Category Archives: SF Bay Area

May Day Mayhem in San Francisco

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The forces of social revolution attacked luxury stores in San Francisco’s Union Square to celebrate International Workers Day. This is from SF-IMC:

This action carried no demands. Its choice of geography and timing speak for themselves. It is safe to say that it inflicted the most property destruction San Francisco has seen in a very long time in an area usually deemed to be off limits to street actions and demonstrations. There were no arrests and upwards of $50,000 worth of damage was unleashed in a controlled and methodical manner that required intense cooperation among participants.

As to how this benefits workers or anyone besides the vandals seeking a cheap thrill is unclear. They did provide this comment:

Like fishermen turned pirates off the horn of Africa who have hijacked a primary artery of global capital as they defend their lives and communities, mass coordinated anti capitalist attacks across Greece that illustrate how an anarchist initiated insurrection can bring a state to its knees, or crews of friends taking over the streets of downtown Oakland in resistance to police violence, the May Day mutiny in San Francisco has revealed weak points for us to take note of and exploit. The illusion of an invincible corporate state able to crush or undermine all its enemies has been shattered. The forces of repression have no real defense against our evolving rebellions.

Yes, by attacking Prada, Armani, and other expensive stores, these crusty black-bloc vandals have “the system” quaking in its very boots. I’m sure.

While the event has been covered in the local news, the national media has been largely silent. Less than a month ago the Tea Party protesters were presented as raving right-wing lunatics by the NYT and others. Yet the Tea Parties–acknowledging their incendiary rhetoric and the involvement of a variety of unsavory elements–were peaceful. Weeks later, you have radical leftists running through the streets of SF busting windows and acting the fool and the msm says “ho hum, nothing to report here.”

On a more positive note, Bob from Brockley has a roundup of May Day events in the UK. Here is a roundup of global May Day demonstrations from the BBC.

Anarchists vs. Maoists at SF Book Fair

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Ah, it’s that time of year again. Time for the San Francisco Anarchist Book Fair! A place to learn of the glories of social revolution, listen to tales of human autonomy, consensus and self-management and bask in the pungent smell of patchouli oil and sweat.

It is generally an uneventful event. Book sales do not tend to attract an aggressive crowd. But this year’s fair was marked by confrontation, a struggle between anarchists and Maoists. No incendiary devices were exchanged, no bottles thrown, no brawls occurred.

The fair takes place at the fairground building in Golden Gate Park. Every time I went to the event there was some Stalinist, Maoist or other communist group with a literature table outside of the building.  Most attendees ignored them.

This year members of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) attempted to enter the building to sell their literature. This created quite a scene. The RCP was told they had five minutes to leave the building or they would be removed. After five minutes had passed they were shown the door.

The RCP proceeded to set up their table outside the facility. Soon thereafter members of the Modesto Anarchist Crew (MAC) dumped a five gallon bucket of water on the table, drenching the RCP’s books and other propaganda.

This has created (or more properly, exasperated) a rift in the SF activist scene with some supporting the action and others decrying it as “sectarian” and “counterrevolutionary.”

Statement from RCP/Revolution Books:

Revolution Books, a communist bookstore in Berkeley, was forced to leave the anarchist book fair and told they could set up outside by the organizers. After setting up their table, someone poured a bucket of water on their books, fliers, and newspapers, destroying hundreds of dollars of literature. We denounce this act and call on the organizers of the anarchist book fair to do the same. This sort of attack is repressive and reactionary and is the complete opposite of the culture of discussion, debate, and dissent that we need in order to create a vibrant, liberated society

Here are some comments from two posts at Indybay:

Never Trust a Bolshevik:

I can’t believe this is even an issue at this point. Anyone with any knowledge of history knows the disaster which comes from making common cause with Bolsheviks. Against the wishes of Makhno, the officers of the Makhnovshchina chose to trust the Bolshies and it got them machinegunned en masse at the Crimean “peace talks.” The CNT made common cause with the Bolsheviks and Durruti ended up face-down with a bullet in the back of his head.

