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2016 October

Monthly Archives: October 2016

Buffalo Soldiers made their mark in California

Ranger Rik Penn and historian John William Templeton led a tour of the Buffalo Soldier Historical Trail on Oct. 22 with Los Banos as the destination for the dedication of a mural by the Los Banos Chamber of Commerce marking where the 9th Cavalry and 24th Infantry camped on their way to duty protecting Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.

War on the Bronx

Booms and bangs shatter eardrums, and the shuffling of many feet sparks fear among neighbors. A young mother, Paula Clarke, and her two daughters, are rudely awakened by these early morning sounds and noises. “I thought that [it was] terrorism, nothing else,” Clarke later told a reporter. In a way, it was. But it was state terrorism, where dozens of cops invaded public housing projects – as if it was a foreign country. Why? They were searching for members of gangs, they said.

Prison strikes’ financial impact in California

Sept. 9, 2016, was the start of the largest prison strike in U.S. history. Over 72,000 incarcerated workers in 22 states refused to provide their labor to profit the prison industrial complex. California forces 5,588 incarcerated workers to labor in exchange for little or no compensation. Another 4,000 earn $2 a day fighting Californian wildfires with inadequate training and equipment. The prison system in California reaped $207 million in revenue and $58 million in profit from forced labor in 2014-15.

Capitalism killed everything, even our courage: Lessons from the first ‘How to NOT call...

“Due to the multitude of lies and stereotypes that permeate our capitalist society about poor people and people of color, we all have collectively bought into the idea that we need to call 911 to be safe,” said Jeremy Miller, organizer and revolutionary family member of POOR Magazine and Idriss Stelley Foundation and co-organizer of the recent How to Not Call the Police EVER workshop.

‘Enter a Challenger, Exit a Champion’: an interview with Zimbabwe Davis

Overcoming the foster care system is a lifelong struggle. After emancipating from the system, many youth are left to live on the streets. Zimbabwe Davis understands the struggles foster and former foster youth experience. He went from having all these challenges to becoming a champion, all while fighting to overcome the foster care system. I sat down with Zimbabwe to understand why he decided to create this dynamic film, and this is what he had to say …

Fight over skyrocketing Bay Area rents to hit the ballot box

Renter protections will be on the November ballot in six cities in the Bay Area. No matter how hard the landlords and the California Apartment Association try to stop the renters movement, tenant advocates across the Bay Area are urging renters to vote on strong renter protections in Richmond, Oakland, Alameda, Burlingame, San Mateo and Mountain View. They urge people to vote “no” against any weak proposals placed on the ballot by the city councils in Alameda and Mountain View.

To all those still locked inside

My journey began in the mid-1980s, when folks in my community began to hear about a “supermax” prison that would be built in nearby Crescent City, California. At that time, my colleague Tom Cairns and Mike Da Bronx, my husband, and me were busy at KHSU producing a weekly radio show called Alternative Review. In 1990, I would get one of the first letters from that place, Pelican Bay State Prison. It came from a young man named Troy Williams. He liked my radio show.

Revolutionary 50 years of the Black Panther Party

Looking back at the Black Panther Party is like looking at a large landscape of people, locations and events in time and space. For me, that time was between the years 1966 and 1974. As memory fades increasingly with age, I won’t try to document in detail specifics such as the names of people and the exact dates of events. However, I do remember working with some of the most dynamic, resourceful and dedicated community organizers on the planet.

Richmond election: When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion

An African proverb says: “When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.” In this very critical election year, we must unify to defeat the forces that conspire against us. It is for that reason that I invite you to join me this November in healing Richmond by supporting Melvin Willis and Ben Choi for the Richmond City Council. The 2016 election is right around the corner. Some may say there’s not much that they can do to create the change we need locally, let alone nationally. I beg to differ.

How Solange and Michelle saved me from the beast of Trump

Donald Trump is the consequence of an America in which a white man with money is automatically bestowed with power and political freedom. Despite his blatant stupidity, repulsiveness and toxic influence, he remains a presidential candidate – to me this is ridiculous. An imposed hierarchy means that my voice as a Black woman is the last to be heard. Cue Solange Knowles and Michelle Obama to deliver me from this angst.

