Friday, November 26, 2010

From the Ancestors to a new Future

2010 Alcatraz Sunrise Ceremony
Article and photos by Brenda Norrell/Censored News SAN FRANCISCO -- Thousands of people gathered on Alcatraz Island to remember those who occupied the island in 1969 in a stand of resistance for Native American rights. Before first light, the ceremony began with Pomo traditional dancers. Maori are among those honoring the traditions and culture of their peoples. Before sunrise, live on KPFA Radio, Wounded Knee spoke of the Shellmound Walk and the need to protect the Shellmounds. Radley Davis offered a traditional song, with Doug Duncan and the Pomo Dancers. With more than 4,000 people gathered, children and family members of those who occupied Alcatraz shared memories. Fred Short spoke on honoring the traditions and recognizing the warriors who stood up against the oppression of the government.
Clyde Bellecourt said at the time Alcatraz was occupied, in the late '60s and early '70s, nothing was being done to uplift the conditions of American Indian people. Speaking of the US colonizers, Bellecourt said this is the day of "Thanks-taking" for European immigrants to the US.
"We're not minorities, we are sovereign nations," Bellecourt said.

Sunrise Ceremony 2007 Alcatraz

People of Color Organize (POCO), is sponsoring a supply drive to contribute to the Pine Ridge Emergency Relief Aid program. This is a program created by the Lakota Nation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota to mitigate the deplorable conditions that the United States continues to impose on native people.
In the Pine Ridge Sioux community, euphemistically known as “Reservations”, Lakota men have a life expectancy of less than 44 years, the infant mortality rate is 300% more than the U.S. average, and the median income is approximately $2,600 to $3,500 per year. These statistics represent only a few of the conditions the Lakota are forced to live under due to U.S. policy in so-called “Indian Affairs”.
Please donate dry and canned goods, new clothing (all ages, all sizes), paper products (napkins, plates, cups, etc.), and school supplies for the T.R.E.A.T.Y school to the Lakota people. All donations can be sent to P.O. Box 667233, Houston, Texas 77266-7233. Donations will be accepted through December 15, 2010. We also encourage you to visit the Lakota website at [] and make monetary donations to them directly.

2010-11-24 "Prisoner on stolen land: an interview wit’ Aaron about political prisoner Leonard Peltier" by Block Report Radio host JR.
Adapted from original at []
JR is an Associate Editor for the San Francisco Bay View newspaper and is the Minister of Information for the Prisoner Of Conscience Committee. Email him at and visit
Listening party for new hip hop cd, the ‘Free Leonard Peltier Album,’ Tuesday, Nov. 30, 6:30 p.m., at the Black Dot Café, 1195 Pine St., West Oakland. The Block Report and Aaron will be hosting a listening party for the album. Come through and learn about Leonard’s case and indigenous resistance, and come hang out as we listen to a slappin’ album.
Leonard Peltier is a legendary leader of resistance against police and government oppression specifically dealing with the indigenous people of Turtle Island (Amerikkka). He has been a political prisoner of the settler-colonial government of the United States for over 30 years and is in jail for the murder of two FBI agents, although evidence proves that he is innocent. You can learn a lot about his case from the documentary, “Incident at Oglala.”
Recently his nephew Aaron released the “Free Leonard Peltier Album,” which features some of the most notable rappers on the scene today that rap for freedom.
Check out Aaron in this brief interview …
M.O.I. JR: Who is Leonard Peltier? And why is he important to the international human rights movement?
Aaron: Leonard Peltier is an indigenous political prisoner who is being held captive by the U.S. government – an indigenous man who was wrongfully convicted in 1977 and has served over 30 years in federal prison despite proof of his innocence, also despite proof that he was convicted on the basis of fabricated and suppressed evidence, as well as coerced testimony. The U.S. government fabricated a case against Leonard, which ultimately led to his conviction for the death of two FBI agents. There have been over 19 constitutional violations committed against Leonard throughout his whole case which clearly indicates his trial was in no way fair and free from prejudice. Leonard has become a symbol of indigenous resistance and a cornerstone of the human rights movement because of his commitment to the people and unwillingness to give up.
M.O.I. JR: What is the status of his case today?
Aaron: Leonard was denied parole last year and is not again eligible for decades. He has used all of his appeals and, unfortunately, when he did appeal, all of the evidence proving his innocence was not yet released to the public. The Freedom of Information Act led to Leonard’s lawyers getting key information which proves his innocence, such as ballistic evidence which was hidden from the defense during the trial which clearly indicates that the firing pin in the murder weapon was damaged and could not be tested accurately. The truth is that they replaced the firing pin to get the results they wanted in one of many fabrications of what really happen.
M.O.I. JR: Have you been in contact with him? Who is he as a person? What are some of the things that Leonard likes?
Aaron: My sister and I have written Leonard many letters over the years and he wrote back many years ago. From behind bars he has approved various elements of the “Free Peltier” album via the LPDOC (Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee) and he even allowed us to use his painting “Zi Warrior” for the cover of the album. Leonard is a very peaceful man and has become a mentor to many people out here in these streets and in the community from behind bars.
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell us about this cd that you just released?
Aaron: The Free Leonard Peltier Album is a gathering of members of the progressive hip hop community who are focused on the unjust incarceration of Leonard Peltier. The artists hope to raise dialogue in the community regarding the case of Leonard Peltier and expose one of the criminal justice system’s biggest abuses of justice in U.S. history. I first conceived the album in hopes to raise awareness regarding Leonard’s plight within the community in a way they can relate to. One of my favorite lines on the album is “Human Rights organizations are trying to right this wrong but, for Peltier, the least I can do is write this song. It’s been over 30 years of tears and frustration since the brother stood up with no fear for the nation,” proclaimed by Rakaa of Dilated Peoples in his tribute to Leonard along with 2Mex in their amazing track “Right This Wrong.”
Other guests include Immortal Technique, M1 of Dead Prez, Talib Kweli, Skyzoo, Reks, T-Kash, Arievolution and iamani i. iameni, Mama Wisdom, Bicasso of the Living Legends, Eseibio, Buggin Malone, The DIme and DeeSkee.
M.O.I. JR: How can people get more info online about the case? Aaron: For more information on the case of Leonard Peltier, please visit [] and [].
For more information on the “Free Leonard Peltier Album: Hip Hop’s Contribution to the Freedom Campaign,” please visit on iTunes or FreeLeonardPeltierHipHop on cdbaby.

Related Posts
* Leonard Peltier’s safety in jeopardy! []
* Rebel of the underground: an interview with RodStarz of Rebel Diaz []
* Leonard Peltier: Statement of solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal []
* The frat house death of Gregory Johnson Jr. remains unsolved []
* Leonard Peltier: Parole denied []

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For more information visit []
The act of providing articles and hyperlinks, as an expression of journalism, is to research and collect verifiable information, and does not constitute an endorsement of the "veracity of truths" or political-positions produced by the sources.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

2010-11-25 Radio Playlist

Hip Hop

Sage Francis:


"Fake Candy":

"Ove the Garden" from Napa Valley:

Folk and Acoustic music:

"The Crux" from Santa Rosa:

Tom Hamilton from Vallejo, co-host with Jessica Ryan of the jammin' Wednesday Night open mic at The Townhouse, 8pm until whenever.

