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2014 September

Monthly Archives: September 2014

SF community newspapers featured at Commonwealth Club forum

The San Francisco Neighborhood Newspaper Association and the impact of community journalism was the featured topic last week at a forum sponsored by San Francisco’s prestigious Commonwealth Club. Four local publishers, Earl Adkins (Marina Times), Juan Gonzales (El Tecolate), Willie Ratcliff (SF Bay View) and moderator Glenn Gullmes (West Portal Monthly) represented the neighborhood news collective.

Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law blasts proposed prison visitor strip search policy...

The Department has not demonstrated that its current efforts at prevention and detention of contraband would be seriously hampered if the use of canines (sniffer dogs), scanners and strip searches were not to be implemented. It has not even demonstrated that there is an immediate need or extraordinary circumstance warranting these extreme measures.

The future of streaming music: an interview wit’ Vaytus owner Aniefre Essien

Vaytus, owned by Aniefre Essien and Brandon Sledge-Mellon, is a Black-owned music streaming provider. “Vaytus is a word that we made up from the words ‘elevate us.’ Music is powerful, and we believe good music elevates people,” says Aniefre about the unusual name. These brothas have a mission that is bigger than just filling their pockets. Their business pays artists fair rates for their music.

Treasure Island flooded with water, mold and radiation

On Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, crowds in Clipper Cove bleachers cheered Chinese Dragon Boat races, completely unaware that, at that same moment, on the island’s far end, Treasure Island residents were suffering years of infrastructure collapse and being flooded out. While the Treasure Island Development Authority rakes in admission fees, it is taking no action to rebuild island infrastructure for current residents or protect them from the ravages on their health of flooding, mold and radiation.

Mumia on the meaning of Ferguson

For the youth, excluded from the American economy by inferior, substandard education; targeted by the malevolence of the fake drug war and mass incarceration; stopped and frisked for Walking While Black, were given front-row seats to the national security state at Ferguson after a friend was murdered by police in their streets. Ferguson may prove a wake-up call. A call for youth to build social, radical, revolutionary movements for change.

15 US lawmakers ask Haiti Senate to make way for mock elections

If Haiti had friends in the U.S. Congress, they would ask the Obama administration to support human rights for the U.N. cholera victims and to put an end to the fictitious elections, ever since the United States started its direct occupation of Haiti by disenfranchising 10 million Haiti voters on Feb. 29, 2004.

Corcoran SHU prisoners start hunger strike for decent healthcare; support needed now

On Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, three men locked inside unit 4B-1L of the Secure Housing Unit (SHU) of California State Prison-Corcoran started a hunger strike: Heshima Denham (J-38283), followed on Sept. 27 by Michael Zaharibu Dorrough (D-83611), and Kambui Robinson (C-82830) will join them the following day for a few days or as long as he can considering his poor health.

Black man on a quest: an interview wit’ Life is Living organizer Hodari Davis

Hodari is something of a renaissance man. If you have spent time on the cultural scene, you are familiar with some of his work – the annual Life is Living Festival, the Black history oratory and poetry group Young Gifted and Black, Youth Speaks or the statewide initiative fighting Type II Diabetes called The Bigger Picture.

Third Street Stroll …

HOW SWEET IT WAS! DR. WILLIE RATCLIFF, our beloved Publisher, a VIRGO MAN, celebrated his 82nd birthday surrounded by his lovely wife MARY RATCLIFF, charming in a blue dress, staff and friends at a reception held in the lobby of the African American Art and Cultural Complex, prior to the BLACK MEDIA APPRECIATION NIGHT affair, sponsored by SF BAY VIEW, to HONOR UNSUNG HEROES who do not get their PROPER due for their outstanding work.

Former delivery boy, now poet, helps Bay View spread love and hope

As I sit in Glen Dyer Facility (North Alameda County) fighting federal weapons charges, I find comfort and inspiration from the pages of the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper. As a kid raised in Hunters Point, I can remember passing out bundles of these same newspapers. I can remember the stern look Mr. Willie Ratcliff would give my friends and me before telling us to make sure we deliver all of our papers.

