October – November 2014
On October 30 people across the country will be wearing orange – as a powerful visible symbol of opposition to mass incarceration.
On campuses, in the streets, in high schools, at work, on public transportation – everywhere you go that day, wear orange. Gather in public spots in your city town or campus with groups of people in orange, challenging others to join you and be part of the crew.
We will be wearing Orange because it is the color prisoners are forced to wear – from the torture chambers in Guantanamo, to the infamous SSHU units in California, to the work gangs on Texas prison farms, to teeming youth detention centers coast to coast. We’re wearing orange and turning this around – orange will become the color of resistance, and knnown for that far and wide in society. It will help galvanize and give expression to our opposition.
This country has the highest incarceration rate in world history. 2.4 million people, a huge number of them Black and Latino youth are in prison. Black men are incarcerated at a rate over 6 times that of white men, and given on average much higher sentences for the same offenses. We live in a society that offers no future to masses of Black and Latino youth except prison and punishment.
This is unacceptable! Throughout October resistance has been mobilized to the slow genocide of mass incarceration and police terror The month was opened by taking the Pledge of Resistance in cities across the country. This was followed by sermons in dozens of religious institutions; symposiums at Columbia Univ, UC Berkeley and other campuses; more than a thousand people gathering for Ferguson October and now we’re coming off a successful mobilization for October 22, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. October 30 will be a day to make our resistance resonate further thruout society and deliver a message to one and all that mass incarceration and all its consequences must be stopped; and that we are determined to STOP it!
Be creative. Be bold. Be determined. Make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention.
WEAR ORANGE OCTOBER 30! STOP MASS INCARCERATION!
Music has always played a key role in protest movements. As part of the campus’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, the On the Same Page program has organized this panel, along with a concert (co-sponsored by Cal Performances) the same evening.
Waldo Martin, Professor, UC Berkeley History Department;
Kim Nalley, Jazz and Blues Vocalist; Ph.D. Candidate, UC Berkeley History Department;
Mavis Staples, Singer;
Chris Strachwitz, Founder and President, Arhoolie Records
Free and open to all on a first-come, first-seated basis
reception to follow event
“We were just trying to provide a dignified, safe and clean place for homeless people to use the restroom,” said Frances Moore, lifelong resident of North Oakland and founder of Auntie Frances’ Self-help Hunger Program.
On Tuesday, October 21, 2014, after months of harassment by newer residents in the North Oakland community of “Driver Plaza” where the Self-Help Hunger Program feeds poor and houseless elders and families of color every week, Oakland officials succumbed to pressure by newer residents and instructed the Porta Pottie company to remove the toilet from Driver Plaza.
Auntie Frances’ Love Mission and Self-Help Hunger Program was launched 5 years ago by Frances Moore, a life-long resident of South Berkeley/North Oakland who herself dealt with homelessness, hunger and poverty in one of the richest countries in the world. The Porta Pottie was rented by the Self-Help Hunger Program in March 2014 for a Black History Celebration to provide the houseless North Oakland community with a dignified place to use the bath room.
“When my mother and I were houseless no business or home would ever let us use the bathroom,” said Lisa Tiny Gray-Garcia, author of “Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in America,” and co-founder of POOR Magazine, who has been working alongside community members and groups like Phat Beets Produce to fight City-backed gentrification of the Love Mission and all of Oakland.
Several months ago, many residents not historically from Oakland that have moved into the area near Driver Plaza began harassing Aunti Frances and others at Driver Plaza for feeding and supporting poor and homeless people, as well as claiming that folks at Driver Park were defecating and urinating in public. Some newer residents began to launch more attacks on the people at Driver Park, claiming that the Porta pottie increased blight and criminal activity, despite it being an action taken for self-determined. In fact, the Porta pottie was fundraised for by Aunti Frances and the Self-Help Hunger Program, Driver Park residents, POOR Magazine and Phat Beets Produce. When Driver Park had no toilet, they were criminalized for relieving themselves in public. When they raised money to maintain a toilet and went to the bath room in a dignified manner, they had it taken away.
