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Posts Tagged with "First Amendment"

Bigoted bullying at Richmond City Council meetings aims to end progressive leadership

July 21, 2014

After the Richmond City Council meeting of July 1, I experienced one of the most intense and hostile encounters I have had to endure as a public official and in my entire life for that matter. Since then, there has been at least one news report and a series of deliberate misrepresentations of what took place that night. It is not my intention to respond to false accusations raised or dignify the insults with a response.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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Opposition to new prison censorship rules comes from The Netherlands

June 14, 2014

CDCR has proposed regulations that could permanently ban any documents it defines as “contraband,” including political publications and correspondence that should be protected by First Amendment constitutional rights. Why are prison officials attempting to increase the political, mental and emotional isolation of people in solitary confinement struggling to resist an already crushing physical isolation?

New proposed censorship rules mean more torture for California prisoners in solitary confinement

May 7, 2014

Our torture would be magnified under these new proposed rules that Stainer and his cronies are introducing by attempting to silence prisoners and publishers whose voices have been prominent in waging struggle against our perpetual suffering. CDCr wants to stifle our truths and disconnect us from society at large. Prisoners would no longer be able to write to the media outlets that allow us to speak to our suffering.

Hunger strikers: Our resolve remains strong

October 26, 2013

Our resolve remains as strong as ever, and we continue to press forward. No one should receive a sentence from a court and then have those responsible for carrying out that sentence exact revenge and arbitrary punishments at their whim. This is the reality that 30,000 men and women lent their collective voice to opposing.

The W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program

March 26, 2013

The W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program is a community-based pen pal service to provide the people of our communities with an opportunity to connect with and engage the current class and generation of New Afrikan Black Revolutionaries on several fronts. It will provide the people with a correct understanding of the New Afrikan Black Liberation Movement via the social principles of “Each One Teach One.”

Creating broken men, Part 2

March 2, 2013

There should be no doubt indefinite solitary confinement is torture. Yet in §700.2, the CDCR has devised an insidious program whereby they can leverage this torture to coerce validated SHU prisoners to submit to brainwashing in lieu of debriefing – the end result being qualitatively no different: “broken men” will be created by a new process.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Supreme Court rules cops can be filmed

December 18, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to let stand a lesser ruling that allows citizens in the state of Illinois to record police officers performing their official duties. Up until just last year, anti-eavesdropping legislation on the books across Illinois meant any person within the state could be imprisoned for as long as 15 years for recording a police officer without expressed consent.

Pelican Bay SHU confiscates prisoner’s letter, warning him not to ‘associate with SF Bay View’

August 31, 2012

I’m writing this letter to advise you and your loyal readers of the retaliation that Pelican Bay State Prison gang investigators have taken up against those of us inmates who “associate with SF Bay View” and inform them not to be discouraged or dissuaded in our struggle to have our voices heard.

Prosecuting free speech

July 20, 2012

George Washington, the first president and one of the founding fathers of the United States, once argued, “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led to the slaughter.” Yet in many controversial cases, United States courts have ruled against the First Amendment guarantee to free speech.

Federal judge sanctions confiscation of inmate’s book

May 25, 2012

The guard confiscated four items: 1) a document titled “So That We Don’t Fool Ourselves — Again: Study Notes on Secure Communication”; 2) an article titled “History is a Weapon! Black August Resistance,” by Watani Tyehimba; 3) an article from Prison Focus newspaper, which included a picture of George Jackson; and 4) the photocopy of “Blood in My Eye.”

Corcoran officials retaliate against hunger strikers

May 7, 2012

When we, the prisoners housed in the Corcoran ASU, initiated a hunger strike to protest against the inhumane conditions and constitutional violations we faced, prison officials responded with retaliation and indifference. Their intent was clear: to set an example of what would occur if these protests that had been rocking California prisons this past year continued.

Fly Benzo is free, so why is Mendell Plaza a no Fly zone?

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.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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My husband, my hero: The story of a prisoner labeled ‘worst of the worst’

April 6, 2012

Imagine you were framed again by prison gang officers using a tattoo you got as a child and a symbol in a birthday card to “validate” you as a “prison gang associate” and label you “worst of the worst” and placed in segregation in a Security Housing Unit, or SHU, for years on end. That is what happened to my childhood best friend and husband, Robbie Riva.

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Filed Under: Behind Enemy Lines
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Lynne Stewart on Attica and her case

February 25, 2012

“After the disaster in July 2010, when Judge Koeltl, following the directives of the Second Circuit, increased my sentence from 28 months to 10 years, our righteous indignation fueled this appeal,” writes Lynne Stewart. Occupy the park all night and then the court: Come to Tom Paine (Foley Square) Park, beside the Federal Courthouse, 500 Pearl St., Lower Manhattan, on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 6 p.m.; stay all night until the Wednesday morning court appeal Feb. 29. Let the government know we dissent from the use of incarceration as a tool of political terror.

New hunger strike: Petition for improved conditions in Administrative Segregation Unit at Corcoran State Prison

December 30, 2011

This petition will serve as a constructive notice for the peaceful protest which will be carried out as an alternative means of petition in the event that our conditions and demands are not met in a timely manner. [A notation on the cover letter to the petition says the hunger strike started Dec. 28, 2011.] Petitioners have filed appeals and grievances to no avail. Our constitutional rights are being violated. We are bound by the Constitution of the United States, and therefore its protection extends to us as well.

The First Amendment right to record the police

December 6, 2011

Support Fly Benzo twice on Friday, Jan. 6: 1) Pack the courtroom for the first day of his trial on Friday, Jan. 6, 9 a.m., at 850 Bryant in Department 22; 2) Party with Fly at his ‘Conscious Minds at Work Reggae, Arts and Hip-Hop Mixer & Fundraiser’ on Friday, Jan. 6, 7 p.m., at Twin Space Continuum, 2111 Mission St., Third Floor #300, San Francisco. To learn more, see “Police critic Fly Benzo keeps catching hell since police murder of Kenneth Harding” at http://sfbayview.com/2011/police-critic-fly-benzo-keeps-catching-hell-since-police-murder-of-kenneth-harding/

What is the meaning of the California prisoner hunger strikes?

November 3, 2011

Six thousand six hundred California prisoners participated in a three-week-long hunger strike in July, seeking relief from unjust and inhumane conditions. In the face of California Department of Corrections (CDC) officials failing to honor settlement negotiations, the hunger strike resumed on Sept. 26, with nearly 12,000 prisoners participating in 13 of that state’s prisons.

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.

To silence protesters, BART pulls plug on cell phone antennas

August 13, 2011

The San Francisco Bay Area, historic birthplace of the Free Speech movement and a pioneer in the digital age, is now apparently the first place in the United States to have had its electronic communications deliberately disabled in order to pre-empt a political protest.

Smart-mouthing police not a crime, jury finds

August 7, 2011

“This is your city,” Deputy Public Defender Erin Haney told jurors. “Mr. Christopher has the same rights you have. He has the same rights your son has. … Mr. Christopher does not live in a police state. In the Bayview, you have the same rights as you do in Pacific Heights.”

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