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2016 May

Monthly Archives: May 2016

Long live Jessica Williams-Nelson

Sacramento native Jessica Leann Williams-Nelson, a young, beautiful Black mother of four, is sadly the latest victim slain by the hands of SFPD. On May 19, 2016, 29-year-old Jessica was sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car, alone and unarmed, in the Bay View when she was gunned down. Her life was taken in an instant, with one shot at close range, by Sgt. Justin Erb.

I am fighting for women in Texas prisons

I am a walking, living proof of a life that has been pulverized, destroyed and abandoned by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. I have been housed in Ad-Seg going on four years now, held in captivity of prolonged solitary confinement, deprived of adequate sleep, nourishment, clean ventilation, peace and privileges. Living in the misery of Ad-Seg causes much psychological damage. Justice needs to be served.

Black Panthers and Diaspora Palestinians illuminate shared struggle on Nakba day

Arab Resources Organizing Coalition and Art Forces on the 68th Nakba Day presented George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine, a multimedia cultural event that expresses the interconnections between current and historic struggles against colonization from Palestine to the streets of Oakland. The event displayed posters that came from the original exhibition held in the Abu Jihad Museum for Prisoner Movement Affairs of the Al-Quds university in East Jerusalem.

Parole threatened for organizing and writing for Bay View

The majority of employees at La Palma Correctional Center who work on Compound 3 fit the description of a Security Threat Group due to their unlawful conduct, but who investigates them or makes them answerable? Certainly not themselves. Yet I am being targeted for my work; a work that was created to build a constructive Humanity; while these prison officials are rewarded for work that assaults the very fabric that makes us human and seeks to destroy lives.

Racism reigns at James Rolph Park, San Francisco

On May 12, 2016, Black gardener Byron Gill, who works for the City of San Francisco, was informed that a San Francisco Superior Court jury rejected his retaliation claim against his employer, SF Recreation and Park. Gill, represented by attorney Gregory P. Brock, described the matter in his closing arguments as “death by a thousand cuts.” He painted a picture of employer retaliation and harassment.

SF State class of 2016 commencement speaker Richard Polote Jr. earned degree in Africana...

San Francisco State University held its 115th commencement at AT&T Park, with a crowd of 35,000 on hand to cheer for the 7,200 graduates in the class of 2016. The class was represented by two student speakers. Undergraduate speaker Richard Polote Jr. is a decorated U.S. Air Force veteran and received a bachelor’s degree in Africana studies. Like more than one-third of SF State students, he is the first member of his family to attend college.

Voting, the final fig-leaf

As elections near, voters face the choices before them with something like dread: Donald Trump: loud, bombastic, bellicose, rich as Croesus and xenophobic, or the presumptive Democratic nominee – unless Vermont’s Bernie Sanders manages to upend her – Hillary Rodham Clinton: slick as oil, flexible as a Slinky, bottled-blonde ambition and wife of the penultimate political animal, “Slick Willie” Clinton.

Incarceration, justice and the planet

Prisons inspire little in terms of natural wonder. But prisoners, one could assume, must have little concern for the flowers or for otherwise pressing environmental issues. With all the social quandaries present in their lives – walls of solitude, the loss of basic human rights – pollution, climate change and healthy ecosystems must seem so distantly important: an issue for the free. In actuality, prisoners are on the frontlines of the environmental movement.

World music hip hop musician Sia Love drops a masterpiece, ‘For the Record’

Sia Love’s debut hip hop album, “For the Record,” was released last month. The production on the album goes from ‘80s pop to the ‘90s sound of Hip Hop to the traditional stringed instruments and drums of Africans from Latin America. Her vocals are rhythmic, strong, soothing, confident and filled with wisdom. Check out this flame on the rise in her own words.

Drug discount helping African Americans is at risk

It is well established that low-income African Americans tend to be sicker when they arrive at the emergency room. It’s the mission of safety-net providers to treat them – and all patients – regardless of ability to pay. Unfortunately, the drug industry is working hard in Washington to make that much more difficult. At issue is a little known but enormously important federal statute called the 340B drug discount program.

