September 6, 2013
Sept. 9, 2013, marks the 42th anniversary of the prison uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Forty-two men, mostly inmates, were killed in the armed retaking of the prison under the orders of Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. I was there, as one of the “observers” specifically requested by the inmates. We tried to negotiate a peaceful, non-violent settlement of the dispute.
September 2, 2013
On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.
February 12, 2013
Does someone who is hated by the general public – say, a killer or someone who threatens violence – deserve to have his concerns investigated? Christopher Dorner may be accused of murder, but that does not make him wrong about the nature of police in California, a history anyone from a city teenager to an aging Black Panther can recite.
August 24, 2012
Seth Rosenfeld’s dramatic announcement that Richard Aoki was an FBI informant provoked an enormous response from Chronicle readers. Could it be true? Or was this a “snitch-jacketing,” a classic FBI tactic used to cast suspicion on a legitimate activist by spreading rumors and manufacturing evidence?
May 8, 2012
“The purpose of the … control unit is to control revolutionary attitudes in the prison system and in the society at large,” said former Marion Supermax Prison Warden Ralph Aron. What is shocking to many is how can some not only resist such systematic psychological torture, but actually improve themselves under such conditions of extreme duress.
April 4, 2012
The Oakland International Film Festival is Friday-Sunday, April 6-8, at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Street, Oakland. Visit http://www.oiff.org/2012schedule.pdf. This year’s headliner is one of the most controversial independent films ever made, “The Spook Who Sat by the Door.” Watch it again here.
January 3, 2012
It’s time that we stand as an “Army of One” and demand that the banks stop abusing our citizens, veterans and service members. We need to let the banks know that the buck stops here. I am asking that you stand with me as we fight to get a modification so we can keep our home. We have designated Wednesday, Jan. 4, as our “Day of Action” against Wells Fargo Bank. We will be meeting at Lake Merritt’s Snow Park, at 19th and Harrison, on Jan. 4 at 3 p.m. and walk as a group to Wells Fargo Bank headquarters to speak with Jim Foley, regional president for Northern California.
August 16, 2011
Lynne Stewart is one of the legendary activist lawyers of our time and also one of the many political prisoners of our time, who was incarcerated because her style of lawyering was called aiding and abetting a terrorist organization, by one of the biggest terrorist organizations ever known to humanity: the United States government.
July 15, 2011
In the Louisiana bayou, a descendent of slaves was born into the Pratt clan, whose entire community suffered under racial apartheid. Since Pratt was a strong and thoughtful boy, his community encouraged him to shoulder the task of working to help defend the downtrodden who surrounded him.
July 8, 2011
The new book by Manning Marable, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” will help us to get a deeper understanding of Malcolm X and the times we’re living in now. This will not be a direct result of what Marable has done, but rather of what needs to happen now because of what he has done.
June 29, 2011
A number of trees have fallen in the forest this past month and we want to acknowledge the huge spaces their absence brings: Geronimo ji jaga Pratt, Black Panther, decorated veteran of multiple wars …
June 25, 2011
Third-party presidential candidate George Wallace, the former governor of Alabama, was in Omaha in March 1968 to qualify his American party in Nebraska. Wallace had arrived in Omaha on Sunday, the day before, and held an angry news conference to provoke a large turnout at his rally.
June 20, 2011
The people of the world need to know that the corporate media is fabricating a massif of lies concerning the on-the-ground facts of the illegal war against the people of Libya by American and NATO forces. News reports represent Qaddafi as a hated and unpopular leader. Yet he has struggled harder than any Western leader to champion the rights of the poor and abolish racism against Black people. I wish the world could see the universal support of the young people for their government.
June 20, 2011
On Thursday, June 2, 2011, came word that former Black Panther leader, Geronimo ji-Jaga (née Elmer G. Pratt) died in exile in Tanzania.
June 9, 2011
Political activists around the country are still absorbing the news of Geronimo ji Jaga’s death. His commitment, humility, clear thinking as well as his sense of both the longevity and continuity of the Black Freedom Movement in the U.S. all stood out to those who knew him.
May 19, 2011
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), born 86 years ago on May 19, 1925, was loved by the oppressed and hated by the oppressors. Our “Black Shining Prince,” in the words of Ossie Davis, aimed to “use whatever means necessary to bring about a society in which the 22 million Afro-Americans are recognized and respected as human beings.” His influence is immeasurable – from music to foreign policy to religion. Today Islam, followed then by very few, is the second largest religion in the United States and Canada.
April 24, 2011
It is a measure of how powerful the U.S. military is – and how poor the media is – that the nation wages war against peoples and countries it knows nothing about. How many of us know that many of the rebels in Libya don’t want democracy but the old kingdom restored?
January 25, 2011
It wasn’t just Patrice Lumumba his assassins wanted to kill, it was the genuine self-determination, dreams and aspirations of African people, writes Horace Campbell, reflecting on the murder of the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Jan. 17, 1961. Two poems by Lumumba follow the story.
January 25, 2011
Across the country organizations and individuals are standing together to protest the United States government’s attempt to silence and criminalize anti-war and international solidarity activists in solidarity with them. Legendary lawyer Lynne Stewart, who is already in prison, and an activist who has been subpoenaed by the grand jury tell why they resist.
January 15, 2010
“The Other America” by Martin Luther King Jr. “is a chilling, troubled speech made with the background of urban riots, pleas for Black Power and the Vietnam War.” – Ishmael Reed