July 7, 2014
One year ago, on July 8, 2013, 30,000 California prisoners initiated the largest hunger strike the world has ever seen. Sixty days later, 40 prisoners, who had eaten nothing in all that time, agreed to suspend the strike when state legislators promised to hold hearings on ending solitary confinement, the heart of their demands. The 2013 hunger strike followed two in 2011. In the interim, effective October 2012, the hunger strike leaders, representing all racial groups, issued the historic Agreement to End Hostilities, which has held with few exceptions throughout the California prison system ever since.
June 27, 2014
My cellmate is an inspiration to all ethnic groups who has endured the injustices by the hands of what we call the “government.” His name is Leonard Peltier, in prison since 1975 for a crime he didn’t commit. How can someone hate when all that’s asked for is “peace and equality”? My vision is this: to write with all people of injustice not for the purpose of war but for peace, so we may start to heal. I ask you to stand with me.
February 22, 2014
There has been a great deal of attention directed toward Richmond’s Housing Authority after recent negative media coverage alleging gross mismanagement. Although there have been challenges to the truthfulness and questions about the accuracy in the reporting, what we know for certain is that real harm was done, and we must take the health and wellbeing of our residents as seriously as we do our own.
February 18, 2014
“Richmond is Better Now; Let’s Build on a Decade of Progress” is the theme promoted by a progressive team of candidates for Richmond City Council, announced Feb. 13. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin – limited by City Charter to two consecutive terms as mayor – will run for a City Council seat, along with Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles and Planning Commissioner Eduardo Martinez. Mike Parker will seek the office of mayor.
January 20, 2014
Dr. King led a movement that issued a stirring call for justice. Lyndon Johnson used his remarkable skills to drive an unprecedented response to that call. The prophet and the president were both remarkable leaders. We may not look on their like again. But even so, one thing is still clear: When we build the demand for change, leaders will arise to offer the response.
January 2, 2014
“Our nation is moving toward two societies, one Black, and one white – separate and unequal.” And, unless immediate corrective action is taken, “large scale and continuing violence could result, followed by white retaliation, and, ultimately, the separation of the two communities into a garrison state.” These are words from the much publicized and relatively blunt report of the President’s Commission on Civil Disorders.
December 29, 2013
I do not accept the common usage of the term “crime.” Why? Crime is not solely the violation of legal codes. It encompasses behavior that violates human rights. But beyond the legal understandings, crime shatters relationships, both social – including political and economic – and interpersonal. Instead of correcting the problems it is intended to relieve, the justice system itself in many ways has become a monstrous crime against humanity.
December 6, 2013
The house was packed for the San Francisco NAACP Freedom Fund Gala, “We Shall Not Be Moved Until Justice Rolls Down Like a Mighty Stream,” at the Union Square Hilton on Saturday, Nov. 9, when Tavis Smiley, named one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” by TIME magazine, broadcaster, author of 16 books, publisher, advocate and philanthropist, took the mic. Beginning with excerpts from his introduction by San Francisco NAACP President Dr. Amos C. Brown, here is Tavis’ provocative and profoundly moving address:
September 3, 2013
For the past several years, I have spent virtually all my working hours writing about or speaking about the immorality, cruelty, racism and insanity of our nation’s latest caste system: mass incarceration. On this Facebook page I have written and posted about little else. But as I pause today to reflect on the meaning and significance of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I realize that my focus has been too narrow.
August 24, 2013
Looking good, feeling good and making good decisions has a lot to do with what you put into your body. Health and green activist and musician AshEl Seasunz has been on the frontline of educating Black, Brown and low income neighborhoods in the Bay Area about the benefits of healthy eating, with SOS non-profit, which sells freshly squeezed organic juices and offers presentations from leading experts nationally.
May 18, 2013
The U.S. State Department recently released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, posing as the world judge of human rights again. As in previous years, the reports are full of carping and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China. However, the U.S. turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and never said a word about it.
November 30, 2012
Why do imaginary phantoms terrify, while real-life horrors seem normal? Why do our elected representatives act in ways that trample the values of those who elected them? Consider the current debate in Washington. The city is in full uproar about the so-called “fiscal cliff,” the deep cuts in spending and hikes in taxes scheduled to take place at the end of the year. Don’t fall for the hype.
November 29, 2012
Reporting and supporting as a revolutionary poverty journalist, I have done multiple stories on the increasing criminalization suffered by houseless peoples in the U.S. As a daughter raised in a houseless family, I was personally cited, arrested and eventually incarcerated for the act of being houseless and living in the car with my mama.
October 26, 2012
Recently, I had an opportunity to speak with Cynthia McKinney, and I asked her about leadership. She replied that at the local level in the Black communities, there is leadership. It no longer gets media coverage, but it is there. Real leaders are those with the courage to dissent and to resist. It is the act of resistance that transforms an elected person into a leader.
August 29, 2012
There are 123,934 fewer people in New Orleans now than in 2000. How does New Orleans rank today, in comparison to other U.S. cities and the world, seven years after Katrina?
August 18, 2012
In order to effectively challenge the prison industrial complex growth, we must challenge and destroy the root causes of crime. Until poverty, the root cause of mass incarceration, is destroyed, we will see a steady rise of citizens in the prison industrial complex.
January 26, 2012
We are committed to contributing to meaningful and lasting change. And this is part of what keeps us amongst the sane. We understand, and always have, that the price that we will pay for this is the efforts to silence us, to isolate and destroy us!
September 1, 2011
As this weekend’s storm has reminded us, hurricanes can be a threat to U.S. cities on the East Coast as well the Gulf. But the vast changes that have taken place in New Orleans since Katrina have had little to do with weather and everything to do with political struggles.
August 17, 2011
Berkeley, Calif.: The most liberal city in America and the world, some say. And yet Berkeley High School, with over 3,500 students and 250 teachers, has only eight Black teachers. Scandalous!
July 12, 2011
Support for the hunger strike grows with solidarity actions across the U.S. and Canada this past weekend.
A series of noise demonstrations outside jails, detention centers and prisons occurred internationally in St. Louis, New York City, Oakland, Los Angeles, Montreal and Kitchener, Ontario.