“A” writes:

I know some of the Maoists personally. They’ve never pushed any political agenda or ideals onto me. In fact, one of the organizers is at nearly every protest/rally there is in the Bay Area, spreading a consciousness of change and revolution, but NEVER promoting any particular agenda. It shouldn’t matter what agenda you want AFTER the revolution; the point is that we have the same enemy. I’ve never seen any anarchist show such determination in organizing or participating in Bay Area events, especially Oscar Grant rallies.

Miles replies:

Read some fucking history, specifically about the followers of Lenin, Stalin and Mao and their relationships to anarchists and other anti-state revolutionaries, and then come cry to us about our common enemy and explain how “revolutionary” those butchers are. Fuck you crybabies. If you’re ashamed to call yourself an anarchist after a minor skirmish like that where nobody got hurt or maimed or killed, who needs you on our side? What’s going to happen to your thin skin when the shooting starts? Get lost and take your wishy washy hippy liberal shit with you on the way out. The fact is that the followers of Lenin (and company) denounce us no matter what we do or don’t do, and when they’re not busy denouncing us they frame us, jail us, torture us, maim us and when that stops amusing them, they murder us. It’s factual history, not some bullshit neo-McCarthyist paranoia. No tolerance for our enemies, whether they wrap themselves in a red white and blue flag or a plain old red flag.

Sometimes I miss the Bay Area.

Shootings and Riots: From Athens to Oakland

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A good friend of mine, call him Z, paid me a visit last week. I met Z in graduate school in NYC close to ten years ago and he currently resides in Athens. As the child of Greek parents, he had an option to get Greek citizenship (sort of like a right of return) and decided to do so a few years ago. I have not seen him for close to two years so we discussed a lot of things, mostly our personal lives, the standard trials and tribulations, I was also able to pick his brain about the riots in Athens.

You probably know these riots started after the police killed a Greek teen. College students and other youth took to the streets and started breaking windows and clashing with the police. V has a soft spot for anarchism and libertarian socialism but he has little time for anarcho-vandals. Rather than seeing the riots as a replay of Paris 68, he saw it as an outburst or tantrum. This was an expression of political impotency rather than political strength and solidarity. He explained the riots provide a steam valve of sorts in a society that rarely charges the police officers involved in acts of brutality (and has never sent a single officer to jail) or the rioters who throw bricks and molotav cocktails. It is all business as usual over there. Almost like a game.

Another point Z made was that Greece has seen a influx of immigrants or “guest workers” from Eastern Europe and Africa. He doubted the populace would have been in such an uproar had the person killed been African. He said “no one would have cared.” So much for international proletarian solidarity.

The same week V was in town, I read about a police shooting in my former home, Oakland, California. Early New Year’s morning, an officer of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police shot Oscar Grant while he was being detained. The shooting was recorded by at least one cellphone and was subsequently uploaded to Youtube (I am not providing links to any of the videos).

BART police stopped the twenty-two year old Grant early New Year’s morning in response to a group of African-American males fighting on the train station platform. While the precise details of the incident are still emerging, videos show Grant detained by two officers when a third officer shot and killed him. Grant does not appear to be a threat to the officers or the public when he was killed. However, in contrast to those who call this a “police lynching”, judging by the look of shock on the officers faces, it seems more like a tragic accident than an execution.

The slow response and lack of action by the BART police led to frustration and in some cases anger. A demonstration was called for January 8 that ended in what is being described as a riot by the international press.

From what I’ve read and heard from family and friends a very small area was impacted. A few storefronts of small businesses were broken, a public teacher’s car was trashed, and a few Oakland PD cars were damaged (even though the OPD was not involved in the incident). The teacher noted a protester telling her, “fuck your car.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

The roving mob expressed fury at police and frustration over society’s racial injustice. Yet the demonstrators were often indiscriminate, frequently targeting the businesses and prized possessions of people of color.

They smashed a hair salon, a pharmacy and several restaurants. Police in riot gear tried to control the crowd, but some people retreated along 14th Street and bashed cars along the way.

The mob smashed the windows at Creative African Braids on 14th Street, and a woman walked out of the shop holding a baby in her arms.

“This is our business,” shouted Leemu Topka, the black owner of the salon she started four years ago. “This is our shop. This is what you call a protest?”

