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2016 February

Monthly Archives: February 2016

Black Lives Matter and the Freddie Gray effect

Speaking at the funeral for Freddie Gray last April the family’s attorney said, “Many of us are here not because we knew Freddie Gray personally, but because we know hundreds of Freddie Grays.” The Freddie Gray effect and the cry that Black Lives Matter is about more than improved police-community relations. It is the fight and the need in countless Black neighborhoods for income equality, access to quality education, environmental justice and criminal justice reform.

Kern Valley administrators aim to undermine our Agreement to End race-based Hostilities

A bulletin from the Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM) and Free Speech Society by Kijana Tashiri Askari, Abdul Olugbala Shakur and J. Heshima Denham - Kern Valley State Prison administrators have instituted COINTELPRO tactics to try and sabotage the historical significance of our Agreement to End Hostilities (AEH). The sabotage entails ...

Rhetoric vs. reality: SFPD’s investment in police brutality

“On the weekend before Super Bowl 50 in downtown San Francisco, Officer Joshua Cabillo aggressively put his hands on me. It was a peaceful protest and I sensed the hatred in his eyes,” says protester Deja Caldwell. Not only did Officer Cabillo unnecessarily assault a woman who was protesting police killing, but he is a killer cop himself! On June 5, 2012, as a South San Francisco police officer, Joshua Cabillo brutalized, restrained and eventually shot to death 15-year-old Derrick Gaines. Officer Cabillo is a child killer with a long record of abuse, yet SFPD hired him.

Children’s author Akua Agusi and her Afrikan-centered books

Author Akua Agusi’s children's books deal with the history of Black giants like Marcus Garvey, Madame C.J. Walker, Queen Nzinga and Imhotep. And there are many more in the works. Please support revolutionary Black art and literature with your purchasing dollars so we can continue to keep Akua in business and inspire more people to make conscious and revolutionary art and literature. Check her out in her own words.

The struggle for renter protections in Richmond moves forward

On Tuesday, Feb. 23, the Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition, a group uniting renters, homeowners, organizations, local elected officials, local community activists and labor, filed a proposed ballot measure to protect Richmond’s tenants against unjust evictions and unfair rent increases. The Richmond City Clerk has 15 days to write a title and summary for the initiative. The coalition will have until June to gather 4,198 signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.

Today, few know how bad it was for Black and Brown people back in...

I have been in the system over 30 years and was in the system when Yogi and George Jackson and the rest were all in the Adjustment Center, and the guards and George were killed in 1971. An entire generation has come and gone since then. Very few in the system today even know who they are. Nor do they know how bad conditions were back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, especially for Black and Brown people both in the system and out in the streets.

Remembering Oakland rebel Lovelle Mixon

March 21 marks the seventh anniversary of one of the biggest events in Oakland history and in the nation’s fight against police terror in recent times. I am talking about the police murder of Lovelle Mixon two months after the videotaped police execution of Oscar Grant. Mixon’s fearlessness, audacity and strength in the heat of battle against the police, who have been rampantly killing Black people in Oakland’s Black community with impunity for decades, created a snowball effect of frustration and courage, which, in combination with the half a dozen rebellions in downtown Oakland surrounding the Grant case, pushed the tide of popular opinion in California towards the conviction of Mehserle.

New legislation increases transparency in law enforcement records

In an effort to improve transparency, accountability and trust between law enforcement and the public, Sen. Mark Leno has introduced SB 1286, a bill allowing greater public access to peace officer records related to serious uses of force and sustained charges of misconduct. “California is behind the times when it comes to providing transparency in law enforcement records,” said Sen. Leno, D-San Francisco.

Filing for federal clemency, sentence reduction and other ‘decarceration’ projects

Most parties now agree that mass incarceration is NOT the solution to crime in America. The reason being its prison population size is NOT determined by the number of CRIMES committed. So if the crime rate is not the dominant factor, what is? UNJUST racial and class policies are the dominant driving forces behind mass incarceration in the U.S. today. We urge federal prisoners to file for relief under the programs offered.

From traditional rhythms to knowledge of self

Miguel Gonalez is a Colombian man who teaches youth how to play the traditional African-Indiginous rhythms of our ancestors from all over Africa and the Americas, opening the door for children intellectually trapped in the system’s schools to develop a knowledge of self, with the first steps being through playing the heartbeat, the drums. His organization, New Urban Drum Culture, is unique in its approach in helping to build self-esteem in at-risk inner-city youth.

