Happy Saturday and Occupy Oakland

Just listened to Radical Perspectives, with Gerald on BLR 104.1 fm

He had a guest who talked about the OPD. I understand there is an ammunition shortage again, supposedly affecting Oakland.

Disarm the Police

Radical Perspectives airs from 10 am to noon on Saturdays

At noon, GET READY for Liberation of the Wretched

DJ Adversary has been an adversary to the challenges of street organizing for longer than anyone can remember. LotW is a rant against these challenges stemming from the ills and uglies of marginalization

Listen to the Stream, scoop it up

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Usufruct would prevent hoarding of land resources, requiring use of land in order to assert rights of use

In tribal cultures usufruct means the land is owned in common by the tribe, but families and individuals have the right to use certain plots of land. Most Indian tribes owned things like land as a group and not as individuals. The family never owned the land, they just farmed it. This is called usufruct land ownership. A person must make (more or less) continuous use of the item or else he loses ownership rights. This is usually referred to as “possession property” or “usufruct.” Thus, in this usufruct system, absentee ownership is illegitimate.

The ambition of accumulation is harmful to communities once scarcity inevitably causes artificial inflation of land value. Once you start working for the right to keep the land out of the hands of others, and stop improving the land, you become concerned for the price of the land rather than its value for utilization.

This causes people to squander land resources. If the intention is to acquire and profit from transfer of land, then the condition of the land along with the quality of  improvements become important only for the end user. The land holder, who acquires land only to sell it, is a poor custodian.

Land is allowed to be polluted or used as a dump site because when land is not being worked, damage of many types are undetectable. For example, users will typically suspect the water table is contaminated only after feeling ill.

Sad State, working sucks, don’t fail to enjoy unemployment

I noticed that Al-Jazeera Is doing toiler coverage of the California strikes. Here’s a flash

On December 9, thousands of inmates in Georgia state prisons began a six-day strike to call attention to their treatment and to demand basic human rights: a living wage for work, educational opportunities, decent living conditions and health care, and an end to cruel and unusual punishment. It was largest prison strike in U.S. history, but the New York Times was one of the few mainstream outlets to cover it.

“Perhaps there was a larger hand at play—one that did not want the deplorable conditions of the Georgia prison system to surface,” writes Death and Taxes’ Joe Weber.

For extensive coverage, analysis and interviews with inmates, you had to turn to independent outlets like Facing South and the Black Agenda Report. “They want to break up the unity we have here,” said an anonymous strike leader in an interview with the Black Agenda Report. “We have the Crips and the Bloods, we have the Muslims, we have the head Mexicans, and we have the Aryans all with a peaceful understanding, all on common ground.”

By refusing to work or leave their cells, the inmates brought attention to prison labor and the growing prison-industrial complex, two issues that rarely get covered in the national media. In These Times ran a piece about Georgia’s hidden prison labor force and The Irish Times ran a piece about what prison life is actually like in Georgia, which has the highest prisoner-to-resident ratio in the U.S. with 60,000 prisoners and 150,000 people on probation. According to the piece, African Americans comprise 63 percent of the prison population, but only 30 percent of state residents.

“Even though reports are stating that the strike is effectively over, the momentum created by the activities of these inmates cannot be understated,” writes Boyce Watkins, founder of the Your Black World Coalition. “By coming together in such an amazing way, the individuals in the Georgia State correctional system have made a strong statement for human rights around the world.”

— On December 11, a few local media outlets in Waterville, Maine reported on an action organized by the Maine Fair Trade Campaign to call attention to President Obama’s decision to bring the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement to Congress for a vote. The group, which opposes NAFTA and CAFTA, rang a bell 31 times in honor of the more than 31,000 Maine-based jobs that have been outsourced since 2000. “People all over the state have suffered because of this,” said campaign board member Sarah Bigney in an interview with The Morning Sentinel. “We know what the impact of NAFTA has been. We must say no to this madness. We know it will continue to worsen the job crisis.” According to the Economic Policy Institute, the deal will increase the deficit with Korea by $16.7 billion, and cost 159,000 U.S. jobs within the first seven years after it takes effect.

