Jackson, Miss. Mayor-elect Chokwe Lumumba: I Plan to Build the “Most Radical City on the Planet”

DemocracyNow.org: We end the show today in Jackson, Mississippi, where just one week from today social justice activist and attorney Chokwe Lumumba will be sworn is as the city’s next mayor. He has vowed to make Jackson the “most radical city on the planet.” He is the son of the city’s former mayor, the late Chokwe Lumumba, who was once dubbed “America’s most revolutionary mayor.” We air the mayor-elect’s speech at the People’s Summit and speak to him in Jackson about his plans for the city and his father’s legacy.

“The Museum of Capitalism opens in Oakland” by Charles Desmarais (sfgate.com)

Dread Scott’s “Poll Dance” (2010) is on exhibit at the new Museum of Capitalism in Oakland’s Jack London Square. Photo: Museum Of Capitalism

Photo: Museum Of Capitalism.  Dread Scott’s “Poll Dance” (2010) is on exhibit at the new Museum of Capitalism in Oakland’s Jack London Square.

You may not have heard, so under the radar have things been thus far, but the Bay Area got its newest museum this week. Situated in Oakland’s Jack London Square, at the intersection of Politics and Art, the Museum of Capitalism opened Sunday, June 18.

The culmination of several years of planning, the startup cultural institution is a formidable effort. Featuring more than 80 artists and artist teams, the first exhibition at the 10,000-square-foot museum is supported by a $215,000 grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.

Organizers say the museum is “the first of its kind in the United States.” As a pop-up, it’s anybody’s guess how long it might continue past the Aug. 20 closing of the first show.

Among the artists participating are such long-established figures as Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison, Chip Lord and Bruce Nauman. Most of the works, however, come from artists whose work has seen acceptance in this century, including UC Santa Cruz film and media professor Sharon Daniel, Stanford lecturer Jenny Odell and Bakersfield artist Jesse Sugarman.

The exhibition represents “the collaborative efforts of a multidisciplinary team of curators, historians, artists, and designers,” according to a press release. The museum is the brainchild of Timothy Furstnau and Andrea Steves, a husband-and-wife team calling themselves Fictilis. They presented a related idea last year as a final MFA project at UC Santa Cruz.

Heather Pontonio, art program director at the Tremaine Foundation, said in an email that the jury for its prestigious Exhibition Award “unanimously … felt that the Museum of Capitalism exemplified the mission of the Award — to further discourse in contemporary art.” She added that the museum “has engaged the most artists … in our 19-year, 25-award history.”

Savlan Hauser, executive director of the Jack London Improvement District, said in a telephone interview that her group supported the museum because “creative place-making has a real, positive impact on the neighborhood. … The buzz and interest and collaboration has already made it a success.”

Charles Desmarais is The San Francisco Chronicle’s art critic. Email: cdesmarais@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @Artguy1

The Museum of Capitalism: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays, Fridays to 8 p.m. June 18-Aug. 20. Free. 55 Harrison St., Suite 201, Oakland. www.museumofcapitalism.org

Planned Parenthood Supports Shelving Single-Payer (Again)

Bernie Sanders Pleas for California Assembly Speaker to Reconsider SB 562

Photo Credit: @rendon63rd – Twitter

In a press release from Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, President and CEO Crystal Strait expressed support for California’s Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s shelving of California’s single-payerSB-562 bill this past Sunday:

Right now, health care for millions of Americans is under attack. The bill the US Senate is considering is the worst policy change for women in a generation. In addition to “defunding” Planned Parenthood and slashing Medicaid, it guts maternity coverage and prescription drugs. Thirteen million women could lose coverage.

That’s why Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California supports Speaker Rendon’s focus on what’s at stake right now. As disappointed as many are, we know he made a hard decision to keep the pressure on defeating the GOP actions in Washington D.C. We pledge to continue to work with the Legislature and our partners to defeat Trumpcare. And we will work together to make sure our state’s health system provides quality, affordable access to care for all Californians.

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has serious concerns about Amendment 69, and as a result is taking a position in opposition. PPRM, perhaps more than most organizations, knows that the ballot process is a risky tactic for implementing sweeping policy change. Things can unintentionally go wrong. We believe this would be the case here, and that Amendment 69 would further stigmatize and fragment abortion care in our health care system.