“I feel like the night is going great,” said Nia Sykes, 24, of San Francisco, one of the demonstrators. “I feel like Oakland should make some noise. This is how we need to fight back. It’s for the murder of a black male.”

Sykes, who is black, had little sympathy for the owner of Creative African Braids.

“She should be glad she just lost her business and not her life,” Sykes said. She added that she did have one worry for the night: “I just hope nobody gets shot or killed.”

[Added: Ms. Sykes claims she was misquoted "grossly out of context".]

Videos online (Youtube and elsewhere) show African-American teens and white anarchists in their 20s participating in vandalism. Anarchists also claimed responsibility for vandalizing the North Berkeley BART station the day after the demonstration claiming, ” From the East Bay to Greece – WE ARE EVERYWHERE!” Other protesters made a shameless connection between Oakland and Gaza.

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As of this post, three miscreants have been arrested and formally charged:

A 28-year-old Oakland man was charged with misdemeanor possession of a concealed weapon and possession of a loaded firearm. He was arrested on the 2000 block of Broadway at about 11 p.m. and blurted out when arrested “I’ve got guns in both my pockets”, police said. Police found two semi-automatic pistols, one in each pocket.

A 20-year-old Oakland man charged with felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor vandalism. He was one of those arrested for breaking windows McDonalds on 14th and Jackson streets.

The third person charged was a 30-year-old San Francisco man, who was arrested when officers saw him setting fire to a garbage can at 14th and Clay streets at about 10 p.m. He was charged with felony arson.

What is illustrative to me is how the story is framed. For example, I was listening to a public radio broadcast where the host referred to the “obvious instance of police brutality” in this case and a Canadian morning show that made mention of looting. Bear in mind there has been no investigation, let alone a trial, there was no looting, but the mainstream media was ready, willing and able to expect the worst.

More:

CNN: Riots erupt in Oakland after slain father laid to rest

Oakland Tribune: Not quite a riot, but terrifying

Stanley Crouch: A rage in Oakland

Ta-Nehesi Coates: Oscar Grant

Political Cults: NATLFED

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I was involved with a variety of organizations on the radical left for close to fifteen years. Some were genuinely enjoyable (working with a radical press) others less so (attending meetings at the “revolutionary collective”). But the craziest experience, one that led me to challenge the alphabet soup of revolutionary organizations in the U.S. (what Ron Radosh terms the “leftover left”), was my time spent volunteering with a front group of the National Labor Federation.

The front group, or “entity” in cult jargon, will remain nameless. Like so many San Francisco Bay Area radical sects, they promoted an ultra-left, anti-imperialist line. What made them stand out was the services they provided in the community including food and clothing distributions and medical care. As a young urban radical, dedicated to the struggle for social justice™ and eager to work with a local, community-based organization, I called a number in their newspaper and arranged to meet with representatives of the organization. We met at their office. They talked about their projects (many), their need for volunteers (great), and the possibilities for organizing in Oakland (endless). What they failed to mention was this was not an independent organization, it was part of a larger group called the National Federation of Labor (NATLFED), a group that I later found out was a political cult.

At my first meeting they claimed the organization was independent and community supported. I wondered how they could pay for an office, publish a newspaper, and pay their staff? Did they get government grants? They said they refused government funding and all of the people in the organization were volunteers. Then they slowly let you know the organization is part of a larger organization of “strata-organizing entities” seeking to “organize the unorganized.”

Entities? Strata-organizing? WTF? If it sounds strange, it is. The organization operates with a vocabulary laden with acronyms and arcane terminology. Here are some examples from The Essential Organizer, NATLFEDs bible:

benefits program: Claimed program or programs for organizing people as members and providing them with medical, dental, legal, food, and clothing.

blue-sky briefing: Meeting held in an open field to avoid feared electronic eavesdropping.

cadre: A committed, Provisional Communist Party-dedicated member of the cult. “A cadre’s life goal and the organization’s goal are the same. A cadre’s lifestyle is the same as the organization lifestyle.” — The Essential Organizer

canvassing: A term common to all political groups for soliciting support. NATLFED canvassing is unique in its strident demands on front volunteers and cult members to canvass, and for the strident tone of canvassers toward potential donors. NATLFED canvassing can be door-to-door, or it can be street tabling — if the latter, often in front of banks and supermarkets.