SFPD gets away with murder(s); Department of Justice comes to town

San Francisco is touted by conservative detractors and liberal boosters alike as the nation’s most progressive city. This is still true in many ways, even amidst towering symbols of gentrification. But, in particular, when it comes to holding police accountable for use of excessive force against communities of color, the City by the Bay is no different from the New Yorks, Chicagos, Baltimores or Fergusons of this country, where cops literally get away with murder. Think this is an exaggeration? Read on.

Celebrate Marin City Health & Wellness Center’s new satellite clinic in Coleman Medical Center...

On Thursday, March 3, 2016, at 6:30 p.m., Marin City Health & Wellness Center (MCHWC) welcomes the Bayview Hunters Point community to an Open House in its newly expanded health clinic in the Arthur H. Coleman Medical Center. The event is free to the public and hors d’oeuvres will be served. The center was founded in 1960 by local leader and San Francisco community health pioneer Dr. Arthur Coleman to provide quality healthcare to the community.

San Francisco salutes Dr. Espanola Jackson at her homegoing services

Providence Baptist Church was packed for the second homegoing service for Dr. Espanola Jackson, a legendary icon to the people of Bayview Hunters Point and citywide. Her family and friends and city and state officials who have felt her pressure to do the right thing came to honor her so as to make sure, despite her transition, that justice prevails like a mighty stream – pure, powerful and calm.

Sen. Sanders, Big Pharma’s greed is killing 3 million Hep C sufferers, including Mumia

Sen. Sanders, you have spoken out against the depredations of Big Pharma, refused to take donations from any of them, and call for “Medicare for all.” You’ve also spoken to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Currently in Pennsylvania there is a case before a federal court which embodies both of these battles, Abu-Jamal vs. Kerestes. Mumia Abu-Jamal is suing to force the Department of Corrections to immediately provide him treatment with the Hep C drug.

When President Paul Kagame, America’s dictator friend, speaks at Harvard Business School, what will...

In his 22 years as the powerful man in Rwanda and 16 years as the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame has proved to be not only a tyrant and dictator responsible for large scale human rights abuse with an extreme and effective way of crushing dissidents and political opponents. Yet he has spoken before at the Harvard University School of Business, where he is invited again as a speaker this coming weekend.

Original Black Panther Elbert ‘Big Man’ Howard broadcasts jazz liberation

As a founding member of the Black Panther Party at the age of 28, Howard swiftly became the party’s minister of information, editing the group’s official newspaper, traveling to Japan as a spokesman and initiating a free medical clinic for sickle-cell anemia and a work-study program for parolees at Merritt College. Now, at age 78, Elbert "Big Man" Howard hosts Jazz Connections, a biweekly jazz show on KRCB-FM in Rohnert Park, and Jazz Styles, a monthly show on KOWS-FM in Sebastopol – playing the same music that he and his comrades relaxed and shared ideas to 50 years ago.

Dr. Kizza Besigye: Democracy is on trial in Uganda

We have just witnessed what must be the most fraudulent electoral process in Uganda. We participated in this process to highlight and show the world quite how fraudulent this military regime is. We were not free to carry out our campaigns without intimidation. On election day, all access to social media platforms was switched off. The regime is baring its bloodied fangs and claws for all to see. This is a creeping military coup.

Albert Woodfox attends his birthday party as a free man, happy to ‘give others...

Friday, Feb. 19, Albert “Shaka” Woodfox, the only member of the Angola 3 remaining in prison, was released after nearly 44 years in solitary confinement. Earlier in the month, Ashé Cultural Arts Center had scheduled a screening of the film, “Panther: Vanguard of the Revolution,” directed by Stanley Nelson, at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate Albert Woodfox’s birthday that day, Feb 19. The evening turned into an actual birthday party for Woodfox.

Police victims’ families are fueling the Black Lives Matter movement – gathering of families...

The activism in Oakland today parallels both the activism to end police brutality in Oakland in the 1940s and 1950s and the Black Panthers’ activism beginning in 1966. A new source of activism has been added today: the victims’ families. “Policing in the 21st Century: Where Do We Go from Here,” uniting police victims’ families with Black Panther Party veterans will be held Saturday, Feb. 27, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at First AME Church, 530 37th St., Oakland; it’s free and open to the public.

Scourge of US elections: Electoral College, hackable voting machines and obscure rules

The Electoral College was created by the framers of the U.S. Constitution to ensure that the votes of the plebes did not supersede the interests of the landed gentry. That’s not just my opinion. For example, according to FairVote, an organization with which I worked in the 2000 presidential election, a whopping 78 percent of the votes cast were rendered unimportant due to the arcane rules of the Electoral College.