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Poor is the word without the deeds ... poor the deeds without the WORD – ... During the time of Big Man his words were commitment to action ... his determination exposed the people’s cries we HEARD – ... Where the spectator merely shouts creates noise that static sound without rhythm or RHYME – ... Big Man stood front and center at the eye of the storm in the arena of struggle ... and intoned the poor and oppressed will rise time after time after TIME –
On Oct. 4, Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti, killing at least 1,000 people and leaving thousands without shelter or food. The hurricane has devastated the city of Les Cayes and many villages in the Southwestern part of the country. The torrential rains and winds have also hit the capital, Port-au-Prince. With massive flooding comes the increased danger of water-borne diseases, particularly cholera, which has already reached epidemic proportions. We ask that all friends of Haiti donate as much as you can to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund.
Following Haiti’s controversial presidential and legislative elections held on Sunday, Oct. 25, alarm is growing about irregularities in the counting of the votes at voting centers and in the transportation of votes to the tabulation center. There is widespread mistrust of the process. Most international observers of the election and subsequent press reports have focused on the day of the election but not on the counting and tabulation of the votes.
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.
A now famous quote from Ernesto Che Guevara says, “At the risk of sounding ridiculous, the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” The legacy of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense has proven this repeatedly, even though the city in which the party was born continues to shower those who struggle within her boundaries with the most heinous disrespect.
Eighteen-year-old high school senior and Oakland resident Alan Blueford was shot to death by police on May 6 under curious circumstances. The coroner’s report, showing Blueford never shot at the officer, was finally released after the July 19 press conference Alan's parents were forced to organize.
Several prominent figures from the international anti-apartheid movement have sent South African President Jacob Zuma an open letter “in the hopes that he can assist” former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family in returning to Haiti “as soon as possible.”
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums had a chance to shine last Thursday, after the verdict was announced in the murder trial of transit cop Johannes Mehserle for the Jan. 1, 2009, killing of 22-year-old unarmed Black man Oscar Grant. But instead of standing with the people, Dellums stood with his police chief, and together they proceeded to criminalize the entire community.
At 14th and Broadway, the community was invited to share what was on their hearts. No one was censored and all views were respected. People surrounded the speakers. No one needed to be alone on a day like today. In African traditional healing, the health of an individual is tied to the well-being of community. Oscar Grant’s relatives and friends called for love and respect for life and each other, as they named the enemy: this corrupt judicial system that allows killers to go free. I noticed another rally in front of City Hall. Just a handful of people were there.
There was an emergency service system established in Haiti under the government of President Aristide. We had trained people, trained volunteers everywhere in Haiti. There were buildings with materials and goods stocked there, so in case of an emergency, people would have the means to survive.
The only journalist arrested while covering the Jan. 7 rebellion and one of only three protesters charged with a felony was POCC Minister of Information JR. Charged with arson (of a trash can), he is totally innocent. Tell Mayor Dellums, DA Orloff and Rep. Lee to drop all charges against all protesters.