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2015 January

Monthly Archives: January 2015

From West Oakland to South Africa

Khayrishi Wiginton, a youth leadership coordinator at McClymonds High School in West Oakland, is fundraising and organizing a trip to South Africa with her students. Many of us do not know the power that travelling outside of the country has on fertile minds. I hope that Block Report Radio listeners and SF Bay View readers will assist these inner-city students and adults in completing their quest. Here is Khayrishi in her own words.

How to end child poverty for 60% of poor children and 72% of poor...

Poverty hurts children and our nation’s future. This stark statement is backed by years of scientific research, and the more we learn about the brain and its development the more devastatingly true we know this to be. Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty, it’s time for all Americans to work together to finish the job, beginning with ending child poverty in our nation with the largest economy on earth.

What would compel a man to try to cut his own face off?

“What sort of conditions could be so unbearable that they’d drive a person to suffer cutting through the skin, nerves, muscles and arteries of his own face, at the risk of permanent disfigurement, disability or even death?” Amerika inflicts such extreme torture on prisoners that they routinely commit such acts as could never be expected of a sane and stable mind. And this is the point: Solitary confinement drives people into insanity.

Cages Kill-Freedom Rally in Santa Cruz

Sin Barras organized the Cages Kill-Freedom Rally to save lives after six people locked up in the Santa Cruz County Jail have died since August 2012. The Jan. 24 rally was endorsed by a wide range of local, statewide, national, and international groups, demonstrating that murder and torture is happening in jails and prisons everywhere, not just in Santa Cruz. Stop the abuse and torture in the Santa Cruz County Jail and jails and prisons everywhere!

If Black lives matter – A message to the youth from behind enemy lines

If Black lives matter, make it clear that your just outrage extends to and will not tolerate the “con game” being run on the public and California Legislature by the PISC, CDCR and PBSP, wherein men like Ricky Kaidi Matthews, Sondai Ellis and others continue to be held hostage in tortuous solitary confinement awaiting sham case-by-case reviews after having been lied to repeatedly by prison administrators.

Bill Duke reflects on Martin Luther King, race and colorism

As the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s 86th birthday, we are immersed in an intensive, often divisive conversation about race in America. Sixty years after King marched through the streets, as he did in Selma and cities throughout the South, we find ourselves still on the streets battling many of these same issues. My concern is that we are too narrowly focused. We need to make sure we battle this issue of race on all fronts.

When a mother and her autistic son are evicted: The story of Bessie and...

When a mother and her autistic son are evicted, where are they supposed to turn? For Bessie Taylor of Monterey County, every option has come up short. Now, she’s worried about what comes next. Bessie and Devonte Taylor are staying in a motel, but come Friday, the money for that will run out. POOR Magazine is currently seeking legal support for the family to overturn the illegal eviction from public housing as well as collecting emergency donations for Bessie and Devonte to keep them temporarily housed in the motel so they are not on the street.

Making torture legal

In the wake of the Senate Intelligence Select Committee’s report on CIA torture of terror suspects, we are reminded how little Americans know about how the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency rolls in the real world. So, did they torture people? Yup. Did they kill people? Yup. Did they violate laws? Yuuuup. But guess what? Under the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2001 they’re immune from prosecution.

Prisoner Human Rights Movement: Agreement to End Hostilities has changed the face of race...

I encourage all men and women prisoners to continue to press onward with our Agreement to End Hostilities through all corridors of state and county facilities. We are fighting for human justice. We call on all citizens to get involved with social change now. We shall not allow even Gov. Brown to destroy our faith in humanity. The Prisoner Human Rights Movement shall stand as ONE clenched fist in solidarity against CDCr oppression.

Deputy public defender unjustly arrested

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi released video on Jan. 28 showing a deputy public defender being unlawfully arrested outside a courtroom as she attempted to protect her client’s right to counsel. San Francisco Police Inspector Brian Stansbury arrested Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson for refusing to let her client, a young African American man, be questioned without the presence of his attorney.

