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Wanda’s Picks for September 2014

Congratulations to William Rhodes on a successful trip to South Africa, where he took a quilt created by his students at Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School in San Francisco to honor the legacy of an international hero, President Nelson Mandela, and returned with art panels from workshops conducted with youth in various townships and regions from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

Rod Starz of Rebel Diaz: Ten important observations to know about...

Nothing in this country will ever be the same after what is going on in Ferguson. This is our generation’s calling! Those young people are the bravest and most resilient souls I have ever encountered. Think about it! Without any weapons and being heavily outnumbered, they have fought back against the police for 10 days! Darren Wilson the cop who killed Mike Brown is still free. And they youth of Ferguson say, “If we don’t get no justice, then they don’t get no peace!” Rod Starz’ story is illustrated with some amazing photos by Minister of Information JR Valrey.

To celebrate the movement: The California prisoner hunger strike one year...

One year ago on July 8, 30,000 California prisoners refused meals and work assignments, beginning a 60-day hunger strike with the core demand of ending the state’s use of indefinite solitary confinement. This was the largest hunger strike in U.S. history, and it presented the deepest challenge yet to solitary by bringing national and international attention to a practice that has long been condemned by human rights groups as torture.

Events worldwide commemorate mass California hunger strike first anniversary

Prison family members, formerly incarcerated persons, opponents of solitary confinement and mass incarceration and others in Pennsylvania will be fasting and making calls to Gov. Corbett and Department of Corrections Secretary Wetzel on July 8 to join the California Families Against Solitary Confinement and supporters around the country and the world in commemorating the one-year anniversary of the California prison hunger strike.

Californians gaining momentum against prison and jail expansion

Anti-prison expansion activists across California have had a busy spring pushing back against controversial expansion plans. Members of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) acted swiftly last month to defeat two legislative bills which would have rammed forward over $4 billion in prison and jail construction money [AB 2356 (Gorell) and SB 1377 (Nielson)].

Formerly Incarcerated People’s Policy Academy launches in Los Angeles

Typically we don’t show up to the fight until several of us have been shot. We don’t show up early on not because we don’t care, but because in general we don’t know how. That’s why Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) is establishing a policy academy to increase civic participation by formerly incarcerated people, both locally and statewide. Our first training drew 50 people to the Watts Labor Center in Los Angeles.

Wanda’s Picks for November 2013

Gina M. Paige explained that the organization, African Ancestry, started with Dr. Rick Kittles, genetic researcher at Howard University who was interested in isolating the gene that caused prostate cancer, one of the leading causes of death in our community. He found this research methodology applicable in other genetic detective research and so in 2003 African Ancestry was founded with Ms. Paige.

Democrats cave in to another round of sequestration budget cuts

The attack on low-income families in the Section 8 voucher program (Housing Choice Voucher Program) in Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco and across the nation intensified Sept. 27 when the U.S. Senate voted to continue with the catastrophic across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration with their vote for the Reid-Mikulski Amendment No. 1974 to House Joint Resolution 59.

LA advocates decry governor’s prison expansion compromise, moving prisoners to private...

On Wednesday, faith, health and human services, housing, education and criminal justice reform advocates will have a press conference and rally at the State Building, 300 South Spring St., calling on the Legislature to immediately reduce the prison population and invest tax dollars in programs that create healthy and safe communities.

Amid a week of rallies in support of prison hunger strikers,...

California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano issued a statement Thursday urging CDCR to meet with prisoner hunger strike mediators and work toward meeting the prisoners’ demands. Prisoners throughout California have been on hunger strike for 25 days. Demonstrators demanded that the CDCR and governor negotiate with strikers immediately and end any and all retaliations against their protest.

The Jackson Plan: Lessons from Jackson, Mississippi

Chokwe Lumumba, a veteran of the Black Liberation and New African Independence movements, was elected mayor of Jackson on June 2, 2013. Jackson is the capital of Mississippi and is a city that is over 85 percent Black. If the election of Obama to the presidency of the United States constituted the alleged end of the Black Liberation Movement, the election of Chokwe Lumumba must then represent its resurrection.

California prisoners challenge solitary confinement with largest hunger strike in state...

Prisoners in California have entered their 10th day of a statewide hunger strike to fight back against what they call inhumane conditions. The prisoners’ demands include a call for adequate and nutritious food, an end to group punishment, and stopping long-term solitary confinement where more than 3,000 prisoners are held in the isolation with no human contact and no windows – some of them for more than a decade.

LA mayor holds contractors accountable for lack of Blacks hired on...

