The San Francisco Bay View is a newspaper that’s played a uniquely important role in the recent waves of prison struggle in the US, helping to provide a platform where prison rebels can share their perspectives with both the outside world and inmates in other institutions. Like many paper publications, it’s struggling to keep going, and is currently going through a financial crisis that threatens its ability to stay in print, and so to stay accessible to people who don’t have internet access. If you can, please donate to their fundraiser here.
In their words:
“All of us who have internet access can read the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper ( http://sfbayview.com/) online, but for tens of thousands of our readers, the monthly print edition is essential. The core of the Bay View’s readership lives in the hood or in prison.
Just today a prisoner and long time subscriber wrote: “The Bay View is a prisoner’s link to the outside world. We the people need the Bay View.”
The Bay View is the only newspaper widely read both inside and outside prison
The Bay View print edition is a great big 24-page broadsheet newspaper filled with 30-40 stories each month written mostly by its readers. We publish famous writers too when they write a story that’s too hot for the mainstream press.
The Bay View is an organizer’s right arm. Because the Bay View spread the word, a world record 30,000 prisoners joined the California hunger strike that swung open the doors of thousands of torturous solitary confinement cells and spurred the movement to end prison slavery throughout the U.S. The strike succeeded because the Bay View is a network connecting prisoners with each other and allies in the outside world.
Without enough advertising, newspapers go out of print or out of existence
Advertising is the lifeblood of a newspaper, and many big advertisers have moved away from print. Every month’s Bay View print edition used to carry enough ads to pay for itself, to pay the basic costs of production: printing, distribution and mailing. (The Bay View has no paid staff; we’re all volunteers.) But in recent months, ad revenue has plummeted.
In 2017, total income from all sources – ads, subscriptions and donations – has averaged only $8,000 per month. Those three basic production expenses total almost $7,000 a month. That leaves the rent, utilities, insurance and other necessities to be paid out of advertising and subscription revenue, but we can’t make ends meet without your help.
We need $4,500 NOW for the landlord and the printer
Rent and printing for December is still unpaid. Our rent is $1,500 a month, a rare bargain in San Francisco! The printer’s bill is $3,000. Please help us pay that $4,500 before the end of December. Then, on New Year’s Day, the production costs are due again.
Why brighten the lives of people in the hood and in prison?
The millions of people in prison and the hoods are our FREEDOM FIGHTERS. From the most intense oppression, like diamonds from coal, comes an unquenchable thirst for liberation – and the Bay View gives that force a voice and an organizing network.
A prisoner in California writes: “The person next cell down asked me if I’d like to read your newspaper … and guess what? I didn’t put it down till I read the whole paper. I loved it.” From Georgia: “I share the paper with countless people, making the younger ones aware of injustice.” From Pennsylvania: “Thank you for the opportunity of getting to know so many others’ struggles, to be able to see that when I am having a bad day that one of my brothers or sisters may have it worse.” From Florida: “The Bay View is an oasis of answers in a desert of questions.” From Texas: “I am in deep gratitude to you for seeing the light in me and giving me a chance to shine.”
For our brothers and sisters in the hood and in prison, please help keep the Bay View in print!“