Central Committee: Governing body of the Provisional Communist Party.

constitution: Putatively governing document of the cult. The Essential Organizer actually has more day-to-day relevance. The constitution includes a death penalty and says that you may criticize and leave the organization only within your first year, after which either is forbidden.

DOT: The time a NATLFED member has been committed to the inner organization, as distinct from the time the person was simply volunteering.

entity: A front of the national organization. Entities solicit resources for themselves and for the national organization, and recruit volunteers into cult membership. Publicly called a mutual benefit association.

The Essential Organizer: The secret, micromanaging organizational manual of NATLFED.

FIIN: Financial input, a form or system for managing expenses and income. Also a technique to raise money: “A FIIN tactic.”

FOP: Friend of the Party. Aware of the Provisional Communist Party and in agreement with its politics, but not ready to join.

member: NATLFED calls “member” someone who signs up to be part of a mutual benefit organization. Such “members” are little involved: they still have normal lives and are barely indoctrinated with the public goal of the group (to organize without revolution), never mind the secret goal (to organize with revolution). Cult watchers would call “members” people who accept the secret goal of the group and have structured their lives around it. NATLFED calls such people cadre.

mutual benefit organization: Public name for a recruiting entity. MBAs claim to be unionlike groups offering benefits to the needy in exchange for membership of $0.62 a month (said to be the average wage of a farm worker in the early 1970s). MBAs beg donations of cash or supplies from local residents and businesses. The needy receive negligible aid, however, and when they do get aid they are expected to return the favor with exhausting support of the MBA. Most resources are kept by the organization. When aid is given, it is to maintain the illusion of MBAs as charitable to the poor, or to propagandize, as in free mass Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners followed by lectures about strata organizing.

National Labor Federation: the network of local entities. NATLFED is a fraction of the Provisional Communist Party, the central, controlling core of the cult.

NOC: East Coast base of national operations for NATLFED. Pronounced “knock”; stands for “National Office Central.” Located in Brooklyn. Often called the Cave in press reports, but “cave” is a police term for any suspected group’s headquarters, and reporters have talked more to police more than to cult members. One room of NOC is indeed called the Cave, though. See also COSHAAD.

OPS: Operations manager. Also synonym for “operations” in general.

propaganda: “Information released at a time or a manner to sustain, create, or enforce an effect. Example: for us to write in the newsletter nice things about reformist groups is propaganda, because by doing it we hope that the reformists realize we are willing to talk to at least establish polemics . . . even if they are ignorant, self- serving assholes . . . or think we are, whatever the current dialectic of position may be.” — The Essential Organizer.

Provisional Communist Party: The core of the cult. Centrally governs all branches of the greater organization, of which NATLFED is its largest and most active fraction. Only committed, viable party members are officers of an entity, but volunteers of an entity may know nothing of the Party or even of NATLFED. Also known as the Communist Party of the U.S.A, Provisional; Provisional Party of Communists, the Formation, etc.

The front groups do not let you know anything about their connection with NATLFED when you walk in the door. Nor is NATLFED mentioned on any of their literature. Over time, they let volunteers know a little here and there and start to lay on a heavy pressuring technique along the lines of, “the world is going to hell and unless you become a full-time volunteer (cadre) it will only get worse!” For stubborn people like me, the more they laid it on, the less I volunteered. When I stopped completely they would call me three or four times a week but eventually cut back to calling once a week, then once a month, then they gave up. Others were sucked right in by this badgering. I met more than a few people who basically admitted, “yeah, they are crazy but they are doing really good work in the community.”

Reflecting on my experiences with radical groups in the U.S. I began to wonder, why do people get involved with political organizations that are so far on the margins? Do they believe the far-out goals of these groups will ever be attained? Or do they join for the sense of belonging and identity these groups provide? I think the latter plays a much larger role than most recognize.

