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Posts Tagged with "President Barack Obama"

Bato Talamantez of the San Quentin 6 makes the first public appeal, on June 17, 2011, to support the hunger strike, organized by prisoners in the Pelican Bay SHU, which began on July 1, 2011. Participation by an amazing 6,600 prisoners across the state was topped months later in the second hunger strike that 12,000 participated in and the last hunger strike, beginning July 8, 2013, which drew 30,000 participants, the largest hunger strike in world history. – Photo: United for Drug Policy Reform

Testimony of Everett D. Allen, M.D., former chief physician and surgeon at Pelican Bay State Prison, to US Senate Judiciary hearing, Part 2

August 28, 2015

Dr. Everett D. Allen’s testimony to Sen. Richard Durbin’s United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights at its hearing on “Solitary Confinement as Torture” on June 19, 2012, was previously published by the Bay View, and this testimony was presented to the second hearing, held Feb. 25, 2014.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Julian Bond on Ebony cover 0569

Julian Bond, race man

August 22, 2015

Of all the labels and titles that could rightfully be appended to Bond – activist, politician, lecturer, commentator, professor – he wished to be remembered most as a “race man”: “A race man is an expression that’s not used anymore, but it used to describe a man – usually a man, could have been a woman too – who was a good defender of the race, who didn’t dislike White people, but who stood up for Black people, who fought for Black people. I’d want people to say that about me.”

Responding to the movement begun by the California prisoners’ hunger strikes in 2011 and 2013 to stop mass incarceration and longterm solitary confinement, President Obama became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, where he met with a group of prisoners. Afterward, he asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch to “start a review of the overuse of solitary confinement across American prisons.” Accompanying the president is Federal Bureau of Prisons Direct Charles Samuels (right). – Photo: NBC News

While counting President Obama’s NAACP speech and prison visit as big wins, let us keep fighting

July 18, 2015

On Tuesday, July 14, one day after commuting the sentences of 46 people currently serving sentences for nonviolent drug offenses in federal prisons, President Obama addressed the NAACP National Convention in Philadelphia. In his address, the president declared that our criminal justice system is “built on the legacy of slavery, segregation and other structural inequalities that [have] compounded over generations.” Our current system, the president said, is “not an accident.”

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Clemency has become so rare for ordinary people that it is seldom even demanded in marches and rallies. An exception in recent years were the mass protests around the country demanding that Georgia pardon, not execute Troy Davis, a prisoner on death row who firmly maintained his innocence. Despite the loud and long outcry, including this march in September 2008, Troy was executed on Sept. 21, 2011. – Photo: Michael Schiffman

Expand clemency! Freeing 46 is a start but not enough

July 15, 2015

On July 13, President Barack Obama followed up his March 2015 pardons of 22 federal prisoners by commuting the sentences of 46 federal prisoners who had served time for what has been described by the Washington Post as overly harsh sentencing. On Thursday, July 16, Obama will meet with law enforcement officials and prisoners at El Reno, the first time a sitting president has visited a federal prison.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Bree Newsom removes Confederate flag from SC capitol grounds 062715, cropped

Bree Newsome describes her role in persuading South Carolina to banish slavery flag

July 10, 2015

On June 27, a young freedom fighter and community organizer mounted an awe-inspiring campaign to bring down the Confederate battle flag. Brittany “Bree” Newsome, in a courageous act of civil disobedience, scaled a metal pole using a climbing harness, to remove the flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol. She refused law enforcement commands to end her mission and was immediately arrested along with ally James Ian Tyson. Though the flag was replaced an hour later, only 12 days later, the Legislature voted it down for good.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro holds a copy of the Venezuelan Constitution as he speaks to his people. – Photo: Reuters

Venezuela a threat to US national security?

March 14, 2015

On March 9, 2015, U.S. President Obama issued an executive order declaring a “national emergency” affirming that “the situation in Venezuela” poses an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” This is the latest measure of U.S. imperialist meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation like the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and as such is strongly condemned by the Hands off Venezuela campaign.

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Filed Under: Haiti and Latin America
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The Obamas lead a march in Selma on Saturday, March 7, marking the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the president holding the hands of two veterans of the struggle for voting rights, Congressman John Lewis and Amelia Boynton Robinson, 103. Both were severely beaten by state troopers on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965. The other wheelchair user is educator Adelaide Sanford, a founder of Elder’s House, a history repository and learning center in Selma. – Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP

Mumia Abu Jamal: Unsaid at Selma

March 11, 2015

Who can question whether President Barack Obama is a master when it comes to speeches? Such a quality literally put him on the map when he mesmerized a crowd at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He did it again in the Selma, Alabama’s 50th anniversary at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. His central message: No one can doubt things are better since Selma. No one. His speech, delivered with quiet passion, was a master work. And yet … and yet.

Supervisor Avalos introduces resolution to review racial profiling and use of force by SFPD, upholds right to nonviolent protest

December 16, 2014

On Dec. 9, Supervisor John Avalos introduced a resolution to the Board of Supervisors to address racial profiling and the use of force by police officers, nationally and locally, as well as to uphold the right to nonviolent protest. Supervisors David Campos, Jane Kim, Malia Cohen and Eric Mar signed as cosponsors. A final vote on the resolution will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 16, and a large showing of support is vital to its passage.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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Tanzanian President Jacaya Kikwete, right, has encouraged Rwandan President Paul Kagame, left, to negotiate with the FDLR militia for the safe return of Rwandan refugees in eastern Congo to Rwanda. Kagame has absolutely refused.