Down at the Town House

2010-11-25 News digest

Don’t forget “Buy Nothing Day”

"4 smart reasons to celebrate Buy Nothing Day"

"Buy Nothing Day + Carnivalesque Rebellion"

"Reverend Billy prepares for Buy Nothing Day"

San Pablo Bay Ecology:
"Marin creek being restored to bring back coho" by Peter Fimrite from "San Francisco Chronicle" newspaper
2010-11-12 -
Sharon Farrell tromped through mud, trudged over a bridge and schlepped into a recently cleared field near Muir Beach, in Marin County, where she pointed out a gravel-filled ditch that might soon hold the secret to bringing endangered coho salmon back to the Bay Area. The meandering hole in the ground is a crucial part of a $13 million project by the National Park Service and the nonprofit Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to restore Redwood Creek. The 650-foot-long crevasse is the intended new route into the ocean for the creek, which flows from Mount Tamalpais, through Muir Woods, past the cozy Pelican Inn and out to Muir Beach. "Over the past century there has been a lot of agricultural use in this area, which has degraded the creek," said Farrell, the associate director of park projects, resource conservation and project implementation for the conservancy. "A levee and a road were built and they pinched the creek. Because it is so confined, the water moves very rapidly through here and there is very little backwater habitat, which the fish need." The Redwood Creek Restoration Project, which began in 2009, is an attempt to restore the 46-acre creek floodplain, historic tidal lagoon and surrounding wetlands habitat so that native fish, birds and amphibians may again thrive.
[ ... ]

"Maps tell stories of pollution, health impacts"

“How many people live in communities burdened by multiple sources of pollution?” That was a question Sarah Sharpe, director of Fresno Metro Ministry’s environmental health program, asked the approximately100 people who attended the Central California Environmental Justice Network conference last Saturday afternoon in Wasco. Across the room, hands shot up in the air. People then listed off the sources of pollution in their San Joaquín Valley communities: superfund sites, incinerators, municipal waste facilities, slaughterhouses, diesel emissions, and hazardous waste sites.
Now, a new initiative is striving to formally document those multiple pollution sources, in order to prevent further pollution in these communities. Through the San Joaquín Valley Cumulative Health Impacts Project, local environmental and health organizations are partnering with the UC Davis Center for Regional Change to map cumulative health impacts in socially vulnerable Valley communities.
The maps document the local pollution sources, and are layered with social data, like the percentage of young people without a high school degree, the percentage of people of color in the community, the percentage of people living below the federal poverty level, and the percentage of people who don’t speak English at home. The resulting maps, which were revealed Saturday at the conference, prove what many community residents already know: San Joaquín Valley communities suffer from polluted air, dirty water and unsafe unhealthy environments, and lower-income communities of color are often hit hardest.
The maps can now be used to build community’s advocacy capacity, and ultimately influence regulatory decision-making, by the San Joaquín Valley Air Pollution Control District and other entities. “This is a tool to document and support what you already know,” said Tara Zagofksy of UC Davis. She said the project utilized publicly available information about pollution and health issues, “to tell your stories in a different way.”

"Wi-Fi Makes Trees Sick, Study Says"

"Your City Council Report"

"Final vote tally confirms Supervisor Dillon’s win"
[ ... ]
While the late-counted ballots may not have had a significant effect on any local candidates, they added an element of interest to the vote to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. As of the last Election Night update, Proposition 19 was failing in Napa County by a margin of 14,799 votes against to 14,366 in favor.
Fast forward to Friday’s official results and the controversial measure had made up a significant amount of ground — enough to make Napa one of only 12 counties that votes in favor of the measure.
With all the ballots counted,
Napa County voters approved Prop. 19 by only 13 votes, with 23,210 in favor and 23,197 opposing.
Overall, this year’s midterm election saw almost 48,000 voters participate in the democratic process — 68 percent of Napa County’s nearly 70,000 registered voters. Tuteur noted that Napa County’s participation level was better than the statewide average, and placed the county in the top 10 in terms of voter turnout.

"New Tech students set composting goals" by Marissa Faulkner and Danielle Cole (Faulkner and Cole are seniors at New Technology High School in Napa.)
It has recently come to our attention that although New Technology High School is considered to be at a Gold level of LEED certification, the school is not sufficiently supporting this by continuing to enforce green practices in the school. One particular area of concern is the landscaping and agricultural department. To help with this, our goal is to create and maintain a school compost pile that is completely student-run. We already have compost bins that were put in place to reduce the amount of trash that New Tech produces which goes into a city landfill.
Though it benefits the earth to have a city landfill, our school does not directly benefit from it, and thus we are not doing so well in the landscaping and agricultural department. We simply send our compost off to the larger city compost, which uses non-renewable fuel in the transportation of the compost. By creating our own school compost pile, we would be able to benefit the school in many ways. We have set up two major goals for this project.
One, to eliminate the use of non-renewable energy, such as petroleum, that is used to transport the compost to the city compost center.
Two, to use the compost in the student-run garden.
We have been grateful enough to receive space for our own campus garden, but we are lacking an important piece of that garden. Composting has been shown in many ways to improve garden quality and would directly benefit our school. To meet the permission and code compliance, we will speak with our school administrators to find out if there are limitations on our projected goals.
We have been given permission from faculty and staff, so we have eliminated rejection as a concern. Our campus compost does not require a lot of materials, for it is constructed and built up through the reusable waste that goes into it. One material we know we will need is large mesh plastic. This material is very easy to obtain.
We will set up a maintenance committee to manage the compost pile, but they will not have much work to do. The compost does all the work on its own. However, we do want people to make infrequent check-ups on the compost to ensure proper usage. These people should remove the trash and in return will get school service hours.
The reason we have contacted the public is because we need your help. We need some general funds to get this program started. We are asking for a base sum of $300. This money would go toward setting up the actual compost pile area, maintaining it, and supporting the maintenance committee. We would like to thank you for taking to the time to read this letter and take our project into consideration.
We look forward to hopefully hearing from you soon.

"Fourteen security cameras monitor Napa public areas" by Alisha Wyman from "Napa Valley Register"
[ ... ]
The systems continuously record images, but they aren’t monitored by police unless an unusual event occurs. They are meant to alert dispatch whenever there is motion in areas that are closed to the public at night. Police can call up the images in their patrol cars. This is one area the department is working to fine-tune, Troendly said. The new system allows police to call up images if a crime occurs in the vicinity.
[ ... ]
The cameras were helpful when Wells Fargo Bank on Main Street was robbed in July. Police were able to place the suspect’s vehicle in the area at the time of the robbery. This is another piece of evidence prosecutors can use in court, he said.

Student Power:
"Berkeley Campus Protest Echoes Major Themes"

Gang Wars and cultural criminalization:
"Gang injunctions face federal test in OC, skepticism in Oakland"

"Do Gang Injunctions Work?"

