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2012 January

Monthly Archives: January 2012

‘Skin deep’ in more ways than one

“Take the kinks out of your mind, instead of out of your hair,” said Marcus Garvey. Black women today who strive to take his admonition to heart are in a better position than their sisters of the past. Research focusing on the products used in African-American beauty salons – and homes – is increasing.

Ripple effects of Corcoran ASU hunger strike

We here at Corcoran State Prison, prisoners in ASU (Administrative Segregation Unit), went on a united hunger strike, aimed straight at the beast: injustice and negligence. As a named petitioner, I was targeted for being a litigant and a spokesman for myself and the other Afrikans who are seeking justice and equal protection.

‘People Power’ pries Abu-Jamal from punitive administrative custody

The release of Abu-Jamal from administrative custody into general population followed a protest campaign by his supporters worldwide that included flooding Pennsylvania prison authorities with phone calls, collecting petitions containing over 5,000 signatures and a complaint filed with United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.

Political persecution at Pelikkkan Bay State Prison

In 2007, after serving 24 years in the Security Housing Unit (SHU), I became eligible for release, but the Office of Correctional Safety (OCS) and the Institutional Gang Investigation Unit (IGI) denied my release solely based on my political writings and activities. I am now going on my 30th year in solitary confinement.

From bad to worse

On Jan. 20, I was transferred from Virginia’s Red Onion to Wallens Ridge State Prison. This transfer came on the heels of a Dec. 12 incident where a large portion of my hair was ripped out by a Red Onion guard. I’m now being faced with a series of threats by a staff known to abuse and even kill prisoners.

Community benefits win big: Construction contracts and jobs for Oaklanders

We finally have legislation that benefits the taxpayers of Oakland. Desley Brooks took a giant step to bring economic parity to the community of the poor. What she has done will slow down the Oakland process of importing labor and exporting capital. Pack the Oakland City Council meeting Tuesday, Feb. 7, regarding local hire and a Jobs Center.

Etta James: Two tributes

Beyonce performed Etta’s signature song, “At Last” at President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, laying claim to the tune James relied on to make a living. James told an audience shortly after that that Obama “is not my president” and “that woman he had singing for him, singing my song … she’s going to get her ass whipped.”

Update on Neli Latson and his mom: I’m home and soon my son will...

Lisa Alexander, the mother of a young man with autism, Reginald "Neli" Latson, has been fighting for justice and her son’s freedom from wrongful incarceration since May 24, 2010. Lisa was convicted on Jan. 10, 2012, of a misdemeanor and jailed by the same district attorney who prosecuted Neli.

Justice makes a nation great

We are committed to contributing to meaningful and lasting change. And this is part of what keeps us amongst the sane. We understand, and always have, that the price that we will pay for this is the efforts to silence us, to isolate and destroy us!

Feeling death at our heels: An update from the frontlines of the struggle

Since the last hunger strike ended, we have weathered wave after wave of retaliation from the state’s prison administrators that continues unabated to this day. None of us want to die, but all of us are prepared to do so to realize our five core demands. History dictates no less. The ultimate arbiter of our fate – and this society’s fate – is the people. YOU. Our love, loyalty and solidarity to all those who cherish freedom, justice and human rights and fear only failure.

Standing up for Survivors Village and housing justice

Protestors chanted: This auction is illegal and immoral. It is a way to steal homes, redistribute wealth and prevent the right to return. The sale of blighted property is the city’s attempt to remove poor homeowners who have already suffered tremendously from economic and natural disaster.s.

Georgia prison strike, one year later: Activists outside the walls have failed those inside...

A year ago this month, Black, White and Brown inmates in a dozen Georgia prisons staged a brief strike. They put forward a set of simple and basic demands – wages for work, decent food and medical care, access to educational and self-improvement programs, fairness and more.

How easily we forget

Our struggle is one of resistance against that which has been forced upon us. The whole system conspired against New Afrikans, subjecting many of us to outright torture at the hands of those overseeing the prison industrial complex.

Why all the robo-signing?

The Wall Street Journal reported on Jan. 19 that the Obama administration was pushing heavily to get the 50 state attorneys general to agree to a settlement with five major banks in the “robo-signing” scandal. The settlement would let Wall Street bankers off the hook for crimes that would land the rest of us in jail.

Revolutionary stories: The POOR Press 2012 collection

To write with laughter, heart, fire and humility – to get those words down and draw the reader in – to make the reader warm with the fire of poetry, wet with the tears of memory, full with the soup of experience – leaving the reader satisfied and inspired to change the world – that is what the writer does.

Congolese say South Africa’s Congolese immigrant sweep targeted anti-Kabila refugees

Two hundred Congolese immigrants, especially activists opposed to the Kabila regime, were, they said, “hounded out of their shops and homes by scores of South African police, then summarily arrested on ludicrous, trumped up charges of ‘public violence.’”

Jailhouse snitch used against Aiyana’s dad

Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, the 7-year-old killed by Detroit police last year in a SWAT-style assault on her home, held Aiyana’s mother Dominika Stanley tightly in her arms as both wept uncontrollably in an elevator at 36th District Court in downtown Detroit.

A sourcebook for the media revolution

According to Mickey Huff, the corporate media are serving up a diet of “junk-food news to avoid telling the public what is really going on at home and abroad”; for example, Ann Garrison discloses that pilotless drones are fast becoming the dominant means of delivering explosives from the air.

Cynthia McKinney: U.S. war machine pervades Africa

Does the Obama administration plan an African continent-wide Plan Colombia? Why such a militarization of U.S. relationships all over the world – and even here at home? Will chaos and wars – like what is happening in Libya today – be created all over Africa and the rest of Asia? Please circulate this message widely so that maybe we can get some more responses from the administration about its policy direction. Tell the White House that you will cast your vote for peace – to stop the drones and bring our troops home.

The 49ers are back with playoff win

“The Grab” was a moment San Francisco 49er tight end Vernon Davis will remember for the rest of his life. With his team down 32-29 to the New Orleans Saints, Davis ran up the left side of the field, cut across the middle and caught the pass quarterback Alex Smith heaved. It sailed into Davis’ hands as he crossed the end zone to give the 49ers a 36-32 lead.