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