June 13, 2011
The lyrics to B.B. King’s classic “The Thrill is Gone” was the first thing that ran through my head when I showed up at both of the rallies that were held to “protest” the release from jail of Johannes Mehserle on Sunday, June 12. The speakers seemed to be a tad bit angry but not focused enough to do anything significant that would put police murders on the national radar. JUST ADDED: Minister of Information JR leads a full hour of debate on issues swirling around the murder of Oscar Grant by Johannes Mehserle broadcast on KPFA Wednesday morning.
January 3, 2011
Journalist JR Valrey, who was born in 1978, grew up mostly in Oakland, where the legend of the Black Panther Party was all around him. “A lot of the people around here are Panthers, or knew Panthers or are members of the Black Guerilla Family, which was an organization that Field Marshall George Jackson of the Black Panther Party founded. The revolution is very deep in Oakland. It’s not so cosmetic as it is other places. It’s not just about bandannas and t-shirts and concert throwing and posturing. I think it’s more grassroots here and more ingrained in the spirit of the people.”
January 3, 2011
Bayview Hunters Point is a community not exempt from poverty, violence, racism, police terrorism, gentrification, institutionalized ignorance, displacement and demonizing media coverage. With the Tough House Project, founder Jamal James Modica hopes to give this community a voice.
December 6, 2010
Minister of Information JR talks with Jack Bryson, the father of two sons who were with Oscar Grant the night he was murdered on the Fruitvale BART platform on New Year’s 2009. They discuss Jack’s fight for justice for Oscar, Johannes Mehserle’s sentencing and how Oscar’s murder has affected his family and close friends.
November 14, 2010
Queen Nyoka is an up and coming reggae artist out of the Bay who makes her words count when it comes to chanting down Babylon.
July 10, 2010
“I AM,” shouted the speaker at the Oakland protest of the verdict in the trial of ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle; “OSCAR GRANT!” roared back the crowd at 14th and Broadway. The cold-blooded killer of Oscar Grant had just gotten off with an involuntary manslaughter conviction in a trial in LA. After less than two days deliberation, a jury with no Black members cleared Johannes Mehserle of second degree murder.
July 3, 2010
In New York, spreading factual information about the Oscar Grant case, I said that Oakland may not have it all right, but we are definitely in the ring battling these big trees with our small axe, and everybody has to admit, whether we win or lose in court, the people of Oakland have declared once again that we are a force to reckon with.
July 3, 2010
THE VERDICT is INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER. Justice for Oscar Grant says: ‘ All out to Broadway and 14th!’ And heed these wise words: ‘Requesting Activists and Citizens over 50 years old to show up at 14th street and Broadway. HANDS AROUND OUR YOUTH! We the older generation need to be present to protect our youth from possible police brutality. We must bear witness to our youths right to assemble and peacefully demonstrate. Let OPD know these are our children and deserve to be respected as full USA citizens with the right to peacefully demonstrate without police or outside interference. Come and protect our children.’
June 17, 2010
The job of the media is to hold the powerful accountable. To avoid hypocrisy, the media itself must be held accountable as well. In the past few days, KPFA has broadcast at least twice a brief announcement recorded by the interim general manager scolding Bay View associate editor JR Valrey for a passing mention in one of his Block Reports of KPFA’s former interim program manager, Sasha Lilley. The Bay View respectfully questions its timing and refutes its contentions.
May 22, 2010
“People leave feeling alive when they see the film. The brutal police murders that are shown in the film, the drive and motivation of the people of Oakland who organized against all odds to chop down the big trees of terrorism and oppression leave audiences stunned,” says Adimu Madyun, director of “Operation Small Axe,” winner of the Rise Up Award for Most Motivational Film at the New Orleans Film Festival. Email email@example.com to arrange a screening.
May 19, 2010
“Damn Detroit Police Department! You burned, shot and killed Aiyana Jones, a little 7-year-old girl. You threw a stun grenade through the front window and lit the little girl’s blanket on fire! And then you shot off a bullet that landed in her neck!” – Read this account by Kimora Lee Simmons, another by a 12-year-old girl and the full story by veteran Detroit journalist Abayomi Azikiwe.
May 11, 2010
In this manifesto that shows why JR Valrey is rightly called the Minister of Information, he exposes “gentrification journalism” as “the public relations team that is put in place to make gentrifiers feel safe,” the media’s twisting of the murders of Chauncey Bailey and Oscar Grant to demonize Blacks and the hyper-funding of “hyper-local media” as an effort to drown out community media. Everyone who wants to stop the exodus of Blacks from the Bay must read this.
February 5, 2010
Cynthia McKinney sets the theme for Black Resistance to Police Terrorism Month, marked by five events in two weeks – four in Oakland, on Feb. 7, 17, 21 and 22, and one on Oscar Grant in Los Angeles, on Feb. 18, the eve of killer cop Mehserle’s Feb. 19 hearing – featuring your favorite speakers coming to Cali from around the country. And pack the courtroom Feb. 22, 8:30 a.m., 1225 Fallon, Oakland, for Minister of Information JR’s trial. Free JR!
January 9, 2010
On Friday’s Hard Knock Radio and Flashpoints shows on KPFA at 4 and 5 p.m., Minister of Information JR reported straight out of Los Angeles on the first pre-trial hearing since the murder case of Johannes Mehserle, the BART police officer who executed Oscar Grant, was moved there from Oakland.
January 6, 2010
Meet former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and see a screening of ‘Operation Small Axe’ Wednesday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m., Black Dot Café, 1195 Pine St. West Oakland. Come and support Minister of Information JR and Holly Works, who still face charges from the Oakland Rebellions that secured the indictment of Johannes Mehserle, the triggerman who executed Oscar Grant.
January 1, 2010
An organizing meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 3 at 5 p.m. at Chuco’s Justice Center in Inglewood for people interested in monitoring the trial of Johannes Mehserle, the former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer who shot Oscar Grant, an unarmed 22-year-old Black man, in the back on an Oakland BART platform on Jan. 1, 2009. Mehserle is the first police officer in California ever to be charged with murder.
December 29, 2009
Universities all over the state of California have erupted into protest over the raising of student fees. In the Bay Area, rebellions have been going down at UC Berkeley and at San Francisco State University regularly; students actually have brought their feelings right to the front door of the chancellor’s house.
December 28, 2009
Since last year, former presidential candidate and Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, the most progressive person to ever be a member of Congress or a presidential candidate, has been on a roll internationally – traveling through different parts of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe telling the truth about what is happening with the regular everyday people who live in the United States.
December 23, 2009
The Black Panther Party educated people, fed children, provided health care and resisted armed police aggression and other forms of government sanctioned aggression. Two of the martyrs of this movement were Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clark of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, who were both assassinated by the government on Dec. 4, 1969.
December 6, 2009
The Bay Area is rallying around Minister of Information JR, facing three years in prison for covering the Oakland Rebellion that demanded justice for Oscar Grant and for his courageous coverage of police terrorism known throughout the country. Influential organizations are calling an 8 a.m. rally on Monday, Dec. 7, then to pack Courtroom 11, 1225 Fallon St., Oakland, the courthouse made famous by the many rallies the Black Panther Party held there.