Open Letter to: Killer Mike, Cardi B, Kanye, Jay-Z, P-Diddy, Ludacris, 50 Cent and others: Greetings and solidarity to each of you. In recognition of your individual voice, influence and cultural following among current generations of Black people – Africans in the Diaspora and on the continent – we salute you.
Rebellions, protests and racial tension have consumed the COVID-19 summer of 2020 following the police executions of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. The San Francisco Black Film Festival (SFBFF.org) film selection “American Dream” presents a relevant 19-minute short by French born filmmakers Nicolas Polixene and Sylvain Loubet dit Gajol.
“Mommy, what is danger?” The question was posed by my 4-year-old Black son, who’s been lying awake since 3:55 a.m. But, first … let me tell you the set-up of how we got there.
The number of unhoused people dying on the street in San Francisco is triple the number who died last year at this time. During this pandemic Mayor Breed called for the shelter in place order ahead of other cities and even ahead of Gov. Newsom. She understood the deadly nature of the virus and her responsibility to protect the people of her city.
The COVID-19 emergency underscores longstanding truths about capitalism and socialism. Acting on the most immediate demands that it raises draws us directly into a confrontation with core issues.
Hundreds of people rise to become “Radical Redistributors” in this time of COVID-19: “I have a case of toilet paper. I’ll bring it over tomorrow,” said Reena, a now unemployed accountant from Alameda; “I have a box of organic vitamins,” said Mr. Johns, an architect; “I will bring two bags of non-perishable groceries over,” said Linda, a landscape gardener; “I have so many masks – we had hoarded them after the fires,” said Gene, an UberEats driver.
Mayor London N. Breed, along with City Administrator Naomi M. Kelly, have announced the San Francisco Department of Technology’s Fiber to Housing program has received national recognition for its service to low-income San Franciscans.
The Charlotte Maxwell Clinic (CMC) has been providing free integrative cancer care to low-income Bay Area women since 1991. The clinic recently moved from its previous location to an historic bank building located on “Pill Hill” across from Sutter Hospital in Oakland.
“Poverty is a life-threatening issue for millions of people in this country, and this report confirms it,” Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement. “We are in a crisis never before seen in a rich, industrialized democracy.”
With all due respect, how is a $30 million study on homelessness even close to an answer?
The silent yet deadly elder and child abuse of eviction by Tiny, aka...
Scarcity models, land and resource theft, historical revisionist lies, racism, classism, hate and shame for poor peoples are what informs the worlds of service provision, borders, politricks, laws and even care-giving in the U.S. Why? Because that is how you keep capitalism, land-stealing, resource hoarding and extraction going.
Stop counting us, taking our pictures, using our bodies and struggles as your campaign slogans, our lives as your grant models and research projects and instead stand up, show up, act up and be counted yourselves, stating clearly that until there is housing or liberated indigenous land or redistributed resources like the new Bank of Community Reparations, which is being launched for unhoused, displaced communities and people, you don’t want your unhoused neighbors “swept,” removed, arrested and stolen from.
Poor, homeless and disabled scholars are releasing a book sharing their truly innovative solutions to homelessness and poverty and launch a national theatre production on poverty, homelessness and criminalization of poor people. This book and curriculum release will be accompanied by a series of theatre and poetry workshops in community centers, schools and jails with other homeless and formerly homeless communities.
In 2018, the town of Paradise, and much more, burned to the ground. In California, large, devastating fires are being called the new normal. “The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people,” reports the Guardian. Twelve years! How will we respond?
The Poor People’s Campaign is all about the oppressed citizens of this nation – making the connection between the working proletariat and the lumpen proletariat. This will close the gap between the working poor and the non-working poor, who share common interests, such as affordable housing, affordable health care, adequate educational institutions, adequate wages that provide a standard of living that’s suitable for a human being. Once we bring the lower class together by successfully campaigning around our shared human rights, then we can bring an end to such exploitations as mass incarceration, the death penalty, homelessness and poverty.
Ronnie Goodman, a well known San Francisco artist who is experiencing homelessness, had his artwork confiscated by the City, and was then arrested and spent a night in jail. He was charged with a state anti-lodging law known as 647e, which is probably unconstitutional, and felony vandalism, which was then dropped for lack of evidence. Ronnie is a very gifted, creative individual who has struggled with many challenging issues, including poverty, homelessness, racism, hunger and injustice.
A diverse crowd of around 500 mostly young activists turned out for a rally Aug. 25 at San Quentin Prison. Most came from Oakland, many in two chartered buses, but sizable contingents traveled from San José, Santa Cruz and San Francisco as well. Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, a key organizer of the rally, along with Prisoners Human Rights Coalition, CA, and many other Bay Area activist groups, including Party for Socialism and Liberation, helped publicize the action. The idea for the strike originated with Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, an incarcerated group of prisoner rights advocates.
Community members, formerly incarcerated people and anti-prison activists marched today through downtown Lansing to raise awareness about the 2018 national prisoner strike that began two days ago on Aug. 21, and will continue through Sept. 9. The national action is organized and led by prisoners around the country who have already begun engaging in hunger strikes, work stoppages and other actions to protest their inhumane living conditions. Their demands include “an immediate end to prison slavery” as well as various other demands related to sentencing reform and racism.
Dr. King’s assassination was the key marker in the transition of a great era of social change, from one where “inclusion” in the broader capitalist system was the general thrust to one where the general focus of the Black fight for equality became a broadly defined “self-determination,” rooted in a recognition of the entrenched nature of racism, not simply as a function of attitudes, but as a method of social control.