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On Monday, Feb. 20, over a dozen rallies will be held throughout the U.S. for a “National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners.” Join the Bay Area rally 12-3 p.m. at San Quentin by getting or giving a ride at 10 a.m. at Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland or 1540 Market St. in SF. “The U.S. is the world’s leader of the incarceration industry – it’s time for the focused attention of the Occupy Movement,” notes Mumia Abu-Jamal. Big rallies on Feb. 20 will push California authorities to meet 12,000 California prisoners' five core demands and challenge the prison industrial complex everywhere.
October is Maafa Commemoration Month. The term Maafa refers to the Black Holocaust, that period when African people were stolen and traded in the greatest, most widespread cooperative economic venture to date, which resulted in the displacement of human beings as commodities. The Kiswahili term Maafa extends that definition of loss and trauma, that is, PTSD or post-traumatic slave syndrome – the flashbacks, both conscious and unconscious, reoccurring instances of the atrocities 150 years after the end of slavery which have direct association to the brutality of chattel slavery.
Happy Mother’s Day to Yuri Kochiyama! I’d like to also wish the women who haven’t seen their children in a long time, some since birth, a special Happy Mother’s Day. Our prayers are with you even if you feel alone at a time when in America prisons systematically separate mothers from their children, often permanently.
“COINTELPRO 101” is a recently released documentary that takes a long hard look at the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program to crush resistance that led to the deportation of Marcus Garvey, the assassinations of Malcolm X, George Jackson, Fred Hampton, Martin Luther King Jr. and more.
On Feb. 18, 7 p.m., at Modern Times Bookstore, Krip-Hop Nation will present an author panel of new books by Black disabled writers and friends, including Toni Hickman of Texas, Adarro Minton of New York, Allen Jones of San Francisco and friends of Krip-Hop Nation, DC Curtis and Bones Kendall of Los Angeles.
The People’s Human Rights and Hip Hop Film Festival is a four-day event that will be kicking off on Friday, Feb. 11, at the Twinspace, 2111 Mission St. in San Francisco, that captures the aura of the Bay, politics and young people’s art.
Although on a very small scale (which by no means diminishes the deed), we, the people, have wrought a revolution – “a sudden and momentous change in a situation” – and accomplished in 12 days what the powers that be have repeatedly told us would never happen.
Oakland rapper DLabrie connects with POCC Minister of Information JR after his relief trip to Haiti and year-long battle in Oakland courts based on false charges. Upcoming events: Haiti Report-backs in Berkeley Thursday, April 8, 7 p.m., hosted by Rev. Sandra Decker, and the big show at the Jazz Heritage Club, 1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco, on Wednesday, April 21, 6:30 p.m. Saturday 2-5 p.m. is the 12th Annual LIL' BOBBY HUTTON DAY at the West Oakland Library, 1805 Adeline St. Be there!
We are not surprised that Malik Rahim is being hailed as one of the heroes of Hurricane Katrina. In 1997, Malik rediscovered information on our case and made it his mission to bring attention to the plight that Albert, King, myself and so many other Louisiana prisoners have endured in being unfairly convicted and sentenced. The Angola 3 went from obscurity to international recognition thanks to Malik’s efforts.
Black August begins with a campaign for the acquittal of Francisco Torres, the only member of the San Francisco 8 still charged. Go to www.freethesf8.org for messages to phone or fax to Attorney General Jerry Brown, urging him to drop the charges. Cisco’s hearing is Aug. 10 if the charges aren’t dropped.
Be sure to listen to the archived Wanda's Picks Radio for Feb. 11, when the guests are Cynthia McKinney in the first hour and Guy Patrice Lumumba and Lisa F. Jackson, director of the film, "The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo," in the second. Extraordinary radio! Superb mix of arts and politics!
Robert H. King, Angola 3 activist, former political prisoner, called to tell me that Herman Wallace, while visiting with Jackie Sumell and her friend, had what appeared to be a heart attack or stroke. Alarmed, Jackie banged on the door of the locked visiting room to get guards' attention.
I recall listening to a recording of Albert Woodfox describing how it felt after 15 years or something crazy long like that to finally get a contact visit from his mom and feel her hug. Now, after nearly 36 years in solitary confinement, Woodfox could soon be released on bail.
Robert King takes us on a lyrical journey "From the Bottom of the Heap" to the depths of a darkness so dense flashlights can't pierce the intangible conscience or sensibility of a nation or a people who would subject another citizen to what King describes in his autobiography as a normal state of affairs for Black men.
I think I'm still in shock. Imagine, 200 years after chattel slavery was legally abolished in the United States, we have a Black man elected to this nation's highest office: Barack Hussein Obama, president elect, this nation's 44th president as of Jan. 20, 2009.
The Common Ground Health Clinic arose in the New Orleans west bank community of Algiers above the apocalyptic flood waters in the fall of ‘05. The founders' visions, fueled by endorphins of kindness and adrenalin of desperation, were a beautiful thing to behold.