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Wednesday, June 19, 2019
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Tag: ACLU

From skid row to your overpriced condo: Po’ folks resisting removal

It had been over 20 years since me and my mama were houseless on the streets of LA, sleeping in our car and facing police harassment for the sole act of being poor and without a roof in the U.S. The only place we could go to get a break was skid row because it was the one place the police seemed to leave us alone. Now I was back, but something was bizarrely wrong.

San Francisco Mental Health Board passes ‘no tasers’ resolution 9-2

At its Wednesday, Nov. 14, meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Department of Public Health, 101 Grove St., Room 300, the San Francisco Mental Health Board will welcome public comment before voting on a resolution against putting tasers in SFPD Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers’ hands.

Last minute appeal from death row: Vote No on 34 to...

If Proposition 34 passes, it will endorse everything that is wrong with the criminal justice system and allow the appeals of innocent people on death row to go unheard. It will take away the one guarantee, through habeas counsel, that death row prisoners have to be able to clear their names and prove their innocence. Vote No on Prop 34; do not destroy due process rights.

California’s cruelest prisons

It is well established that solitary confinement is cruel and psychologically damaging. Many of the SHU’s indefinite residents haven’t even broken prison rules. They are there because the California Department of Corrections claims they are connected to prison gangs. Such arbitrariness and cruelty has no place in a constitutional democracy. California should reexamine this practice.

Cynthia McKinney exposes ‘soft repression,’ political bullying

This Open Letter addresses what is happening to me as I challenge a system that no longer serves the interests of the people and push for the kind of change that will really make a difference. I seek merely to expose covert actions directed at me, and people close to me, that constitute bullying and soft repression that would otherwise go unnoted and whose purpose I surmise is to punish me for my values and political beliefs that favor justice and peace, and, most probably, to dissuade me from future political activities.

Remembering Kenneth Harding: No stop ‘n Frisco!

When Kenneth Harding, 19, couldn’t show police a Muni transfer to prove he’d paid his $2 fare on July 16, 2011, he ran, they shot him in the back and for an agonizing half hour, instead of trying to save his life, they trained their guns on Kenneth and the crowd while the young man slowly bled to death and the crowd screamed in horror. Knowing that the police murder of Kenneth Harding was the outcome of the routine, though unofficial, police practice of stopping and frisking young men of color, why would San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, a former civil rights attorney, consider importing New York City’s disastrous stop-and-frisk policy?

Solitary confinement on trial: an interview with law professor Angela A....

On the morning of Tuesday, June 19, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights is having an important public hearing on “Reassessing Solitary Confinement.” This Senate hearing comes on the heels of widespread prisoner hunger strikes that have made the use of solitary confinement a central issue.

Spying on San Franciscans: End FBI control of SFPD Joint Terrorism...

Who should control the San Francisco Police Department’s counter-terrorism activities – the FBI or San Franciscans? At SF City Hall Room 250 on Thursday, March 1, 10:30 a.m., stop FBI targeting of ‘Black separatist extremists’ who advocate reparations under the banner of preventing terrorism!

Do American taxpayers really want to pay Rwanda to keep Victoire...

In Rwanda, which has received over $1 billion in U.S. foreign aid in the past 10 years, Mrs. Victoire Ingabire made every attempt to participate in the political process that Rwandan President Paul Kagame insists is democratic, but instead she now stands in the dock in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, facing charges that could keep her behind bars for 30 years to life.

All out for Troy Davis: Global Day of Solidarity Friday, Sept....

Yesterday, the NAACP and other organizations supporting freedom for Troy Davis delivered more than 660,000 petition signatures to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles in support of halting Troy's execution and granting him clemency. Watch the new video from the NAACP, plus a new video from Jasiri X, 'I am Troy Davis.' Read a letter from Troy Davis and another from California death row prisoner Kevin Cooper, a message from the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and, most important, how you can help stop the execution of Troy Davis, set for Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Locked up and left behind: New York’s prisoners and Hurricane Irene

“We are not evacuating Rikers Island,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a news conference Friday afternoon. Bloomberg annouced a host of extreme measures being taken by New York City in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, including a shutdown of the public transit system and the unprecedented mandatory evacuation of some 250,000 people from low-lying areas.

