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Posts Tagged with "President Obama"

How can a prisoner even dream of raising a family when sentence enhancements keep him locked up forever? Yet to live, he must hope. This drawing is entitled, “Rise.” – Art: G. Lumumba Edwards, B-89208, San Quentin State Prison 5-N-23, San Quentin CA 94974

Federal sentence enhancements keep Black low-level drug offenders in prison for life without parole

May 25, 2016

Over the past few years, President Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, members of both houses of Congress and many other elected officials have expressed the need for criminal justice reform. Much concern has been raised regarding overly harsh penalties for low-level drug offenses and firearms violations. There is, however, one particularly egregious judicial injustice that has not made the headlines, perhaps because it primarily effects only poor African Americans.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Melchior Ndadaye

Rwanda, Burundi and the assassination of three Hutu presidents

April 11, 2016

The Rwandan Genocide is commemorated in Rwanda and at the United Nations as “the genocide against the Tutsi.” However, it was preceded by the assassination of three Hutu presidents and by the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Hutu civilians in Burundi. There is also ample evidence that hundreds of thousands of Hutus, as well as Tutsis, died in the Rwandan massacres.

Sharon Jasper, leader of the “Bring the People Home” movement to allow 4,500 New Orleans families to return to their perfectly livable public housing apartments after Katrina, most untouched by the flood, discusses strategy with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the only member of Congress who devoted herself to enabling poor New Orleanians to recover. Despite their brilliant and valiant efforts, public housing was almost entirely demolished in New Orleans. In the years since then, city after city has privatized and/or demolished its public housing, driving thousands of residents – families, the elderly and the disabled – into homelessness.

Rep. Maxine Waters unveils landmark legislation to end homelessness in America

March 24, 2016

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the Committee on Financial Services, introduced landmark legislation that would provide significant resources to end homelessness in America. The measure is a bold effort to declare what is really needed to address this crisis. The legislation provides $13.27 billion in new funding over five years to several programs and initiatives that will help the nearly 600,000 Americans who are currently homeless.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Assemblyman Tony Thurmond proudly escorts Betty Reid Soskin during the Black History Month Ceremony in the Assembly chambers in Sacramento.

Assemblymember Thurmond honors Betty Reid Soskin, the nation’s oldest park ranger

March 2, 2016

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) honored Ms. Betty Reid Soskin, 94, a Richmond resident and the nation’s oldest full-time park ranger in a ceremony Feb.12. She was honored as an “Unsung Hero” – the Black History Month honoree from Assembly District 15. Assemblymember Thurmond has introduced AB 2054, Summer EBT for Children (SEBTC). The bill would prepare California to implement SEBTC, a model proven to decrease chronic hunger.

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Protesters hit the streets of Port au Prince en masse on Jan. 22, 2016, upon learning their constant marching had forced a postponement of the run-off election that had been scheduled for Jan. 24. – Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery, AP

Haiti rises: a time for solidarity

March 1, 2016

The voice of Haiti’s popular movement at this critical period in the country’s history has never been clearer. For the past several months, since the discredited legislative and presidential elections of last August and October, mass, vibrant protests for the right to a free and fair vote and against foreign intervention have been a relentless force, in the face of heavily-armed and well-financed adversaries and mounting repression.

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Filed Under: Haiti and Latin America
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Rwandan President Paul Kagame is fourth from left in this lineup of NBA players, managers and officials at the NBA All Star Weekend festivities in Toronto Feb. 14.

Do Black African lives matter to the NBA? Rwanda’s Kagame in Toronto

February 18, 2016

Why did the NBA All Star Game Weekend celebrate Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, who is known to have launched invasions that cost millions of African lives, and to brutally repress his own people? His appearance inspired indignation and headlines in the Toronto press. Ann Garrison spoke with CIUT-Toronto Taylor Report host Phil Taylor to ask what he thought of this and how it happened.

