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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Editor's Note

Re: “Dear Oakland Leaders Who Want to Get Into the Weed Biz: Why Stop at Marijuana?

This just reflects the pay for play attitude of Oakland government... It's called graft. It's just never been this open, but been here for a LONG time

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 10/04/2016 at 7:16 PM

Re: “Dear Oakland Leaders Who Want to Get Into the Weed Biz: Why Stop at Marijuana?

Given people's attitudes these days, it's hard to tell if you're being serious Nick or sarcastic....

Posted by Robert Hope on 10/02/2016 at 3:08 PM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

Oh, right. Does anyone think that Kamala Harris, or Nancy O'Malley or any of the other DAs whose jurisdictions are involved is going to "investigate" this fairly and prosecute the officers involved? Really? These people are politicians, period. They will do nothing but protect those in power and utilize any opportunity to promote themselves.

Posted by Jan Van Dusen on 09/08/2016 at 3:04 AM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

Mr Dongosney- with all due respect, the bail was initially set at 30,000 but literally the next day in court it was updated and raised to 300,000. Look it up online through the Martin County Sheriff site. So yes, it's cause for concern.

Posted by LoveJustice on 09/05/2016 at 6:56 PM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

Please review her arrest report--the bottom right corner of Page 5 where it clearly states that the bail is only $30,000 and not the $300,000 that these reporters and news services keep copying off of each other. Rapists and murders often don't get bails set that high so why would a seasoned reporter think that biting someone's arm would demand such a high bail?

I've mentioned this before but the reporters perpetuate the same error.

When you have no money, though, all bails are the same.

Posted by DonGosney on 09/05/2016 at 1:59 PM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

What you said is NOT TRUE Bella, and the fact you state such lies are more proof that these same people who are doing such things to sex workers have now got "influencers" such as yourself, and even Maxine Doogan, who are PRETENDING to be caring about these same women, while at the same time silencing them, and further making sure they DON'T FIND THE RIGHT DOOR OUT.

Our organization www.sexworkersanonymous.com was FOUNDED on the very fact that sex trafficking victims in the USA are not trafficked by street pimps - but in fact by men in uniform, law enforcement, the prosecutors' office, the judges, and clear on up to the FBI, CIA and other high offices.

I know as I was the one who created the first safe house for those exact types of victims who could not go to other traditional "safe houses" because the local police always knew where those are. I in fact got busted for just such a safe house in 1984.

When the police got wind I was stashing women away from them successfully, then sent me in such a "stooge" to set me up. They had found a woman who was on probation for prostitution and drugs. Then had her ask me for help. I then put her in the safe house and then the police arrested me for "running a brothel".

Thankfully, my attorney was able to ask "how?" I had no phones on, no ads running, no signs of any prostitution going on. Further, I had the tape recording of the call where I told her I was "retired" and that I was taking her to this place to be safe from her pimp. A pimp who had cop friends and therefore she couldn't go to the local police for help.

However, not wanting to let go easy, the cops then arrested my mother claiming she was "pimping me". They had a photo of me handing her a $20 bill for a bucket of KFC chicken. Under the law, if you take money from a "known prostitute" then that's pimping. Only how was I a "known" prostitute when I had no convictions for prostitution?

So we started to fight those charges and then they threatened to arrest my grandmother. Okay that made me back up and take a plea bargain. Then the prosecutor insisted he'd "drop the case if I testified about what I knew" about these corrupt officers. However, if I was running the only safe house in the country I was aware of anyway - then where would I go for safety? Remember Sandra Bland? Well I'd seen these guys killing women like me in jails, treatment programs, shelters, for years before. That's why I took that warehouse and created a safe house. One they wanted to shut down so badly. Now did that stop me? Hell no. I just realized I had to use a different tactic.

So in 1987, once I made sure I was legally beyond any statutes for anyone to come after me for anything I said on TV, I then launched the first international hotline for anyone, male or female, to call for help when they wanted out of the sex industry, for any reason. If you look at some of our news clips at www.hightechmadam.com, or our interviews at www.leavingtheliferadio.com or our videos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzd_a9GPy… You'll see we're very clear that if someone is being trafficked against their will, and if the authorities are involved in any way, they can call us for help and GET IT.

We're so effective at it we almost made history with Jeane Palfrey. Jeane Palfry was the first one of us who had black and white EVIDENCE of being forced to madam her girls at the hand of men in our own government in case you don't remember Bella. I was with her on the first day after her arrest and I kept her safe up to the very last. In fact, I believe if she'd listened to my advice she'd still be alive today.

