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It’s now a century after the founding of Mother’s Day, and our sons are still being taken from us. Society has not disarmed, but instead has militarized to the teeth. Mothers’ sons everywhere are still killing and being killed. Police militarization has ripped apart the fabric of our communities. Armed with military-grade vehicles and weapons, warrior cops cultivate an atmosphere of tension and fear, exacerbating conflicts instead of resolving them. We all know we’re going to die one day, but it certainly shouldn’t be at the hands of a public servant who’s supposed to serve and protect us. Mothers are powerful; if we come together, we can be unstoppable.
With 54.42 percent of a record-turnout vote, Hugo Chávez has won a fourth term as president of Venezuela, in a race widely recognized as a crucial struggle between the progressive forces of the “Bolivarian Revolution” and the right-wing opposition of U.S.-backed Henrique Capriles.
In late August, Aboriginal Blackman United organized over 30 unemployed union members from Bayview Hunters Point to protest construction at Bayview’s Willie Brown Academy. We did not protest because we disagree that our public schools are much in need of repair or with the $531 million that the San Francisco School District will spend to upgrade our public schools. We protested because, despite this historic opportunity for the School District to work with local communities to rebuild our schools, there are no Black workers and no Black contractors at Willie Brown Academy. And at ABU we say that if we don’t work, nobody works.
Nothing is more dangerous to a system that depends on misinformation than a voice that obeys its own dictates and has the courage to speak out. George Jackson’s imprisonment and further isolation within the prison system were clearly a function of the state’s response to his outspoken opposition to the capitalist structure. George was one of the brilliant minds of the 20th century, passionately involved with liberating not only himself, but all of us.
The Community-Labor Coalition to Save the People’s Post Office rallied, marched and occupied the Civic Center Post Office in downtown San Francisco to stop threats of eliminating 220,000 living-wage jobs and closing 3,700 post offices, including four in San Francisco - most in poor neighborhoods and rural areas.
On May 22, brave prisoners at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison began a hunger strike. A recently released prisoner discusses torture at Red Onion: “having your fingers broken, being bitten by dogs, being strapped to beds for days, being forced to defecate on yourself – I mean all of this has led to these men demanding to be treated as human beings.”
Trayvon Martin and Mumia Abu-Jamal. One is dead. One languished on death row for 30 years. They are separated in age by a generation, separated by different locations and different life-histories, but their stories of being under surveillance, watched and shot, intersect strikingly with each other and with many other people.
Professor Michelle Alexander’s new book “The New Jim Crow” is a monumental, well researched piece of work that presents documented facts in down to earth English about the mass incarceration of Black people within the United States’ national concentration camp system. At one point in “The New Jim Crow,” Professor Alexander presents evidence that more Black people are enslaved behind bars today than were enslaved on the plantations in 1850, before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
Congo’s Nov. 28 presidential and legislative elections were fraught with tremendous irregularities and widespread charges of fraud. The opposition categorically rejected the results as fraudulent. Nonetheless, Joseph Kabila was sworn into office on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
The past 12 months were very intense on the African continent. Some important elections stirred up a whole lot of interests. Shared zones of influence are being renegotiated between the old powers of the world, the Western powers, and the new power, China.
The new book by Manning Marable, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” will help us to get a deeper understanding of Malcolm X and the times we’re living in now. This will not be a direct result of what Marable has done, but rather of what needs to happen now because of what he has done.
BP’s Ken Feinberg, who serves as czar for the $21 billion fund allocated to pay claims and damages to those affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, has finally requested a proposal for settlement with the underserved and underrepresented in the Gulf Coast Region.
A recent evening at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland was special. The line wrapped around the corner of 14th Street at Martin Luther King Jr. Way as people lined up to hear Isabel Wilkerson talk about her book, “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.”
Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human will be leaving from unspecified ports in the Mediterranean in late June to break the siege on Gaza carrying about a thousand journalists, teachers, students, attorneys, human rights activists, members of parliament and others from 22 countries.
On Monday, May 23, 2011, our offices were alarmed at the startling news that three camps of internally displaced persons in the Delmas neighborhood of Port-au-Prince were effectively destroyed - at least one at the hands of the Haitian police under direction of Mayor Wilson Jeudy.
Over the past 10 years, any KPFA manager who attempted anything that did not meet the approval of a small core group of staff members – the foxes in the henhouse – met with so much hostility and non-cooperation that the job became nearly impossible to do.
Transitioning from a prisoner number to an adult person expected to take on adult responsibilities can be overwhelming for many ex-inmates, particularly those who were incarcerated for long periods of time. Each day many of us will share space with someone who has spent a significant portion of his life in a cage. Every one of us should be concerned because these men and women are of us and will be returning to us, our communities, many to our own families.
Crying “Have a Heart, Save Our Homes,” a large Bay Area coalition marched in a driving rain from City Hall to the San Francisco Federal Building – Causa Justa/Just Cause, San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE and many more.
What would happen if 34.5 percent of White men did not have jobs? According to new U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, joblessness for 16-to-24-year-old Black men has reached Great Depression proportions – more than three times the rate for the general U.S. population. Some African Americans are asking: “Will it take a revolution to spark economic change in Black America?” “All eyes are on the uprisings playing out in Egypt and Tunisia, yet America systematically turns a blind eye to the oppression in its own backyard.”
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., wrapped up two days of hearings by the House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, which she chairs, by focusing on the status and availability of affordable, quality public housing due to the near total demolition of the “Big Four” public housing developments in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. After the hearing, Congresswoman Waters, panelists and other guests participated in a bus tour of the Big Four sites – B.W. Cooper, C.J. Peete, Lafitte and St. Bernard – and visited the future site of a new public housing development in Iberville, which may be the next development to be demolished and redeveloped.
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