Monthly Archives: September 2013
As the nation celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 50th anniversary holds a special place in the life of the Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, senior pastor at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco and president of the San Francisco NAACP. Fifty years ago, Brown was at the March on Washington as a student from Morehouse College in Atlanta.
In recent times there has been an avalanche of misrepresentations, deceit, cover-ups and outright lies waged against the truth as it relates to prisoners and what is really going on out of the eyesight of the public. Now the SHU class is uniting to say enough with the deception and untruth, enough of the cruel and unjust treatment at the hands of corrupt administrators working to maintain this profitable system adverse to human life.
This Sunday Yoshi’s in Oakland will be hosting Richmond songstress Deja Bryson to grace the stage. From the same Bay Area as colleagues Ledisi and Keisha Cole, this niece of the great ‘80s and ‘90s crooner Peabo Bryson is set to make a name for herself without standing in anyone’s shadow. Deja Bryson is sure to bring out a crowd to see this beautiful songbird electrify the stage.
Representatives of the Short Corridor Collective at Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit have based their decision on a meeting with fellow prisoners at the prison, the growing international condemnation of California’s practice of solitary confinement, as well as the commitment of California Senate and Assembly Public Safety Committee Chairs Loni Hancock and Tom Ammiano to convene a series of hearings in response to the strikers’ demands that would “address the issues that have been raised to a point where they can no longer be ignored.”
On Sept. 8, 1985, Oscar Grant Jr. found himself in jail for a murder he did not commit and has since been held in prison for 28 years. An innocent Grant suffered for decades the dehumanizing conditions of prison and was deprived of raising his son, Oscar Grant III. His reality took a more horrifying turn on New Year’s Day 2009, when from inside prison Grant Jr. learned the news that a police officer had deliberately killed his son on a train platform in Oakland.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s just-proposed plan to ease overcrowding in California prisons without releasing inmates early has drawn quick opposition from prison reform activists across the state and has spawned an alternative approach from a contingent of moderate and liberal Democrats in the state legislature, creating an unusual rift among senior Democrats in the age-old incarceration-rehabilitation divide.
About 40 Bayview Hunters Point residents, including about a dozen small children, rallied in the park at Lillian Court in the Shoreview housing complex on Thursday, Aug. 29, to demand that it be rendered usable and safe for children. The grass there is yellow and parched, broken glass could be seen by the picnic tables, and a large area of the park, where there used to be a play structure, has been fenced off for more than 10 years.
Part 1: On July 8, all of us will be participating in the hunger strike in support of the five core demands and also to contest our own living conditions and treatment here in Fresno County Jail (FCJ). Part 2: After nine days on the hunger strike, the administration here at FCJ wanted to end the strike and met our demands. At the time the administration had us on a modified program, now we have full program.
The Center for Dance and Aerial Arts is the brainchild of Zaccho founder and artistic director Joanna Haigood. The studio is hosting a week long grand opening celebration from Sept. 7 to 14, with teaching artists from the center offering sample classes to the public. A free family event is planned for Saturday, Sept. 7, where the studio will open its doors and offer free hourly sample classes to the public.
Regardless of what we may think about the U.S. political or economic system, we must support our New Afrikan brotha – i.e., without compromising our core revolutionary principles and tenets – and assist him in building a strong and viable Black stronghold. We must take both a strategic and tactical approach for this and not a subjective one. Think in terms of the potential benefits.
Diaunte Thompson is an up and coming name in the Bay Area film world, not just because of his cinema and television directorial work, but also because of Indie Film Night, which he organized, where the work of independent filmmakers can be profiled and appreciated. The first Indie Film Night will be Thursday, Sept. 5, at Leige Spirits Lounge, 481 Ninth St., Oakland, from 6-9 p.m. Check this brotha out in his own words ...
The Congolese army has pushed Rwanda’s M23 back by about four miles in recent days, and U.N. envoy says that their success makes this a good time to negotiate. Jean-Mobert N’senga, an activist lawyer in Goma, and his group, Fight for Change, agree but say the Democratic Republic of the Congo needs to negotiate with Rwanda, not M23.
A prisoner at Georgia’s Special Management Unit Prison in Jackson, Georgia, was found unresponsive in his cell days after he had been engaged in a heated argument with staff. The prisoner, Charles (Charlie) Moore, a mental health inmate known for being argumentative and outspoken, was being housed at GDCP SMU for behavior that is incompatible with General Population Guidelines.
Whack, tap, crack – the sound of the steel police flashlight on a car window is like no other, and it always had the same effect on homeless me and mama: blood-curdling fear. I thought about our constant police harassment, abuse and eventual arrest for the sole act of being houseless in Amerikkka when I heard about South Carolina’s “new” law that officially made it illegal to be homeless in downtown Columbia, S.C.
For the past several years, I have spent virtually all my working hours writing about or speaking about the immorality, cruelty, racism and insanity of our nation’s latest caste system: mass incarceration. On this Facebook page I have written and posted about little else. But as I pause today to reflect on the meaning and significance of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I realize that my focus has been too narrow.
On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.
How long must we continue to suffer? On Aug. 23, 2013, early in the morning, Pelican Bay State Prison Ad Seg was emptied out and placed on two buses. Every individual on the buses had been on the hunger strike since July 8, 2013, and there was not one medical staffperson on those buses. We do not care about how much worse our conditions get because the pain and suffering from not eating trumps it all.
When you think of an officer of the law, you tend to think of a public servant to protect and serve, not a murderer, child molester or pedophile. We know that all officers aren’t bad, but we also know that all officers aren’t good. According to ABC News on Aug. 29, 2013, Officer Richard Hastings of the San Francisco Police Department, who is 37 years old, was arrested in Concord, California, for alleged child molestation.
I was a petitioner during the Dec. 28, 2011, hunger strike here at Corcoran State Prison. I suffered a misfortune at the hands of CDCR in Kern Valley State Prison. I am back at Corcoran State Prison Administrative Segregation Unit and nothing that was promised to us did we ever receive, and to be honest the living conditions have even worsened and many of us have been subjected to harassment and vindictive and retaliatory behavior.
Undoubtedly, one of the most financially successful independent rap groups in Hip Hop is Hieroglyphics, and now the City of Oakland has honored them with Hiero Day, every Sept. 3. This year’s festivities will be hosted by Mistah F.A.B., Chuy Gomez and Sway, with Mystic, Kev Choice, CMG of the Conscious Daughters and Holly Saucey, among others scheduled to rock the mic.