October 6, 2009
This October will mark the 43rd anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party. To celebrate this milestone, the It’s About Time Committee and The Commemorator are presenting a two-day Book Fair and Teach-In at the Laney College Student Center on Friday, Oct. 23, 12-3 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., as just one of many scheduled October events.
October 4, 2009
Although much of prison health care is inadequate, many of its youthful captives can at least squeak by on what’s presently provided. Not so for those over 50 years of age, most of whom are beset by the common old age infirmities. The smartest and quickest way to begin reducing prison health care costs and prison overcrowding is to release aged and infirmed Lifers and those serving Life Without Parole (LWOPs).
September 30, 2009
The law of unintended consequence works in our favor some of the time. A few weeks ago the Congress of the United States fell all over itself trying to sanction ACORN. As you remember, ACORN is a community-based organization that helps the poor throughout the country. It also registers voters. The reason for the sanction was that some members of the organization were accused of giving some illegal advice. It turns out that such a company specific sanction is unconstitutional. This law must apply to any government contractor, not just ACORN.
September 1, 2009
The decision by the San Francisco Bay View to include coverage of “Black August” in its August 2009 edition was courageous and correct both from a legal and historical perspective. To have refrained from publishing its own editorial and articles from others on this subject would most certainly have strengthened the hand of reactionary state actors who have used prior restraint to curb “dangerous” speech since the days of British colonial rule.
August 29, 2009
On July 23 the Prisoners of Conscience Committee (POCC) kicked off the “You Can Kill a Revolutionary … But You Can’t Kill the Revolution Tour” in Oakland, California, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party.
August 9, 2009
Can Americans feel proud of the results of handing over their power of government to George W. Bush? Can Californians feel proud of handing state power over to a wealthy movie actor? In both these cases, citizens can clearly see now that the state and entire country has been robbed, raped and pillaged by these so-called political leaders and elected officials.
August 3, 2009
Black August is a month of great significance for Africans throughout the Diaspora, but particularly here in the U.S. where it originated. “August,” as Mumia Abu-Jamal noted, “is a month of meaning, of repression and radical resistance, of injustice and divine justice; of repression and righteous rebellion; of individual and collective efforts to free the slaves and break the chains that bind us.”
July 22, 2009
For well over five years now, Rev. Edward Pinkney, living in the depths of the de facto apartheid-type township of Benton Harbor, Michigan, has been waging a relentless struggle on behalf of the people of Benton Harbor (Berrien County) against the avaricious, blood sucking, wily Whirlpool Corp. and its mentally somniferous lackeys. It has been and remains, a real people’s struggle to, in the words of Huey P. Newton, “determine and control institutions, so that they reflect the integrity of the people” – in this case Benton Harbor. After he was locked up for over a year in eight different Michigan prisons, an appeals court has ruled in his favor.
July 14, 2009
Jenny Kang, attorney for political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom), writes: “Attached is a petition to New York Gov. Paterson requesting that Jalil be granted parole or have his sentence commuted. He would very much appreciate your support in signing the petition and sending it to Gov. Paterson. Please feel free to widely distribute the petition.” Jalil, one of the San Francisco 8, made the ultimate sacrifice on July 6, when he pled “no contest” in exchange for the dismissal of all charges against four of his brothers. As a token of our love and appreciation, readers are urged to print this letter, sign it and mail it to Gov. Paterson. – ed.
July 8, 2009
Today we were to start the preliminary hearing but because of our strong legal defense team and growing public support, the California prosecutor offered plea settlements that could not be ignored. The entire group discussed whether I would plead no contest to conspiracy to manslaughter. After some discussion, I reluctantly agreed to take the plea and be sentenced to three years probation; one year of jail time, credit for time served, concurrent with New York state sentence, dismissing first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Also, because of my plea, four other defendants would have all charges dismissed for insufficient evidence.
July 3, 2009
A few days ago, Herman Bell accepted a plea bargain from the prosecution and will be returning to New York for his parole hearing as soon as California gets him on a return flight. The news was greeted soberly and from some quarters with bemusement.
July 2, 2009
Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. and the other members of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee have proven time and again their dedication to the cause of our people, nationally and throughout the world through work, not just talking. I wanted to catch up with the chairman so that we could talk about a recent POCC protest in Chicago at the Black radio station WVON, where the POCC was protesting Black radio host Charles Butler, who called Black youth “urban terrorists” on the air.
June 12, 2009
San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar announced June 8 to 300 people rallying at 850 Bryant that he would introduce a resolution to the Board of Supervisors calling on California Attorney General Jerry Brown to drop the charges against the San Francisco 8. “San Francisco does not tolerate torture,” he said, braving the wrath of the Police Officers Association, who evidently tolerate torture in defense of one of their own.