One Brazilian family explained that the food they were provided in detention was cookies and chips.
In Mexico, the existing political structure is a dizzying patchwork of corruption. Government is sometimes indistinguishable from the notorious drug cartels. Perhaps that’s why indigenous candidates are now emerging, to give voice to the millions of people who were there before the Spanish came, to try to right the ship of state. Today, a woman called Marichuy is crossing the country seeking formal registration for office, but she calls herself a “non-candidate,” a woman content to be called an indigenous spokesperson.
We pour libations for Fats Domino, New Orleans musical legend, who died Oct. 24. He was 89. The Architect of Rock n’ Roll was the child of Haitian Kreyòl plantation workers and the grandson of an enslaved African. And we also pour libations for Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement (AIM), who made his transition Oct. 30. He was 80. Congratulations to Drs. Vera and Wade Nobles on their 50th wedding anniversary this month.
On Tuesday, June 20, more than 500 Stop Urban Shield activists became ungovernable at the end of a six-hour Berkeley City Council meeting once it was clear that the Council would not pull the Berkeley police out of Urban Shield 2017. As Mayor Jesse Arreguin and other councilors discussed tepid motions and then began voting, the crowd drowned them out chanting, “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
On Friday, Sept. 9, activists chained themselves to the entrances to the Alameda County Fairgrounds to protest Urban Shield, the highly controversial SWAT training and weapons expo hosted annually by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. Twenty-three activists were arrested, cited and released. Over 500 community members from many cities across California, joined the Stop Urban Shield Coalition in a massive mobilization, march and rally.
Mexico, John M. Ackerman wrote recently for Foreign Policy, “is not a functional democracy.” Instead, it’s a “repressive and corrupt” oligarchy propped up by a “blank check” from Washington. Since 2008, that blank check has come to over $2.5 billion appropriated in security aid through the Mérida Initiative. Clinton’s State Department overlooked human rights abuses and corruption while keeping a lucrative flow of contracts moving to U.S. security firms working in Mexico.
The Oakland International Film Festival is one of the premiere multi-cultural annual events in the Bay Area. Every year this festival educates Oakland and the surrounding area about the world around us, locally and internationally. I sat down with David Roach, the director of the Oakland International Film Festival, to discuss this year’s line-up and his take on what has been happening on the cinema scene and in Hollywood recently.
On March 9, 2015, U.S. President Obama issued an executive order declaring a “national emergency” affirming that “the situation in Venezuela” poses an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” This is the latest measure of U.S. imperialist meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation like the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and as such is strongly condemned by the Hands off Venezuela campaign.
Happy New Year! Happy Birthday to my granddaughter Brianna, niece Wilda and friend Fred T. I am still smiling about America’s new relationship with Cuba and the freed Cuban 5. If you are in New Orleans (NOLA), don’t miss “Prospect 3: Notes for Now,” the biennial there being celebrated throughout the city through Jan. 25.
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.
From now on we are going to connect each and every city and nation that has significant numbers of members of the African Diaspora. We will begin to communicate on a regular basis and plan economic projects to employ more and more workers and build more and more wealth via entrepreneurship. These dots of people of African descent will become the envy of the world. Oh, how resilient we have been. Now we will not only survive but begin to thrive.
On Monday, Nov. 25, President Barack Obama visited the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco to talk about his Common Sense Immigration Bill slowly making its way through the United States Congress. Immigration is always topical in a country where most of us are immigrants even in the visible absence of its First Peoples.
The strain of cholera brought to Haiti by Nepalese U.N. soldiers in 2010 has spread to the Dominican Republic, Cuba and now Mexico. In the past few months, Mexico has reported 176 confirmed cases of the disease, with one death. The Pan American Health Organization reported that the genetic profile of the strain in Mexico presents a greater than 95 percent match with the Haitian strain.
On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.
The 30,000 prisoners who have launched a hunger strike in the prisons of California in the United States are our brothers and sisters. All these men and women who refuse to be silent, who are right to rebel, who defend their dignity by defying a powerful government to which the European governments have bowed down deserve the respect and admiration of the whole world.
On July 25, a prisoner on hunger strike at the Doña Juana Penitentiary in Colombia died after having been refused medical treatment by his guards. He had been experiencing chest pains and asking to see a doctor, but his request was ignored. Soon the prisoner was dead from a heart attack. The next morning, 18 of the hunger strikers sewed their mouths shut in protest, and the hunger strike has risen to 176 participants.
On April 18, Rumec was economically and morally destabilized with the deportation of Comrade Miguel Suarez to his native Mexico. For over 10 years, Miguel has been at the forefront of the Mexican struggle, establishing strong bonds with the Black community and creating an environment for oppressed groups to establish business connections as well as maintaining a revolutionary agenda.
The solution must exist within our form of struggle. The resistance currently resonating across Latin America is not just saying “No” to what they do not want, but at the same time constructing what it is they want to see. They say it is no longer enough to be against a system of exploitation and domination, because we have the power to create the alternative.
A Dec. 11 report from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency lends credence to long-standing charges of contraception abuse against the Ethiopian Jews, or Falash Mura, in Israel. JTA cites a report in Hebrew on Israeli Educational Television charging that coercive contraception is behind a 50 percent decline in the Ethiopian birth rate in Israel over the past decade.
Monday, Nov. 26, at the Bay Area Black Media Awards event hosted by Greg Bridges and sponsored by the San Francisco Bay View and Block Report Radio, it was so wonderful to see all the media friends and family for an evening of celebration. KPOO, KPFA, New California Media/Pacific News Service, Wanda’s Picks Radio, Oakland Post, Globe, Poor News Network, Oakland International Film Festival, Black Panther newspaper alumni and others were in the house as “Best” this and “Best” that were saluted.