Community Sovereignty:
"Oakland soon will issue municipal ID cards"

"Progressives jockey for 'holy grail': S.F. mayor" by Rachel Gordon from "San Francisco Chronicle" newspaper
2010-11-23 -
The solid left majority on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has an opportunity to do what city voters haven't done for more than two decades: put a progressive in the mayor's office. Not since the election of Art Agnos in 1987 has a progressive served as mayor, and his tenure ended four years later when he lost his re-election bid to Frank Jordan, the more conservative former police chief.
The only progressive mayor before Agnos, George Moscone, was assassinated in 1978, three years into his first term.
Now, with Mayor Gavin Newsom, a San Francisco-style moderate, set to leave office in early January to become lieutenant governor, the Board of Supervisors can appoint his replacement to finish his last year. "This is a golden opportunity for the progressives," said David Lee, a political science lecturer at San Francisco State University who heads the Chinese American Voters Education Committee. "Mayor is the holy grail of city politics. ... This is their moment." At the same time, he said, the progressives must make sure the appointment isn't perceived as a raw power grab and end up alienating voters heading into next November's mayor's race. Fall election an issue A big part of the supervisors' calculation selecting an interim mayor is whether the person will run for election next fall or whether he or she will serve as a caretaker who will leave office after a year. It will take at least six votes on the 11-member board to appoint an interim mayor, and supervisors cannot vote for themselves. If no one is selected, the board president - a post now held by David Chiu - will fill in as acting mayor while continuing to serve as supervisor. The Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss the nominating process today. Newsom is scheduled to leave the mayor's job Jan. 3.
Progressives came close to winning the mayor's race in 2003, when Supervisor Matt Gonzalez, then a Green Party member, almost beat Newsom. Gonzalez won on election day, but lost once all the absentee votes were counted.
To succeed in next year's mayoral election, progressives will have to focus more on the absentee vote and corral the factions that make up the city's political left - from labor activists and tenant advocates to those fighting for neighborhood empowerment and immigrant rights, said political scientist Rich DeLeon, author of "Left Coast City," which tracked San Francisco's progressive political movement from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. But the next mayor will be in for a rough ride, given the tough economic climate, he said. The projected deficit for the new fiscal year that starts July 1 is at least $400 million. "There's not going to be room for a lot of grand ideas and ambitious agendas," DeLeon said. "Under these conditions, people have to ask themselves what can they really gain?" A lot, said Gabriel Haaland, political director of the largest city employee union and an architect of San Francisco's progressive agenda. "My hope is that we would have a mayor who would constructively work with the Board of Supervisors," he said. Priorities include preserving essential city services, such as health care and education, he said. "The way to do that," he added, "is through raising revenue."
The tax divide The issue of taxes has been a major dividing line between San Francisco's progressives and moderates. The other issues include development, tenant-landlord, criminal justice and homeless policies. Part of the board's left flank, Supervisor David Campos is interested in the job of interim mayor and said appointing a progressive to the job would provide "an opportunity to move an agenda forward." The prospect of having a mayor and board work more collaboratively, he said, "would make the government a lot more effective." What voters want But is it what voters want? In the late 1990s, when Willie Brown appointed the majority of supervisors by filling vacancies on the board, his power at City Hall was unrivaled, and he pushed through his pro-development policies with ease.
In 2000, voters rebelled, ousting almost all of Brown's allies from the board and ushering in a new system of district supervisors and a left majority led by Chris Daly and Aaron Peskin. They followed through on their campaign promises to blunt the mayor's power. Ben Tulchin, a pollster who has worked for Newsom, said San Francisco voters have tended to elect a mayor and a Board of Supervisors that serve as counterweights to one another. "They want balance," he said.

Citizen Sovereignty:
"Investigation Conclusion By Sheriff's Department Raises Far More Questions Than Answers"

Video: L.A. Police with guns drawn on Venice organic food co-op

Stop Racial Profiling, Justice Department Warns LAPD

"No freedom from searches" letter by Karri Lewis, Lakewood (Los Angeles County) to the editor of "San Francisco Chronicle"
The full-body screening devices installed in most American airports are a huge breach of privacy and civil rights. The ensuing pat-downs examining genital areas are government-sanctioned sexual molestation.
The terrorists have won. The government has taken away our civil rights in order to "protect" citizens. The terrorists hate our freedom and are now thrilled that we are being sexually molested by our own government.
As Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." We are officially a full-fledged police state. Civil rights are no longer a right of every citizen.

“Hollywood superheroes get helping hand from federal judge” by Robert Jablon and Thomas Watkins from "Associated Press" newswire
2010-11-18 -
LOS ANGELES — Batman, Superman and other superheroes are getting some help from the feds for their caped crusades along Hollywood Boulevard. U.S. Judge Dean Pregerson on Wednesday blocked police from cracking down on the costumed characters who perform and pose for pictures for tips along the fabled street. It may not seem like a traditional form of free speech, but their right to perform is protected under that provision of the U.S. Constitution, Pregerson wrote in the ruling that was welcomed by the performers. "If cops want to do their job correctly, go find a real criminal," Michael Jackson impersonator Sean Vezina said Thursday.
[ ... ]
The federal injunction was issued in a lawsuit brought by some of the characters. Police have not decided whether to appeal. Officers stepped up their presence after receiving numerous complaints from business owners and the public that costumed performers had made violent threats against tourists who refused to hand over cash after snapping photos, said Hollywood area police Sgt. Robert McDonald. The Chamber of Commerce disagreed with the judge's decision, noting that police are sometimes needed to protect tourists from large crowds of impersonators. Chamber President Leron Gubler said as many as 60 characters sometimes congregate before dawn in front of the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre, where they crowd tourists into the street and refuse to move unless their photos are taken. "We think that the judge did not bother to take into consideration the situation on the street," Gubler said. "I would just say it's basically a license for these characters to harass the public. "We have had no one — and I repeat not one person — who has said they miss the characters," he said. Vezina, who has been a Jackson impersonator for six years, said he takes pains not to be aggressive when asking for tips. Yet on Wednesday, an officer still told him to beat it, he said.

2010-08-31 photo by Kevork Djansezian of "Getty Images": "Chris Mitchell wears a Darth Vader costume and protests with fellow costume characters Superman, The Hulk and The White Ranger at the Los Angeles City Hall in Los Angeles, Calif. "

Down we go...
“California unemployment rate again the third-highest in nation” by Alana Semuels
2010-11-23 -
At 12.4%, California again clocked the third-highest unemployment rate in the nation last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday morning.
The state trailed only Nevada (14.2%) and Michigan (12.8%).
The nation's unemployment rate in October was 9.6%. California also added the third most jobs in the nation, 38,900. Texas added 47,900 and New York gained 40,600.
New Jersey, on the other hand, lost 37,100 jobs. Midwestern states had the lowest joblessness in October, the BLS said. North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, at 3.8%, followed by South Dakota (4.5%) and Nebraska (4.7%). They were three of the 27 states with jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. average. California was one of five states with rates measurably higher than the U.S. rate. Many states seem to be in better economic situations than they were a year ago.
States such as Alabama, Michigan and Tennessee all saw their employment rates fall by more than a percentage point from a year ago, and other states, including Pennsylvania and Minnesota, have gained jobs compared with the year-ago period. California's unemployment rate is 0.2 percentage points higher than it was a year ago.

