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Black Agenda Radio for Week of September 26, 2016

Prison Strike Against Slave Labor Continues

Despite a near-total lack of corporate media coverage, the national prison strike that began September 9 continues at facilities in 11 states, said Pastor Kenneth Glascow, chief outside spokesperson for the Free Alabama Movement, centered at the state prison in Holman. “Some are on hunger strike, some are doing the work stoppage” to protest involuntary servitude at slave wages, said Glascow. “In the near future, we will start boycotting some of those companies that use prison labor.” U.S. unemployment is “not just about ‘outsourcing’” jobs to foreign countries, he said. “It’s also ‘in-sourcing,’ using prison labor.”

Clinton Election Heightens Danger of World War

If Hillary Clinton wins the White House, she will likely name Samantha Power, the current U.S. ambassador to the UN and an architect of the so-called “humanitarian” military intervention doctrine, as her secretary of state or national security advisor, said Duboisian scholar and veteran social activist Dr. Anthony Monteiro. “It is clear that the Clinton foreign policy would be guided by the Pentagon and her own predisposition to settle accounts in the Middle East and with the Assad government and with Russia, militarily,” said Monteiro. “We on the Left -- and, especially, the Black Left – have to begin to raise the question of war and peace as the central question in this election.”

Uhuru Conference: “Africans Need Our Own Theory”

The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (INPDUM) held its national conference in Ferguson, Missouri, this month. “We’ve been borrowing theory from everybody else,” said Movement president Kalambayi Andenet. “What is our interest? We need our own theory, and that’s African internationalism.” INPDUM is part of the African People’s Socialist Party, chaired by Omali Yeshitela. “We are a revolutionary organization,” he said. “If anybody is going to govern Black people, it’s got to be Black people, themselves.”

Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia

Hundreds of protestors have been killed in recent months in the Amhara and Oromo regions of Ethiopia, victims of the central government’s policy of “ethnic cleansing” of the nation’s two largest population groups, said Tsigereda Mulutega, vice president of the Ethiopian People’s Congress for Struggle (SHENGO). The Ethiopia regime is dominated by people from the Tigrayan ethnic group, which comprises only 6 percent of the population. Ethiopia is the biggest U.S. foreign aid recipient, next to Israel, said Mulutega. Therefore, “it is in the interest of U.S. taxpayers to say ‘no’ to crimes against humanity in Ethiopia.”

 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of September 19, 2016

Kaepernick’s Example Spreads “Like Wildfire”

The same reality confronts the U.S. today as in 1776, said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston: “If you treat a people atrociously, you should not expect them to stand by you.” The third stanza of the “Star-Spangled Banner” “explicitly denounces Black people, since they fled en mass to British lines in the War of 1812 and helped to torch the White House in August, 1814,” because the British promised freedom for those who would fight the slave-holding white settlers. Football star Colin Kaepernick’s defiance of the national anthem and flag “is spreading like wildfire,” said Dr. Horne, “and hopefully it will help people to begin to interrogate our past and our present.”

Black Youth Activists “Lobby” for Legislation on Capitol Hill

Black Youth Project 100 and the National Black Justice Coalition launched a lobbying campaign, last week, coinciding with the Congressional Black Caucus’ yearly extravaganza. BYP100 spokesperson Samantha Master said the group’s legislative priorities include the College for All Act, the Health Equity and Accountability Act, the Healthy Families Act, and the Equality Act, among others. “We are going beyond just simple criminal justice reform,” said Master. “We are taking the stance to abolish the system that continually marginalizes Black people.” The lobbying work is intended to be “simultaneous with and intertwined with our base-building work and our grassroots advocacy work,” she said. The overall goal is to build “public policy agendas that create a world where Black people can live in dignity.”

Despite Video, Feds Will Not Charge Cop in Killing Jerame Reid

The police car video clearly showed Jerame Reid’s hands raised in surrender when a Bridgeton, New Jersey cop shot him dead at point blank range, on December 30, 2014.Yet, the local U.S. attorney has refused to charge the officer with any crime. “We categorically reject that decision not to bring a civil rights investigation,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, which has been holding weekly demonstrations at the Federal Building in Newark demanding “justice for Jerame Reid.” Hamm said the Justice Department sets the “bar so high” to prove police culpability, “it’s like a rigged game.”

Mother of Drowned Girl Finds Comradeship in Uhuru Movement

Kunde Ngudi Mwamvita, whose 16 year-old daughter, Dominique, and her two 15 year-old best friends drowned to death when the car they were driving was forced into a pond by Pinellas County, Florida, sheriff’s deputies, was a featured speaker at the Independent People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement’s annual conference and 25th anniversary, this past weekend, in Ferguson, Missouri. Ms. Mwamvita is suing the county. “We have to be strong,” she said. “But, I can’t be strong by myself. I had to join a group of people who said, ‘Enough is enough -- not one more Black life!’”

Darren Seals is Sixth to Die Suspiciously in Ferguson

Upstairs from the Uhuru Movement conference at Ferguson’s Greater St. Marks Church, family, friends, and “movement” folks attended the funeral of Darren Seals, the 29 year-old activist, rapper and General Motors worker whose body was found in his car, shot and incinerated. Seals’ passing was noted on Kiilu Nyasha’s San Francisco Bay Area television show, “Freedom is a Constant Struggle,” by Cephus Johnson, the uncle of Oscar Grant, whose January 1, 2009, killing by a transit cop set off demonstrations that many believe mark the beginning of the current mass movement against police terror. “Darren Seals is the sixth young man since Michael Brown to be assassinated in Ferguson,” said Mr. Johnson. “It appears to be an assassination that is directly related to the police.”

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of September 12, 2016

Networks Need to “Do Their Jobs” and Hold 4-Way Debates

RootsAction.Org is circulating a petition urging the television networks and cable news operations to “do their job, to hold a presidential debate with all the candidates that should appropriately be in it,” said veteran antiwar activist David Swanson. The Democrat- and Republican-controlled debate commission “was created to keep other candidates out and to keep any serious questions out,” while the petition demands that the debates be “open to any candidate who is already on ballots in enough states to win and who is either at 5 percent in the polls or has a majority saying they should be in the debates,” said Swanson. “Just adding Jill Stein would create an entirely different conversation, that just won’t be there with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump,” he said.

