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“American prisons are death traps. They are the places with the highest rate of coronavirus infection in the world. Incarceration in the time of COVID skirts the genocidal cruelty of death by disease of the Nazis.” J. Fernandez
“Y’know things get funnier every day you live. They don’t get no better. Dig? But they sure as hell get funnier.” This week I keep hearing those words in the back of my mind, as spoken by a Black journalist named “Roosevelt,” a character who works for a Black New Orleans newspaper in the 1960s film “WUSA.” Critics trashed WUSA when it came out in 1970 and it bombed at the box office, but Paul Newman thought it was the most important film he ever made.
I especially want to remember the mothers who are not with their families this year due to physical distancing. I hope you are still able to connect with loved ones via technology. We are going to have a special radio show Friday, May 8, featuring Mrs. Sadie Williams, 96, in conversation with other mothers. Listen in beginning at 8 a.m. by calling 347-237-4610.
Nearly six weeks since shelter-in-place and quarantine orders in the United States and worldwide because of the COVID-19 outbreak, countries all over the world have been pummeled with more than 3.3 million confirmed cases and 235,000 deaths worldwide.
“I’m COVID-19 positive. I’m doing well. I’m isolated in my house. I will be out of commission for two to three weeks. I have cared for several COVID-19 patients. One was not recognized initially and this may have been the one that the infection came from. Can’t wait to get back in the fight.”
DEFENDER Europe 20, NATO’s latest anti-Russian war games, began in February. On March 13, the German army announced that it would not participate and withdrew its troops for fear of spreading the coronavirus. On March 11, Norway’s armed forces canceled Cold Response, more anti-Russian war games.
“Leadership does not mean domination. The world is always supplied with people who wish to rule and dominate others. The true leader is of a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficent purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake and, holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspiration.” – from “The Wise Mind of H.I.M. Emperor Haile Sellasie I,” Chapter 10, Leadership
In this moment of crisis, the prisons will act as an incubator for COVID-19. If we want to protect the entire country from this disease, we must empty the prisons.
Prison Policy Initiative offers five examples of policies that could slow the spread of a viral pandemic in prisons and jails – and would mitigate the everyday impact of incarceration on public health.
“We put all the cops in minority neighborhoods,” said Michael Bloomberg. “Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. … The way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them against the wall and frisk them.”
A revolution in inside/outside organizing is pushing prison activism to new levels, harnessing new technologies and broad-based people power to push back against the exploitative and extractive prison industries and injustices of incarceration.
Please join N’COBRA Saturday, 25 January, 12 Noon, for our first Bay Area commUNITY gathering for Reparations at the beautiful Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th St. in downtown Oakland (near the 12th Street BART station). Be prepared to offer serious views and action plans.
How Black authors and publishers are empowering our communities through Black events, anthologies and Black takeovers of white dominated genres.
We have been informed by Imam Jamil (H. Rap Brown) that he is suffering from cataracts and is being denied immediate treatment to relieve him of this burden. Imam Jamil is 75 years old and has been incarcerated for going on 20 years even though the facts of his case prove his innocence.
With food and a live band, the People’s Assembly was a social-cultural celebration that brought out generations of New Afrikan people in Terre Haute.
Rodney Reed and everyone else on death row are flesh-and-blood human beings who deserve humane and just treatment, not extermination, regardless of whether you believe they are innocent and haven’t had a fair legal process.
1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black community.
With the crises growing on each and every day, WE again appeal to our youth and adults to utilize every means to stop the wealthy and foolish fossil fuel industries and challenge every candidate for elected office to produce serious climate reparations proposals and practices.
The stories of injustice coming out of the Middle District of Alabama are still replete with nonviolent, disproportionately Black defendants with longstanding drug problems – ones who commit victimless crimes tied to unsuccessfully or untreated addictions – receiving draconian sentences.
I hope you will join me in supporting our youth-led “Global Climate Strike” in locations around the planet, from 20-27 September.