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What began as a local call for justice for Mike Brown has grown into a nationwide shout for justice. Mike Brown falls in a long line of others killed as a result of systemic racial bias and violence against Black and Brown communities. John Crawford III, Ezel Ford, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Amadou Diallo, Marilyn Banks and countless others named and unnamed have been killed through the excessive use of force by law enforcement. If you want to join in this national fight, sign up to organize locally and come to Ferguson, Missouri, Oct. 9-13.
They call themselves a “circle of fathers,” a group made up of people who know first-hand what Michael Brown’s family is experiencing. The young man’s shooting death by a Ferguson police officer has brought them together – again. The “circle of fathers” hopes some powerful new, young leaders will be formed by these experiences. From the activity on the streets around the country and online, I believe that’s already happening.
Of all the hundreds of police murders of young Black men in recent years, the two that sparked the strongest resistance and the largest rebellions were the BART police murder of Oscar Grant in Oakland on New Year’s Day, 2009, and now the Ferguson, Missouri, police murder of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014. Today we’re going to Ferguson, Missouri, to check in with the uncle of Oscar Grant, Cephus “Uncle Bobby” Johnson. Uncle Bobby is live on the ground in Ferguson.
The SF Bay View newspaper is working to gather enough funds to send JR Valrey to the frontlines in Ferguson, Missouri, site of the biggest protests against police terrorism since Oakland rose up to demand justice for Oscar Grant. They started Saturday, when a police officer murdered unarmed Michael Brown, 18, for walking in the roadway with his friend. Most corporate media is working to distort the story and demonize the righteous anger of the people. Michael’s family and friends and the people of Ferguson need the Black press to tell their truth.
The internet, founded by the U.S. government, was made accessible to the masses in the mid ‘90s. It has revolutionized how people access information and how quickly they can get information on almost anything from sources internationally. Now there is a battle going on between grassroots people across the country, small media organizations and media activists against a major attack on that speedy access by giant telecom and media conglomerates.
Members of the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, including (among others) the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, BART workers and AC Transit bus drivers, were appalled to hear that the Oakland Unified School District succumbed to pressure from the Fraternal Order of Police and the right-wing Fox News by shutting down the educational Urban Dreams website, which includes material on Mumia Abu-Jamal and Martin Luther King Jr.
The standing-room-only town hall was yelling above the police as they spoke about the murder on March 21 of young Raza organizer, City College of San Francisco student and beloved son de la mision (of the Mission), Alejandro Nieto, 28, by police in Bernal Heights Park. Join the march on Saturday, March 29, for Alex Nieto at 2 p.m. from Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission St., to Bernal Heights Park, San Francisco.
“Emmitt Till” does more than call attention to how Till’s death ignited the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in the ‘50s and ‘60s. It points to the quiet heroism of Mamie Till Mobley in the face of unspeakable horror and unrelieved terrorism. Come see this dynamic and inspirational play by Tavia Percia and the Tavia Percia Theatre Company: Saturday, Feb. 1, 7 and 9 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 2, 3 and 5 p.m., at the Eastside Arts Alliance, 2277 International Blvd, Oakland.
It has been five years since Oakland was set on fire during the Oakland Rebellions that were a result of the BART police murder of Oscar Grant. Los Angeles based journalist Thandisizwe Chimurenga is set to release her book, “No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant,” in the coming weeks. This book gives a much needed political analysis of what was at work behind the curtains of this monumental police murder case.
As a Black woman, to hear Ron Thomas declare, “What this means is that all of us need to be very afraid now … Police officers everywhere can beat us, kill us, do whatever they want because it was proven here today they can get away with it,” I automatically want to ask him where has he been?
The child’s destination was a friend’s house on a bright sunny day. The child had a toy. But Andy Lopez Cruz didn’t see his friend that day. Andy will not ever see any of his friends again. For within 10 seconds, the cops had rolled up behind him, reported him as suspicious, called for backup and shot him seven times. He was shot twice in the back before he hit the ground; he got a chance to scream “Stop” once and then he died.
Tracy Rosenberg is the executive director of Media Alliance, an action and resource organization in Oakland advocating just, accountable and diverse media. She has been a listener representative on the KPFA Local Station Board since 2007 and a member of the Pacifica National Board of Directors since 2010. We asked her to comment on the situation from her perch as an insider. Here’s what we talked about.
Who is this terrorist, this big bad JR Valrey who poses some sort of threat to the whole Pacifica network of five major radio stations around the country? First, he’s my friend and comrade at the Bay View, where we’ve worked together for over a dozen years, all his adult life. JR is our associate editor. During the same period, he’s also volunteered at KPFA radio, where his hard and highly acclaimed work finally won him a prime time show – Wednesdays at 8-9 a.m. – starting in May 2011. Immediately, listeners flocked to KPFA to hear this exciting new show.
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 community gathered at Jones Memorial United Methodist Church on Friday, July 12, to give accolades as the family of former San Francisco Supervisor Willie B. Kennedy observed obsequies for the stalwart leader who will be greatly missed. Almost 90 years of age, a well-lived life etched in our hearts, Willie B. Kennedy’s life of service gives us comfort.
There are not a lot of films where young Black men, throughout all of our tribulations with the police, the streets and society’s stereotypes, are able to be seen as protectors and providers for their family. “Fruitvale Station” is a great movie that people should go see, especially young Black males, because it is our story and it is told in such a delicate way, where you realize there are no angels and demons.
There was an ocean of signs in a sea of banners of struggle and liberation in front of Anaheim’s City Hall and the adjacent park on July 21, 2013. The signs held faces of those cut down in the prime of their lives in loving memory and detail. There were informational signs and signs with slogans of liberation, with demands, statements of fact and advice – such as “Fuck the system” and “FTP” (“Fuck the police”).
Ever since the George Zimmerman verdict was read finding him “not guilty” and justice for a murdered Trayvon Martin was denied, there’s been a nationwide outcry for us as a country to sit down and have a serious conversation about race. President Obama encouraged us to have these conversations on race locally at home, amongst friends, at church and amongst our colleagues at work.
Trayvon Martin’s mother and father have my deepest sympathies and condolences in this tragic loss and travesty of justice. I would urge them to turn grief into strength and find peaceful, insightful means to fight for real change in honor of their child. The media blitz over Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman has been in-depth, saturating mainstream news for days before, during and now after the trial – commenting on every aspect of this case. It has completely obscured the current hunger strike by tens of thousands of California prisoners protesting prolonged solitary confinement.
We want to affect the city of San Francisco’s economic system in order to allow our voices to be heard. We are asking those who stand in solidarity against police brutality and those who would like to help organize and/or endorse the shutdown to contact the Kenneth Harding Jr. Foundation at (415) 505-6331, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.