Yearly Archives: 2010
The Village Project, in collaboration with other community organizations, presents its Fifth Kwanzaa Celebration 2010 for the city of San Francisco. The celebration is seven days of free events throughout the city to celebrate the seven principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa.
Minister of Information JR speaks with actress-storyteller-writer Rie Shontel about her provocative one-woman show “Mama Juggs.” Now you have the opportunity to see this gifted sista, who has performed around the country and in Africa and now includes Blues legend Augusta Collins in the show. “Mama Juggs: Three Generations Healing Negative Body Image” will play Tuesday, Dec. 21, at Twin Space, 2111 Mission St., San Francisco, and on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 29 and 30, at the Black Dot Cafe, 1195 Pine St., West Oakland.
Supervisor John Avalos won overwhelming support from his colleagues for his landmark local hiring legislation Tuesday, Dec. 7, calling the law a “New Deal for San Francisco.” City procedure requires a second and final reading of the measure next Tuesday, followed by a vote to send the law to Mayor Newsom for his signature.
Just days after Johannes Mehserle was given a mere two-year sentence for the cold-blooded murder of Oscar Grant (see “Token Sentence for Oscar Grant’s Killer: Anger in the Streets of Oakland”), another unarmed Black man has been killed by police in Oakland. On Monday, Nov. 8, two cops from the Oakland Police Department (OPD) shot and killed Derrick “Dee Dee” Jones, an act that drew immediate outrage.
I’m sure you share my fervent hope that the only radio network in the country, since Air America went bankrupt, bringing progressive programming not only to our five sister stations in New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles and the Bay Area, but also to more than 140 community and college radio stations across the country can be brought back to financial health again. KPFA and the Pacifica network are sorely needed in these times.
Since 9-11, the U.S. government, through Presidents Bush and Obama, has increasingly told the U.S. public that “state secrets” will not be shared with citizens. Candidate Obama pledged to reduce the use of state secrets, but President Obama continued the Bush tradition. The courts and Congress and international allies have gone meekly along with the escalating secrecy demands of the U.S. executive.
Green waste-bins, green grass, green bottles, green jobs, green futures, green gentrification? As I walked past the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council (HANC) Recycling Center, I noticed there were multi-colored micro-business people carefully recycling their multi-colored bottles and cans into bright green recycling bins debris boxes. They were green like everyone else’s recycling bins, but somehow the HANC bins weren’t green enough to fight the lies of green nimby-ism, green displacement, green classism and yes, even green racism from an onslaught of hate from housed members of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood and beyond who want to get rid of the truly green center of activism and micro-business that is HANC.
The Republic of Guinea, Conakry, on the western coast of Africa has a history that mirrors that of many other countries on the African continent. From colonialism, imperialism and dictatorships, Guinea has managed up until the present to avoid major ethnic clashes. Although there have always been ethnic tensions hovering over the Guinean society, Peuhl, Malinke, Susu, Kisi and all other groups have found ways to live as one nation. The current outbreak of ethnic violence in the wake of the first and second rounds of elections has roots in the beginning of the modern Guinean state.
Utuma Belfrey, a mother and electrician who lives in Hunters Point, is one of the community leaders who helped pass a revolutionary new jobs law. Supervisor John Avalos proved with his Mandatory Local Hire ordinance that even in San Francisco, where Blacks have been locked out of the construction industry since 1998, jobs for the people, including Black people, can be mandated by law. His genius at pulling warring factions together for veto-proof passage also proves what a great mayor he could be.
This year marks the 11th Annual Community Giveback – an event where bikes, toys and gifts will be given to children; but they are not the average kids. Eleven years ago a group of formerly incarcerated people, with the help of prisoners, started to give away bikes to the children of incarcerated parents.
Regardless of region or political ideology, the dozens of Congress members I spoke with agreed that we must take every opportunity we can to improve the ethics process and, by extension, increase the faith of the American people in our ability to uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct.
I was raised by several generations of labor organizers, and in every labor dispute my side is easily chosen. I don’t cross picket lines, and I always stand with the workers against their bosses. With the recent layoffs at KPFA, it’s terrible to see people losing their jobs, but this is not union busting by any stretch of the imagination.
On Black Friday 2010, at 16th and Mission in San Francisco, Creative Housing Liberation held a “Housing Harvest” rally with songs and speeches followed by a tour of four vacant neighborhood properties. Creative Housing Liberation would like to invite “all kinds of folks, including families,” to be involved in future housing occupations and demonstrations.
On fight night, Nov. 27, World Boxing Association (WBA) super middleweight champion Andre “Son of God” Ward defended that title for the third time by fighting a grueling and aggressive war against the very dangerous, power punching Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika and coming out the victor in a 12-round unanimous decision fight.
Minister of Information JR talks with Jack Bryson, the father of two sons who were with Oscar Grant the night he was murdered on the Fruitvale BART platform on New Year’s 2009. They discuss Jack's fight for justice for Oscar, Johannes Mehserle's sentencing and how Oscar's murder has affected his family and close friends.
Supervisor John Avalos’ landmark local hiring legislation proposes to end decades of reliance on “good faith efforts” to employ local residents on local projects funded by local dollars and would make San Francisco only the second city in the country with a mandatory local hiring ordinance that penalizes non-compliance.
Pacifica Radio has announced that it will now carry news coverage from Al Jazeera English, which brings it for the first time to radio audiences in North America. Al Jazeera English is the award-winning 24-hour international news and current affairs channel and has become a world leader in the coverage of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.
The Bayview Library is a second home for the children and all the people of Bayview Hunters Point. Now the City wants to replace it with a new building, but who will build it? Low bidder on the project was Liberty Builders, located a block from the library and owned by Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff, who is trusted to hire from the community. But the City just snatched the contract from Liberty and gave it to KCK Builders, a white contractor with no Black participation. Will the community allow KCK to build the library?
Happy Kwanzaa! I will be traveling in Africa over the holidays. I am covering the World Festival of Black Arts and Culture in Dakar, Senegal, and then on to Festival in the Desert in Timbuktu, Mali. My radio show weekly broadcast may feature a surprise live interview from Senegal or Mali if technology serves me well.
Obama denounced the recent “elections” in Burma as “neither free nor fair.” The Haitian “elections” are also neither free nor fair. The largest party, Fanmi Lavalas, is excluded, as it has been in every election since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in 2004; 1.3 million earthquake victims are displaced; and cholera has already taken 1,600 lives.