While we recognize there is a strong argument for increased access to health insurance for all, the unintended consequence of Amendment 69 is that under the structure of a totally state-funded health care system, the only way women could obtain an abortion is if they paid out of pocket. There has been a constitutional prohibition on state funding of abortion since 1984, and this ballot amendment would not supersede that mandate. Because of that 1984 amendment many women with public coverage today, including state and municipal employees and Medicaid beneficiaries, are already without coverage that includes abortion care. Amendment 69, if passed, would add to that number. We need to be working to remove barriers like these, not expanding them.

We applaud Senator Aguilar and the leaders of Amendment 69, and we thank them for starting this important conversation. We too believe we must respond to the rising costs of care and the barriers too many Coloradans continue to face. We have fought for, responded to, and continue to believe in the need for universal health care. However, we believe universal health care means access to ALL services Coloradans need, including safe and legal abortion.

In what may seem like a surprise to many, Bernie Sanders possibly saw this coming as he referred to Planned Parenthood as “establishment” in his presidential campaign.

Planned Parenthood has a long and complicated past and has now built up a solid history of not supporting Single-Payer wherever it materializes.

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California have not responded to our request for comments at this time.

Jeanette Nelson contributed to this article.

DEMOCRATS Kill Single Payer Healthcare In California

Jimmy Dore on Twitter ▶ https://twitter.com/Jimmy_Dore
Stef Zamorano on Twitter ▶ https://twitter.com/miserablelib
Graham Elwood on Twitter ▶ https://twitter.com/grahamelwood
Edited by Arno Bolbolian

The Jimmy Dore Show is a hilarious and irreverent take on news, politics and culture featuring Jimmy Dore, a professional stand up comedian, author and podcaster. With over 5 million downloads on iTunes, the show is also broadcast on KPFK stations throughout the country. It is part of the Young Turks Network– the largest online news show in the world.

(Courtesy of Bob of Occupy.)

“Since Trump’s election, 20 states have moved to criminalize dissent” by Jake Johnson

June 23, 2017 (occupy.com)

In what is being called the “biggest protest crackdown since the Civil Rights Era,” Republicans in at least 20 states have put forward or passed laws with the intention of making protest more difficult and the punishment for expressing dissent more draconian since President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.

Throughout his bid for the White House, Trump frequently signaled his support for taking forceful action against those who vocally opposed him at campaign rallies and speeches, once suggesting a protester who interrupted a rally “should have been roughed up.”

In what was characterized as “an act of intimidation,” Trump also floated the idea of “jailing journalists who publish classified information” in a private meeting with former FBI Director James Comey.

Republican lawmakers, it appears, have been emboldened by Trump’s open contempt for free expression. News outlets, alarmed by the trend, have kept a running tally of states with anti-dissent laws in the works. Common Dreams reported in April that the number had reached 19, up from 10 in January. Now, according to The Daily Beast, 20 states are in the process of attempting to suppress peaceful resistance.

  • In North Dakota, several measures were passed during protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, one of which makes it illegalfor demonstrators to cover their faces.
  • Missouri, Washington, Georgia, Nebraska, and Montana are considering similar laws.
  • In Minnesota, a “pending bill would allow a state or local government to bring a civil action against people ‘convicted of participating in an unlawful assembly’ in order to recover ‘public safety response costs,'” according to Vox.
  • “North Dakota, Tennessee and Florida have submitted bills immunizing motorists who strike a protester if a demonstration obstructs traffic,” USA Today reported.
  • In Wisconsin, a proposed bill would punish “anyone under the jurisdiction of the institution who engages in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, obscene, unreasonably loud, or other disorderly conduct that interferes with the free expression of others.”
  • North Carolina State Senator Dan Bishop has vowed to introduce legislation that would criminalize heckling.
  • Iowa and Mississippi have filed bills that would make “blocking high-speed roads a felony.”

With such measures proliferating across the U.S., the United Nations condemned the trend as both “alarming and undemocratic.”

“In my dozen years of monitoring state legislation, I’ve certainly not seen a wave of anti-protest bills this large,” Lee Rowland, an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), recently told the New York Times.

