50th Anniversary Black August Commemoration at San Quentin Prison West Gate 8/21, 11 a.m.

Rally-at-SQ-0821-1, 50th Anniversary Black August Commemoration at San Quentin Prison West Gate 8/21, 11 a.m., Local News & Views

Artivists and prisoners’ rights activists will meet at the Larkspur Ferry parking lot at 10 a.m.

The Hunger Striking for True Freedom Tour of KAGE Universal, along with allies and supporters, will gather on Saturday, Aug. 21, 11 a.m., at the West Gate of San Quentin Prison, in San Rafael, to commemorate Black August with a “Remembering George Jackson Arts and Culture Demonstration.” Jackson was an incarcerated Black Panther Party leader and revolutionary who was assassinated by San Quentin guards 50 years ago, on Aug. 21, 1971.

Protesters will march from the Larkspur Ferry Parking Lot at 10:30 a.m. to the West Gate of San Quentin, where a rally and cultural event will be held.

Various artists, such as Mistah F.A.B., Cousin P. and Timbucktu, as well as prisoners’ rights advocates will bring attention to Black August and the continuing struggle of Black prisoners in California for justice and freedom. They will especially focus on the struggle to release the historic California hunger strikers, who spent decades in solitary confinement and are the creators of the Black August Memorial and Black August Resistance.

San Quentin Prison, which during the first surge of the COVID pandemic experienced a major infection crisis leading to many deaths, is now locked down due to increasing infections from the new Delta variant. Speakers will call for mass releases of elderly and immuno-compromised prisoners at the prison.

Sponsored by California Prison Focus and KAGE Universal, this political and cultural event will be staged from inside a mock prison cell mounted on a flatbed truck. The staging represents the legacy of Black August, a month-long commemoration by Black prisoners, their family members and their allies throughout California and the US. The assassination of George Jackson unleashed a storm of protest in California prisons that culminated in the prisoner rebellion and takeover of Attica state prison in New York.

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A partial list of endorsers of Saturday’s event includes Taz Foundation, SF Bay View National Black Newspaper, Poor Magazine, Cell Block to City Block, Hoods of America, All of Us or None, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, the Prisoners Solidarity Committee of Workers World Party, and the Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.