Monthly Archives: September 2015
Today I sit in my caged existence away from the outside world and still connected to the revolutionary community. Recently a New Afrikan brother and comrade wrote me with news: Hugo Pinnell was executed on the prison yard at Folsom. This was heartbreaking news and it sent me into a rage. Hugo Pinnell, like George Jackson, was and shall ever be an example for New Afrikan manhood.
Major George Tillery is a Pennsylvania lifer, 65, who confronted SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes over Mumia Abu-Jamal’s deteriorating health. Prison authorities retaliated against Major Tillery – repeatedly ransacked his cell and denied him medical treatment for seeking medical assistance for Mumia and other prisoners. Tillery was transferred to SCI Frackville and then falsely charged with drug possession, disciplined and given six months in “the hole.”
Some heroes will be forever unsung --- But I met one, when my consciousness was young --- You helped a brotha out when he wasn’t solid --- Guided me on my political path, introduced me to Dr. Khallid --- When me and my queen arrived on the scene --- Rocking boots and jeans, looking clean and mean --- You told us you dig us doing our thing --- And appreciated the things we would rap and sing
Paul Sankara says the Burkinabe army is supporting the people against the coup plotters. Dr. Gnaka La Goke says that anyone who thinks the presidential guard would attempt a coup d’état without the knowledge and complicity of the U.S. and France is refusing to see how things are done in the 21st century.
Business owners, property owners and residents of the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood have until Oct. 5 to sign up to receive a street tree in the planting that Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) is organizing for Nov. 7. People who have eligible sites in front of their properties can save money by participating in FUF’s neighborhood tree planting program; most of the costs are covered by grants, government funding and private donations.
In the mix, during the recent hot Friday early evening, for the PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY, that included Supervisor SCOTT WIENER, D-8. Local Bayview community members and Port officials, that included Commission President LESLIE KATZ and Commissioner KIMBERLY BRANDON. Special guest GUY JOHNSON, son of the late MAYA ANGELOU, accompanied by his wife, lovely STEPHANIE FLOYD JOHNSON, took part in the celebration.
More than 2,000 people eager to get a jump on the school year flocked to BMAGIC’s (Bayview Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities) Bayview Hunters Point Back to School Celebration at Youngblood Coleman Park Aug. 15, where kindergartners through high school seniors received new backpacks, uniforms and school supplies. The event is among the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the Bay Area.
Can you please give me a little space in Bayview, so that I can say gracias – thank you. I’m one of the named plaintiffs in our class action lawsuit, Ashker v. Brown, at Pelican Bay SHU. By now you have all heard that it was settled Sept. 1, 2015. I’m happy for all of us in the SHU. For now we must enjoy this ONE victory of many more to come. It’s just the beginning.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is incentivizing communities to take steps to end criminalization in its $1.9 billion grant program for federal homelessness funding. HUD’s new requirement for applicants of federal homelessness funding follows on the heels of the Department of Justice’s announcement in August that criminalizing individuals for being homeless is unconstitutional.
Family and friends who traveled from as far away as the Sierra Foothills and the San Francisco Peninsula were brought together in celebrating what was to be an upcoming birth forged by the union of Nicole Penney and Derrell Lewis. On Sept. 15, their beautiful son Amir was born. These two longtime friends, equally yoked in their demonstrated love and support for one another, are evidence that the future of our village is in good hands.
When Ashker v. Brown (Governor of California) was filed as a class action in 2012, California held thousands of prisoners in solitary confinement, in Security Housing Units (SHU). In September 2015, the case was settled, and far-reaching reforms were ordered. These reforms are expected to dramatically reduce the number of prisoners currently detained in the SHU and limit the way SHU confinement is used going forward.
One possible explanation that makes the notion of “Inclusive Capitalism” so au courant could be that a critical mass of people are now “on to” the robber barons and the governments purchased by them; these “democratic” governments specialize in representing the robber barons and not the people who “elect” them. Could it be that there are finally enough among the masses of people who are acutely aware and so refuse to fall for the old divide and conquer trick?
Mumia Abu-Jamal’s eighth book written from prison cells in the state of Pennsylvania, USA, is a selection of 107 essays that date from January 1982 to October 2014. They cover practically the entire period of his incarceration as an internationally recognized political prisoner. Most of the pieces were written while he was on death row after being framed for the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner on Dec. 9, 1981, in the city of Philadelphia.
When the African world revolution lost Dedon Kamathi, we lost an organizer’s organizer, a void that will definitely be very hard to fill. I talked to one of Dedon’s close comrades in the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, Munyiga Lumumba, so that he could give the people who didn’t know Dedon like we did a glimpse into the politics and the spirit that made Dedon Dedon.
“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” by Stanley Nelson is a documentary about a Black revolutionary organization in a revolutionary time. It is one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen that intends to tell the history of an organization that shook the world and fundamentally changed the way that Black people in the United States have looked at themselves for nearly half a century. It’s screening in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Rafael on Oct. 2. The Oakland screening is Saturday, Oct. 3, 1 p.m., Piedmont Theater, 4186 Piedmont Ave., followed by Q&A with Stanley Nelson and former Oakland Panther Steve McCutchen.
On a cold Tuesday evening, Sept. 15, Midtown residents along with their allies from labor unions, UC Berkeley, Boalt School of Law, The Plaza 16 Coalition, Calle 24 and tenants’ rights advocates gathered outside of the San Francisco Rent Board eagerly awaiting the appeal hearing. The decision was to be made on the rent control status of 65 long-term Fillmore District families who face immediate rent increases ranging from 30 percent to 300 percent.
Some of you will remember the hunger strike in January-February 2014 by prisoners in Administrative Detention at the Menard Correctional Center in Menard, Illinois. During and after the hunger strike, several of the strikers were sent to prisons as far away as California, Virginia, West Virginia and New Mexico. Others remain in Administrative Detention at Menard.
As in the ‘30s, the arbitrary policy of herding Mexicans illegally onto buses, trains and airplanes to repatriate them stirred new resentment in many Mexican Americans. Many families were disrupted. Feelings of mistrust, hostility and alienation from the prevailing Anglo society were magnified, especially since violence was not eschewed, even by elderly persons who had lived peacefully in American communities for many years.
The man known as Mr. Byrd passed away on Aug. 14, 2015. Mr. Byrd and his heroic struggle for justice at Geneva Towers was the lead story in the first Bay View published by the Ratcliffs, on Feb. 3, 1992, and new stories appeared in almost every issue of the paper for years. He was an inspiration not only to the people who knew him personally but to everyone who read about his work.
The Matatu Festival of Stories is in full swing this week, with opening night dinner at Miss Ollie’s featuring Saul Williams, Donte Clark and Bryant Terry. Some of the upcoming activities of the festival are the Thursday night concert featuring neo-soul musician and producer Shafiq Husayn, the Friday night showing of a documentary about Ethiopian musician and thespian Asknaketch Worku, as well as Saturday’s performance by the Alonzo King Lines Ballet.