Yearly Archives: 2015
We don’t have time for strife within the tribes. Differences have to be settled if we are going to accomplish our positive objectives of being released from these concrete tombs, as well as obtaining back everything we’ve lost in the past that our oppressors have taken. We’ve issued the statement to end all hostilities amongst all racial groups and hope that quarrels can be settled diplomatically instead of violently.
Hundreds of middle and high school students from Black and Brown low income communities in San Francisco marched together last week in solidarity to protest the execution of Mario Woods. At only 26 years, Mario Woods, a young man with special needs, was gunned down in his own neighborhood by the SFPD. “We are sick and tired of the police killing our homies!” yelled the students as they marched from the corner of 16th and Mission Street to the steps of City Hall.
Twenty-one years after Ben Caldwell opened the doors of the Kaos Network for the community Hip Hop workshop, Project Blowed, we are celebrating the birth of one of L.A.’s biggest Hip Hop institutions. The 21st anniversary will be celebrated Sunday, Dec. 27, outside in Leimert Park, in the “La.” Check out Dara Caldwell, the daughter of Ben Caldwell, as she tells us about a golden era in Southern Cali Hip Hop.
On Black Friday 2014, 14 Black activists chained themselves together on a BART transit platform “to prevent trains from moving at the West Oakland station, in response to the seemingly unending war against Black communities.” The 14, a majority of them women, faced criminal charges. Now, after a year-long campaign by the Black Friday14 and a broad coalition of allies, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley has dropped all the charges.
Respects to you for giving brothas a voice and love. I won’t lie in this letter nor put on extras out of respect and in honor of my brother Hugo “Yogi” Pinell. I’m an inmate in New Folsom. I was housed in B2-111, five cells away from Yogi. Every day at yard time it was my honor and duty to escort him to the rec yard. His spirit was amazing. He had jokes. When Yogi hit the yard, the unity just by his presence was beautiful. Afrikans from everywhere were one.
“The Talk” or “How to survive while Black” is given at one point or another to all young Black men. It is filled with different pointers and suggestions on how to handle police encounters when you are walking, driving or just breathing while being an African American. My mother gave my younger brother and me the talk several years ago when we turned 12, and 15 years later I gave it to my “little brother” M, a young man that I am mentoring.
In the wake of public outcry over the latest police shooting, of Mario Woods, an unarmed African American, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr has revived his previous call to equip his officers with electronic stun guns, also called electronic control weapons (ECWs). With similar cases in Chicago, New York and Miami, New America Media’s Paul Kleyman interviewed Aram James, a leading opponent of ECWs, about their risks.
Ten years ago - the weight of shackles - pressed hard against his body - collapsing his lungs - squeezing his life - but not his spirit - determined to bury him - beneath the rubble of ashes - beneath time - cast him to oceans - like forgotten Ancestors - written out of history - a historical footnote. - But - we haven’t forgotten - the death of Malcolm and Martin - or the struggles of Harriet. - No more can we forget Dec. 13, 2005 - Stanley Tookie Williams -
On Wednesday, Dec. 16, the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) declared its intent to send 5,000 African “peacekeeping” troops to Burundi to protect civilians, whether the Burundian government gives its consent or not. On Friday, Dec. 18, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) took note of the African Union Peace and Security Council’s statement but did not approve the deployment against the will of the Burundian government.
The U.S. brought democracy to Yugoslavia, and Yugoslavia no longer exists. The U.S. has spent $5 billion bringing democracy to Ukraine, and today Ukraine is in turmoil. In the end, neither the people of Yugoslavia, nor the people of Ukraine have benefited from U.S. democracy. And so it goes with the people of Haiti. But the list of non-Haitians who benefit from U.S. “democracy” is long, indeed. And the Clinton Foundation family and donors top this list.
Against all odds, a grassroots coalition defeated a plan to build a new, 384-bed downtown jail at a cost of $240 million – up to $465 million including 30 years of debt financing. In what the No New Jail Coalition called “an historic moment in our long and difficult fight against jail expansion,” the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Dec. 15 to reject the new jail plan.
It was an amazing day in Scranton, Penn., with more than 100 people inside and outside the courtroom. Folks joined us from all over the East Coast. The judge, Robert Mariani, began by reading an excerpt from the papers Mumia filed with the court, citing the life threatening conditions he suffered when he was hospitalized on March 30, 2015. The judge referred to those conditions as “serious,” signaling to all in attendance that he meant business.
Mario Woods was a young worker who was killed by the San Francisco police on Dec. 2, 2015, with over 20 bullets. The funeral was held on Dec. 17, at Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church, Third Street and Paul Avenue, in Bayview Hunters Point, and the family, community, youth and labor members spoke out. Speakers connected the dots between this police murder and the ethnic cleansing and gentrification of Bayview Hunters Point.
Afrikan Black Coalition Political Director Yoel Haile states: “This victory is historic and momentous. Divesting $25 million is a good step towards shutting down private prisons by starving them of capital. This is a clear example of Black Power and what we can achieve when we work in unity. This victory belongs to the masses of our people languishing behind America’s mass incarceration regime.”
People in solitary confinement have been loudly awakened by guards every 30 minutes around the clock since the night of Aug. 2, for more than four months! CDCR claims these checks are to improve mental health care and prevent suicides. Instead, this cruel sleep deprivation constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Prisoners and their attorneys are demanding that these checks be halted. Stop these torture tactics now! Support prisoners’ human rights! Send emails and make calls. Sleep deprivation is torture!
This Sunday, a dance showcase and party called “Sun Rhythm” will be held at La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley. The main organizer is the young artist extraordinaire Stoney Creation, aka Zuna, who has been ripping stages in the Bay with her mic and dance skills. People like to comment on the youth messing up. Here is an opportunity to support positive youth in our community. Check out Stoney Creation in her own words.
Hundreds of students walked out of class Dec. 11 to protest the SFPD murder of Mario Woods, Alex Nieto and other young people. The Dec. 2 firing squad-style execution of Mario has united Black and Brown youth. Young people are deeply affected by police lynchings, wondering, “Am I next?” In city after city, they’re the ones taking the lead in the struggle for justice. Three friends from Deecolonize Academy in Deep East Oakland report on how they are protesting the SFPD murder of Mario Woods. They are Kimo Umu, Tiburcio Gray-Garcia Robles and Tyray Taylor.
As Joseph Kabila enters the final year of his presidency, the pressure will increase on him to respect the Constitution and step down in December 2016. Congolese are united in the defense of the Constitution and the protection of the nascent democratic advances that have occurred during the post-war period of the country. If elections are in fact held in 2016, it will be due to the vigilance and pressure coming from the sons and daughters of the Congo.
August Wilson is considered one of America’s greatest playwrights, and the work that comprises The American Century Cycle, one of the outstanding achievements of the modern theater, is performed across the globe. But only Oakland’s premiere North American African theater company has performed the entire cycle in chronological order. Don’t miss the final installment of The Lower Bottom Playaz’ American Century Cycle Project.
Maybe we should look more broadly when defining terrorism – as something beyond just foreigners or lawbreakers. Some terrorists may actually operate within the law. One such example is environmental terrorism, generated by those companies that pollute our ecosystem with harmful chemicals that enter human bodies and cause people to suffer and die. Any discussion of terrorism should include those who are harming our precious planet and its inhabitants.