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 22, 2011
So far, the state’s plan for reducing the prison population relies heavily on simply shifting prisoners from state lockups to county jails and out-of-state rental space. But many other states are setting examples that California could follow.
August 20, 2011
Everybody out Tuesday, Aug. 23, for the rally at 11:30 a.m. on the South Steps of the State Assembly Building, Sacramento, then for Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s hearing on the Pelican Bay SHU at 1:30 p.m. Car pools leave from West Oakland BART at 9:30 a.m. Join the Day of Action to support the historic prisoner-led hunger strike protesting torture in California’s prisons. Support the families of hunger strikers testifying on conditions in the SHU and amplify the voices of thousands of prisoners across California. The hunger strike exposed for three weeks the carefully planned and executed barbarism of life in supermax America.
August 12, 2011
A protest that was fueled by what many deem an unlawful police shooting descended into chaos. The tragedy is, the questions that these protesters wanted, needed and had a right to ask have yet to be answered. Had these questions been answered satisfactorily, by which I mean honestly and in good time, rather than allowing allegations to be made and broadcast that were unfounded, the destruction that ensued could well have been prevented.
June 13, 2011
The lyrics to B.B. King’s classic “The Thrill is Gone” was the first thing that ran through my head when I showed up at both of the rallies that were held to “protest” the release from jail of Johannes Mehserle on Sunday, June 12. The speakers seemed to be a tad bit angry but not focused enough to do anything significant that would put police murders on the national radar. JUST ADDED: Minister of Information JR leads a full hour of debate on issues swirling around the murder of Oscar Grant by Johannes Mehserle broadcast on KPFA Wednesday morning.
February 19, 2011
Chants such as “Kill the bill,” “Hands off workers! Make the banks pay,” “Who’s got the power: We’ve got the power” and many others are echoing off the walls inside and outside the Capitol. Since Feb. 14, tens of thousands of students, workers and other community members have liberated the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison in response to Gov. Scott Walker’s “budget repair” bill, which would eliminate collective bargaining rights for 175,000 public sector union workers statewide.
February 12, 2011
The Egyptian revolution was successful because it had no leaders, only coordinators of bottom-up energy. This new form of leadership among Egypt’s – and ultimately the world’s – young people suggests there will be many more such surprises in the future, both at home and abroad.
November 15, 2010
Hours after San Francisco Bay Area radio show host JR Valrey screened his documentary film, “Operation Small Axe,” about police brutality at a university in Philadelphia, daily newspapers in that city carried articles about two separate lawsuits filed against Philly police alleging brutality. “Police brutality is definitely not ‘isolated incidents,’ as officials always say after each new killing or beating by police,” said Valrey, host of the Block Report, a program aired on KPFA-FM, the Pacifica station in the Bay Area.