In the wake of public outcry over the latest police shooting, of Mario Woods, an unarmed African American, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr has revived his previous call to equip his officers with electronic stun guns, also called electronic control weapons (ECWs). With similar cases in Chicago, New York and Miami, New America Media’s Paul Kleyman interviewed Aram James, a leading opponent of ECWs, about their risks.
Beneath the banner “Justice or Else,” this march appeared different from the Oct. 20, 1995, event. Minister Louis Farrakhan called for an end to police violence against African Americans and demanded a halt to Black-on-Black crime, which kills more inner-city men than all other causes combined. The Nation of Islam leader used the occasion of the 20th anniversary commemoration of the Million Man March at the steps of the U.S. Capitol to condemn the loss of life of Blacks.
The U.S. State Department recently released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, posing as the world judge of human rights again. As in previous years, the reports are full of carping and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China. However, the U.S. turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and never said a word about it.
A Dec. 4, 2012, ACLU letter to SF Mayor Ed Lee urged rejecting any SFPD proposal “to deploy tasers or other conductive energy devices”. The letter emphasizes that costly tasers would generate heavy legal fees from officer overuse and abuse, posing serious injury and death risks, especially to SFPD’s targeted populations: people in public mental health crisis and people of color.
Gualberto Lopez and German Cabrera, both in the Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) at Calipatria State Prison as "alleged associates of a prison gang," write about the inhumane, torturous treatment in segregation, Institutional Gang Investigators and the corrupt validation process, as well as the targeting of Mexicans/Latinos/Hispanics.
Nothing is more dangerous to a system that depends on misinformation than a voice that obeys its own dictates and has the courage to speak out. George Jackson’s imprisonment and further isolation within the prison system were clearly a function of the state’s response to his outspoken opposition to the capitalist structure. George was one of the brilliant minds of the 20th century, passionately involved with liberating not only himself, but all of us.
Political activists around the country are still absorbing the news of Geronimo ji Jaga’s death. His commitment, humility, clear thinking as well as his sense of both the longevity and continuity of the Black Freedom Movement in the U.S. all stood out to those who knew him.
From March 29th through the 31st, the National Urban League brings its fight for urban jobs to Capitol Hill with its 2011 Legislative Policy Conference. This year’s summit will make the case for targeted action to tackle the persistent unemployment crisis in Black America.
Ishmael Reed is one of the most read writers of his generation, along with Toni Morrison and Amiri Baraka, living in America. In 1962, Reed co-founded “East Village Other,” a well known underground publication at the time, and was a member of the Umbra Writers Workshop, which helped to give rise to the Black Arts Movement. He has published nine novels, four collections of poetry, six plays, four collections of essays and a libretto. He currently lives in Oakland, and I approached him one day while he was visiting KPFA’s studios to ask him what he thought about the state of affairs between the police and Oakland’s Black community, with the backdrop of the police murder of Oscar Grant and, in a separate incident, the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, after Mixon allegedly killed four Oakland police officers.
The Public Defender’s Office will be forced to lay off seven attorneys and five staff members and eliminate the BMAGIC and Mo’ MAGIC programs if $1.6 million is cut from the office’s budget, as proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom. Show the Board of Supervisors your support for the Public Defender’s Office on Tuesday, July 21, 2 p.m., City Hall Room 250. Give them a call today.
California’s adoption of mandatory minimums, drive for three-strikes laws and participation in the nationwide “War on Drugs” campaign of the 1980s has created a burgeoning prison system fractured along racial, humanitarian and economic lines.