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    America: Young Black Men Have No Right to Life

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Over the past 50 years, Black America has gone from fists in the air to arms raised in surrender; from assertion of the right to self-defense, to pleas for sensitivity from militarized police occupiers. Black America has been turned into a vast Constitution-free zone.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 8/04/14

    The Chosen People – for Incarceration

    “They’ve created a permanent caste from which people cannot escape,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress (POP), referring to America’s system of mass Black incarceration. POP supports the New Jersey Decarceration Act, aimed at drastically reducing prison populations. Historically, police forces and prisons have expanded to contain Black people, socially and geographically. “What they’re worried about now is there’s a potential for us to build alliances with other groups that have been economically disenfranchised in the last few decades, and that there could be an even wider societal response to the suffering that’s going on in this country,” said Hamm.

    Challenge to Arbitrary Solitary Confinement

    Prison inmate Lester Alford has hauled New Jersey into court, charging prison officials with arbitrarily locking him in solitary under appalling conditions. “They only gave him one set of clothing for three years, and didn’t let him clean his cell for three years,” said Jean Ross, a lawyer who has advised many state prisoners. The state accused Alford, now middle-aged, of being a gang leader. “There is no excuse, no defense to the fact that they placed him under isolated confinement without any kind of due process of law, and under conditions that we would not keep animals in,” said Ross, who is also an organizer with the People’s Organization for Progress.

    Former Panther Blasts Huey Newton

    Wayne Pharr, a former captain in the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, has just published a book titled Nine Lives of a Black Panther: A Story of Survival. “I don’t bash anybody but Huey Newton,” the Panther co-founder who, Pharr writes, set himself up as Supreme Commander and sent hit squads against members considered disloyal. “That’s what turned me off from the whole thing, because that spoke of ego and no humility,” said Pharr, who now makes his living in real estate. The FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO played a role in the party’s demise. “We knew were under surveillance with COINTELPRO,” said Pharr, “and COINTELPRO is still working, right now.”

    U.S. Complicit in Israeli Crimes

    “Not a minute of this war would be possible without complete and total U.S. funding, political support, and diplomatic support every step of the way,” said Sara Flounders, of the International Action Center. But, “the world has not been silent” to the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, nearly 2,000 of whom – overwhelmingly civilians – have died at Israeli hands. What the Israeli’s want, said Flounders, “is the silence of the grave; that’s their only plan.” A huge demonstration is set for this Saturday, August 9, at the United Nations building in New York, said Flounders, who is also an organizer with UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition.

    Mumia: Zionists Lust for Land

    America’s best known political prisoner says “Israel intentionally targets civilians, which is a war crime.” Mumia Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio, called Israel “a settler colonialists state which has no use for the indigenous people of Palestine, yet lusts for its land.” President Obama claims Israel “has the right to defend itself. But, one wonders: doesn’t Palestine have that right, as well?”

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    Freedom Rider: Who Prosecutes the Prosecutors?

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    There are many tens of thousands of prisoners unjustly serving sentences “twice as long as any of the Central Park Five victims.” Mass Black incarceration is inseparable from official and societal corruption. Cops and, especially, prosecutors “are never charged when they suborn perjury, falsify evidence, threaten witnesses and use the power of the state in a myriad of ways to prevent mostly poor, black people from getting justice.

     

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/30/14

     

    Detroit Financial Dictator Uses Water as Weapon

    The water cut-offs that could soon affect 30,000 Detroit households are “an effort on the part of the Emergency Financial Manager to intimidate people, to drive even more people out of the city – but, moreover, it is aimed at privatizing and breaking up the Detroit Water and Sewage Department,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, an organizer for the Moratorium Now Coalition and editor of the Pan African News Wire. A United Nations panel of experts called the shut-offs “an affront to human rights.”

    Empower the Urban Renting Majority

    A new report on housing calls for a change in government policies that favor homeowners over renters. Titled “Renter Nation: Solutions to the Housing Affordability Crisis,” the report outlines “models of cooperative housing that allow for people to build wealth and also maintain an investment in the community they live in, and to maintain the housing that they live in as affordable for the people who come after them,” said Rachel LeForest, executive director of the Right to the City Alliance.