Attempts to crackdown on dissent have also begun to affect the work of the national press. In a move that sparked immediate outrage, Senate Republicans last week announced new rules making it difficult for reporters to interview lawmakers in the hallways of the Capitol.

On Monday, the White House barred reporters from making audio or video recordings of the daily press briefing, prompting an indignant reaction from CNN’s Jim Acosta, who deemed it deliberate “suppression of information.”

Chase Iron Eyes, an activist and member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, recently characterized the White House’s anti-dissent posture, as well as Republican efforts to criminalize protest, as an attempt to “send chilling effects” and delegitimize activists engaged in non-violent resistance.

“The state will try to devise ways to squash opposition and chill the will of people who are willing to face risks to their liberty to further their cause,” he concluded.

Originally published by Common Dreams

Dissent, Donald Trump, criminalizing dissent, crackdown on protesters, jailing protesters, First Amendment, free speech, right to assemble, right to protest, civil rights crackdown, American Civil Liberties Union, non-violent resistance,
Dissent, Donald Trump, criminalizing dissent, crackdown on protesters, jailing protesters, First Amendment, free speech, right to assemble, right to protest, civil rights crackdown, American Civil Liberties Union, non-violent resistance,

“The Sins of the Mayor” by Steve Martinot

Slick manipulation of the agenda had already led to outrage. That was a month earlier, when 150 people had come to City Council to drag the city free of federal policing projects. The Mayor promised a ‘Special Meeting” dedicated to the issue, scheduled for June 20.

Five hundred people showed up for that one, in a larger auditorium. And it ended with the police arresting a few, beating a few more, and dragging the poor City Council free of the people.

* – * – * – * – *

The sins of the mayor started at the beginning, and the people, who came to speak against Urban Shield and the federal Fusion Center (NCRIC), paid for them. All seven of the Mayor’s sins.

[1] He donated the first hour of city council to the police, to use for their own PR performances.

[2] He renegged on an agreement with the Stop Urban Shield Alliance, manipulating the agenda against them.

[3] He refused to give equal time to the opponents of Urban Shield, thus showing bias.

[4] He had the council seated on a stage, high above the public’s podium, so he could look down on the speakers from on high.

[5] He stopped Cheryl Davila from speaking three times, to the extent that she had to point out, in her small voice, “I feel like I’m being silenced.”

[6] He made prior decisions concerning proceedings and motions with respect to the “Feds” (aka the NCRIC Fusion Center and Urban Shield), and five hundred people crashed against them.

[7] In the end, the cops were called against the crowd, as a “punchline” to the council’s votes in favor of the police state, about which the people had spoken and warned.

The seven deadly sins are gluttony, envy, greed, pride, sloth, lust, and wrath. I’ll leave it to the reader to affix them to their proper number above.

* – * – * – * – *

The Mayor’s first sin was to use the hearing, demanded by the people, against them. With 500 people in the audience, he allowed the police and the fire department 40 minutes to present their endless case for why Urban Shield was important and essential. Did the Mayor need to provide the police a captive audience? Why?

As a captive audience, we relived the old stories of emergencies, and how much help the police needed. As an argument for maintaining contract conditions with the “Feds,” it implied that assistance would not be forthcoming without those contracts. That is atrocious.

The final sin was to vote to maintain those contracts. After over a hundred speakers detailed how that assistance seems unable to provide itself without violence, the vote was violence against the urgency of the people present. And the meeting ended with real police violence.

The final vote on Urban Shield did not occur until 12:35 am, six and a half hours after the meeting had started. And as the mayor himself voted for maintaining Urban Shield, the people surged toward the stage, unfurling a banner 4 feet high and 40 feet long up on the stage itself, hiding this weak and meek council behind itself. The banner said, “Stop Urban Shield, End Police Militarization.” It had been the backdrop for a demonstration held before the council meeting started. And here it was again, the silent voice of 500 people, draped in front of the council that somehow could not hear actual voices.

Though the meeting had run its course, and there was nothing to disrupt, someone (presumably the Mayor) called on the police to clear the stage. A dozen cops stormed into the room, pushing people out of the way, and grabbing those youthful bodies that held the banner, twising arms painfully, ripping hands free of the cloth, handcuffing youthful wrists to be led away. To hold that banner had become a criminal activity.

Outside, faces were bloodied by the police using billyclubs against people who still held the long banner and chanted, “let them go.”

