Saturday, December 11, 2010

Abolition Key To New Justice System

(PHOTO: Kiilu with author Raj Patel)

Abolition Key To New Justice System

By Kiilu Nyasha

December 9, 2010

Everyone knows the U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, higher than China’s with 4 – 5 times our population, and it continues to spiral. One in 100 adults is locked up in this police state (now totaling 2.4 million), while 1 in 31 is under some other form of penal control (over 7 million).

Few people in America, especially the underfunded, don’t have a friend, relative, classmate or colleague in prison. We also know that most prisoners are there for non-violent, often drug related issues. Yet we keep silent.

“Your silence becomes approval,” wrote our brilliant journalist and revolutionary, Mumia Abu-Jamal, held under threat of death 29 years to this date for a crime he didn’t commit.

Just as chattel slavery produced abolitionists, this new form of slavery must generate prison abolitionists.

Studies have long proven that punishment (not to be confused with consequences) produces negative results more often than not. While rehabilitation and/or appropriate therapy/treatment usually works. “Cure the sickness to save the patient.”

Ancestral societies had no prisons. Offensive behavior brought social consequences, ostracizing, or banishment from the community. Often the offender was made to serve the people (the community) in a menial job.

Raj Patel recently investigated the justice system of the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mex. and learned they had devised a system much like the one described above.

Please bear in mind that the worst of the worst criminals in this nation are in the White House, Wall Street, and the Pentagon. The solution to a corrupt, fascist government has to be revolution. The 1% replaced by the 99%.

Today’s news reported still more draconian sentencing for California prisoners has been proposed. Up to 15 years can be added to a person’s sentence between parole hearings that used to be annual before being raised to a maximum of five years. Now parole board hearings will in fact be resentencing courts in many cases. E.g., Hugo Pinell (Yogi) has been in supermax solitary for most of 46 years. If he goes to Board next month, he could be told his next hearing for parole would be 2026! At which time he’d be 80 years old. Sundiata Acoli was just denied 10 years after 37, and he’ll be 83 at his next hearing. Cruel and unusual?

U.S. prisons are grossly overcrowded with prisoners living in deplorable conditions suffering inadequate or no medical care, bad food, no access to education or skills training, endemic guard brutality, torture, and provocation of prisoner conflicts for their sadistic amusement, sexual assaults, excessive use of lockup (solitary), and generally inhumane treatment.

“The latest edition of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund’s “Death Row USA,” shows that the number of people on death row in the United States is continuing to slowly decline, falling to 3,261 as of January 1, 2010…. California (697) continues to have the largest death row population, followed by Florida (398) and Texas (337). Pennsylvania (222) and Alabama (201) complete the list of the five largest death rows in the nation.”

The U.S. is the only Western nation that still imposes capital punishment that is blatantly racist in its execution.

Georgia Prison Strike

In protest of the inhumane living and working conditions in Georgia’s prison system (the nation’s 4th largest) staged a one-day strike on December 9, 2010.

Bruce Dixon reported, “In an action which is unprecedented on several levels, black, brown and white inmates of Georgia’s notorious state prison system are standing together for a historic one day peaceful strike today, during which they are remaining in their cells, refusing work and other assignments and activities. This is a groundbreaking event not only because inmates are standing up for themselves and their own human rights, but because prisoners are setting an example by reaching across racial boundaries which, in prisons, have historically been used to pit oppressed communities against each other.”

According to the Black Agenda Report, Prisoners are refusing to come out of their cells or do work. One in every thirteen adults in the state of Georgia is in prison, on parole or probation or some form of court or correctional supervision. According to reports, the state is dispatching special units and the BAR recommends calls to facilities the next few days to ensure the safety of the prisoners. Here are some numbers:

Macon State Prison is 978-472-3900.
Hays State Prison is at (706) 857-0400
Telfair State prison is 229-868-7721
Baldwin State Prison is at (478) 445- 5218
Valdosta State Prison is 229-333-7900
Smith State Prison is at (912) 654-5000

Pacific Radio just reported that Georgia’s prisons are under lockdown and guards are forcing prisoners out of their cells and beating them.

I salute the courage and international solidarity of the Georgia prison strikers.

We should act promptly to prevent another Attica!

The struggle continues!

Long live the spirit of George and Jonathan Jackson!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Political Education With SOUL

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Kiilu Nyasha from Oriana Bolden on Vimeo.

In this installment of Freedom is a Constant Struggle, interns from SOUL (School of Unity and Liberation) have the opportunity to pose questions and get Political Education from Kiilu directly.

They ask about solutions to today's problems as well as the truth about many things related to social justice and movement politics of the 60s and 70s, as well as Kiilu's personal history.

We all also took a moment of silence for Marilyn Buck as we learned of her passing just moments before the interns arrived.

(See ​ and​)

RT: 54 minutes

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Case of the Angola 3 --A review of the new film “In The Land of the Free...”