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and local Black community activists were outraged at the appallingly low percentage of Blacks working. The mayor demanded a more aggressive campaign to ensure Black participation and increase employment among African Americans as part of advanced utility relocation activities for the Crenshaw-LAX Transit Corridor Project.

Cynthia McKinney tours Cali wit’ her new book ‘Ain’t Nothing Like...

Six term congresswoman, ‘08 Green Party presidential candidate and international peace activist Cynthia McKinney has been willing to risk her life to represent for Black people, fearlessly investigating such hot issues as Katrina, Haiti, the Congo, Libya and more. Currently she is writing her Ph.D. dissertation on President Hugo Chavez and attended his recent funeral in Caracas. Meet this warm and courageous woman at Bay View fundraisers Wednesday, April 24, at the Laney College Forum, 900 Fallon St., Oakland, at 6:30 p.m., and on Thursday, April 25, at the Arlene Francis Center, 99 Sixth St., Santa Rosa, at 7 p.m.

Fukushima two years later: Basic guide

March 11 will make the second anniversary of the triple catastrophes that occurred in Japan: the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima. Over the last two years people are asking whether the Fukushima nuclear disaster is worse than what occurred in 1986 in Chernobyl.

The justice in Christopher Dorner’s rebellion

Rebellions aren’t pretty, clean or politically correct. Christopher Dorner rebelled. He waged psychological warfare against law enforcement, and it worked. They were afraid. It showed that the police do not have the type of training to take on just one person who is determined and who is skilled. Imagine if they were facing an entire movement.

How the media tried to assassinate Chris Dorner

Christopher Jordan Dorner is dead, but his words and actions will continue to impact the Los Angeles area and beyond for quite some time. The former U.S. Navy lieutenant and Los Angeles police officer who is alleged to have shot and killed four people early in February was the subject of the largest manhunt in Southern California history.

Prisoners’ families and advocates to speak out at legislative hearing Feb....

Family members, advocates, lawyers, activists and others from across California will travel to Sacramento on Monday to speak out against the state prison system’s continued use of solitary confinement. Hundreds are expected to gather for a rally outside the Capitol Building and will then attend a California State Assembly Public Safety Committee oversight hearing, convened to review the CDCR’s “revised regulations” of its notorious SHUs. Rally starts 11:30 Capitol West Side.

Wanted dead, not alive: LAPD is afraid of what renegade cop...

Let’s not be too quick to dismiss the “ranting” of renegade LAPD officer Chris Dorner. Dorner, a three-year police veteran and former lieutenant in the U.S. Navy who went rogue after being fired by the LAPD, has accused Los Angeles police of systematically using excessive force, of corruption, of being racist and of firing him for raising those issues through official channels.

Chowchilla Freedom Rally to draw hundreds of Bay Area residents to...

Hundreds of Bay Area residents will be getting on buses and into cars Saturday morning, Jan. 26, making the long trek to Chowchilla where they will join hundreds of other Californians at a Freedom Rally in protest of horrendous living conditions in the notorious prison, Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF). Let’s make enough noise so that the decision makers in Sacramento have no choice but to hear our demands! Solidarity actions are encouraged! Read more for when, where and how to get there ...

Latest News

Recommendations for release, transition and care for people inside

Following up on “Justice organizations call on California Gov. Newsom to act now to reduce COVID-19 risks in state prisons,” The Justice Collaborative sent these more specific and detailed recommendations to key members of Gov. Newsom’s administration.

Outside organizers start a hotline to support incarcerated people through the...

We encourage incarcerated people and family members to call 510-301-9403 or email prisonsareunhealthy@protonmail.com with any urgent information regarding the status of COVID-19 inside prisons, jails, detention and so-called medical facilities.

If all lives matter, lift U.S. sanctions against Iran to curb...

I’d like to put to the test the moral commitment of every Amerikan who jumped on and rode the “all lives matter” bandwagon.

California prisoners seek federal court action to lower population levels

Correctional experts explain that the release of vulnerable populations – who are overwhelmingly older, seriously mentally ill, physically disabled, and/or chronically ill – presents little or no public safety risk of recidivism, while correctional medical and mental health experts predict that failure to reduce the prison population would result in increased numbers of deaths.

COVID-19 test kits needed for Federal Bureau of Prisons now! Screening...

COVID-19 test kits must be provided for employees and prisoners who work and are housed in facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I have engaged in some investigative journalism and discovered that prison administrators at the Federal Correctional Complex at Pollock, Louisiana, have ordered screening for all federal employees entering the federal prison complex at Pollock daily, but because of a shortage of COVID-19 test kits, the BOP employees are not being tested!