Her whole defense was based on the fact she repeatedly tried to leave the business, even leave the country, but that it was our government who kept using her to do their bidding, and probe for information going back to the same CIA who was part of my story. I was also forced to do things I didn't want to do during Iran Contra - where I witnessed many a woman sold overseas to seal these clandestine deals made by our government. Where the cocaine the CIA was bringing into this country, then processed by the gangs they blamed for the epidemic - was then transported into Bel Air, Beverly Hills, and movie studios in the purses of escorts these men were forcing me to do also. Always using us for their scapegoats if anything went wrong.

I knew enough about these people that I warned Jeane not to trust ABC when they offered to substantiate her claims with her "Black Book". I knew not to trust them because I'd seen what they done with me on case where our group had rescued a girl out from under cops who were trafficking her in Canada. We worked with their writers for months - only to have them completely change the story up when it came time to start production. ABC had also made evidence in the Johnny Gosch case in connection with the Omaha Franklin scandal disappear also. The mother told me this when she'd heard me talking about the Omaha Franklin case when I'd gone back to Nebraska to help those victims get out of there safely.

Then we watched Dan Rather get up and say there were "no names of significance" in the book. Only I'd convinced her to give 10 other sites back-up copies such as the "Smoking Gun" who then went "not so fast" and revealed there were in facts names such as David Vitter and Randall Tobias. You remember Randall's name from his writing of the TVRA of 2003 - which took all the money WE had helped to create in the first place, and then said that "only faith based groups" of which we are not, could receive any federal money to help these victims. Now I ask you - why would we want federal agencies to have money to set up programs for victims of federal agencies? We didn't - which is another reason why Jeane wanted to take her case to Congress to show them what was going on and why.

The day before her death, she had someone following her all day. Her landlord witnessed it and there was videotape of this man following her into the garage of her home that day. I had urged Jeane to let us hide her as we have others in ways where she couldn't be found. She was afraid someone would harm her mother if she left. So in the interest of protecting her elderly sick mother - she then went to her house to protect her. She'd scheduled a press conference for the next day to reveal "more names higher than Tobias" which she never made.

The press was claiming her death was a "suicide" without her body even being cold nor a toxicology report in hand. Her own mother at first said she felt it was murder, and then recanted. When I asked her mother why she recanted she said she was "afraid whoever killed her would come back for her" if she didn't. I had clearly told Jeane not to leave her house for any reason that night because of how when I was in her shoes - my attorney had advised me to go stay with my grandmother. That way no one could claim I'd committed "suicide" like they did with Gary Webb. He warned me they would try and trick me into leaving the house so they could harm me. Which they did try to. So I warned Jeane about these tricks - and she assured me she wouldn't leave the house. Yet her body was found hung in the back yard shed.

The press about her saying it was "suicide" hadn't revealed there were bruises on her lower legs consistent with someone forcing her to be hung. That truth wasn't revealed for years. Of course she knew she was in danger of being murdered. Brandy Britton had already been found dead and we both believed it was probably murder also being that she was the escort who'd dated Vitter. Two other women who had dated Vitter had also been found hung - one in a jail cell. So of course she made plans with her mother in that event. The press was using that claiming that her "plans" in case of her death was a "suicide note".

Angry, I contacted the head detective on her case out of Florida I'd like to add and told him that if a full murder investigation wasn't done in her case, I would go on TV with the texts and emails between Jeane and I for the last couple of years to prove it wasn't suicide. The next morning the police station in the small town where I lived got a phone call from a Florida detective. The next thing I know I have a warrant being served upon me for supposedly "impersonating Jody Williams" which is my legal name. I had five cops and a drug dog tear apart my house for five hours while they searched for Jeane's records and any drugs they assumed I'd have. Only they found nothing. Not content with that - they tried to get CPS to take my kid. When that failed, they started harassing my landlord and hitting him with baloney zoning violations saying it would stop when he evicted me.

Back about 2013, we started getting calls about cops who were operating an actual operation down in Florida. These women were telling me that these brothels were set up to "appear" to be "trafficking safe houses" so the neighbors wouldn't question what they were seeing. They had a woman who I won't name now, supposedly claiming to be a "survivor" and who had put herself on every anti-trafficking committee and task force she could get onto. The reason was simple and what we've seen modeled in Oakland, as well as other cities. This way they could direct the arrests and crack downs on their "competitors" and those who weren't part of their operation. The "johns" who were arrested were then assured if they did business with them - they'd avoid future arrest. The women were told if they worked for this operation - they'd also avoid arrest - just as we've seen with Celeste.

