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Marikana massacre

Freedom Rider: Miners Shot Down

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

A new film, Miners Shot Down, shows in graphic detail the massacre of dozens of miners at Marikana, South Africa, in 2012. “Footage from the South African police shows the miners being penned in by barbwire, mowed down by a fusillade and the survivors being hunted down yet again.” The slaughter may mark the beginning of the end of a Black-led regime that sold out its people.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/2/14

Haiti: Ten Years Under Foreign Occupation

This month marks the tenth year of the United Nations’ armed occupation of Haiti. The UN force, known as MINUSTAH, “was brought in to cover up an illegal coup d’etat against the democratically elected president, Jean Bertrand-Aristide, in 2004,” said Dr. Jemima Pierre, a professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville. Even though there is no war in Haiti, “the strength of the force is greater now than when they first came,” increasing from 6,500 uniformed personnel to 8,000 soldiers and police. “There is no such thing as sovereignty in Haiti,” which has been reduced to a protectorate, said Pierre, an editor and columnist with Black Agenda Report.

Left Forum 2014: “Reform and/or Revolution”?

Renowned Black public intellectual Dr. Cornel West “embraces” reformers, but counts himself among the revolutionaries. “If you want to tinker, to be incremental, fine, but don’t just stop there,” West told activists at Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “We’re calling for fundamental transformation of American capitalist society, with its empire and vicious legacy of white supremacy,” he said.

Running Strong as a Socialist

Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative party activist who won a seat on the Seattle city council on a $15 minimum wage platform, said that even a watered-down version of the measure will result in “roughly $3 billion being transferred from the hands of business to the bottom-most workers of the city.” The victory in Seattle put a $15 minimum on the national political map. “What we have done is forced business to swallow the idea of increasing wages substantially,” said Sawant. “And I say ‘swallow,’ because they hate it.”

Hip Hop and Social Transformation

Activists need to consider more deeply the meaning of revolution, said hip hop artist Immortal Technique. “If we decide that we’ll all of a sudden become revolutionary-minded, but we don’t leave behind all the privileges that we were born with or that we’ve assumed in life because of wealth or racist status in America, then what do we have as camaraderie with the people that are suffering the most in this system?” he asked.

South Africa Betrayed

“I sit, deeply wounded and deeply concerned that [President Jacob] Zuma and the ANC in South Africa has abandoned its calling,” said famed entertainer Harry Belafonte, a political activist for most of his 87 years. Citing the police massacre of 34 miners at Marikana, in August, 2012, Belafonte said the African National Congress government has “become the new tyranny, and this is a hard pill to swallow. How could all this have gone so awry?”

Elombe Brath Joins Ancestors

Legendary activist Elombe Brath, who died after a long illness, was laid to rest at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, on Saturday. Brath was a founder of the Patrice Lumumba Coalition. “He didn’t just love Black music and culture, he loved Black people,” said political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, reporting for Prison Radio.

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The African National Congress: The Rise and Tragic Fall of a Revolutionary Movement

by Anthony Monteiro

Black “rule” in South Africa is illusory. “White supremacy without the obvious hand of white people is the form of social and political control, which replaces legal apartheid.” The revolution was derailed. “The road from the Freedom Charter, to the Morogoro Consultative Conference, to the 1994 elections, to the murder of 34 miners at Mirikana in 2012, is the ANC’s road to counter-revolution.”

Nelson Mandela’s Long Death

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

As Nelson Mandela lay for nine months near death, the world got an education on his legacy – including the scope of the deal that he and his African National Congress comrades cut to abandon the Freedom Charter. Blacks got the vote, and little else, while whites held on to economic power. Imperialism got a new lease on life in Africa.

Steve Biko and the Quest for Black Power Today

by Veli

Next April 27 marks the 20th anniversary of the first majority rule elections in South Africa. Many will be wondering what all the celebration is about, and what martyred Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko’s guidance would be. “We must locate Biko in the struggle against the state under the ANC, which has adopted an increasingly anti-black stance, in pursuance of its neo-liberal agenda.”

How the ANC's Faustian Pact Sold Out South Africa's Poorest

by Ronnie Kasrils

A veteran of the South African freedom struggle and its Black-led government says the African National Congress’ soul “was eventually lost to corporate power: we were entrapped by the neoliberal economy – or, as some today cry out, we ‘sold our people down the river.’"

A “Triple” Betrayal in South Africa

 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The arrangement whereby whites surrendered political control of South Africa, while continuing to dominate the economy, has become indefensible. “Workers seeking to organize outside the government-sanctioned unions are hunted down and prosecuted under spurious charges, physically tortured and vilified as enemies of the state.”

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Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of October 22, 2012

 

Medicare Supporters Protest While Candidates Joke

Medicare “is being threatened by both parties,” said Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal, of Physicians for a National Health Care Program. The group led protests outside New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, where presidential contenders Barack Obama and Mitt Romney told jokes at an annual dinner. “Even the Democrats are talking about raising the age of eligibility for Medicare,” said Rosenthal. Both parties and the media claim Medicare is facing bankruptcy. “That’s all very misleading. It’s not in crisis, it’s not going to run out of money for a long time, and we can fix that.” Rosenthal’s organization wants Medicare expanded to cover all Americans.

Black Is Back – in Washington

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, which appeared on the scene with a march on the White House in 2009, returns to DC for a rally and national conference, November 3 and 4, under the theme “Breaking the Silence.” “There are bombs being dropped in Africa, and increased militarization of our communities in the United States,” said spokesperson Ayesha Fleary. “Millions have died in the Congo over the last 10 years, but that’s never on anybody’s agenda.”

Stop-and-Frisk Protesters Face 2+ Years in Prison

Trial begins October 23 for four members of the Stop Stop-and-Frisk movement, charged with acting “in concert” to disrupt a police precinct in Queens, New York, last year. Prosecutors are seeking to intimidate the movement by “piling on” charges that could put the demonstrators in prison for more than two years, said defendant Carl Dix. “It is illegitimate, unjust and racist for the NYPD to racially profile Black youth…and to put us on trial for protesting it. What has be put on trial, here, is stop-and-frisk, itself.”

Parents of Slain Oakland Youth Speak Out

Our youth are saying, Why plan for the future when I might not live to be 18?” said Jeralyn Blueford, whose son Alan was shot to death by an Oakland, California, policeman, last May. Mrs. Blueford and her husband, Adam, will travel to New York and Philadelphia to tell how a cop chased her unarmed son for a mile before putting three bullets in his chest. Initial police claims that there had been a shootout, soon fell apart. “It was just racial profiling at its core,” said the father.

South Africa Slum Dwellers, in U.S., Condemn Marikana Massacre

We need to take a stand, because what the miners were fighting for is just,” said Mnikelo Ndabankulu, spokesperson for the South African grassroots organization Abahlali baseMjondolo, which means “People Who Live in Shacks” in the Zulu language. At least 34 workers were shot dead by police at the Marikana platinum mine, in August. Ndabankulu's group has also been harshly suppressed by authorities. “South Africa is a protesting state,” he said. If police were allowed to shoot everyone who protests, “the country would be left with only police and rich people.” Abahlali baseMjondolo members are on a tour of U.S. cities.

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