The Case of the Angola 3

--A review of the new film “In The Land of the Free...”

Produced by Vadim Jean, in memory of Anita Roddick

Film review written by Kiilu Nyasha

“They will never be able to break me,” said Herman Wallace, despite the torment and torture of 37 years in a 6 x 9 cell in the “bloodiest prison in the nation.” He and his comrade, Albert Woodfox, suffer such solitary confinement to this day.

Targeted for their militancy, co-captives Wallace, Woodfox and Robert King had organized a prison chapter of the Black Panther Party and they became known as the Angola 3 after they were falsely convicted by kangaroo courts and all-white juries. Wallace and Woodfox were convicted for the murder of prison guard, Brent Miller in 1972, and King was convicted separately for the death of another inmate in 1973.

Brent Miller’s widow, Teenie Miller, who appears in the film, asks, “Who really killed my husband?” At a 2008 hearing she said, “If they did not do this – and I believe that they didn’t – they have been living a nightmare for 36 years!”

This movie gives us a rare look at Angola prison, built on 18,000 acres in Louisiana that was a plantation where slaves, mostly from Angola, Africa, worked the cotton fields. It pictures the ugly daily existence of the plantation’s 5,000 captives -- more prisoners per capita than any other prison in the world – forced to work 17 hours a day for 2 cents an hour in fields of corn, cotton and sugar cane at gun point. A modern-day slave plantation.

This is the story of three Black Panthers who made a difference in the prison and in the lives of their fellow inmates, stopped the systematic rapes and brutalities against “fresh fish” by guards and inmates; organized and raised the consciousness of other prisoners for which they were railroaded and isolated.

At a very young age, Albert Woodfox robbed a truck and drove it to New Orleans where he was arrested. He escaped and went to Harlem where he found the New York Panthers and joined the Party. He was recaptured and wound up in Angola. Footage of the New York chapter and other Panther events are pictured, as well as testimony from activist, Malik Rahim, another Panther from New Orleans who grew up with Robert King and helped him win release in 2001, after 31 years of incarceration.

“I may be free of Angola, but Angola will never be free of me.” So said King upon leaving prison as he vowed to fight for the freedom of his comrade brothers.

King’s story and that of Wallace and Woodfox provide viewers with a stark look at today’s prison realities, as well as the widespread suffering of families and friends involved.

Much of the narration is done by Samuel Jackson, with commentary from Congressmen, Cedric Richmond and John Conyers, who visited Wallace and Woodfox, and the lawyers, Scott Fleming and Nick Trenticosta who took up the case.

This is a remarkable film, very enlightening, and should raise the consciousness of those who have no idea. It exposes mind boggling criminality and corruption, as well as overt, ongoing racism within the system. A must see.

--For more information about the Angola 3 please visit and

(This article is also available to download in the flyer format above.)

Locked far too long behind the walls

(Published Sept. 29, 2010 by the SF Bay View Newspaper)

“Trust no one in whom the desire to punish is strong.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

I’ve been corresponding with prisoners since 1970, shortly after joining the Black Panther Party in 1969. At that stage of the struggle, the ‘70s, I was writing so many prisoners I had to keep files and carbon copies so as not to get mixed up with who said what. There were fierce arguments being waged regarding individual leaders, strategies and tactics, and ideology. I was also able to keep various political prisoners in touch with one another when they were transferred to different gulags in separation.

Recently, after a picture of “Pat” (my birth name) with Huey Newton and Charles Garry surfaced, one of the brothers I wrote and visited during the ‘70s saw it in another prisoner’s Bay View newspaper and sent me a kite via the SF Bay View. His name is Arthur Anderson, aka Andy or Frelimo. He was in the San Quentin AC (Adjustment Center) on Aug. 21, 1971, when George Jackson was killed. It grieved me to learn he’s been down 47 years and was just denied parole for three more.

Read the rest of the article here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Raj Patel on Global Economics, Food Sovereignty, and Justice

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Raj Patel from Oriana Bolden on Vimeo.

In the latest installment of Freedom is a Constant Struggle, Kiilu is joined by writer, activist and academic, Raj Patel. His first book was Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System and his latest, The Value of Nothing, is a New York Times best-seller. Naomi Klein proclaims The Value of Nothing a “deeply thought-provoking book about the dramatic changes we must make to save the planet from financial madness.”

Raj Patel has not only worked for the World Bank and WTO, but also protested against them around the world. He is currently a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for African Studies, an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a fellow at The Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First).

Kiilu and Raj journey around the globe in this dynamic conversation about solution-based responses to the world’s most pressing problems. They cover topics including food justice, anti-colonialism and landless movements. These two consummate advocates for justice dialog about Abahlali baseMjondolo, the South African shackdwellers' movement, the Zapatista’s systems of justice, and anti-colonialism.