Baraka: Clinton is “Lying” About Her Support for TPP

Speaking at a Green Party rally in Chicago, vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka urged voters to dismiss Hillary Clinton’s claim that she no longer supports the Trans Pacific Partnership corporate trade deal. “If you understand her history, her ideological orientation, you know that she is lying. She is a neoliberal capitalist and she supports TPP,” said Baraka. “This campaign is about building a movement, it’s about building an alternative to the status quo. It is recognizing that we are in a protracted struggle for fundamental change,” he said.

Priority in Pittsburgh: Community Control of the Police

“We have a police union that is at the forefront of maintaining a violent and white supremacist type of police presence,” said Khalid Raheem, of the New Afrikan Independence Party, which recently held its annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “In order for any serious change to come about,” he said, “we really have to have community control of the police, and that means we have to dismantle the current system and replace it with something that’s controlled and run by the people, themselves.” The New African Independence Party is part of the Black Is Back Coalition.

Blacks Suspect Police Involvement in Ferguson Activist’s Death

Darren Seals, who gained national attention as part of community resistance to massive police repression in Ferguson, Missouri, following the killing of Michael Brown, in 2014, was found shot to death and incinerated in his car last week. “The word on the streets is that somebody paid $10,000 for it to happen, it was police-motivated,” said Edwin Chanell, who collaborated on various projects with Seals. “He was an activist from the streets, trying to bring the community together.” Chanell’s New Generation Black Council works with gang members in Greater St. Louis.

Black Teacher Shunned the Flag Before Colin Kaepernick was Born

Back in 1985, Hardy Williams was fired from his coaching position at a Los Angeles high school for turning his back on the national anthem. Williams won a $25,000 settlement in a suit against his principal and the school district. Now turning 70, he said he’s been shunning the American flag and anthem since 1973. “I don’t honor it. In my opinion, America doesn’t honor us,” said Williams, who was “elated” to hear of Colin Kaepernick’s game-time actions. “I think, hopefully, that I’ll be able to meet him.”

Black Colombians Prepare for Peace Deal Signing

On September 26, FARC guerillas and the Colombian government will sign an historic accord to end a more than half-century of civil war, to be followed by a popular referendum on the agreement, October 2. Charo Mina-Rojas, a national coordinator of the Black Communities Process in Colombia, said Afro-Colombians worry that demobilized guerillas will be relocated close to Black and indigenous people’s territories, and that right-wing paramilitaries show signs of stepping up their activities. “We are concerned about how the implementation of these agreements is going to happen, and how we are a part of the process,” she said.

Mumia: Give Generously to Prison Radio

The nation’s best known political prisoner is asking his supporters to help Prison Radio “keep the wolf from the door.” Prison Radio distributes regular commentaries by Mumia Abu Jamal and reports from other activists in America’s Gulag. “Prison Radio has brought you the voices behind the walls -- the fastest growing public housing development in America,” said Abu Jamal.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour
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Black Agenda Report for Week of September 7, 2016

20th Anniversary of Clinton’s War Against the Poor

It’s been 20 years since President Bill Clinton and the U.S. Congress destroyed “welfare as we knew it” by replacing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with the “workfare” regime called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The result, said Maureen Taylor, chairperson of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, is growing poverty in the United States. Taylor says TANF should be changed to DANF, standing for “Disappearing Aid for Needy Families.” Residents of Michigan are only eligible for cash assistance for five years in their lifetimes. It’s a shame, said Taylor, how the political class is “turning, not against poverty, but trying to turn the nation against poor folks.”

Judge Finds Way to Avoid Ordering Hep C Cure for Mumia

A federal judge agreed that it is unconstitutional for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to deny curative medical treatment to Mumia Abu Jamal and thousands of other prisoners suffering from Hepatitis C. However, the court then ruled that Abu Jamal’s suit was technically flawed. Noelle Hanrahan, a director of Prison Radio who works closely with Mumia, was outraged that the state has condemned thousands of prisoners to early and unnecessary deaths. “You can’t construct a situation that is more grossly inhumane,” she said.

Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, was more upbeat about the ruling. “It’s a good beginning that a federal judge recognizes that what the Commonwealth is doing, and has been doing for years, is not only unjust but unconstitutional, a violation of fundamental fairness and the human right to life,” he said.

Clinton and Trump Fear TV Debate with Stein and Johnson

“Our view is that if you have the potential for 270 Electoral College votes -- if you are on enough ballots to achieve that -- then you should be in the debate,” said Kevin Zeese, the veteran activist recently named as senior advisor to the Green Party’s Jill Stein-Ajamu Baraka presidential ticket. Zeese notes that polls show half the American public wants the televised debates open to Stein and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate. However, the debates are a joint venture of the Democratic and Republican parties, who call the shots. “It’s a disgrace to democracy,” said Zeese, “that they can choose who they will debate.”

Obama Neutralized Blacks for Most of His Term

Barack Obama’s presidency has been “the highest expression” of the U.S. government’s long campaign to “neutralize the Black liberation movement,” said BAR regular contributor Danny Haiphong, who this week posted the ninth in his ten-part series on the Obama legacy. “It really wasn’t until 2014, when Obama was in his last years, that any semblance of a movement against issues like police brutality and racism began to come back to the fore,” said Haiphong. Black liberationist politics has been suppressed for two generations, said Haiphong, “with the help of a Black misleadership class that has diluted, sanitized and almost destroyed, up until recently, the Black Radical Tradition.”

U.S. Anti-War Movement Under Attack

A recent article by Terry Burke in the leftish magazine In These Times attacked a broad range of anti-war activists and groups for opposing the U.S. war against Syria. Burke claims U.S. activists aren’t listening to “the Syrian people.” In response, Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition, said the U.S. insists on regime change in Syria, and “anyone who has any confusion as to where that leads has only to look at Libya and at Iraq and see the howling wasteland that has been created” by U.S. intervention.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.

