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Monday, January 25, 2021
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Behind Enemy Lines

Stories from the prison industrial complex.

No warning shot

Not in our most creative nightmare could we imagine being snatched off the street or out of our home thrown into another reality of waking into the horror of hand shackles, waist chains and leg irons, the “Devil’s Playground” of gladiator fights and corrupt and sadistic prison guards, unless we are Black, Brown or other targeted persons.

Faultlines of national oppression and class contradictions

Shaka Shakur makes crystal clear that freedom is not given. Freedom is taken and the price is high. The will of the oppressor to protect property and power is vicious and relentless. To win freedom, we must commit to the courage to take it.

The master’s greatest fear: Unity and community equals real change

Rope, bullet or knee. Rand Gould gives us a clear and present opportunity to digest the story, the players and the possibilities, to take charge, to identify and build our communities to join the movement and feel the strength of unity to actualize the change we demand.

Free David Gilbert: It’s that time of year again, Clemency 2020

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has the power to grant clemency to 76-year-old David Gilbert having served 40 years of a life sentence. Jerome Wright, now 12 years paroled, supports and promotes clemency for David Gilbert, whose mentorship inspired Wright towards a path of purpose in promoting something other than his own delinquent self.

Soledad uncensored: Racism and the hyper-policing of Black bodies, Part 3

The Bay View is serializing the introduction to “Annotated Tears, Vol. 2,” by Talib Williams, who is currently incarcerated in Soledad, California, and has written the history of that storied place. In the spirit of Sankofa, we learn the past to build the future.

Vote NO on Proposition 20

This November 2020 election needs you, educated and determined. More than ever in the history of this country possibly, it is crucial that we as the collective citizenry step up and vote with heads and hearts united. The fight is real and all kinds of trickery is being lambasted upon us to confuse and manipulate in the effort to keep the system of oppression in place. Vote No on Proposition 20.

Recognizing prison resistance: From George Jackson and Attica to the Agreement to End Hostilities

At San Quentin Prison on Saturday, Oct. 10, a demonstration and vigil hosted by No Justice Under Capitalism, California Prison Focus and KAGE Universal (Kings & Queens Against Genocidal Environments) will take place to celebrate the eighth anniversary of the Agreement to End Hostilities and recognize the ongoing history of prison resistance.

Autonomous Infrastructure Mission: The need for New Afrikan self-sufficiency in Amerika

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the U.S. capitalist oppressive impact of legal modern slavery on Black communities and shines an even brighter light on the disproportionate distribution of wealth, privilege and opportunity in society.

New report states only 7 percent of people with incarcerated loved ones say their...

Incarcerated people are vulnerable to severe illness due to COVID-19, and the pandemic is spreading rapidly in prisons, jails and detention centers because of lack of health care and adequate access to basic necessities, such as soap and disinfectant.

Jalil Muntaqim: Support of Palestine is not anti-Semitic

Taking a look at the lens through which one might judge as anti-Semitic the view of the Israeli regime under Netanyahu and its treatment of the Palestinian people, Jalil Muntaqim argues that criticizing this corrupt government for genocidal, colonial and imperial behavior over, and its clear disdain for the Palestinian people is not anti-Semitic. Instead, it is the undeniable sense of human justice.

We’ve done it: 850 Bryant St. jail shutters its doors

People Power works. SF Sentencing Commission’s Safety and Justice Challenge Subcommittee, with city leaders, including representatives of the SF District Attorney and the SF Public Defender, released the first draft of the subcommittee’s final report on the successful completion of the operational plan to close County Jail 4.

How the pigs abuse ‘gang’ labels

Socially and politically charged labels have long been used – or misused – by officials as a cover for abusing and discriminating against Black and Brown people and suppressing political views that challenge or question the status quo. This tactic is deeply imbedded in the prisons caging our community members resulting in intentionally perpetrated pain and suffering.

Prisoners who continue to be held in solitary ask full Ninth Circuit for review

Litigators request the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals review the reversal made by the three-judge appellate panel of the decision of the district court against California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. CDCR continues its epoch refusal to adhere to not only the letter of the Ashker v. Governor of California settlement agreement, but neither any modicum of the spirit of the agreement, thereby knowingly and intentionally perpetuating the torture of solitary confinement.

A long pattern of institutional abuse and neglect is now putting thousands at risk...

Prisoners at California’s largest prison, Corcoran Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (SATF), cry out their fear of a re-enactment of the recent deaths at San Quentin from the imposed COVID-19 outbreak. Transfers into SATF are being made with egregious disregard for health and safety practices, coupled with continued historical institutional abuse and neglect.

BL Shirelle: ‘My career started on my top bunk’

What began as a pebble dropped into the water, rippled life force into infinity. Formerly incarcerated, BL Shirelle unfolds the story of rediscovering her creativity, her passion to write songs and music that released the shackles and revealed the path to freedom, not only for herself, but for others, as well. BL Shirelle is proud to be back in prison.

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

They came for us in the morning: What prison officials don’t want you to...

Emmett Till, the Scottsboro Boys, the Central Park 5, and the list goes on. The ramifications of being falsely accused of a crime in America can be, and often have been, deadly for Black people.