"California Leads in Hate Crimes"

"Blacks, prison and joblessness"

"Senate approves compensation for black farmers" by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Peter Cooney, from "Reuters" newswire
2010-11-19 -
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate unanimously approved a bill on Friday funding $1.15 billion in compensation to black farmers in a decades-old bias lawsuit that is one of the largest civil rights settlements in U.S. history. The Pigford v. Glickman case was settled in 1999 and provided that qualified farmers could receive $50,000 each to settle claims they were denied farm loans or subjected to longer waits for loan approval because of racism. But tens of thousands of farmers missed the filing deadline. The settlement in Pigford II, reached in February, allowed those farmers to pursue their claims. The lawsuit was named for North Carolina farmer Timothy Pigford. The Senate bill, totaling $4.6 billion, includes compensation for American Indians in a class-action lawsuit against the Interior Department over the mismanagement of Indian trust fund accounts. "This is a huge, huge victory for myself and black farmers, many of whom have died waiting for justice," said John Boyd of the National Black Farmers Association. "I have been working on this thing for 26 years. I've been hearing 'no' for so very long." The measure must still be approved by the House of Representatives before the end of the "lame-duck" session of the outgoing Congress. U.S. President Barack Obama praised the Senate's move. "I urge the House to move forward with this legislation as they did earlier this year, and I look forward to signing it into law," Obama said in a statement. Boyd said Senate approval was the biggest hurdle, noting it was the 10th time the funding measure had come before the Senate. The House approved the funds in May as part of a different bill, but the Senate left for a recess without passing it. "Black farmers and Native American trust account holders have had to wait a long time for justice, but now it will finally be served," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement. "I am heartened that Democrats and Republicans were able to come together to deliver the settlement that these men and women deserve."

Weirder still...
"The sci-fi inventions that maths predicts are possible" by Richard Alleyne from "Daily Telegraph" newspaper of London, England.

"Psychic Powers Proved Real"

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For more information visit []
The act of providing articles and hyperlinks, as an expression of journalism, is to research and collect verifiable information, and does not constitute an endorsement of the "veracity of truths" or political-positions produced by the sources.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Students arrested at UC Berkeley while defending their future

2011-03-03 "17 arrested in Wheeler at UC Berkeley" []:
After the 5 pm rally in front of Wheeler entered the building, occupants decided to try hold it beyond its 10 pm closing time.  In the end, as cops swarmed over the building, 17 students decided to remain inside.  All were arrested some time after 11:30.  About 150 supporters gathered in front of the north and south exits while cops lined the perimeter.
At around 11:50 a police van tried to make its way to the north side of the building, but a number of supporters sat down in its path.  Others gathered behind the van.  During the scuffle we learned that all 17 had already been escorted off the premises, presumably via the south exit.  They are currently being booked at Berkeley Jail at Addison and MLK.  All of those not on probation should be out around 2:30 am.
We’ll post pictures from the evening’s festivities tomorrow.  It sounds like there will be a support rally at noon on Monday, March 7; we’ll confirm this as soon as possible.  There will also be a rally at 2 pm on Friday, March 4 at the Laney student facing charges’ hearing.  Supporters will be demanding that all charges be dropped unconditionally.  You can find the backstory and further details here [].
Cops push a cement barricade away from the north exit of Wheeler.

2010-11-19 "Berkeley Students Want Police Off Campus"
from "CopBlock" []:
The students of Berkeley in California are outraged by a proposed 8% hike in tuition cost and decided to protest it. This is where the police come in. Not only were they refusing to allow people into the public meeting but they were using excessive force (pointing guns at unarmed people) as well. See video below.
This is the world we live in, people. A heavily funded state college is forced to up it’s tuition because of the irresponsibility of those with political power. This upsets current students who are already being taxed at their jobs, taxed at the school and paying more than they would for education in the first place. When the students plan a protest and crash a meeting of school officials who gets called? Yep, the police.
What happens then is standard police practice today. Up the amount of force, people with guns, shields, Tasers, pepper spray, batons and more to control the (rightfully) upset public. Don’t ask questions about whether you (the police) have the right to intervene in peaceful protest. Don’t ask what government is doing in the schooling business in the first place. Just show up and put your boot/baton/firearm in anyone’s face who questions your authority.
That’s what we have today, but by the looks of the video and from my many travels across the country, it’s coming to an end. People are sick of punishment for victimless crimes, they’re sick of the police (and their heavy handed actions) and by far people are sick of being forced to pay for it all. Now all we have to do is let them know by refusing to pay for this treatment. Again, ask yourself this question… do you think the police are keeping you safe? If your answer is no, then you need to stop paying for them.

Letter to Peter King, DIrector of Media Relations, UCOP

November 17, 2010 · by Rebel 2 ·[]:

Peter King
Director of Media Relations
UC Office of the President
1111 Franklin St., 12th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607-5200
November 17, 2010
Dear Mr. King:
You are cited by the NPR station KALW as stating that campus police officer Kemper, who drew a gun today and pointed it at students, “was beaten with his own baton and drew his weapon in self-defense” ( KALW points out that KTVU video ( conflicts with this statement: “In the video, Kemper seems to lose his baton while trying to push through a crowd of sign-wielding demonstrators and draws his pistol shortly thereafter.” Indeed, the statement you are cited as having made—not that Kemper was afraid that he would be beaten, but that he had been beaten, and “with his own baton”—is too far from the facts shown in the video to be simply an alternative interpretation. Kemper is not touched with his own baton, much less “beaten.” We request that you explain what your statement was based on. Since you were not a witness to the event, who informed you that Officer Kemper had been beaten? Where did that person, in turn, get this idea? If Officer Kemper is the original source of the details in your statement, then he has given a false representation and this itself is worthy of investigation. If Officer Kemper is not the source of the details in your statement, then surely it is a matter of public concern to the university community to know how your statement came about. You may reply to all of us at this email address.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Sincerely, Rei Terada, The Rebels (and more to come…)

2010-11-17 "Protests against new fee hikes being met with violence"
from "Occupy California" []:

SAN FRANCISCO, California – As of 8:45am (Wednesday), 200 students are blocking entrances to the William J. Rutter building at the UCSF Mission Bay campus, where the Regents are scheduled to meet.  On the agenda today and tomorrow are another 8% fee increase and a move to change “fees” back to “tuition,” which was formally prohibited under the California Master Plan.
Cops have reportedly donned riot gear and have begun to arbitrarily charge and assault the student pickets.  Already, 2 UC Berkeley students have been arrested for unknown charges.
This also follows last night’s news of an agreement between the UC and UAW Local 2865, the union representing Teaching Assistants, Graduate Student Employees, and Academic Student Employees.  Following 5 months of bad faith and illegal bargaining practices from the UC, unfair labor practices, stalling, walking away from the table, lying, and refusal to concede anything, the UAW bargaining team has accepted UC’s original proposal on wages, employment notification, and summer childcare in exchange for a minor concession on childcare reimbursement.  If the contract is ratified by the membership, TAs will receive subinflation wage increases of 2% a year locked in for the next 3 years.