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Black Agenda Report for Week of August 29, 2016

Rights Lawyers Target Arkansas Debtors Prison

The district court in Sherwood, Arkansas, is in gross violation of a 1983 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that it is unconstitutional to imprison people for debt, according to a class action suit filed by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Arkansas ACLU. Much like the pattern of abuse documented by the U.S. Justice Department in Ferguson, Missouri, Sherwood derives as much as 12 percent of its revenues from “imposing mounting fines or fees tied to very low level offenses,” said Lawyers Committee president Kristen Clarke. One of Clarke’s clients wound up spending 25 days in jail and owing nearly $3,000 to the courts because she bounced a $28.93 check. “Our hope is that we can bring national attention to this problem, and that we might inspire action by the Congress to breathe life back into this Supreme Court ruling,” said Clarke.

Reformers Hope Private Prison Phase-Out Will Spread

The Obama administration’s announcement that it will phase out contracting with private prisons in the federal system is “a real notable moment,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, in Washington. “It’s yet another indication that the growing critique and challenge to mass incarceration is really gaining ground,” said Mauer. The vast bulk of the nation’s 2.4 million inmates are held in local and state institutions, and most immigrants under detention are not affected by the  executive order. However, Mauer is “hopeful” that there will be a “spillover effect.”

Mumia: Trump or Clinton – Choose Your Poison

The nation faces “incredibly grim” choices for president, according to America’s best known political prisoner. Mumia Abu Jamal said Donald Trump is “an overt racist” while Hillary Clinton is a neoliberal that “supported one of the most poisonous public policies in decades: the prison industrial complex.” Neoliberalism, he said, is the “politics of repression with a smile.”

A Green Foreign Policy Against Permanent War

“Permanent war is a central part of the elite agenda,” said Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka, in an interview on Pacifica radio station KPFA. Since the presidency of George W. Bush, the U.S. has tried to impose “full spectrum dominance” over the entire planet, said the veteran human rights activist and editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. “That policy was adopted and embraced by the Obama administration, and it is also embraced by Hillary Clinton.” Obama’s so-called “free trade” agreements are “the economic arm of full spectrum dominance,” said Baraka.

Confused Writer Claims Anti-War Movement is “Imperialist”

In an article in the leftish magazine In These Times, Terry Burke denounced activists that oppose the U.S. proxy war against Syria as being, themselves, “imperialist.” Burke lashed out at a long list of activists and organizations, including UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “That’s illogical,” said Margaret Kimberley, an editor and senior columnist for Black Agenda Report who serves on UNAC’s administrative committee. Burke and her ilk “are not opposed to U.S. intervention,” and are “pro any intervention run by a Democratic president,” said Kimberley, while UNAC “is steadfast in opposing American intervention abroad. That means we must oppose the 5-year-long war of terror waged against the country and the people of Syria.”

Philippines War May Be Nearing Resolution

The Philippine government and communist guerillas of the New People’s Army wrapped up the first phase of negotiations to end a 50-year-long war in the former U.S. colony. Bernadette Ellorin, chairperson of Bayam USA, which represents the above ground and armed resistance forces, said the breakthrough occurred because President Rodrigo Duterte “was not elected as the usual U.S. hand-picked candidate of the Philippines.” The country’s army and police, however, have “historically been a proxy army for the U.S...to kill off the longest armed revolution in the region against the U.S. – the Philippine revolution,” said Ellorin. Phase Two of the talks begins in October. In the meantime, President Duterte has ordered his armed forces to respect the mutual ceasefire.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.

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Black Agenda Report for Week of August 22, 2016

Presidential Pollsters Ask the Wrong Question

“There’s no major poll that I know of that asks the American public who they want to be president,” said journalist and VotePact founder Sam Husseini. Instead, the five polling outfits whose surveys are used to determine if candidates have enough support to appear in televised debates ask, “If the election were held today, who would you vote for?” Husseini believes “there are probably millions of people who would want to vote for third parties,” but plan to pull the lever for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump as “a tactical maneuver.” Theoretically -- especially with Clinton and Trump rated unfavorably by majorities of Americans -- “we could have majority appeal for third party candidates right now, but we would never know it because nobody’s” asking the right question.

Clintonites Play Foul Against Greens

Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka said so-called “liberal” Clinton supporters “are trying to undermine the moral authority that we have as a campaign that stands up for the working class in this country to advance principles that transcend the limitations of liberalism; to talk about a new kind of democracy and an economic liberation that goes beyond the limitations of capitalism.” Baraka, a veteran human rights activist and editor at Black Agenda Report, said the Clintonites slime the Greens as part of the ‘loony left’ to “try to undermine this oppositional moment.”

Black Is Back Coalition Stresses Centrality of Self-Determination

For decades, the conversation around Black liberation in the United States has been missing the critical element of self-determination, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The movement that emerged in Ferguson in 2014 “wasn’t about body cameras, and it wasn’t about police-community review boards. We criticized those who could not even make a demand on the system,” Yeshitela told a gathering of the coalition, in Philadelphia. The coalition approved a list of 19 demands as the basis for a Black Agenda for Self Determination, to be submitted to the annual Black Is Back national conference in Washington, November 5 and 6.

Ralph Poynter, the veteran activist and husband of people’s lawyer and former political prisoner Lynne Stewart, assumed the chairmanship of the coalition’s Political Prisoners Working Group. “The modern death penalty -- 80 percent Black -- moved lynching indoors,” said Poynter. “The police, as the army of occupation, have taken lynching outside, again. The lynch mob is the racist system, including the courts and the media.”

Detroit Schools Activists Win Court Battle

A Michigan judge excoriated the state-run Detroit school district for attempting to bar Steve Conn and Nicole Conaway from advocating teacher strikes against the privatization and forced deterioration of the public schools. The district’s request for an injunction against Conn, a former president of the local teachers union, and Conaway, of By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), was “offensive to free speech,” said the judge. “We’re certainly going to urge more protests to defeat the governor for destroying our schools,” said Conn.

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of July 25, 2016

Activists Take the Fight to Cops’ “Doorsteps”

The Fraternal Order of Police is “the most dangerous fraternity in all of America,” said Samantha Masters, spokesperson for the Black Youth Project 100 and Black Lives Matter DC activists that occupied the grounds of the police union’s lobbying operation in Washington, last week. Other activists staged a sit-in at the New York City offices of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. “The people who are protecting these killer cops are police unions,” said Masters. “They ensure there is a blue wall of silence, and that police officers are rewarded for the really horrible acts they commit. We are taking the fight to their doorsteps.”