'Demand Freedom and Justice for Leonard Peltier' poster

Free Leonard Peltier, wrongly imprisoned 40 years

February 17, 2016

For 40 years, former American Indian Movement (AIM) activist Leonard Peltier has been in the clutches of the U.S. prison system –The Iron House of the whites, as indigenous people call them – on trumped up murder charges. Now, as he suffers poor health and an abdominal aortic aneurism, time is no longer on his side. The aneurism, diagnosed just weeks ago, threatens his very life, so supporters of Leonard are demanding his freedom, so he doesn’t perish in the Iron House.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Evans Gororo is a farmer near Chinamora, Zimbabwe, whose “corn is as high as an elephant’s eye,” as the song says. Blacks are proving to be even more productive farmers than the whites who stole the land from them. – Photo: AFP

Looking at Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and the African Union in 2015: an interview wit’ US correspondent to the Zimbabwean Herald Obi Egbuna

February 4, 2016

2015 was a historic political year for the African continent because one of the continent’s most radical anti-imperialist leaders chaired the African Union, and I am talking about President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. I talked with Obi Egbuna, the U.S. correspondent for the Zimbabwean national newspaper, The Herald, about what President Mugabe accomplished leading Zimbabwe and the African Union in 2015. Here is what he had to say.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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Each day for the remainder of this week, please lend aid to the rally in Washington, D.C., for Leonard Peltier. Call on President Obama to free Leonard Peltier: Call 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414; email President Obama at http://www.whitehouse.gov/con…/submit-questions-and-comments; post a comment on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/potus/?fref=ts&hc_location=ufi; send a tweet to President Obama: @POTUS; and/or write a letter: President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500.

Black Lives Matter Solidarity Statement from First Nation Peoples on National Day of Mourning for Indigenous People

November 27, 2015

Just as we know Indigenous Life is Sacred, we know Black Lives Matter. There is a state of emergency. From British Columbia to Ferguson, from the Amazon forest to Oakland, from Alcatraz Island to Minneapolis, we are demanding our freedom. As First Nation people, we understand that OUR justice relies on the respect, appreciation and liberation of Black lives. Because if they can’t get it, we definitely won’t be seeing it. ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter!

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Jesse Perez, web cropped

Prison guards face jury in retaliatory abuse of solitary confinement case – pack the courtroom through Friday, Nov. 20!

November 12, 2015

Jesse Perez, a young man buried alive in the Pelican Bay SHU, began advocating for a Prisoner Political Action Committee after the hunger strikes, when attention had turned to legislative action. Now he’s suing his jailers for their retaliation, and the judge denied defendants’ summary judgment motion. The trial began Nov. 9 and is expected to continue to Friday, Nov. 20. Pack the courtroom daily (except no court Thursday): Courtroom 4, 17th floor, Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco.

All Of Us Or None, founder of ‘Ban the Box’ campaign, applauds President Obama for banning the box

November 4, 2015

All Of Us Or None applauds President Obama and his administration for “Banning the Box” for federal agencies on Nov. 2. In issuing a federal personnel memorandum, the president directed that the federal government delay inquiries into a job applicant’s conviction history until later on in the hiring process. The president’s memorandum – issued after years of advocacy by All Of Us Or None – marks a historic victory for the campaign.

The Blue Angels FA-18s zoom past the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, in October 2007. – Photo: Clark Cook

The Blue Angels air show: San Francisco’s choice

October 10, 2015

Few aside from the USA’s military industrial giants have made more money on the Iraq War than California’s U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her husband, Richard Blum. The Blue Angels first came to San Francisco in 1981, when Feinstein was mayor. Will the MSF hospital bombing in Kunduz, Afghanistan, put a damper on San Francisco’s annual celebration of war and militarism? The Blue Angels are San Francisco’s choice. The Pentagon does not force them on San Francisco or any other city.