For more information see:

and (video production)

RT: 37min 32sec

RELATED EPISODES: Raj Patel: The Global Food System (Nov. 7, 2008), Raj Patel: The Value of Nothing (Sept. 18, 2009),

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pierre Labossiere: The Kidnap & Exile of President Aristide

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, March 14, 2008.

Pierre Labossiere, a Haitian national, co-founder of the Haiti Action Committee, has been a long-time social-justice activist and advocate for the Lavalas Party of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, currently exiled in South Africa. Pierre has also been active in the campaigns to free political prisoners in Haiti and the U.S.

Learn more at: and

Gioioa von Disterlo: Criminalizing Homelessness

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, December 14, 2007.

Our guest, Gioioa von Disterlo, is the current Civil Rights Organizer at Coalition on Homelessness. She also works as a staff writer and writer facilitator for Poor Magazine. Gioioa has organized in San Francisco for seven years, and has worked on a range of community issues including abuse, disability, mental health, racism, queer institutional predation, global systems of oppression, and civil rights.

RELATED EPISODES: Jennifer Friedenbach: War on the Homeless (April 18, 2008), Tiny (Poor Magazine) and Bob (Streetsheet): Criminalizing Poverty (July 17, 2009), Homelessness in San Francisco and the US (Nov. 13, 2009), Jennifer Friedenbach: Coalition On Homelessness (Nov. 20, 2009)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pierre Labossiere on the Disastrous Response to Haiti's Earthquake

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Haiti from Oriana Bolden on Vimeo.

Freedom is a Constant Struggle, hosted by Kiilu Nyasha was a long-running, weekly TV program on SF Live. This is our first attempt at getting new episodes back "on the air," just released.

Kiilu Nyasha is a San Francisco-based journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party.

In this episode Kiilu is joined by Pierre LaBossiere in conversation about Haiti. They discuss Haiti's past, present and future, specifically in light of the promised but missing millions of dollars of aid in the wake of the major earthquake, now six months ago.

Learn more at: and

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Phavia Kujichagulia: Culture, Identity, and the Human Race

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, July 25, 2008

Phavia Kujichagulia, a Griot / Djialli (Oral Historian), musician, writer, poet, dancer who utilizes music, poetry and dance to heal and reveal history -- was a professor of Ethnomusicology and African Civilizations at World College West and Stanford University's Workshop on Political and Social Issues. For more than 16 years, she taught Creative Writing and Performance Art for the California Department of Corrections at Folsom, Soledad, Vacaville, Susanville and San Quentin Prisons. Her performances include the World Drum Festival, National Black Expo, and the John Coltrane Festival. Her most recent CD is "THE HUMAN RACE."

Phavia currently writes for the SF Examiner, and you can read her articles here.

RELATED EPISODES: Phavia Kujichagulia: Cultural Consciousness (July 25, 2008), Phavia Kujichagulia: Fast Food or Fresh Fruit? (Nov. 6, 2009)

Ricardo Alvarez: Clinica Esperanza's new approach to HIV/AIDS

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV Show, May 23, 2008.

Our Guest, Ricardo Alvarez, is the medical director of Clinica Esperanza, the Mission Neighborhood Health Center's HIV clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic serving the needs of mostly Latino uninsured or underinsured HIV patients. Clinica Esperanza is one of the premier HIV clinics in the city of San Francisco. It creatively engages in theatrical and artistic expressions of the community to tell the story of HIV. His research interests include medication adherence and institutional distrust.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Zionist Attack on the Free Gaza Flotilla

PHOTO: Black Panther Party veterans Malik Raheem from New Orleans and Kiilu Nyasha, who was active in both the East and West Coasts, meet up at a demonstration in San Francisco. Kiilu is wearing her keffiyeh, the scarf that symbolizes Palestinian resistance.


by Kiilu Nyasha

June 24, 2010

The vicious, premeditated, and illegal attack on the 6-boat Freedom Flotilla by Israeli Zionists on May 31 in international waters, left nine humanitarians shot dead (one of whom was an American citizen) and over 40 wounded on the Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, as well as many others traumatized and injured from being badly beaten, jailed, and/or hospitalized.

Among the approximately 700 unarmed human rights activists, journalists, members of parliament and other civilians from 40 countries were Dr. Paul Larudee, co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement, Haneen Zuaby, member of the Israeli Knesset, Brazilian filmmaker, Lara Lee, Kathy Sheetz, retired nurse from Richmond and veteran of 2008 and 2009 Free Gaza voyages, and former US Army Col. Ann Wright, who noted in describing the predawn raid, "I think they anticipated and were prepared to kill innocent civilians,"

An initiative that took almost two years of grassroots organization, they were bringing 10,000 tons of medical and humanitarian aid including toys, wheelchairs, construction supplies, paper, food, and medicines for Gaza's 1.5 million besieged residents.

You can read the rest of the article at the SF Bay View Newspaper's website, where it was originally published, here.

Oakland, CA Protest/Picket of Israeli Ship: June 20, 2010 from Oriana Bolden on Vimeo.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Georgia Schreiber & Charles Minster: Prison Focus and Pelican Bay SHU

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV Show, January 25, 2008.