    Socialist Takes on Washington State Speaker of House

    “What’s lacking in state houses across the country are unambiguous fighters for working people and others who are disenfranchised,” said Jess Spear, the Socialist Alternative candidate for Washington House Speaker Frank Chopp’s seat. In 2012, Chopp won 70 percent of the vote against Socialist Alternative’s Kshama Sawant, who went on to win a seat on the Seattle City Council and passage of a $15 an hour municipal minimum wage. Spear said Chopp has failed to move a $12 an hour state minimum wage out of committee. “It really exposes him and the rest of the Democratic Party as just grandstanding and paying lip service to what working people need and deserve,” she said.

    Mass Conspiracy Charges in Harlem

    Residents of two Harlem housing projects remain outraged over a 400-officer police raid that resulted in attempted murder, weapons and conspiracy charges against more than 100 young people. “They’re charging everybody with the crimes of a couple of people. It’s like you’re guilty by association,” said Angela Dunmore, at a press conference called by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. New York City authorities “feel threatened by two or more Black men together – and that is not fair.”

    H. Rap Brown/Jamil al-Amin Seriously Ill in Super-Max

    The former chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Minister of Justice of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, and revolutionary icon formerly known as H. Rap Brown, is seriously ill with a gum infection that has spread through his body. Jamil al-Amin’s “outspoken defense of self-defense earned him the eternal enmity of the government,” said political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio. Al-Amin is serving a life sentence at the federal super-max prison in Florence, Colorado, in the shooting of two Atlanta policemen.

    Why “Freedom Summer” Activists Chose Voter Registration over Direct Action

    Fifty years ago, organizers with SNCC and other civil rights organizations brought 1,000 mostly white students to Mississippi to assist in registering Black voters. On The Real News Network, former SNCC field director Bob Moses told host Paul Jay that activists considered mounting a direct action civil disobedience campaign instead of voter registration. “They were faced with whether they wanted to do the Nelson Mandela,” said Moses. “If they were going to do direct action, then they’ve got to stay in jail for a long time.”

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    The Obamas’ Race to the Bottom

    by Sikivu Hutchinson

    Michelle Obama’s recent speech on the anniversary of the Brown decision gave every indication that she understands structural racism and injustice in education. However, her husband’s Race to the Top program has “opened the floodgates to privatization, dumbed-down curricula, and a permanent regime of high stakes testing which undermines teacher creativity and guts teachers’ unions.”

    Black Like Me: Black Immigration Conference in Miami

    by Pascal Robert

    Photos by Kevin Banatte[Dream Defenders Communications

    Relentless forces, internal and external, seek to pit Black Americans and immigrants against one another. However, many immigrants are Black and subject to the same mass incarceration policies as African Americans. “Immigration is a racial justice issue that needs a progressive African American voice,” according to a just-concluded conference in Miami.

    Jail the Bankers? Obama Has Been Their Staunchest Defender

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    In the second half of his second term, Obama and his crew seek to rewrite the history of his administration. Attorney General Eric Holder now declares that no bank is too big to jail. But the reality is, Wall Street’s “impunity is infinite. Holder and Obama work for them.”

    Examining the Existence of Fascism in the United States

    by Danny Haiphong

    Is the U.S. a fascist society? It’s a classic fit – a country where “the relationship between the state and corporation becomes indiscernible,” militarism is the highest value, and demonization of the Other is the organizing principle of the ruling circles and state.

    Lynch Law: The Root of US imperialism

    by Danny Haiphong

    Domestic U.S. lynch has morphed into imperialist terrorism. “Washington uses a nexus of intelligence and military institutions to lynch the world's people of their lives and resources.”

    Decriminalizing Small Quantities of Marijuana

    by Seema Sadanandan

    In the nation’s capital, police are now forbidden to cite the smell of marijuana has the basis for a search. “It is the first decriminalization bill in the country to prohibit police from stopping, questioning, and searching people based on the alleged smell of marijuana alone.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/31/14

    Black Preachers Say Marissa Alexander Should Cop a Plea

    Calling her case a “distraction,” a group of Black ministers in Jacksonville, Florida, are urging Marissa Alexander, who has already served three years in prison for firing a gun to deter her abusive husband, to plead guilty. Prosecutor Angela Corey is threatening to put Alexander away for 60 years. Opio Sokoni, president of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said Corey and the ministers make “strange bedfellows.” “Some of these pastors are the same ones that said, not too many weeks ago, that Black people should received the death penalty in greater numbers,” said Sokoni.

