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Posts Tagged with "death penalty"

Chess vs. checkers

July 30, 2014

Life is like a game of chess and checkers. Many of us play checkers. And many of us think we’re playing chess, but, in practice, we’re actually playing checkers. So it should be of no surprise to any of you when I say, most poor people play checkers, prisoners in particular. Now what does this analogy im­ply? Most people make decisions in life without thinking ahead or assessing the ramifications of their decisions, especially prisoners!

For the first time, on the night Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger executed his old body-building competitor, author Stanley Tookie Williams, on Dec. 13, 2005, a huge crowd, largely Black youth, rallied outside San Quentin’s gate in opposition, vastly outnumbering death penalty supporters. A month later, Clarence Ray Allen was executed, but since then, public and legal pressure has, in California, held off the blasphemous act of killing in the name of God. – Photo: Minister of Information JR Valrey

The Death Penalty: Killing in the name of God is the ultimate act of blasphemy

June 27, 2014

The Death Penalty is one of many signs of a society that is morally deter­iorating, especially a society that proclaims an affinity with God and the Holy Scriptures. First of all, there’s nothing in the Holy Scriptures which gives moral support and/or credence to the implementation of the Death Penalty. This is a man-made evil, and it is this spiritual contradiction that will eventually condemn us all to a spiritual and moral death.

Bomani card w children 'Love is the only freedom'

Don’t let Ohio execute Keith LaMar (Bomani Shakur), framed and innocent on death row

June 23, 2014

Keith LaMar, also known as Bomani Shakur, is a prisoner in Ohio, condemned to death on false charges following the 1993 Lucasville Prison Uprising. Bomani is one of five men condemned to death after being railroaded through forced snitch testimony. They are known as the Lucasville Five. The following is an interview with Bomani from death row, recorded on March 7, 2014.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Stop the censorship! Restore the Urban Dreams website!

May 28, 2014

Members of the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, including (among others) the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, BART workers and AC Transit bus drivers, were appalled to hear that the Oakland Unified School District succumbed to pressure from the Fraternal Order of Police and the right-wing Fox News by shutting down the educational Urban Dreams website, which includes material on Mumia Abu-Jamal and Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. constantly faced hostility from police, just as Mumia does today. Here, state troopers bar him from the Alabama Capitol on March 25, 1965. – Photo: AP

Oakland Unified School District bans lessons on MLK and Mumia: Demand they restore them! Protest May 28

May 28, 2014

Under pressure from the Fraternal Order of Police and Fox News, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) just shut down the entire Urban Dreams website including material on Martin Luther King and Mumia Abu-Jamal authored by Oakland teacher Craig Gordon. OUSD is censoring and attacking the academic freedom of students in the Oakland schools and of teachers. This shameful action must be reversed immediately!

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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Angola prisoners return from farm work, web

UN Human Rights Committee finds US in violation on 25 counts

April 23, 2014

Recently, the U.N. Human Rights Committee issued a report excoriating the United States for its human rights violations. It focuses on violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the country is party. The report mentions 25 human rights issues where the United States is failing. This piece focuses on a few of those issues – Guantanamo, NSA surveillance, accountability for Bush-era human rights violations, drone strikes, racism in the prison system, racial profiling, police violence and criminalization of the homeless.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Our own political action committee can expand the prisoners’ rights movement

December 26, 2013

I was pleased to read about the current talk of creating a political action committee (PAC) for prisoners. There was a time when I despised the whole oppressor political apparatus, but I was lucky enough to have comrades who explained that there is nothing wrong with being involved in local politics because these are the ways that we can transform our communities at the current stage in our struggle.

10 steps to dictatorship: Why the grassroots movement in Haiti is taking to the streets against President Michel Martelly

November 17, 2013

At great personal risk, Haitians demonstrated massively in cities throughout the country on Sept. 30 and Oct. 17, calling for President Michel Martelly to step down. By choosing historically significant dates marking past coups, the Haitian grassroots majority is clearly saying they want an end to 10 years of military occupation. Martelly’s police force brutally broke up some demonstrations with tear gas and beatings.