Our first guest is Georgia Schreiber, Board Chair of California Prison Focus (CPF). Formerly known as The Pelican Bay Information Project, CPF was founded shortly after the supermax prison opened in 1989. CPF staff work with prisoners and their family members to expose human rights abuses with a larger vision of closing the SHU and ultimately abolishing California's racist, genocidal prison system (see

Also joining us will be Charles Minster, a retired trade union activist and supporter of the Partisan Defense Committee ( Both activists have recently visited political prisoner, Hugo 'Yogi' Pinell, now enduring his 18th year in SHU, his 38th in solitary, and his 44th in California prisons.

For more information:

Jennifer Friedenbach: War on the Homeless

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, April 18, 2008.

Originally from Redwood City, our guest Jennifer Friedenbach has worked about 18 years on homeless and poverty issues, including welfare rights, housing, homeless prevention, healthcare, disability, and human and civil rights. For five years, Jennifer worked at San Mateo County's Hunger and Homeless Action Coalition moving from administrative assistant to Director. She started work in San Francisco 13 years ago with the Coalition.

Jennifer has co-authored a number of reports including Locked Out! The Voices of People with Mental Illness, a 1999 study citing bureaucratic blockage of access to San Francisco's mental health system for people in crisis; Housing First for Families, which documents the impact of homelessness on children; and Shelter Shocked, which presents a statistical study of human rights abuses in San Francisco's shelter system. Jennifer sits on the Implementation Council for the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, and was a founding member of the People's Budget Collaborative, which redirects City funding toward supporting poor people's programs in San Francisco.Last year, Jennifer was among 11 San Franciscans honored with the Women Making History Award.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Raymond Nat Turner and Zigi Lowenberg: UpSurge!

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, Feb. 22, 2008

Our Guests will be the founders of UpSurge!, a Bay Area band with a compelling mix of jazz, poetry and politics, featuring Raymond Nat Turner and Zigi Lowenberg - who chant, shout, sing, whisper, and speak their message against oppression and for community while transporting the audience on a high-spirited liberating journey.

Voted 'Best of the East Bay in 2003′, the group's ensemble includes piano, bass, drums, saxophone, and trombone. Their recordings feature special guests and can be found on their along with listings for their upcoming gigs.

Dennis Cunningham: The FBI and the Resistance

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, May 2, 2008

Our guest, Attorney Dennis Cunningham, established the People's Law Office in Chicago from which he and young Attorney Jeffrey Haas conducted a landmark civil rights case ultimately winning a large settlement for the Panthers' families -- although Chicago's killer cops were never criminally charged.

Dennis continued doing civil rights cases over these 40 years, during which he also worked on the long-running class action for the prisoners who rebelled and survived the massacre at New York's Attica State Prison in 1971, and the Earth First case resulting from the 1990 bombing of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney in Oakland, among many other defenses of protesters and victims of police misconduct, brutality and/or murder.

RELATED EPISODE: Dennis Cunningham on the Attica Prison Uprising (Sept. 12, 2008)

Friday, May 21, 2010

On Racism and Unity

On Racism and Unity

By Kiilu Nyasha

May 18, 2010

I am so tired of hearing the static figure propagated by the Zionists -- and practically everyone else in the world – that six million Jews were the exclusive victims of Adolph Hitler’s Nazism. The racist white supremacist ideology of 1930s Germany was very particular. White people had to be Arian, so-called “pure bloods” and able-bodied. Therefore, the darker Jews, Italians, and Roma (Gypsies), among others, as well as homosexual and disabled people, were also targets for extermination. If Jews, Italians and Gypsies couldn’t make it, imagine how Africans were treated. Do you think that any Africans who happened to be in Germany at that time survived the holocaust for a minute?

We are currently witnessing the rise of a pernicious, white supremacist backlash (I believe is not only a reaction to Obama, but the reduction of the White population to a minority.) evidenced by some 30,000 skinhead and KKK white nationalists on the move, the far right, and the growing, right-wing tea party. They talk about taking their country back and honoring their leaders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (slavers); claiming they built this country and it belongs to white people, not all these niggers, gooks, and wetbacks.

The blatantly racist Arizona legislation, as well as the banning of ethnic studies in its public schools, is an attempt to once again legalize segregation and racist oppression. Combine that with the dramatic rise in the incarceration rate of Black and Brown prisoners throughout this country, especially in Arizona, Texas and California; the privatization of prisons, and the cradle-to- prison pipeline our children travel, not to mention the cold-blooded execution of Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day 2009, and we see a picture of White racist repression and genocide.

Add to that a nearly all male, lily-White congress that, were you to photograph it, would find few dark faces among 535 politicians (supposedly representing the American people); and we see the re-emergence of an even more insidious era of racial and sexist oppression, repression, slavery-behind-the-walls (sanctioned by the Constitution), and deadly poverty on the outside.