The Sad Saga of Police Impunity in Baltimore

With yet another acquittal of police involved In the death of Freddie Gray, Blacks in Baltimore are concluding that “there is no ability to hold officers accountable for any criminal conduct when they are performing their duty as an officer,” said Jill Carter, a defense attorney and delegate to the Maryland state legislature. “My greatest fear is that police officers will become more arrogant, more cocky” in the knowledge that they are, in practice, immune to punishment.

Mumia on “Trump’s Triumph”

“The Republican National Convention was not a presidential event, but a celebration of ego, anger and gross wealth,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner. Reporting for Prison Radio, he described the GOP gathering, in Cleveland, as “an echo chamber of seething hatreds, mass ego, revenge fantasies and white nationalism.” Trump’s victory over the party establishment “is the political equivalent to a hostile takeover in business. You loot the company and leave it a bankrupt shell.”

Sanders Supporters Going Green

Dr. Margaret Flowers, the Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate from Maryland, is a co-author of a series of letters urging various constituencies to break with the duopoly electoral system. “It’s already happening,” said Flowers, an honorary co-chair of the Green Party’s presidential nominating convention, in August. “For the Jill Stein campaign, it’s just been astronomical. Donations are pouring in, along with volunteers, and social media has really taken off. To me, it’s very gratifying to see that people are not falling for this lesser evil argument that is presented every four years.”

Black Men for Bernie Activist Rejects Democrats

“I have no love relationship with the Democratic Party at this point, for sure,” said Bruce Carter, a former activist with Black Men for Bernie. Carter journeyed to Philadelphia for the Democratic convention – but not to cheer for Hillary. “We want to make sure that people understand that, if there’s going to be a true level of change, it has to come from within communities and the people on the ground”

Brazil’s Coup Government Targets Blacks, Natives, Women, Poor

At about the same time in mid-August, the Olympic Games and the impeachment trial of elected president Dilma Rousseff will begin, in Brazil. The leaders of the so-called “soft coup” against the Workers Party leader have moved quickly to “transform the main institutions in the country, including ministries of human rights and racial equality, women, agricultural development, communications, and culture,” said Maria Luisa Mendonca, director of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights and a professor of international relations at the University of Rio de Janeiro. “We see an increasing repression against social movements, and against indigenous people that are mobilizing in defense of their land,” said Mendonca.

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of July 11, 2016

Cops Kill Revolutionary Black Panther Leader

Friends and comrades of Angelo Brown, also known as General Houdari Juelani, charge he was “assassinated” by police in Belleville, Illinois, near East St. Louis, last month. Police claim the 35 year-old father of 15 children menaced them with a gun, however, his face and body showed signs of having been beaten. The cops “had been harassing him,” said Edwin Chanell, a lifelong friend and founder of the New Generation Black Council, which is dedicated to uniting gang members “against the real enemy.” He said Angelo Brown “was doing nothing but good stuff: feeding the homeless, giving out clothes,” and was popular in the community. “They are murdering us out here, and covering it up,” said Chanell.

Illinois State House Asks Obama to Study Reparations Issue

In a unanimous vote, the Illinois House of Representatives passed a bill that “calls on President Obama to create a commission to study the harms inflicted by slavery and discrimination and to determine how that damage can be repaired,” said Kamm Howard, of the legislative commission of N’Cobra, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. The move is historic, said Howard, “in the sense that it is the first legislation by a state body since Reconstruction that is calling on the federal government to intercede on behalf of the injuries that people of African descent today face as a result of enslavement and Jim Crow.”

Mass Incarceration in the U.S. and Palestine

On July 15, New York City’s Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Educational Center will host a public meeting on mass incarceration of Blacks in the United States, and of Arabs under Israeli occupation in Palestine. “The only way they’ve been able to silence our resistance, here and there, has been through incarceration” and assassination, said Nancy Mansoor, one of the event’s organizers and a co-founder of Existence is Resistance. “In Palestine,” said Mansoor, “I don’t think there’s any youth that hasn’t been to jail.” Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, is among the scheduled speakers.

U.S. Targets Eritrean Economy

Frustrated that years of sanctions have failed to deter the small northeast African nation of Eritrea from its fiercely independent path to development, the United States is attempting to sabotage a giant potash project that “could end up bringing in as much as $30 billion to Eritrea,” said Thomas C. Mountain, an American journalist who lives in the country. The U.S. has targeted Eritrea because it “is a socialist country, like Cuba, and could stand out as a role model for Africa,” said Mountain. Eritrea is also one of only two countries on the continent that rejects any relationship with AFRICOM, the U.S. Military Command in Africa.

Obama is Greatest Education Privatizer in U.S. History

“Basically, what Barack Obama did was turn the Department of Education into a committee on school privatization,” said Danny Haiphong, a social worker and activist from Boston and a weekly contributor to BAR who authored a 3-part series on President Obama’s legacy. “It was Shock and Awe privatization.  Charter schools increased by 62 percent under his first five years,” said Haiphong. “His whole plan was to hand the public schools over to hedge funds and capitalist interests that have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into for-profit charter schools,” and to boost “high-stakes testing scams like Common Core.”

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of April 11, 2016

Mississippi Schemes to Dismember Tax Base of Black Capital City

The Republican-run State of Mississippi has moved to seize the City of Jackson’s two airports and a medical services corridor, and is maneuvering to take over the municipal water treatment facility that provides the bulk of the 80 percent Black city’s budget. “They have a full-blown plan for dismembering this city,” said Kali Akuno, of Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. The GOP plan went into overdrive with the election of Chokwe Lumumba, arguably the most radical Black mayor in the country, in 2013. But Lumumba died after less than a year in office. If the state succeeds, “there will be very little left to actually govern and to deliver goods and services to the community.”

Blacks Should Stop Going Down the Democratic Party “Rabbit Hole”

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations packed St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, in New York’s Harlem, for a National Conference on the 2016 Elections and Black Self-Determination. BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley told the crowd that Black people have supported “Democrat after Democrat, demeaning and insulting and imprisoning Black people, none of them willing to fight on our behalf, and we pay the price of continuing down the same old rabbit hole, time and time again.”

