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Inspired by the stamina of the “Frisco 5” hunger strikers, hundreds of chanting supporters occupied the rotunda and grand staircase inside City Hall for seven hours on May 6. Their demand: “We won’t leave City Hall until the mayor fires Greg Suhr,” the top cop complicit in a string of police murders of Black and Brown people in the city. The movement to fire Chief Suhr, stubbornly resisted by the city’s political establishment, is nevertheless gaining momentum.
San Francisco will come alive with 15 Kwanzaa celebrations in seven days Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, presented by the Village Project and many community partners. Striving to unite and strengthen our family, community and nation, each of the seven principles – the Nguzo Saba – will be highlighted with the lighting of a candle, followed by a feast and a myriad of artistic performances. On New Year's Day, the final day of Kwanzaa, join the celebration at 6 p.m. at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, 2097 Turk St., with Bernard Anderson and The Smooth Blues Band. The last candle of the kinara will be lit, and Dr. Dorothy Tsuruta, chair of the Department of Africana Studies, SF State University, will MC.
Over a 25 year period, 200 women in South LA went missing. Of these missing women, 100 were found dead. All of the women are Black and most were prostitutes. The refusal to let these women’s lives go unacknowledged is due to the work of Black Coalition Fighting Back Against Serial Murders. HBO will broadcast “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” on April 27.
Report after report reminds and warns the Black community that AIDS is not yet under control for the Black population. However, when I saw several new 6-foot-by-4-foot billboard ads in the Castro district of San Francisco this past week with the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. under the heading, “AIDS is a civil rights issue,” I first thought, “Well, that’s a stretch.”
The San Francisco Neighborhood Newspaper Association and the impact of community journalism was the featured topic last week at a forum sponsored by San Francisco’s prestigious Commonwealth Club. Four local publishers, Earl Adkins (Marina Times), Juan Gonzales (El Tecolate), Willie Ratcliff (SF Bay View) and moderator Glenn Gullmes (West Portal Monthly) represented the neighborhood news collective.
Congratulations to my nephew Wilfred Batin, 9 years old, who was one of two honor roll students from Rosa Parks Elementary School honored this year at City Hall. Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who deserve more than a day to honor them. Congratulations to all the college graduates!
Voting empowers our communities to get what we want. If we don’t vote, we’re invisible. If we turn out in large numbers for this election, we’ll get respect – from City Hall to the White House. Here are the Bay View’s recommendations for Tuesday, Nov. 6, including candidates for San Francisco Board of Supervisors, School Board, College Board and BART Board. On state propositions, the Bay View recommends that you vote Yes on 30, No on 31 (LAST MINUTE CHANGE), No on 32, No on 33, No on 34, No on 35, Yes on 36, Yes on 37, Yes on 38, Yes on 39 and Yes on 40. But however you vote, VOTE! Voting is our most powerful right. Use it.
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?
I would like to wish all the fathers a blessed and happy Fathers’ Day 2012. It is a hard time to be a parent of a youngster, not to mention an adolescent or youth. The challenges are great, in direct proportion to the rewards. I’d like to congratulate the young fathers who are stepping up and participating in their children’s lives, especially when society equates parenting with one’s largess or paycheck.
In San Francisco this year, we’re blessed with great candidates for mayor: Jeff Adachi, John Avalos and Terry Baum. If we unite behind them in this city that endows the mayor with an amazing amount of power, we’ll make San Francisco the land of opportunity that lives up to its reputation. And if we VOTE 100% like we used to, Black San Franciscans can once again be a force to be reckoned with. We can even elect leaders who love us!
I am running for mayor of San Francisco because I believe that we, the people, can bring change to City Hall and make the government work for the people and by the people, as the Constitution guarantees. I believe that I have a clear understanding of the challenges our city faces, and the administrative experience necessary to meet those challenges.
Minutes after the outrageous police killing of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding a stone’s throw from my home and office, I joined the crowd and for two hours listened to the witnesses, shared the anger and echoed the calls for unity. Let us demand the right to “own and operate and control the economy of our community,” as Brother Malcolm advised. Now – right now – is the time for us to prove that it’s not the police, it’s not the prison guards or the big developers who have the power to impoverish and enslave us and drive us off our land. The ultimate power belongs to the people, and we will use it.
Like the country it governs, Washington is a city of extremes. In a car, you can zip in bare moments from northwest District of Columbia, its streets lined with million-dollar homes and palatial embassies, its inhabitants sporting one of the nation’s lowest jobless rates, to Anacostia, a mostly forgotten neighborhood in southeastern D.C. with one of the highest unemployment rates anywhere in America.
Support for the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike is strong and expanding as people inside and outside prison all over the world are connecting the Pelican Bay hunger strike to local struggles against powerlessness and inequality.
The fight by the people of San Francisco to hold the San Francisco Department of Public Health and mega-developer Lennar accountable for clean air and the health of Hunters Point residents endured another round Thursday, June 23, at City Hall. The verdict? Jury still out.
Labeled a crime fighting tool, gang injunctions are ineffective, counter-productive and further strain the relationship between residents and police. Pack the courtroom Friday, May 6, 2 p.m., 1225 Fallon, Dept. 20, Oakland, for a hearing on the Fruitvale gang injunction.
The so-called Greenest City in the Country has withered on the vine ever since a much-criticized decision to ban certain trade unions from working on municipal solar projects led to what is believed to be the nation’s first community protest and work stoppage at a solar installation and a nine-month delay in breaking ground on new solar projects.
Crying “Have a Heart, Save Our Homes,” a large Bay Area coalition marched in a driving rain from City Hall to the San Francisco Federal Building – Causa Justa/Just Cause, San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE and many more.
A crowd of over 200 community advocates, elected officials, labor leaders, community contractors and City department heads came together on Feb. 23 to celebrate the passage of the historic local hiring ordinance.
The Black population in San Francisco drastically declined when urban renewal, Redevelopment and the gentrification of the Fillmore/Western Addition started in the ‘60s, bulldozed the hearts of African Americans, many forced to move out of the City.
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