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Sunday, September 27, 2020
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Kevin Cooper: Surviving Death Row and COVID-19 in San Quentin

Kevin Cooper, still caged in San Quentin after 37 years, 35 years on Death Row, speaks with KPFA’s Flashpoints Dennis Bernstein in an exclusive in-depth interview. Cooper talks about simultaneously surviving Death Row and the COVID-19 pandemic, the blues and highlights the opportunity for Governor Gavin Newsom to order an Innocence Investigation, which will shine direct light on prosecutorial wrongdoings and new DNA evidence to support his innocence.

Coronavirus quarantine means solitary confinement for prisoners

A costly mistake at age 15 holds 26-year-old Eric Allen Jr. in prison serving a 50-year-to-life plus life sentence, plus COVID-19. Eric intimately shares his fear of dying in prison alone, about his being stripped of all human rights and dignity, dehumanized and treated as an animal in a 24-hour cage who can’t fend for himself, with no voice or caretaker and at the mercy of guards who lie and falsify documents to hide inhumane wrongdoing.

News & Views

Disentangling US team sports and US militarism

Nation Magazine sportswriter Dave Zirin, speaking to Ann Garrison, says that militarism is a founding feature of American football, not just a bug, but we don’t have to accept it in football or other team sports.

DA Chesa Boudin appoints David Campos chief of staff

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin appoints longtime San Francisco public servant David Campos as the new chief of staff for the SF District Attorney’s Office. With a long commitment of service to the Bay Area, David Campos brings deep and personal understanding to the challenges in achieving reform to the drivers of injustice for the most vulnerable in our communities.

The NBA’s Black Power

Black NBA players are just beginning to understand the power of the attention and admiration they command, which is morphing into bringing their “messages” to the courts on their sleeves, chests and feet, along with other actions in solidarity with public demands from the streets.

San Francisco announces all phone calls from county jails are now free

San Francisco County, as of Aug. 10, 2020, will no longer generate revenue from incarcerated people and their families through phone calls. All phone calls and video calls from jails will be free under a first-in-the-nation fixed rate contract negotiated by the Sheriff’s Office. Additionally in April 2020, the Sheriff’s Office eliminated commission or profit in the jail commissary (jail store) and prices dropped an average of 43 percent.

California passes statewide law prohibiting the sale of menthol and flavored tobacco products

Millions were spent by the tobacco industry to fight the efforts of lawmakers and citizens to stop killing smokers, primarily targeting Black communities, with constant invasion of poisonous addictive product. SB 793, which will prohibit the sale of flavored and mentholated products in California, awaits Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature.

Massive ‘Housing Black’ street mural installed in the Tenderloin

San Francisco’s Tenderloin is speaking up with the Aug. 10, 2020 installation of San Francisco artist Malik Seneferu’s massive “Housing Black” street mural on Golden Gate Avenue, a collaborative mural voice throughout the Bay Area this summer to highlight the needs and possibilities of our unhoused Black population.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee mourns the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood strong in the stature of a giant, and icon and a warrior for democracy during her 27 years on the US Supreme Court. Today the nation mourns the loss of the solid force for good that Justice Ginsburg brought to her relentless service to justice for women and for all people.

An insider tour of the Hunters Point Community Biomonitoring Program

The ongoing reveal of the life-threatening contaminants plaguing the residents of the Bayview Hunters Point community was further enhanced by a recent virtual tour by Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai and Dr. Mark Alexander imparting first-hand knowledge to attendees, including first-year UCSF medical students. Information focused on the toxic elements adding weight to the body burden as revealed by the biomonitoring program testing being done within the community.

Prison guard union places gun target on image of Black elected official

Racist and dangerous politics by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), that target a Black elected lawmaker, draw disgust, condemnation and outrage from numerous entities and the people at large. The image of the “crosshairs” symbol placed over the lawmaker’s photograph and then posted on social media, represents an attack, as well as clear and present danger to the “target,” his family and our democracy by "peace" officers, who are sworn to protect.

DA Chesa Boudin appoints David Campos chief of staff

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin appoints longtime San Francisco public servant David Campos as the new chief of staff for the SF District Attorney’s Office. With a long commitment of service to the Bay Area, David Campos brings deep and personal understanding to the challenges in achieving reform to the drivers of injustice for the most vulnerable in our communities.

The NBA’s Black Power

Black NBA players are just beginning to understand the power of the attention and admiration they command, which is morphing into bringing their “messages” to the courts on their sleeves, chests and feet, along with other actions in solidarity with public demands from the streets.

San Francisco announces all phone calls from county jails are now free

San Francisco County, as of Aug. 10, 2020, will no longer generate revenue from incarcerated people and their families through phone calls. All phone calls and video calls from jails will be free under a first-in-the-nation fixed rate contract negotiated by the Sheriff’s Office. Additionally in April 2020, the Sheriff’s Office eliminated commission or profit in the jail commissary (jail store) and prices dropped an average of 43 percent.

