September 7, 2012
With the storm approaching New Orleans, I spoke to Dwight Henry, co-star in the film, “Beasts of a Southern Wild,” currently in Bay Area theaters. I spoke to three men who are riding the storm out: Parnell Herbert, Angola 3 activist and playwright, Mwalimu Johnson, community organizer and prison abolitionist, and Malik Rahim, former Black Panther.
May 6, 2012
DeBray “Fly Benzo” Carpenter. He was busted on Oct. 18, 2011, by two of SFPD’s finest, John Norment and Joshua Fry, for (gasp!) participating in a community organized rally while playing a boom box in Mendell Plaza in the heart of Bayview Hunters Point. For speaking out against police brutality, especially the SFPD murder of Kenneth Harding last July, he was brutally arrested, tried and now is barred from Mendell Plaza by order of Judge Jerome T. Benson.
February 17, 2012
ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said President Obama’s signing of the NDAA is “a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.” Time will tell whether the NDAA will survive scrutiny by the courts and in the court of public opinion.
February 5, 2010
Haiti, once the colonial-era “Pearl of the Antilles” (Caribbean), then the “Mother of Revolutions,” has suffered for nearly two centuries for daring to fight for – and win – its freedom from European colonialism, slavery and plunder. If it hadn’t been bled and exploited for centuries, Haiti would’ve had the wherewithal to protect its people.
January 14, 2010
Once the French army had subdued L’Ouverture and his rebel force, Napoleon intended to advance to the North American mainland, basing a new French empire in New Orleans and settling the vast territory west of the Mississippi River. By 1803, a frustrated Napoleon – denied his foothold in the New World – agreed to sell New Orleans and the Louisiana territories to Jefferson.
July 18, 2009
“Jailhouse Lawyers, we are learning, are often people of extraordinary firmness who fight for a law that rarely fights for them.” “Unity is feared … isolation is favored.” – from “Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A.” by politically condemned death row prisoner, journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal
“This landmark legislation (Prison Litigation Reform Act) will help bring relief to a civil justice system overburdened by frivolous prisoner lawsuits. Jailhouse lawyers with nothing else to do are tying our courts in knots with an endless flood of frivolous litigation.” – Sen. Orrin Hatch, former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee
July 2, 2009
Required reading for Americans pre-fireworks and festivities should be an important speech given by abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass, who, in “What to the American Slave is Your Fourth of July?” questions this holiday which took place while citizens were denied their right to justice, freedom and equality. At the Oakland Public Conservatory, Michael Lange and youth wordsmiths Ayinde Webb, the drummer in the Frederick Douglass Youth Ensemble, and Jamani Williams will read excerpts.
April 22, 2009
Angela Davis called for a new movement to abolish what she called “the prison-industrial complex” in the U.S., which has become the largest jailer in the world. “Racism is directly responsible for the fact that the U.S. has become the great incarcerator.”
February 10, 2009
Madison suggested creating a new capital, one that would geographically be part of the South but in close proximity to the North – a capital that would allow Southerners to safely bring their human property.
December 29, 2008
When the new First Family takes up residence in the White House in January, Barack and Michelle Obama and their daughters will be living in a historic mansion that was built in large measure with slave labor.