“Dead End” Capitalism Can’t Provide a Recovery for Workers

Boston-based writer and activist Danny Haiphong said that fractures in both the Republican and Democratic parties are reflections of the general crisis of capitalism. The system is at a “dead end” and cannot “provide a recovery for workers while at the same time exploiting these workers for the surplus value – the profit – it is desperately needs,” said Haiphong, a regular contributor to BAR. “If Bernie Sanders were to win, his ‘New Deal’ program could never be implemented in such an historical epoch.” This creates “so many opportunities for revolutionary struggle.”

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of March 21, 2016

Black Power Matters in 2016

“Fear of fascism being ‘right around the corner’ – this time in the form of Donald Trump – always means a vote for some kind of Democrat, as opposed to building our own independent political power,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The Coalition will hold a national conference on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and the Struggle for Black Self-Determination, in Harlem, New York City, on April 9. “What we’re seeing with this election is real evidence of the political weakness” of Black revolutionary forces, who have failed to keep Black self-determination at the forefront, said Yeshitela.

All Power to the Disrupters

Bernie Sanders apparently believes socialism can be achieved without much disruption of the prevailing order. The Democratic presidential candidate recently denounced all “disruptions” of political gatherings, including Donald Trump events. Veteran activist and historian Paul Street, author of They Rule: The 1% vs. Democracy, called “disruption” a “legitimate part of American life.” Said Street: “I guess Bernie needs to go back and re-read Howard Zinn’s best selling, classic People’s History of the United States.” Or anything by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Flint Isn’t EPA’s Only Victim

A Virginia Tech professor of Environment and Water Resources accused the federal Environmental Protection Agency of being “willfully blind to the pain and suffering of Flint residents, unremorseful of their role in causing this man-made disaster, and unable to learn from their mistakes.” Prof. Marc Edwards testified before a congressional hearing on the poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s water. “Malfeasance at the EPA from 2001 to the present has harmed cities all over the United States,” said Edwards.

Death of a Political Poet and Prisoner

Mondo Welanga, born David Rice 68 years ago, died in a Nebraska penitentiary cell after spending the past 46 years serving a life sentence, along with Ed Poindexter, in the death of an Omaha cop. Amnesty International recognized Welanga and Poindexter as Prisoners of Conscience. Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, called them “soldiers for the people, dedicated to their defense and security.”

Walanga was a poet, some of whose works appeared on Prison Radio. His 2015 poem When It Gets To This Point condemns those who “replace facts with spin” as

“the beatings and the chokings and shootings
of our boys and men
by these wrong arms of the law
proceed in orderly fashion
before the sometimes sad
sometimes angry faces of
our uncertain
our hesitant
disbelief.”

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of March 14, 2016

“Billionaires” Fund Defamation of Public Schools, Teachers

A poll commissioned by In The Public Interest shows Americans still hold public schools and teachers in high regard, want charter schools to conform to the same standards as conventional public schools, and oppose an over emphasis on standardized testing. “Billionaires and folks who run hedge funds have decided that the best way to make their political opponents weaker is to grow as many charters as possible,” said Donald Cohen, the group’s executive director. These forces have funded “an ongoing campaign to convince the American public that schools are bad” – but most people aren’t buying it.

Save the Schools: Opt Out of Standardized Testing

Parents and students should not ask permission to opt out of the high stakes standardized testing regimen. “We don’t need legislation to approve it,” said Dr. Denisha Jones, a board member of United Opt Out and an assistant professor of early childhood development at Howard University. “We need to say that we are opting out as an act of civil disobedience to protect education from the corporatization and the testing,” said Jones, who helped organize a recent national Opt Out conference, in Philadelphia.

New York Mayor de Blasio is No Progressive

Despite official denials, the New York City Police Department continues to operate under a “broken windows” philosophy, targeting mainly Black and brown men for minor violations under a quota summons system, according to Robert Gangi, director of the Police Reform Organizing Project. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “support for those kinds of practices completely undermines his claim to be a progressive political leader, and that the main purpose of his administration is to successfully address social, racial and economic inequities,” said Gangi. “’Broken windows,’ driven by the quota system, is a central factor in creating those inequities.”

Clinton and Obama Have Honduran Activist’s Blood on Their Hands

The Obama administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bear responsibility for the March 3 assassination of Honduran indigenous people’s leader Berta Caceres, said Beverly Bell, a founder of Other Worlds and long time friend and comrade of Caceres. The U.S. backed a military takeover of Honduras in 2009, and Clinton “even bragged of her role in the coup in the last book she wrote,” said Bell. “There is not any doubt who killed Berta Caceres. She has received more death threats from the government of Honduras than anyone could possibly count.”

Obama Woos Cuba, Targets Venezuela

President Obama, who will visit Cuba later this month to further “normalize” relations with that country, has intensified his military and economic subversion of Cuba’s ally, Venezuela. “At the very same moment that the U.S. is unfreezing relations with Cuba, it is continuing to destabilize, to undermine, to destroy the independent socialist nation of Venezuela,” said political analyst Eric Draitser, founder of StopImperialism.org.

 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of March 7, 2016

New FBI Guidelines for Targeting Classroom “Radicals”

The nation’s teachers will soon be getting revised FBI guidelines on how to spot “radicalized” students. “The modern FBI ‘counter-violence and extremism’ program is directed primarily at the Muslim community, right now,” said Michael German, a former FBI agent who is now a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. “But the conceptual part of it applies to any ideology, and in the past has applied to civil rights organizing, anti-war organizing and many other types of legitimate social advancement, in the name of protecting security.”

Executed for Sleeping While Black

Kisha Michael, a 31 year-old mother of three sons, and Marquitan Sandlin, a 32 year-old father of four daughters, were shot to death by an Inglewood, California, SWAT team after being discovered asleep in a car at 3:00 in the morning. “If they get away with this, they’ll say, ‘In two months we’ll go out there and kill us another couple,” said Ms. Michael’s aunt, Virginia Sewell. “It makes me feel really threatened because it seems as though they’re laughing about it.”

Were Marquitan and Kisha executed for failing to wake up? “Yeah, and that they were Black,” said Keith Jackson, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, who helped the victims’ families organize protests. “I say that because this is racially targeted throughout the country. It is really like a genocidal onslaught.”

