February 1, 2013
Young women at the Chowchilla Freedom Rally Jan. 26 spoke out passionately for their sisters in a prison packed to nearly double its capacity, demanding that the 4,500 prisoners eligible for release be freed. At least 400 people came from all over California to show their support for the women locked up in the Central California Women’s Facility, currently the state’s only women’s prison.
September 29, 2012
There’s a cliché out there where you are that says, “As long as there’s life, there’s hope.” Back here where I am, behind these walls, it’s in reverse: “As long as there’s hope, there’s life.”
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.
June 5, 2012
The SAFE California Act to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole will be on the November ballot in California. Here are the perspectives of three men on San Quentin’s death row. Kevin Cooper writes: “Please don’t get me wrong, as I have my say concerning this SAFE California Act. I am not in favor of capital punishment either! But I do know that there has to be a better way to end capital punishment within this state than the SAFE California Act.”
March 8, 2012
Shouting “Inside, outside, we’re all on the same side” and “Here comes Oakland,” five full buses and two vans left Oakland to meet up with marchers from as far away as Portland and Seattle who had already arrived at plantation San Quentin for one of the largest anti-slavery rallies in California history.
February 8, 2012
On the United Nations’ “World Day of Social Justice,” Monday, Feb. 20, we are calling a National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners. In the Bay Area we will Occupy San Quentin 12-3 p.m. Kevin Cooper, an innocent man on Death Row, joins the call to Occupy San Quentin and demand an end to capital punishment.
September 16, 2011
Yesterday, the NAACP and other organizations supporting freedom for Troy Davis delivered more than 660,000 petition signatures to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles in support of halting Troy’s execution and granting him clemency. Watch the new video from the NAACP, plus a new video from Jasiri X, ‘I am Troy Davis.’ Read a letter from Troy Davis and another from California death row prisoner Kevin Cooper, a message from the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and, most important, how you can help stop the execution of Troy Davis, set for Wednesday, Sept. 21.
July 19, 2011
Kevin Cooper has been locked down on death row in San Quentin for the past 26 years. He was convicted of the 1983 murder of the Ryen family, although no reliable evidence showed him to be guilty. On the contrary, the case has overwhelming evidence suggesting that he is in fact an innocent man.
July 6, 2011
Did you know that five judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals have now said about me: “The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man.” I hope that you will speak about what it is like to have almost done just that.
December 21, 2010
Prisoners in at least six Georgia prisons went on strike Dec. 9. On Friday, Dec. 17, a strong, positive, fiercely determined and highly spirited march and two rallies took place in downtown Oakland despite the driving rain in support of those prisoners, whose strike has become the largest in U.S. history.
October 3, 2010
October is Maafa Awareness Month, a time to reflect on recovery from the residual impact slavery had on the Black community and how the centuries of free labor benefited everyone else. The ritual this year is Sunday, Oct. 10, 5:30 a.m., at Ocean Beach, Fulton at the Great Highway, in San Francisco. Maafa is Kiswahili for “great calamity, reoccurring disaster,” a term used to describe the Black Holocaust of the European Slave Trade and how the post traumatic stress syndrome shows up in our thoughts and behavior unwittingly.
April 23, 2010
At its core, the death penalty derives from, and thus replaces, lynch law. States in the former confederacy established the convict lease system, where prisoners worked, without pay, for the state. Both Black men and women became “slaves of the state.”
July 7, 2009
What was amazing about the hearing Monday was the prosecution’s admission that it didn’t have enough evidence to convict these men. As attorney Daro Inouye said of Jalil Muntaqim, who pled no contest to the prosecution’s charge of conspiracy, his client picked up a loaded grenade to save his brothers, his friends, his fellow defendants, and he didn’t plead guilty. That language did not pass his lips.