    Moral Mondays Move to Georgia and South Carolina

    Nearly 40 people were arrested in demonstrations demanding that southern states expand Medicaid to cover more poor people, in line with Obamacare. Moral Mondays protests, which began in North Carolina, have taken root in Georgia and South Carolina. Author and activist Kevin Alexander Gray said “the poorest of the poor” are hard to organize. “That group doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to come to a protest,” he said. “They’re not thinking about a protest, they’re thinking about survival.”

    Oil and Environmental Racism in Albany, NY

    Huge numbers of railroad oil tanker cars are parked only feet from a poor housing project in Albany, New York, prompting fears of an explosion like the one that claimed dozens of lives in Quebec, Canada, last year. “Since the expansion of fracking in North Dakota” and elsewhere, “ports have received a lot more oil,” said Vivian Kornegay, an Albany councilwoman. “We’re talking about an environmental injustice against low income people living in a housing project,” said Kornegay. “That community hasn’t been given a voice or any consideration” in the shale oil fracking boom.

    Temple University Firings Bode Ill for Black Studies

    “Temple is a pivotal institution for African American Studies, and what’s happening there may be a bellwether” for other campuses, said Dr. James Turner, founding director of the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. The recent firings of professors Anthony Monteiro and Muhammad Ahmed (also known as Max Stanford) provoked intense opposition in North Philadelphia’s Black community, which also blames the university for encouraging gentrification.

    Obama, Deporter-in-Chief

    President Obama “must be made accountable” for deporting more immigrants than any other president in U.S. history, said Jesus Iniguez, of Presente, a Latino organization that claims 300,000 members. Obama doesn’t have much time left to save his legacy, said Iniguez. “The only thing that has evolved these past six years has been more intrusive and toxic laws” targeting immigrant communities.

    Afro-Colombians Displaced

    “The main demand of Afro-Colombians is land,” said Charo Mina-Rojas, director of the Afro-Colombian Women’s Human Rights Defender Project. “We have been living for centuries on this ancestral land” but are often forced out by paramilitaries and government soldiers in service of multinational corporations, she said. Colombia has the largest population of internally displaced persons in the world, most of them Black.

    Mumia on the Mother of All Death Sentences

    In a report filed for Prison Radio from Frackville State Prison, in Pennsylvania, political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal noted the 528 bulk death sentences imposed by an Egyptian court against members of the Muslim Brotherhood, “a group that has existed longer than Egypt’s government has been independent. It seems to me the war aint’ over,” said Abu Jamal.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/12/14

    U.S. Senate “Hypocrisy” Defeated Adegbile Nomination

    The U.S. Senate rejected President Obama’s nomination of NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyer Debo Adegbile to head the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, based on the LDF’s involvement in the defense of political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal. “This clear sends a chilling message in terms of who can be represented” by competent counsel in this country, said Linn Washington, a veteran Philadelphia reporter, Temple University journalism professor, and editor of the influential web site ThisCantBeHappening.net. Washington said some corporate journalists are envious of Abu Jamal, because he “knows more about what’s going on in the world than 95 percent of the journalists out there – and he doesn’t even have access to the Internet.”

    In Life or Death, You Can’t Trust Mississippi

    When the state coroner of Mississippi refused to do an autopsy on the body of Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, who died February 25, the family sought and found funds for an independent examination. The state’s action was not unusual, said Akinyele Umoja, a close Lumumba family confidant and chair of African American Studies at Georgia State University, because Black “lives are not considered that valuable” in Mississippi. Even if the state were willing to perform the autopsy, “there would still be questions, because it’s a matter of how much we trust them,” said Prof. Umoja. Some Black Mississippians believe Lumumba was assassinated.

    Lynne Stewart Shut Out of Medical Care

    A “bureaucratic morass” has prevented people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart from gaining access to Medicare or Medicaid since she left federal prison on compassionate release, December 31. Her husband and comrade, Ralph Poynter, said “we have been doing all the homeopathic things we can to beat this” Stage 4 breast cancer. However, Stewart has been told she can’t sign up for federal medical programs until July. “Welcome to America,” said Poynter.