8:55am: There was a confrontation between students and police in the parking garage.  Many of the Regents have been able to enter, smiling as they watch cops hit students.
9:15am: Reports that students and workers have pushed through the police barricades and are storming the building.  Several students are badly hurt from police attacks and some have been maced.  More arrests, 5 total: 3 Berkeley, 1 Santa Cruz, 1 Davis.
9:20am: Confirmed: students are inside the building!
9:30am: Police are indiscriminately pepper spraying students.  Police have put masks on.
9:45am: Daily Cal reports that Berkeley student government Vice President Ricardo Gomez was among those pepper sprayed by police.
10:00am: Cop has reportedly just drawn his gun or taser on students!  Students chanting “Take his gun!”  More arrests have been reported, numbers and reasons unknown.  Police putting up more barricades.  Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and Riverside Chancellor White are currently speaking to the Regents in favor of fee hikes.
10:15am: Student numbers now over 300.  Police becoming increasingly aggressive violent.  Reports of a large number of arrests and even more injured, but numbers still unknown.  The Regents are currently discussing increasing out of state enrollment.
10:30am: Confirmation that 8 students have been arrested, including Berkeley student government VP Ricardo Gomez (previously reported as peppersprayed). Twitter post: “Officer KEMPER pulled a gun on student protesters he holstered in for a minute and pulled it again aiming at students.”
11:00am: Arrested protesters being cited and released at 15th and Fulton in the city.
12:00pm: UC spokesperson has said 16 were arrested.

2010-11-28 "UC Students Confront Attacks on Education! Enough Is Enough!" from "Revolution" newspaper #218 []:
On Wednesday, November 17, University of California (UC) students and university workers came from around the state to a meeting of the UC Board of Regents in San Francisco to protest brutal attacks on public education in California. They were met with tear gas and—outrageously—a policeman drew his gun to threaten them. The next day, university regents voted to raise student tuition 8 percent—the fourth tuition increase for students in the University of California system in three years. Just last year, tuition went up 32 percent. Adding insult to injury, the regents also slashed the university budget.
The fact that a cop drew his gun on protesters made national news. Associated Press accounts, reprinted in papers across the country, simply channeled statements by campus police that the cop "had drawn his weapon to protect himself. He was very concerned about his safety." This was contradicted by many eyewitnesses. The official student newspaper at UC Berkeley, the Daily Californian, ran an article with an account from a protester that "the officer hit a student with his baton with such force that the baton bounced out of his hand. Facing the crowd, the officer panicked, pulled his gun and aimed it at students, according to Lara-Briseno."
In any event, the use of pepper spray, the arrest of 13 protesters, one for a felony, and threatening students with a gun, were not in any fundamental sense because a cop—who had been beating students with his baton—felt threatened.
The police violence was a completely unjust escalation of ongoing attempts to brutally intimidate, stop, and terrorize the students and their determined struggle to defend the right to education. In recent days, these attacks have ranged from the arrest of five students at UC Irvine for writing protest messages in chalk, to the stationing of UC police and county sheriffs outside student protest meetings and in the hallways of classroom buildings on campus. One young activist was stopped and harassed by police on the UC Berkeley campus for legally posting flyers with a picture of the cop with the drawn gun and the headline, "Pay your fee increase or I'll shoot you." Then he watched as the police tore down all the flyers. "This is intimidation and harassment," the student said. "They're trying to silence us. Yesterday that cop with the gun was scary. It reminded me of what happened in Oakland with Oscar Grant."
A Wave of Attacks on Education
A UC Berkeley student who was pepper sprayed and jabbed with a police baton gave voice to the motivation of many who were there when she told Revolution, "Education is a right. It's a basic tenet of a healthy society. The university is being privatized. We are losing something very precious right now. People need to be able to understand the world they live in, they need to be able to understand the differences around them so they don't become misdirected or prejudiced."
But that is not the logic of the capitalist system—where education is not a right.
Tuition has been going up for years at UC schools, but since the financial crisis in 2008, students have been subjected to a relentless series of fee hikes, cuts in staff, resources and services, and cuts in classes with progressive departments in the liberal arts have been first on the chopping block. The University of California system has long been considered the "crown jewel" of public education in the United States—an institution open to anyone who meets the academic requirements. Now, education quality and accessibility are being radically restructured. Enrollment of Black and Latino students is dropping at many UC campuses and students of all backgrounds are "paying more for less," burdened by massive debt as they go out into a world of unemployment. And similar drastic slashing of spending on public higher education is going on across the country, from Louisiana to New Jersey.
People are being told they have to accept all this because the State of California has a budget deficit of $25 billion. In addition to slashing public education, the budget deficit has led to a wide range of drastic attacks ranging from the temporary layoff of 200,000 workers in November, to cuts in Medicaid payments that endanger the most baseline medical care for the poor.
The current economic crisis has sharpened and intensified what has been true for over 100 years—all over the world, capitalism-imperialism is grinding up lives and thrusting people into ever more vulnerable positions. In the imperialist countries in Europe and in the U.S., this has taken the form of massive slashing and/or "privatization" of essential social services, education, and the public sector generally.
But for the last year, students in California's public university system have refused to accept that this is just the way it has to be. There have been major protests and building occupations. And the protests against attacks on education have intersected with other important student activism in California. Early this year, hundreds of students at UC San Diego were part of protests against racist incidents on campus. And there was a hunger strike during finals last year at UC Berkeley protesting the budget cuts and Arizona's fascist law against immigrants, SB1070. At each point students have been met by repression and brutality from the police.
When a cop drew his gun to threaten student protesters at the recent UC Regents meeting, he was in essence the armed enforcer of a capitalist system which cannot and will not tolerate any challenge to the major changes that are being imposed on education.
Student activists at Berkeley have responded to the tuition raise and the police brutality and intimidation they faced at the regents meeting with more resistance. As this goes to press students at UC Berkeley just did a "snake march" through campus, decorating the ground and buildings with chalk messages against police brutality and budget cuts as they went. Their flyer said "$822 tuition increase? Bigger exec salaries? UCPD officer pointing guns at students then ripping down flyers of pictures of the incident? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!"

Video still from []:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010-11-18 News digest

Bay Area

"Take a moment to help protect Glen Cove Sacred Site!" by "Solidarity"
Everyone who wants to protect Glen Cove sacred site from destruction and desecration should send WRITTEN COMMENTS to the Greater Vallejo Recreation District before November 30th.
Comments should focus on why permits should not be issued to grade and blade the area which is rich in cultural resources and is a major burial site.
Of course also mention objections to adding toilets and a parking lot on top of or near a burial site.
You can also request to be notified of all opportunities to comment on the proposed Glen Cove Development.
Comments should go to GVRD General Manager Shane McAffee at this email: smcaffee [at]
Also cc these comments to the Mayor of Vallejo, Osby Davis at: Mayor [at]
To join the listserve for updates on the situation: or email: protectglencove-subscribe [at]

