Kevin Cooper, still caged in San Quentin after 37 years, 35 years on Death Row, speaks with KPFA’s Flashpoints Dennis Bernstein in an exclusive in-depth interview. Cooper talks about simultaneously surviving Death Row and the COVID-19 pandemic, the blues and highlights the opportunity for Governor Gavin Newsom to order an Innocence Investigation, which will shine direct light on prosecutorial wrongdoings and new DNA evidence to support his innocence.
San Francisco County, as of Aug. 10, 2020, will no longer generate revenue from incarcerated people and their families through phone calls. All phone calls and video calls from jails will be free under a first-in-the-nation fixed rate contract negotiated by the Sheriff’s Office. Additionally in April 2020, the Sheriff’s Office eliminated commission or profit in the jail commissary (jail store) and prices dropped an average of 43 percent.
"We need a healthcare system that treats all workers and patients equally, and we need the state of California to make sure that all healthcare workers and patients – especially those inside correctional facilities – can be immediately tested for COVID-19." - Sal Rosselli, president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers
A killer like healthcare denial or scarcity is still free to claim lives and roam our neighborhoods in spite of all kinds of laws passed in the name of justice and equality.
Former Treasure Island resident announces hospitalization for coronavirus, implicating radioactive island...
When we least expect it, trouble comes. “I came in contact with a door handle, now I got COVID-19. It’s bad enough my immune system is compromised. I have emphysema and I might not make it out of this.”
Before Warden Craig Koenig ordered a 3 a.m. raid on peaceful Black prisoners at Soledad State Prison, there were no active cases of COVID-19 in the entire facility. Koenig has bragged about his prison being coronavirus-free, which is probably part of the reason that he allowed a transfer of new prisoners into the facility on Aug. 6.
Most Californians are aware of the state’s dangerous wildfire season and the heroic bravery of CAL FIRE staff. Many more are unaware that these fires would cease to be contained and countless lives might be lost without the help of California’s incarcerated firefighters, who earn at most $5.12 a day. A new program promises real jobs with full pay when they’re released.
Government mandate that children return to school via the internet has bred an experimental system called “distance learning.” The educational system, already ravaged by the COVID-19 shelter-in-place-order by Mayor London Breed on March 12, 2020, now faces new challenges with education via internet.
Aug. 8, the day after getting the news that Kali O’Ray, director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, passed away, came the news that my cousin’s cousin “Cuban Pete” was murdered in Oakland in a different incident, and my comrade Chester from the Black Panther Commemoration Committee was also shot in a separate incident still. This was in addition to a dreaded text from a life-long friend that her sons had been shot.
It is with deep pain and distraught heartbreak the San Francisco Black Film Festival announces the death of its Director Kali O’Ray on Friday August 7, 2020, after a short battle with heart disease. The previous announcement that his death was related to COVID-19 was mistaken, and we apologize for the error. Festival organizers ask the public’s forbearance as O’Ray’s wife and co-director, Katera Crossley, and family plan details around observances for his untimely passing.
Just released by Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton is a report from the Human Rights Commission (HRC) quantifying the intention to redirect funding from the police department into the African-American community, with recommendations heard directly from community members, particularly those most impacted by systemic racism, through a process facilitated by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
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 spirited during this dangerous worldwide pandemic, global imperialist monopoly capitalist economic devastation, and ongoing European and american “white” state and vigilante terrorism. WE offer our sacred-most thoughts for the healing of our dear editor, Elder Mary Ratcliff. Get well, Mama Mary! Asé.
We are losing so many loved ones this year. Beloved heroes like Rep. John Lewis and his friend and mentor Rev. C.T. Vivian and Rev. Joseph Lowery, dean of the Civil Rights Movement. Here in Oakland, we lost Wonder Woman Denise Adele Gums (Oct. 26, 1953-July 22, 2020).
The founder and CEO of Heart and Soul Communities, Ericka Tillis, is a pioneer in the senior-assisted living industry in Oakland and San Leandro. That pioneering vision has kept her facilities and residents unscathed by the COVID-19 epidemic while the virus has been running unbridled through the senior community and the Black and Latino communities of Alameda County.
Open Letter to: Killer Mike, Cardi B, Kanye, Jay-Z, P-Diddy, Ludacris, 50 Cent and others: Greetings and solidarity to each of you. In recognition of your individual voice, influence and cultural following among current generations of Black people – Africans in the Diaspora and on the continent – we salute you.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools to close across the world. As an educator, I know firsthand the disparities that exist in the classroom. When the pandemic began, I recognized how inequities in education would manifest themselves as distance education unfolded.
A group of Black Soledad prisoners document and denounce the violent and racist attacks by white guards against them and issue various calls to action!
San Francisco – Healthcare workers sent an open letter with over 750 signatories to California Gov. Gavin Newsom on the morning of July 27 urging immediate action to reduce the state prison population to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The signers condemn the recent COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin State Prison as a “public health crisis that impacts not only those Californians who are currently experiencing incarceration, but all of us.”
The East Oakland Youth Development Center aka EOYDC is a deep anchor in the Deep East Oakland community, helping Black and Brown families navigate the uncertainties of the historic COVID pandemic. Regina Jackson and staff have sustained this community lifeline and shined a light on the creative choices possible when critical disruption occurs.
The U.S.is in a frenzy behind the coronavirus pandemic and TV and media want us to believe that the federal, state and local governments are doing everything possible to curb the spike in infection numbers. If California was a country, it would be fifth in infections, following only the U.S., Brazil, India and Russia. As California approaches the 4 million mark we surpass New York as the nation’s hotbed of infection.