San Francisco NAACP President Amos Brown meets with the Board of Supervisors about the growing racial income disparity in the city. – Photo: Scott Strazzante, SF Chronicle

Black San Franciscans protest growing poverty as rich San Franciscans meet President Obama and Kanye West

October 9, 2015

Join the rally in front of the Warfield Theater, 982 Market St., San Francisco, Saturday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m., to protest racism toward African Americans in San Francisco by Dr. Amos C. Brown, Carletta Jackson-Lane, Fred Jordan, Shawn Richards, Mattie Scott and Rev. Arnold Townsend The Democratic fundraiser featuring President Obama and Kanye West at […]

Physician Janette Sherman on US gun mania

October 4, 2015

On Oct. 3, U.S. forces shot up the hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, run by Doctors Without Borders, killing 12 staff and seven patients. This news upset me greatly. U.S. military personnel can remotely direct drones to kill whatever target they want to hit thousands of miles away. Americans have developed an amazing killing ability. This last week, 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer killed nine people and wounded nine at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

A young South Sudanese refugee stands at a Sudanese border checkpoint in Joda, where Sudan's White Nile state meets the South's Upper Nile, after fleeing battles between rebel and government forces on January 17, 2014. Those waiting on the border are among an estimated 10,000 who have fled north to Sudan as part of an exodus, which the UN's refugee agency UNHCR says has seen almost 80,000 people escape battles between rebel and government forces in South Sudan over the past month. AFP PHOTO / ASHRAF SHAZLY        (Photo credit should read ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)

Give peace a chance in South Sudan: An interview with Dr. Horace Campbell

September 9, 2015

Fighting has continued in South Sudan’s oil rich Upper Nile State despite the peace agreement signed on Aug. 26. Since December 2013, South Sudan’s brutal civil war has cost more thousands of lives than anyone can accurately estimate and displaced 2.25 million people. I spoke to Syracuse University Professor Dr. Horace Campbell about what it would take to demilitarize South Sudan and give peace a chance after so many years of war.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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All of Us 0915, web

The Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Conference comes to Oakland

September 1, 2015

All of Us or None’s upcoming Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Western Regional Conference is Sept. 20-21 at Oakstop, 1721 Broadway in downtown Oakland. It will be a time for people to discuss employment, housing, crimmigration, which is the connection between the punishment system in the U.S. and immigration policies, and more. Check out one of the main organizers, Manuel La Fontaine, about the conference and his life experiences.

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Dorsey Nunn on Hugo Pinell and the Agreement to End Hostilities: An old man’s opinion

August 25, 2015

Since my release in October 1981, my deepest commitment in life has been to fight for the full restoration of civil and human rights of formerly incarcerated people and for those who have the current misfortune of occupying cages. It is through this lens that I attempt to come to grips with the tragic murder of Hugo Pinell and its possible ramifications.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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A prisoner in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary Angola, a former plantation, peers through his mail and food slot. Will the condemnation of longterm solitary by Justice Kennedy and President Obama help him finally find freedom? – Photo: Adam Shemper

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy goes out of his way to denounce solitary confinement

August 21, 2015

Justice Anthony Kennedy agreed with the majority in its most recent capital punishment case. But in an unusual move, he dedicated almost all of his concurring opinion to condemning the practice of solitary confinement in the nation’s prisons, even though the issue, of his own admission, had “no direct bearing” on the case. In Kennedy’s lengthy opinion concerning how Ayala was incarcerated, he noted that Ayala had been isolated for most of his 25 years of custody.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe – Photo: VOA

Burundi’s tense northern border with Rwanda

July 26, 2015

The Burundian army has been engaged by troops near its northern border with Rwanda and this week Aljazeera reported that young men in Rwandan refugee camps are being recruited to join a rebel force to fight in Burundi. Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe, speaking to The Voice of America, said that the Burundian government had asked the Rwandan government to prevent any action threatening Burundi’s security.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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Freeing our families from the criminal justice chokehold

July 25, 2015

Calling all families: Come out for ‘A Fair Chance to Advance’ on Saturday, Aug. 1, 11-2, at At Thy Word Church, 8915 International Blvd, Oakland, to see how Prop 47, reducing many felonies to misdemeanors, can free your family – presented by Bay Area Black Workers Center, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, East Bay Community Law Center, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Assemblyman Rob Bonta.

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