Monthly Archives: December 2010
Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar), Jason Robb and Namir Mateen (James Were) will start a hunger strike on Monday, Jan. 3, to protest their 23-hour-a-day lockdown for nearly 18 years. They were sentenced to death for their alleged roles in the 11-day Lucasville rebellion in April 1993. They are innocent! They were wrongfully convicted! They are political prisoners.
The Kagame regime arrested opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza 15 days after the release of the U.N. report documenting the regime’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocidal massacres of Hutu civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and she has remained behind bars ever since.
A city ordinance authored by Supervisor John Avalos and passed by a super-majority of the Board of Supervisors on Dec. 14 requiring work for local residents on San Francisco-funded public works and new opportunities for workers in disadvantaged communities went into effect Christmas morning.
Among the very few people celebrating our country’s fiscal crisis are criminal justice reformers. Bill Piper of Drug Policy Alliance says, “Next year is probably an unprecedented opportunity to defund the federal drug war.” But colorblind cost-benefit approaches leave intact the racial attitudes, stereotypes and anxieties that gave rise to the system in the first place.
At long last the Scott sisters will be free! Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, based on public pressure, used his commutation powers to grant the sisters their freedom. He suspended Jamie and Gladys Scott's double life sentences for taking part in an $11 armed robbery. The women have always maintained their innocence. This good news is the people’s victory! Listen to Minister of Information JR's Block Report with the Scott sisters' attorney, Chokwe Lumumba, broadcast Dec. 30 on Flashpoints.
Eight young people, who the Fire Department said were “trying to stay warm,” perished in a raging fire during the night of Dec. 28 in New Orleans. Will we look into our abandoned buildings and look into the eyes of our abandoned daughters and sons and sisters and brothers? Will our nation address unemployment, high housing costs and low wages? Or will the fires continue and the lives end?
Documents recently obtained by The Informant reveal the significant involvement of state and federal law enforcement in monitoring the various Oscar Grant protests in Oakland over the past two years. “They’re documenting who the agitators are. This is all COINTELPRO resurfacing,” says the attorney representing those arrested in the July 8 protests.
Arlit, Niger, in the Sahara Desert surfaced in international news in January 2003, when George W. Bush, in his State of the Union address, said what came to be known as “the 16 words” that became a central pretext for the Iraq War: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
Last week an officer who blatantly lied under oath was given her job back. Marysol Domenici was one of the first officers on the scene when Oscar Grant was shot by convicted former BART cop Johannes Mehserle. The Bay Area is asking 1) How could Domenici be reinstated in the face of all her wrongdoings? 2) Why has she not been charged with perjury?
On Dec. 15, a French judge filed preliminary charges against six people close to Rwandan President Paul Kagame for the 1994 assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents that triggered the Rwanda Genocide. When will Obama take heed of these new French charges? How much longer will the U.S. back the regime sued on two continents and in three countries?
The new net neutrality rules approved by the FCC would provide less governmental protection for poor people and people of color who are more dependent on wireless broadband to access the Internet than those who can afford both wired and wireless connections.
In the Bay Area, the veneer of police impunity seems to be thinning even as high-profile cases of police shooting unarmed Black men – in Oakland and nearby Vallejo – continue to occur. Guy Jarreau Jr. was shot and killed by Vallejo police Saturday, Dec. 11. Facing the officer with his hands up, “Guy didn’t have a gun,” said witnesses.
Eight days after the start of Georgia’s historic prisoners’ strike, advocates met with state corrections officials and visited a prison. “The prisoners have done all they can do now. It’s up to us to build a movement out here that can make the changes which have to be made,” said Rev. Kenny Glasgow of The Ordinary Peoples Society (TOPS).
Paul Mooney is one of Black comedy’s biggest breathing legends, long time partner with Richard Pryor. Two of his upcoming performances at the great Black Rep are benefits for SF Bay View – on Tuesday, Dec. 28, at both 7 and 9 p.m. What a great gift for Christmas or Kwanzaa! Be sure to say you’re supporting the Bay View when you reserve your tickets.
In Arms Reach in Harlem, directed by Terrance Stevens, who is paralyzed, focuses on mentoring at risk youth and children with incarcerated parent(s), providing one-on-one mentoring, after-school tutoring, college preparation courses, creative development through art and music and free prison visitation services.
With unemployment at its highest in decades and 41 percent more San Franciscans requesting assistance feeding themselves and their families this year, out-of-work residents convened at City Hall to ask Mayor Newsom to sign the local hiring law that a super-majority of the Board of Supervisors passed last week.
My nephew was shot and killed by Oakland police Monday afternoon, Dec. 20. Aba was 19. On the street, young Black men fear and are feared. We have to rescue our kids. Like our youngsters, the police also make choices, and theirs is to shoot to kill.
Prisoners in at least six Georgia prisons went on strike Dec. 9. On Friday, Dec. 17, a strong, positive, fiercely determined and highly spirited march and two rallies took place in downtown Oakland despite the driving rain in support of those prisoners, whose strike has become the largest in U.S. history.
Four and half decades after El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X) made the Hajj to Mecca, his grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, made his pilgrimage. In this, the first interview to be published in the U.S. about his experience, Malcolm says, "Now, by the Will and Grace of Allah, I am a revolutionary Muslim who is in service to the people, especially to the masses of downtrodden and oppressed." Don't miss Malcolm's Report Back from Mecca, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 6:30 p.m., at Twin Space, 2111 Mission St., San Francisco.
On Dec. 9, 2010, thousands of prisoners in at least six Georgia state prisons initiated the largest prisoner strike in U.S. history, uniting across racial boundaries to demand an immediate end to the cruel and dehumanizing conditions that damage prisoners, their families and the communities they return to. Readers are invited to add their names to this solidarity statement.