[Read the FBI files on NATLFED and LARGO, a related group]

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[Logo of the National Equal Justice Association, or, NEJA. The organization's money laundering wing or entity in cult jargon.]

Part II: Inside NATLFED (coming soon)

Critical Resistance 10: Moonbattery Gone Wild

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Critical Resistance had their 10th annual extravaganza in my former place of residence, Oakland, California. Cynthia McKinney, honorary queen of the tribe, had this to say (love those gasps from the audience):

If you don’t want to watch the video, she explains in this clip that 5,000 convicts were murdered “with a single bullet to the head” by some sort of clandestine Department of Defense covert operation. Evidence? She has none, save for a supposed conversation she had with the mother of one of these DoD employees. But evidence has never really mattered much to the loony left so the rumor is getting a lot of play at blogs and websites like Democratic Underground. Read the comments, these are some true moonbats gone wild.

Anarcho-Vandals Vs. Stalinist Shills

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I was going to post something about the anarcho-vandal attack on the International Brigade memorial in San Francisco but Roland and Bob beat me to it. Plenty of comments by yours truly in Roland’s comment thread.

Here is Roland:

This is surely going to make for some interesting fights amongst the various leftist communities in the Bay Area. You have those who deem the Brigade a true expression of international solidarity in the face of totalitarianism, and others who see them as an extension of the Soviet Union that would betray the anarchists in Spain.

I don’t support vandalism, and this case is no exception. I do however think that the ALB has been lionized by some on the left without considering exactly what they fought for and why, and it looks like these “activists” may very well get an exchange on that subject. But who am I kidding! We will have a week long shouting match between the two sides, and then return to the state they have been for the last 100 years.

Bob adds:

My grandparents were CPUSA members. My grandmother was a nurse, and wanted to volunteer to go to Spain. My grandfather ultimately did not want to fight in a war, and they did not go. Many of their friends went; many did not return. Partly because they always felt they should have gone, they continued to idolise the ALB until their deaths.

They left the Party, I am pretty sure, when the Non-Aggression Pact was signed. Like many Jewish CP members, for whom the Party’s absolute “anti-fascism” was its core feature, they just couldn’t stomach it. As Anon says, I am sure some actual vets of the ALB likewise left at this point.

Now that would be an interesting research project, ALB vets who left the CPUSA for its flippant anti-fascism.

Patrick McCullough, Oakland’s Bernhard Goetz

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I wrote a few weeks back about the possible appearance of a black Bernhard Goetz as a response to increasing lawlessness and violent crime in Harlem and other African American communities in NYC. Little did I know one such individual has already emerged in Oakland, CA.

Patrick McCullough shot young thug Melvin McHenry in self-defense back in 2005. The shooting occurred in McCullough’s front yard after he saw McHenry go for a weapon. Unlike the Goetz case, the District Attorney declined to press charges against McCullough. Like Goetz, McCullough has been derided as a vigilante. McCullough is also running a political campaign for city council. Unlike Goetz’s repeated runs for NYC mayor, McCullough had a shot of actually winning.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

In North Oakland, Uhuru House, an Afrocentric social service group cult [emphasis mine], has set its sights on Patrick McCullough, a neighborhood crime-prevention activist who is running against incumbent Councilwoman Jane Brunner.

The group paints McCullough, who is African American, as an anti-black vigilante for shooting a 15-year-old boy who in 2005 pointed a gun at him, an act that Oakland police described as self-defense, and for forcing drug dealers and gang members off his block.

Brunner said her campaign is not affiliated in any way with Uhuru House and a spokeswoman for the group said it has not endorsed her. McCullough said he is afraid the group’s flyers might cost him support among younger voters and wants Brunner to denounce the Uhuru House attacks.

On his campaign website, McCullough writes:

A recurring theme in citizen involvement with neighborhood crime is the fear of retaliation by wrongdoers. In high-crime neighborhoods such as mine was in 2005, residents are reluctant to get involved. They won’t tell a drug dealer or user to stop. Often, they are afraid even to look at miscreants, preferring the safety of closed window blinds and drapes. After a crime actually occurs, people don’t want to be seen talking to the police or to reporters. Witnesses feel intimidated and don’t come forward.