Protest prison censorship of the Bay View: Use this sample letter

Nearly a thousand subscribers to the Bay View newspaper were denied their September papers – and we suspect their October papers as well – because of its coverage of the nationwide strikes to end prison slavery that began Sept. 9. Prison officials censoring the paper claim it will incite disruption. Like claims that someone being beaten by a gang of cops is “resisting,” the Bay View is “disrupting” prison operations.

Standing Rock: Militarized police from 5 states escalate violence, shoot horses to clear 1851...

Over 300 police officers in riot gear, eight ATVs, five armored vehicles, two helicopters and numerous military-grade humvees showed up north of the newly formed frontline camp. The 1851 Treaty Camp was set up this past Sunday directly in the path of the pipeline, on land recently purchased by Dakota Access Pipeline. Today this camp, a reclamation of unceded Dakota territory affirmed as part of the Standing Rock Reservation in the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1851, was violently cleared. See how you can help.

Props 62 and 66: Death penalty debate behind enemy lines

Read the perspectives of Spoon Jackson, serving a sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP), “the other death penalty,” at Lancaster State Prison near Los Angeles, and Tim Young, on San Quentin’s Death Row near San Francisco. Spoon calls LWOP “as hideous as Death Row” and recommends “no” on Prop 62. Tim says vote “yes”: “With LWOP, we live to fight another day.”

Poor people help ‘rich’ people redistribute stolen inherited and hoarded wealth across Mama Earth

The “Stolen Land and Hoarded Resources Redistribution, Decolonization and Community Reparations Tour for Mama Earth and its Earth Peoples” was launched last spring by POOR Magazine, led by “Poverty Skola” Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia of POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE and fellow race, disability, indigenous scholars Leroy Moore from Krip Hop Nation and First Nations Ohlone warrior Corrina Gould of the Sogorea Land Trust. They plan to resume the tour in the coming months.

ArtReach: Exhibition of artwork and poetry by 20 men on San Quentin’s death row

Last June, an inspiring and thought provoking art exhibition took place in London, in the UK. From June 24 to July 6, 2016, approximately 20 inmates from San Quentin’s death row showcased their work alongside mine; I make collages and sculptures from discarded objects I pick up along the banks of the River Thames. The name of the exhibition was ArtReach (reaching out with art), and the aim of it was to enable prisoners to share their work with the outside world.

In Pennsylvania, George Rahsaan Brooks fights for his censored Bay View – he won...

In a number of prisons around the country, the September Bay View was banned, and we suspect the October paper will be too. If your paper was denied, the prison is required to give you and the Bay View a notice saying why banning the Bay View is constitutional, allowing you and us to appeal that decision. So the first step is to insist on a notice and then appeal it; so will we. Here is George Rahsaan Brooks’ appeal. We think he’ll win, just as he did before.

Welcome to ‘The Tech Boom’: an interview with producer Traxamillion

Many young people want to pursue a career in music but don’t understand the science behind creating and producing. San Jose producer Traxamillion has mastered this science and constructs an iconic sound with every song he touches. His blaring beats have made him the driving force behind the historical hip hop sounds of the notorious hyphy movement. His new project, titled “The Tech Boom,” has given local artists an opportunity to showcase their talent.

Habitat Greater San Francisco revitalizes a Bayview neighborhood in three days

Last Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 20-22, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco mobilized hundreds of volunteers to revitalize a neighborhood in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point district. Building Blocks: Bayview aims to extend the work of Habitat for Humanity renovating community assets such as schools and community centers, delivering critical home repairs to improve the health, safety and well-being of residents on a large scale, and beautifying parks and gardens.

Blood flows in Alabama prisons as state leaders sacrifice more bodies in pursuit of...

As the culture of violence in Alabama’s prison system continues to spiral out of control, yet another provocation has resulted in another day of violence at Holman Prison. Holman is experiencing major staff shortages as a result of officers joining and supporting the non-violent work strikes being led by Free Alabama Movement. ADOC commissioners responded by dispatching CERT Team staff notorious for violent beatings, sexual harassment and excessive force.

The Greens are a movement party

Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka, Stein-Baraka campaign manager David Cobb and Jill Stein surrogate YahNé Ndgo were in Downtown Berkeley on Saturday, Oct. 22, for a rally at the Berkeley City Club. A “political revolution is absolutely necessary in this country, but a political revolution cannot be run, r-u-n, in just one election cycle,” Cobb says. The Green Party is a party of activists, a party of social change.