Nancy O'Malley has no track record of helping women like Celeste either to escape, nor recover, from what she's gone through. In fact, I have tried repeatedly in the past to get an audience with Nancy about the MANY woman I have calling me who are reporting to me they are being trafficked not by street pimps - but by men who are in offices ranging from the police on up to Homeland Security, ICE, etc., Men such as Joohon David Lee as but one example. These women have reported to me they've had fake police charges put on them, with threats to then deport them, or their family members, if they don't comply with their wishes, and keep their mouth shut. I myself have received threats to "back off" helping these victims not by pimps but by police officers, even Chiefs of Police.

I have tried to get an audience with both Nancy O'Malley, and Kamala Harris, just to name a few, who refuse to speak to me. Now I've had independent reputable reporters such as John Quinones and Bob Herbert come in and check out our organization - who have written glowing wonderful reports about our work. I've had independent researchers such as Professor Sharon Oselin who came in and did a 10 year study of our program, and three others, of which not only did we come out on top, but further we're the only program she researched who is still operating. I've got 30 years of press with quotes from our members online - showing there's absolutely no reason whatsoever that an adult as Celeste Guap was shouldn't have been referred to our program for assistance. Which is why I contacted Nancy when I read she was "handling her case" because I knew what that was code for.

What that's code for is what happened here. She was sent to Florida where they have other police involved in this case. There was nothing they could charge Celeste with at that time. Nothing that wouldn't incriminate one of their own further. So magically she now has a charge. A charge which if they can't threaten to deport her over, they'll threaten to deport members of her family. They'll go after her family the way they went after my mother, the way they went after Heidi Fleiss' parents, and even Jeane Palfrey's mother (before we convinced them to drop the case against Jeane's mom).

Maxine Doogan is being built up in the press as being an "advocate" for women like her. Only not only have I not seen Maxine get one single woman out of this type of situation, out of the business, and also living safely ever after yet, but I've also now got a stack of emails and calls that have come into our hotline claiming that she's being built up as this type of person, so that people will "trust her" and then "turn to her" where then they are having different methods used to silence them right on down to one woman claiming that Maxine stole her evidence she had against the police. http://traffickingandprostitutionservices.…

So don't hand me that Celeste needs to speak to Maxine for help because (1) there's no one person even who she's ever helped out of this type of operation and to safety that I've ever seen nor heard of, and (2) I do have evidence she's being used in fact as what's called a "trojan horse". In other words, she's being built up in the media as the "go to" person for someone like her, only these women are then contacting me later saying they were "tricked", "lied to", "had evidence stolen", and one says she was even almost killed during a drug overdose she blames Maxine for". I've had more than one email reporting she's gotten them to sign bogus movie contracts which are being used to silence them.

I had the same thing in my day - but I caught on. They come to you offering you money for your book and movie deal - but you agree to only talk when they tell you to talk" and then they never let you. It's a way to buy your confidence to shut you up and if you don't know who your producers are - it's easy for fall that it.

You know good and well Bella we exist, and that we DO help women just like Celeste, as we have for 30 years now. So don't hand out the usual "oh nothing exists" that these people say in the media to convince women like Celeste we don't exist, and that there "is no way out" because there is. First of all, the LAST place we would have sent her for drug treatment would have been Florida - especially knowing what we know is that this whole operation that the police are a part of right now have operations down in Florida that are being run by the police, and that anyone who has tried to go up against them down there has had their very lives threatened. Dan from the Defenders was threatened so badly for his work extracting victims from trafficking operations, his car messed with, and even threats to stop helping us with extractions that he's preparing to move to Greece to get to safety.

What in the hell would you know about it Bella being you're STILL IN THE BUSINESS? Tell me how on earth does a drunk know where someone can go to get sober? Especially if there's a bar that's locked that woman in the bar and after pointing a gun at her and her family is forcing her to drink? What would you as an active drunk know about how someone like that would get sober, or where to go to find that help?

I'm supposed to trust SWOP? After Robin died, SWOP Seattle actually covered for the traffickers! They claimed women on that Korean website "were not trafficking victims" when I in fact know they were. The thing is, that by saying these women were "not" trafficking victims, they were saying they were guilty of illegal prostitution. Now why would SWOP get up and claim another woman was guilty of a crime, and then take away her one out to get out of being charged - that she was forced? Why is SWOP for that matter been spending the last 18 months trying to infiltrate our organization? I've got the tapes of the voices of their people calling trying to scout out information on our meetings and members. They've threatened our hotline. Stalked, threatened, defamed and harassed our members. Now why would any group who claims to wanting to help sex workers - go and attack the ONE GROUP WHO CAN OFFER THEM ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING?

