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2009 July

Monthly Archives: July 2009

U.N. advisors host town hall on forced evictions in New Orleans

A group of advisors who will report to the director of the U.N. Habitat agency held a town hall meeting in New Orleans on Sunday, July 26, to hear from resident experts and other community members about housing rights violations along the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina.

Foreclosed and evicted in West Oakland

At 8 a.m. July 20, 10 sheriff’s deputies arrived at Tasha and James Alberti's West Oakland home after they had left for work, forced their children and grandchildren out and left them on the sidewalk. The grassroots movement to stop unfair foreclosure evictions is heating up. ACORN is helping the Albertis reclaim their home from B of A. Just Cause Oakland invites the community to a press conference at Karen Mims' home of 42 years at 9401 Cherry St., East Oakland, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 12 noon, to announce a temporary stay of her eviction.

Post-racial my ass! On the arrest of Henry Louis Gates in his own home

Harvard professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates is arguably the most prominent Black intellectual in the U.S. On July 14, cops in Cambridge, Massachusetts, forced him to do a perp walk from his own home to a police car in handcuffs. The charge was disorderly conduct, but Gates’ real offense was being Black and unwilling to bow and scrape when ordered to do so by a white cop.

Chained in childbirth: Gov. Paterson urged to sign bill that protects pregnant prisoners

Childbirth is a painful and difficult experience for most women, but Toya Murray says for her, it was torture. Like many other incarcerated women across New York state, she was shackled immediately before and after giving birth. “When it was due for me to have my baby, they shackled my hands and feet when I went into labor to go to the hospital,” Murray said.

The California Foreclosure Prevention Fraud of 2009

The California Legislature is now actively collaborating in the bankers’ coup d’état led by Government Sachs. Here are the details:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t give a damn

According to The ARC (advocacy, respect and commitment) of California, the governor has made devastatingly destructive cuts in the support system for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Recently I received a letter from the president of the ARC, Dwight Stratton, stating that our elected legislators decided to ignore the will of the people of the state of California by decimating the Lanterman Act.

Democrats sell out California’s poor, elderly and disabled in budget deal

California’s phony bleeding heart liberal Democrats have just helped to pass a Republican budget deal that shreds California’s safety net by cutting $15.5 billion from the state’s service sector to partially close a $26.3 billion funding shortfall in state revenues. The Democrats supported a $1.3 billion cut to MediCal, a $2.8 billion cut to the statewide university system, and a $6 billion cut to California’s K-12 schools. The Democratic leadership also supported the Republicans’ push to slash the children’s health insurance program known as Healthy Families, as well as In-Home Supportive Services and the CalWORKs program by cutting $878 million or more in coming months.

Casualties of war

Mass imprisonment is a consequence of the war on drugs. It is estimated that over 600,000 of the 2,300,000 people in state and federal prisons are in prison for nonviolent drug offenses. This does not include the other 5 million people who are either confined in county jails or on probation or parole, a majority of whom are nonviolent drug offenders. This means out of a United States population of over 250 million people, over 7 million people are in one way or another under the supervision of the prison system.

Black August

“George Jackson was my hero. He set a standard for prisoners, political prisoners, for people. He showed the love, the strength, the revolutionary fervor that’s characteristic of any soldier for the people. He inspired prisoners, whom I later encountered, to put his ideas into practice. And so his spirit became a living thing.” – from the eulogy by Huey P. Newton, former Minister of Defense, Black Panther Party, at the Revolutionary Memorial Service for George Jackson, 1971

An economic justice paradigm for Black San Francisco

Mayor Gavin Newsom claims the most important item on his agenda is the revitalization of Bayview Hunters Point. Illustrating his editorial is this picture of a Black woman laborer. She is likely to be the only Black worker on any Hunters Point construction if things do not change. I propose an anti-gentrification subsidy of affordable housing and jobs for all residents displaced or in danger of displacement.

‘My hell in an Israeli jail’: 90% of Israeli prisoners are Black

Black British filmmaker Ishmahil Blagrove was aboard Free Gaza's Spirit of Humanity, abducted by the Israeli Navy and, like Cynthia McKinney, one of the Free Gaza 21 imprisoned in an Israeli jail. He reports: "The prison population in Israel is 90 percent Black, which is why I was so welcomed by fellow inmates. There are thousands upon thousands of Africans inside the Israeli prisons."

KKK vs. New Black Panthers in Paris, Texas

Madness went down in Paris, Texas, on Tuesday, July 21, as members of the New Black Panther Party and white supremacists squared off. The trouble took place when skinheads descended upon a rally held by members of the Black community to protest the Jasper-style dragging death of Brandon McClelland last September by two white men.

Structural inequality: News not fit to print?

Last week President Obama spoke boldly about persistent racial discrimination and criticized the “structural inequality” that presents “the steepest barrier” to African American equality in the 21st century.

Nada for Gaza: The McKinney Israel trip

Cynthia McKinney, the outspoken former congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate, recently got out of jail. Yeah. That’s right. Jail. It’s possible that you had no idea she was in jail. That’s because she was in detention for almost a week in Israel.

The POCC presents ‘You Can Kill a Revolutionary … But You Can’t Kill the...

The Prisoners of Conscience Committee is embarking on a six-month tour and education campaign around the planet called “You Can Kill a Revolutionary But You Can’t Kill the Revolution.” The purpose is to educate and re-inform people about the 40th anniversary of one of Black and colonized people’s “September 11ths,” the “Massacre on Monroe,” where the U.S. government by way of the Chicago Police Department assassinated 21-year-old Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clark of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, at approximately 4:35 in the morning on Dec. 4, 1969, on the West Side of Chicago.

Watching the murder trial of Mehserle: an interview with Cop Watch Oakland cofounder Rekia...

Rekia Mohammed Jabrin has been involved in the Justice for Oscar Grant Movement in more than one way. She has been a consistent spectator at the Johannes Mehserle indictment hearings, taking notes, as well as one of the cofounders of Oakland Cop Watch. We are talking to her to get our audience prepared for the July 24 hearings in Oakland’s Superior Court, where Mehserle’s lawyer will be arguing to get the murder trial taken out of Alameda County.

Rev. Edward Pinkney: A champion of the people

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.

A video tribute to Oscar Grant from his family

This video will change your life by giving you the strength to commit - and organize others to commit - to ending the police war against Black and Brown communities and especially our youth, our future. The BART board will hold a special meeting Thursday, July 30, 6:30 p.m., in the MetroCenter auditorium, 101 Eighth St. in Oakland, across from BART's Lake Merritt Station, to discuss citizen review of BART police. Be there!

I was born here

“I was born here.” Mrs. Patterson didn’t look up as she spoke, her voice inaudible, lost in the cement, concrete, doorways, truck exhaust, honking horns, brick walls and glass storefronts of downtown San Francisco. Her skin, the color of earth and wind, land and nature, was camouflaged in long ago lost clothing, shredded blankets and plastic ware.

The implications of the coup in Honduras on Afro-descendants

Currently, the country of Honduras in Central America is experiencing its worst political crisis in decades. In the aftermath of the military coup that forcibly removed President Manuel Zelaya Rosales, there have been various developments that have raised our concern about the security of citizens’rights and the impact of the situation on people of African descent.