    Black Youth More Valuable in Prison

    U.S. rulers “don’t want to supply jobs and education to inner city youth,” said Bonnie Kerness, of the American Friends Service Committee Prison Watch Project. “That 15 year-old in Newark is worth nothing on the streets to the United States economy.” However, “you put him behind bars and that kid is generating $30,000 a year” in contracts and wages for the prison industrial complex, said Kerness, author of the recent article, “Race and the Politics of Isolation in U.S. Prisons.”

    Bayside is Worst Prison in New Jersey

    Jean Ross, a lawyer and activist with the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress, said some of her clients would rather be put in solitary confinement than be transferred to Bayside State Prison, in the southern part of the state. “The explicitness of racial epithets and the expression of racial hatred seems to be much more pervasive” at Bayside, where vicious beatings are routine, said Ross.

    U.S. Proposed Another Coup in Haiti in 2010

    The United States backed the 2004 coup that overthrew Jean Bertrand-Aristide, the democratically elected president of Haiti, and then forced him into exile in Africa. Six years later, in 2010, the U.S. attempted to depose Haitian president Rene Preval, and force him out of the country, said Dan Beeton, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington. “Preval made clear he wasn’t going to be thrown out,” said Beeton, “but it was really diplomats from Brazil and Argentina who stopped this coup from happening.”

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    How Barack Obama Killed Trayvon Martin

    Tyrone R. Simpson II

    By bowing to police power, President Obama guaranteed that official carnage against Black people would continue. If he had “commented on any of the unjust ritualized murders that took the lives of Sean Bell (New York), Oscar Grant (Oakland), Kenneth Chamberlain (New York) or Troy Davis (Georgia), he would have brought the open season on black and brown men and women to a long awaited close.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/3/14

    “Jackson Rising” Conference Still Scheduled, Despite Mayor Lumumba’s Death

    Mayor Chokwe Lumumba’s “Jackson Rising” conference on how to move towards self-determination and participatory democracy “is still on” for May 2-4, according to Kali Akuno, a close aide to Lumumba. “We need the support of progressive and radical and revolutionary people throughout the United States to support us in fulfilling this mission,” said Akuno, who is also a veteran organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, co-founded by Lumumba in 1993. “If you really believe in the ‘Jackson-Kush Plan,’ then you have to understand it is going to take more than one individual to facilitate that.” Mayor Lumumba’s funeral is this Saturday.

    Texas Sheriff Widely Suspected in Mutilation Death of Black Man

    Sabine County authorities concluded that foul play was not a factor in the death, last November, of 28 year-old Alfred Wright, whose body was found with his eyes gouged out, his tongue severed from his mouth, teeth knocked out, and part of an ear missing. Attention has since focused on Sabine County Sheriff Tom Maddox and state police officers. “When you start looking at consistent lies and cover-up, not only by the sheriff’s department but by the Texas Rangers – we should all be concerned about that,” said Jeffrey L. Boney, associate editor of the Houston Forward Times, which has closely followed the case. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating Wright’s death.

    Political Motives Behind Anthony Monteiro Termination

    Community and campus activists in Philadelphia are pressing for reversal of Temple University’s effective firing of Dr. Anthony Monteiro, who served for ten years as an associate professor in the African American Studies Department. “As this country moves steadily to the right, the perception is that progressive forces on campuses need to be routed,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of African American Studies at the University of Houston. “To the extent that we don’t speak up for Tony Monteiro, professors like myself are only jeopardizing our own existence,” said Horne. The chair of African American Studies at Temple, Dr. Molefi Asante, was complicit in Dr. Monteiro’s termination.

    U.S. to be Confronted at UN on Torture by Solitary Confinement

    The United States will have to answer to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, next week, on its policies of mass solitary confinement of prisoners. Efia Wangaza, a member of the U.S. Human Rights Network’s delegation to Geneva, says the U.S. is not in compliance with three international treaties, including covenants against torture. This is “a follow-up to our previous work, in which we were able to challenge the United States on the existence of political prisoners,” said Wangaza, head of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination, in Greenville, South Carolina. She asks that listeners help pay the cost of the delegation’s on-site work in Geneva, by going to www.wmxp955.com.