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Filed Under: Haiti and Latin America
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Institutionalized racism and censorship are relatives

May 24, 2013

The only defense that can protect the people is to assemble the power of the people. We are our only defense. We have suffered enough injustice at the hands of a very evil system – CDCr and PBSP – and it is time that we prisoners express that pain and suffering by all means at our disposal, because CDCr and PBSP are censoring SF Bay View in order to censor prisoners, because we are exposing cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners. We collectively commend and value the courage and commitment as well as the principled stand that the SF Bay View is taking to speak truth to power.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Crime, criminalization and gun control: Oakland leads the way in crime hysteria

March 8, 2013

Oakland may seem like a local anomaly with its big increase in homicides in 2011-12 and the anti-crime hysteria which now engulfs it. But Oakland is just a prime example of the intertwining of crime and criminalization under capitalism, in which the ruling class divides working people one from another and targets particular groups for victimization.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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Solidarity and solitary: When unions clash with prison reform

March 7, 2013

The battle over the future of Tamms became the most visible and contentious example of a phenomenon seen around the country: Otherwise progressive unions are taking reactionary positions when it comes to prisons, supporting addiction to mass incarceration. And when it comes to issues of prisoners’ rights in general, and solitary confinement in particular, they are seen as a major obstacle to reform.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Nobody deserves to be tortured: a response to CDCR’s STG-SDP plan

December 20, 2012

The new “Security Threat Group Prevention, Identification, and Management Strategy” will instigate new and more aggressive attacks against prisoners and their families, friends, associates and communities, who are already being victimized by our institutionalized racist system and the prison industrial complex. It is just one of their many policies to persecute prisoners incarcerated in solitary confinement units.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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LWOP: Death sentence by another name – Vote No on 34

November 3, 2012

Darrell Lomax is an innocent man who has been on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California for over 15 years. A poet, musician and activist, Darryl has been fighting for his freedom and advocating for justice. Here, he explains what’s at stake in the Proposition 34 ballot initiative that would replace the death penalty with sentences of life without the possibility of parole.

California’s Prop 34: Yes or no, the death penalty remains

November 2, 2012

Voting against Proposition 34 means I want the state to continue to actively kill people by shooting poison in their veins. Voting for it means I want the state to sentence more people to the slow, excruciating, grinding form of the death penalty that is life without parole. In the end, I really have no choice but to abstain.

Bay View Voters Guide

October 16, 2012

Voting empowers our communities to get what we want. If we don’t vote, we’re invisible. If we turn out in large numbers for this election, we’ll get respect – from City Hall to the White House. Here are the Bay View’s recommendations for Tuesday, Nov. 6, including candidates for San Francisco Board of Supervisors, School Board, College Board and BART Board. On state propositions, the Bay View recommends that you vote Yes on 30, No on 31 (LAST MINUTE CHANGE), No on 32, No on 33, No on 34, No on 35, Yes on 36, Yes on 37, Yes on 38, Yes on 39 and Yes on 40. But however you vote, VOTE! Voting is our most powerful right. Use it.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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Haiti’s constitutional horror show

October 6, 2012

Update Sept. 30, 2012: For the past two weeks, massive demonstrations have rocked Haiti, protesting constitutional changes and the corruption of the Martelly government. The democratic and participatory spirit of the 1987 Constitution has been subverted by the illegitimate President Michel Martelly, who announced new amendments, which concentrate executive power and herald the return of death squad Duvalierism to Haiti.

It is a matter of innocence, not economics

October 1, 2012

Please DON’T vote in favor of “The SAFE California Act” to end California’s death penalty. Your vote for this act would throw away the key for all the innocent men and women on death row and, instead, sentence all prisoners on death row to spend the rest of their lives in prison without the possibility of parole and without effective legal representation.

Just when you thought it was SAFE

July 6, 2012

The premise of the SAFE California Act is to “modify” the death penalty by replacing it with Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP.) The public will once again vote on how they wish to execute the so-called “worst of the worst”: either death by lethal injection, or death by long term incarceration. The act would also transfer $100 million to law enforcement.

Ripple effects of Corcoran ASU hunger strike

January 30, 2012

We here at Corcoran State Prison, prisoners in ASU (Administrative Segregation Unit), went on a united hunger strike, aimed straight at the beast: injustice and negligence. As a named petitioner, I was targeted for being a litigant and a spokesman for myself and the other Afrikans who are seeking justice and equal protection.

‘People Power’ pries Abu-Jamal from punitive administrative custody

January 30, 2012

The release of Abu-Jamal from administrative custody into general population followed a protest campaign by his supporters worldwide that included flooding Pennsylvania prison authorities with phone calls, collecting petitions containing over 5,000 signatures and a complaint filed with United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.

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