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Eric Garner, father of 6, killed in chokehold by NYPD for selling untaxed cigarettes

“They will try to scandalize the deceased,” Rev. Al Sharpton said of the NYPD and what he anticipated they would say. “The issue is not about an unarmed man selling cigarettes … It’s about a man who was subjected to a chokehold and is no longer with us.” At that point, Esaw Garner collapsed and had to be held up by Sharpton and Rev. Herbert Daughtry. All of Garner’s relatives were in pain and weeping as they left the stage. Sure enough, at a press conference, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton began his remarks by citing the arrest record of Garner and explaining that the police were there to apprehend Garner for the sale of illegal cigarettes.

Behind Enemy Lines

Imam Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) transferred to Butner Federal Medical Center, N.C.

Jul 18, 2014

Attorney Karima Al-Amin, wife of Imam Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known worldwide as H. Rap Brown, the voice of Black power, announced yesterday what has now been confirmed: “Imam Jamil has been moved to Butner FMC (Federal Medical Center), North Carolina.” Word on his condition or whether he has received medical care has not yet come. Still, this great man remains behind enemy lines, and the same mass pressure by the people that resulted in his transfer must be applied and intensified until he is free.

Federal judge strikes down California’s death penalty

Jul 16, 2014

A federal judge has ruled that California’s death penalty system is unconstitutional, finding it arbitrary and in violation of the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment. “Today’s ruling … is a monumental victory for justice,” declared San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. “I commend U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney for his courage and wisdom,”

Guantánamo nurse refused to participate in ‘criminal’ force-feedings

Jul 15, 2014

A military medical professional at Guantánamo Bay recently refused to force-feed detainees after witnessing the suffering it caused them. The incident is thought to be the first case of “conscientious objection” to force-feeding at Guantánamo since a mass hunger strike began at the prison last year.

To celebrate the movement: The California prisoner hunger strike one year later

Jul 14, 2014

One year ago on July 8, 30,000 California prisoners refused meals and work assignments, beginning a 60-day hunger strike with the core demand of ending the state’s use of indefinite solitary confinement. This was the largest hunger strike in U.S. history, and it presented the deepest challenge yet to solitary by bringing national and international attention to a practice that has long been condemned by human rights groups as torture.

Prisoners and advocates commemorate the one-year anniversary of the hunger strike by California prisoners and file lawsuit against CDCR

Jul 8, 2014
Dolores Canales, founder of California Families Against Solitary Confinement, speaks at a rally in Norwalk, California, on the day the third California mass prisoner hunger strike began, July 8, 2013, one year ago today. Prisoners’ families see the hunger strikes and the torture that instigates them not only as political issues but as personal issues that could take the lives of their loved ones.

A year ago on July 8, over 30,000 people inside California prisons began a hunger strike to bring an end to the state’s use of indefinite solitary confinement. On the one-year anniversary of the largest prisoner hunger strike in California history, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law today is filing a lawsuit charging CDCR with illegally refusing to publicly disclose information, data and studies regarding its solitary confinement rules, policies and practices.

Events worldwide commemorate mass California hunger strike first anniversary
Supporters demand political prisoner Imam Jamil (H. Rap Brown), diagnosed with rare cancer, be hospitalized immediately
Largest hunger strike in history: California prisoners speak out on first anniversary
Outlaw to walk free July 14
Houston needs a civilian review board – but Texas needs much more!
Calipatria riots need to cease and unity needs to spread
Leonard Peltier, my cellmate: Simple man with a big vision
Leonard Peltier after 39 years in prison: Live to make our children proud
Attorney Anne Butterfield Weills: ‘Obscenity’ regs show ‘CDCR views many of its prisoners … as political prisoners’
Last Menard hunger striker calls for a new generation of warriors
Who gets to choose? Coerced sterilization in California prisons
Don’t let Ohio execute Keith LaMar (Bomani Shakur), framed and innocent on death row
Free Imam Jamil Al-Amin! His wife, attorney Karima Al-Amin, tells of the US’ 47-year campaign to silence H. Rap Brown
Court rules Human Rights Coalition’s prison censorship lawsuit can move forward
From Palestine to Pelican Bay, prisoners and their loved ones fight for justice and freedom

News & Views

Bigoted bullying at Richmond City Council meetings aims to end progressive leadership

Jul 21, 2014

After the Richmond City Council meeting of July 1, I experienced one of the most intense and hostile encounters I have had to endure as a public official and in my entire life for that matter. Since then, there has been at least one news report and a series of deliberate misrepresentations of what took place that night. It is not my intention to respond to false accusations raised or dignify the insults with a response.

In memory of Andy Lopez: Turn a negative into a positive

Jul 18, 2014

I am proposing that a fund or funds be set up in memory of Andy Lopez to help students, especially Latino students and other disenfranchised students of color, who are in need of financial support and are struggling to achieve the goal of higher education. I strongly urge that the district attorney, the sheriff, the City Council and the Board of Supervisors, as well as all law enforcement agencies, contribute to these efforts.

Doesn’t the Navy know the Boys and Girls Club left toxic Treasure Island?

Jul 18, 2014
This looks like a wonderful place for children, but is it safe? The original caption on this San Francisco Chronicle photo reads: “The Boys and Girls Club is closed until school starts next week on Treasure Island, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. The health department alleged a Navy contractor might have inadvertently exposed children to radioactive dust at the Boys and Girls Club and at a child development center on the island.” – Photo: Liz Hafalia, San Francisco Chronicle

The Girls and Boys Club departure is sobering for island parents. It establishes that a venerable organization refuses to participate in exposing young people – their children – to radioactive and chemical poisons it knows to a certainty exist at its former site. What if Job Corps and the other small island businesses employing many young people followed suit?