Oakland City Council Member Dan Kalb of District 1 in North Oakland and Oakland Public Works Agency refuses to support the life-long African-American community of this neighborhood, taking no action at all to ensure that residents have a dignified place to use the restroom, the same way people utilizing others city parks do. Marginalized in their own neighborhood by new residents and their different vision for Driver Park, people have begun speaking out, specifically the youth.
“All they wanted was a dignified place to use the bathroom, said Kimo Umu, 11 years old, student at Deecolonize Academy- an Oakland based school who have been supporting Auntie Frances Love Mission and Self-Help Hunger Program as part of their report on Bay Area gentrification for their Revolutionary Journalism class. Students and teachers of the Academy will be building a Porta pottie to install in the Oakland Mayors Office on Thursday.
Self-Help Hunger Program supporters say that It is important to work with neighbors new and old, but the city is putting the power in the hands of the privileged to decide what is best for a long-time working class, African-American community. What Kalb fails to acknowledge is that many people in the park are neighbors as well, and when he speaks about approval from the community he is not considering Driver Park users constituents or the community.
POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE is a very grassroots, poor people of color-led arts organization providing media, education and art to very low and no-income youth, adults and elders of color locally and globally.
Co-sponsors/endorsers for this emergency press conference are the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper, Manilatown I-Hotel Center, Deecolonize Academy and Healthy Hoodz.
Jack London’s The Iron Heel: a benefit performance
A Readers Theater, Puppetry and Music adaptation of the visionary dystopian science fiction tale of anti-capitalist rebellion & rise of authoritarianism.
This performance is a benefit for the Richmond Progressive Alliance & the Sunflower Alliance in their fight for the climate, health and safety of Bay Area communities threatened by big oil and for building a just, sustainable economy.
Jack London’s great granddaughter Tarnel Abbott & great-great grandson, Devin O’Keefe.
Live Saxophone musical score by master musician Andrés Soto.
Introduction by Jonah Raskin, editor of The Radical Jack London: Writings on War & Revolution.
Please “join” the Facebook Event page here and invite friends.
But also order tickets to hold your spot and let us know how many to expect:
$10-20 (no one turned away for lack of funds). All proceeds after expenses to support local environmental/climate justice groups.
The one-night-only performance will start promptly and run approximately 1 hour 15 minutes with no intermission. The performance is in conjunction with the international Jack London Symposium, held this year in Berkeley.
“Battle of Chicago” from the Iron Heel canastoria by Regina Gilligan
Written by Tarnel Abbott & The Iron Heel Theater Collective
Art Director: Regina Gilligan
Puppetry Director: David Solnit
Readers Theater Director: Alicia Littletree Bales
And a special request
It’s Halloween so come in costume! Want suggestions? A police state figure, your favorite 99% rebel, or an incarnation of a post-capitalist future.
HELP STOP THE SALE!
Sat. Nov. 1, 2014 2000 Allston Way on the steps of the
Berkeley Post Office
It’s now in contract TO BE STOLEN!
The fate of the downtown Berkeley Post Office has reached a crisis point. The transfer of the building to private ownership may be only days away. For this reason, Berkeley Post Office Defenders call for a collaborative mobilization of all those who oppose the threat of privatization. Individuals and organizations will gather to share music, establish an ongoing direct action presence, and provide updates and support for political and legal action including:
– An injunction to Stop the Sale
- Postal banking
- Preservation of historic public property
- Boycott Staples profitization of postal services
- Massive Rally, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm,
1ST Action: Sponsored by Save the Berkeley Post Office
For more information please go to www.savethebpo.com
- Jam the Sale, 1 pm till 10 pm
2nd Action: Coordinated by Berkeley Post Office Defenders, berkeleypostofficedefenders.wordpress.com
“Come play music! Bring instruments — including your singing voice, spoken word and dancing body. We will not allow our Post Office to be sold, and nothing can sustain persistent resistance like music. We will play until USPS stops pretending not to hear us say that our Post Office is not for sale!” You’re welcome to pre- schedule at http://tinyurl.com/mlxgpff
- Direct Action Presence, (bring your pillows)
3rd Action: in Collaboration with First They Came for the Homeless
It’s time to establish and support a physical presence at the Downtown Berkeley Post Office. By taking direct action to defend our public goods, we affirm our reasons for living in community by sharing our energy and resources for the benefit of all. ___________________________________________________
Please help us mobilize for a massive live and media protest.
Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, there is unprecedented momentum in the effort to stop fossil fuels and win climate justice.
However, with most of our attention focused on fighting short-term battles, we often forget to ask the question:What would the world look like if we won?
Change the Course, a new program from Rainforest Action Network, is an invitation to dig deep and think hard about what it would actually take to stabilize the climate and create a just transition to a post-carbon future.
We are launching a series of climate-focused workshops and visioning sessions — in cities across the country as well as through a new online platform. Through this program, we will crowd-source a detailed vision of what a sustainable and just future would look like — and develop the strategies and tactics that will get us there.
Our opponents in the fossil fuel industry have their own vision for the future, one defined by rising oceans and ever-increasing carbon emissions — a future where extreme energy practices fly in the face of science and common-sense, and where the worst impacts of climate change are shouldered by the communities least able to bear them.
It’s not too late to define the future we want to live in.
Together, let’s change the course.
Please join us at the upcoming Climate Leadership Summit to kick this project off. This 2 day event will bring communities together from across the region for an innovative visioning, strategic development and skills summit. We will strengthen and grow local groups and prepare our movement to take action together, with our end goals in mind.
This summit will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 1pm-6pm each day. RSVP now!
Nothing’s better for sustaining persistent resistance like persistent music
Why: To create a physical boundary of bodies and voices blocking the transfer of ownership of our public post office
The fate of the Downtown Berkeley Post Office has reached a crisis point.� The transfer of that building to private ownership may be only days away. For this reason, the Berkeley Post Office Defenders call for mobilization of all those who appreciate the danger of privatization. It is time to establish and support a physical presence at the Downtown Berkeley Post Office so that, with arms locked, we can block any poacher of our public property from taking possession. By taking direct action to defend our public goods, we will affirm our reasons for living in community by sharing our energy and resources for the benefit of all.
The Board of Governors of the USPS has done a skillful job of narrowing the focus of the objections to the sale of the Downtown Berkeley Post Office to the issue of two New Deal works of art contained therein. At this time, the position of the USPS is that they’ve done everything they can to satisfy the concerns of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (an agency formed by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966) and concerns of the City of Berkeley for the preservation of these artworks, even to the point of promising that the USPS will provide that protection themselves in perpetuity after the building is sold.
The Berkeley Post Office Defenders re-emphasize two objections that have been largely ignored in the struggle to save our post office:
- The sale that the USPS intends to process is one manifestation of the neo-liberal strategy of privatization, deregulation, union-busting, and the cutting of government services, pursued via the World Bank and the WTO, which in the last half-century have proved to to be so detrimental to the welfare of people living in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa, the nations of the former Soviet Union, Iraq, and many others. Locally, the privately-owned Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) is trying to bankrupt the publicly controlled City College of San Francisco. The capital property of the USPS is a possession of the people of the United States as a public holding, meaning it is a component of national wealth and infrastructure, and the defense of that wealth is necessary for maintaining the viability of the national enterprise. The Berkeley Post Office Defenders oppose the privatization of publicly owned property everywhere it is threatened, and we have mobilized our opposition locally to shield the erosion of the material foundation of community, of which the Downtown Berkeley Post Office is an element.
- With regard to the public ownership of the New Deal artworks, the promise of the USPS to preserve them given its strategy of privatizatioon is a deception. By selling more than 300 of its properties since 2006, the Board of Governors of the USPS has undermined the capital foundation of the enterprise it is publicly charged with protecting. This insidious strategy follows the steps to complete privatization of postal services pursued by other countries the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany and The Netherlands. Given that the Board of Governors is selling the USPS out of business, it is their intention that, very soon, they will no longer be in a position to preserve the public ownership of anything.