Don’t Put it All on Trump: White Supremacy and Capitalism in Crisis

Beginning in the 1960s, according to Dubois scholar and Black Radical Organizing Committee member Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Republicans methodically reorganized their party “based upon one ideological position: white supremacy.” Now, with both the capitalist economy and white supremacy in crisis, “working class and lower middle class Republicans are in an existential crisis.” Monteiro believes a “more positive rebellion” is occurring among Democrats. “The Black Left has to begin to shape and give guidance to a rebellion that will include Black people, as well as whites and Latinos and others.”

Why Europe Owes Africa and the Americas for its Wealth and “Civilization”

Although both presidents Bush and Obama did their best to sabotage United Nations conferences against racism, in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 and 2009, the “Durban process” still lives, and its 15th anniversary will be commemorated in the Netherlands, later this month. Veteran activist and BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka, a founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network, will lead a panel at the event. “We said that ‘Europe’ was, literally, a creation of Africa and the America’s; that the hegemony of Europe was a consequence of the invasion of the Americas, the subjugation and attempted extermination of native people, and the importation and exploitation of African labor,” said Baraka. “That was the foundation for Europe’s ‘civilization’ and capitalism.” The analysis formed “the basis for the demand for reparations in terms of relationships between the states in the North and the various states in the African Diaspora.” That’s why the Europeans, Americans and Israelis undermined and boycotted Durban I and II.

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 4, 2016

Building a Black “Movement” from the Current “Momentum”

Dr. Cornel West, the nation’s best known Black public intellectual and a keynote speaker at this weekend’s conference on the Black Radical Tradition, at Philadelphia’s Temple University, said Black America is not yet experiencing a mass social movement. “I would say it’s significant motion and momentum that can become a movement if we can sustain it. We’ve got a significant number of brothers and sisters who have broken the back of fear,” said West, a co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. The path to a full-blown movement starts “with the criminal justice system, and we connect it to mass unemployment, mass underemployment, then connect it to a critique of capitalism and a critique of empire.”

Chicago’s Mayor Failing the “Pacify the Blacks” Test

Rahm Emanuel “is not doing his job,” said activist, scholar and author Paul Street. “One of the main jobs for a mayor of Chicago, frankly, is to keep the Black community in line and non-rebellious, so that downtown finance and real estate interests can continue their endless gentrification and expansion, free of disturbance.” Calls have intensified for Emanuel’s resignation or recall from office for covering up police crimes against Blacks.

Obama to Press for TPP in State of the Union Address

President Obama will “make a very big push” for congressional passage of his Trans Pacific Partnership corporate trade treaty in his January 12 State of the Union Address, said Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance. However, Zeese believes TPP can be defeated. “We’re going to have our people out in force on-line, in the Twittersphere and social media, getting out the facts, because we expect a lot of dishonesty from the president,” said Zeese, who notes that the top Democratic and Republican candidates to succeed Obama oppose TPP.

The Semantics of Terror

On January 25, the U.S. and its allies will meet with the government of Syria and its Russian ally to discuss which of the West’s jihadist proxy armies might be considered legitimate players in any future peace process. Washington considers all of the armed groups except ISIS and al-Qaida to be “moderate rebels.” Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC), said: “They asked Saudi Arabia to head up the countries that will be vetting these terrorist groups. Now, who is most directly responsible for the arming and funding – from ISIS on through – of terrorist groups operating in Syria and Iraq and throughout the entire region?” The whole exercise, said Flounders, “is an outrageous fraud.”

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of December 21, 2015

Michigan Water Crisis Rooted in Crisis of Democracy

In majority Black Flint, Michigan, the mayor has declared a state of emergency due to unsafe water, while in mostly Black Detroit tens of thousands of poor people have been shut out of the water system. Both jurisdictions were plunged into crisis under the dictatorial powers of state-appointed emergency financial managers. Thomas Stephens, a people’s lawyer and activist, blames corporate governance. “The problems with water affordability and access in Detroit, leading to a public health crisis, and the problems with lead and other contaminants in Flint actually have the same root cause: treating water, a necessity of life in our communities, as if it were a widget, something to be dealt with pursuant to the corporate bottom line.”

Exploring the Black Radical Tradition

Activists and intellectuals will converge on Temple University, in Philadelphia, for a conference on “The Black Radical Tradition In Our Time,” January 8 through 10. Keynote speakers include Angela Davis, Cornel West, Anthony Monteiro and Charlene Carruthers, of Chicago’s Black Youth Project 100. Larry Hamm, chairman of Newark, New Jersey’s People’s Organization for Progress, will speak at one of the conference panels. “The conference is needed,” he said, “because we do need a theoretical understanding of what is happening, and at the same time, those who are involved in theoretical work need to hear from people who are involved in the actual organizing on the ground, so that we can have a synthesis of the two.”

Prison as an Incubator for Hepatitis C

About 100 supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal gathered at a Scranton, Pennsylvania, courthouse where a federal judge heard arguments to compel the state prison system to treat the nation’s best known political prisoner for Hepatitis C, which caused complications that almost killed him earlier this year. Joe Piette, of Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, said 8,000 Pennsylvania inmates carry the infection. “People are tested routinely for HIV, but they’re not tested for Hep C,” said Piette. “So they go back to the community when they get out of prison and it just spreads throughout the community.”

Venezuelan Revolution Down, But Not Out

The Socialist Party founded by the late Hugo Chavez was soundly defeated in legislative elections, earlier this month. The voting took place amid raging inflation and deep shortages of consumer goods. “The reality is that this was a deliberately constructed scarcity for the purpose of psychological warfare against the people of Venezuela,” said Eric Draitser, a New York-based political analyst who recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Venezuela. After the victory of the U.S.-backed parties, said Draitser, “all of a sudden, those items began magically returning to store shelves.” Draitser’s most recent article on Venezuela is titled “The Revolution That Will Not Die.”

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of November 30, 2015

Two Rights Groups Refuse to Sign Off on Sentencing “Reform” Bill

Legislation is moving through the U.S. House and Senate that would retroactively shorten sentences for crack cocaine possession and, its backers claim, substantially roll back mandatory minimum sentences for other crimes. However, the National Urban League and Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) are refusing to give their blessing to the Sentencing Act, which actually expands the list of crimes subject to mandatory prison terms. The bill “will have a disproportionate effect on minority communities,” according to FAMM president Julie Stewart. “They have created a new class of crime that can now trigger” a sentence of 25 years, she said. Gun possession and crimes of domestic violence would also carry mandatory penalties.