    Confederate Flags in Kiev

    Washington is engaged in a global campaign of “subversion and destabilization at every level,” said Sara Flounders, of the International Action Center, in New York. The U.S. has long bankrolled protests by rightists in Venezuela, and brags of contributing $5 billion to “democracy” in Ukraine – “that’s really money for subversion,” said Flounders. “These are storm troopers” who “not only hung swastikas but also Confederate flags” in Kiev, where the U.S. is “pushing an extreme neo-Nazi, right-wing agenda.”

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    People's Benchmarks, People's Sovereignty: New Jersey’s Occupied School Districts

    by Michelle Renee Matisons and Seth Sandronsky

    New Jersey pioneered the practice of abolishing democracy in education through state takeovers of mostly minority school districts. “Not only was New Jersey the first U.S. state to implement school district takeover, it has some of the longest occupied districts in the nation.”  

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 2/10/14

    Obama Warps Black American Politics

    “Something has gone terribly wrong with African Americans under Barack Obama’s presidency, said former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. In Switzerland, recently, said McKinney, “diaspora Congolese asked me point-blank: ‘What’s wrong with Black people in the United States, that they are allowing this genocide in Congo to take place without saying a word?’” The 2008 Green Party presidential candidate described current Black American indifference to issues of peace and war an historical “aberration.”

    U.S. Empire of Global Destruction

    Since 9/11, U.S. foreign policy has been dedicated to the “destruction of states,” said Dr. Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, at Champaign, and author of Destroying Libya and World Order. In Syria, “the agenda is more than regime change; it is to destroy Syria as a state, along the lines of what the U.S. has already done to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Somalia,” said Dr. Boyle.

    Socialism Can Feed the World

    The planet is capable of feeding all of its people, but not under capitalist relations of production, said Arun Gupta, a contributor to Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA. Gupta, a co-founder of The Indypendent and the Occupied Wall Street Journal, advocates the spread of urban and smaller scale agriculture. “We have to get back to making local food systems primary, and then supplement it with larger scale production” where necessary.

    Bratton-de Blasio: Odd Couple?

    Robert Gangi, director of the Urban Justice Center’s Police Reform Organizing Project, is “encouraged” by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision not to appeal a federal court ruling on stop-and-frisk, and his appointment of a Deputy Commissioner for Collaborative Policing. Nevertheless, said Gangi, “we need to be vigilant that these steps are not window dressing.” However, the mayor’s recycling of Police Commissioner William Bratton is indefensible, said New Yorkers Against Bratton spokesman Josmar Trujillo. Bratton is “widely credited with being the Godfather of stop-and-frisk” and “already has blood on his hands” from his tour as commissioner in the Nineties, said Trujillo. With his Bratton appointment, de Blasio is attempting to “put a progressive sheen on a very right-wing vision.”

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    The “Smarter Sentencing Act”, Wishful Thinking and White House Fakery: Obama as Prison Reformer

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    As the Smarter Sentencing Act moves through Congress, President Obama masquerades as a prison reformer. In reality, the administration “has placed legal roadblocks in the way of release for thousands” and “has no intention of limiting the scope and powers of the Incarceration State.”

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    America on MLK’s Birthday: The Trifecta of Evils

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    If you think Dr. Martin Luther King would have mellowed with age, you haven’t been keeping track of the “triple evils” that he warned about. “The United States clearly leads the world in all three of Dr. King’s categories of evil.”

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    A Moral Outrage: Albert Woodfox's 41 Years in Solitary Confinement – An interview with Rev. Dr. Patricia Teel Bates

    by Angola 3 News

    One more to go. “Albert Woodfox remains the sole Angola 3 member still in prison.” His comrade, Herman Wallace, was released in October, just a few days before dying of liver cancer. Amnesty International declared, "Herman died a free man. Let's help Albert live as one."

