April 23, 2014
Recently, the U.N. Human Rights Committee issued a report excoriating the United States for its human rights violations. It focuses on violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the country is party. The report mentions 25 human rights issues where the United States is failing. This piece focuses on a few of those issues – Guantanamo, NSA surveillance, accountability for Bush-era human rights violations, drone strikes, racism in the prison system, racial profiling, police violence and criminalization of the homeless.
February 28, 2014
March 21, 2014, marks the fifth anniversary of the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, who was killed after he murdered four Oakland police officers and wounded a fifth, around 73rd and MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland. “The Ghosts of March 21” is a documentary about the bloodiest day in the history of Oakland law enforcement, shot by Damon “Hooker Boy” Hooker and directed, written and edited by Sam Stoker.
July 30, 2013
There was an ocean of signs in a sea of banners of struggle and liberation in front of Anaheim’s City Hall and the adjacent park on July 21, 2013. The signs held faces of those cut down in the prime of their lives in loving memory and detail. There were informational signs and signs with slogans of liberation, with demands, statements of fact and advice – such as “Fuck the system” and “FTP” (“Fuck the police”).
July 8, 2013
As more people put their lives on the line today to fight for the hunger strikers’ five core demands – still unmet by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – the need for this kind of artwork feels critical. Noah succeeds in creating visually impactful and beautiful work that also activates audiences to learn about human rights abuses and to get involved.
June 30, 2013
One month after the brutal murder of Malcolm Latif Shabazz in Mexico City, about 30 people gathered at the Angel of Independence to demand justice in the case. The demonstrators carried banners and placards on a march through several blocks from Paseo de la Reforma around the U.S. Embassy before returning to El Ángel to place a floral offering there.
January 14, 2013
Oakland’s mayor, chief of police, and city manager announced their intentions to contract with William Bratton as a consultant to the Oakland Police Department. Oakland has become the epicenter of anti-brutality campaigns, so those who want the brutality to continue are bringing in their big guns. Join the Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition and allies on Tuesday, Jan. 15, to tell the Oakland City Council that we reject Bill Bratton and his racist, fascist policies. Meet up at 5:00 for a rally with the meeting at 5:30.
November 23, 2012
Anthony “Tony” Pirone, the police officer who had his knee on Oscar Grant’s back while Grant was laying on the Fruitvale BART platform in Oakland as Officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed him, is seeking arbitration with BART to be reinstated to his previous position with the BART police. Many consider Pirone as one of the main instigators in the events leading to Grant’s murder.
September 9, 2012
Far from bringing “discredit to the Panthers,” as Rosenfeld contends, the Black Panthers’ armed street patrols dramatically reduced the level of violence visited by Oakland’s white cops upon the city’s Black residents, earning the admiration of 62 percent of inner city Blacks, according to a 1969 Wall Street Journal poll. Rosenfeld’s portrayal of the Panthers, including Richard Aoki’s role in the organization, is grossly inaccurate. His analysis of the violence surrounding the party’s challenge to racial inequality and injustice is simplistic and racist.
August 30, 2012
New Orleans has become a national laboratory for government reforms. But the process through which those experiments have been carried out rarely has been transparent or democratic. The results have been divisive, pitting new residents against those who grew up here, rich against poor, and white against Black.
May 2, 2012
The ink was barely dry on the convictions and plea bargains of 10 members of the New Orleans Police Department in the Danziger Bridge murders and coverup, when NOPD police gunned down Justin Sipp and unarmed Wendell Allen. Hundreds marched in protest of ongoing police murders of Black youth. The African American community is beginning to fight back.
July 21, 2011
Another young, unarmed Black man, Kenneth Harding, has been gunned down in broad daylight. He was shot numerous times in the back as he fled, his empty hands held in the air. His crime had been a simple train fare evasion for which San Francisco police executed him in the street.
November 10, 2010
I was swept up and arrested Friday night in Oakland at the end of the Justice for Oscar Grant march. As usual, most Bay Area TV stations gave a factually awful – very pro-police – spin to what happened.
March 17, 2010
The Chinese government responded March 12 to the release of a U.S. human rights report critical of China by issuing its own report criticizing the U.S. human rights record. The report covered issues relating to crime, racial discrimination and poverty and accused the U.S. of using its hegemonic power to continue “trampling” on the sovereignty of other countries while “posing as the world judge of human rights.”
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.
September 16, 2009
So Van Jones, activist, joins the Barack Obama administration, as the green energy czar, a field he’s passionate about, to provide jobs in Black communities and conserve natural resources as part of a larger change in America’s addiction to oil. But, almost immediately, Jones comes under attack from forces in America that really don’t want change.
April 21, 2009
Many TV channels broadcast live the entire funeral for four Oakland police officers killed March 21, news anchors calling them “heroes” and “angels.” Police funerals are intended to legitimize past and future police violence and tell the public to shut up. The spineless left complies – no mention of Oscar Grant … or Lovelle Mixon.
March 26, 2009
Police are virtually an occupying military force in Black urban centers. Their presence will neither eliminate the plague of rampant crime nor address the underlying disease of extreme impoverishment.
October 1, 2008
At 4 p.m. on her very last day of employment as the executive director of the Pacifica Foundation, Nicole Sawaya permanently appointed Lemlem Rijio as the general manager at KPFA-FM, a position Rijio has been occupying on an interim basis for two years. Rijio has been under fire as of late, with Berkeley police violently arresting a station programmer who had allegedly been banned in a dispute over copier usage. Seventy-four of 215 station staffers have signed a statement of no-confidence in her leadership.
August 30, 2008
Almost 20 years ago, we declared this KPFA building a sanctuary against violence, a new home for peace and a network that was created nearly six decade ago to promote peace and understanding among all communities. And here we have the Pacifica patrones mimicking their corporate twins, using police power to sustain their political point of view.