After 12 years I have finally made it to a halfway house. Through my entire struggle behind the walls, your paper has played a major part in my political and cultural awareness. I could not have done it without you. My mission is to become a success story by giving recidivism a black eye and preventing these younger brothers from contributing to genocide as I once did when I was young and unpoliticized.
Sometimes one gets tired of living in a place that doesn’t want you there, Zaccho Artistic Director, Joanna Haigood, states at the reception Thursday at the California Historical Society. The only problem is 154 years later, Black people are still unwelcome in San Francisco, which is what “Sailing Away” addresses so eloquently without words.
A bill opposing the shackling of pregnant prisoners, AB 2530, passed unanimously by the California State Legislature, is now on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, with 30 days to either approve or veto it. Last year, a previous version of this bill was also passed unanimously by the legislature, but it was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Brown. AB 2530 supporters have created two webpages for the public to contact the governor.
The conclusion of a recent report of a Japanese parliamentary panel that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster was rooted in government-industry “collusion” and thus was “man-made” is mirrored throughout the world. “Regulatory capture” is the pattern among nuclear agencies right up to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“It has been 33 days since these men have eaten. We must move swiftly or people are going to start dying,” writes Delma Jackson, wife of Miguel Jackson, the prisoner who was beaten with a hammer in retaliation for his role in the December 2010 mass sit-down strike protesting slave labor and other atrocities.
Since June 10 an undetermined number of Georgia prisoners have been on a hunger strike. Some of these men are the Jackson State prison strikers. After two weeks, according to the families of Miguel Jackson and Preston Whiting, they are weak from hunger and subject to fainting spells. But they seem to believe they have little to lose. They are, a letter from one of them asserts, “starving for change.” We must demand justice for Miguel Jackson and other Georgia state prisoners who are being targeted and brutalized for exposing their inhumane conditions and standing up for their most basic human rights.
On May 22, brave prisoners at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison began a hunger strike. A recently released prisoner discusses torture at Red Onion: “having your fingers broken, being bitten by dogs, being strapped to beds for days, being forced to defecate on yourself – I mean all of this has led to these men demanding to be treated as human beings.”
Excitement filled the sanctuary as five generations sat in the audience waiting to hear a legend speak. Oakland’s Beebe Memorial Cathedral was packed from the main floor to the church balcony. The congregation jumped to their feet and clapped for over five minutes when the moderator said, “Tonight we will hear from Congressman John Lewis!”
Professor Michelle Alexander’s new book “The New Jim Crow” is a monumental, well researched piece of work that presents documented facts in down to earth English about the mass incarceration of Black people within the United States’ national concentration camp system. At one point in “The New Jim Crow,” Professor Alexander presents evidence that more Black people are enslaved behind bars today than were enslaved on the plantations in 1850, before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
The Oakland International Film Festival is Friday-Sunday, April 6-8, at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Street, Oakland. Visit http://www.oiff.org/2012schedule.pdf. This year’s headliner is one of the most controversial independent films ever made, “The Spook Who Sat by the Door.” Watch it again here.
Imam Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) is one of the most revered Black revolutionary leaders from the ‘60s who is alive today. He was a legendary organizer with SNCC and briefly with the Black Panther Party, then later in an Islamic community in the West End of Atlanta, Georgia. This is one of the true fathers of rap music. Atlanta will rally Monday, March 19, 3-5 p.m., at the Georgia Capitol, 206 Washington St., to bring Imam Jamil back to Georgia from federal prison in Florence, Colo.
A year ago this month, Black, White and Brown inmates in a dozen Georgia prisons staged a brief strike. They put forward a set of simple and basic demands – wages for work, decent food and medical care, access to educational and self-improvement programs, fairness and more.
On Nov. 25, Hancock State Prison in Sparta, Georgia, erupted into a full scale riot, as prisoners ran off the guards in several of the cell houses (euphemistically called dormitories, as though this was a college campus) in protest over abuses by guards and grievances unresolved by administrators.
We have just finished commemorating the 40th anniversary of the assassination of our beloved Comrade George Jackson. Not forgotten by us was the horrific massacre perpetrated by the state of New York at Attica. At the time, we were in the adjustment center at San Quentin mourning our loss and recovering from the brutality inflicted upon us in the aftermath of the Aug. 21 incident when the state murdered our comrade.
Third-party presidential candidate George Wallace, the former governor of Alabama, was in Omaha in March 1968 to qualify his American party in Nebraska. Wallace had arrived in Omaha on Sunday, the day before, and held an angry news conference to provoke a large turnout at his rally.
“I just think my mother died of a broken heart, but she made sure we were strong enough to deal with this,” said Martina Correia, Troy Davis' sister. “It’s not just the inmate who is on Death Row. That whole family is on Death Row.”
I visited the residence of the Qaddafi family, bombed to smithereens by NATO. For a leader, the house seemed small in comparison, say, to the former Clinton family home in Chappaqua or the Obama family home. It was a small house in a typical residential area in Tripoli, surrounded by dozens of other family homes.
There is a popular myth which explains President Barack Obama’s reluctance to stand up to Pentagon militarists, Wall Street banksters and corporate greedheads. The myth is that he really does want to do all these things, but we the people have abandoned our responsibility to “make him do it.”
How wonderful to be at a conference (the International Conference on Global Alliance Against Terrorism for a Just Peace in Tehran, Iran) where the word “love” is used; we are here because we love humankind. We are here from all corners of the earth; we are against terrorism; we want peace.
Over the past 10 years, any KPFA manager who attempted anything that did not meet the approval of a small core group of staff members – the foxes in the henhouse – met with so much hostility and non-cooperation that the job became nearly impossible to do.