No one who claims to care about sex workers would let someone go to jail knowing that going to jail could cost them their marriage, their children, their home as they did with Amber Batts in Alaska. For YEARS we've been the way for those convicted of prostitution to avoid jail, to keep their kids, to keep their homes, and to avoid completely having to raise $1,000's of dollars for an attorney. An attorney who if he's any good - will find himself disbarred like Montgomery Sibley, and others I can list down the line who this has happened to, including one who even became Mayor of Philadelphia who was disbarred after getting one of our members off the hook when a snitch tried to force a fake drug charge against him. Our attorney won - and he got disbarred for it. Which is why we use a different system now - but the fact remains that if convicted for prostitution as an adult - you can without an attorney ask to go to our program instead of jail and so far every judge has allowed it. Under laws grandfathered in by AA - they could be charged with discrimination if they didn't allow it.

www.sexworkersanonymous.com is the ONLY program which not only services members from all over the world trying to get out of the industry, including those who say they're forced to by anyone, including law enforcement, or others in top offices of authority, but who also works with men, women, transgenders, and the LGBT community - all of who are refused service by these other groups who only will work with heterosexual women, and also will refuse women who are Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, etc.

We are also the ONLY group who has gone after traffickers in authority such as Kemp Shiffer, Chris Butler, Joohoon David Lee, to name a few, who has got those men shut down from forcing women into acts of not only prostitution, but also drug sales, and blackmail. Because they'll also use us as their scapegoats for blackmail too you know. We have reason to believe that Donald Burns was not blackmailed by Teofil - but instead by the same trafficking operation that's not only a part of what happened to Celeste, but dates back to "Operation Dollhouse" in 2007 and even arrests made just recently in Ventura, California. There is no doubt in my mind there's a direct connection with Celeste Guap being sent to Florida at the very same time that more arrests were made against the trafficking ring these cops were a part of in Ventura, Calfiornia by Officer Gary Pentis.

Celeste is in great danger. Now I know you mean well here by asking her name be blocked, and the press go dark here. Only I differ. This woman is in great danger of winding up like the Baton Rouge madam, Jeane Palfrey, and Sandra Bland who merely criticized the police. The only thing keeping this woman ALIVE right now is the press on her as much as possible. This way if anything went wrong - her death would at least be questioned.

Remember, a coroner has said that Gary Webb could not have physically shot himself in the head twice with a shotgun. And this woman knows probably as much as he did about what's going on right now with respect to a sex trafficking ring that's connected clear back to China, connected to Paul Tanaka, and is connected to trafficking all across this USA, who is not only using cops and others in offices such as the prosecutors' office (anyone remember the Orange County judge who dismissed 250 DA's because they were all corrupt?), but further as a minor when she was trafficked - there's no statute of limitations on her testimony and on charges she might press against her abusers.

Meaning she might be in more danger even than Jeane Palfrey was for what she knows. The fact Nancy kept this woman as an adult from us when we were trying to extend help to her, and would send her to a Florida treatment program which we would never do right now knowing what's down in Florida that could do to her exactly what started to be done here (for all we know she was defending herself), shows all the more if she's not a part of trying to cover up what Celeste knows, than she's at best incompetent and negligent for not contacting us to be involved in her case, and I am consulting with an attorney about charging her with negligence,

So Celeste - please if you read this know you're not alone. There is help out there which can protect you. SWA has members down in Florida which we can send to help you. Beware of everyone now - including phony producers, phony attorney's, all kinds of "wolves in sheep's clothing" who have an agenda right now going involving a lot of money, and covering a lot of asses, etc. If you look at our news clips, our interviews, our videotapes, you'll see WE ARE THE ONLY group who has been helping women like you get out, stay out, and stay alive after getting out, including women who were in EXACTLY you're situation. In all those years, we've only lost ONE person, Jeane, when she didn't listen to our advice. I had told her not to go to her mother's that evening and to let us stash her somewhere safe off the grid. If she'd done that, I believe she'd be alive today.

You can call us toll free from any payphone even at (888) 666-1782 any time of night or day. We always have someone in recovery answering our hotline who understands everything you're going through. Beware of women in the industry who claim they can get you "out". If they can't protect themselves from these guys, and they can't get out, then how in the hell can they know how to help you get out safely? Use your head girl!

