Gaddafi Death Puts U.S. on More Aggressive Course in Africa
“Gaddafi was slaughtered. There was no attempt to utilize the rule of law” by the NATO-backed Libyan rebels, said Prof. Vijay Prashad, director of international studies at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. “Are we going to see the same kind of retribution and bloodbath in the short term which we have already seen over the past two months?” Prashad thinks the U.S. has gained “renewed confidence in operating militarily on the African continent,” and can be expected to behave more aggressively in the future. Kenya, which recently sent a large force of troops into Somalia, “would never have moved without a [U.S.] go-ahead.”
The FBI’s “Industrial Strength” Racial Profiling Campaign
Under the guise of ferreting out national security threats, the FBI is systematically “mapping” Black, brown and Muslim communities, said Michael Germain, of the American Civil Liberties Union. For example, an October, 2009, Atlanta FBI office “threat alert” on supposed “Black separatist” activity actually “tracks census data to show the growth of the Back community” in the Atlanta area. “The Bureau uses such hypothetical ‘threats’” as “justification for collecting information on what they call racial and ethnic behavior,” said Germain. These “mapping” practices amount to “industrial strength racial profiling” of entire communities.
Direct Action to Stop Stop-and-Frisk
With police stop-and-frisks of New Yorkers on track to exceed 700,000 this year, local activists and volunteers from the ranks of Occupy Wall Street descended on the “worst” police precinct in Harlem. Thirty-three were arrested, including Princeton professor Cornel West and Rev. Stephen Phelps, interim senior minister of historic Riverside Church. “We can’t simply observe these wrong systems, we have to put ourselves on the line,” said Rev. Phelps. “Direct action is the best way to bring this to light.” Prof. West said a focus on stop-and-frisk allows the movement to “make the connection between this arbitrary police power and how it ties in with corporate greed, Wall Street…the military-industrial complex.”
Occupy All of the Hoods
“It’s critical for us to participate now” in the Occupy Wall Street movement, “and strike while the iron is hot,” said Jamal Crawford, an activist with Occupy the Hood, Boston. “Our people have been organizing around these issues for decades, at a minimum. If white people are upset about unemployment, imagine how average Black people feel when our rates are double, and in some cases triple or quadruple.” If the OWS movement were “purely a group of the worst affected, it would be a lot Blacker and browner.”
Workers’ Interests Not Necessarily the Same as Democrats
Organizers of the Million Worker March of 2004 endorsed the Occupy Wall Street movement. Clarence Thomas, of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10, in the San Francisco Bay Area, recalls that seven years ago unions and the Democratic Party “wanted the working class to get behind the election of John Kerry, to the denial of the workers agenda.” Since then, “the crisis has intensified and it is global. That’s why it is so critical that we find a way to connect to this movement.”
Newark Union Joins POP for “Peace, Jobs, Equality and Justice”
Local 108 of the retail workers union has assumed responsibility for some of the daily protests mounted by Newark, New Jersey’s Peoples Organization for Progress (POP). Local president Charles Hall said his members “will go to the finish line” with POP, which is in its 121st day of demonstrations for “Peace, Jobs, Equality and Justice” – and has vowed to keep it up for 381 days, the duration of the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott. “We all need to come together,” said Hall. Days later, the Newark Teachers Association joined the campaign.
NPR Faulted in DC Protester’s Firing
Lisa Simeone, a freelance host for an opera show aired on National Public Radio stations, was fired after taking part in October2011 demonstrations at Washington DC’s Freedom Plaza. NPR was “frantically trying to get her out of work because they were beginning to get right-wing criticism,” said activist and writer David Swanson, publisher of the influential web site War Is A Crime. “NPR goes out of its way to kiss up to corporations and the extremely wealthy, who fund it.”
Imprison George Bush for Torture Crimes
The New York based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Canadian Centre for International Justice have teamed up to force Canada to bring charges against former president George Bush. The legal teams have provided Canada’s attorney general with a 65-page indictment of Bush and 4,000 pages of evidence, CCR senior attorney Katherine Gallagher, in hopes that Ottowa will do its duty as a signatory to the international Convention Against Torture. If not, they will initiate a private prosecution of Bush, and ultimately take the issue to the United Nations.