Melvin Dillon and Robert Dillon, brothers incarcerated at the Nevada Southern Detention Center (NSDC), are in mortal danger. Their mother, Mary Barbee, is pleading with Gov. Steve Sisalek for their release.
“Ingenuity is the reigning order of the day” would be my choice of words if I had to sum up the COVID-19 pandemic’s quarantine into a sentence for small business owners.
“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
Journalists aren’t supposed to “bury the lead.” But when death is the topic and corporate power is the culprit, the connection routinely goes unmentioned.
According to Mark Twain (supposedly), history doesn’t repeat itself, but it frequently rhymes. He was right. Donald Trump, for example, rhymes with Mussolini. The decline of organized labor in recent decades rhymes with its decline in the 1920s. And the coming depression will rhyme, in many respects, with the Great Depression.
“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.
Distance learning has proven to be a failure in many cases over the last two months throughout the Bay Area and the nation for a myriad of reasons. For example, teachers were never trained adequately in how to pivot from classroom teaching to a cyber environment; school districts had to organize distance learning without having planned for its implementation; huge portions of the student body in the Bay’s Black and Brown neighborhoods don’t have access to the technology needed to be able to engage; and many students have no internet access at home.
If you have logged onto the Virginia Department of Corrections’ (VADOC) website or listened to Secretary of Public Safety Brian P. Moran during one of the many televised coronavirus briefings, then you probably were left with the impression that VADOC and Greensville Correctional Center (GCC) officials are taking all of the necessary precautions to prevent or mitigate the spread of the deadly COVID-19 behind the walls of GCC or any other prison in the state. If that is your impression, then YOU HAVE BEEN DECEIVED!
May our Divine Mother-Father Creator of and in All – and beloved Ancients and Ancestors from past millennia, yesteryears and, literally, yesterday – find you and (y)our extended Family healthy and staying positive during these extraordinary crises in our story of humane-ity. Sacred prayers to, and supportive actions for, everyone, including: those sacrificing and working hard to serve us; who have lost their job and source of income; and, to all who have tested positive for the covid-19 virus, suffered from other illnesses, had loved ones become ill or, worse, suffered the ultimate tragedy.
In my humble opinion being on death row with this COVID-19 pandemic raging is like having another death sentence. I can and do only speak for myself in this essay, and I must admit that I am scared of this virus!
Open letter to Gov. Kay Ivey and concerned Alabama citizens, juvenile advocates and state leaders – Re: Children in juvenile detention facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic: Where is their advocacy and why isn’t anyone demanding their release?
Here at the Lakota People’s Law Project, we’ve seen a lot and worked hard to address a variety of important issues over the past 15 years – among them criminal justice reform for American Indians. Now, in the coronavirus era, this problem has raised its ugly head again: A 30-year-old woman from my tribal nation, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, died in federal custody in a Texas prison on Tuesday, April 21, just three weeks after giving birth. The cause of her death? COVID-19.
The United States has not been able to control COVID-19. The Donald Trump administration did not react in time, played down the reality, and as a result tens of thousands of people have died. Yet the government finds time to attack Cuba.
Liberate the Caged Voices, a program of California Prison Focus, provides a platform to hear directly from our caged community members, their families and loved ones to foster engagement with the local community, while exposing the truth of the toxic conditions experienced by California’s incarcerated people and the impact on their families. Adding art and culture, the idea is to build awareness, solidarity and human relationship amongst community members on both sides of the wall and take collective action.
The COVID-19 emergency underscores longstanding truths about capitalism and socialism. Acting on the most immediate demands that it raises draws us directly into a confrontation with core issues.
Since my last column, more resources have become available for families who need medical care, including telehealth visits with their doctor or mental health care. In addition, there are more places you can turn to if you need help with education, food, healthcare, housing, loans, rental or mortgage assistance, immigration and other issues during the pandemic. Here’s a short-list of resources to check out:
San Francisco – Mayor London Breed and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) have made nearly $1 million in new funding available for mini-grants to independently-owned and women-owned small businesses in underserved commercial corridors. The Neighborhood Mini-Grants will provide $1,000 to $10,000 in grants for urgent economic relief for neighborhood-serving small businesses and women-owned businesses impacted by COVID-19.
I am a Harlem Native who is incarcerated, and nearing the end of my prison sentence – three more years. However, within this pandemic, I sit in a pressure cooker, Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Westchester County, where the coronavirus infection rates are among the highest. Staff and inmates are infected.
Haiti Action Committee is honored to circulate this statement from Fanmi Lavalas, the people’s party in Haiti, at a moment when the coronavirus has made its deadly march into Haiti. Faced with government inaction, repression and corruption, Haitians have turned to each other and to the popular movement to meet the challenge. We urge you to distribute this statement widely.
San Francisco – The legislation to close County Jail 4, known in the communities most of the prisoners come from as “850,” co-sponsored by eight members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, moved unanimously out of committee with positive recommendation and was approved 10-1 by the full board.