Oakland Radicals

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Thomas Sankara and the Black Spring in Burkina Faso

A communist at large

Blaise Compaoré, the president of Burkina Faso who was forced to resign by mass protests on October 31, was more than simply a dictator who had clung to power for 27 years. Compaoré was the leader of a counter-revolution, a traitor, who holds the responsibility for the murder of one of the finest thinkers and fighters of the twentieth century, Thomas Sankara. Compaoré’s coup brought an end to the magnificent Burkina Faso revolution of 1983-87.

Ouagadougou October 2014 demonstration against government of Blaise Compaore Ouagadougou October 2014 demonstration against government of Blaise Compaoré

Better than any other struggle of last century, the revolution in Burkina Faso proved that slavery was not the inescapable fate of any people, that the road of revolutionary struggle for independence and human dignity was open in even the poorest countries of the world.

For Upper Volta (as the country was known at the beginning of the revolution) was poor by any measure. In 1981…

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Defending Afrika Town: West Oakland’s fight to preserve a space made for and by the community

local happenings..support needed

What's Happening Black Oakland?

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In November 2014, a hundred plus community volunteers took it upon themselves to begin transforming and beautifying an abandoned and polluted lot on the corner of West Grand and San Pablo Ave in West Oakland. For 14 years, the lot remained vacant and desecrated and was an overall public health concern for the community. “It was filled with needles, rats, trash, feces, and weeds as high as the building,” said Linda Grant, a volunteer at Qilombo Community Center.

With the help of many volunteers Danae Martinez-a local college professor- led a revitalization effort which transformed the polluted lot into a thriving community garden. With the assistance of Planting Justice, the Community Restoration Project,and hundreds of student and community volunteers, they were able to unify with the purpose of restoring this neglected lot into a vibrant garden that’s free and open to all members of the community. images-3Afrika Town was officially launched…

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Road rants and tales of brokeness

Rainshine Intergalactic

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I have been having a lot of time to muse on the road back and forth between the east bay and Mendocino county as I transition to living in two places at once, in an attempt to be involved with both my kids lives, and eek out some kind of non traditional money making ritual.  At times I have had to hitchhike, and take public transportation to get back and forth, as my car reality is shaky.  When  I am driving, I sometimes travel with friends and comrades, and oftentimes one or both the kids are riding with me, or lately hitch hikers who I have made a habit of picking up whenever possible.  But usually I am on my own, alone with my thoughts, the radio, and the sights which range from stunning natural beauty, to grotesque human uglification of reality.  It a lot of food for thought, and…

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fuzz

fuzz

Wood Moss by the Navarro by Natural Mystic Photography

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May Day in Mendocino..tales from Beltane

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I had a cool encounter the other day at the Beltane celebration down at the beach in Mendocino. I was heading up the footpath back up to town, and I was a bit distracted by thoughts and devices A woman stops me as I am walking by..”help me pick up this garbage that people dropped”…Feeling kind of sheepish for not having already noticed and volunteered, I start helping..”I am an anarchist” she remarks out of the blue. I perked up.”hey , me too..cool. Happy May Day!” Given that she was about a generation older than me, I joked. “If you are over forty like us, and still call yourself an anarchist, then you probably really are one,” 

She said “yeah well, I am sixty five…I am not all into violence, just the natural order..like if you see garbage, pick it up…not because of city ordinance 55642j, but because it’s the right thing to do!” I agreed with the righteousness, and timeliness of her analogy.. she then proceeded to teach me an ancient breathing technique for hill walking, and had me sample a couple edible plants that were growing along the path as we talked politics and ecology until she met up with her kids and grand kids. 

made my May Day complete and reminded me how i dig the radical elders. ..the hold outs, so to speak,,they have knowledge that provides continuity and context, and they provide rare examples of not giving in or selling out, and they probably don’t get the appreciation they deserve,,,they do it because it’s right, and that’s where it’s at. much thanks, and respect to all my elders and teachers, and mentors. of course I am pretty much right there at elder hood with you all at this point,,

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mendo vista

mendo vista

chillin on the edge

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Statement from the Intergalactic Black Hippie Alliance, and affiliated, and unaffiliated groups and individuals of like minds regarding The Black May Day Movement

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Given that May Day is traditionally a day to celebrate the struggles of the workers of the world, and to renew efforts to dismantle the oppressive structures enacted by the bosses of the world, and given that the black people of the world are without doubt a most exploited class of worker in any society that we are found, we find it timely and appropriate to kick off a movement on May Day that will seek to redress all historical injustice formed to subjugate the black people of this planet.

Our demands are as follows:

1) We want our stolen wages. Our wealth as a people should be commensurate with our population. That it is not is proof of thievery, and fraud. We demand our stolen pay, and the stolen resources.

2) We demand land, and housing of equal amount and value to the percentage of our population.

3) All black prisoners must be released from jails and prisons, and from the confines of the Justice System. The unequal punishment and incarceration of our black brothers and sisters is proof of a flawed anti black system that can not continue to have control over the lives and freedoms of black people. We demand exemption from the barbaric rule of law that passes for justice in this society.

4) All underperforming schools with black students must immediately have it’s budget doubled, with community control of spending decisions. All disciplinary system must be reviewed for anti black bias.

5) All jobless black adults must be given immediate employment at a rate of no lower than $20 an hour. Furthermore these jobs must be designed based on the desires and interest of the individuals, in conjunction with the community the jobs will be based in and serve.

6) We demand that it be recognized that black people were robbed of something invaluable, when we were removed from our land, culture, community, and language. We do not see this culture that we have been forced into as superior, and we have the right to pursue our own ways of resolving and reclaiming our past, broken and glorious that they be. All efforts and displays of black cultural reclamation of innovation shall be respected and not be hindered in any way. All false, misleading, and biased historical information regarding our history must be corrected.

7) We demand debt cancellation for all African nations, and black 
Diaspora nations. The extortion of the colonizing societies must end.
These demands must be met by May 1, 2015, or a Global General Strike will begin.

In preparation for the acceptance or denial of our demands, we are beginning to organize a black economic boycott, and solidarity movement effective immediately. All efforts will be made to promote the withdrawl of funds and support from all anti black institutions, and the corresponding support of black owned, and black friendly institutions. We will begin to organize our own infrastructure and develop our own frameworks for an emancipated black society. All efforts will be made to follow a path of high ethical standards in our pursuits, and to conduct our communication in a respectful manner, as we do not want the seriousness of our resolve to be underestimated. The Black May Day movement is for real. We want off the sinking ship. We welcome all supporters, and fellow liberation movements to discuss ways of joining efforts, or work in support of common goals. We do not seek recompense from anyone but the super wealthy, and do not seek to disempower any other groups, but we must act in black solidarity, and put our survival at the forefront of our efforts. Any black groups or individuals who wish to join in any way please let us know. Black Businesses that want to be part of the network, holla!

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