The people who sent you to Florida are not your friend. Look at what happened. We have said back here at our main office that this was going to be their next move - and we were right. We know their moves and can beat them - and THAT'S WHY they're not telling you about our group. Maxine, Bella, they're not "out". What do they know about leaving this network of people who extend clearly across the whole USA? Nancy has done nothing but try and block people from finding help from us - or any help at all and your story is more proof of that. Please be careful Celeste and try to reach us when you can.

Posted by Williams Jody on 09/05/2016 at 6:21 AM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

If it were not for the press Ms. Abuslin might be in a shallow grave right now. Her cover has been the press. If the press drops out bad things could happen. I agree she must get back home. Her life is in danger every day she is in Florida. Get her back and find out who or what organization paid for the trip. As they say, follow the money.

Posted by Charles T. Smith on 09/04/2016 at 9:05 PM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

I have been concerned about this young woman since finding out about her sexual assault which is too much for a girl or woman to go through. Our system has never been really set-up to work with girls and women in the Bay Area. There are few programs that work with the REASON women have PTSD, promiscuous behavior, run ins with the law because of money crimes and use of drugs and alcohol. Many women both professional, church going and those who never got a chance at life have been sexually assaulted as little girls. I am a survivor of sexual assault by 4 boys at the age of 7 and suffered for many years in silence. So there are few places a woman can go that are women only, to safely share and find healing in the Bay Area that provide treatment, housing, peer support and love. Working with my sisters in Oakland has been hard because of lack of proper resources. But we plunge on sacrificing personal gain with genuine concern for each woman who comes through the door. Millions of dollars go to programs for men. I have been informed so many times that women are far less in need and therefore they need far less resources. I am so sad that this young girl has and is enduring such pain, but hopefully she will be the catalyst for change in Oakland and the Bay Area. Send her to us to see if we can help her.

Posted by Healing Women on 09/04/2016 at 3:35 AM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

Help is on the way! The Coalition to Restore Public Trust which issued the Call to Action on Thursday is in motion! Go to the crowdfund website if you really care b/c we will need money to fight for justice! Stay tuned - she's coming home soon!

Posted by Pamela Y. Price on 09/03/2016 at 9:23 AM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

Lol, you demand protection for her because she is a "witness." Let's look at other witnesses in pending criminal cases, there are homicide cases that can't be successfully prosecuted because witnesses fear some sort of retaliation. Everyone is crying "poor Jasmine," please. The girl is a witness and gets no special treatment. As for the alleged crimes, I haven't heard of one case being charged in any of the several Bay Area Counties, have you? Now I'm not saying any of the officers are innocent or guilty in these cases, but it's the anti-police attitude that is fueling this issue. What about the other victims who are being trafficked on a daily basis? Instead of sitting behind a keyboard and typing about it, get out on International Blvd and do something about it folks.

Posted by Mr. Cali on 09/03/2016 at 7:34 AM
Posted by mistressmax3db9 on 09/02/2016 at 9:06 PM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

The pigs sent her there b/c they want her dead. Florida is about as crooked a state as the come. People end dead under suspicious all the time in that backward place. Her life is in imminent danger.

Posted by djstyles200081fd on 09/02/2016 at 8:59 PM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

Let's flood this little jail with letters of support for Celeste. You can write to her at.

Jasmine Abuslin # 896101
Martin County Jail
800 SE Monterey RD
Stuart FL 34994

Also please sign this petition and donate to the crowdrise to raise money to hire Celeste an attorney.

Thank You

http://resources.naapb.org/letter-blaster/…

Posted by Bella Robinson on 09/02/2016 at 8:04 PM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

Nick Miller the answer to who sent her to Florida is as easy as driving to Richmond and asking the right questions.

Posted by John Spartan on 09/02/2016 at 6:27 PM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

Actually Attorney General Kama Harris is a defendant in ESPLER v GASCON which is on its way to the 9th district court of appeals.
Amicus briefs are due Sept 8th 2016
http://esplerp.org/esplerp-files-notice-to…

In this video you can clearly hear several people testify about the police forcing sex workers and minor trafficking victims into sex acts under threat of arrest, yet the committee ignores the abuse and insists that the LEAD (Law enforcement Assisted Diversion Programs) will be run by good male cops who wouldn't abuse the women.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK0TD0h9zP…

Note we know there are no SERVICES for trafficking victims, the system is set up to dump victims into public shelters and then abandon them, once they are done violating their human rights.