"Sacred Site/Shellmound Peace Walk"
Sponsored by Indian People Organizing for Change, (IPOC), Shellmound Peace Walkers, SSP&RIT and Foot Prints for Peace November 17-26, 2010
Beginning in San Jose,CA traveling through the Bay Area to Sogorea-Te` Shellmound -Glen Cove Vallejo, ending at the Emeryville Huchiun Shellmound (Bay Street Mall)
IPOC Shellmound Peace Walkers along with SSP&RIT and Foot Prints for Peace invites all to join in a journey of walk and prayer to remember our ancestors that lived on this land for thousands of years.
The walk will be led by traditional Native American leaders and Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist. We will walk and pray with our ancestors in areas where shellmounds and sacred sites have been desecrated by development and celebrate the return of our ancestors due to the NAGPRA law recent changes.
Needed for the walk: Bring a good attitude
Please bring your own utensils, bowl, plate and cup.
Sleeping bag and clothes for all types of weather, including rain gear.
Money for Alcatraz Ferry on Thanksgiving morning $16-$18 and any other incidentals that you may need
Donations needed: Places for people to stay the night at our destinations.
Groups to provide evening meals. Water for the walkers Financial donations to purchase supplies. The use of vans and/or trucks to assist in transporting walkers and the elderly.
For More information contact:
Corrina Gould at 510-575-8408
Johnella LaRose at 510-743-7373
email at
Foot Prints for Peace is a non-profit, all donations are appreciated and tax-deductible
No Alcohol or Drugs
This is a Citizens Assembly
Community Potluck and Blessing for the Shellmound Walk: November 16, 6-9pm Intertribal Friendship House 523 International Blvd, Oakland, California
Date: Leave:
Nov 17 Alviso to Mission San Jose
Nov 18 Mission San Jose to Coyote Hills and Union City
Nov 19 Union City to Hayward and San Leandro
Nov 20 Alameda to Oakland to Berkeley Shellmound
Nov 21 Berkeley Shellmound to UCB /Evening at Thangs Taken – La Pena
Nov 22 Berkeley to Albany Hill to El Cerrito to Point Molate
Nov 23 Point Richmond to Vallejo
Nov 24 Vallejo to Sogorea-te` Shellmound-Glen Cove
Nov 25 East Petlunuc- Sun Rise Ceremony - Alcatraz Island
Nov 26 Huchiun Shellmound - Emeryville

"Homeless asked to leave strip of White Slough"
"Vallejo City Council talks about fire station closure impact"
"Fire ruins apartments, displaces at least two"

Labor -
"Locked Out at Castlewood Country Club
" []

Sunday, November 21st
 2:00pm Meetup, 2:30 March
 Meet in downtown Pleasanton (Corner of Main St. and Bernal Ave, near the Bernal Ave exit off 680)
Join Castlewood workers, community members, faith leaders, and other union sisters and brothers for a march from downtown Pleasanton to Castlewood Country Club. Help us call on the club to end the lockout and sign a fair contract – and show all of Pleasanton that workers won’t be silent in the face of injustice!
Castlewood Workers have been locked out of their jobs since Feb. 25th 2010 and have stood strong in the face of intimidation and the ongoing campaign to starve them into accepting a bad contract. This Thanksgiving we will make sure that Castlewood workers’ families don’t go hungry by providing food and standing together in the fight for justice.
“If we give up now, we won’t be hurting just ourselves, but also all the workers who will come after us. Through nine months of fighting together, my co-workers have become my second family, and we are staying united. It’s just a question of time – justice always wins out in the end, and we’re on the side of justice,” said Francisca Carranza, locked-out Castlewood janitor.
There will be a hayrack ride, Thanksgiving treats, and please consider making donations to the hardship fund or food to distribute to workers.
Please contact Local 2850 if you’d like to turn out members of your organization, volunteer on the day of the march, or invite a worker to speak at a meeting. For more info, contact Lian Alan at or 510-219-6491 or Sarah Norr at or 510-502-5344.
In solidarity,
Castlewood Workers
 UNITE HERE Local 2850

Student Power movementUC San Francisco -
"Inside the UC protests"

"UC Protesters Stand Off With Cops At Mission Bay

"Protests against new fee hikes being met with violence"

2010-11-12 "Police Overreaction to Protest Is Typical; Protest Was Largely a Peaceful Demonstration" by Joseph Anderson from "Daily Californian" newspaper of University of California, Berkeley Campus
[]I was "swept up" in the mass arrests in Oakland at the "end" of the Justice for Oscar Grant march on Nov. 5. It's amazing how highly edited, rearranged video, with reporters giving a very pro-police version can make TV viewers think they are seeing something that they aren't, contextually.
As in George Orwell's "1984." the lie becomes the "truth," and the truth - if a major march (especially if there's "violence") is televised at all - becomes the "lie."
Right-wing TV in Venezuela made it look like Chavez supporters were shooting at Chavez opponents; Israeli media made it look like the Gaza flotilla attacked Israeli commandos; instead of what really happened: actually, the opposite!
When riot cops indiscriminately storm and club people trying to protect themselves, TV makes it look like it's the protesters who are violent, "resisting arrest," "assaulting an officer" - those pro forma police charges! Many TV stations described marchers pushing down a chain-link fence as an example of "widespread violence."
In reality, what happened was overwhelmingly peaceful but included frightened marchers trying to escape from phalanxes of very aggressive, paramilitarized cops in full riot gear who tried to entrap them.
cops seemed about to assault innocent marchers, bystanders and, later, even neighborhood people. I saw young black females peacefully sitting in their own neighborhood trapped and led off in handcuffs by big riot cops, who arrested us all for "failure to disperse" when we weren't even allowed to leave!
I saw one small woman roughly picked up, slammed to the ground and handcuffed. All this in spite of a black mayor, Ron Dellums (who is often missing in action).
Like Oscar Grant, none of us were armed, none of us were resisting and, overwhelmingly, none of us were violent. At least two reporters at the mass arrest reported no rocks thrown at police and no "widespread" violence except, much earlier, a few broken windows. Such minor incidents should have been easy for up to a thousand riot cops to control. Instead, the cops played the public relations game - proclaiming 152 arrests - enclosing and mass arresting obviously nonviolent protesters (the easiest ones to catch). I've also seen, defying any common sense, riot cops purposely antagonize protesters. This would anger me if I were an Oakland business owner.
TV news propagated "rumors" (gee, I wonder by whom?) of "a marcher who pulled a gun from the holster of a riot cop and pointed it at the cop." It would seem to defy common sense, since the rumor is all we heard! Let's see you get close enough, long enough, especially if you're black, to a phalanx of itchy-to-strike, riot cops, to then successfully reach out for and wrest a gun from his holster, and then even point it at the cop and live to tell the story!
Instead, you'd be gunned down along with any nearby marchers in a hail of other cops' bullets or viciously clubbed worse than Rodney King!
A cop killed Oscar Grant, as Oscar merely tried to catch his breath, while torturously pinned face down!
Cops kill, in a hail of bullets, black men for merely standing in their doorway (Amado Diallo) or for merely sitting in their car (Sean Bell)!
The police portray themselves as concerned with protecting Oakland's small businesses. But, after a previous Oscar Grant march, cops in full riot gear, also far outnumbering the remaining "protesters," stood down and just watched as they let the downtown Foot Locker be sacrificed - practically waving looters into the store. Oakland Police Department did this for sheer self-serving manipulation.
As citywide budget cuts fell on the department too, it could show TV viewers, "See, this is why you need us cops!" And, "See, this isn't really about Oscar Grant: it's just about Negroes wanting stolen athletic shoes."
You can bet that the cops wouldn't have stood down and let nearby Wells Fargo Bank be broken into, because that would have been a message by protesters that TV viewers could relate to about the institutions that have looted all of the U.S.!
Unfortunately, most middle-class-and-above, and especially older people fall for this TV manipulation. TV news can always find one of these types to verbally set up on camera, who then say how scared they were for themselves or their businesses. Such people have probably never participated in a political march where they would see how the police often behave. They watch TV and believe that, since they are watching the (rearranged) video, they must be seeing "what happened!"
But, the police say that they don't want to be all judged by the supposedly "few bad apples"; yet, the cops and the media always judge all the protesters by the relative few! It's all part of the media narrative that's spooled out to us each day to keep us fearful (especially of U.S.-provoked foreign "boogeymen"), racially divided, docile and accepting whatever the state and the police do - even literally blocking people seeking social and global justice. It's the same media that harps about protesters not from Oakland.
Yet, Oakland cops often reside in the outer reaches of suburban counties with riot cops even from Modesto - lapping up much overtime! - rarely live in black neighborhoods. Well, police atrocities should anger everyone!
Why weren't all the cops at the Fruitvale BART arrested as accomplices to, ahem, "involuntary manslaughter" - or conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice in their attempted cover-up (they even attempted to confiscate people's cell phones)? Oakland civic groups condemned the latest police actions; while, sadly, even the Daily Cal called the march "a mob" and "a riot!"
But, if we aren't allowed an overwhelmingly nonviolent protest, then what else is left to do? It's crucial to give support to the true protesters, and to those very few reporters who do honest reporting. One journalist is the highly respected Davey D, of Oakland, who has posted excellent articles at about the protests.
And please read online, "Cops Arrest 152 Justice for Oscar Grant Protesters," for a neighborhood woman's chilling account.

