PHOTOS and REPORTBACKS from Rally Against the Torture of Prisoners

Kudos for the protestors trying to end torture. When will the national security establishment learn that torture does not work?

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

On February 1, 2016, people from all over California gathered in Sacramento at the headquarters of the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCr) to demand an end to the dangerous and deliberate sleep deprivation being inflicted on the people in solitary in Pelican Bay State Prison SHU, under the guise of “welfare checks”.

Before the Rally, more than 15 formerly incarcerated people, family members, pen pals, and other activists visited the offices of Loni Hancock (chair of the CA Senate Public Safety Senate Committee), Bill Quirk (chair of the CA Assembly Public Safety Committee), and reps from various districts to demand the immediate suspension of the sleep deprivation “welfare checks” in the Pelican Bay SHU.  Sleep Deprivation Is Torture.

Reportbacks below are from Martha Esquivel of San Diego, CA and James Decker of Eureka, CA.
Photos are from Liberated Lens Collective, Lucas Guilkey, James Decker, and Urszula Frydman.

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Robotic race-baiting, McCarthyite Rubio remains a real danger to American values

Another prescient warning about the despicable Marco Rubio.

The Florida Squeeze

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 2.08.25 PMFor weeks now we’ve focused on Marco Rubio’s world view – a anti-intellectual right-wing political hack who will say or do anything to be President. Rubio is someone who lacks the basic understanding of macro policy or the intellectual curiosity about the problems of the people to actually do the job he was elected to do. Rubio’s use of modern-day McCarthyite techniques to determine the Americanism of those who oppose him is admirable if you come from the William F. Buckley schools of accusing everyone on the left of being a communist or subversive but have no place in modern American political discourse.

As our numerous articles on Rubio indicate Florida’s Junior Senator has Nixonian qualities and a lack of tolerance for those who don’t share his views of America – or maybe it is perhaps his advisors and handlers views because Rubio as noted above lack the free thinking…

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Obama Visits U.S. Mosque

President Obama made history recently when he became the first President  to visit an American mosque. This bold move shows this country that Islam is not our enemy. Murderers are out enemies, whether they are Muslim are not. Many terrorist are muslim fundamentalists, but some Christian and Jewish fundamentalists also kill. The Irish Republican Army, a terrorist group, is Christian, as are the murderous Kony and his followers in Nigeria. A follower of an extreme Rabbi assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Violent religious fundamentalism is often a mask for other problems. Religion can unite people who are divided by political and economic issues. Al Queda has used the North/South civil war in Afghanistan and concern over the presence of US troops in that country to rally people to their cause. In Kashmir, the desire of people in that country for Independence rather than being part of India or Pakistan has fueled Al Queda.

Gainesville Mayoral Election

With 38 days left until the March 15 Gainesville City Commission Elections  (and the Florida Primary) moderate Democrat Lauren Poe is doing well. His signs have popped up all over town. Those for extreme Republican opponent Ed Braddy are few.

Braddy seems to be in panic mode, as his campaign has sent out mailers claiming he has made the city better. He takes credit for all this despite the fact that he has only one vote on the seven-member city commission and five of the other six commissioners are Democrats. He takes credit for lower GRU prices despite the fact that the price of oil has been plummeting nationally for some time now. Gainesville Citizens will undoubtedly see through this propaganda.

Gainesville definitely does not need a mayor who is a huge car advocate at a time of increasing global warming and traffic congestion. Public transportation, which has been booming in this city despite Braddy’s assertions that people have chosen cars, is needed for both problems. In particular, road building is a quick fix that will only lead to more traffic and more congestion later on. In fact, putting off solutions to preserve the status quo is usually the right-wing solution to things. That is not what we need here in Gainesville, Florida.

Black History Month 2016: Happy Birthday Ms. Rosa Louise McCauley Parks

It is black history month. Yesterday was the great Rosa Parks’s birthday. She would have been 103. Remembering her is important, especially in these times of police brutality, incarceration, poverty, and other problems for the African-American community. The Militant Negro has an excellent retrospective on Parks with photographs. Let us keep her spirit alive.