We are concerned that they will kill Celeste and then claim she committed suicide,

We pulled the charging documents and the rehab workers admits that he tried to restrain Celeste right before she bit him. (This conveniently was the only part of the incident that wasn't captured on CCTV. ) So he assaulted her first. Nobody at the rehab had a legal right to detain or restrain this young woman.

Then to add insult to injury the media told the world that Celeste was HIV postive, so I think it is time to demand all 30 of those Oakland police officers to be mandated for HIV testing (after all the courts do this regularly to sex workers)

DOJ has a responsibility to protect this victim who is a witness and to stop the corruption in CA police depts.

#whorenation has set up a crowdrise to raise money to hire Celeste an attorney,
https://www.crowdrise.com/free-celeste-gua…

Posted by Bella Robinson on 09/02/2016 at 5:45 PM

Re: “Bay Area Authorities Need to Bring Celeste Guap Back to California — And Media Must Protect Her Privacy

Yes, that is a very good point, where was the DA in all of this? And why just one DA? Richmond and San Francisco police officers were complicit, why are they not investigating this matter?

I think Attorney General Kama Harris has to stop thinking only of what's best for her Senate race, do her job and initiate an investigation into the police abuse, sex trafficking AND potential witness tampering.

Posted by Margarita Lacabe on 09/02/2016 at 5:21 PM

Re: “The Kaepernick Conversation Should Be About Black Lives, Not National Anthem Etiquette

Your article is spot on in the assertion that once again, America wants to take the easy road. Instead of dealing with the issue of cops getting away with murder, America wants to talk about the flag. The reality is that we watched the film of a group of SFPD cops execute an unarmed Black man (Mario Woods) on the streets of SF earlier this year. SFPD then killed an unarmed Black woman in a car the very next week. In both cases, Police officials and the union reps defended the cops and tried to justify both shootings when the public knows what we saw. This is exactly what Kaepernick is talking about, not the military. For the Police union to now have the nerve to make a public statement deriding him for his actions is outrageous. The fact is they owe those families, Kaepernick and the public an apology for violating their sworn oath to serve and protect. The mass media focus on the flag is just a distraction from dealing with the truth.Cops in America have been terrorizing neighborhoods of color since reconstruction. In fact, being a cop was what KKK members did as day job.Their main duty was to keep "those" people in line and on the their side of the tracks. It is only now that white America has video proof of what all Black people have known for generations. In addition, for people all over the world, that flag represents invasion, colonization, terror, mass destruction and the tyranny of America. At the end of the day America, freedom is not free. If you know history and acknowledge reality, you will see that not only US soldiers, but more often than not, it has been people of color who have paid the price.

Posted by Gary Patton on 09/01/2016 at 4:14 AM

Re: “The Kaepernick Conversation Should Be About Black Lives, Not National Anthem Etiquette

If Colin Kaepernick had not told the media that he had purposely been setting down during the National Anthem, nobody would have noticed. Nobody would have been insulted. Nobody would have been discussing whether he had a Constitutional right to stay seated. And, I would have not learned that the third stanza celebrated of the National Anthem cheers the death of slaves that ran to the British to be free. These words are an embarrassment to be part of America's National Anthem.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The stain of our history of slavery should not be part of the National Anthem that should ideally represents the best of the Nation and call to all in the Nation to come together in song. If Black Lives Matter today, there has to be a new National Anthem.

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 08/31/2016 at 10:28 PM
Posted by michael.sagehorn on 08/30/2016 at 8:54 PM

Re: “Homelessness, Caltrans, and the East Bay's Forgotten People

I agree Albany City Council's policy of first providing no support for their unhoused population and sending them to the Bulb was bad policy. Even worse policy was spending several hundred thousand dollars to make them move, and stayaway, to create yet another sterile waterfront dog and people walking park. This has only contributed to the concentration of homeless camps in neighboring cities, like Oakland and the need for CalTrans to clear out people, their possessions and tbeir waste.

A win-win for all residents housed and unhoused would be to create a stable, self governing "Dignity Village" where basic water, sanitation, hygiene and garbage collection are provided. This would allow houseless residents to meet their own basic needs, and prevent the "filth" that others have referred to, at lower cost to taxpayers than current sums. Criminalizing and vilifying houselessness is the most costly and ineffective solution. Whereas, providing the basics to keep a stable encampment clean and safe (including jobs for houseless residents not CalTrans workers) seems like a solution for many of the currently unhoused and the surrounding housed neighbors.

Posted by karen white on 08/23/2016 at 8:19 AM

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