Solitary confinement at Pelican Bay, Audre Lourde Room, Women’s Building, 3548 18th St., SF; www.womensbuilding.org. 6:30pm, free. This panel discussion on the use of solitary confinement in the criminal justice system comes soon after a class action lawsuit challenging solitary confinement in California prisons. The Center for Constitutional Rights filed the lawsuit, Ruiz v. Brown, May 31 on behalf of prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison. The plaintiffs have spent between 10 and 28 years in solitary confinement, generally spending at least 22 hours per day alone in windowless cells, and often denied letters, visits, any sunlight, or time spent outdoors. Many of the plaintiffs also participated in last year’s hunger strikes against inhumane conditions in prison, including solitary confinement. This lawsuit may be the crucial next step in their fight.
India to Ireland, Sports Basement, 1590 Bryant, SF; www.indiatoireland.org. A brother and sister who rode bicylces12,000 km from India to Ireland are back with photos and stories. See what they saw and hear the tales at this fundraiser for Room to Read. The international nonprofit works “to promote literacy and gender equality in education by establishing libraries, constructing classrooms, publishing local-language children’s books, training educators and supporting girls’ education.”
Art, culture and resistance, Redstone building, 2940 16th St., SF; www.norcalsocialism.org. 6pm, $5-10 suggested donation. What’s the music of today’s social justice movement? If it’s anyone, it’s The Coup, and frontman Boots Riley. Riley has written and performed powerful and revolutionary music for decades, from hip hop edutainment concerts that promoted efforts like the Women’s Economic Project Agenda and Copwatch to traveling guerilla hip hop concerts in protest of Prop 21 in 2000. Recently, he’s been organizing with Occupy Oakland. In July, he’ll be teaching a workshop at the Socialism 2012 conference in Chicago; the next month his book, Lyrics in Context, will be released. On Saturday he’ll discuss a tradition he helps to keep alive in Oakland: how art and resistance work together. Refreshments and mingling to follow.
Juneteenth festival, parade starts at African American Arts & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton St., SF; www.sfjuneteenth.org. Parade at 11am, festival runs through June 17. Start summer off right with the biggest Juneteenth festival on the West Coast. Juneteenth commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery and celebrates African American heritage, and this year will mark the 62nd annual Juneteenth in the Fillmore District. The two-day festival kicks off with a parade, followed by a family-friendly weekend complete with a classic car and motorcycle show, basketball games, fashion show, petting zoo, pony rides, live entertainment, community info booths and health fair, and more.
African American veterans and the Civil Rights Movement, Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library, 6501 Telegraph, Oakl; www.marxistlibr.org. 10:30am-12:30pm, free. Despite growing up in a United States that still had Jim Crow laws, African Americans fought in wars throughout the 20th century. When many of them returned and joined in civil rights and black liberation movements, however, they risked their lives once again. Perhaps best known is Medgar Evers, civil rights leader and World War II soldier who was assassinated by a Ku Klux Klan member in 1963. This event will explore the many veterans who joined civil rights struggles, their reasons for doing so, and how, in many cases, experiences in military service prompted involvement in the struggle back home. It will also feature a screening of the documentary Negroes With Guns, which follows the life of Army and Marine Corps veteran Robert F. Williams, who later took up arms against violent racist groups like the KKK as part of his work with the Black Armed Guard.