Marissa Alexander released from prison: Supporters celebrate, demand full freedom

Supporters of Marissa Alexander in Jacksonville, across the U.S. and all around the world are overjoyed that she has been released from jail after serving three years behind bars for defending her life. In 2010, Alexander, a Black mother of three from Jacksonville, Florida, was forced to defend her life from a life-threatening attack by her estranged husband by firing a single warning shot that caused no injuries.

Yalani just wanted to cash his paycheck to help his mom with the rent

On Jan. 9, 2015, at close to 10:00 p.m., my son, Yalani (Mighty Born) Chinyamurindi (of Zimbabwe Hahari, the House of Reverence), was working at BeniHana Japanese Restaurant in San Francisco’s Japantown. Yalani had a half hour lunch break. Even though the rent was paid, he was eager to contribute to the household. With check in hand, he left the restaurant with a work colleague to cash it. Only life is what’s happening as you make other plans ... The funeral is Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, 2:00 p.m., at Bryant Mortuary, 635 Fulton St., San Francisco.

Community protector Bo Frierson tipped from wheelchair for protesting SFPD’s assault on his cousin

Devaughn Frierson Jr., better known as Bo, endeavors every day to protect his community and, like the Black Panthers, he doesn’t turn his back to abuse by police. As a community journalist who is a Black disabled man like Bo, I wanted to get to know what drives this activist, who is a hero to his neighbors but was treated abominably by San Francisco police.

Pattern of practice: Centuries of racist oppression culminating in mass incarceration

After winning their freedom in the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history, Blacks were in many cases and places denied basic human, civil and political rights, literally forcing New Afrikans back into slavery by denying them a right to life. Over the years the government declared and waged war on the New Afrikan communities - war on unemployed "vagrants,' war on crime, war on drugs, war on gangs - culminating in mass incarceration.

Congolese protest election delay: ‘Non Kabila Rwandais’

A widely feared and anticipated military attack by U.N. and Congolese troops on the FDLR has not materialized, despite U.N. Special Envoy Russ Feingold’s repeated urgings. Instead, this week, the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo rose up in the streets to demand that their Parliament not pass legislation allowing Congolese President Joseph Kabila to extend his stay in office beyond constitutional term limits. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.

The way forward to end solitary confinement torture: Where’s the army?

I snapped to the fact that once we successfully exposed this torture program to the world, making the people aware, at least some of the responsibility shifts to the people to hold the lawmakers responsible. It’s unbelievable to me to see the numbers of people out there who are aware of the continued torture we are subjected to, and yet they’ve failed to take any action to hold those responsible accountable.

Wheelchair mobility plus education equals a bright future for Eunice Atim of Uganda

Ronald Galiwango and Krip-Hop Nation teamed up in 2013 to write articles, published in the SF Bay View newspaper, about a single father raising two daughters with disabilities who needed wheelchairs to get around. The campaign turned into a two-year effort with two goals 1) wheelchairs and 2) education. Here is Ronald's update on this successful campaign with pictures of Atim at school.

‘Friends of Victoire’ launched to free Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire

In January 2010, Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza returned from The Netherlands to Rwanda to attempt to run against sitting President Paul Kagame. She said she knew that she would be either assassinated or imprisoned, and she is now entering the fifth year of a 15-year prison sentence. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to Marie Lyse Numuhoza, the founder of Friends of Victoire, a new organization created to fight for her freedom.

Children of incarcerated parents say no to a new jail in San Francisco

San Francisco’s jail population is steadily decreasing, and we hope that the number of San Francisco youth struggling to find support during their parents’ and family members’ incarceration will decrease with it. This is why we as youth who have all experienced parental incarceration in San Francisco oppose a new jail in our city. Why invest in a new jail rather than the potential of our youth?

Our future and the solar mandate of Assembly Bill 327

The intent of AB 327 is to make the homes and businesses in California into productive and profitable “customer solar generators” by 2020, to help California reach the solar mandate of obtaining 33 percent of its energy from solar and renewables by 2020. Jobs will be created for all the electricians, carpenters and installers needed to build solar homes. These are jobs many young people can learn and do now.