UC Davis -
"UCD: Sit-in at US BANK, then Mrak Hall"

Puerto Rico -"Puerto Rico: students protest tuition hike"
"Puerto Rican university strike leader visits UCLA"

"Dying' to stop bullying"

Oakland mayor-elect Jean Quan supports LGBT projects
Transgender Day of Remembrance honors victims of transphobia

"WHAT PART OF "KILLED UNARMED BLACK MAN = MURDER" DOESN'T OPD UNDERSTAND?" by Mesha Monge-Irizarry of the Idriss Stelley Foundation[]
Legendary warrior against police abuse mesha Monge-Irizarry, who founded the Idriss Stelley Foundation following the murder of her only child, Idriss Stelley, by San Francisco police, can be reached on ISF’s bilingual crisis line at (415) 595-8251 or on Facebook. []March for justice for Brother Derrick Jones Thursday, Nov. 11, 3 p.m., from Bancroft & Seminary to Oscar Grant (Fruitvale) BART Station
Another unarmed Black brother, Derrick Jones, 37, a beloved Oakland barbershop owner and father of an infant girl, met a violent death on Monday night, Nov. 8, 2010, shot and killed by two white Oakland police officers while “fleeing,” after they “thought” they saw a metallic object in his hand.
.This OPD homicide occurred only THREE days after Judge Robert Perry sentenced the killer of Oscar Grant III, Johannes Mehserle, to two years in jail, less credit for 146 days of time served plus another 146 days for “good behavior” for a total of 292 days, for “involuntary manslaughter.”
This is the third OPD officer-involved homicide of people of color in 2010. Derrick Jones’ grieving family has retained the services of John Burris, Oscar Grant’s family’s attorney.
‘This incident has nothing to do with the case of Oscar Grant’ - The next day, Tuesday, Nov. 9, I caught the end of a Channel 7 talk show, during which a complacent African American conservative anchor contended, “By the way, it is my belief that the Oscar Grant shooting was ACCIDENTAL.” He interviewed a white former OPD officer and current prosecutor who exhorted the public not to jump to racially biased policing conclusions: “This incident has nothing to do with the case of Oscar Grant. Grant’s killing was involuntary, while yesterday’s shooting was voluntary. You must understand that officers have to make split-second decisions when they have a reasonable belief that a suspect is armed and dangerous and constitutes a life and death threat against themselves or others. Please, you have to understand that it is the scariest scenario in an officer’s life.” The day after the shooting,
OPD’s official version of the killing keeps changing.The corporate press trickles cautious tidbits of information throughout the day. At first, the race of the dead brother and of the shooting officers is hidden from the public. Then an OPD spokesperson reluctantly admits that Jones was UNARMED and that a “confrontation” occurred.
Note the constrained terminology. Initial communiqués from police usually emphasize:
“Suspect lunged at the officers who feared for their lives”
or “Suspect pulled out a gun, knife” etc.
or “Suspect turned around and repeatedly screamed ‘C’mon, M-F-ers, go ahead and kill me’”
or “Suspect made a sudden furtive move.”
Apparently there was no physical confrontation in Jones’ case.
Throughout Tuesday, the official party line kept changing, from “confrontation” to “appeared to reach for his waist band” to “officers thought they saw a metallic object in the suspect’s hand.”
Hit list on Oaktown contemporary plantation continues to grow -
Remember young Brother Laronte Studesville, 15, shot by OPD in 2007 while fleeing and attempting to pull up his sagging pants? Luckily, the child survived after two weeks in intensive care, scarred for life, shot in the back of his neck while running, the bullet came out of his chin.
Or Brother Jody “Mack” Woodfox, shot in the back and killed in 2008 while “fleeing”?
Both were shot by OPD, and the hit list on Oakland’ contemporary plantation, the land-of-the-proud-and-the-free-OPD is endless and continues to rage on.
Yet in one year, two months and two weeks or maybe sooner, killer cop Johannes Mehserle is “eligible for release.”
The Associated Press, in its Nov. 9 story, “Family says man shot by Oakland police was unarmed,” reports:
“Loved ones of a barber shot and killed by officers during a foot chase disputed police’s account Tuesday that he appeared to be reaching toward his waistband for a weapon.
“Family and friends of Derrick Jones, 37, called Monday’s shooting unjustified and said witnesses did not see the Oakland man make such a move. They also said Jones was unarmed and that police used excessive force.
“’My cousin is not the type of person to harm anybody,’ said Charles Jones … ‘It’s outrageous for somebody to just kill him like that.’
“Police have declined to say how many times Derrick Jones was shot or whether a weapon was found on him, citing the ongoing investigation. …
“When officers arrived, Derrick Jones fled on foot, apparently ‘to escape arrest for assaulting the woman,’ Israel said. …
“But family and friends said Tuesday that Derrick Jones is being wrongly depicted as a ‘monster’ and was only trying to fend off an ex-girlfriend who came to his barbershop causing trouble.
“… (T)he two officers repeatedly told Derrick Jones to stop and tried unsuccessfully to use a stun gun on him. He said the officers also saw Derrick Jones refuse to put up his hands, and he reached toward his waistband several times.
“… (O)ne of the officers saw a metal object in Jones’ hand, Israel said. …
“An attorney representing Jones’ family, John Burris, said Tuesday that witnesses he has spoken to said Derrick Jones was unarmed and was not reaching toward his waistband when police opened fire. …
“’Any time a human life is lost, the surviving family suffers the grief of that loss, so I offer my sympathies to the family of the man who lost his life last night,’ (Oakland Mayor Ron) Dellums said.
“Family and friends said Jones is the father of an infant girl, has been a barber for more than 20 years and has owned his barbershop for the past eight years.
“Scott Riley, 40, another childhood friend, said Jones served about a year behind bars for carrying a gun to protect himself after he was robbed at his barbershop.
“’He’s being portrayed as a monster, and he wasn’t,’ Riley said outside police headquarters. ‘This is all so senseless.’”