The level of unemployment is rising sky high, and Black people have traditionally been the last hired, first fired. No doubt at least some individuals are opting for survival by going to prison to keep a roof over their heads and several meals a day – especially in cold climates.

Those of us who fought so hard in the 1960s for change, revolutionary change, are watching the clock turn backwards. It’s heartbreaking to see the struggle for ethnic studies, for example, being demolished in Arizona; textbooks being rewritten to exclude and obfuscate our true histories and herstories. Resegregation, neo-slavery, genocidal homelessness and poverty, a health-care system for the rich, quality education priced off the table, unaffordable child care with no safety nets for parents, ubiquitous junk food, and the removal of practically every healthy form of recreation from the reach of everyday people are the very things we tried so hard to prevent, to remedy, to change or transform.

It’s even more heartbreaking to see the promise of a multi-cultural, international community living in harmony (the objective our rainbow coalition initiated) going down the drain with the rise of both Black and White nationalism. But I should add Brown, Red and Yellow nationalism that likewise divides us.

We have a choice.

We can allow this thing to degenerate into a race war that would result in endless revenge killings and interminable civil war.

Or we can struggle to make friends with folks who don’t look exactly like ourselves, might play different music, eat different food, or speak with an accent of a different kind. Unless each and every one of us begins to deal with our prejudices, intolerance, bias and/or racism, nothing will change except to get worse. Moreover, we must stop being such passive liberals who say nothing when we hear racist remarks spoken right in our faces. We must develop intolerance for racism, but be careful to cure the sickness to save the patient (Mao). I don’t believe anyone really escapes the effects of a society steeped in racist white supremacy. Those who claim exemption from any degree of the sickness (racism) are likely in denial even to themselves.

Mao TseTung noted: “The unification of our country, the unity of our people and the unity of our various nationalities are the basic guarantees of the sure triumph of our cause.”

“…[I]t is only through the unity of the whole class and the whole nation that the enemy can be defeated and the national and democratic revolution be accomplished.”

We Blacks have cringed at the idea of calling ourselves “Americans;” in fact, we’ve abhorred the label, some of us refusing to use it at all. However, whenever we leave these shores, we quickly discover in foreign countries that we are Americans like it or not. Moreover, I came to the conclusion, only recently, that when we exclude ourselves from being American, we’re really being superficial and escaping responsibility for our vital role, our historic role in moving this country forward. Not only can no other group claim to have labored harder to build this country, no other group can claim to have fought longer or harder in the forefront of progressive and revolutionary struggles than Black folks. In fact, if there were one ethnic group that deserves special tribute for its national contribution, Black people would comprise the honorees.

It’s socially scientific to observe that the most oppressed will lead any revolution since they have the least to lose and the most to gain from a change.

I hope we will come to our collective senses soon, before it’s too late. All indications point to time running out…

People of the world unite!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Raymond A. Rock, III and C.C. Campbell-Rock: Gulf Coast Injustice

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, February 29, 2008.

Our guests will be Katrina survivors Raymond A. Rock, III and wife, C.C. Campbell-Rock, college-educated activists and servants of the people. Prior to Katrina, Rock, a carpenter, and C.C., a journalist, built an educational justice movement in LouisianaParents for Educational Justice, challenging the states testing program. They also produced and co-hosted Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace, a live TV program, for four years. Since their arrival in the Bay Area, the couple has advocated for Gulf Coast Justice and the Right to Return, participated in a theater production about Katrina survivors experiences, and Rock has written Katrina in the Hood. Parents of two teens and two adults, they are in the midst of rebuilding their home in New Orleans.

Raj Patel: The Global Food System

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, November 7, 2008.

Our guest, Raj Patel is a writer, activist and academic. He has degrees from the University of Oxford, the London School of Economics and Cornell University, has worked for the World Bank and WTO and been tear-gassed on four continents protesting against them. Hes currently a visiting scholar at UC Berkeleys Center for African Studies, an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a fellow at The Institute for Food and Development Policy, also known as Food First.

He was recently invited to share his views on the global food crisis in testimony to the US House Financial Services Committee and is an Advisor to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. In addition to numerous scholarly publications, he regularly writes for The Guardian, and has contributed to the LA Times, NY, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Mail on Sunday, and The Observer. His first book is Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System and he is the author of the new book The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Elizabeth Martinez: 500 Years of Chicana Women's History

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, July 11, 2008.

Kiilu's guest is Elizabeth Betita Martinez, legendary Chicana activist, historian, lecturer, and author of six books. She is currently the Director of the Institute for MultiRacial Justice in San Francisco. Betita is also one of the select international women nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

Her latest book, 500 Years of Chicana Women's History was just published (2008) in a bilingual, paperback edition w/more than 800 photos and illustrations. She also wrote the acclaimed bilingual volume 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, which became the basis for a video she co-directed. Her other books include De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views for a Multi-Colored Century (South End Press), Letters from Mississippi (re-issued in 2002), and The Youngest Revolution: A Personal Report on Cuba.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mike Wong: Resistance to U.S. Wars

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, December 7, 2007.