The Downtown Berkeley Post Office is not only a monument to public organization, it is an organ of our common body; without it we grow weaker. The agents of privatization are chiseling away at the investment our ancestors made to the survival of democracy. Our post office was built by the sweat equity of our great-grandparents, and financed by their tax dollars. As such, the Postal Service has NO RIGHT to sell it. Berkeley Post Office Defenders DEMAND that this sale be halted and that the building continue to serve our – and our great-grandchildren’s – common good.
For more on the current status of the Downtown Berkeley Post Office: https://occupyoakland.org/2014/10/berkeley-post-office-contract-sold/
Berkeley Post Office Defenders: http://berkeleypostofficedefenders.wordpress.com/
First They Came for the Homeless: https://www.facebook.com/pages/First-they-came-for-the-homeless/253882908111999?ref=br_tf
BPOD is affiliated with Strike Debt Bay Area: http://strike-debt-bay-area.tumblr.com/
For more on the Staples boycott:
The Seeds of Protest Bloom. Staples Boycott Goes National.
For background on the fight to Save Berkeley’s Post Office:
For more on the privatization of the USPS:
Saving the United States Postal Service as a Public Enterprise: http://tinyurl.com/ltqq7ng
Bay Area Book Launch and Conversation
Join us November 4th, for conversation, snacks, beverages, contemplation and celebration, for the Bay Area launch of “Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better“!
Author Maya Schenwar will read from her book and discuss the impact of prison on families and communities — and how people around the country are taking action to create a world without prison.
CURB will also have two special speakers there!
- Alex Berliner, new Organizer with All of Us or None a Project of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, will talk about her experience with having a loved one inside.
- Emily Harris, Statewide Coordinator of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), will speak about the movement to reduce prison populations and close prisons throughout the state of California.
Join CURB members, allies, friends for conversation, snacks, beverages, contemplation and celebration!
See Michelle Alexendar and Angela Davis’ reviews of the book on our event RSVP.
Oakland author Michael Goldstein will be reading from his Return of the Light at the Montclair
Branch of the Oakland Public Library Tuesday night, November 4. The book, subtitled “A
Political Fable in Which the American People Retake Their Country,” has been endorsed by
political commentators Michael Parenti and Don Hazen, Executive Editor of Alternet, spiritual
teachers Michael Lerner and Wes (“Scoop”) Nisker, and Wavy Gravy, among others.
Goldstein finds the library’s scheduling him for election night to be fortuitous. “The book is
really for those with doubts that the two-party system can give us the ‘change we can believe in’
that we are perennially promised.”
Return of the Light is set on the night of the Winter Solstice in 2120. At one of thousands of
community gatherings across the United States, a storyteller does the annual retelling of how,
back in 2023, a decade-long movement culminated in the people taking over their own
government, making it a means for mobilizing their collective power to promote peace, social
justice, environmental sustainability, and a society hospitable to the needs of the human spirit.
Goldstein says it is intended to be a vision of the road forward for today’s concerned citizens.
According to Parenti, it is “clearly written, hopeful and useful for those interested in building a
real democracy,” and Hazen describes it as “a very encouraging read, in a time of little
For more information or a review copy, contact:
Leslie Keenan 415 897-0413
Michael Goldstein blogs on the Huffington Post and OpenSalon.com, focusing on the need to move beyond the teeter-totter of the two-party system and the means to do so. Goldstein works as a mediator and death-penalty appeals lawyer in Northern California.
March to Chelsea Manning Plaza.
This 5th of November, we call on those of you that see the wrongs of society, those that can see we are on a collision course with oblivion. This 5th of November, we ask those of you that can see the fabric of our civilization unraveling before our very eyes to take a stand against the corruption, lies, deceit and greed threatening our very existence. This 5th of November, we ask that you look through the veil of obscurity the shady and corrupt individuals in leadership are desperately trying to perpetuate in order to continue with their obscenities. This 5th of November, we ask that you dawn your mask, take a stand and refuse to live a lie any longer. Let us stand united against the wrongs of this world on Anonymous’ Million Mask March and let us give them a 5th of November they will never, ever forget!
