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By now, many of you may have had the opportunity to view the brilliant screenwriter-director Ryan Coogler’s film, “Black Panther,” which was produced and distributed by the for-profit European-American owned and operated Marvel and Walt Disney corporations. For the past few weeks, people of differing ages and nationalities have been flashing the cross-armed “‘Wakanda’ Forever” sign. i will not at this time debate the neo-colonialist and imperialistic politics of this technically-stunning visual work.
Lifelong freedom fighter and field secretary and founding member of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party Ronald Elder Freeman made his transition on Oct. 8, 2014, after a long and valiant battle with cancer. Ironically, Elder Freeman’s brother, Roland Freeman – the two were born only a year apart and were, they say, as close as twins – died exactly a week after Elder as he was preparing to bring Elder’s ashes back to California.
“I just got a call from a very happy Cisco who got the news yesterday that the case against him was dismissed,” writes Kiilu Nyasha. “The San Francisco 8 case dragged on for over four years while we struggled to mount a campaign to free them.”
Bay Area journalist JR Valrey, the voice behind Block Report Radio on KPFA and associate editor of SF Bay View, known as the Minister of Information, reports vital news about the struggle against oppression. In the 31 interviews in his new book, "Block Reportin'," he shows what he calls the "big gap between what is going on in the world and what is being reported. I want to inspire people to become their own media and to truly speak on behalf of the people." Meet JR at his first book signing Saturday, March 19, 6:30 p.m., at Marcus Books, 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland.
As San Francisco grapples with a looming budget crisis, Public Defender Jeff Adachi is seeking $2 million in state reimbursement to the City for its defense of eight men charged in a 1971 homicide case involving a police officer. The city’s right to reimbursement is based on the fact that the California Attorney General took on the 36-year-old case after the San Francisco District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute.
Let there be absolutely no misunderstanding about this plea I took. The SF8 case was complex, and not everyone in the case had the same legal issues. Because of this, I took a plea because I believed it was the right thing to do for me and the case itself. And this could well make my parole chances in New York even more difficult. Still, the plea was well worth taking because it led to Jalil Muntaqim’s plea, which resulted in charges being dismissed against Hank Jones, Ray Boudreaux, Harold Taylor and Richard Brown – but, unfortunately, not Francisco Torres. There is hope still that charges against Cisco will be dismissed, and if he should go to trial, we support him.
Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim are both well aware that there is no justice in the U.S. courts for us – there’s just us, as we used to say. Jalil did a great job of making sure all four co-defendants would have their charges dropped before making this decision that I know he did not want to make.
What was amazing about the hearing Monday was the prosecution’s admission that it didn’t have enough evidence to convict these men. As attorney Daro Inouye said of Jalil Muntaqim, who pled no contest to the prosecution’s charge of conspiracy, his client picked up a loaded grenade to save his brothers, his friends, his fellow defendants, and he didn’t plead guilty. That language did not pass his lips.
San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar announced June 8 to 300 people rallying at 850 Bryant that he would introduce a resolution to the Board of Supervisors calling on California Attorney General Jerry Brown to drop the charges against the San Francisco 8. "San Francisco does not tolerate torture," he said, braving the wrath of the Police Officers Association, who evidently tolerate torture in defense of one of their own.