Speech delivered at the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March Aug. 19, 2017, in Washington, D.C.: Let me tell you what’s going on here today. This is the largest gathering of slavery abolitionists in the history of the United States, happening right here today. In 16 cities across America, they are marching in unison with us and in solidarity with us, and they’re not doing it to end mass incarceration. They’re doing it to end what? (Slavery!) Slavery.
Africa’s elite and the elite internationally have concluded the African Development Bank’s 50th anniversary celebrations and annual meeting under the theme: “The Next 50 Years: The Africa We Want.” Over 3,500 delegates, seven African heads of state, the governor of the Central Bank of China and the U.S. deputy secretary of treasury were among the dignitaries. Beneath the confident calm, Africa is on edge, and the participants in Kigali were aware.
Solitary confinement does little or nothing to promote public safety or prison safety. It is not only harmful but unnecessary and incredibly costly. Violence levels plummeted by 70 percent of previous levels when the commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections reduced the number of prisoners held in solitary confinement by 85 percent.
With 54.42 percent of a record-turnout vote, Hugo Chávez has won a fourth term as president of Venezuela, in a race widely recognized as a crucial struggle between the progressive forces of the “Bolivarian Revolution” and the right-wing opposition of U.S.-backed Henrique Capriles.
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.
As Gabby told the New York Times in June: “I have an advantage because I’m the underdog and I’m Black and no one thinks I’d ever win. Well, I’m going to inspire so many people. Everybody will be talking about, how did she come up so fast? But I’m ready to shine.” Shine she did. Dominique Dawes, the great African-American gymnast who won team gold in 1996, exclaimed: “I feel like Gabby is my child or something. I am so anxious for her to win. I know it will have an enormous impact on encouraging African-Americans and other minorities to go into the sport of gymnastics.”
City College of San Francisco will train former prisoners to be community health workers to help chronically ill patients released from prison navigate the care system, find primary care and other medical and social services, and coach them in chronic disease management.
Prisoners in the Security Housing Units, SHUs, at Pelican Bay and Corcoran state prisons in California are beginning an indefinite hunger strike on July 1, 2011, to protest the cruel and inhumane conditions of their imprisonment in what is being called “an unusual show of racial unity.” Breaking news: Prisoners at Centinela have joined the hunger strike. A prisoner there reports: “Only a few inmates are walking the yard. No Blacks or Hispanics have left their cells. No one has gone to work. He said all the races are united in this fight.”
Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human will be leaving from unspecified ports in the Mediterranean in late June to break the siege on Gaza carrying about a thousand journalists, teachers, students, attorneys, human rights activists, members of parliament and others from 22 countries.
Congressman Barney Frank has amended the financial services bill to discourage development banks supported by the U.S. not to assist nations engaging in gross human rights violations.
Jalil is asking that we write letters supporting his 2009 parole, which has been postponed for 30 to 90 days for lack of records. This means the hearing could occur as early as Oct. 22 and as late as the end of December. It is believed that they want a new victim impact statement and the sentencing minutes from California. In the interim he said we need to continue efforts to build support. Please write a letter and urge others to do so, addressing the letters to the Parole Commissioners (Re: Parole application of Anthony Jalil Bottom #77A4283) but send to: NYC Jericho, P.O. Box 1272, New York, NY 10013.
Blacks and Latinos in the United States have long complained of police harassment and racial profiling, but no one paid much attention until July 16 this year, when the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates at his home on a “disorderly conduct” charge – read for being an uppity Negro or forgetting his place.
Harvard professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates is arguably the most prominent Black intellectual in the U.S. On July 14, cops in Cambridge, Massachusetts, forced him to do a perp walk from his own home to a police car in handcuffs. The charge was disorderly conduct, but Gates’ real offense was being Black and unwilling to bow and scrape when ordered to do so by a white cop.