by The People’s Minister of Information JR
The Block Report is in a rebuilding phase after being unjustifiably banned from the Pacifica airwaves under a plan engineered by former Pacifica lawyer and current Oakland mayoral candidate Dan Siegel. One of the main campaigns we are working on right now is to expose Siegel’s pro-police history to the left leaning crew that supports him in his Oakland mayoral campaign.
Many are unaware that while on the Oakland School Board in 2000, Dan Siegel spearheaded bringing armed police into the Oakland Unified School District, with the support of incumbent Mayor Jean Quan, who was then also on the board. In 2011, 20-year-old Raheim Brown was gunned down by armed OUSD Police Sgt. Barhin Bhatt outside of Skyline High.
Siegel concocted the policy that allowed Bhatt to have a gun on the high school campus. After the incident, Bhatt was not punished in any way. Bhatt was promoted.
Siegel, a few years later, defended Pacifica against a lawsuit brought by Nadra Foster, a former Black broadcaster at KPFA. The lawsuit stemmed from an incident on Aug. 20, 2008, when she got into an argument with KPFA finance manager Lois Withers, who later lied to police, calling Foster a trespasser.
Nadra Foster was forcibly hogtied and removed from the station after being kicked in the head, between the legs, and having her arm stomped into paralysis by the Berkeley police. Siegel made sure that Foster didn’t get a dime in the lawsuit; he was Pacifica’s main legal advisor.
Dan Siegel then resurfaced as a “savior” during the Occupy Movement. He claimed that he quit being the chief legal advisor for the Quan administration because of her forceful removal of Occupiers from City Hall grounds, by armed police.
Please remember that Quan moved on Occupy on Nov. 12, 2011, and Raheim Brown was killed in January of 2011. Is Dan Siegel against police terrorism or is he just against the police terrorizing white people?
Why didn’t he quit Quan’s administration behind the murder of unarmed Raheim Brown? Perhaps because Raheim Brown’s murder, which Siegel is tied to, was not as big a platform for him to unleash his opportunistic political ambitions.
Is this who y’all want for mayor? A white liberal who supports the police beating up and killing Blacks but not whites? He reminds me of an Oakland version of Leopold or de Klerk.*
Is Dan Siegel against police terrorism or is he just against the police terrorizing white people?
Ever since Sept. 13, 2013, when Block Report Radio was unjustifiably banned from Pacifica for “creating a hostile work environment,” aka standing up for the rights of Black people on and off the air, we have been working on building an independent media infrastructure that will serve the Black community socially, politically and culturally.
We have recently concluded our crowd-sharing fundraising campaign, where we raised 15 percent of the funds necessary to create a new internet radio station. We appreciate everyone who donated or passed the message along so others could give. Although we didn’t reach our goal, we intend to scale the station down to a podcast at this moment, so that the Block Report can return to the internet. It took longer than expected to access the money from the crowd-sharing site and order the equipment. We should be up and running by March.
We have also been talking to KPOO about possibly bringing the Block Report back to terrestrial radio. Hopefully the negotiations will bear fruit, because we would love to return the Block Report to one of its birthplaces. Black-owned KPOO also happens to be the first station in the Bay to open up its airwaves to Hip Hop.
We have also been busy promoting our newest literary release, “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin 2,” which came out at the end of December. We have a few speaking engagements lined up all over California: On Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., I will be speaking at Marcus Books, 1712 Fillmore St. in San Francisco, with Cecil Brown, the author of “Pryor Lives: Kiss My Happy Rich Black Ass” and screenwriter of Richard Pryor’s “Which Way is Up.” On Feb. 15, I will be in Los Angeles at Eso Won Books, and on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m., I will be speaking at Marcus Books in Oakland, 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and the newly released “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin’ 2” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe” and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*King Leopold of Belgium, at the infamous Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, where European leaders carved up Africa, took the Congo as his personal property and was responsible for the deaths of as many as 15 million Congolese. President de Klerk of South Africa, head of the National Party, modeled after the Nazis, was the seventh and last president of the apartheid era. – ed.