    Freedom Rider: Prosecuting Black Victims

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Prosecutors go to bizarre lengths to put Black victims of police gunfire in prison. A young man blinded by a cop’s bullet may spend 35 years in prison. A unarmed, mentally ill man who was shot at by police faces 25 years behind bars because the cops wounded two bystanders. Who cares? “The black misleadership class are unconcerned with the plight of the people who are targeted by the system.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/6/14

    Lynne Stewart Rings in New Year on the “Outside”

    People’s lawyer Lynne Stewart called her New Year’s Eve compassionate release from a Texas federal prison a “true victory” of the people. The Obama administration “would not give an inch, and we would not give an inch, and it worked out in the end that they blinked,” said Stewart, who served four years of a ten-year sentence for zealously defending her client. “It’s a victory for the people because the people adopted me as their heroine. I’m determined to fight the cancer, I’m determined to become an activist again.” Stewart is battling Stage Four breast cancer.

    Human Rights” Needs Redefinition

    “The potential of the human rights ideal has been hijacked by western powers” to “justify their continued hegemony,” said Ajamu Baraka, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. What’s needed is a “people-centered” approach to human rights, one that rejects exploitation of humankind. So-called “humanitarian” military intervention under the doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) “is no more than a 21st century re-articulation of the White Man’s Burden,” said Baraka.

    Washington DC Moves Toward Pot Decriminalization

    The District of Columbia, which racks up more arrests of Black people for marijuana possession than any other major population center, will soon pass “one of the most progressive decriminalization bills in the country,” said Seema Sandanandan, program director for the Nation’s Capital chapter of the ACLU. The legislation would set the penalty for possession of an ounce or less of pot at a $25 civil citation. It would also forbid police from using the scent of marijuana as a pretext to search people, said Sandanandan.

    What NAFTA Has Wrought

    In the two decades since President Bill Clinton pushed his North American Free Trade Agreement through Congress, “NAFTA has completely devastated United States manufacturing,” causing the loss of five million jobs and tens of thousands of factories, said Alisa Simmons, field director of Public Citizens’ Global Trade Watch. The organization’s report, “NAFTA at 20,” details how “trade agreements are designed to serve corporations, not the people,” said Simmons. President Obama’s proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is shrouded in secrecy, is even worse: “NAFTA on steroids.”

    Assassination and Mass Killing in Congo

    Many Congolese suspect assassins killed popular army Col. Mamadou Ndala, who was considered a hero in the war against Rwandan-backed rebels, according to Kambale Musavuli, of Friends of Congo. Ndala was uncompromising in his pursuit of M-23 fighters, with whom the Congolese government signed yet another accord, late last year. In Kinshasa, the capital city, at least 100 youthful followers of a political preacher were killed by security forces after they seized a television station and accused President Joseph Kabila of being a “Rwandan imposter.” “The Congolese people are caught in a very vicious circle,” said Musavuli. “They have an illegitimate, oppressive government” and “neighbors who support and arm rebels.”

    Mumia on Winnie Mandela

    Nelson Mandela’s former wife Winnie, who was banned as a non-person during much of her husband’s long incarceration, was demonized after the end of formal apartheid “because she wouldn’t agree to a new political dispensation that left most Africans exploited,” said U.S. political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal. In a commentary titled “For the Love of Winnie,” Mumia wrote: “For millions and millions of people, her brilliance, her beauty and her courage were like a torch in the mountains. Indeed, she is adored.”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/2/13

    LA Schools Overrun by Cops

    The Los Angeles Unified School District is among the most heavily policed in the nation, with Black students 29 times more likely than white students to be charged with disturbing the peace. “Are they trying to set students up for success and education, or are they trying to set them up to go to prison?” asked Ashley Franklin, an organizer with the Labor Community Strategy Center and one of the authors of a report titled “Black, Brown and Over-Policed in LA Schools.” Despite the heavy hand of the law, students have organized throughout the district. “Our youth have read their history and they’re fighting back,” said Franklin.

    Charter Schools Increase Segregation

    Studies show the spread of charter schools exacerbates economic and racial segregation, said Stan Karp, of New Jersey’s Education Law Center. “Systematically, if you look at the demographics of the charter experiment, this is where you’re finding the increase in segregation, higher attrition rates, and the different populations that are being served,” said Karp, author of the recent Rethinking Schools article “How Charter Schools are Undermining Public Education.” The privatizers are deceiving inner city parents. “Investors and business interests have been able to attach their agenda for market reform in education to the urgent needs of communities that have not been well served by the existing system.”

