sandy. It’s all the economic, political and social conditions that were already in place. And it’s the opportunity for forces of profit and repression to push their agenda forward in the aftermath. But guess what: The climate justice movement isn’t so abstract either. This is it. It’s dedicated organizers recognizing how their work can be aligned across issues. It’s relief providers and hard-working volunteers transforming into activists and community leaders.
June 28, 2011
“A new report claims farmers in Africa are being driven off their lands to make way for vast new industrial farming projects backed by hedge funds seeking profits and foreign countries looking for cheap food. “
October 18, 2010
Venezuela strives to protect its natural environment, better use oil resources to promote sustainable development and ensure that climate change remains a central topic of discussion requiring concerted efforts from the world’s countries.
January 18, 2010
It is amazing that no one says a word on the fact that Haiti was the first country where 400,000 Africans, enslaved and brought to this land by Europeans, rebelled against 30,000 white owners of sugarcane and coffee plantations and succeeded in making the first great social revolution in our hemisphere.