What part of "killed unarmed Black man = murder" doesn’t OPD [Oakland Police Department] understand?
Too little too late … enough!
Is the Mehserle verdict ensuring OPD’s license to kill with impunity?
Is there no correlation between the murders of Derrick Jones and Oscar Grant III?
Apparently, civil rights attorney John Burris does not think so.
Neither do we … or the 152 Oakland protesters arrested on Nov. 5 after the public release of the Mehserle sentence.
Mayor Ron Dellums slapped together hasty damage control “condolences” to Brother Derrick Jones’ grieving family.
Too little too late, enough!

Attention: Fair Use rights reserved: Title 17 U.S.C. § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use -For more information visit []
The act of providing articles and hyperlinks, as an expression of journalism, is to research and collect verifiable information, and does not constitute an endorsement of the "veracity of truths" or political-positions produced by the sources.

2010-11-18 Radio Playlist

All music is collected from around the greater Bay Area and Norcal:


Northbay -
Metazen - "Ghost Dance of Cosmic Tongues"
Beltaine's Fire "Bard, Poet, Rapper, Scribe", "Be Myself", and "Supersized"

Eastbay -
Blackalicious - "Deception" and "Brain Washers" featuring Ben Harper
Coup - "Ghetto Manifesto" and "Get Up" featuring the Dead Prez


Rock, punk, metal
Northbay -
Strike to Survive - "Always, Forever" and "Mediocre at Best"
Instant Gratification - "That little thing we were doing"
The Corpses - "Are you afraid of the dark"

San Francisco -
Wooden Shjips - "I hear the vibrations" and "Shrinking moon for you"

Norcal -
Mother Hips - "Pull us all together"

Folk music and Acoustic
Eastbay -
Dum Spero Spiro - "Can't Get Away"

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Grant Station Project

2010-11-05 "Grant BART Station? Yeah, as in Oscar. What Would Mesherle Say?"
by Queena Kim and Jake Schoneker []:
Two Oakland rappers are launching a campaign to rename Fruitvale BART Station. They released a tribute album to raise money for the effort. The music is part of an emerging musical genre: "R.I.P Oscar" songs.
Rap has been much maligned in its recent history by Gangsta rappers singing about bitches, ho’s and payback that many people forget the genre started with much different roots.
So it’s nice to see that a quick survey of "Oscar Grant R.I.P" songs harken back to the rap of the 80s – it’s political, about empowerment but no talk about payback or smokin’ cops.
One of the songs that made the YouTube rounds early-on was by Supreme Sketch, whose takeaway from the Oscar Grant shooting is to turn away from the thug life []:
"I drink wine not champagne,
Toast to the life,
It gets better with age."
That’s not to say the songs are all wine and roses. There’s an undercurrent of anger at the police and their perceived harassment of black men. But like the rap of yore, there’s an effort to give it historical context and align it with the greater movement of civil rights, as seen in this video by Nique.
“I swear in Arizona they got the game y’all,
Demanding papers based on our skin tone
Got rid of ethnic studies a lack of education
They don’t understand our cultures and situation."
Stepping into that tradition is an East Oakland rapper named Young Gully. About a month ago, Gully released the Grant Station Project, a full-length tribute album that aims to rename the Fruitvale BART station in Grant's honor []. The album is the result of a meeting of the minds between Gully and Pendarvis Harshaw.
“I thought it was important to have something standing to remind the officers of our community that they have a responsibility they have to uphold,” Harshaw said.
Gully had already begun work on an Oscar Grant tribute album when Harshaw came up with the idea for Grant Station.
He brought the idea to Mayor Dellums last summer. Dellums response? He'll suggest it to BART.

2010-08-16 "The Grant Station Project"
During an interview with Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums in early July 2010, we discussed the video taped murder of unarmed Oscar Grant at the hands of transit officer Johannes Mehserle, the ensuing protests and uprisings by the people in Oakland, Ca., and the impending trial verdict. I then asked him what he thought of the possibility of renaming Fruitvale Station in the name of Oscar Grant?
The Mayor was taken by this question, he told a brief story of his mother’s appreciation of seeing a building named after her son, and connected the story to Grant’s mother, and how renaming Fruitvale Station to Grant Station might bring relief to the family. He then asked if he could have permission to take this idea to the necessary individuals in effort to bring this idea into fruition. Gladly, I said yes.
But the question didn’t stop at Mayor Dellums.
I sat down with music producer Jamon Dru and lyricist Young Gully, we discussed the concept. The two gentlemen told me that they had been constructing an idea of their own: an album inspired by Oscar Grant.
We shook hands and agreed, in the name of the Oscar Grant, we would create an album that would shine a police helicopter sized light on police brutality, the state of the young citizens of Oakland, California, and the death of Oscar Grant.
I sat down with organizers of the Oscar Grant support movement, journalists that have been constantly covering the situation, and I even had the opportunity to speak with members of Oscar Grant’s family. We discussed everything: I asked about what was said on the platform on the night of Grant’s murder, I asked about what was said in the court room during Mehserle’s trial, and I asked Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby what he would say if he could speak to Oscar now…
This resulted in “The Grant Station Project”, an audio documentation of lyrics, music, and interviews all full of emotion; an ethical response from the people to a blatantly unethical action that took place in our community.
Here is the first single off the Grant Station Project by Gully featuring Yound D, “Grant Station“. It is also available for download if you click HERE [].
But the album isn’t enough. The people want justice served to the fullest extent. The people want Mehserle to receive the maximum sentencing for his crime. The people want this instance to stand as a constant reminder to the officers of our community ,that they have a sworn duty to uphold the well-being of the people.
The question has now turned into a statement: the people want Grant Station.

Mayor Dellums On Renaming Fruitvale BART Station
from [], uploaded 2010-08-16

RGLND - Star "Oscar Grant Tribute" (B.O.B. Nothin' On You cover),
uploaded 2010-08-09 []: RGLND (@RGLND) adds his own lyrics to B.O.B.'s - Nothin On You instrumental. directed by myself, Charlie (@keepitCHARLiE), shot in Oakland & Berkeley. contact director at []. contact RGLND [] [] [] [] []

Young Gully ft. Young D - Grant Station (Tribute to Oscar Grant),
uploaded 2010-08-09
R.I.P. Oscar Grant

Young Gully - "By Any Means",
uploaded 2010-09-30
Young Gully showing why real rap still exists. This banger is off Gully's newly released street album dedicated to the late Oscar Grant titled, "The Grant Station Project." REST IN PEACE OSCAR GRANT, East Oakland stand up!!