Our guest, Mike Wong, was born and raised in San Francisco, and became a soldier during the Vietnam War. He was very influenced by the anti-war movement. So when he received Viet Nam orders, he went AWOL, then turned himself in to the Presidio stockade with his lawyer, pleaded guilty to AWOL, and attempted to press a limited conscientious objector case. The Army turned him down, and put him back on Viet Nam orders. Mike escaped to Canada and lived in exile for five years. He returned after the war, pleaded guilty to Long Term AWOL, and received an Undesirable Discharge.

He later earned a Masters degree in Social Work, and has been a social worker for 30 years, as well as war resistance activist. Mike was featured in the movie "Sir! No Sir!" and the anthology, "Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jeffrey Blankfort: The Zionist Occupation of Palestine

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, December 21, 2007.

Jeffrey Blankfort was raised in a Jewish non-Zionist family. He produces radio programs on three stations and has written extensively on the Middle East. He was formerly the editor of the Middle East Labor Bulletin and co-founder of the Labor Committee of the Middle East. His photographs of the Anti-Vietnam War and Black Panthers Movements have appeared in numerous books and magazines.

In February 2002, he won a lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which was found to have had a vast spying operation directed against American citizens opposed to Israel’s policies in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza and to the apartheid policies of the government of South Africa and passing on information to both governments. He is currently writing a new book about The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

--We apologize that we are missing some footage from the beginning of this episode.

Ida McCray: Women Prisoners

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, May 9, 2008

Our guest is Ida McCray, Founder and Director of Families With A Future (FWAF). A former political prisoner, mother and grandmother, Ida formed this network in recognition of the pain of separation children and incarcerated parents suffer. FWAF provides support and transportation to facilitate family visits, and works with women released from prison to help them re-enter their communities.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Harold Taylor: The San Francisco Eight

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, April 25, 2008

Our guest is Harold Taylor, of Panama City, Florida, one of the elders known as the San Francisco 8 who was freed on bail last September. Harold was one of the organizers of the San Diego chapter of the Black Panther Party. Father of five children, Harold worked for the U.S. Air Force at Tyndal, and as a hi-voltage journeyman lineman for over 15 years. In his own words, "In 1971, two brothers and I were set up by the FBI. We didn't learn about COINTELPRO until years later. In 1973 I was arrested in New Orleans and was beaten and tortured for several days. in 2003 the detectives that were responsible for my torture came to my house to try and question me. I have not been the same since."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Currently, as of April 2010, Cisco Torres is the only member of the SF8 still facing charges. Please come to his next court date on Monday April 19: 8:00 a.m. demonstration; 9:00 a.m. court. SF Court Building: 850 Bryant Street (btw 6th and 7th streets), San Francisco. For more information, go to

Charles Bourdon: The San Francisco Eight

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, February 8, 2008

Our guest is Charles F. Bourdon, Attorney for Francisco Torres of the San Francisco Eight. Collectively, the SF8 are a group of community activists who have devoted their lives to serving the people and making a difference. Richard Brown (65), for example, has worked for decades in the Fillmore District mentoring youth; including 20 years as a Program Coordinator at Ella Hill Hutch Community Center and is fondly referred to as the Mayor. While conspiracy charges have been dropped against Brown and four other defendants, effectively freeing Richard ONeal, lawyers will argue in court on Feb. 7 to have the same charges dropped against the remaining three defendants.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Cisco Torres is the only member of the SF8 still facing charges. Please come to his next court date on Monday April 19: 8:00 a.m. demonstration; 9:00 a.m. court. SF Court Building: 850 Bryant Street (btw 6th and 7th streets), San Francisco. For more information, go to

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Health Care Deform


By Kiilu Nyasha

“Fascism has temporarily succeeded under the guise of reform.” (George L. Jackson/Blood In My Eye)

Clinton’s welfare reform is evident everywhere in the faces of homeless women and children, not to mention men. Since his reform virtually gutted the safety net that once kept mothers with dependent children at least housed and fed.

As you may recall, the Clintons’ health care plan turned into a huge windfall with profits and bonuses galore for the HMOs and Pharmaceuticals.

Now, the Obama health care plan, with Clinton assistance no doubt, is another boon for the insurance companies – heads they win; tails they win!

Fyi, I’m a recipient of Medi-Medi (State and Federal insurance, Medicaid or Medi-Cal and Medicare) so I can testify personally to what’s happening to millions of other folks thus insured.

While Congress was dithering over the details of this Bill just passed, I (we) lost dental and eye care (no longer covered) and doctors across the country were having their fees reduced. Now that it has passed, we’re told that a half trillion dollars will be cut from Medicare and millions more individuals will be added to Medi-Medi nationwide.