— Starting Position: Civic Center Plaza (near the center of the plaza) —
10:00AM-10:30AM: Gathering the Armada – This is the time we have for the majority of the attendees to arrive and get together; mingle, discuss the upcoming march, advertise to passers-by about our cause and get ready to march. We are not going to be doing too much in the way of preparation here, mostly just waiting for people to arrive.
10:30AM-11:00AM: Time for a little Chat – At this time, we will be mostly assembled and will listen intently as Alfred gives us the “pre-flight safety guidelines” for our march and following rally. Please pay attention as we do want you guys to be safe through-out the duration of the event. In addition to the safety briefing, we will also be reciting the cadences that will be used during the march.
11:00AM-~12:00PM: We will begin our progression to the set destination: Justin Herman Plaza. Our route will be as follows:
Civic Center Plaza –> Larkin St.
Larkin Street –> Golden Gate Avenue
Golden Gate Avenue –> Market Street
Market Street –> Justin Herman Plaza
—- End Position: Justin Herman Plaza —-
12:00PM-~3:00PM: May the Speakers Stand Up – We will have our confirmed speakers give their stance on the issues facing our country and world. This will also be a time for those in the audience to give their points of view as well. Please keep in mind though, that we will be on a time limit permit-wise, so if you do have something you would like to say, be sure to have a general idea what you are saying before you step up.
3:00PM-???: Time for dispersal of our fine march. Great work to all and pats on the back all around!
Book Release Celebration with Journalist Nora Barrows-Friedman
IN OUR POWER: U.S. STUDENTS ORGANIZE FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE
(Just World Books)
The Middle East Children’s Alliance is thrilled to host this celebration of award-winning reporter Nora Barrows-Friedman’s new book which documents the emergence and success of the Students for Justice in Palestine movement, using many of Nora’s investigative interviews with activists nationwide. Her journalistic experience in Palestine and close engagement with Palestinian solidarity activism give Nora a unique ability to help these inspiring student leaders tell their stories!
Special Guest MALIHE RAZAZAN, who cohosts KPFA’s “Voices of the MIddle East” program, will interview Nora about her book. And activists from Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) will participate in the Q and A with Nora.
Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer/editor with The Electronic Intifada and has contributed to Al-Jazeera English, Truthout.org and more. Past Senior Producer/co-host of KPFA’s investigative news magazine “Flashpoints”, in 2009 she received the Lifetime Achievement Media Freedom Award from the Media Freedom Foundation.
200 urban farmers occupy the last piece of East Bay farmland and plant 15,000 seedlings to save it from becoming a shopping mall. This is a story about what we can accomplish through collective action, and it takes on one of the most powerful institutions in the world. Its about all of us!
We have showtimes! Occupy The Farm is playing at 12:00 pm, 2:20 pm, 4:50 pm, 7:00pm and 9:30 pm at the UA Berkeley 7 on 2274 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley starting November 7!
It’s playing several times a day for 7 days straight. Then we go to New York and Los Angeles. Please help get the word out so that theaters in more communities will take the plunge to book the film.
Later on, it will be available for community screenings and home, but right now we have the opportunity to bring wider awareness of the issues of sustainable food systems and urban farming to a whole new group of people who otherwise would not be aware.
Interfaith prayer meeting for healing, dedicated to the survivors and victims of violence and police brutality in Oakland.
We are organizing this gathering for the community to connect, share prayers, writings and poems from all spiritual traditions, reflect and recharge and build coalitions interested in healing.
Please feel free to bring quotes or passages to share
All are welcome
We will serve simple breakfast.
Our constitutional system of checks and balances is broken. A Congress in the hands of corporations and their lobbyists can no longer protect the public from special interests and government, with its surveillance and endless wars for oil and profit. Independent media have emerged as a powerful check on government abuses. Whistleblowers play an increasing and vital role in getting information to the public.
Our five panelists will engage in a lively discussion of the public’s need for greater transparency and constitutional protection from government intrusion and abuse. How do “We the People” protect ourselves?
