Saturday, January 30, 2010

Burkina Faso: Life and Music in Western Africa

Lest we get too serious and forget that life is going on
in spite of the problems we perceive, we should look
to our cousins in Africa and remember that it's not about
what we possess but about what we are from moment to
moment that makes our lives rich.

Burkina Faso: Life and Music in Western Africa

Dramane Kone Of Ballet Djelia Kadi Singing Dunia Ye Watileye

Dramane Kone's cousin Mama is on Kora. The guys were hanging at their apartment with no electricity in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The song means "Life is good to people...celebrate and love life." It's the anthem for Ballet Djelia Kadi

Friday, January 29, 2010

BART reaches $1.5 million settlement for daughter of Oscar Grant

BART reaches $1.5 million settlement for daughter of Oscar Grant

Late this afternoon, BART reached an agreement with the mother of Oscar Grant’s young daughter Tatiana. The settlement is for $1.5 million and stems from the $50 million lawsuit filed against the agency following the officer-involved shooting that took place on the Fruitvale BART Station platform early New Year’s Day. BART officials issued the following statements:

“It’s been a little over a year since we experienced the tragic death of Oscar Grant,” BART Board President James Fang said. “No matter what anyone’s opinion of the case may be, the sad fact remains this incident has left Tatiana without a father. The $1.5 million settlement will provide financial support for her. A federal judge oversaw the settlement proceedings and the structure of the settlement will still need to be approved by the court. While these proceedings have been taking place, we on the BART Board have been taking the actions needed to improve the BART Police Department to ensure our officers are better-trained and better-equipped to keep our customers safe.”

“This settlement is critical in our efforts to move forward,” BART Board Member Carole Ward Allen said. Ward Allen chairs the BART Police Department Review Committee, which is guiding the implementation of the changes within the police department. “We’re working hard to make the Police Department the best it can be for our officers, our customers and our community.”

Since the shooting, BART has made a number of significant changes including:

* Working with the State Legislature to pass a bill (AB1586) on citizen oversight of the BART Police Department implemented – Monday, January 25, the State Assembly passed AB1586 (67-0), it now heads to the State Senate.
* More than tripling the number of training hours provided all officers, including increased training in crowd control, defensive tactics and Taser use.
* Involving the public in BART’s search for a new police chief.
* Increasing police visibility in stations and on trains.
* Requiring officers to report all use-of-force incidents, not just those deemed “significant,” with each incident thoroughly reviewed by a newly-established panel that determines the next appropriate steps of action.

Any questions should be directed to BART’s outside counsel, Dale Allen, at 415-981-6630.

This is from the BART web site.

Hannibal Shakur speaks to Southern California activists regarding the up coming Mehserle trial and POLICE BRUTALITY.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The First Rural Women Heroes of Tombouctou

The following story should give us some hints
about how we might help Haiti and ourselves.

The First Rural Women Heroes of Tombouctou

This film about two illiterate women who are ordinary but did extraordinary work for their villages. Two women came to India (Tilonia-Rajasthan), learned about solar energy, and went back to Tombouctou(Mali-Africa) with confidence and solar electrified their whole village thus becoming the women heroes not only in their village but also in Mali country.

Established in 1972, the Barefoot College is a non-government organisation that has been providing basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable. These ‘Barefoot solutions’ can be broadly categorised into solar energy, water, education, health care, rural handicrafts, people’s action, communication, women’s empowerment and wasteland development.

The College believes that for any rural development activity to be successful and sustainable, it must be based in the village as well as managed and owned by those whom it serves. Therefore, all Barefoot initiatives whether social, political or economic, are planned and implemented by a network of rural men and women who are known as ‘Barefoot Professionals’.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010