African American clergy defend their communities

Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles joined religious institutions across the nation as it hosted the first NoMenthol Sunday observance in Southern California. NoMenthol Sunday is a national interfaith effort that educates congregants about the role mentholated and candy-flavored tobacco products play in addicting African Americans to tobacco products.

Prisoner Human Rights Movement Blue Print

CDCr has systemic and dysfunctional problems that run rampant statewide within California’s prisons for both women and men which demand this California government to take immediate action and institute measures to effect genuine tangible changes throughout CDCr on all levels. The Prisoner Human Rights Movement Blue Print is essentially designed to deal with identifying and resolving primary contradictions by focusing on the various problems of CDCr’s dysfunction.

Honoring the life of Jessica Williams

Join the Last 3% and the family of Jessica Williams today at 6:30 p.m. at Third Street and Palou in Bayview Hunters Point for a march to the Bayview Police Station. On the morning of Thursday, May 19 – National #SayHerName Day – a San Francisco Police sergeant killed Jessica Williams, 29, with a single shot at close range while she was unarmed, sitting in a car in the Bayview. This is the same neighborhood where a sergeant recently expressed a desire to kill Black people.

Albert Woodfox speaks on being a political prisoner

BlockReportRadio.com interviews former Black Panther political prisoner Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3 about his case, his over four decades in isolation, his life as a Panther political prisoner and his release. Finally, Albert Woodfox can join forces with other freedom fighters, here with Minister of Information JR and Arthur League at the Malcolm X JazzArts Festival in Oakland on May 21, 2016. To learn more about Albert Woodfox, visit the Angola 3 website, http://angola3.org/.

Who’s behind unpaid prison labor in Texas?

The Texas Board of Criminal Justice, which oversees Texas Correctional Industries, the prison industry division within the state’s Department of Criminal Justice, has authority over how much compensation inmates working for the state receive for their labor. Currently, inmates working for TCI are not paid for the work done while serving their time; the only inmates who are paid anything are the small fraction who are employed by TCI’s private sector prison industries program.

You can stand

It is better to be hated for who you were created to be than to be loved for who others want you to be. Not everyone will agree with you and you may be hated for the purpose you were created to be, but if you were to live to please others, you will end up hating your own life because you compromised yourself. Embrace who you are, and embrace opposition as opportunity to be strengthened.

‘A Small Temporary Inconvenience,’ a feature film about Black, disabled civil rights activist George...

Cleve Bailey has taken the story of his great uncle and aunt, George and Kathy Eames, and created a screenplay entitled “A Small Temporary Inconvenience,” which chronicles the lives of this interracial couple who dedicated their lives to civil rights activism and fighting against racism in the Deep South. I caught up with Cleve, who now lives in the Bay Area in Hayward, to get his take on the film project.

OUSD recognizes Boost! West Oakland for phenomenal youth work

Ty-Licia Hooker is one of the most dynamic Black women working in Oakland for the good of the Black community and other underserved communities. This former Black Girls Rock awardee is the executive director of Boost! West Oakland, a non-profit dedicated to empowering young people and strengthening their academic performance. They were just awarded the prestigious Partner Organization of the Year Award from the Oakland Unified School District.

PHSS Committee to End Sleep Deprivation asks for letters about the ‘security/welfare checks’

Guards have been jarringly waking prisoners every 30 minutes on death row at the Central California Women’s Facility since May 2014, and in the Pelican Bay SHU since Aug. 2, 2015, for so-called “security/welfare checks.” This is serious, ongoing sleep deprivation which is torture. These checks may also be harming people in other prisons; PB SHU and CCWF death row is where we have heard the most complaints.

The 3rd annual Sacramento Black Book Fair is June 3-5

The third annual Sacramento Black Book Fair is taking place from June 3 to 5 in Oak Park at many different locations, featuring a number of different people who have other talents and careers and are authors also. We need to support literacy in our community and to support authors writing the stories that come from our experience and are suited to benefit our people. I talked to the director of this monumental event, Mrs. Faye Kennedy, about this year’s happenings. Check her out in this exclusive Q&A.