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I tried my best to encourage the brothers to stand up

A call for a national work stoppage was issued for Sept. 9, 2016, to inmates all across America to bring an end to the “exception” – the slavery clause – in the U.S. Constitution’s 13th Amendment upholding slavery for prisoners. Sadly, I, along with a very small sprinkle of inmates here and there on “the farm” (a reference to Angola, a former slave plantation turned into the largest prison in the country) answered the call.

Concerning reactionaries and thugs: The New Black Panther Party

Like many of my comrades, original Black Panther Party members, I have for years watched these strutting caricatures who call themselves the New Black Panther Party and expressed my disgust. But now I have had enough – they have crossed a line. Their most recent attack on our comrade, former member of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, Dhoruba bin-Wahad on Aug. 8, 2015, needs to be addressed in no uncertain terms.

Baltimore ‘shuts it down’ for Freddie Gray

Hundreds of people took to the streets here on Saturday to demonstrate against police brutality and call for accountability for the police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old who died April 19 as the result of a severe spinal injury that occurred when he was taken into custody a week earlier. Demonstrators chanted “shut it down.”

Houston needs a civilian review board – but Texas needs much...

For the past four years, community activists and civil rights leaders in the Houston area have been fighting hard to establish a civilian review board with prosecutorial power over local police. The board would oversee the activities of a Houston Police Department (HPD) which has had a “love affair” with the use of excessive and lethal force on Houstonians. The problem with HPD is much larger than it appears and affects everyone in Houston.

Video of vicious police beating of 15-year-old suppressed for nine months...

For nine months after 15-year-old Chad Holley, charged with burglary, accused the Houston police of viciously beating him when he had surrendered and was lying face down – like Oscar Grant – on the ground, the people who run Houston refused to release a video of the beating.

Lucasville hunger strikers’ support rally outside Ohio State Penitentiary on MLK’s...

Three prisoners sentenced to death for their leadership of the 1993 Lucasville rebellion, now at Ohio State Penitentiary, have been on hunger strike since Jan. 3. An Open Letter that will be presented to prison officials at tomorrow's rally has collected more than 500 signatures from Ohio, many other states and all across the globe, among them many prominent citizens. Buses are bringing supporters from far and wide to the rally.

Prisoners’ hunger strike enters second week

“So much energy is coming from all over. I’m just trying to hang on and ride the wave,” wrote political prisoner Bomani Shakur Jan. 6, the third day of his hunger strike at Ohio State Penitentiary.

Lucasville prison uprising leaders go on hunger strike

Four death-sentenced prisoners, wrongfully convicted of crimes following the 1993 prison rebellion in Lucasville, Ohio, started a hunger strike Jan. 3. They say they would rather die, if they must, on their own terms, rather than on a gurney by lethal injection. They want to strike a blow against confinement conditions so inhumane that they amount to torture.

Mumia must live and be free! End the racist death penalty!

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets outside the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals here and around the world Nov. 9, demanding that Mumia Abu-Jamal must live and be free and that the U.S. must abolish the death penalty and end racist killings and brutality by police.

KKK vs. New Black Panthers in Paris, Texas

Madness went down in Paris, Texas, on Tuesday, July 21, as members of the New Black Panther Party and white supremacists squared off. The trouble took place when skinheads descended upon a rally held by members of the Black community to protest the Jasper-style dragging death of Brandon McClelland last September by two white men.

The Great Harlem Debate: Was the Obama Election Good for Black...

This past Sunday over 1,200 people showed up at Salem Methodist Church in Harlem to listen and weigh in on a discussion that has been raging on in our communities but is oftentimes swept under the rug.

Keeping the pressure on in Paris, Texas

Driven by a hurting mother's call for justice, nearly 300 protesters from across the state and country converged on the lawn of the Lamar County Courthouse to speak out about the fatal dragging of 24-year-old Brandon McClelland.

Jasper-style lynching in Paris, Texas

On the 10th anniversary of the lynching of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas, Brandon McClelland, a 24-year-old Black man in nearby Paris, Texas, was dragged to his death on Sept. 16 by two White men. On Oct. 5, parts of Brandon's skull were still on the ground and local officials were still denying this lynching was a hate crime.

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Sacramento PD arrests 12-year-old Black child, places plastic bag over his...

Let there be no mistake. Shooting and killing an unarmed Black woman, who professed to be pregnant in Houston, Texas, or “bagging” a small in stature 12-year-old in Sacramento must be called out for what it is. These actions are more reflective of the practices of “slave catchers” and “Jim Crow” era law enforcers than of proper urban policing techniques focused on de-escalation and by governments truly committed to empower police officers to “protect and to serve” our entire community.

Marie Harrison, mother of the movement for environmental justice

Remember the many years Marie Harrison owned the back page of the Bay View? She defined what “speaking truth to power” means. With headlines like “We’ve always survived your whip and your noose,” and observations like “Voter education isn’t just somebody educating the voters. It’s the voters educating the people they elect,” as we carry on without her, we must infuse every fight with her courage.

Statewide day of action for educational equity in California’s public schools

May 22nd is a statewide day of action calling on the California state legislature to fully fund its public schools. In Sacramento, teachers, students and families will spend the day lobbying and gathering in and around the capitol to demand change. Solidarity actions will also take place throughout the state in numerous schools and public spaces. If you stand in solidarity with us, but cannot attend any of the actions, please sign my petition at http://chng.it/wwPR6mwBGn to support our publicly educated future leaders.

‘Far, Far Better Things’ playing through May 19 at Live Oak...

It is easy to become what you know, so easy. What’s difficult is resisting. Unresolved trauma haunts the gene pool. A son, Josh (actor Yohana Ansari-Thomas) witnesses his mother’s murder or its aftermath – Dad’s bloody shirt and subsequent kidnapping of the children until he is captured. This same boy, now man, still has unresolved memories of that day when his mom was shot and the housekeeper “stood there and did nothing.”

In tribute to Marie Harrison: Until our very last breath

You’ve been an especially effective, strong, patient and articulate voice confronting forces that do not respect human rights or human life. You’ve told these opportunists firmly and politely that every human being on earth has the right to live and raise their children and see their grandchildren thrive in pollution-free places and to breathe clean air without toxins.