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Black protest organizers give a Black Power salute as the climber ascends the flagpole. – Photo: BaySolidarity

Protesters shut down Oakland Police Department for almost 4.5 hours today, demand end to police aggression against Black people

At approximately 7:30 Monday morning, the Oakland Police Department Headquarters was blockaded by protesters demanding an end to racist violence against the Black community. One person climbed the flagpole directly in front of the OPD Headquarters to fly a banner in honor of Black people murdered by police. Minutes later, a group of about 30 Black protesters occupied the space in front of the police department and called for an immediate end to the war on Black people.

Behind Enemy Lines

Lucasville vet: Refusing to snitch on men merely protesting inhumane prison conditions cost me 27 years

Dec 19, 2014
Edward Julious -1, cropped

At Lucasville in 1993, we came together to protest oppression, to stand against cruel and unusual punishment. Now several have died as martyrs and others await their date at the death chamber. Yet no one answers our cry for help. Come to our aid, answer our call to arms, help us get the justice that has been so long denied before it is too late.

Chairman Shaka Zulu: Resistance is the way forward

Dec 12, 2014

Our study group here has expanded exponentially since these demonstrations across the country. People here with me who only yesterday refused to come to terms with being victims of social injustice are now identifying with the forces of revolution. They no longer have a defeatist mentality. Ferguson has shown that RESISTANCE IS THE WAY FORWARD. We are moving – to what destination, only time will tell.

I grew up in Guantánamo: Now that you have heard my story, you cannot turn away

Dec 10, 2014

Fahd Ghazy is a Yemeni national who has been detained at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, since February 2002 when he was only 17 years old. One of the last remaining prisoners to have been detained as a juvenile, Fahd was cleared for transfer by President Bush in 2007 and again by the Obama administration in 2009. Now 30 years old, he has spent over one-third of his life in Guantánamo without charge. He is represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

California’s savage system of confinement: An end to solitary is long overdue

Dec 9, 2014
Marie Levin holding picture of brother Sitawa, cropped (1)

Less than two weeks ago the United Nations Committee against Torture issued a report strongly criticizing the U.S. record on a number of issues, among them the extensive use of solitary confinement. While the U.S. uses long-term solitary more than any other country in the world, California uses it more than any other state. This practice is designed to break the human spirit and is condemned as a form of torture under international law.

Have NO contact with police – they are child killers

Dec 9, 2014

When we were growing up, we understood that most of these white, Black and Brown police officers were predators. They came to our communities pumped up, looking for action. And there are several profiles of them: cocky, scared, fearless, racist, prejudiced, biased, anxious, gangsters etc. We was warned as young boys to have NO engagement with police, under NO circumstances.

16 hours in the torture chamber
A New Year’s call to action for the prisoner class: Support the Bay View
Man up or perish: White America is showing its true face once again
‘Let’s just shut down’: an interview with Spokesperson Ray of the Free Alabama Movement
Bringing the truth to light: Sunlight deprivation at San Quentin
There is power in unity!
CDCR’s new con game to undermine our class action suit
Angola 3: Robert King on the ongoing struggle to free Albert Woodfox
The overturned conviction of the Angola 3’s Albert Woodfox is upheld in a unanimous decision – after his 42 years in solitary
Pack the courtroom for the Dallas 6
Strip search: California sets a high price for visiting a loved one in prison
Comments to CDCR: Banning the Bay View from California prisons would violate the First Amendment
Inside a CCA private prison: Two slaves for the price of one, Part Three
Stop the regulations that would ban the Bay View from California prisons
Prison assisted suicide – the Texas way

News & Views

Mike Brown Sr. speaks to San Francisco

Dec 20, 2014
The crowd that came to hear Mike Brown Sr. filled every inch of the Third Baptist sanctuary. – Photo: Kia Croom

Nearly 800 community members, public officials, faith and thought leaders packed the pews of Third Baptist Church on Sunday to hear remarks from Mike Brown Sr., father of the 18-year-old shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer. The event comes amid a storm of local protests decrying police brutality that have gained national attention. A somber Brown had little to say, but expressed gratitude to attendees for their support.

A #FreeOakland movement: High school students march against police brutality

Dec 20, 2014
The plaza at Fruitvale BART resonated with angry, hardcore and inspiring speeches by high school students on Dec. 15. – Photo: Poor News Network

On Dec. 15 in Oakland, a protest was planned, held and led by students on the issue of police brutality. It was held at the Fruitvale BART Station where Oscar Grant had unfortunately lost his life at the hands of BART police officers. Over 200 students gathered to have their voices heard – and they would not take no for an answer. Youths who are angry with what is happening made hardcore and inspiring speeches.