Will US policymakers review ‘Rwanda’s Untold Story’ before sending in the Marines?

October 27, 2014

“Rwanda’s Untold Story,” a controversial BBC documentary first aired in the U.K. on Oct. 1, undermines the rationale for military action against the FDLR fighters in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo’s North Kivu Provinces. The FDLR has been described as the militia that committed the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, but the documentary suggests that no one was more responsible than Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame himself.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks to the media with Nowai Korkoyah, the mother of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, and his nephew, Joe Weeks, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Oct. 7, the day before Duncan’s death. – Photo: Joe Raedle, NY Daily News

United States Ebola death raises questions about quality of care

October 11, 2014

There was a sense of shock and disbelief when news was released about the death of Thomas Eric Duncan on Oct. 8 at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The Liberian-born 42-year-old was the first reported case of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) which emerged in the U.S. and resulted in death. Reports during the week of Oct. 6 mentioned that Duncan’s medical condition was worsening and that he was “fighting for his life.”

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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These photos were taken at Michael Brown’s funeral, held in Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, St. Louis, which was filled to capacity with 4,500 mourners, leaving hundreds more to wait outside. They were taken by The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey and posted to Facebook with the comments that appear beneath them. Enjoy them as we await his print quality photos. Here, a young woman reads a flier that is shown at the end of the story. – Photo: Minister of Information JR Valrey, Block Report

Thousands attend funeral of Michael Brown

August 26, 2014

Slain 18-year-old Ferguson, Missouri, resident Michael Brown was laid to rest on Aug. 25. The funeral was a local and national event with thousands in attendance. Brown was killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, on Aug. 9 while he walked through the streets of his neighborhood. His brutal death from six gunshot wounds fired at close range sparked immediate mass demonstrations in Ferguson that have continued for over two weeks.

Youth led thousands Saturday on the march to the Port of Oakland to stop an Israeli cargo ship from unloading. – Photo: Malaika Kambon

US-Israeli terrorism blocked at the Port of Oakland

August 20, 2014

Beginning Saturday, Aug. 16, dock workers at the Port of Oakland honored the picket lines of thousands of people over a period of four days – and many months of organizing in solidarity with the people of Palestine – to block Israeli apartheid by preventing the docking and unloading of the Zim Pireaus liner anywhere on the West Coast. On Tuesday, Aug. 19, the Zim Pireus left the Port of Oakland with its cargo untouched, unloaded, unremarked and unwanted.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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Hunger strikes spread to Texas detention center

March 19, 2014

After a massive hunger strike inside the Tacoma Detention Center reached its 11th day, detainees found their effort spreading to other facilities inspired by their demands. Immigrants held at the Joe Corley Detention Center in Conroe, Texas, initiated their own fast in protest of their treatment at the facility run by the same company, the GEO Group, and as part of the nation-wide call for an end to deportations.

Lawmakers bludgeon the food stamp program

February 26, 2014

Final passage of the $956 billion farm bill received bipartisan support in the Senate on Feb. 4, and soon after President Barack Obama signed the bill into law. Passage of the bill includes massive cuts to the food stamp program – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP – that will affect around 47 million people living in poverty all across the nation.

Flush the TPP!

February 14, 2014

Want to eat poisoned food or triple your medication costs? TPP will do that. Confused about how multinational corporations created the TPP, a Trans Pacific Partnership “trade deal” that will hurt people globally? WikiLeaks recently published two chapters of the agreement big corporations developed in years of secret talks. Before we have our say, Obama wants to Fast Track TPP through Congress. Here’s a quick summary of why we should flush the TPP.

‘Help bring me home for the holidays,’ a life and death appeal from renowned people’s attorney Lynne Stewart

December 19, 2013

I need to ask once again for your assistance in forcing the Bureau of Prisons to grant my compassionate release. They have been stonewalling since August and my life expectancy, as per my cancer doctor, is down to 12 months. They know that I am fully qualified and that over 40,000 people have signed on to force them to do the right thing, which is to let me go home to my family and to receive advanced care in New York City. Yet they refuse to act.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Mandela, America, Israel and systems of oppression

December 14, 2013

In the 23 years since Nelson Mandela walked from his notorious Robben Island prison cell, leaving behind the rotting corpse of South Africa’s system of racial and economic oppression known as apartheid, a new generation has grown into adulthood there, literally unaware of the cruel exploitation and indignities the tiny White minority population inflicted on the masses of that country’s people.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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Immigration policy is good policy? If so, for whom?

December 2, 2013

On Monday, Nov. 25, President Barack Obama visited the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco to talk about his Common Sense Immigration Bill slowly making its way through the United States Congress. Immigration is always topical in a country where most of us are immigrants even in the visible absence of its First Peoples.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Amos Brown reflects on the 50th Anniversary March on Washington

September 6, 2013

As the nation celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 50th anniversary holds a special place in the life of the Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, senior pastor at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco and president of the San Francisco NAACP. Fifty years ago, Brown was at the March on Washington as a student from Morehouse College in Atlanta.

New Jersey billboard erected night before FBI announcement Assata Shakur 050213

Prisoners urged to sign NCBL petition: Assata is not a terrorist!

August 2, 2013

On July 16, 2013, Assata Shakur’s birthday, prisoners in FCI (Federal Correctional Institution) Cumberland spontaneously showed their strong support for her and the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL), whose online petition calls for Assata’s removal from the government’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list and revocation of the $2 million bounty on her.

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