Thus, the Mayor showed he knew what Urban Shield was all about, why he favored it, and who it “Shielded.”

“Subdue and arrest.”

* – * – * – * – *

Five hundred came to oppose NCRIC and Urban Shield,, and demand that the city break its relations with them. The speaker’s line was long. Each speaker got only one minute. People could cede their “minute” to others. But the maximum for any speaker was four – compared to the 40 minutes the police got to do their PR.

The public speaking process lasted three and a half hours. Three and a half hours is over 200 minutes. Those speaking thus represented over two hundred people (themselves and those who ceded minutes to them). Only one person of all the speakers spoke in support of “the Feds.”

Yet when the Mayor read his proposal for a compromise, he had it ready to hand, printed out, foreseen as his position even against the foreseeable two hundred people speaking against the “Feds” (in person or by proxy). To have had it in hand meant his decision was made without them, way before the hundred speakers began. Would nothing change his mind?

That is a horrendous thing to contemplate – the machinery of non-representation.

* – * – * – * – *

“Subdue and arrest.” That’s a more realistic motto than “serve and protect.” Protect whom?

One hears a similar question when the city speaks about affordable housing. Affordable for whom? Below market rate? How far below? Protection for whom?

Subdue and arrest. And cause pain in doing so. And bloody a few faces while defending the institutional right to cause pain.

These young people, who came and spoke beautifully and eloquently about what it was like to face the horrors of police impunity and militarization here in Berkeley, knew what they were talking about. Against the police, there was no sanctuary.

* – * – * – * – *

The crowd followed the cops out into the night, chanting “let them go.” Once outside, the cops went berzerk, pushing and shoving those who still held the banner. Some were hit with nightsticks, others were pushed violently and with malice. We who stood in the second row behind the banner-holders caught them to keep them from falling. One cop came at us with such hate and anger in his face that I expected him to grab the banner itself and start tearing at it with his teeth, falling to the ground and growling as he chewed the banner in his rage.

But there it was. Speaker after speaker had warned against the police state, and had explained what it was about, what the concept of a “police state” meant to political opposition. It meant the government gives the police the autonomy to do what they likes against the people. And there it was.

* – * – * – * – *

What was the demand of the people that was so unsupportable? It was to stop. Stop the brutality, stop the shooting, stop. “Stop stop stop urban shield.”

That chant – “stop stop stop urban shield” – had the same lilt and rhythm as that other chant, heard in so many other demonstrations, “free free free Palestine.” One could hear each in the other.

Stop stop stop urban shield.
Free free free Palestine.
Stop stop stop urban shield.
Free free free Palestine.
Stop stop stop urban shield.
Free free free Palestine.

Written down like that, it begins to look like a tattered flag, somewhat the worse for wear from the battles it has seen. Trans-national liberation comes to Berkeley.

The Trans-national police are what is behind Urban Shield. The FBI operates in Europe and Africa, the CIA interferes in elections on five continents, the DEA makes deals with drug producers throughout the third world, and the NSA surveilles us. The local police are their eyes and ears. Against them, we have been thrust into Trans-national battle.

* – * – * – * – *

But the police, during their PR performance in the meeting’s first hour, gave it away. They went over all these emergencies that occur, or that can be imagined, in which they claimed to needed contract connections with the “feds” to get assistance in those emergencies.

Are we supposed to believe that the “Feds” would not help Berkeley if it were not under contract to the Fusion Center (NCRIC) and UASI? Does this city have to take out membership in a federal police institution in order to get assistence from the government in an emergency? Really?

You know what that means? It means that the federal government is a shake-down operation. It is there to help only those who sign up under federal agreements. It is like the rackets of the 1920s. In New York City, the mob (Meyer Lansky and Jake Shapiro) did the same kind of thing in the garment industry. They organized an employers’ association, and told each garment shop owner, either you join our employers’ association, or you will get no pick-ups and deliveries from the truckers. Is that what the Berkeley cops are telling the Berkeley City Council? If so, why would the city want to be associated with racketeers, even though they call themselves the federal government?

But, if that is not so, and the feds would come to the assistance of any city that needed it anyway in an emergency, then the police, in their PR presentation, were running a number on City Council. It would mean they were giving a deceitful and fallacious report. How could city council grant the police any credibility if that were the case?