Public defenders from the Bay to Brooklyn take to the streets to hold police accountable

Dec 19, 2014

More than 200 public defenders and allies held a protest Dec. 18 on the steps of San Francisco’s criminal courthouse to show support for racial justice and stand in solidarity with protesters around the country. At least 200 public defenders walked off their jobs in Brooklyn on Dec. 17, staging a march and “die-in” to highlight the pervasiveness of racial inequality in the criminal justice system

Cuban President Raúl Castro: We must learn the art of coexisting with our differences

Dec 17, 2014
Students and teachers celebrate after listening to a live, nationally broadcast speech by Cuba’s President Raúl Castro about the country’s restoration of relations with the United States. – Photo: Ramon Espinosa, AP

As a result of a dialogue, which included a phone conversation I had yesterday with President Obama, we have been able to make headway on some topics of mutual interest. The last three of the Cuban 5 have arrived today to our homeland, we have sent Alan Gross back to his country and we have agreed to renew diplomatic relations. But this in no way means that the heart of the matter has been solved. The blockade must cease.

Berkeley Copwatch: Make the police obsolete

Dec 16, 2014
Kayla Moore’s sister, Maria, and father, Arthur, protest at a rally before the Berkeley City Council meeting on April 30, 2013, where they were attacked by BPD. The pain of police murders – the sense of betrayal by those we pay to protect us – runs so deep that loved ones never forget. – Photo: Emilie Raguso, Berkeleyside

Berkeley Copwatch co-founder Andrea Prichett spoke to KPFA about justice for Kayla Moore and organizing for the long haul, to make police obsolete. Berkeley Copwatch has been taking action against police violence in Berkeley since 1990. The Copwatch organizing model and investigative techniques have spread across the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. This week Berkeley Copwatch posted a list of local campaigns to create real change in Berkeley.

Supervisor Avalos introduces resolution to review racial profiling and use of force by SFPD, upholds right to nonviolent protest
Civil rights leader Rev. Edward Pinkney sentenced to 2 ½ to 10 years by Berrien County Court
No justice, no peace: National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area chapter turns up the heat against police violence and racism
Raising issue of OUSD police murder of Raheim Brown leads to reinstatement of Urban Dreams website
Tech jobs for Blacks? Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH convene tech companies for diversity and inclusion forum
Outed undercover cop pulls gun on Oakland protesters
Living in a world on edge: ‘It might not be safe to be here’
Put those police cameras on the bankers
Rwanda continues inquiry into BBC ‘genocide denial,’ refuses Reyntjens’ testimony
People power grows, demands justice
Rwandans protest Dutch support for Kagame dictatorship
Mass evictions at Oakland’s Empyrean Towers
Why we won’t wait: Resisting the war against the Black and Brown underclass
SF public defender: NYC grand jury decision on Eric Garner ‘would defy belief – if it didn’t happen so often’
Time to stop racially motivated killings

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

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Dear Nadir: How can I prepare my 13-year-old Black autistic son for encounters with police?

Dec 21, 2014

Today, like far too many days, another unarmed Black male was killed by a white police officer who felt threatened by and most likely didn’t see the value in a Black life. It makes no difference that this child or man may have broken the law because that hasn’t been proven. It does matter that this so-called “peace officer” decided that that Black male was guilty when he saw he was Black.

Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal puts the law on your side, needs your support this holiday season

Dec 17, 2014

Civil law, intended to protect the vulnerable in our society, has been shown to be extremely effective at protecting the housing, property, family and employment rights of our neighbors when utilized. Sadly though, poor people in our society are almost never able to use the civil law to protect their rights. Simply put, this is because there aren’t enough trained lawyers available to help the poor, vulnerable and oppressed enforce their civil rights.

#BlackLivesMatter takes the field: A weekend of athletes speaking out

Dec 8, 2014
Reggie Bush makes plain his opposition to police murders during pre-game warmups on Sunday, Dec. 7. – Photo: Rick Osentoski, AP

The marches in the streets are not done. The die-ins disrupting traffic are not done. Any kind of closure for the families of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley and so many others is far from done. Athletic protest actions have the effect of amplifying the impact of a new struggle for human dignity in the face of racism. It has found expression in all 50 states and in solidarity actions in cities around the world, all with the message that Black lives matter.

Third Street Stroll …

Dec 5, 2014

As I stroll on 3-STREET, within the blocks bounded by Newcomb and Palou, took time to get a close up look at the Community Christmas Tree on the grounds of the Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre. Ules Tabron Jr., who works for the Opera House, plays Santa every year – look for him during festivities; Dec. 18, 5-9 p.m., in the HEART of the PEOPLE’S Plaza, on Third, between Oakdale and Palou, decorated with beautiful lighting above.

August Wilson and Ferguson: Wilson’s ‘Jitney’ opens on Broadway, Oakland, Dec. 26

Dec 4, 2014
'Jitney' Lower Bottom Playaz poster

August Wilson’s largest message is to remember. He insists we remember our song, that we do our duty to life by remembering we were born free with dignity and everything. He is a Sankofa playwright capable of making the past come to life in the present. His methodology a metaphor for remembering you must look back to move forward successfully; if you drop the ball, you’ve got to go back to get it to be successful in the end zone.

Wanda’s Picks for December 2014
The history of Oakland’s premiere soul food spot: Home of Chicken and Waffles
St. John Coltrane Church to celebrate 50th anniversary of ‘A Love Supreme’ Dec. 8 at Grace Cathedral
Kujichagulia Seitu’s ‘Go Tell It!’ plays in Berkeley Dec. 6-7
Oakland International Film Festival is accepting submissions still
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