It is the most frustrating of standard behaviors and serves to perpetuate crime and encourage the belief among criminals that they likely will not be caught. I have defied that standard. Knowing that the perpetrators would only return repeatedly unless there was intervention, I felt that the burden of reporting crime fell upon my shoulders…

The notorious event by which many people know of me happened on a dull afternoon in February. After a long workweek, I began Friday evening by watching cartoons for an hour with my son, Patrick. At about 5 o’clock, I prepared to leave for Chinatown to buy fresh crab for dinner. As was my practice, I first looked out the window to make sure there was no trouble on the street; my trips out had often been delayed while I called the police to report some crime.

I was pleased to see that everything outside was calm: just a few pedestrians and a light drizzle. I’d come to love the rain; it tended to keep the streets clear of troublemakers. As I bid my goodbyes, I picked up my outfit, which now consisted of my cell phone, wallet, keys, and the new addition – my pistol.

Locking the security gate that protected our front door, I noticed a dozen or so young people walking on the sidewalk bordering my house, headed in the direction of Shattuck Avenue. As I stepped into my driveway and began to unlock my car door, one of them shouted, “There’s the snitch!”

I turned to see a boy, who looked about 16, coming towards me. I told him to leave my property. But he came closer and swung at me, hitting me in the mouth. I punched him in the chest, nearly knocking him down. After that, rocks and a large tree branch rained down on me.

As the group circled in on me, the boy ran over to another group of a few young males, yelling, “Give me the pistol! Let me have the pistol!” In response, a slender young male lifted his jersey, exposing the handle of a gun in his waistband. The boy – I later found out his name was Melvin – put his right hand on the gun handle.

Fearing for my life, I drew my pistol and fired once, striking him in the shoulder. The entire mob ran to the corner of Shattuck, where my assailant collapsed. (The bullet, I found out later, entered his shoulder and exited his back.)

An ambulance soon arrived and drove him to a hospital, where he would be treated and, two days later, released. Meanwhile, a crowd of more than 50 people had gathered, angry and yelling, some of them threatening to kill me. I and a neighbor stood guard, waiting until police arrived. My wife and son were driven to a hotel for their safety; I was driven to jail.

A Resolve to Stay in Oakland

None of the assailants was arrested or charged with a crime. In court acting as my own attorney, I exposed their two celebrity attorneys as having misrepresented the facts to the judge. The judge immediately granted me a restraining order against Melvin and his mother, who after the incident repeatedly threatened me.

The District Attorney concluded that I acted in self-defense. I was not charged with any crime. Although my new team of attorneys was prepared to fight any legal claim or lawsuit against me by the youth’s mother, my insurance company instead decided – without my prior knowledge – to simply settle the matter.

Crime is still bad on some adjoining streets, but my street has for the most part been relatively quiet ever since – with one notable exception: the evening of February 17, 2007, almost exactly two years later. The family was returning home from a function at our church when my cell phone rang. It was the alarm company, calling to tell me that a glass-break detector had been activated. Shortly after entering my home, I saw that the front windows had been blasted with shotgun pellets. The police speculated that it was retaliation, meant to mark the anniversary of the incident.

Since these events – despite the sometimes strong advice from Oakland police officers and others to move my family to another city for safety’s sake – I have always refused to leave Oakland. Certainly, I am not happy that these events occurred. But they have made me even more determined to make my neighborhood, and Oakland as a whole, a safer place for everyone.

A political candidate standing up to the neighborhood thugs and the Uhuru cult? I wish I was still registered to vote in California. McCullough definitely would have received my vote. Unfortunately, he lost last month’s race to the incumbent.

More from the Chronicle here:

Patrick McCullough still looks each way whenever he steps out his front door and walks down 59th Street in North Oakland. But it’s no longer out of fear.

These days, he feels safe enough to take those walks more often with his wife and son. Instead of the cold stares of angry young men, McCullough is greeted by strangers who thank him for taking a stand against the drug dealers who used to rule Bushrod Park and the surrounding streets.

