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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/26/15

    The $10 billion pledged by international donors for Haiti earthquake relief, five years ago, was “enough money to give every Haitian a check for $1,000,” said Jake Johnston, principal author of the Center for Economic and Policy Research report, “Haiti by the Numbers, Five Years Later.” Yet, 300,000 people are living on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince in appalling conditions, while “only 9,000 homes have been built by the international response.” Cholera, brought into the country by United Nations soldiers, is unchecked, and a U.S.-backed president rules largely by decree. Most American aid money was spent on U.S. firms, said Johnston. “Less than one percent of it went to Haitian organizations or Haitian government institutions.”

    Newark to Get Cop Review Board

    Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka unveiled a draft plan for the city’s first Citizens Complaint Review Board, last week. The proposed board would have the power to subpoena witnesses and recommend punishment of abusive officers. However, the police director could, under some circumstances, veto the board’s recommendations – a serious point of contention, according to Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress. “We’re going to need the most effective review board possible, in order to change police behavior,” said Hamm. “They see themselves as special, above the law, and above reproach. They don’t think citizens have the right to judge them.”

    Charges Dropped Against Crusading Black Educator

    Three years ago, Professor Jahi Issa was arrested while observing a student protest against the rapid “whitening” of Delaware State University, a nominally Black institution. A judge this month overrode prosecution objections and dismissed the misdemeanor resisting arrest charge. “My attorney wrote that the president of Delaware State and his chief of police need to go see Selma, the movie, because they neither understand nor respect history,” said Dr. Issa, who lost his job teaching history and Africana Studies. “If this is the new crop of HBCU leadership, then we are seriously in trouble.”

    Mumia on MLK’s Ordeal

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was “hounded and tormented” by the United States government “until his dying day,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report for Prison Radio. The pressure increased after King’s 1967 Riverside Church speech in which he denounced the Vietnam War “and criticized capitalism.”

    U.S. Constitution Legalizes Slavery

    Another correspondent for Prison Radio, Kerry Shakaboona Marshall, who has served more than 25 years of a life sentence imposed when he was a juvenile, said the U.S. government has “perpetrated a fraud” on the public for the pat 150 years, with the claim that the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery. “While the 13th Amendment abolished the chattel labor form of slavery, it simultaneously legalized slavery as a punishment for a criminal offense conviction,” said Marshall. The result was “penal slavery, the prison slave labor system.”

    Rev. Edward Pinkney Awaits Hearing in Prison

    Benton Harbor, Michigan’s imprisoned community leader, Rev. Edward Pinkney, is “doing very well, they have not broken his spirit,” said his wife, Dorothy. Rev. Pinkney was sentenced to 2 ½ to 10 years in prison for an elections petition offense stemming from a campaign to recall the local mayor, an ally of the giant Whirlpool corporation, which dominates the mostly Black town. A hearing is scheduled for February 24 on two defense motions, including that one of the jurors was a close associate of the prosecution. Veteran activist Larry Pinkney – no family relation – is media contact for Rev. Pinkney. “He’s not getting his mail, they’ve moved him way up to Marquette, Michigan,” said Larry Pinkney. “But the brother is a warrior, he’s a fighter, he’s standing tall.”

    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. Click here to download the show. Length: One hour.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/19/15

    MLK Would be “Shutting It Down”

    If Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were alive, he would have joined in the 96-hour direct action and civil disobedience campaign coordinated by the ONYX Organizing Committee, in Oakland, California, this past weekend, according to activist Cat Brooks. “He’d be shutting it down” at federal buildings and taking over freeways,” said Brooks. “As in the later part of his life, he’d be connecting, loudly, the bloody dots of capitalism and gentrification with the systematic oppression and violence against Black and brown people in the cities.”

    Man Who Recorded Eric Garner’s Death Has Court Date

    Ramsey Orta, the Staten Island, New York, man who videotaped Eric Garner’s death by chokehold at the hands of a cop, appears in court January 25 on weapons charges. Orta maintains police set him up in retaliation. His lawyer, Alton Maddox, said “It’s time for a reawakening of the people in New York City as to how grand juries should be employed.” As it stands, prosecutors use grand juries as an excuse NOT to indict cops, said Maddox, whose license to practice law was revoked in 1990, in the wake of the Tawana Brawley case.

    French Celebrate White Supremacy and Racist Values

    “’Je Suis Charlie’ has become an arrogant rallying cry for white supremacy,” wrote Ajamu Baraka, editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report and co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. The French “values” that are supposedly under attack are, in reality, “grounded in a colonial division between people who are recognized as humans, and those who have been consigned to the category of sub-humans and are eligible to be murdered, to have their lands taken, to be enslaved,” said Baraka. “Those are the values that many of those people who embraced ‘Je Suis Charle’ were, in fact, upholding.”

    Right On! to Franz Fanon on His 90th Birthday

    Dr. Lewis Gordon, professor of philosophy and African American Studies at the University of Connecticut, spoke at the Pan-African Bazara, in Nairobi, Kenya, on the 90th birthday of Franz Fanon, the psychiatrist from Martinique who fought alongside the Algerians against French colonialism and wrote The Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin, White Masks. Fanon taught that “every group has to understand that it has the responsibility to set the conditions for its own freedom and emancipation,” said Dr. Gordon. “He argues that it is not enough to fight for material change; you need also to set the conditions for very new concepts” of human existence. Fanon died of leukemia in 1961.

    Black Colombian Women Defend Ancestral Land Rights

    Illegal gold mining operations are poisoning the environment and infringing on the land rights of African-descended people in Colombia, South America. Charo Mina-Rojas, an organizer of women’s resistance to the incursions, said local authorities are collaborating with the mechanized mining operators. “They are armed, but we have to expose ourselves to make sure that these people understand that these are our territories, we have rights there, and we are ready to protect them by all means necessary,” said Mina-Rojas.

    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. Click here to download this show.

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