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Wednesday, June 19, 2019
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Prison strike organizers to protest food giant Aramark

The people who organized the country’s biggest prison strike against what they call modern-day slavery have planned their next target: corporate food service giant Aramark. The $8.65 billion company is one of the country’s largest employers and serves food to more than 100 million people a year. It also provides meals for more than 500 correctional facilities across the country and has been the subject of complaints about maggots and rocks, sexual harassment, drug trafficking and other employee misconduct.

From media cutoffs to lockdown, tracing the fallout from the U.S....

Prisons in some states are withholding newspapers from inmates amid a strike against prison conditions and billions of dollars worth of prison labor. The passing of the 13th Amendment in 1865 formally abolished slavery, but with a stipulation that enabled plantation owners to use prisoners as a replacement for the lost labor. As a group called the Free Alabama Movement rallied for a Sept. 9 labor strike in spring, prison authorities across the country began clamping down on news and information in ways that the ACLU says may be in violation of the First Amendment.

Congresswoman Lee leads letter to president urging fair chance hiring

More than 70 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, sent a letter to President Obama on May 21 to adopt a federal fair chance hiring policy. This effort was co-led by Congressmen Conyers, Scott and Davis and Congresswoman Jackson Lee and supported by various groups including Policy Link, the ACLU, National Employment Law Project, PICO Network’s LIVE FREE Campaign, and All Of Us or None.

Richmond to have highest minimum wage in California

Last week, the Richmond City Council voted in favor of a city ordinance that will increase the local minimum wage from $8 to $12.30 an hour by 2017. The increase will be phased in over three years and positions Richmond to have the highest minimum wage of any city in California. “I wish it could be more, but it showcases that Richmond has the political will to move forward,” said Mayor McLaughlin.

Lakeview Sit-In and People’s School continue fight, call for picket

Early Tuesday morning, the 18th day of the Lakeview Elementary Sit-In and 12th day of the People’s School, the OUSD police and other police forces raided the encampment and school. The People's School will continue, and a community-labor alliance and picket sanctioned by the Alameda Labor Council will block the move-in of administrative offices at Lakeview.

Haiti: the next round

On March 18, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family returned home from a seven-year forced exile in South Africa – an exile brought about by the violent U.S.-orchestrated coup in 2004. Up until the last minute, the U.S. government tried to stop the return, with President Obama going so far as to place a last-minute call to President Zuma of South Africa.

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Evidence by the District Attorney’s Office is looking very weak ahead...

It is the opinion of this writer and sources within the legal community that the charges by the D.A. against Epps should be dropped or the case should be dismissed based on the very weak evidence that the prosecution is presenting. If the case does go to trial, the likelihood of an acquittal or mistrial seems extremely high.

Speak Creole!

The genocide against Black youths in Brazil is denounced, but we need more and more methods of international expression – on what is, in the best description by Professor Achille Mbembe, “Necropolitics.”

In Praise of Blood: Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front

In Judi Rever’s book “In Praise of Blood: Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” she tells of joining groups of Congolese volunteers with the U.N., Médecins Sans Frontières and the Red Cross, who “were there, day in and day out, to provide the means of life to people on the edge of death.”
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Giving for greatness

“Greatness is born out of the grind. Embrace the grind,” said Robert F. Smith, the billionaire technology investor, in his speech to the 2019 graduating class at Morehouse University on May 20, 2019, announcing he is paying off the student loans of 396 Morehouse graduates.

Master Photographer David Johnson returns to his roots

Johnson is an important chronicler of African American life in San Francisco during the mid-20th century.