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This year at Holman in Atmore, Alabama, there have been five suicides in its segregation unit – more suicides or homicides than in its population. The latest was a mentally ill young man in his 20s. The conditions in the Administrative Segregation housing wings at the H.H. Coffield Unit located at Tennessee Colony, Texas are horrible, and these conditions have driven prisoners to suicide, approximately 13 deaths just this year! We need the broadest exposure of this horrifying trend.
For more than two decades, California’s Three Strikes Law has been criticized for being unfair, excessively punitive and in many ways strikingly irrational. There have been several measures implemented by Californians to fix this law, but it still remains unfair and excessive. Now, California voters have a chance to bring fairness to criminal justice policy along with making some common sense investments towards our future with The Three Strikes Reform Act of 2016.
2015 was a historic political year for the African continent because one of the continent’s most radical anti-imperialist leaders chaired the African Union, and I am talking about President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. I talked with Obi Egbuna, the U.S. correspondent for the Zimbabwean national newspaper, The Herald, about what President Mugabe accomplished leading Zimbabwe and the African Union in 2015. Here is what he had to say.
Urgency to end mass incarceration and the criminalization of poor people and people of color is growing. The general public’s awareness that it simply does not make sense to lock up people with substance abuse or mental health issues is setting the stage for important reforms to our justice system. With this understanding, California voters passed Proposition 47 “The Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act.”
One of the most provocative must-see films in the San Francisco Black Film Festival is the cinematic drama “Moses,” which is about the human sex trafficking of young African males, a topic rarely discussed. I sat down with the filmmaker Uzoma Okoro to talk about the concept, the casting and the inspiration that went into the stomach-turning story of “Moses.” Check him out in his own words.
While people were righteously rebelling in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, against police terrorism, a Center for Disease Control whistleblower confirmed something that has been on the lips of conscious ghetto dwellers for decades. International peace activist Cynthia McKinney speaks on the U.S. government spreading autism through vaccinations in the Black community, on Ferguson and much more.
Congolese people are seeking peace and justice. Trying Bosco Ntaganda at the ICC may lead to some measure of justice for the crimes perpetrated at his behest; however, it appears that his backers in Rwanda may very well be let off the hook yet again and allowed to continue their military aggression against the DRC.
Three Strikes has disproportionately targeted the poor and people of color. More than 70 percent of the Three Strikes prisoners serving life sentences are either African American or Latino; making Three Strikes one of the leading civil rights issues of today. We need your help. On Nov. 6, California residents will have another opportunity to amend Three Strikes. Vote Yes on Prop. 36.
Do you have a smart phone? A laptop? Then you play a role in the violence that occurs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cell phones, laptops and other electronics don’t work very well without the mineral, coltan. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, poor farmers are gathered by armed gangs and enslaved to dig coltan out of the ground.
Gerald Perreira has lived and worked in Libya as an organizer and journalist and has been giving regular reports to Block Report Radio and the San Francisco Bay View newspaper. It is important to develop our own media and experts who can speak from an African perspective.
Saturday, April 9, the Allen Temple Community Room was overflowing with individuals interested in the crisis on Oakland streets, especially a street many had to cross that morning upon arrival, International Boulevard with its sex trafficking of mostly Black and Brown girls.
It is not often one sees a play written and directed by Black women, the director, Liesl Tommy, from Cape Town, South Africa. Only a fine writer like Lynn Nottage could take such tragedy and make us smile and laugh between the tears.
Jazz Hudson is one of the new up and coming poets out of the Bay who has been making a name for herself at poetry readings - one of the most loquacious and passionate young sistas to come out of the concrete jungle of Oakland in a long time.
The return of Jean Claude Duvalier, "Baby Doc," to Haiti as a free man was excruciating to veterans of the struggle that overthrew the 30-year dictatorship. The traumatizing symbolism of Duvalier’s return at Haiti’s weakest hour is an insult to the dead and an assault on the living.
Journalist JR Valrey, who was born in 1978, grew up mostly in Oakland, where the legend of the Black Panther Party was all around him. “A lot of the people around here are Panthers, or knew Panthers or are members of the Black Guerilla Family, which was an organization that Field Marshall George Jackson of the Black Panther Party founded. The revolution is very deep in Oakland. It’s not so cosmetic as it is other places. It’s not just about bandannas and t-shirts and concert throwing and posturing. I think it’s more grassroots here and more ingrained in the spirit of the people.”
Nicolas Rossier conducted an exclusive interview with former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in forced exile in Johannesburg. Aristide concludes: "We are poor – worse than poor because we are living in abject poverty and misery. But based on that collective dignity rooted in our forefathers, I do believe we have to continue fighting in a peaceful way for our self-determination, and if we do that, history will pay tribute to our generation." Rally for democracy in Haiti and Aristide's return Wednesday, Nov. 17, 5 p.m., Montgomery & Market, San Francisco.
Dewayne Ewing and Kevin Barnes have been in jail for years despite the lack of any evidence that connects them to a 1994 rape. Help free them by coming to their hearing on the results of DNA testing: Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2 p.m, Department 11, Alameda County Superior Court, 1225 Fallon St., Oakland.
A juvenile counselor in New York rapes a teenaged girl while escorting her from a holding area to the courtroom and receives probation. She serves a year for "filing a false police report," upon telling police she did not know who had jumped and cut her on the way to school.
There was high unemployment for Haitians, those educated with skills and the unskilled as well, prior to the earthquake. For a government official to tell a BAI representative that withholding food was a way to motivate lazy people looking for a handout to get to work is a gross misread of the problem.
Coltan is a mineral necessary for making electronic things work – like cellphones, ipods, PS3s and laptops. Over 6 million Congolese have been murdered to assure that the corporations and governments involved have a corner on the market for the minerals that the Congo produces. This is "Break the Silence" Congo Week. Check out the events and get involved!
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