Now, as the San Francisco Bay View newspaper’s 40th birthday year comes to a close, is the time to bring up to date the historical sketch of our paper that I began with Part 1 in the January paper. Piles of old papers rest on my desk, waiting to be read once again – a banquet of stories and pictures of our lives, our hopes, our goals. Let me let you taste the flavor of the freedom we continue to fight for in the age of Trump.
Community activist, retired civil service employee and U.S. Navy veteran, we have lost a great man. Michael went on to live with the Lord. His memory and legacy of helping others and claiming their self-worth is immeasurable. For those of us fortunate enough to know Mike, failure was not an option. He never gave up on life, people or family! Michael will forever be missed by those of us he leaves behind.
I would like to know the reasons why the Muni constantly stops trains on the T-Line at 23rd Street as if the rest of Third Street doesn’t exist. I pay for a monthly pass and I feel that I deserve to be treated with the same services as the Mission Bay area. It’s despicable how the Muni service treats the citizens in Bayview. This is obviously a classic combination of classism and racism.
Low and moderate income youth in San Francisco age 5 to 17 will be able to ride Muni for free as of March 1, when the SFMTA will begin a 16-month pilot program. Thousands of youth, parents and community members have organized for more than two years to secure the free transit passes, which enable young people to get to school, jobs and after-school activities.
If you’re a native San Franciscan, you know the sound. It’s as sweet as the smell of BBQ ribs and cornbread and sweet potato pie when the city had soul food restaurants all over with Black folks cooking in black kitchens on black grills with black pots and pans bubbling music in the background, in the foreground – all over.
San Francisco Trolley Dances, now in its ninth year, is an annual outdoor festival linking dance, public transit and San Francisco’s neighborhoods. This year, the free, site-specific event comes to Bayview Hunters Point. Trolley Dances director and curator Kim Epifano and Campo Santo founder and director Sean San José told Allison Frost about Trolley Dances and what makes this year’s show a must-see.
The police line was hard, boot to boot, helmet to helmet, unmoving, bringing the threat of death with each gaze. The opposing line was a circle and it was moving, with resistance. And strength and people power. We were mamaz, uncles, daddys, sisters and brothers in solidarity, and we won’t stop fighting, we won’t stop walking, we won’t stop speaking until this ongoing police murder of our babies is over. “Our children are being stalked and murdered in cold blood, and it cannot continue,” said Oscar Grant's Uncle Bobby.
When Kenneth Harding, 19, couldn’t show police a Muni transfer to prove he’d paid his $2 fare on July 16, 2011, he ran, they shot him in the back and for an agonizing half hour, instead of trying to save his life, they trained their guns on Kenneth and the crowd while the young man slowly bled to death and the crowd screamed in horror. Knowing that the police murder of Kenneth Harding was the outcome of the routine, though unofficial, police practice of stopping and frisking young men of color, why would San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, a former civil rights attorney, consider importing New York City’s disastrous stop-and-frisk policy?
"We’re having a big benefit concert for my son on Feb. 10 at 330 Ritch in San Francisco. And I'll just list a few of the artists who will be there: The Jacka, J-Diggs, Mac Mall, Turf Talk, Beeda Weeda, Cellski, Matt Blaque, Laroo, plus The Doe Gang, Undagod and Fly Benzo. It's hosted by Chuy Gomez, music by DJ JR, The Minister of Information," says Denika Chatman, mother of Kenneth Harding, murdered by SFPD. Come celebrate Kenny's life. For tickets and more information, go to http://justice4kennethhardingjr.eventbrite.com/.
A young man who was accused of the theft of an iPhone was acquitted, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced. “This case shows how easy it is for an innocent person to find themselves charged with a crime. Studies have shown that mistaken identification is the greatest cause of wrongful convictions,” Adachi said.
Minutes after the outrageous police killing of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding a stone’s throw from my home and office, I joined the crowd and for two hours listened to the witnesses, shared the anger and echoed the calls for unity. Let us demand the right to “own and operate and control the economy of our community,” as Brother Malcolm advised. Now – right now – is the time for us to prove that it’s not the police, it’s not the prison guards or the big developers who have the power to impoverish and enslave us and drive us off our land. The ultimate power belongs to the people, and we will use it.
Generally, what happened to Harding happens in colonized spaces to colonized subjects, from Hunters Point to Baghdad. The victims are people of color. Five centuries of colonially-constructed rationales have served the purpose of minimizing the value of racialized subjects.
On Saturday, July 16, a 19-year-old young man, Kenneth Harding, from Seattle, Wash., came to San Francisco at the wrong time. He rode a transit vehicle to Bayview Hunters Point’s Palou station only to exit and have an encounter with two police officers about paying his $2 fare.
We sat together: elders, youth, workers, students and folks. We were on our way to a low-paid job, an overpriced university, a pre-gentrified home and a public school. There were laughter and shouts, murmurs and silence. Then suddenly, there were nine heavily armed police officers and fare inspectors walking through the crowded 14 Mission Muni line. One stopped in front of me and my son.