What are you doing during lockdown? We’re thinking revolution, and we invite you to join us. Yes, COVID-19 is a dire threat; 50 million people died in the 1918 flu pandemic. And yes, we have the best opportunity that Willie and I have seen in our 80+ years to come out of it with a much more free, just and peaceful world!
So let’s make it happen! My main reason for writing today is to encourage – urge – you to spread our latest SFBayView.com stories far and wide like manure to make them grow. Freeing the prisoners and housing the homeless are not easy issues for most folks to swallow. Some stories will appeal to some readers and others to others. Share your favorites. All these stories – and more – were posted in this amazing month of March.
Whether by social media or email or old-fashioned phone calls, please remind people that there’s work to do! Advocates for the folks who are despised and forgotten are as much front-line, essential workers as nurses and doctors right now. And you can participate in this revolution from home!
PAID work opportunities at the Bay View! Email if you’re interested.
1) We need a bookkeeper or accountant to catch up our books and file our overdue taxes, and we have a $1,000 gift from a supporter to pay for that work.
2) Thanks to longtime supporter Fred Jordan of the SF African American Chamber of Commerce, we can pay freelancers for stories on the out-migration of Blacks from San Francisco and how we can come out of this pandemic with a city that, for the first time in its history, welcomes Black folks and lets them earn a living.
Indulge in some recent stories and discover new ones every day at sfbayview.com …
Liberate our elders! California Prison Focus demands Gov. Newsom protect peacemakers from COVID-19 by releasing them immediately Support demands by CPF and the Prisoner Human Rights Movement that Gov. Newsom release all state prisoners who are medically fragile or over 60, starting with the authors of the Agreement to End Hostilities and followed by the remaining members of the Ashker Class Action Settlement.
Protect unhoused San Franciscans from COVID-19 We are calling on the City to house every single homeless person in a vacant housing unit immediately, prioritizing those who fall into the high-risk category.
California prisoners seek federal court action to lower population levels Correctional experts explain that the release of vulnerable populations – who are overwhelmingly older, seriously mentally ill, physically disabled, and/or chronically ill – presents little or no public safety risk of recidivism, while correctional medical and mental health experts predict that failure to reduce the prison population would result in increased numbers of deaths.
Black Caucus introduces bill to overturn Prop 209 “This elimination of equal opportunity for minorities and women and the total demise of Black contracting in the state has gone on far too long. We must repeal Prop 209!” – San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce Chair Frederick Jordan
It is time to empty the prisons In this moment of crisis, the prisons will act as an incubator for COVID-19. If we want to protect the entire country from this disease, we must empty the prisons.
If all lives matter, lift U.S. sanctions against Iran to curb the spread of coronavirus I’d like to put to the test the moral commitment of every Amerikan who jumped on and rode the “all lives matter” bandwagon.
Recommendations for release, transition and care for people inside Following up on “Justice organizations call on California Gov. Newsom to act now to reduce COVID-19 risks in state prisons,” The Justice Collaborative sent these more specific and detailed recommendations to key members of Gov. Newsom’s administration.
Justice organizations call on California Gov. Newsom to act now to reduce COVID-19 risks… A coalition of more than 20 California justice organizations sent this letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, March 13, imploring him to take immediate steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in state prisons and the surrounding communities.
Fascism, racism and homelessness kill with or without a virus There are so many more terrorizing things in this poverty skola’s life than a virus. Before you read on, please turn your phone, TV, radio or computer off for just a minute. Take a deep breath and give your corporate media-terrorized mind a rest.
“Given the public health emergency posed by coronavirus, my office is seeking the immediate release of all incarcerated people sentenced to county jail in San Francisco who have less than six months left to serve,” said Public Defender Mano Raju.
Elected prosecutors address COVID-19 and the rights and needs of those in custody Fair and Just Prosecution, a coalition of newly-elected local prosecutors committed to a justice system with fairness, equity, and compassion, denounces the public health hazard of incarceration in the face of COVID-19 and calls for decarceration, humane conditions, healthcare measures, and a reduction of immigrant detention to keep our communities safe during and after the outbreak.
Sup. Preston and Providence Foundation moving people from shelters to hotel rooms in District 5San Francisco – In light of the statewide mandated shelter-in-place order, along with the social distancing directions from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Supervisor Dean Preston has taken matters into his own hands and secured hotel rooms for otherwise unhoused women and families who currently are living in congregate settings, most of whom are in vulnerable populations.
COVID-19 test kits needed for Federal Bureau of Prisons now! Screening is not testing COVID-19 test kits must be provided for employees and prisoners who work and are housed in facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I have engaged in some investigative journalism and discovered that prison administrators at the Federal Correctional Complex at Pollock, Louisiana, have ordered screening for all federal employees entering the federal prison complex at Pollock daily, but because of a shortage of COVID-19 test kits, the BOP employees are not being tested!
SF Supervisors announce plan to plan to house unhoused San Franciscans in thousands of available hotel rooms during the pandemic Today, Supervisors Hillary Ronen, Matt Haney, Dean Preston, Aaron Peskin and Shamann Walton, in City Hall’s first all-virtual press conference, called for a major shift in the City response to COVID-19 to prioritize temporarily housing people experiencing homelessness.
50+ organizations demand San Francisco release people from jails to mitigate COVID-19 spread “The proven and most effective way to combat the spread of infectious diseases inside of jails is to reduce the imprisoned population and release people back into their communities.” – No New SF Jail Coalition
Outside organizers start a hotline to support incarcerated people through the COVID-19 outbreak We encourage incarcerated people and family members to call 510-301-9403 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any urgent information regarding the status of COVID-19 inside prisons, jails, detention and so-called medical facilities.