    African People’s Socialist Party Holds 6th Congress

    The struggles – and defeats – of the Sixties must be put in context in order to chart a course towards liberation in the future, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, which holds its 6th Congress in St. Petersburg, Florida, December 7 – 11. “We had a movement that was crushed” by state repression and assassinations, and “we’re seeing the consequences of that defeat” in the corrupt Black leadership that has emerged over the past 40-plus years. “Occasional spontaneous outbreaks” of protest after incidents like the Trayvon Martin killing cannot “substitute for real revolutionary work,” said Yeshitela.

    Mumia: Where is Justice for the Living?

    Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, who is serving a life term in the 1981 death of a Philadelphia policeman, noted that the State of Alabama recently granted posthumous pardons to the 9 Scottsboro Boys, convicted in a 1931 “rape that never happened.” Meanwhile, the four Black women and five men of the Move 9 are in the 35th year of prison sentences in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. “In 2058, will a future governor declare them pardoned, and grant them symbolic justice?” asked Abu Jamal, with deep sarcasm. “Justice delayed is still justice denied.”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 10/28/13

    Bankers and State Owe Detroit

    Instead of figuring out ways to strip Detroit of its assets to pay banks, the courts should force bankers and the state to repay the city hundreds of millions owed. “Some of the main creditors have been bogus, complicated interest rate swaps by banks who overcharged hundreds of millions of dollars of interest,” said community activist Debra Taylor. “If anything, that needs to be renegotiated.” Taylor said the city was also denied $224 million in revenue sharing funds when the state arbitrarily changed the payment formula.

    Obama Schemes to Cut Social Security

    President Obama has “enabled” the assault on Social Security and other entitlement programs since his first days in office, said independent journalist Arun Gupta, a co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal. The president has long sought an austerity “Grand Bargain” with Republicans, but has been stymied by GOP reluctance to cut a deal. “The U.S. has become so dysfunctional, in terms of its political system,” said Gupta, “it seems the most you can hope for is gridlock.”

    Who Stopped Stop-and-Frisk?

    Opposition to stop-and-frisk is now all but mandatory among New York City Democrats. But, that wasn’t the case two years ago, when Carl Dix and others began a civil disobedience campaign under the Stop Stop-and-Frisk banner. “Things like stop-and-frisk were not front-burner issues” back then, said Dix. “The question of torture in prison was something hardly anyone knew anything about. We thought that waging a mass resistance movement was a key way to bring these issue front and center.”

    Hi-Tech Corporations Behind National Surveillance State

    A new study shows the high-tech industrial sector uses its campaign contributions to bolster congressional and White House support for the national surveillance state. “It’s really a giant interest-group issue,” said Dr. Thomas Ferguson, professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, at Boston, and an author of the report. “These are industries that we’d already identified as uniquely friendly to Obama,” based on campaign contributions.

    U.S. Facilitates Congo Genocide

    Six million Congolese have died since neighboring Rwanda and Uganda invaded the country in 1996, said Maurice Carney, director of Friends of Congo. Speaking at the 7th anniversary celebration of Black Agenda Report, at New York City’s historic Riverside Church, Carney said “these crimes could not be committed without the backing of the United States and the protection of its allies, Uganda and Rwanda.” How could Washington call for military action in Syria and Libya, where thousands were at risk, Carney asked, “when you’re not even willing to take diplomatic action in Congo, where we’re talking about millions?” It all depends on whether “one values Black life, or not.”

    Organize!” says Danny Glover

    Actor and political activist Danny Glover called for a “reinvigoration of the idea of democracy.” Speaking at a fundraiser for Benton Harbor, Michigan’s Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO), the TransAfrica Forum chairman said: “It is important that people are active in the process. We need to organize!”

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    Blacks & Drones

    by BAR editor and columnist Jemima Pierre

    Two organizations that give qualified support to U.S. adventures abroad, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have issued reports critical of civilian deaths by American drone strikes. However, U.S. foreign policy is rooted in domestic practice. “U.S. Blacks have long been placed within a disposition matrix better known as ‘stop-n-frisk’ and they have long been the victims of normalized state assassination.”

