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2014 February

Monthly Archives: February 2014

‘The Ghosts of March 21’: an interview wit’ filmmaker Sam Stoker

March 21, 2014, marks the fifth anniversary of the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, who was killed after he murdered four Oakland police officers and wounded a fifth, around 73rd and MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland. “The Ghosts of March 21” is a documentary about the bloodiest day in the history of Oakland law enforcement, shot by Damon “Hooker Boy” Hooker and directed, written and edited by Sam Stoker.

A global threat: Fukushima fallout damaged the thyroids of California babies

A new study of the effects of tiny quantities of radioactive fallout from Fukushima on the health of babies born in California shows a significant excess of hypothyroidism caused by the radioactive contamination travelling 5,000 miles across the Pacific. The Fukushima catastrophe has been dismissed as a potential cause of health effects even in Japan, let alone as far away as California. And on what basis? Because the “dose” is too low.

Third Street Stroll …

COME WALK WITH ME – south, across the busy intersection of Third and Williams to Carroll. FINALLY, A COMMUNITY DREAM REALIZED! Groundbreaking Ceremony, Saturday morning, March 1, kicked off the long anticipated building of the NEW DR. GEORGE W. DAVIS Senior Center and Housing to be completed by 2015. The sight and sounds of trucks hauling material, tractors, drilling. Sounds of PROGRESS – JOBS! JOBS!

50 reasons we should fear the worst from Fukushima

Fukushima’s missing melted cores and radioactive gushers continue to fester in secret. Japan’s harsh dictatorial censorship has been matched by a global corporate media blackout aimed – successfully – at keeping Fukushima out of the public eye. But that doesn’t keep the actual radiation out of our ecosystem, our markets … or our bodies. Speculation on the ultimate impact ranges from the utterly harmless to the intensely apocalyptic.

The vacant housing option for squatting in Oakland

With rents rising to astronomical rates and greedy nonprofit housing developers screwing the poor with minimum income requirements, including rents higher than what poor people can afford to pay unless they are subsidized by the Section 8 program, many poor people end up homeless and are living on the streets. Squatting has become one of the few options left for the working poor and impoverished.

‘Condemned’ by Keith LaMar (Bomani Shakur)

I’m reaching out to inform you all that I finally finished my book, “Condemned.” This book isn’t just about me or about what happened to these men after a prison uprising. It’s about all of us. What happened to me can happen to you. Especially if you are poor. Especially if you are a minority. Especially if you are alone ... or at least feel that you’re alone.

Lawmakers bludgeon the food stamp program

Final passage of the $956 billion farm bill received bipartisan support in the Senate on Feb. 4, and soon after President Barack Obama signed the bill into law. Passage of the bill includes massive cuts to the food stamp program – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP – that will affect around 47 million people living in poverty all across the nation.

They’ve done their time, now let them vote

On Feb. 11, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. urged states to repeal laws that prohibit people who were formerly incarcerated from voting, a move that would restore the right to vote to millions. This timely announcement does not just address officials in states such as Florida or Mississippi, but has implications here at home. California is currently facing its own disenfranchisement crisis.

California’s most dangerous Security Threat Group

The comment period prior to formal adoption of the STG Pilot Program closes April 3, when a hearing will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at the East End Complex Auditorium, 1500 Capital Ave., Sacramento, CA 95811. Submit your comments before April 3 to CDCR, Regulation and Policy Management Branch, P.O. Box 942883, Sacramento CA 94283-0001, by fax to 916-324-6075 or by email. If you have questions, call branch chief Timothy Lockwood at 916-445-2269.

It’s about time for The Lumpen

Rickey Vincent’s new book, “Party Music,” about the Black Panther Party singing group The Lumpen is a great read. The revolutionary singing group was all about the ideology of the Black Panther Party in song and music. The Lumpen had a powerful show. They mixed the contemporary music of James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown and changed the lyrics to provide a positive message in their music.

A mother’s cry

This is the voice of a mother crying for the freedom of her child, Anthony Leonard Bottom, aka Jalil Muntaqim, who has been swallowed up in the New York penal system for 37 years, 1977-2014. My child has been held captive in the belly of New York state prisons without any regard for his constitutional human rights. Consequently, as a political prisoner, he has become a forgotten, disenfranchised citizen of the United States of America.

Mardi Gras San Francisco Style kicks off in Fillmore Plaza

‘Fat Tuesday in the Fillmore’ returns with free blues concert and annual masquerade ball – Keeping with the tradition of celebrating with great music, creative costumes, good food and colorful beads, The Village Project, The Fillmore Center and MOEWD are proud to present the Eighth Annual Fundraiser, Mardi Gras San Francisco Style – Fat Tuesday in the Fillmore on Tuesday, March 4.

Black and thinking of moving to San Francisco? Don’t do it!

Another Black History Month with pomp, circumstance and countless hollow speeches has been taking place all over San Francisco. Does anyone notice it is only a matter of time until Black people living in San Francisco will become history? The 1970 Black population of “everyone’s favorite city” was a hundred thousand, according to city records. The latest census says Blacks account for just under 47,000 of the city’s 825,000 people.

How torture is inflicted on prisoners in solitary confinement

This is a glimpse into torture by prison staff, using any means available, of which solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison in California is only a reflection of the inhumane treatment and clear U.S. constitutional violations of our First, Fifth, Eighth and 14th Amendment rights that prisoners in solitary everywhere are subjected to.

Public housing privatization and Ellis Act evictions are stealing our homes, our lives

Calls have flooded the POOR Magazine office from families and elders in desperate search for help and support to battle land thieves that utilize the Ellis Act to break laws that are in place to “protect the people” but that are overlooked or flat out ignored. As the hipster-techies invade the once family-oriented “City by the Bay,” the families and elders who contributed to the life of the Bay Area now watch helplessly as our homes are being stolen from us.

Marching for Madame Victoire 20 years after the Rwandan Genocide

Supporters of Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire marched in Brussels, Belgium, today to denounce the Rwandan Supreme Court’s December ruling, which increased her sentence on appeal. British lawyer Iain Edwards said that he is still waiting for a translation of the ruling before saying whether or not they will appeal beyond Rwanda to a regional court or to the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Chevron joins news publisher wars in Richmond

There’s a good old-fashioned muckraker’s war going on in Richmond, Calif., and Chevron’s “community-driven” news site Richmond Standard is the latest fighter to step into the ring. This sprawling city east of San Francisco is home to Chevron’s oil refinery, which has made it a battleground between the company’s business interests and environmental activists who are calling for checks on air quality and safety.

Social consciousness, prison struggle and perseverance: a personal account

There are hundreds of prisoners who have been falsely validated as members or associates of prison gangs that can viscerally relate to my experience, from living life as an outlaw in society to being prosecuted and convicted to prison, only to be persecuted while in prison, fundamentally for educating oneself by trying to heighten one’s sense of cultural and social awareness.

‘Ujamaa Village,’ an old idea revisited: Black towns!

The resurgence of modern Black towns for today’s Black population could represent a renaissance in Black thinking. It makes sense that if other cultural groups have “towns” like Chinatown, Japantown, Little Italy or Little Mexico, the Black community should get serious about developing and building Africatowns to recapture our internal economic markets and revitalize our cultural heritage for posterity.

Hunger strike representative: Resist, resist and liberate

I hear demagogues go on their vicious attacks about how violent prisoners held in solitary confinement are, yet we are actually the role model prisoners, if there is such a title. Many of us have sat in these tombstones back here under concentrated torture, while correctional officers have violated and disrespected us routinely, subjecting us to physical and psychological torment each day we have been back here.