Yet the Mayor had his proposal and his decision based on police credibility already in hand when he opened the meeting.

* – * – * – * – *

The speakers called upon the Berkeley City Council to do the right thing, to free itself from tutelage to the “Feds.” Young people and old activists, newbies and the politically jaded, all came together to demand a civil civilian government, not one controlled by the police. And we couldn’t get it.

Outside, after the police had taken control, and drove away with their captives, a new chant was spoken in the circle of the people. “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win.” We stood in a circle, the 60 or 70 of us remaining, shoulder to shoulder with each other outside Longfellow Middle School on Derby St.

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win.” The words are those of Assata Shakur, an activist for black liberation, framed on a murder charge in New Jersey during the 1970s, and who escaped to Cuba where she finds sanctuary. The FBI has placed a 2 million dollar bounty on her head. And Trump has told the Cubans, “you want normalized relations and trade? Then you give us back our escaped slave.”

The Cubans respond, “pedal it elsewhere, Mr. Cop.”

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win.”

Note from Clark Sullivan:

June 23, 2017

I’ll be at Shattuck on copwatch at Peet’s Coffee if you want to come by. The Berkeley Police have been harassing unhoused people downtown.

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Under the Skin with Russell Brand #15 | Yanis Varoufakis Interview

Yanis Varoufakis is a Greek economist, academic and politician, who served as the Greek Minister of Finance from January to July 2015, when he resigned. Date: 15/06/2017

Russell Brand discusses with Yanis what happens when you take on the political, financial and media elite, and how radical reform can occur. Through accounts of his confrontations with the IMF, European institutions and the German government they examine where true power lies and how it is wielded.

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“Oakland public bank study put on hold while city passes the hat around to cannabis interests”

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 (ebcitizen.com)

During the Oakland City Council committee stage, at least one Oakland councilmember consistently urged stakeholders in the city’s cannabis business community to fund a proposed $100,000 public bank feasibility study rather than using the depleted general fund. Councilmember Noel Gallo‘s idea was never elaborated upon by his colleagues until Tuesday night and the suggestion appears to have led to the City Council’s postponement of the allocation to the July 18 meeting.

Funding for the public bank study appeared on the path to approval until Councilmember Abel Guillen suggested the city attempt to recoup the $100,000 from the cannabis community, which is bound to greatly benefit from a banking system decentralized from Big Banks. Access to banking services are difficult for many cannabis businesses to attain since the federal government still views cannabis production and sales as illegal.

“Oakland cannot go at this alone,” said Guillen. “I think a regional approach might make the most sense and any risk we are exposed to needs to be shared with a geographical area.”

Oakland would definitely be treading on somewhat unprecedented territory if a public bank is ever created in the East Bay. Although, prevalent in some countries, the only other public bank in the U.S. is in North Dakota.

Richmond, Berkeley, Emeryville and possibly Alameda County have already shown interest in joining Oakland in a proposed public bank. “Ask them to put their money where their mouth is,” said Guillen. The public bank issue, he added, is being framed as a benefit for the cannabis industry in Oakland. “Ask some in that community to reimburse the city.”

Others on the council appeared to latch onto Guillen’s remark.

“I don’t want to waste $100,000, if in fact, Emeryville and Alameda County wants to do this. They should step up to the plate,” said Council President Larry Reid. Don’t burden the city of Oakland.” Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney offered a similar argument, saying the county has more than ample reserves to cover the study or wait until other cities are fully on-board with the plan before moving forward.

Earlier, City Administrator Sabrina Landreth urged the council to wait until a similar study in San Francisco was released before acting to spend money on a feasibility study of their own.

Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, perhaps the public bank’s most enthusiastic supporter, tried to urge her colleagues to move forward with Tuesday night’s agenda item, saying the consultant for the study has already been vetted and ready to begin its work.

The feasibility study’s price tag is a bargain, said Councilmember Dan Kalb, and will get more expensive if the city waits. He equated the regional aspect of the public bank proposal to the recently formed Alameda County Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program that allows its city’s to buy clean energy for residents through the existing utility company.

“CCA didn’t wait for everybody to chip in,” said Kalb. “Reality is we’re the biggest city in the county. San Francisco is not who we should be partnering with.”