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With heartbreak, yet hope, we reach out to you in the Name of our Lord and Liberator, Jesus, the Christ. It was unsettling and upsetting to witness the meeting with you, our moral leaders, and one of the most amoral persons to ever occupy the White House in the name of discussing prison reform. We are sure it must have been intoxicating to walk the corridors of power and sit at the table of governing authority. Unfortunately, those precincts of power have been infected by White supremacy and moral bankruptcy.
On March 21, the Stateville Correctional Center Debate Team, hosted a public debate about bringing a parole system back to Illinois – one of two states which currently does not have parole. As Illinois boasts the No. 1 most overcrowded prison system in the US – operating at 151 percent capacity – and the system is spending $2 billion and counting each year, the time to reinstate parole was undoubtedly yesterday.
Angry and frustrated residents are demanding answers after a police-involved shooting left an unarmed, Black man dead. Stephon Clark, 22, was fatally shot in his Meadowview area backyard Sunday, March 18, after two Sacramento Police Department (SPD) officers shot at him more than 20 times. Local and national Black leaders have vowed to demand justice for Clark and his family. Black Lives Matter and Rev. Les Simmons of South Sacramento Christian Center spearheaded vigils and rallies, where those who knew Clark called him a loving son and father of two young boys, who didn’t deserve to die.
The 13th Amendment reads in Section One: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Understanding this contradictory character of the 13th Amendment sheds light on the utilization of the criminal justice system in the perpetuation of bondage for the purpose of institutional racism and class exploitation.
If there is one unifying principle emerging from the disaster known as the Trump Regime, it is the president’s singular mission to erase the executive presence of his predecessor, Barack Obama. This may be seen most recently in Trump’s bumbling undoing of Obama’s executive order known as DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, done to further endear him to his so-called “base,” white nationalists who love to hear about the suffering of nonwhite Others.
As police murders accumulate, and police chiefs get fired and replaced because they cannot stop it – as in Oakland and San Francisco – the notion that this represents a political crisis becomes a truism. It is not a “crisis of policing,” which would suggest a situation beyond the capacities of the police. It is the police who have become the crisis.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival joins with sponsor The Unity Group of Congregation Emanu-El on Saturday, June 18, 2 p.m., to screen Jeff Adachi’s film, “America Needs a Racial Facial,” at Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St. in San Francisco. The film, a short documentary, will be followed by a panel discussion on “Implicit Bias and Racial Profiling.” The film will also screen on Sunday without a panel discussion at the African American Arts and Culture Complex.
The people of San Francisco are outraged by the ongoing misconduct and mismanagement of the San Francisco Police Department by Police Chief Gregory P. Suhr. His history of breaking the laws he is sworn to uphold, along with his consistent refusal to discipline officers for their brutality and crimes against residents, has created a crisis in the city. We will accept no more. It is time for Suhr to go.
Bill Clinton has a history of sometimes suffering from severe foot-in-mouth disease and veering dangerously off message while on the campaign trail for his wife, Hillary. On Thursday, a short video clip of the former president sparring with Black Lives Matter protesters from the stump in Philadelphia once again raised the question of whether Bill is actually helping or hurting Hillary’s campaign.
On Tuesday evening, Dec. 17, 2015, the Berkeley City Council voted to keep sending officers to the annual Urban Shield war games and weapons expo, even after one vocal citizen held up the expo’s best selling T-shirts and read their inscriptions: “Black Rifles Matter,” “This (barrel of a gun) is my peace symbol” and “Destruction cometh. And they shall seek peace. And there shall be none” (Ezekiel 7:25-27, King James Bible).
On Nov. 11, an imprisoned person at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) faced extreme violence at the hands of prison guards. Stacy Rojas and three others were detained, physically abused, sexually harassed, strip searched in the presence of male guards, and kept without water, food or restrooms for 11 hours. Requests to speak with members of the prison’s Investigative Services Unit have so far been ignored.
RAD is the newest in a long line of multi-billion-dollar poverty industry ponzi schemes aimed at gentrifying public housing and leaving the poorest of the poor with nowhere to live. On Oct. 14, HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who wrote RAD, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor London Breed held a back-slapping press conference to celebrate the implementation of RAD “to re-envision, revitalize and rebuild the city’s public housing.”
Mansour Id-Deen speaks wit’ The People’s Minister of Information JR about the Berkeley police stopping Black motorists at a disproportionate rate in violation of our human rights. “The disparity is unbelievable,” says Id-Deen. Blacks are stopped more and often “for no reason.” We also speak about “progressive” Congresswoman Barbara Lee securing over $2 million to hire 18 police officers in her district, which includes Berkeley and Oakland. She needs to pay “more attention to local issues and have conversations with local leaders,” Id-Deen says, to make “a better decision.”
We are coming up on three years since the End of All Hostilities with all races has been implemented. I’ve been seeing people from all walks of life and groups observing the Agreement to End Hostilities. What CDC could not do in 20-30 years, these brave men in the Short Corridor prison collectives accomplished in just a short period of three years. Yet CDC continues to label them “worst of the worst.” That’s complete bullsh-t!
Last week I was on my way to visit Medium’s headquarters in San Francisco to discuss a project that I’m working on, mainly focused around police brutality. Funnily enough (or not so), I ended up being over an hour late, because this happened. I recorded the incident Aug. 4, 2015, during the lunch hour. It involves a Black man who was taken down by police in the mid-Market area of San Francisco, between Seventh and Eighth streets.
I was the founding chairman and national organizer of the Black Panther Party. Our first organizing tactic was to legally observe the police in our Oakland and Berkeley Black communities. During those hard core late 1960s racist, fascist times, we took a big chance with our lives patrolling the police. It was a time of rampant vicious police brutality and murder of Black people by police that was 10 times worse than today.
African Americans in San Francisco are more likely to await trial behind bars than their white counterparts and face harsher punishment once convicted, according to a new study commissioned by the San Francisco Reentry Council. Unlike previous reports, the study went beyond racial disparities in arrests and focused on unequal treatment in the courts as well, said San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who co-chairs the Reentry Council.
On May 23, Cuyahoga County Judge John P. O’Donnell found Officer Michael Brelo not guilty of felony involuntary manslaughter in the killing deaths of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell. Williams and Russell were killed in November 2012 after Cleveland police officers unleashed 137 gunshots into the couple’s car following a police pursuit. The family of Timothy Ray Russell released the following statement in response.
As activists across the United States struggle to keep the topic of systemic discrimination against Black people on the national agenda, African communities in Israel are also increasingly speaking out against state racism. For the last month, Ethiopian-Israelis – Jewish citizens of African descent – have rallied across the country, demanding an end to racial profiling and police brutality.
Judge Thomas Maddock, Juvenile Delinquency Court, Superior Court of California, Contra Costa County, labeled 14-year-old Lauryn G. “a danger to society” as he convicted her and took her immediately into custody without even the opportunity to hug her mother goodbye. Join the protest Tuesday, May 19, 8 a.m., Wakefield Taylor Courthouse steps, 725 Court St., Martinez.