Zapata and the Zapatistas: Today’s continuing struggle

Zapata’s legacy of integrity, dignity, self-determination and emancipation rang loud and clear to many, not as simply a worthy cost of freedom but a call to duty, to fight and challenge for a deserved justice. Zapata and the EZLN generalized their plight. Exposure itself can be a force when successfully framed: “Circumstances create man as much as man creates his circumstances.” As the vanguard, we must create ours.

Practice makes us better dads

I’ve created a fatherhood survey to help men evaluate how they think they are doing as fathers as well as some thoughts and ideas that may help improve areas of weakness. Remember, dads, we are only human – not robots. We are imperfect and will make mistakes every day. The important thing is that we love our children, learn from the mistakes and continue to practice on the skills that will make us the best fathers possible.

Nurses reject ‘independent’ panel on Doctor’s Medical Center as cover for real intent, DMC...

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United blasted a report issued Sept. 24 from the supposed “independent” panel of stakeholders set up by the hospital giants to provide a cover for the closure of embattled Doctors Medical Center, long a mainstay for the people of Richmond and San Pablo. While the report carries a label of being comprised of “independent” stakeholders, it is anything but, said CNA.

Activists renew urgent call for Ferguson police chief’s resignation after cops attack protesters again

A broad coalition of activists and local organizations are calling again for Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson to resign after a new round of police attacks on peaceful protestors last night. Over 200 activists have been arrested in conjunction with protests calling for justice for Mike Brown. Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Mike Brown, still walks free.

Amy Buckley in Mississippi prison: I will not give up until I receive the...

Despite being prisoners of the state of Mississippi, we have the right to receive prompt medical treatment, clean clothes to wear, a clean and safe living environment and access to our families. The Mississippi Department of Corrections may not care about my health, but my health is important to me and my family. When I came into this system I was healthy and I plan to leave healthy! I will not give up until I receive the medical care I deserve.

Gov. Jerry Brown signs SB 1135, Prison Anti-Sterilization Bill

On Sept. 25, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law SB 1135, the prison anti-sterilization bill authored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson and bi-partisan co-authors and sponsored by legal and human rights organization Justice Now. The bill proceeded to the governor’s desk after passing with unanimous floor votes out of both the Senate and Assembly, with support from organizations like ACLU Northern California and Black Women for Wellness.

Haiti: Where will the poor go?

During my last trip to Haiti this June with a delegation of students and human rights observers, we were exposed to the raw violence of the ongoing forced dispersal of the poor. On May 31, the Martelly regime intensified a process – in the name of “eminent domain” – of violently evicting the poor from their homes in downtown Port-au-Prince and then physically destroying their homes and businesses.

Unresolved hunger strike issues: Five Core Demands, 40 Supplemental Demands and CDCR’s STG-SDP

This memorandum is directed to the above CDCR administrators for the express purpose of respectfully reminding you about unresolved and continuing problematic issues relevant to our 2011-2014 Five Core and 40 Supplemental Demands and CDCR’s Security Threat Group-Step Down Program (STG-SDP). I am requesting your attention and responsive dialogue addressing these issues.

No charges in Ohio police killing of John Crawford as Wal-Mart video contradicts 911...

An Ohio grand jury has declined to indict the white police officer who fatally shot John Crawford, a 22-year-old African American, who was killed inside a Wal-Mart store last month after a caller phoned police to accuse him of brandishing a gun. In fact, Crawford had picked up an unloaded BB air rifle on a shelf, an item that is sold in the store. Newly released surveillance footage shows major discrepancies between a 911 caller’s account and what really happened.

Stop the political persecution of Aristide and Fanmi Lavalas once and for all

In March of 2011, I accompanied Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on his trip home to Haiti following years of forced exile in South Africa. I did so in support of Haitian democracy and Aristide’s civil rights, and in protest against my country’s role in illegally removing him from power in 2004 and then preventing him from returning to his native land for seven long years. Today, Haitian democracy and the rights of Aristide are again under threat.