This all adds up to poor people not being able to access quality health care – period. And many being subjected to fines (and penalties for not paying???) if they can’t afford to buy insurance required by law.

If that aint health care deform, I don’t know what is.

This is the anniversary of a fall that hospitalized me last year for six weeks and from which I have not recovered the ability to stand up and walk. This experience has put me back in touch with the inadequate and uncaring medical system and taught me that it has deteriorated even further since my previous experiences as an inpatient and subsequent outpatient.

The solution to our health care system is not more of the same. We must demand free health care for all and an end to medicine for profit. We need a national health care system similar to that of Britain, Cuba, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, etc. We know it can be done because it IS being done.

Power to the people.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Avotcja honors Dr. King

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, January 18, 2008.

Our guest is Avotcja, a poet, musician, photographer and teacher -- renowned as a sound junkie and storyteller, originally from NYC, she's a Bay Area cultural treasure. A popular DJ on KPFA and KPOO, founder & director of The Clean Scene Theater Project, she currently performs with her award-winning jazz band, Avotcja & Modupue. An active member of DAMO (Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization), Artist in Residence at Milestones Project & the Penal System, she teaches poetry, music, and drama in the prisons and public schools.

Joe Wanzala: Crisis in Kenya

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, December 5, 2008.

Our Guest is Joe Wanzala, writer and community activist who lives in Oakland, California. He is originally from Uganda and Kenya, and has lived in several African countries. Joe is particularly interested in how perception management is used to manufacture grand narratives about critical geopolitical events and how this in turn influences not only public opinion, but determines and justifies policy. Joe will join Kiilu to discuss how this process has worked in the case of the crisis in the Great Lakes region of Africa, in particular the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to mask what is really going on in the region.

(The first few minutes of this episode are unavailable.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pierre Labossiere: Revolutionary Haitian History

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, October 12, 2007.

Pierre Labossiere, a Haitian national, co-founder of the Haiti Action Committee, has been a long-time social-justice activist and advocate for the Lavalas Party of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, currently exiled in South Africa. Pierre has also been active in the campaigns to free political prisoners in Haiti and the U.S.

Learn more at: and

Yuri Kochiyama: On Knowing Malcolm X

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, May 16, 2008.

Our guest will be the legendary human rights activist, Yuri Kochiyama, who lived in Harlem for 40 years and worked with Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik el Shabazz). Although no official holiday honors Malcolm's birthday, May 19 has become a traditional day of celebration in the Black and progressive communities. Yuri shares his birthday and will reach 87 this May 19 -- also the birthday of Uncle Ho (Ho Chi Minh). A tireless freedom fighter, political prisoner advocate, and author of Passing It On -- A Memoir, Yuri has also had a biography written about her life by Diane C. Fujino titled: Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama.

Phavia Kujichagulia: Cultural Consciousness

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, July 25, 2008

Phavia Kujichagulia, a Griot / Djialli (Oral Historian), musician, writer, poet, dancer who utilizes music, poetry and dance to heal and reveal history -- was a professor of Ethnomusicology and African Civilizations at World College West and Stanford Universitys Workshop on Political and Social Issues. For more than 16 years, she taught Creative Writing and Performance Art for the California Department of Corrections at Folsom, Soledad, Vacaville, Susanville and San Quentin Prisons. Her performances include the World Drum Festival, National Black Expo, and the John Coltrane Festival. Her most recent CD is "THE HUMAN RACE." Phavia currently writes for the SF Examiner.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Michael Wong and Eddie Falcon: Veterans for Peace

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, May 30, 2008

As a U.S. soldier in 1969, Mike Wong refused orders to Viet Nam and deserted to Canada. Mike is featured in the film "Sir! No Sir!" In today's wars, Eddie Falcon served as a U.S. Airman in Guantanamo Bay and various places in the Middle East including Iraq and Afghanistan. Mike Wong is a member of Veterans for Peace and Eddie Falcon is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Ray Boudreaux and Richard Brown: Free The SF8!

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, July 3, 2008.

Guests, Ray Boudreaux and Richard Brown, former Panthers and defendants in the case of the San Francisco 8. Three days after the airing of this episode, on July 6, the case was dismissed against Ray, Richard, Harold, and Hank. Charges still remain against Cisco Torres.

For the latest developments in the case and what you can do to help, please go to

Friday, February 19, 2010

Emiliano Echeverria & Pierre Labossiere: The Kidnapping of 2 Presidents

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, July 10, 2009

Guest, Pierre Labossiere, a Haitian national, co-founder of the Haiti Action Committee, has been a long-time social-justice activist and advocate for the Lavalas Party of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, currently exiled in South Africa. Pierre has also been active in the campaigns to free political prisoners in Haiti and the U.S.

Learn more at:

Guest, Emiliano Echeverria, Central American Scholar, radio DJ, and former Coordinator of "Freedom Is A Constant Struggle" on KPFA Pacifica Radio. Emiliano is also a long-time activist who has traveled often to Cuba where he received excellent medical care and appeared in the film Sicko.