New Film in the Works on Black Panther Party

Former Black Panther Party chief of staff David Hilliard and Emmy Award-winning director Dante James hope to have a documentary on the party completed in time for the 50th anniversary of the BPP’s founding, next September. “Our film is not going to be a response or reaction” to The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, directed by Stanley Nelson, Jr. and distributed by PBS. “For many, many years,” said James, “the corporate media has defined the Black Panther Party from the outside-in.” This time, the party will by defined, not by “fringe or part-time party members, but by people who were there from the very beginning, who knew and worked with Huey P. Newton.”

First Cop Goes on Trial in Freddie Gray Killing

The manslaughter trial of Baltimore police officer William Porter began on Monday, the first of six cops charged in the death of Freddie Gray, last April. Porter drove the police van in which Gray was fatally injured. Jill Carter, a Maryland state legislator and lawyer, told The Real News Network that some of the cops should have been charged with murder. “We all saw in the video that an assault happened prior to Freddie Gray ever being placed in the van,” said Carter. “If there was an illegal arrest that was contemporaneous with an assault, I would argue that would be first degree assault and attempted murder, with cumulative charges for everything that happened after that.” Baltimore erupted in street rebellion in the wake of Gray’s death.

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Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.
 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of November 23, 2015

Black Agenda Radio for Week of November 23, 2015

ISIS and the White Lives Matter Movement

Although civilians in Nigeria, Iraq and Syria have suffered the highest casualties from jihadist terror, these crimes “get no attention, especially because in most of these tragedies Western governments are the primary responsible parties, said Ajamu Baraka, an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report and a founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. Baraka authored an article in the current issue of BAR titled “The Paris Attacks and the White Lives Matter Movement.” Most Europeans and Euro-Americans exhibit an “inability to recognize the humanity of other people” – a form of psychopathology, said Baraka. ”They advance the notion that they are the upholders of a humanitarian tradition, while at the same time are responsible for the most horrific acts known in human history.”

Black Power Through Sustainable Development

Activists with Cooperation Jackson looked forward to joining huge demonstrations in Paris, later this month, to influence United Nations negotiations about climate change and to promote their Jackson Just Transition Plan to create environment-friendly employment in predominantly Black Jackson, Mississippi. However, French authorities have declared a state of emergency. Cooperation Jackson spokesman Kali Akuno said Black Power has everything to do with sustainable development. “In the 21st century, I don’t think there’s anywhere else for many of us in the United States to go,” said Akuno. “None of the other industries are producing anything that is going to employ us very intensely. We have to realize that the masses of Black people are completely disposable to this system, and we have to come up with the concrete alternatives, ourselves.”

Protestors Mark Anniversary of Tamir Rice’s Murder

Stop Mass Incarceration Network activists confronted Cleveland’s mayor and disrupted traffic on a major thoroughfare to mark the date, a year ago, when a white cop shot to death 12 year-old Tamir Rice. The local district attorney accused Rice’s mother of having “economic motives” for demanding justice for her son. “For this district attorney to impugn anybody’s motive is beyond disgusting,” said Network co-founder Carl Dix. “This is a guy who’s heading a secret grand jury process who has leaked three reports that say the police who murdered Tamir Rice were justified in doing so.” The cops shot the child two seconds after arriving at the park where he’d been playing with a toy gun. “They charged at him like they were some Wild West gunslingers who had their prey in their sights,” said Dix.

Bill and Hillary Clinton Might Face Indictment

In an article in Harpers magazine, investigative reporter Ken Silverstein predicted that newly-released Clinton Foundation tax returns could get Bill, Hillary and daughter Chelsea indicted on money laundering and influence peddling charges. “As secretary of state she paid particular attention to Clinton Foundation donors,” said Silverstein. Now, after years of filing false returns, “the shit is hitting the fan” for the former – and possibly future – First Couple.

Cuban Official Remembers Jim Crow

Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship of the People, spends much of her time greeting visitors to her island nation. But, this month she led a Cuban delegation on a tour of U.S. cities, starting with New York, where she expressed pride in the great changes the Revolution has made in the lives of the people, especially Black Cubans. “In Cuba, we have a Fifth Avenue similar to the one in New York City. Black people couldn’t walk on Fifth Avenue” in Havana. “Before the triumph of the Revolution, Black people could not work in the banks.” Even the “mulatto” Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista “was not allowed to go to the bourgeois clubs in Cuba,” said Serrano.

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Black Agenda Radio, Week of November 17, 2015

Black Agenda Radio for Week of November 16, 2015

Prison Reformers Distort Facts to Make Obama Look Good

In 2013, President Obama’s Justice Department went into federal court to prevent the retroactive reduction in prison sentences for people convicted under the old crack cocaine laws. The case was U.S. v. Blewett. As a result, about 6,000 inmates were forced to spend additional years in prison. However, according to members of The Sentencing Project, a highly respected prison reform organization, President Obama should not be blamed for keeping thousands of offenders incarcerated under an admittedly racist law. “That was a decision made by lawyers studying constitutional law and applying that in a specific case,” said Sentencing Project advocacy counsel Jeremy Haile, at a telephone press briefing to push for passage of another bill that would – finally! – retroactively scale back crack cocaine sentences. BAR executive editor Glen Ford said Obama seemed to have one prison policy for the public, and another for the courts. “You certainly could make that interpretation,” replied Robert Craemer, a political consultant for the Sentencing Project. But, “whatever sins there may have been in the past, I think they are definitely committed” to passage of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, now before the U.S. Senate. “I’ve been told that by people at the very top of the administration – the White House,” said Craemer.

Black Is Back Coalition Holds Conference at Howard U.

The Russians are correct to help the Syrian government defend itself against U.S.-backed jihadists, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The Coalition held a national conference at Howard University’s Blackburn Center, under the theme “Black Power Matters.” Much of the event focused on global developments. The U.S. “has funded every criminal with a gun and a bomb in the Middle East,” said Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela. “The modern jihad that people are so upset about was created by the Carter regime” nearly 40 years ago.