Public Citizen says it’s up to Congress to make the “right decision and reject this deeply flawed, job-killing” deal, which is an expansion of the deals negotiated under the Bush administration. “As a Senator and then as a presidential candidate, President Obama opposed the deal,” says a statement on Public Citizen’s site. “He pledged to replace the damaging NAFTA model. In June 2010, President Obama said he would start renegotiating parts of the agreement in preparation for sending it to Congress. But he only focused on some modest changes to automobile trade issues. This came after over 100 members of Congress and over 500 unions, environmental, faith and other organizations called on him to meet his commitments and really fix Bush’s old text. The deal Obama is now pushing directly conflicts with his campaign commitments.”

Congress is expected to vote on the deal in February.

— On December 15, workers, union activists, and community supporters took part in more than 40 actions at Rite Aid stores in 11 states to raise awareness about low wages and health insurance cost increases. In These Times, one of the only outlets to report on the National Day of Action, ran a piece by AFL-CIO campaign coordinator Rand Wilson. He writes that the actions were “sparked by a rash of poor decisions by Rite Aid officials across the country.”

“In Lancaster, California, Rite Aid executives stalled talks with 500 warehouse employees for nearly two years. Now officials are proposing to gouge employees by ‘marking-up’ the cost of health insurance 28 times over the increases charged by insurers. In Rome, New York, Rite Aid is closing a distribution facility that pays family-sustaining wages and benefits and provides workers with a voice on the job. Work is being shifted to a nearby location that pays low wages with few benefits and no job rights.”

Watch a video of the action in Oakland, California.

— On December 16, 131 veterans and their supporters were arrested after chaining themselves to the White House fence during a snowstorm to demand an end to the ongoing occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. According to Veterans for Peace, it was the largest veteran-led demonstration in recent years, but just like Winter Soldier, the action was completely ignored by the corporate media. Dave Lindorff reports that it was blacked out of the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

“None of us expected that these illegal wars of aggression would immediately stop due to our simple action, but we did hope that we would send a message — a message that there are citizens who do not support our government’s illegal wars and occupations; a message to the world that we are shamed by the actions of our government and we will do everything we can to stop it,” writes veteran and peace activist Leah Bolger. “It is our sincere hope that this action will be a spark that ignites the consciousness of others; that our refusal to obey and willingness to put our liberty on the line will give them the courage of their own convictions and they will also begin to act in resistance as well.”

In New York City, 75 veterans, members of Grandmothers Against the War, including two in their 90s, the Green Party, and other groups stood in solidarity with the activists in DC. Eleven people were arrested for blocking an intersection near the military recruiting station in Times Square. Joan Wile, founder of Grandmothers Against the War, writes, “It is hoped that the New York protest along with the big one in Washington served as a wake-up call to the American people about the tragedy of this hopeless and destructive war. Wake up, America!”

At another solidarity action in San Francisco, 26 people were arrested for taking part in a die-in and blocking the doors of the Federal Building.

— On December 20, six people were arrested for trespassing after they locked arms and climbed the steps to the Bank of America entrance in Clayton, St. Louis. According to organizers, some 80 people gathered in front of the bank to raise awareness about a pending foreclosure facing Mary and Mike Boehm. Mary Boehm says after her husband lost his job in 2009, she applied for the mortgage modification program designed to keep people in their homes. On November 8, 2009, Bank of America told her she qualified, but she needed to turn in additional paperwork in order to be officially approved. Even though the Boehms never missed a payment, they received a notice in November 2010 saying they were in default. The foreclosure proceedings began on December 26. The action was organized by the grassroots group Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment.

Watch KMOV’s coverage here. A class action lawsuit has since been filed in St. Louis federal court against Bank of America for allegedly refusing to participate in foreclosure prevention programs despite taking $25 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program money, according to the Courthouse News Service.

Work Strike in California Prisons, Hunger Strike at Pelican Bay

Urgent support needed: California Prison Hunger Strikers in Deteriorating Health

Urgent efforts are underway in solidarity with the prison hunger strikers in Pelican Bay Prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU}. As prisoners across California are refusing food in further acts of solidarity, the health of over 200 hunger strikers is rapidly worsening. Support for this hunger strike is at a crucial point, where we need to pressure the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to negotiate with the prisoners immediately. Call the CDCR and urge them to negotiate NOW. Also call your legislators and urge them to make sure the CDCR negotiates with the prisoners in good faith. Click here for more info, including a sample script and phone numbers.