“This street is so cool right now,” McCullough, 50, said on a recent sunny day. “Look around, man, all these kids playing in the park and no thugs. The immediate neighborhood is much quieter and, for the most part, free of drug dealers, craps shooters and intoxicant-using loiterers.”

A year ago, 59th Street was the scene of a series of violent incidents and confrontations between McCullough and young men police believe are drug dealers. The tension culminated last Feb. 18 when McCullough shot a 15-year-old boy after 15 young men surrounded him in his front yard, shouting “Kill the snitch.”

Some residents say the street is quieter in part because homeowners and police shut down several drug houses in the neighborhood. Others credit a new staff at a nearby recreation center for driving away loiterers and welcoming young children. But many agree that McCullough’s stand made the biggest impact.

Milton Simpkins, a 30-year resident of the street, says McCullough “is the best thing that ever happened for this block.”

Your Black Muslim Bakery, Inc. Linked to Seven Murders (maybe more)

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I’ve blogged about Your Black Muslim Bakery, Inc. (YBMB) in the past. YBMB was raided by the Oakland Police Department after a bakery employee confessed to murdering Chauncey Bailey, a journalist investigating the bakery for a variety of crimes. Bailey’s murder gave rise to the Chauncey Bailey Project.

The research of these investigative journalists has helped to reopen a 1986 Oakland homicide and a 1968 double-homicide case 350 miles down the coast in Santa Barbara. What is the Santa Barbara connection? It turns out that YBMB founder Yusuf Bey ran a bakery and mosque in Santa Barbara in the 1960s with his brother (then known as Billy X Stephens) and the victims were associated with both. This is at least the seventh murder that the Chauncey Bailey Project has connected to YBMB.

Read More:

Christopher Hitchens at Slate

The Los Angeles Times

San Jose Mercury News

East Bay Express

The Chauncey Bailey Project

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I blogged about the murder of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey by thugs affiliated with Your Black Muslim Bakery back in August. Since then, a group of investigative journalists collectively known as the Chauncey Bailey Project have been probing into the last story Mr. Bailey was working on, an investigation of the bakery’s role in “murders and other felonious activity.”

Paul Cobb, publisher of the Oakland Post claims Mr. Bailey was “investigating the bakery’s bankruptcy and other financial doings.” However, Cobb has refused to release Mr. Bailey’s last story for the Oakland Post and denied the requests of reporters to view Bailey’s notes.

New American Media reports:

Cobb, interviewed last week by New American Media (NAM) journalists, said it was only after several calls to Tucker that Homicide Sgt. Derwin Longmire came to the Oakland Post’s office the afternoon of the slaying.

Joyner said Tuesday it was “very difficult” talking to Cobb on the day of the slaying, and when the publisher did meet with Longmire that afternoon, he did so with his attorney present.

“He was not very free in regards to offering up a lot of information or any information with regards to computer files or stories that Mr. Bailey was working on,” Joyner said. “The district attorney’s office feels confident in the case that they have before them and they do not request that we follow up in regards to getting any stories that Mr. Bailey was working on.” At the same time, Jordan said police are still hungry for any evidence to bolster vague rumors of a specific Oakland Police officer somehow involved in corruption with bakery members. He said the only lead they’ve had was a reporter’s question involving an officer’s first name. An internal affairs probe on that went nowhere.

This all unfolds against the backdrop of an ever-broadening probe of the bakery and the Beys.

Police Chief Wayne Tucker said besides Bailey’s slaying, police believe bakery members were involved in the murder of former bakery CEO Waajid Aljawaad, 51, and the attempted murder of former bakery associate and security manager John Bey. Aljawaad disappeared in March 2004, his body found months later in a shallow grave in the Oakland hills; Bey was shot as he left his home in June 2005.

Tucker said they also believe bakery members are involved in the murder of Odell Roberson Jr., 31, on July 8, and of Michael J. Wills Jr., 36, on July 12, both gunned down within a few blocks of the bakery headquarters. Ballistics tests have shown the same weapon used in those slayings was used to shoot up a car belonging to the former boyfriend of current bakery CEO Yusuf Bey IV’s girlfriend.

For more information on the case and Mr. Bailey’s life and work, visit the Chauncey Bailey Project.