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Posts Tagged with "President Obama"

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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The president comes to see about prisoners

July 23, 2015

Jobs are the fastest way to slow down the revolving prison doors and to stop crime and bullets. No matter where I set the bar in an effort to manage my expectations for this visit, that bar has been forged and shaped by white supremacy. It took over 54 years to take down the Confederate battle flag, a flag used to champion the cause of slavery. It is from and into this environment that the first sitting Black president will walk into a prison system that has absorbed a number of old plantations.

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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Congresswoman Lee leads letter to president urging fair chance hiring

May 26, 2015

More than 70 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, sent a letter to President Obama on May 21 to adopt a federal fair chance hiring policy. This effort was co-led by Congressmen Conyers, Scott and Davis and Congresswoman Jackson Lee and supported by various groups including Policy Link, the ACLU, National Employment Law Project, PICO Network’s LIVE FREE Campaign, and All Of Us or None.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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At the heart of the June 2014 concert for the Cuban 5 in Washington, D.C., were Obi Egbuna, Stic Man, Mistress of Ceremonies Chioma Iwuoha, M1 and a background singer with Roots Radics. – Photo: Amoa Salaam

The third edition of the ‘Monumental Battle Cry for Cuba and Zimbabwe’ has been released

May 21, 2015

Writer, reporter and Pan Africanist Obi Egbuna, the U.S. correspondent to the Zimbabwean national newspaper The Herald, recently finished, alongside co-executive producer M1 of dead prez, the third volume of the “Battle Cry for Cuba and Zimbabwe” compilation, which is a cultural protest against how the two countries have been unfairly sanctioned by the U.S. government. Check out Obi Egbuna in his own words.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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Stop Rwanda and Uganda in DR Congo; implement Obama’s Congo bill

May 17, 2015

In accordance with President Obama’s Congo bill, the U.S. should withhold aid to Rwanda and Uganda and impose sanctions on its presidents and other government and military officials, whose culpability for cross border wars of aggression and illegal resource extraction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have long since been documented.

The new $5 billion Apple campus under construction is providing jobs to thousands of construction workers.

Apple lifts ban on construction workers with felony convictions, must do more – two perspectives

April 21, 2015

We commend Apple for taking prompt action to change a facially discriminatory policy. The Cupertino campus project, expected to yield thousands of construction jobs, can still provide a unique opportunity for Apple to support the local economy and provide work for an underserved population. It is not too late for Apple to right a wrong, prove its commitment to inclusion, and become a leader on fair hiring practices.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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“Tales of the Grim Sleeper”

Wanda’s Picks for April 2015

April 4, 2015

Over a 25 year period, 200 women in South LA went missing. Of these missing women, 100 were found dead. All of the women are Black and most were prostitutes. The refusal to let these women’s lives go unacknowledged is due to the work of Black Coalition Fighting Back Against Serial Murders. HBO will broadcast “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” on April 27.

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Filed Under: Culture Stories
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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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Cops kill every 8 hours in 2015

March 1, 2015

As of Feb. 13, U.S. police have killed at least 131 people in 2015, an average of three per day, the vast majority by gunfire. The glorification of the police by the corporate media and politicians, the exaggeration of the dangers they face, and the high pay most receive are all due to the role the police play as the protectors, not of the people but of a system based on capitalist exploitation and national oppression.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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This is California Men’s Colony, built in 1954; it houses over 4,000 prisoners. According to Capital Engineering Consultants and Soltek Pacific Construction, they completed a new 50-bed mental health crisis facility there in 2012.

Nurse Paul Spector blows the whistle on torture in a California prison

February 27, 2015

For decades, prisoners in California have protested the torturous conditions they are subjected to. Now a nurse has come forward who worked in a California prison and can speak to personally witnessing some of these horrors perpetrated by some of his colleagues at the California Men’s Colony State Prison in San Luis Obispo. Paul Spector was fired from his job for speaking out. Check him out in his own words …

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, DRC President Joseph Kabila meet to resolve conflict 112712

Congo’s problems are Museveni, Kagame and Kabila, not the FDLR

January 20, 2015

Potentially catastrophic military operations, authorized by the U.N. Security Council, may lie ahead soon for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The U.N. Security Council has urged the Congolese army to join U.N. combat troops from South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi in hunting down the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, a Rwandan refugee militia commonly known as the FDLR.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Barbara Lee on US war in Syria and Iraq: Congress ducks responsibility

January 13, 2015

Earlier this week, the U.S. Air Force website reported a record number of bombs assembled and dropped on ISIS during the past three months. Ammo troops, it said, meaning troops that build bombs in an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, are looking to break new records. Their senior commander said, “In the last three months we have already built over nine times the amount of munitions that the last rotation did in their entire six [months].”

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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U.S. cops kill at 100 times rate of other capitalist countries

January 8, 2015

In May 2014, President Obama told graduating West Point army cadets, “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.” One area in which the U.S. is unquestionably exceptional is the level of state violence directed against African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and working and poor people of all nationalities. U.S. police killings outnumber those in other developed capitalist countries by as much as 100-1!

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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After decades on death row, where prisoners and visitors are separated by glass, Mumia had to fight another year and a half to win contact visits with his oldest son, Jamal, shown here on the left. Mumia’s oldest brother, Keith Cook, is on the right.

Cops vs. the First Amendment

January 2, 2015

Keith Cook delivered this speech on Dec. 5 at “Cops vs. Free Speech,” a public forum organized by the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia: Thank you for inviting me again to be a part of this essential, timely discussion that we should be having across our nation. Free speech – for most of us who are activists, what does the Fraternal Order of Police, commonly known as the FOP, have to do with it?

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Nurse fired for speaking out: ‘I am on a mission to stop torture at CDCR’

December 31, 2014

Assigned to the Mental Health Crisis Bed (MHCB) unit, I found 80-plus patients suffering torture, sexual abuse and neglect. President Obama would recognize it as torture. The vast majority of victims were Black or Hispanic, all the abusers White. Cold, dark cells hold captives in isolated sensory deprivation – drugged, sick and in pain. Nurses prevented death only to prolong torment, sometimes for years. The number of patients suffering preventable deaths during “medical treatment” in CDCR facilities may exceed all legal executions nationwide.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Congresswoman Maxine Waters condemns RAD public housing privatization scheme

December 31, 2014

Public housing is home to over 1.2 million families across the nation, mostly the elderly, disabled and low-income women with children. The Bay Area is home to thousands of them. In an effort to save public housing in Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco and nationwide, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., wrote a letter to President Obama on Dec. 10 condemning the Rental Assistance Demonstration program, or RAD.

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