Kenneth Harding Jr.: Three years after SFPD murdered my son, just demonizing, no justice

Jul 16, 2014

Three years ago, on July 16, 2011, I awakened to the news that San Francisco police had killed my 19-year-old son, Kenneth Harding Jr., for allegedly evading a $2 bus fare. It’s hard when you’re trying to find out what happened to your child but no one will produce the facts that support the theory that he supposedly killed himself. The police put that message out and never backed it up, hoping to take away any sense of empathy. This month will be our 29th consecutive month of feeding the community at the very spot where Kenneth’s blood still stains the ground.

Andy Lopez inspires the people to rise up, to defend! educate! resist!

Jul 13, 2014
Hundreds marched Saturday, July 12, to protest District Attorney Jill Ravitch’s refusal to indict Sheriff’s Deputy Gelhaus for the murder of Andy Lopez. The march was called “Ravitch Says Justified, The People Say Homicide!“ – Photo: Daniela Kantorova

When I first heard about Andy, I had no doubt that there would be no justice coming from the D.A.’s office; it will come from the people. Expecting the D.A. to provide justice in this case would be like asking Israel to stop shelling Palestine. The oppressors will never police themselves. But what did give me hope was seeing the people rising up in Santa Rosa demanding an end to state terror.

Gaza: Nowhere to run
Justice sought for Black woman savagely beaten by CHP officer
10 arrested blocking trucks sent to shut off water services in Detroit
Sixty-five million left out of July 4 celebration
Jury denies damages to father of Oscar Grant
Hunters Point to Treasure Island: From the frying pan into the fire
Yuri Kochiyama: A life in struggle
Campos, Adachi and tenant advocates seek right to legal representation for any tenant facing eviction in San Francisco
Noose hung on Recology worker’s job
Eviction attorney Charles Ramsey wants to be Richmond’s next mayor
‘We are hiding out with no water’: Detroit privatizers deny poor people their right to water
The Death Penalty: Killing in the name of God is the ultimate act of blasphemy
Jackson Rising launches Cooperation Jackson to end economic exclusion and build community wealth
Mississippi Freedom Summer Youth Congress: Once again youth are the swinging fist
The story behind the 2015 California Budget Act

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
  • Free Drop-in Job Counseling Every Fourth Wednesday

    Jul 23 - 2:00 PM

  • Film on Cuba in honor of Moncada assault

    Jul 23 - 7:00 PM

  • Oakland Stories: The Black Panthers Politics and Party Music

    Jul 24 - 6:00 PM

  • San Francisco Professional Job Fair

    Jul 25 - 9:00 AM

  • MUSICAL HAPPY HOUR at Radio Africa & Kitchen

    Jul 25 - 5:30 PM

  • Forum: Eyewitness Palestine

    Jul 25 - 7:00 PM

  • End Israel's War on the Palestinian People!

    Jul 26 - 1:00 PM

  • Mandela Foods Co-op Diet and Disease Prevention Workshop

    Jul 26 - 2:00 PM

  • Major Bay Area Kickoff Meeting: October 2014 Nationwide Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

    Jul 26 - 2:00 PM

  • Passing the Torch: Celebrate the Leadership of Gerald Lenoir and Opal Tometi

    Jul 27 - 2:00 PM

‘Virunga’ documents Congo battle pitting gorillas against greed over ocean of oil

Jul 17, 2014
Virunga National Park Congolese gorilla caretaker Andre Baum carries one of his “family members,” a gorilla held at the rehabilitation center to recover from injuries inflicted by poachers.

The documentary “Virunga” tells the story of the rangers at Virunga National Park in eastern Congo who are battling to keep the last remaining 800 mountain gorillas that live in the park alive – a battle against poachers, the M23 rebel forces and the British corporation Soco, which is trying to convince officials inside the park and in government to allow them to exploit the huge ocean of oil that lies under the park.

‘The 12 O’Clock Boys’ screens July 17 in Matatu Film Festival

Jul 16, 2014

Alongside the political and class contradictions that you can see in the documentary about how Baltimore police – and police all over the nation – treat Black youth, “The 12 O’Clock Boys” is a very human story about a young Black man trying to survive in an environment not meant for his survival, but for his capture and/or his extermination.

Poetry returns to Oakland: The Golden Stair

Jul 15, 2014

After the gentrified death of Oakland’s beloved poetry house, the Air Lounge, a few months ago, the Golden Stair has swiftly moved in to remedy the void. It’s hosted by Siraj Fowler and his wife, Daaimah Waqia, and it happens every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in North Oakland at 608 55th St.

Wanda’s Picks for July 2014

Jul 9, 2014

The Glide Memorial Church family worked wonders at the celebration of San Francisco native Maya Angelou’s life that she requested before she died. They juxtaposed carefully chosen visual moments with prerecorded Maya moments, which made her presence so palatable that the sanctuary lights came under the control of Spirit Maya and played with our collective vision – the room almost dark and the lights flickering off and on.

Comedian Leroy Stanfield talks Stop the Violence and Oakland Comedy Superfest Weekend

Jul 8, 2014
Leroy Stanfield

Leroy Stanfield is a Bay Area comedian on the rise, who some may know from his company, GoBaby Productions, and others may know him from his crew, The Bay Boys of Comedy. He is not just a comedian but a community man, who is doing what he thinks will help to quell all of the street violence in Oakland. At the end of July, he is organizing Oakland’s First Annual Comedy Superfest Weekend.

Meet Tawana Williams, motivational speaker born without arms, author of ‘Unarmed But Dangerous’
Early childhood education: Look both ways and watch out for the police
Frisco’s dynamic duo: an interview wit’ gallery owner, organizer and media-maker Melonie Green
Third Street Stroll …
Lower Bottom Playaz present August Wilson’s ‘Two Trains Running’
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