Prisons in a time of pandemic: Protect our loved ones inside It’s time to Free ‘Em All – or as many prisoners as we can! For loved ones coming home to the Bay Area, this should be one of their first stops.
Humanity not cages: Demanding a just and humane response to outbreak If federal, state and local officials take swift action, they can not only prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside prisons, jails and detention centers and ensure the safety and wellness of our loved ones in cages, but they can also have an enormous impact on the wellness of the rest of the country.
Bomani Shakur’s life matters“Leadership does not mean domination. The world is always supplied with people who wish to rule and dominate others. The true leader is of a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficent purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake and, holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspiration.” – from “The Wise Mind of H.I.M. Emperor Haile Sellasie I,” Chapter 10, Leadership
No need to wait for pandemics: The public health case for criminal justice reform Prison Policy Initiative offers five examples of policies that could slow the spread of a viral pandemic in prisons and jails – and would mitigate the everyday impact of incarceration on public health.
Rush urges Bureau of Prisons to release elderly, nonviolent prisoners to mitigate coronavirus risk Today, U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush, D-Illinois, sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, calling on Director Michael Carvajal to release elderly, nonviolent prisoners in an attempt to mitigate any risk of infection to the prison population.
Treasure Island: ‘Everybody who put us out there should be in jail for murder… “I’m angry about that because I would never have moved to Treasure Island if they had told me there was radiation (there). I didn’t know what was happening to me until I got these tumors (one) on my shoulder and one on my side.”
‘Virus or no virus, we can’t lose our voice’: Cheri Honkala on battling back in frontline communities We can’t sit on the sidelines waiting for someone to save us. We need to link arms and remember that all we have is each other, and we’d better get organized to take housing, to take land, to take back a future for ourselves and our children.
Federal jury awards estate and family of Sahleem Tindle Jr. $6,343,000 for wrongful shooting death by BART police officer “The shooting was outrageous in that Tindle was shot in cold blood with his back to the officer while attempting to surrender,” said civil rights attorney John Burris after the $6 million-plus jury verdict was announced. BART Officer Joseph Mateu had fired three shots into Tindle’s back within seconds after arriving on the scene.
Alameda County Public Defender wins release of more than 300 prisoners Lawyers with the Public Defender’s Office in collaboration with the sheriff, prosecutors and courts have secured the release of more than 300 people because of the threat of COVID-19 in Santa Rita County Jail. Most of those had 45 days or less to serve in jail.
California Coalition for Women Prisoners: Protect our sisters’ health and safety, free the elders!California Coalition for Women Prisoners calls on prison administrators and state representatives to release elderly and at-risk populations and take necessary sanitary and human rights precautions to protect our communities from COVID-19
Here’s how a real president handles a crisis: Bernie Sanders’ pandemic response plan “In this moment of crisis, more and more people understand that we need fundamental changes to our economy, and we need fundamental changes to our healthcare system.” – Sen. Bernie Sanders
The Grayzone and CODEPINK demand emergency international election observers from the OAS in 2020… “The OAS must send an emergency election monitoring team to the United States to ensure independent scrutiny of a presidential primary that has been marred by clear irregularities and the systematic and highly discriminatory obstruction of citizens’ right to vote,” says Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal.
North Carolina prisoners plan grievance submission to US DOJ on May 7 “Dear U.S. Attorney General: For over 100 years, citizens born and naturalized in the U.S. who have been convicted of crime have endured the inhumane indignity of being stripped of our citizenship and right to vote through felony disenfranchisement by way of the United States Constitution’s 13th Amendment. Additionally, citizens who have been arrested or continue to be housed in jails and prisons nationally in all 50 sovereign states have been subjected to the conspiratorial practice of police and/or prison officials who violate our First Amendment right to free speech as well as political association through on-going censorship practices that limit what we can read or write and to whom.” – Excerpt of grievance crafted by North Carolina Department of Correction prisoners Randy Watterson and Joseph “Shine White” Stewart
California labels alienated, idealistic kids of color as potential violent extremists California’s “Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE)” program flags teenage kids “feeling alienated from their peers,” “having a strong sense of being troubled by injustice” and suffering from “depression” as also having “tendencies to extremism” that should be closely monitored. And surprise surprise, these kids are disproportionately Black and Brown.
Bernie Sanders and the Military Industrial Complex No one on the left was more critical of Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential run than late Black Agenda Report Editor Bruce Dixon. However, after Bernie’s speech announcing that he planned to run again this year, Bruce asked me, “Did you see that?” I said, “No, not yet.” Then he said, “This is a whole new Bernie. Bernie 2.0. This is a Bernie who’s learned how to talk to Black people.”
Lynching is finally illegal in the USThe Congressional Black Caucus released the following statement following the Feb. 26 House passage of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, legislation that would make lynching a crime under federal law.
Earth Island Institute takes on Big Plastic “These plastics peddlers knew that our nation’s disposal and recycling capabilities would be overrun, and their products would end up polluting our waterways.” – Earth Island Institute Board President Josh Floum
Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders releases plan for guaranteed ‘Child Care and Pre-K for All’ Now running as the presumptive frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday morning, Feb. 24, unveiled a sweeping new proposal that would guarantee high-quality child care and then pre-kindergarten education to every child – regardless of income or status – in the United States.
Victoire Ingabire and International Women’s Day Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza remains in Rwanda, where President Paul Kagame’s government has forbidden her to leave. Earlier this month, gospel singer Kizito Mihigo, whom the government had also forbidden to leave Rwanda, died after being apprehended trying to cross Rwanda’s southern border into Burundi. The government said that he committed suicide, but few Rwandans believe that.
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