Here’s why I’m against widespread incarceration, the conditions that these guys are subjected to, are actually more heinous crimes than the crimes to which so many of have been forced to plead. Just like in the movies, people really do get put into jail because the state creates a system which is predatory on the accused. Under the guise of the public defender but often private attorneys as well, the options are laid out to scapegoat these victims, isolate them, and dispense legal advice which virtually guarantees incarceration, especially when they already have a record or aren’t white or aren’t employed.

A DIRECT CALL FOR A STATEWIDE WORK STRIKE SUPPORTING THE HUNGER STRIKE TO ABOLISH SHU POLICIES

(Submitted July 12, 2011)

An indefinite hunger strike has kicked off on July first by Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU) prisoners. They have been joined by prisoners in the Corcoran and Folsom SHUs. Huge amounts of domestic and foreign support have been organized for these prisoners. In order to win this struggle, however, every available resource must be brought into play. We are at a historical juncture in which prisoners can take control over their lives, to have some say in the conditions of their existence, or else continue to be mere pawns acted upon by external forces and watch things get even worse.Starting IMMEDIATELY defendants/prisoners can start the process of improving their conditions of existence by implementing a peaceful work strike in every prison in the state. Defendants may draft demands as each facility sees fit, but the first demand on the list must be to implement the core demands of the prisoners in the SHUs.

Why do we spend so little of the state’s resources on preventing incarceration?

The longest prison work strike in U.S. history was at the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla in 1978—it lasted 47 days. It resulted in the release of the Walla Walla Brothers from the SHU, the Director of Corrections Harold Bradley being fired, the warden removed, and the associate warden of custody transferred to a youth facility. Work strikes can result in positive change!

In the recent Georgia strike prisoners in every prison went on a statewide peaceful work strike. The prisoners were supported by their families and friends who helped spread the word of the planned strike between prisons, and who found supportive groups in a wide variety of communities to bring information about the prisoners’ conditions and attention to their demands. Plaintiffs/prisoners want you to do the same thing here in California It is up to you to get this message to everyone you trust at your prison and to spread the word across all yards. You are being asked to tell other prisoners that starting IMMEDIATELY, no work will be performed.

No work means no kitchen, no hospital, no anything, no exceptions!! Moreover, there must be no violence. Anyone advocating violence is a provocateur; listening to such people will only result in defeat. The struggle must be solid and protracted. Plaintiffs on the outside will provide support by amplifying your voice. If you are not the person to get this done, then give this document to someone you think is. Let’s recap:

1. Effective IMMEDIATELY prisoners initiate a peaceful work stoppage at all prisons.

a. Nobody works; no exceptions.

b. The Walla Walla record is 47 days (it will take time to change public consciousness).

c. There must be no violence at all, in any way.

d. The first demand must be to eliminate indefinite SHU placement and the validation process.

e. First demand amended is “debriefing” as it is known in SHU prison policy, will no longer be tolerated or permitted and considered a crime committed by the institutions that seek it as a means of control.

2. The strike is over when prisoners win, or are defeated.

a. If local demands are not met the strike may continue at that individual facility.

The first step of becoming a part of prisoner history is to communicate the essence of this document to others on the inside. This message is going into prisons across the state, by this and other means. This is NOW a nationwide effort!! please repost repost repost!!!! Send this out to everyone in every prison by every means possible. MORE ABOUT CURRENT PRISONER HUNGER STRIKE at redwoodcurtaincopwatch.net and prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com

Loni Hancock is pushing for moratorium on capital punnishment in Cali. Apparently, there have been some recent studies on the current death row inmates and their cases.

Get this, her objection and the main point of her article printed by the Bay Guardian, is that California can save money with life imprisonment. How can a system that calculates fiduciary costs to the exclusion of human suffering ever be reformed? The basic premise is evil.

Berkeley Oakland Alameda Great radio communites

Went to Berkeley Liberation Radio tonight. The new studio is spacious and clean. The skinny is that our station manager, Soul, keeps it clean. I hope that’s not the case, that everyone cleans up after themselves.

I plan to go back and do a show soon but the schedule is hopelessly out of date so I’m not sure if they have room for me…

It’s still only been a few days since I’ve been back.  I still wake up feeling that horrible Oregon glum weighing down the sky.  Then, I open the curtain and see there are the fast moving clouds high up.  The brothers and sisters look so different from each other. The first thing people notice about each is whether  they manage a smile.