We ask you, Gov. Brown, to set an example. In their time, the U.S. Army consigned the inhumane prison conditions at Dachau to the trash heap of history. The same thing should happen now to the unbearable prison conditions in the prisons of the United States – and especially the prisons in the State of California, which you govern.
It is hot enough in Corcoran, California, to melt people. That being said, it still wasn’t hot enough to keep upwards of 400 people from braving 103-degree weather to mobilize and rally at Corcoran State Prison in support of over 30,000 prisoners on hunger strike in California. The immediate goal is to stop the cruelty and torture that being held in isolation represents. The long-range objective is liberation.
From Palestine to California, prisoners are organizing to end torture in prison and prison as a form of repression of popular movements and poor communities of color. Members of IJAN have been following and supporting the organizing of California prisoners, who are prepared to go on indefinite hunger strike starting July 8 to demand an end to long-term solitary confinement and other abuses.
Mass incarceration is deeply racialized, as one third of young Black men are in the criminal justice system. Prisoner resistance and political action has been sharply repressed. Solitary confinement is a mechanism of torture, from Palestine to Pelican Bay to Guantanamo, and we stand in solidarity with the courageous prisoners who challenge isolation and oppression.
On June 20, a growing group of organizations gathered at Community House in Salt River to form the NObama Coalition Cape Town, aligning itself to the already formed NObama Johannesburg. The aim of the coalition is to mobilize widespread protest against Obama’s visit to Africa while exposing U.S. imperialism.
Pro-Israel forces inside the U.S. are willing to use their money to buy political influence and protection for Israel across the political spectrum. I do believe that much of the suffering could be alleviated if we would put sufficient energy and resources behind putting out in public view how the pro-Israel lobby misdirects U.S. and European policies and prevents pro-peace and justice politicians from ever having the opportunity to put those values, along with our basic human dignity, permanently on the table for public debate. - Cynthia McKinney
It is one of the ironies of history that the descendants of the beleaguered Warsaw Ghetto in Poland, subjected to the bitter hatreds and repression of the Nazis, have established an entire sea of the oppressed and impoverished on their periphery: the open-air prison ghettoes of Palestine, Gaza and the West Bank.
There are many great programs for youth in the San Francisco Bay Area – among them, AileyCamp at Cal Performances, Destiny Arts, Oaktown Jazz Workshop, Dimensions Extensions and Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, founded by Angela Wellman.
Rising animosity toward African migrants in Israel has reached a boiling point. People were beaten on the streets, and their businesses were looted amid calls for the banning and deportations of Africans. Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians have likened migrant workers and small businesspeople from Africa to a “cancer” on society. Outside a fire-bombed building where 18 people live, racists had painted, “Get out of the neighborhood.”
On May 22, brave prisoners at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison began a hunger strike. A recently released prisoner discusses torture at Red Onion: “having your fingers broken, being bitten by dogs, being strapped to beds for days, being forced to defecate on yourself – I mean all of this has led to these men demanding to be treated as human beings.”
"We need a knowledge of self in order to counter the negative imagery and influences ... People who know their history are in a better position to defend themselves and advance their own interests than people who do not," says historian Runoko Rashidi, who discusses the strong Black influence on Europe.
Life isn’t fair: Too many kids and not enough food, fat cats bringing in all the money and government services like free hospitals and free education is not free for those who need it because, like everywhere, bureaucracy breeds corruption, whether we are in Madagascar or the United States.
"Most people realize that crime is simply the result of a grossly disproportionate distribution of wealth and privilege ... an aspect of class struggle from the outset. Throughout its history, the United States has used its prisons to suppress any organized efforts to challenge its legitimacy," wrote George Jackson in "Blood in My Eye."
Libya is a small country of just over 6 million people, but it possesses the largest oil reserves in all of Africa. The oil produced there is especially coveted because of its particularly high quality. The Air Force of the United States along with Britain and France has carried out 7,459 bombing attacks since March 19. Britain, France and the United States sent special operation ground forces and commando units to direct the military operations of the so-called rebel fighters – it is a NATO-led army in the field.
Why am I going on the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza? It seems to me that during this period of eldering it is good to reap the harvest of one’s understanding of what is important, and to share this, especially with the young. How are they to learn, otherwise?
How wonderful to be at a conference (the International Conference on Global Alliance Against Terrorism for a Just Peace in Tehran, Iran) where the word “love” is used; we are here because we love humankind. We are here from all corners of the earth; we are against terrorism; we want peace.
The racism of the American “war on drugs,” especially in the South, is notorious. So is the racism faced daily by Palestinians. In Atlanta, a university program allows these two manifestations of racism to feed off each other and community activists are organizing to shut the program down.
I am pleased to stand with my colleagues today who are outraged at Nobel Peace Laureate President Obama’s decision to wage war on Africa in Libya. At the outset, let me state that Libya is home to tens of thousands of foreign students and guest workers. The students come from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. The messages I have received from concerned Africans state that these young, innocent people, inaccurately labeled by the U.S. press as “Black mercenaries,” have been trapped in hostile territory and are hated by the U.S.-allied Al Qaeda insurgents.
The fundamental stimulus of the attack on Libya is greed, not the protection of the Libyan people. In fact, the people of Libya have suffered more during this bombardment by Western powers and their allies than during the entire 41 years of the leadership of Muammar al-Gaddafi. We must be clear that the attack on Libya is an attack on Africa. The great danger of the attacks on Libya is that they are being used by the U.S. to test the effectiveness of AFRICOM, the African Command, and this adventure will open the door to direct military intervention in Africa.
Once again, the world is rising up against oppression. In the U.S., our time will come. Remember the kind of commitment we saw in Malcolm X, who was murdered 46 years ago this month. On the morning of Feb. 21, Malcolm received a phone call saying, “Today is the day.” He showed up anyway, knowing that that day could be his very last day on this Earth. Malcolm did not let fear control his commitment to the cause of freedom and justice. That is the real stuff we all are made of. Deep inside every one of us is a Revolution waiting to happen.