Michelle Alexander on California’s ‘cruel and unusual’ prisons

On May 23, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision ordering California to release tens of thousands of inmates from its overcrowded prisons on the grounds that their living conditions – including lethally inadequate healthcare – were so intolerable as to be “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Judge declares SF Housing Authority injunctions unconstitutional

A judicial decision handed down today effectively ends the San Francisco Housing Authority’s use of city-wide nuisance injunctions and dismisses all pending criminal cases against alleged violators, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and ACLU of Northern California Legal Director Alan Schlosser announced.

Close L.A. County Jail!

The Los Angeles jail system holds over 20,000 detainees and is the largest jail on earth, costing nearly $1 billion a year to operate. This is the 21st century, yet the conditions there are similar to slaves packed tightly on a ship during the Middle Passage.

No Tasers for San Francisco police!

Open letter to San Francisco officials from the San Francisco Gray Panthers: Tasers do not belong in any police force.

Anti-police brutality coalition convenes tribunal, plans for political action

The People’s Tribunal Against Police Brutality and Misconduct will be convened on Saturday, Jan. 15, 11 a.m., in North Philadelphia amidst a whirlwind of public debate, legal battles and community protest sparked by the upsurge in police brutality there and across the country.

Georgia prisoners’ strike: What would Dr. King say or do?

Eight days after the start of Georgia’s historic prisoners’ strike, advocates met with state corrections officials and visited a prison. “The prisoners have done all they can do now. It’s up to us to build a movement out here that can make the changes which have to be made,” said Rev. Kenny Glasgow of The Ordinary Peoples Society (TOPS).

The incarceration capitol of the U.S.

With 3,500 beds in a city of about 350,000 residents, Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) is already the largest per capita county jail of any major U.S. city. Sheriff Marlin Gusman, the elected official with oversight over the jail, has submitted plans for an even larger complex.

California prisons silencing SF Bay View

Today, free speech inside the penitentiary is increasingly becoming a scant luxury, not the universally recognized right abstracted by federal judges. As early as March 2008, the San Francisco Bay View began receiving dispatches from California prisoners alerting the newspaper that prisoners in possession of the newspaper were being charged with gang affiliation and having their subscriptions withheld.

Rev. Pinkney denied right to attend his own hearing

A Michigan judge ruled this week that the Rev. Edward Pinkney, a Benton Harbor minister and longtime vocal community activist who recently served 13 months in jail, couldn't attend his own hearing in Grand Rapids before the Michigan Court of Appeals because he is under 24-hour house arrest and probation for quoting the Bible.

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Evidence by the District Attorney’s Office is looking very weak ahead...

It is the opinion of this writer and sources within the legal community that the charges by the D.A. against Epps should be dropped or the case should be dismissed based on the very weak evidence that the prosecution is presenting. If the case does go to trial, the likelihood of an acquittal or mistrial seems extremely high.

Speak Creole!

The genocide against Black youths in Brazil is denounced, but we need more and more methods of international expression – on what is, in the best description by Professor Achille Mbembe, “Necropolitics.”

In Praise of Blood: Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front

In Judi Rever’s book “In Praise of Blood: Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” she tells of joining groups of Congolese volunteers with the U.N., Médecins Sans Frontières and the Red Cross, who “were there, day in and day out, to provide the means of life to people on the edge of death.”
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Giving for greatness

“Greatness is born out of the grind. Embrace the grind,” said Robert F. Smith, the billionaire technology investor, in his speech to the 2019 graduating class at Morehouse University on May 20, 2019, announcing he is paying off the student loans of 396 Morehouse graduates.

Master Photographer David Johnson returns to his roots

Johnson is an important chronicler of African American life in San Francisco during the mid-20th century.