Sacred prayers to everyone sacrificing and organizing to serve those who have lost their jobs, sources of income and housing. And, to those who have tested positive for the covid-19 virus, suffered from other illnesses, had loved ones become ill or, worse, suffered the ultimate tragedy of death from the corporate-state violence of impoverishment, torturous military-police and white racist terrorism. Asé.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: While you’ve been busy reopening the state for business, via your Michigan Safe Start plan, the COVID-19 pandemic is exploding like a biological time-bomb in Michigan’s aging and overcrowded prisons, with a 50 percent infection rate among state prisoners confirmed by recent news broadcasts. Your current plan to expedite the parole of state prisoners who are past their earliest release dates will, at best, only release a thousand prisoners, more or less.
The coronavirus crisis is testing most households and businesses in California, pushing some to the very brink of what they can bear before falling off a cliff.
The essentials of writing and publishing have not changed under COVID-19, just the promotions aspects such as in-person appearances. Book signings, conventions and readings are postponed, online or done via the mail. Yet the work of writing continues.
Jalil Muntaqim, world renowned for peace and justice initiatives over 49 years in prison, fights for his life, his parole-eligible sentence threatening to become a death sentence. On April 27, Judge Schick granted his release. But New York Attorney General Letitia James appealed the judge’s decision, preventing Jalil’s 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.
On April 30, 2020, at least half of the nearly 300 prisoners in my assigned cellblock (J-housing unit) here at Indiana’s Pendleton Correctional Facility refused to accept meals in protest of our treatment, or lack thereof, related to the coronavirus pandemic and it’s spreading within PCF.
“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.
In June, San Francisco Mayor London Breed is expected to lower San Francisco’s alert level to a COVID-19 semi-quarantine status, meaning that some of the shelter-in-place restrictions implemented in mid-March are expected to be lifted, if infection rates continue to decrease. But according to rumors heard in city government circles, big gatherings of dozens of people will not be allowed in the City until 2021 at the earliest. This may include movie theaters.
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.
Viet Nam and the Vietnamese people have confronted the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and their quick and united national response has produced remarkable results and earned the recognition of top public health experts and organizations around the world.
“Thanks to you guys, I got to eat today. I didn’t know where I was going to sleep tonight. The park is comfortable and quiet, and we don’t have no drama. It’s peaceful. This community right here, we’re great. I feel real safe.”
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.
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.