Margaret Kimberley, senior columnist for Black Agenda Report, said Black people need to build a movement with a global perspective. “It’s Putin who has proved beyond any doubt that the United States was lying about wanting to get rid of ISIS,” she said. “We talk about Black Power mattering. But, if we don’t speak against imperialism then we’re not talking about the whole picture.”

One of the Coalition’s principal demands is Black Community Control of the Police. “It’s a demand that calls for the dismantling of the occupation army that the Black Panther Party identified and described back in 1966,” said BAR executive editor Glen Ford. However, much of the new crop of Black activists “don’t know the meaning of the word ‘demand.’ Movements are defined by their demands, and to that extent, the two factions that go under the heading BlackLivesMatter network and Campaign Zero have dropped out of the movement and dropped – or jumped, or leaped – into the Democratic Party.”

Herdosia Bentum, president of the International Uhuru Movement, who hails from Ferguson, Missouri, is coordinating a campaign to charge the U.S. with domestic genocide against Afrikans. The project involves knocking on lots of doors. “The most important thing as an organizer is going to those houses and sitting down and talking to people,” said Bentum. “Because, they understand that one of the biggest crimes is poverty.”

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of Aug 3, 2015

Predator Cops Fill Graveyards

U.S. police killed 412 people in 1976, 333 in 1984, and 385 in 1990, wrote Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in an essay now republished for his new book, Writings on the Wall. The cops “obviously haven’t protected or served the thousands they’ve murdered over the years. They serve and protect the system, not the people,” he wrote. “They are predators.”

Stop Police Terror

Murder by police can only be stopped by “our independent action,” said Carl Dix, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. “We are not looking for Obama, Loretta Lynch or any governors or mayors to do this, because they preside over the horrors that we have to stop.” Dix spoke outside the recent national conference of the Movement for Black Lives, in Cleveland. He’s gearing up for “Rise Up October” campaign of actions to “stop police terror,” under the slogan: “Which side are you on?”

Baltimore Black Political Class Protected White Mayor O’Malley

Jill Carter, a young Black lawyer from Baltimore and the most progressive member of the Maryland state legislature, said it’s no wonder that former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has trouble dealing with Black activists’ on the presidential campaign trail. During his term as mayor of Baltimore, between 1999 and 2007, O’Malley oversaw the arrest of 750,000 people, more than the total population of the city, many of them on charges that “were illegal or unwarranted,” said Carter. Nevertheless, the entire Black city leadership supported and protected O’Malley, “even when faced with the reality that he was destroying the city and the community’s relationship with the police department.” O’Malley’s protectors included the current and former mayors of Baltimore, the whole of the city council, plus all of the city’s delegation to the state legislature – except for Jill Carter.

Bernie Sanders Runs as Populist, not Socialist

Paul Street, the veteran political scholar and activist, said Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is running as a populist, not a socialist. “He doesn’t say ‘socialism’” in his campaign speeches,” said Street, who was among the first to point out Barack Obama’s conservative political tendencies. Senator Sanders “identifies himself with the social democratic states of Scandinavia, particularly Denmark, Sweden and Norway, but does not refer to himself as a socialist,” said Street. “And, unlike the serious Socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs, back in the day, I haven’t heard him mouth the term ‘capitalism’ once.”

New Black Movement Combines Mix of Older Tactics

The emerging Black political movement “combines the tactics of the Civil Rights Movement – mass marches, civil disobedience, shutting things down – with programs and ideas that did not always crystallize in the Black Power Movement, but were thought about” during that period, said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, former professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. Protesters gathered on Temple’s campus to demand Dr. Monteiro’s reinstatement to what chairman Molefi Asante has renamed the “Department of Africology.”

 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of July 20, 2015

Mumia “May Have Been Poisoned”

Six months after Mumia Abu Jamal nearly died from diabetic shock, the nation’s best known political prisoner’s underlying illness has yet to be diagnosed, said Dr. Johanna Fernandez, a professor of history at New York City’s Baruch College and member of Educators for Mumia. Abu Jamal’s maddeningly itching skin has turned a leathery black, and his output of commentaries and analysis for Prison Radio “has diminished significantly,” said Fernandez, who fears Mumia is suffering a “deeper, systemic problem” or “may have been poisoned.” Nevertheless, “Mumia is delighted and inspired by the movement against police violence that has emerged in the country,” and will continue to speak out “from the belly of the beast.” That’s why, she said, “over and over, the state has tried to silence and kill him.”

Obama’s Recent “Epiphanies” on U.S. Racism

President Obama’s recent discovery that “racism is part of the DNA of this country” was sparked by a need to reposition himself in the wake of the Charleston massacre and “the resistance that is growing among African people in this country,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The Coalition is gearing up for a national conference, in Philadelphia, August 22 and 23, with a focus on Black community control of police, a stance that Yeshitela believes “resonates with Black people” and can put the struggle firmly on the road to self-determination.

TPP is a Black Issue

“Any agreement that has a detrimental impact on workers anywhere, is a Black issue,” said Ajamu Baraka, veteran human rights activist and editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. “We are the victims of this global capitalist economy, and so we have solidarity and responsibilities to people in other parts of the world,” Baraka told Solomon Comissiong, of Your World News. President Obama’s proposed Trans Pacific Partnership is “specifically a Black issue because one can’t understand the objective material conditions in places like Baltimore, Detroit, Gary, Indiana, and South Bend, Michigan, without connecting these conditions to the transformation of the U.S. economy” by deindustrialization – which will further intensify under TPP.

 
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Taking the Initiative Back For the Movement After the Brinsley Killings

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The killing of 2 NYPD officers by Ismaaiyl Brinsley were the occasion for fascist cops, mostly Republicans and authoritarian liberal politicians, mostly Democrats along with their black civil rights and media spokespeople, to seize the initiative from the movement against police murder and brutality. But the movement can take the mic back. This issue of Black Agenda Report, is mostly about the movement response to the NYPD killings, along with some timely information on Cuba's present and past role in African liberation, and a remembrance of the US invasion of Panama 25 years ago, which leveled several African neighborhoods in Panama City.
We'll be taking a break next week, and back the first Tuesday or Wednesday in January. Happy holidays and peace, to those who fight for it, and everyone else.

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