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.
January 29, 2017
“Race is the Rubicon we have never crossed in this country.” That’s David Billings’ thesis in his provocative new historical memoir, “Deep Denial: The Persistence of White Supremacy in the United States History and Life.” It documents the 400-year racialization of the United States and how people of European descent came to be called “White.” Billings tells us why, despite the Civil Rights Movement and an African-American president, we remain, in his words, “a nation hard-wired by race.”
January 26, 2017
Millions turned out on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches around the world. I wasn’t one of them. I very much recognized the need for the united front against a new administration whose policies stand to infringe upon the rights of women, people of color, immigrants, the disabled and members of the LGBTQ community. And yet, I still had deeply complex feelings about how I, as a Black immigrant woman, fit into the equation.
November 1, 2016
On Labor Day here at the William P. Clements Unit, a prison in remote Amarillo, Texas, the prisoners awoke to a late breakfast: a single PBJ sandwich, a small bowl of dry cereal and no beverage. This grossly inadequate meal, which is our common fare during institution-wide lockdowns, signaled that a weeks- or months-long lockdown was in effect. Hunger pangs set in almost immediately.
October 27, 2016
In a number of prisons around the country, the September Bay View was banned, and we suspect the October paper will be too. If your paper was denied, the prison is required to give you and the Bay View a notice saying why banning the Bay View is constitutional, allowing you and us to appeal that decision. So the first step is to insist on a notice and then appeal it; so will we. Here is George Rahsaan Brooks’ appeal. We think he’ll win, just as he did before.
July 27, 2016
As police murders accumulate, and police chiefs get fired and replaced because they cannot stop it – as in Oakland and San Francisco – the notion that this represents a political crisis becomes a truism. It is not a “crisis of policing,” which would suggest a situation beyond the capacities of the police. It is the police who have become the crisis.
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.
June 4, 2016
When I first heard the statement that “The Black Woman Is God,” it wasn’t new or spooky to me, because I grew up in a family with over a hundred members and everyone knew that my grandmother’s say was the final one. She was the family’s guide or god. I talked with “The Black Woman Is God” exhibit’s cofounder Karen Seneferu about this year’s show and the concepts and history behind this very important annual art show in the Bay.
April 28, 2016
Environmental injustices are forced upon people of color and disadvantaged minorities. This is a fact and not a subjective feeling or statement. Prison officials and ACA inspectors attempt to cover up and downplay the fact that numerous Texas prisons have contaminated water supplies and Texas Correctional Industries employees force prisoners to work in toxic environments. Does anyone think the U.S. government will intercede on our behalf?
April 28, 2016
After one frustrating year of union bargaining, AFT 2121 faculty at City College of San Francisco conducted a one-day unfair labor practice strike “of all classes at all 11 campuses” on April 27 because the administration has not been bargaining in good faith as it proposes “to shrink classes by 26 percent and lay off more than a quarter of the faculty.” These cuts are staggering.
February 27, 2016
Most parties now agree that mass incarceration is NOT the solution to crime in America. The reason being its prison population size is NOT determined by the number of CRIMES committed. So if the crime rate is not the dominant factor, what is? UNJUST racial and class policies are the dominant driving forces behind mass incarceration in the U.S. today. We urge federal prisoners to file for relief under the programs offered.
February 25, 2016
Sen. Sanders, you have spoken out against the depredations of Big Pharma, refused to take donations from any of them, and call for “Medicare for all.” You’ve also spoken to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Currently in Pennsylvania there is a case before a federal court which embodies both of these battles, Abu-Jamal vs. Kerestes. Mumia Abu-Jamal is suing to force the Department of Corrections to immediately provide him treatment with the Hep C drug.
February 3, 2016
It has often been said that one who has never known the pain of struggle can never truly appreciate the sweet taste of success. Denise Smith knows that struggle. Born in the San Francisco General Hospital and reared in Bayview-Hunters Point, the real estate entrepreneur has certainly experienced her share of ups and downs. Her new autobiography, “Rags to Real Estate: One Woman’s Journey to Empowerment,” inspired many.
February 2, 2016
After 2.5 years of foundation laying work, Willie JR Fleming of the Anti-Eviction Campaign has finally caught the attention of the international community. At his behest, the United Nations sent its Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent to Chicago to take first-hand testimony from people of color who have suffered and continue to suffer the effects of systemic racism and colonialism.
January 31, 2016
An amazing story is about to unfold. I don’t know how it’s going to happen or play out exactly, but it’s going to be a doozy! The ancestors have something up their sleeves and I’m inclined to believe this joker is going to be wild! Do you think this is a coincidence? Cam NEWTON is playing for the Carolina PANTHERS in Super Bowl 50, in the greater Oakland San Francisco Bay Area. Huey NEWTON co-founded the Black PANTHERS 50 years ago in the greater Oakland San Francisco Bay Area.
December 23, 2015
On Black Friday 2014, 14 Black activists chained themselves together on a BART transit platform “to prevent trains from moving at the West Oakland station, in response to the seemingly unending war against Black communities.” The 14, a majority of them women, faced criminal charges. Now, after a year-long campaign by the Black Friday14 and a broad coalition of allies, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley has dropped all the charges.
December 1, 2015
December is a big month for the jail fight. We have got to make our voices heard loud and clear: This jail is bad for our community and ill-informed policy. The mayor and his conservative allies on the Board of Supervisors are under pressure to push the jail plan through as soon as possible. They know we have been gaining strength, and that once January comes, with changes in the board composition, we will have the numbers to defeat this project. Let’s defeat it soundly.
November 28, 2015
Over 200 community members, activists, union members, transportation experts, family and friends flocked to Oakland’s New Parish for non-profit leader Lateefah Simon’s kick-off fundraiser for her 2016 campaign to join the BART Board of Directors. Despite running as a first-time candidate, Simon has already built a broad coalition that includes some of the Bay Area’s top elected officials and civic leaders. True to her reputation as a tireless community advocate, Simon spoke passionately about her personal connection to BART and her commitment to transit justice for working people.
November 20, 2015
Urgency to end mass incarceration and the criminalization of poor people and people of color is growing. The general public’s awareness that it simply does not make sense to lock up people with substance abuse or mental health issues is setting the stage for important reforms to our justice system. With this understanding, California voters passed Proposition 47 “The Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act.”
November 19, 2015
Internationally renowned political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal has just published a brilliant 15-page pamphlet about the challenge of the period we’re living in in this country. “To Protect and Serve Who?” is truly a handbook discussing the roots and history of the police in this country, a class and historical analysis of who the police are, and finally a strategy for transforming the role and definition of the police and their power relationships with the people.