Survival in the midst of historical and current long-term determined torture by prison guards against prisoners under the California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation is testament to the human spirit, and glaring evidence of our social decline as human beings to allow the existence of such atrocities.
As described by Jay Rene Shakur, the crucial element necessary to reclaim dignity and social well-being as human beings, is the heart of humanity, and humanism itself. Yet humanism today seems obscured, lost, hidden, withdrawn or morphed, leaving the front lines and leadership disadvantaged in the fight for our humanity.
Emerging from the fertile earth of the Black community, seedlings begin to sprout as Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton present the Dream Keeper Initiative with a hefty commitment redirecting $120 million from SFPD for investments in the African American community.
Gen. George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) paid the ultimate price for the sins of certain white people of his time who committed damn near every type of crime against humanity upon the indigenous peoples of this country. So much so that many different tribes of indigenous peoples came together, some who were sworn enemies, to fight and defeat their common oppressor. Here in 2016, once again, many different tribes of indigenous peoples, and not just from this country but from around the world, have come together to defeat their common modern day oppressor.
In the wake of the failure and collapse of the U.S. imposed dictatorship of Michel Martelly in Haiti, and as conservatives from the U.S. to the U.K. are being investigated for fraudulent electoral practices, the grassroots people of Haiti continue to escalate their fight for liberation, solidarity and dignity. Rocking the streets with “Nou pap obeyi!” (“We will not obey!”) illegitimate officials imposed by foreign colonizers, Haitians have fought on all levels to return governance of Haiti to its people.
Friday, Feb. 19, Albert “Shaka” Woodfox, the only member of the Angola 3 remaining in prison, was released after nearly 44 years in solitary confinement. Earlier in the month, Ashé Cultural Arts Center had scheduled a screening of the film, “Panther: Vanguard of the Revolution,” directed by Stanley Nelson, at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate Albert Woodfox’s birthday that day, Feb 19. The evening turned into an actual birthday party for Woodfox.
Four years ago prisoners in California – led by those in the control units of Pelican Bay – organized a hunger strike to demand an end to the torturous conditions of solitary confinement. Two more strikes would follow, with over 30,000 prisoners taking united action in the summer of 2013 – both in isolation and in general population in nearly every California prison. Current prison organizing continues a historic legacy of struggle.
Greetings of solidarity and respect to all similarly situated members of the prison class unified in our struggle to end long term solitary confinement and win related long overdue reforms to the broken California prison torture system! As one of the four principle prisoner class representatives, I am presenting this further update on where things stand with our human rights movement from my perspective.
We are the prisoner class representatives of what’s become known as the PBSP SHU Short Corridor Collective Human Rights Movement. Last month we marked the first anniversary of the end of our historic 60-day Hunger Strike. Oct. 10 we mark the two-year anniversary of the Agreement to End Hostilities. This is an update on where things stand with our struggle to achieve major reforms beneficial to prisoners, outside loved ones and society in general.
There can be no doubt that the legislators’ courageous act of publically acknowledging our protest issues in late August 2013 saved many lives, and it gave many people real hope that substantive changes will be forthcoming. And now that there has been additional public exposure – via the two public hearings – demonstrating CDCR’s refusal to institute real, meaningful changes, on its own, people are relying on the legislature to do all in their power to pass legislation reining in CDCR’s gross abuse of power, this year.
I don’t know whether any of your names will be recorded in history books as the early leaders of a bold, courageous movement that not only ended solitary confinement as a form of torture, but also ended the entire system of mass incarceration in this country. But I know that the entire movement for freedom and justice in the United States is indebted to you.
Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who last week completed a peace mission to Syria along with former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and others, delivered the following address to the IBON Conference on Democracy, Self-Determination and Liberation of Peoples. The conference was held Sept. 23 at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.
On these days that mark the 2011 General Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we call on all Congolese leaders of political parties, members of political parties, members of the armed forces and the police to demonstrate their respect for human rights, freedom of expression and choices as well as respect for the right of Congolese to live in peace and human security.
Friday, Feb. 12, one month after the earthquake, the first day of Jounen jèn, the days of mourning and remembrance, and we walked through the twisted iron and dusty shards of glass of the shattered National Cathedral. It was as though the world had ended.
On the first night of her Aug. 20-24 Triumph Tour, our sister Cynthia McKinney put a face on Gaza, Palestine, I don’t think many in the audience had seen before – I’m speaking of African Americans who are not usually the target population of such media focus. McKinney was speaking at Oakland’s landmark Grand Lake Theater, kicking off her Gaza Solidarity Triumph Tour, a series of fundraisers for the struggling SF Bay View newspaper.
Jubilant at finally breaking the blockade to bring aid to the people of Gaza, three Black heroes - former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, fresh out of an Israeli prison, New York City Councilman Charles Barron and M-1 of dead prez - and Viva Palestina organizer British Member of Parliament George Galloway's are interviewed by the world press. Yet U.S. media are silent. Read all about it right here.
Haitian priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste was a Jesus-like revolutionary. In jail and out, he preached liberation of the poor, release of prisoners, human rights for all and a fair distribution of wealth. Though he died May 27, he remains present in the hearts of millions. Watch a video he recorded just for SF Bay View.
Out of nowhere we were rammed and rammed again and rammed again ... by the Israelis. How did we know? Because they called us on the phone afterwards to tell us that we were engaging in subversive, terroristic activity.