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Along with the phrases “alternate truth” and “fake news,” another phrase, even more ominous, is being bandied about, “net neutrality.” Net neutrality means internet freedom. It means that everyone has equal access to internet content – that is, content and all applications regardless of the source. In other words, the bus that takes you to the mall may not control what you see and where you shop when you get there.
The path forward for many Congolese youth is clear. They want to be free from tyranny more than the Kabila regime wants to repress them and deprive them of their God-given life pursuits. In the Congo, the youth are prepared for a sustained civil disobedience undertaking to cripple and ultimately remove an oppressive system that not only kills them but also squelches their aspirations and hopes for a dignified life.
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.
On Sept. 9, a series of coordinated work stoppages and hunger strikes will take place at prisons across the country. Organized by a coalition of prisoner rights, labor and racial justice groups, the strikes will include prisoners from at least 20 states – making this the largest effort to organize incarcerated people in U.S. history. The actions will represent a powerful, long-awaited blow against the status quo in what has become the most incarcerated nation on earth.
The violent events of the past week have placed the country at a decisive moment. Words matter but deeds matter more. Leadership matters. President Obama spoke about the need for real change and new “practices” following the murders by police officers of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Following this story is a Black Lives Matter statement on the murder of police and escalating protests to end state-sponsored violence against Black people.
In three days, Iris Canada turns 100. Did you expect to live this long? Did you imagine bearing witness to the Black community’s dwindling to 3 percent of the population of San Francisco? In your dreams, did you think that your building would be sold and that you would have to endure an Ellis Act eviction whose sole aim was to extricate you from your home? Iris, with a voice so soft – tell me.
“On the weekend before Super Bowl 50 in downtown San Francisco, Officer Joshua Cabillo aggressively put his hands on me. It was a peaceful protest and I sensed the hatred in his eyes,” says protester Deja Caldwell. Not only did Officer Cabillo unnecessarily assault a woman who was protesting police killing, but he is a killer cop himself! On June 5, 2012, as a South San Francisco police officer, Joshua Cabillo brutalized, restrained and eventually shot to death 15-year-old Derrick Gaines. Officer Cabillo is a child killer with a long record of abuse, yet SFPD hired him.
In the South Carolina prison system, accessing Facebook is an offense on par with murder, rape, rioting, escape and hostage-taking. Back in 2012, the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) made “Creating and/or Assisting With a Social Networking Site” a Level 1 offense, a category reserved for the most violent violations of prison conduct policies. It’s one of the most common Level 1 offense charges brought against inmates.
Intel hosted Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s “Next Steps for Technology Forum” Wednesday, Dec. 10, at the Intel Campus in Santa Clara. The forum, which was sponsored by Rainbow PUSH Silicon Valley Digital Connections Project, is a part of the Rainbow PUSH “21st Century Technology Innovation Diversity and Inclusion Campaign,” which nudges technology companies to implement an actionable diversity and inclusion strategy.
Just before 7 a.m. on Sept. 23, the memorial erected on Canfield Drive, mere feet from where unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson, went up in flames. Twitter lit up with pictures and outrage. Many who were at the scene report smelling something that may have been used as an accelerant. However police and officials are saying that candles near the memorial site are what caused the blaze.
This week, Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Color of Change launched a Twitter-based social media and online petition campaign to hundreds of thousands of their subscribers demanding that Twitter release its EEO-1 workforce diversity inclusion data and convene a direct dialogue with SF Bay Area community partners on solutions and strategies. On July 23, a few days after the launch, Twitter finally delivered its “pathetic” data.
Rev. Jesse Jackson led a delegation to the Hewlett Packard annual shareholder meeting on March 19, calling attention to the lack of minority inclusion in Silicon Valley. He emphasized the virtual absence of African Americans in corporate boardrooms, corporate suites, financial transactions, advertising and professional services. The following day, he met with community leaders in the East Palo Alto city offices.
On Feb. 12, Venezuelan Youth Day and the commemoration of the independence battle of La Victoria, some university students and traditional conservative opposition groups took to the streets in Venezuela. It quickly became obvious that the principal purpose of the protests was to destabilize the government and seek the ouster of the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.
“People are evading their fares. We are only here because the mayor wants to cut down on all the crime,” Officer Carrasco barked at me, while issuing a citation for alleged fare evasion to a young African-descendent student on his way to school. This young brother was one of over 25 people caught in a “sweep” – read invasion – of a Muni bus, who were pulled off the bus so citations could be issued.
One of our great African American mental giants is often called the “Godfather of Silicon Valley.” Roy L. Clay Sr. is the name of this African American star. In 1965, he created and headed the Hewlett-Packard computer division. It was the first computer company in the Silicon Valley. In 1966, Roy and his team created the HP-2116, the world’s first mini-computer.
Friday, Sept. 21, saw yet another in a series of large demonstrations across Haiti against what many protestors called “the corruption of the Martelly regime.” Not a single U.S. news outlet filed a story in English on the demonstrations. Most conspicuously absent in their coverage was The Miami Herald.
Mayor Ed Lee is considering a New York City-style stop-and-frisk policy, where police search anyone they consider “suspicious.” Lee, the first Chinese American mayor of San Francisco, said, “I will be tagged – as the minority mayor of this city – for racial profiling.” He’s right – and that tag is entirely justified.
When Malik Rhasaan first visited the Occupy Wall Street park at Liberty Square, he noticed that there was a lack of people of color. “Something needed to be done and I started the hash tag #occupythehood and from there it kind of swelled,” said Rhasaan, getting support from everyone from “professors down to cats who just got out of prison.”
Black and Brown folks have long known that whenever economic troubles “necessitate” austerity measures and the people are asked to tighten their belts, we are the first to lose our jobs, our children’s schools are the first to lose funding, and our bodies are the first to be brutalized and caged. Only we can speak this truth to power.
Since the beginning of the seizure of police stations and army depots by the “peaceful” protesters in Libya, Africa, in February, who were then armed to the teeth and terrorized the population of many cities in Libya, the British government has supported them, calling them “rebels,” and even in the last few days recognize them as the “official government of Libya.”
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