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2013 October

Monthly Archives: October 2013

Wanda’s Picks for November 2013

Gina M. Paige explained that the organization, African Ancestry, started with Dr. Rick Kittles, genetic researcher at Howard University who was interested in isolating the gene that caused prostate cancer, one of the leading causes of death in our community. He found this research methodology applicable in other genetic detective research and so in 2003 African Ancestry was founded with Ms. Paige.

Building prisoners’ political power

Merely days after the suspension of the historic California Prisoner Hunger Strike of 2013, which lasted an unprecedented 60 days and saw record prisoner support across the state, the task of tactical and strategic re-assessment is well underway. We are gearing up for the upcoming battles in our overall struggle to abolish the state’s practice of long-term solitary confinement in both the political and legal arenas.

Cat’s cries

Several days ago, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in Philadelphia, delivered a shocking decision in the continuing case of Lorenzo Johnson, the New Yorker recently released from 17 years in prison after the very same court found the evidence was insufficient to uphold a conviction. Lorenzo, known by family and friends as Cat, spent just over four months in freedom.

Beds for Bayview: Your voices count

As the CEO of United Council of Human Services, I am calling for full support of the homeless beds facility, which will benefit many working-class residents and other homeless citizens of Bayview Hunters Point. A homeless bed facility is essential in the neighborhood with the City’s second largest concentration of homelessness. We need your support in making the 100-bed facility a reality.

Bluesman Augusta Collins releases ‘Game’ DVD

Augusta Collins is one of the local bluesmen we have floating around Oakland and the Bay. A few years back I came into contact with him while covering playwright Anita Woodley’s “Mama Juggs” play about her family dealing with breast cancer. Augusta had a singing part in the play that was really heartfelt. It is an honor to now catch up with the Oakland bluesman himself, Augusta Collins. Check out his new DVD “Game.”

Emergency Response Network Alert: CDCR retaliates against peaceful protest

During the prisoners’ hunger strike in July 2013, many supporters signed up on the Emergency Response Network-Pledge of Resistance of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition, agreeing to receive one email a week suggesting a targeted action to support the prisoners. Although the strike has been suspended, its results are still being felt throughout the California prison system.

Prison guards face civil suit in attack on Virginia prisoner Frank ‘Outlaw’ Reid

On Monday, Oct. 28, a jury began hearing testimony in a civil suit filed against four prison guards in Wise County, Virginia, for an attack on Wallens Ridge prisoner Frank Reid in July 2009. Reid filed the suit after defeating prison officials’ charges of aggravated assault in the same incident. Reid is charging the guards with violating his constitutional rights as a prisoner of the Virginia Department of Corrections (VA-DOC).

Section 8 housing and public housing tenants at risk

Because the Democrats joined the Republicans in allowing the sequestration budget cuts to continue in the latest political deal known as a “continuing resolution” that ended the government shutdown on Oct. 16, it appears to be a very grim situation for Section 8 voucher holders in cities all across the nation. Housing officials claim that 140,000 voucher holders are at risk of losing their vouchers because of the sequestration budget cuts.

Everett Allen, MD, discredited for being sympathetic to prisoners’ medical needs

I just read the article that Dr. Everett D. Allen, former chief physician and surgeon at Pelican Bay State Prison, wrote for the Bay View readers in and outside prison walls and agree with everything he said. Dr. Allen has done all he could to help prisoners in the SHU in their court complaints. He is being persecuted for exposing how prison medical staff cuts corners, delays treatment or totally denies it – and I’m glad he spoke up.

Bayan means ‘make it plain’ or ‘clear evidence’

I found out Sept. 30, 2013, that she was in San Francisco General Hospital with lung cancer. She’d been going into emergency for chest pain and problems breathing, but they treated the symptoms and didn’t notice the spots until recently when they kept her. I didn’t know it was as serious as it was, so imagine my surprise when I get a text, two texts that she is gone. Genevieve Bayan, my big sister – gone. I hope she wasn’t alone.

Georgia prisoner beaten with hammer fights for justice

I am scheduled to go to court on a fabricated charge put in place to protect the correctional officer who assaulted me with the hammer. This South Georgia district attorney has chosen to ignore the law and protect a good ol’ boy who has broken the very law he swore to uphold! Just goes to show you that the KKKonfederates still live in Georgia.

After 30 years in solitary, can SB 260 set me free?

California Senate Bill 260 by Sen. Loni Hancock requires the parole board to consider release of offenders who committed offenses prior to being 18 years of age. I was just 16 when I was sent off to prison some 32 years ago. I am hoping a lawyer who isn’t afraid to roll up his or her sleeves will adequately represent me at this youth offender hearing.

We pledged to become martyrs to force CDCR to the negotiating table

While at California State Prison-Sacramento (New Folsom), we had received word that the CDCR was refusing to negotiate our hunger strike demands with the four main reps (prisoner representatives), so myself and two other New Afrikans pledged to become martyrs with the intent of forcing the CDCR to the negotiating table. I decided it would make more of an impact if I go first.

The best of the best, Andre ‘Son of God’ Ward, vs. the lip of...

Dominican-born Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (24-0-16 KOs) needs his mouth washed out with soap for making an obviously inflammatory, untrue, publicity stunt claim that Andre “SOG” Ward (26-0-14 KOs) is “definitely a dirty fighter.” Later, Rodriguez was quoted as having said: “I’m trying to be in a clean sport. I don’t believe he’s (Andre Ward) dirty at all. I think he’s a great fighter ….”

Rwandan Supreme Court to rule in Victoire Ingabire’s appeal on Nov. 1

Supporters of Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire will hold an all day sit-in outside the Rwandan Embassy in Brussels on Friday, Nov. 1, the day that Rwanda’s Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on her appeal. Ingabire has been behind bars in Rwanda’s 1930 maximum security prison for three years, since October of 2010.

Top 6 countries that grew filthy rich from enslaving Black people

Slavery transformed America into an economic power. The exploitation of Black people for free labor made the South the richest and most politically powerful region in the country. British demand for American cotton made the southern stretch of the Mississippi River the Silicon Valley of its era, boasting the single largest concentration of the nation’s millionaires.

Jean Nobles, Fillmore entrepreneur, retires after 35 years

Jean Alexander Nobles, a successful entrepreneur and evangelist, has owned Jean Nobles Style, a fashionable women’s apparel and accessory boutique in San Francisco, since 1978. She recently announced her retirement. For 35 years years, her boutique has been a meeting place for women of style, grace and faith.

Fatherhood: Enjoying the journey

Every day is a blessing and every moment is an opportunity to learn, grow and be better than we were yesterday. This goes for fathers as well as their children, and the most important thing is to enjoy the journey. It doesn’t take much to find enjoyment in your children, only your patience and your time. Make your children the most important thing in your life, because they are.

What a vacation: 400 miles by bus on hunger strike’s 47th day

My reality of the last 13 years is concrete and steel and that’s it; no normal human relations for me. CSP-Sac was wide open. People were everywhere, 24/7, doing everything. I enjoyed every single bit of my human interaction. I talked more in a period of 12 days than I had in my whole 13 years of solitary confinement.

Hunger strikers: Our resolve remains strong

Our resolve remains as strong as ever, and we continue to press forward. No one should receive a sentence from a court and then have those responsible for carrying out that sentence exact revenge and arbitrary punishments at their whim. This is the reality that 30,000 men and women lent their collective voice to opposing.