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2009 September

Monthly Archives: September 2009

Stealing public housing from Oakland’s poor

Currently, the OHA contracts with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide public housing to low-income households in Oakland and is reimbursed by HUD at around $500 per unit on a monthly basis. But under the new Section 8 model being promoted to end public housing, the OHA and their affiliates may be reimbursed by HUD for as much as $900 to $1,000 for the same rental units if the plan works out to their way of thinking. Unfortunately for the poor, this scheme results in the loss of Oakland’s desperately needed public housing units, and in the future public housing will be one less option for the homeless needing a place to call home.

Laws have unintended consequences

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.

Five things young African American women can do to cope with breast cancer

Learning that you have breast cancer can be one of the most shocking and life altering moments of your entire life. The initial diagnosis can bring on feelings of not only worry, but life’s fragility. The idea of time being precious no longer seems like something that you just say in passing when talking to friends. Your time really does become precious and your sense of purpose kicks into overdrive.

Breast cancer in men and women

A commercial message broadcast on national television last month by women’s breast cancer advocacy groups was assailed as outrageous, insensitive and an example of reverse sexism. It portrayed men in form fitting T-shirts and sexy tops with “tits” and “boobs.” Their message was clear if not “over the top.” If men had breasts, funding for breast cancer research and treatment in the U.S. would be a higher priority!

Update on ‘Bay View First Amendment Campaign’

Stories in the Bay View about figures historically associated with prisoner issues, such as George Jackson, comprise a large percentage of the stories that the CDCR deems to pose threats to prison security and, in the hands of African-American prisoners, as indicia of gang affiliation. In other cases, the CDCR seizes the Bay View without referencing any particular article, the inference being that the newspaper itself is a threat to security, the mere possession of which is an indicator of gang association.

Katrina survivors’ struggle for justice

Four years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, survivors living in Houston are still fighting to keep a roof over their heads. Three women spoke recently at a news conference at the Kensington Club II townhome apartments to expose the owner’s corruption and the squalid living conditions he allows.

SF LIVE!!-District 10 Ambassador Shirley Jones

Anyone who has ever met long time Bayview resident Shirley Jones knows that she is a woman who embraces life. At a vibrant 70 years young, Jones has decided that she will no longer be complacent about her personal health issues and that “life ain’t over yet.” In fact she has decided that she has quite a lot of living to do. “I want to be healthier and be around to fully enjoy my eight grandchildren and two great-grands,” she says with conviction.

Ni’lin protesters tear down apartheid wall

More than 100 farmers, youth, internationals and Israeli peace activists marched against the Israeli separation wall Friday and, armed with car tires and a homemade ladder to climb the high wall, they managed to burn one section and pull down three others.

1966 Hunters Point Uprising and other tales of ‘San Francisco’s Last Black Neighborhood’

Andante Higgins produced this documentary, "Bay View Hunter's Point: San Francisco's Last Black Neighborhood?" in 2004, featuring commentary by SF Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff and other residents familiar to Bay View readers. Part 3 tells the story of the 1966 Hunters Point Uprising, the second major U.S. "riot" in the '60s after Watts in Los Angeles.

The war where I was killed and Gaza survived

Since Israeli missile savagery first hit Gaza, everything started to become blurry to me. My vision was totally unclear – all the horrible events went in slow motion as if I was watching a horror movie, but the most realistic one I’ve ever seen.

24 hours in Gaza, Part II

You're invited as M1 of dead prez brings his Ghetto to Gaza Speaking Tour to East Oakland 9/24, San Francisco 9/25, West Oakland 9/26, San Jose 9/27, Santa Cruz 9/28 and Sonoma 9/29, comparing his experiences in Gaza, Cairo and Europe with ghetto life in the U.S., benefiting SF Bay View and Block Report Radio. Be there! And check out M1 in his own words.

CIA report: Israel will fall in 20 years

The CIA report predicts “an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947-1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region.”

Stanford student activist runs for KPFA Local Station Board

Throughout history, students have played a crucial role in furthering social change. During the Vietnam War, there was a nationwide youth rebellion in the U.S. against America’s imperialist war in Southeast Asia and the ensuing atrocities. On university campuses across America, from the University of California, Berkeley, to Columbia University, students organized sit-ins, teach-ins and rallies, printed flyers and occupied campus buildings to protest against the injustices occurring at home and abroad. These protests were not only a sign of moral outrage; they were also strategically designed to end the involvement of American universities in perpetuating the atrocities in Vietnam and other social ills.

Dignity in schools: an unexcused absence

New Orleans – “A school should not feel like a prison. A school should feel positive, safe and welcoming. A school should feel like a second home. As I walk through the doors of my school, I want to be treated with dignity.” These are the words of Vernard Carter, a rising 10th grade Rethinker at a well-attended press conference held July 23, 2009.

To serve the people: Angola 3 celebrates common cause with Common Ground

We are not surprised that Malik Rahim is being hailed as one of the heroes of Hurricane Katrina. In 1997, Malik rediscovered information on our case and made it his mission to bring attention to the plight that Albert, King, myself and so many other Louisiana prisoners have endured in being unfairly convicted and sentenced. The Angola 3 went from obscurity to international recognition thanks to Malik’s efforts.

When the word becomes flesh: an interview wit’ poet and playwright Ayo the Wordslanger

Ayo the Wordslanger is one of the most intense poets that I have ever met in Oakland. She is not just somebody who can rhyme – she can do that. She is somebody with the life experiences to back up her lyrical passion. She doesn’t do cafe poetry; she does street poetry for the masses. There’s nothing Afro-bourgeois about her lyrical content; it’s straight hood. Check her out in her own words.

From the Ghetto to Gaza: an interview with Mutulu Olugbala aka M1 of dead...

Welcome M1 of dead prez to East and West Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, Sonoma, San Jose, Santa Cruz – 7 events in 7 cities on 7 days, Sept. 23-29, comparing his experiences in Gaza, Cairo and Europe with ghetto life in the U.S., benefiting SF Bay View and Block Report Radio. Check out new M1 interviews, with Min. of Info JR and KPFA Morning Show.

Organizing lessons from Allen Parkway Village

When Lenwood E. Johnson, the son of Texas sharecroppers, moved into Houston’s Allen Parkway Village project housing, the Freedmen’s Town section of the city had yet to be designated historic and the village had yet to be saved. By the end of the 1990s, the village was preserved and Johnson had proved to be something of an unlikely hero here in Houston’s 4th Ward, historically one of the poorest sections of the city – but always ripe for redevelopment because of its proximity to the downtown.

Circles of sameness

So Van Jones, activist, joins the Barack Obama administration, as the green energy czar, a field he’s passionate about, to provide jobs in Black communities and conserve natural resources as part of a larger change in America’s addiction to oil. But, almost immediately, Jones comes under attack from forces in America that really don’t want change.

Chairman Fred Street Party 2009

This beautiful event is celebrated all over the world, but from my experience, can’t nobody do it like the Chi (Chicago). Due to the national nature of the SF Bay View, it is important for us to cover events and campaigns from around the world that can lend a hand to our education and understanding of the war that has been and is being waged against us.