Tiny (Poor Magazine) and Bob (Streetsheet): Criminalizing Poverty

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV Show, July 17, 2009

Guest, Bob Offer-Westort, Coordinating Editor of the Street Sheet, San Francisco homeless people's newspaper, and the Civil Rights Organizer for the Coalition on Homelessness. Bob has been involved in homeless community organizing since 2005.

415.346.3740 x309

Guest, Tiny (daughter of dee, single mama of tiburcio) is a poverty scholar, co-editor and founder of POOR Magazine/PoorNewsNetwork, member of the Poetas POBRE- Po' Poets Project and the welfareQUEENs, and author of Criminal of Poverty; Growing up Homeless in America.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

LBD from KPOO Radio

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV Show, July 31, 2009

Guest, LBD (William Hammons) is a DJ and co-host of KPOO's Saturday morning show (7 a.m. - Noon), Wake Up Everybody! with Donald E. Lacy, as well as co-founder with Lacy of the Love Life Foundation. The program is a mix of music, news and public affairs, liberally sprinkled with comedy. KPOO is a community-based nonprofit, noncommercial radio station that caters to the needs of populations traditionally underrepresented in the mainstream media.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Elbert "Big Man" Howard and Billy X Jennings: Black August

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV Show, August 7, 2009


Elbert “Big Man” Howard, author, lecturer and activist, is one of the six founding members of the BPP who was Deputy Minister of Information and Editor of the Black Panther Newspaper. He authored Panther on the Prowl, Each One Teach One, and wrote the forward for Up Against The Wall by Curtis Austin. He currently lives in Sonoma County where he helped found the PACH, Police Accountability Clinic and Helpline, in Santa Rosa.

Billy X Jennings, Black Panther Party Historian, is one of the original Oakland Panthers who joined the Party in 1968 at age 17. Billy has been the primary organizer of It's About Time BPP/Alumni Committee reunions beginning in 1996. He has traveled far and wide putting on programs and exhibits to keep the BPP legacy alive, including the famous Yerba Buena Center for the Arts exhibit of 2006 in San Francisco. He's also active in the struggle to free our political prisoners.

As many of you know, August 7, 1970 was the date we commemorate every Black August. when young Jonathan Jackson raided the Marin Courthouse in an armed attempt to free the Soledad Brothers and expose to the world the atrocities being committed against Black men behind prison walls. For more information, go here.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pierre Labossiere: Haiti's Heroic History

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV Show, August 14.

Guest, Pierre Labossiere, a Haitian national, co-founder of the Haiti Action Committee, has been a long-time social-justice activist and supporter of the Lavalas Party of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, currently exiled in South Africa. Pierre has also been active in the campaigns to free political prisoners and to demand an investigation into the kidnapping and disappearance of Haitian Human Rights Advocate, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine in August, 2007.

Learn more at: and

Willie Sundiata Tate: Black August

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV Show, August 21, 2009

Guest, Willie Sundiata Tate (Sundi), was a member of All of Us or None, a group of ex-prisoners actively fighting discrimination against people who have done time in prison, and was a member of TIMERS, another group of former Black Panthers and activist ex-prisoners who organized an annual Black Family Reunion Day in West Oakland with food, speakers and a bicycle give-away for many years.

Sundi was formerly one of the six defendants put on trial for the assaults and murder of guards on that fateful day, August 21, 1971, when Soledad Brother George L. Jackson was assassinated. They became known as The San Quentin Six. Sundi was acquitted of all charges and has been out of prison for over 35 years, continuing to advocate for the release of political prisoners and equal justice.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

VIDEO: The Value of Nothing, by Raj Patel

This is new video announces the release of Raj Patel's new book entitled The Value of Nothing. To learn more, go to Also be sure to watch Raj Patel on Freedom is a Constant Struggle here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Nadra Foster: Survivor of Police Abuse at KPFA

(UPDATE: Nadra Foster begins her trial on Feb.5 in Oakland and she needs our support. For more information read the new SF Bay View article here.)

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show Aug. 28, 2009

Guest: Nadra Foster, a/k/a, your brown sistah, Mama Nadra and emcee Saquoyah Sankofa, has been a committed programmer and producer, or love warrior, for over 15 years at Pacifica’s KPFA. In 1994, at 19 years old, she became the youngest person to be accepted to the two-year apprenticeship. Active in community and global advancement -- as a poet, political-prisoner activist and journalist, holistic Hip Hop emcee, visual artist and educator -- Nadra has worked to keep disenfranchised communities inspired and involved in using media to heal and uplift themselves.

On August 20, 2008, in the studios of KPFA, a terrifying incident took place when over a dozen Berkeley police attacked Nadra with such extreme aggression she is still recovering from serious injuries. She is also fighting misdemeaner charges. To support Nadra and learn more about her case, contact: