Monthly Archives: August 2017
How much of our defense budget is actually spent on defense? How many U.S. military bases, estimated to be in 150 to 170 countries, do we need to defend ourselves? How much is to protect corporate trade routes or the war for oil? It is important to note that not one other country has a military base on our soil. Since the early 1960s, 50 to 60 percent of discretionary spending has been for the military. 2018 U.S. military spending: $696 billion
I went into law school thinking that I wanted to be a civil rights attorney. I wanted to use my law degree to fight the many systems of oppression that plagued and terrorized the communities that mattered to me. It wasn’t until my third year of law school, that I recognized current cannabis policies as a legitimate social justice issue – particularly due to the way marijuana prohibition is enforced.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is denying Texas prisoners the ability to send or receive mail in light of Tropical Storm Harvey. Although Houston is a major mail hub for Texas, this does not explain why prisoners in areas of the state unaffected by the flooding – for example, Clements Unit in Amarillo – would be denied access to mail. In a press release, TDCJ stated that five Texas prisons have been evacuated.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has officially signed into law the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, giving many convicted felons, both incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, the right to vote. Previously, the state barred some felons from voting. This measure was part of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901. I encourage all prisoners in Alabama who are eligible to step up and register now. Contact Secretary of State John Merrill and the Board of Registrars in the county where you currently reside.
His name was Richard Claxton Gregory, born Oct. 12, 1932, in St. Louis, Missouri. But the world knew him as Dick Gregory, comedian, human rights activist, social critic and presidential candidate. As a young man, he won an athletic scholarship as a runner, which took him to college. But he really hit his mark as a comedian who told sidesplitting jokes about American segregation and racism. The great civil rights activist Dick Gregory died this week.
“Prison abolition is different from penal abolition. We don’t just want to get rid of the structures; we want to get rid of the whole system that functions to destroy people,” said Ashanti Alston, Black Panther and penal abolitionist. POOR Magazine had the blessing of listening to Ashanti and many more freedom fighters at the 17th International Conference on Penal Abolition held in New Bedford, Mass.
There is an alternative politics of memory that Americans can also practice, and it might help to keep fascists out of public squares and do something concrete, literally at the same time: Honor Reconstruction. Remembering Reconstruction ought not to shunt aside the politics of Confederate memorials. Yet remembering this pivotal era certainly deserves to be built into the new national politics of memory. The sesquicentennial of Reconstruction is September 1, 2017.
Parents are people. We are imperfect. We make mistakes. We struggle. And, sometimes, in the heat of the moment we say and do things we do not mean. For Donna Levey, her mistake was calling San Francisco Child Protective Services, or CPS, for support when her family was in crisis. If only she had known that that phone call would come to represent the point of no return. If only she had known that CPS would catapult their family crisis into a life-altering nightmare.
As a youth living in poverty, I rebelled against it joining a street organization and engaging in a criminal lifestyle. My conditioning, being a poor young Black man thrown into the system, molded me into the new man I am today. Now I am sincerely a revolutionary servant of the oppressed people. As revolutionaries, we know we cannot save or help everybody, yet we seek to serve by saving and helping one soul at a time. I am an example that change is possible if you want it.
Rep. Maxine Waters delivered a mic-dropping speech at the Black Girls Rock! award show, taped Aug. 5 and broadcast Aug. 22, thanking her supporters and sternly reminding her critics that she is a strong Black woman who will not be intimidated. Waters, who was recognized as the honoree for the show’s social humanitarian award, began her speech by underscoring the importance of safe spaces like Black Girls Rock! and reiterated why representation matters.
After days of costly preparation and heated contention, followed by sudden venue and schedule changes, the much-anticipated Patriot Prayer rally never happened in San Francisco Saturday. What actually did occur in that vacuum was a historical show of resistance across the city in several counterprotest gatherings that drew combined crowds rivaling the numbers of people that turned out to protest the presidential inauguration in November. Joey Gibson of the alt-right Patriot Prayer group was nowhere to be found at Alamo Square Saturday, but counter demonstrators and hundreds of SF police officers showed up in full force.
JUSTICE does not mean fairness, rightness or equity, as most people think it does, implying something good they should seek for themselves. Quite the opposite, it means ritualized punishment or retribution. Most people in prison can tell you that, once arrested, your cry for justice will only be answered by the “yap and howl” of a dog on a short chain – the masters’ “household pet.”
According to Wikipedia, David Ernest Duke, born July 1, 1950, is an American white nationalist, politician, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier, convicted felon and former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Some have suggested that the best way to fight back against all the hate being spread around by the Trump regime, the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists, is by exposing the supporters of hate and violence in the good old USA. One place to start exposing them would be to expose some of the local supporters of David Duke who reside in the Bay Area.
After thousands in Phoenix had rallied in support of immigrants to loudly denounce Trump’s attempts to pardon White supremacy, President Trump did it anyway. He pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted for criminal contempt for disobeying a federal court judge’s order to stop the unconstitutional practice of detaining individuals based solely on suspicion about their immigration status.
I started writing this series and planning this Campaign to Redistribute the Pain with the intention of getting everyone’s understanding up on the importance and power of economics to our struggle. We can’t march and protest our way to freedom. Instead, we have to bankrupt the corporate enterprise that was created by the 13th Amendment. I don’t make this statement lightly: The approximately 3 million people in U.S. prisons are or represent the most powerful group of labor in this country.
When Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement Aug. 21 opposing President Trump’s announced plan to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, “Sixteen years ago, Rep. Barbara Lee was the sole member of Congress to vote against authorizing the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan,” and for 16 years she has “waged a lonely crusade to repeal the war resolution.” Her warning that it would lead to “war without end” seems fulfilled by Trump’s announcement he’s sending more troops continue the war.
We longshore workers support the call to action for our union to take the lead for the working class, to stop a deadly threat to the rights and the lives of us all. This weekend, fascist groups plan to stage rallies that threaten to repeat the racist terror of Charlottesville in the Bay Area. We’ve shut down the port against racism, war and police repression. Racists want Charlottesville terror here – It’s up to us to stop it! Assemble on Scott Street in Marina Green on Saturday, Aug. 26, 10 a.m.
Mayor Jesse Arreguin and the Berkeley City Council are shitting bricks. Charlottesville and the right-left rumbles that Berkeley’s already seen this year have the mayor and the councilors terrified – understandably – that people will get killed or injured at the next one and that everyone will point the blame at them. The immediate cause for concern is a No Marxism in America Rally and counter protests coming up on Sunday afternoon, April 27. The council not only passed new crowd control measures, but also used its website to plead with its citizens to eschew Downtown Berkeley, stay home and tweet.
Starting on the 15th of August through the 21st, the FDOC (Florida Department of Corruption) will be “offering” the prisoners elaborately cooked elegant meals. This “nice” act of courtesy by the system is an insincere plot to prevent its slaves – according to the 13th Amendment – from participating in any protest, sit down or movement aimed at abolishing the 13th Amendment’s slavery clause or exhibiting any sign of power of unity amongst the prison class.
In the wake of the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, the left’s anti-fascist response to defend that community and the death of Heather Heyer, a rally that had been planned and organized over a two-year period by imprisoned people and the grassroots prison advocacy group IAMWE offered a powerful opportunity for those looking to actively confront white supremacy. Their demand is the end of slavery in America – the elimination of the “exception clause” in the 13th Amendment.