Behind Enemy Lines

Coronavirus quarantine means solitary confinement for prisoners

A costly mistake at age 15 holds 26-year-old Eric Allen Jr. in prison serving a 50-year-to-life plus life sentence, plus COVID-19. Eric intimately shares his fear of dying in prison alone, about his being stripped of all human rights and dignity, dehumanized and treated as an animal in a 24-hour cage who can’t fend for himself, with no voice or caretaker and at the mercy of guards who lie and falsify documents to hide inhumane wrongdoing.

Kevin Cooper: Surviving Death Row and COVID-19 in San Quentin

Kevin Cooper, still caged in San Quentin after 37 years, 35 years on Death Row, speaks with KPFA’s Flashpoints Dennis Bernstein in an exclusive in-depth interview. Cooper talks about simultaneously surviving Death Row and the COVID-19 pandemic, the blues and highlights the opportunity for Governor Gavin Newsom to order an Innocence Investigation, which will shine direct light on prosecutorial wrongdoings and new DNA evidence to support his innocence.

Military torture in Indiana prisons

Among the US soldiers captured in the Abu Ghraib torture photos were Amerikans who worked as prison guards in their civilian lives, linking the culture of abuse that pervades US prisons with the sociopathic mindset of military officials trained to deliberately torture other humans. That interplay is still very much alive today.

More testing is needed to protect prisoners and caregivers

"We need a healthcare system that treats all workers and patients equally, and we need the state of California to make sure that all healthcare workers and patients – especially those inside correctional facilities – can be immediately tested for COVID-19." - Sal Rosselli, president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers

Urgent call to action: Rashid says, ‘They are trying to kill me’

From Pendleton Correctional Facility in Indiana, Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson is pleading for help after being attacked by another prisoner, his personal property being confiscated by prison staff and finally receiving disciplinary charges against him.

Culture Currents

Having ‘The Talk’ with your children in the era of Black Lives Matter

One of the most important moments perhaps in the process of a Black child’s life is “The Talk.” The COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the upheaval caused by the recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others, are pushing parents with an urgency to have “The Talk” with their children earlier than later.

The sports strikes against racism have not been coopted

The story of the 2020 sports-strike-wave-against-racism is already one of both inspiration and cooptation. To have any sense of where this story might go, we need to understand why it detonated in the first place.

Register, vote (y)our interests and continue organizing for power!

Vote and register (y)our interests for changes and recovery from this ongoing deadly coronavirus pandemic; deepening imperialist monopoly capitalist economic depression; worsening corporate abuse of Mama Nature; European and american “white” terrorist wars against The People.

August is Joe Capers’ Month in Oakland: Joe Capers’ film is done!

Oakland in the ‘80s and ‘90s blessed us with the likes of Tony, Toni, Tone, young MC Hammer, Digital Underground, Too Short and Dawn Robinson of En Vogue, just to name a few, at a time when there were only a few home studios. Joe Capers, aka Blind Joe, a blind musician and producer, was one of the creators of the sounds of the Oakland music scene in the 1980s and early 1990s.

America needs a revolution

Racial violence against Black America is a regular part of America’s history; hiding and denying this racial violence is also a part of America’s history. For decades, African Americans have complained about police brutality. White America dismissed them or paid little attention and this denial allowed White America to feel innocent.

Ronnie Goodman 1960-2020

Another star shines in the night sky. Ronnie Goodman passed away in early August this year. He died on the street, just after his 60th birthday, on the same corner where he’d been living for more than a year. We stood around waiting for the medical examiner to come and take him. The cops had put a sheet over him.

Bay View Archives

Welcome to the Bay View Archives! With a $20,000 grant from The San Francisco Foundation, we can finally formalize and publicize our trove of Black journalism from 1976 to 2008.

Those who must be shown: an environmental justice manifesto

George D. Porter dedicated his career to the International Longshoremen’s Workers Union Local 34. He died in the care of his loving family on the morning of Feb. 19, 1992. His immediate cause of death was dehydration. His final cause of death was pulmonary asbestosis.

Then wasn’t the time, but now is!

“The police say to us all the time that they can’t do their jobs because we won’t talk and tell on someone. Well, we ARE telling on PG&E … so now we tell them it’s your turn. Do your job! Do it now!”

Lennar builds shoddy homes

“We have been living the Lennar nightmare for seven years. We are original owners with perpetual water intrusion. I am trying to organize my neighbors (168 defective homes) and share information in hopes that together we can make a difference ... We are absolutely devastated. I am writing from Novato, California.” — Tamara

SAN FRANCISCO BLACK FILM FESTIVAL
ALL ONLINE!
Starts June 18th
sfbff.org