Daniel Ellsberg: Activist, whistleblower, co-founder of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
Trevor Timm: Journalist and Columnist for the UK Guardian, executive director of Freedom of the Press Foundation.
Marjorie Cohn: Law professor at Jefferson School of Law; author and human rights activist; former president of the National Lawyers Guild.
Ahmed Ghappour: Hastings College professor of law; national security and cybersecurity litigator.
This Forum is the third in a series of Civil Liberty forums presented by St. John�s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, California.
On Friday Nov 14th, SEAL delegates will be meeting with Chancellor Dirks to present our proposal for a Food Initiative at the Gill Tract Farm.
We have years of visions and designs, years of petitions and public comments, years of community processes pointing towards a student and community desire for an alternative use of the land that does not exploit people and does not pollute the planet. We need the world-renown University of California to have a powerful Food Initiative amplifying the voices from the grassroots and producing community-driven research to find solutions to the pressing environmental problems we face today.
Nov 14th is the day. Let’s show our Chancellor the student and community power behind halting the development and engaging in a community-design process for all 20 acres of the Gill Tract Farm.
Facebook event & RSVP. (Check for location details)
How can you help?? So glad you asked!
> Get inspired at the Occupy the Farm Film! It is having its theatrical premiere right here in Berkeley! Nov 7th-Nov 14th.
> If you have not done so already, please sign our petition:
> Like us on Facebook and share our posts!
> You can use this form letter to email and message your friends and family:
> We love our campaign co-sponsors! Are you part of a food justice, urban garden, environmental justice, local economies, or other related organization and would be interested in signing on as a co-sponsor? email us!
You are invited to join us in presenting Fruitvale, Florida, Ferguson and Beyond: A Summit about Ending Mass Criminalization in Oakland.
The summit will consist of workshops for youth on knowing your rights, for parents on how to keep our children out of jail, and for everyone on busting the school to prison pipeline and ending mass incarceration and deportation. This summit will be focused on youth and parents in the Oakland schools and lead up to a larger conference on these issues in April 2015.
Nationally, more than $60 billion is invested in correctional systems that incarcerate or supervise nearly 7 million people. Yet data shows that the US recidivism rate remains at approximately 67% (81% for youth)–one measure of the systems – failure to improve public safety. In 1970, there were 200,000 people in state and federal prison; in 2013, there were 1.5 million. 65% of prisoners are Black or Latino, though the combined percentage of the population for these two groups is around 30%. It costs $62,000 per year to keep someone in prison, while the California schools spend $9200 per student a year. The U. S. has the highest prison population in the world. According to one study, a Black man is killed by police, security forces, or vigilantes every 28 hours. This situation must change.
We know you understand the importance of this issue.
Fighting Jim Crow from Ferguson to the Bay Area -
Black and Brown Lives Matter
A Night of Healing for the Community
Oakland CA, November 16, 2014: We are Fighting Jim Crow from Ferguson to the Bay Area with knowledge and unity! Open to the community a night of sharing, entertainment, Food, and so much more! The Event is hosted by Anita Wills, Executive Director of the Inter Council for Mother’s of Murdered Children. Speakers include Alex Salazar, Dionne Smith, Anita Wills, and others from the community whose lives have been touched by violence. The evening will also include will include Chicken Dinners, Seafood Gumbo, Enchiladas, Peach Cobbler, Potato Pies, Cakes, and other dishes, as well as beverages.*
Speaker Anita Wills will share her experience of traveling to Ferguson within a week of Michael Browns death. Other speakers, Dionne Smith-Downs and Alex Salazar will share their experiences in Ferguson. Alex Salazar spent weeks in Ferguson and has set up Cop-watch Workshops. He is an Activist who will share his experience as someone who has been on the inside and outside of Police Work. We have other speakers from the community, short films, and items such as candles, crafts, baked goods, and good food for sell.
Booth space is available for $25, (inbox for details, email@example.com). A $10 donation is requested at the (no one will be turned away for lack of funds). Those who donate $15 or more will receive a free dinner. All proceeds go to the Kerry Baxter Senior Legal Fund (Event is sponsored by the Mary & Patty Bowden Foundation).