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2018 November

Monthly Archives: November 2018

Fillmore Heritage Center reopens with focus on community equity

Dedicated to ensuring the historic Fillmore neighborhood has an economic and cultural anchor to call its own, District Five Supervisor Vallie Brown and a group of nonprofit and African American community leaders have initiated a collaborative campaign to reactivate the Fillmore Heritage Center. Beginning Nov. 5, the collaborative is offering live music, community events, and housing and financial empowerment workshops at the former Yoshi’s site.

Poor People’s Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign is all about the oppressed citizens of this nation – making the connection between the working proletariat and the lumpen proletariat. This will close the gap between the working poor and the non-working poor, who share common interests, such as affordable housing, affordable health care, adequate educational institutions, adequate wages that provide a standard of living that’s suitable for a human being. Once we bring the lower class together by successfully campaigning around our shared human rights, then we can bring an end to such exploitations as mass incarceration, the death penalty, homelessness and poverty.

Jason Walker attacked by prison clansmen for reporting their brutality

I’m sad to report that I was attacked and beaten by clansman as Black guards watched. I sent out a report on this but left out info I felt would cause the message to be banned, delayed or thrown away. This attack was in response to my November Bay View piece that circulated around the prison like wildfire. Until I don’t have hands to write and eyes to see and a tongue to speak, I will continue to expose such attempts to repress my freedom of speech.

Applications open for SF PUC’s 2019 CityWorks Summer Internship Program

  NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SFPUC’S CITYWORKS SUMMER INTERNSHIP Applications are open for the 2019 CityWorks Summer Internship Program, which strives to increase diversity in engineering, program...

Vehicularly housed residents towed, harassed, criminalized, evicted and resisting from Berkeley to Oakland

Unhoused residents of Berkeley who live in RVs and vans on the occupied streets of Berkeley (called Huchuin Lisjan by the Ohlone, the first people) wrote their stories in POOR Magazine’s Street-Writing Workshop held weekly on the corner of Eighth and Harrison streets. This powerful community, who call themselves Berkeley Friends on Wheels have dealt with harassment, politricksters and ongoing criminalization for doing nothing but living humbly and cleanly in their RVs.

Outside support grows as prison resistance continues with ongoing strikes and prisoner-led initiatives

During the National Prison Strike, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak (JLS) inspired incarcerated and outside activists across the country. Activists on the outside were inspired by prisoners’ leadership on the inside, their ability to work effectively through limited communication and under the threat of retaliation. After the strike, incarcerated people were even more inspired by the activism that happened across the country on the inside. Prisoners from each corner of the country are realizing the power that they have to influence positive changes in their environments.

Slave labor, from the pyramids to the prisons

America does not build pyramids; it builds prisons. A much more monumental domestication project, involving millions of people, not mere thousands. The SICK’s domestication project today is a vast prisoner-warehousing complex, which produces the crime and criminals necessary to keep the people in fear in order to justify the current system of command and control – the police, prosecutors, courts and prisons – to keep everyone else in line. Yes, this means you outside these fences.

United Playaz transform the lives of students and staff while serving the community

“It takes the hood to save the hood” is the bold quote written on the shirts of the strong male and female organizers involved in United Playaz (UP), a San Francisco based 20-plus-year-old organization founded by Rudy Corpuz with a focus on youth development and violence prevention. UP’s engagement with the community is motivated by the needs of the people. United Playaz is a diamond in our community, shining light through every aspect of its mission at every level.

Report: Right to trial exists in name; in reality, only 3% of cases go...

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury, but a new report documents that in the U.S. criminal justice system, trials have become the rare exception, not the rule. “The Trial Penalty: The Sixth Amendment Right to Trial on the Verge of Extinction and How to Save It” was published in July by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”).

Tenant advocates celebrate Prop C’s historic victory and vow to keep fighting for affordable...

The passage of this measure is a resounding voter mandate for desired change around homelessness, giving the city the resources it needs to finally address the crisis. For thousands of destitute San Franciscans, this has infused hope that they will soon have the opportunity to thrive that only a home can bring. Prop C only taxes large corporations that gross over $50 million and has a detailed plan for both its spending and results and mandates community oversight of the funding.

Blacks are fighting back against privatization and systemic racist attacks on San Francisco City...