    Freedom Rider: Aaron Alexis, Miriam Carey and John Constantino

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The recent, strange and very public deaths of three Black people in the nation’s capital have spawned silly and useless conspiracy theories. The real conspiracies against African Americans are writ much larger: the forced bankruptcy of Detroit, school charterization and mass Black incarceration.

    Lynne Stewart: The People’s “First Responder”

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The rich have unlimited capital and all the resources of the State, which they control. “The poor and oppressed have only themselves – and a few precious ‘first responders’ of our own, like Lynne Stewart, the people’s lawyer.” Lynne Stewart celebrated her 74th birthday on October 8.

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    We Must Open Our Eyes to America’s Political Prisoners

    by Danny Pforte

    The United States, with by far the largest prison population in the world, denies that it holds even one person for political reasons. In reality, the very size and ferocity of the American Gulag sends a clear political message to all: “challenging the US imperial order, or merely being disruptive to the dictates of private property, can lead to human disappearance.”

    Living Under the Cloud of Stop-and-Frisk in Washington DC

    by Seema Sadanandan

    Black children in poorer sections of the Nation’s Capitol grow up under constant hyper-surveillance of police. The armed occupation of their communities is anything but benign. “A community’s desire to be free from crime is not an invitation to treat all men in that community as suspects.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 8/28/13

    NSA Could Ensnare Anyone in National Security Trap

    “Every single person in this country owes Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning a debt of gratitude,” said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, renowned whistleblower and a founder of the No FEAR Coalition. The NSA program that tracks human networks endangers all Americans, said Coleman-Adebayo, “because everyone is only a person or two or three or four away from being implicated in some scheme that the National Security State comes up with.” She called Bradley Manning’s 35-year prison sentence for exposing government secrets an example of growing “tyranny.”

    Ray Kelly’s Rise Halted By Stop-and-Frisk Ruling

    It is highly unlikely that New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly will be appointed head of Homeland Security, said Robert Gangi, of the Police Reform Organizing Project of the Urban Justice Center. A federal court found that the city’s stop-and-frisk practices routinely violate the constitutional rights of Blacks and Latinos. “There is now a big black eye on the face of New York City policing,” said Gangi. “Ray Kelly is no longer the iconic law enforcement figure he was a short two years ago.”

    Black Is Back Coalition Magnifies Grassroots Forces

    The betrayals and predations of the Black Misleadership Class can be overcome by out-organizing them. “Our objective is to replace that misleadership, not just to complain about it,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Black is Back seeks to “provide the ability for all of these” grassroots organizations “to come together and to magnify their presence many times over,” said Yeshitela. The coalition recently held its national conference in Harlem.

    Cornel West on Obama and the New Jim Crow

    The Obama administration seems to believe it is immune from effective Black criticism. “It’s sad to see us pimped like that,” said Dr. Cornel West, the activist and academic currently based at Union Theological Seminary, in New York. “All of our suffering is rendered invisible because they know we will be highly protective of them.” The administration has “that kind of power, that kind of bully pulpit, but they can’t say a mumbling word about the New Jim Crow – and they’ve been in office for five years. That’s disgusting!” Dr. West spoke on the latest edition of Black Agenda TV.

    Nursing Students Charge Fraud in Philadelphia

    Six Black women, who call themselves the Liberation of Students Rights Group of Philadelphia, charge the now defunct St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing cheated them out of $22,000 each and a year of their lives. Sabrina Whitaker said she and her fellow students, all college graduates at the time, had heard that the school had a Black dean, and “wanted to work in an area that was African American.” But the school turned out to be unaccredited. “We had to share gloves, we had to share needles when learning how to do IVs,” said Whitaker. The women hope to prevail in court, to prove that “if you keep fighting, keep striving for what you believe in, your dream too can come true.”

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    Expect “Massive Resistance” to Stop-and-Frisk Ruling

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    A federal court ruling against New York City’s stop-and-frisk practices says, essentially: “There are to be no ‘Constitution-free zones’” where Blacks can be treated as lesser citizens. However, the entire American political establishment is committed to racial surveillance and mass Black incarceration. That’s why “the ruling will be met with massive resistance reminiscent of the official southern white reaction to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court school desegregation decision.”

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