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, the second San Francisco Board of Supervisors audit hearing will be held on racial discrimination in City jobs. The public is urged to attend the press conference on the City Hall steps at 12:30 and the hearing in the Board Chambers beginning at 3 p.m. The first hearing on Sept. 19, 2018, brought literally hundreds of workers to the Supervisors’ Chambers and the overflow room. Dozens testified that they had faced numerous instances of racist discrimination and retaliation and even physical assaults by city managers.

Mississippi Senate race may be defining moment for Black voters

Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s remark to a colleague that “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row” puts the Magnolia State at center stage for Black voters in the 2018 mid-term elections. Mississippi had the highest number of lynchings in the United States between 1882 and 1968, according to NAACP records.

Sewage floods and savagery happen every day at SF County Jail

As I sit here today in the hole at the San Francisco County Jail known as CJ 5 in San Bruno, I’m saying to myself enough is enough with the brutal treatment here at the jail. On my desk is a copy of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department Policies and Procedures Handbook, and although I can’t see them, there are some invisible policies and procedures being practiced on the daily at the jail. The San Francisco sheriffs’ “Don’t fuck with us, or we’ll fuck you up” policy is in full force, and if you think it is a game, I have first hand experience with this “hands on” policy, and it has been the worst experience of my life.

John Burris calls for boycott of SF Giants: Owner donated to Mississippi Senate candidate...

Rarely am I shocked when I learn public positions of the one percenters, for clearly I understand that they speak powerfully and often behind closed doors. However, when I learned that Charles Johnson, principal owner of the San Francisco Giants, sent $2,700 to Cindy Hyde-Smith, a candidate for Mississippi senator and an avowed segregationist, I was shocked and felt a sense of community betrayal.

The link between climate justice and police brutality

Toxic environments, as evidenced by human exposure to dirty water or polluted air, are deadly for everyone. The police, or band of brothers, who fill quotas and shoot first are also toxic. To connect the dots completely, we must understand how police brutality and toxic environments are inextricable forms of violence that impact communities. We must understand how this violence intersects and demand an incompatible alternative to what we now endure.

No shelter from the smoke: SF, its air quality worst in the world, pushes...

With the Northern California wildfires still raging and San Francisco streets deserted as everyone is told to take shelter, homeless people in the City have no shelter from air quality labeled the worst in the world. Yet during this smoke-created public health crisis, early every morning, thousands of homeless adults and dozens of homeless families are forced out of their shelters to spend the day in long lines outdoors waiting for a shelter bed for the night.

Videos of taser torture murder of Chinedu Okobi totally contradict story told by San...

Two days ago, I watched the police videos of my brother’s Oct. 3 murder. They were shocking, not just because I sat next to my mother as we watched my little brother getting tortured to death in broad daylight while he begged, “Someone, please help me!” and cried out,. “What did I do?” They were shocking because they contradicted, in every single particular, the statement that the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office released and to which San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe referred in speaking to multiple news outlets after my brother’s murder.

In honor of beloved elder Melvin Dickson, 1940-2018, publisher of The Commemorator

Melvin Dickson made the transition to join his ancestors on Oct. 25, 2018, in Berkeley, California. He was 77 years old. Melvin was a long-time and dedicated member of the Black Panther Party, which shaped his thinking and commitment to the interests of all people for the rest of his life. As we honor Melvin’s life and legacy, we hope that you will join us for this very special celebration: All Power to the People! Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, 2-6 p.m., at Met West High School.

Stacey Abrams launches Fair Fight Georgia while acknowledging Brian Kemp’s voter suppression campaign as...

After running an historic campaign to be governor of Georgia, former House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams addressed members of the media and her staff just before Georgia certified election results on Nov. 16. In her remarks, Abrams outlined the gross injustices Georgians faced when trying to cast their ballots during this election and launched Fair Fight Georgia. This new PAC will pursue accountability in Georgia’s elections and integrity in the process of maintaining our voting rolls.

Tony Thurmond wins historic race for California Superintendent of Public Instruction

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond is the projected winner of the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction election. More than a week after Election Day, Thurmond has overcome an 86,000-vote deficit on Election Day to win the election. "I want to thank the voters of California for electing me to serve the 6 million students of California. I intend to be a champion of public schools and a superintendent for all California students,” said Superintendent-elect Thurmond.