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Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 30, 2017

Obamacare is Doomed; It’s Time for Single Payer

Instead of attempting to salvage the doomed and fatally flawed Affordable Healthcare Act, progressives should seize the time and push for single payer health care, said pediatrician and political activist Dr. Margaret Flowers. “Eighty percent of Democratic voters want a single payer health care system, and now polls are showing that even Republicans, particularly those with lower incomes, are moving into majority support for National Improved Medicare for All.” The push, however, must come from the people, not the Democrats. “Even Sen. Sanders has backed down and is saying, Let’s protect the Affordable Care Act now and we’ll fight for single payer later,” said Flowers. The HOPE campaign -- “Health Over Profit for Everyone” -- begins February 1.

On Reparations, It’s Not a Question of “If,” but “How”

There’s been a substantive change in H.R. 40, the Reparations legislation Rep. John Conyers has introduced every year since 1989. Originally, the bill called for a study of whether Black Americans had been injured by slavery and Jim Crow. But now, according to Kamm Howard, chairman of the legislative committee of N’COBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, the bill “begins with the focus that reparations are due, and how does this government engage in reparative initiatives.” He said the 2001 United Nations World Conference on Racism, in Durban, South Africa, made clear the enslaving nations’ “obligation to make repairs” to descendants of the victims. Howard helped Rep. Conyers’ staff reframe the legislation.

Will Democrats Help Trump Renegotiate NAFTA?

“If President Trump wants to enact a renegotiated NAFTA, he’s going to have to work with the Democrats to figure out how to build a majority” on Capitol Hill, “which will be comprised of most of the Democrats and a handful of Republicans,” said Lori Wallach, director of Global Trade Watch for Public Citizen. President Bill Clinton pushed the NAFTA corporate trade deal through Congress against the wishes of majorities of Democrats. “The reality is, you will never get a majority of the Republicans in Congress to change the old NAFTA,” said Wallach. NAFTA might not end in a renegotiation. “If President Trump continues to be so disrespectful to other world leaders,” Mexico or the U.S. might simply withdraw from NAFTA.

Courtrooms as Political Forums

Veteran Black activist Efia Nwangaza had been looking forward to a jury trial on charges of blocking a Greenville, South Carolina, intersection two years ago to protest a Missouri grand jury’s failure to indict the cop that killed Michael Brown, in Ferguson. However, Greenville authorities dropped the charges the day before her trial, depriving Nwangaza of the opportunity to put on a political defense. “The purpose of the demonstration was to call attention to police impunity and their slaughtering of us from one end of the country to the other,” said Nwangaza, director of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination and a leader of the state’s Stop Mass Incarceration Network. With the courtroom venue no longer available, Nwangaza and her defense team will now bring the issues before a people’s tribunal and “strengthen the cause that has been advanced by the Uhuru Movement for Black community control of the police.”

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 January 23, 2017

Irrationality Reigns: After All the Lies, Some Folks Still Believe the CIA

Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party’s vice 2016 presidential candidate, said he is appalled at the spectacle of “progressives” and even self-styled radicals “parroting the Democratic line that the Russians are a threat” to U.S. democracy.  This new McCarthyism is “a strange diversion” and “a demonstration of the irrationality of politics in the U.S,” said Baraka, who is also an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. It represents “the complete abandonment of critical thought, embracing the State and propping up the intelligence agencies as authoritative sources even after the years of deception, disinformation, and psychological operations that we know is the modus operandi of the CIA. It is absolutely bizarre.”

Blacks Should Stop ‘Hitch-Hiking’ with the Democrats

Black people made political alliances “with whoever came along -- like a hitchhiker,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “When you catch a ride as a hitchhiker, you’ve got to go wherever the driver is going. That’s what being with the Democratic Party was about, and we are determined that that mess is over.” The Black is Back Coalition makes alliances based on the principles of Black self-determination and opposition to imperialism – which is why it has held together since the first year of the Obama administration. “Trump is president because of the crisis in the imperialist system,” said Yeshitela.

Poor People’s Campaign Tackles MLK’s Unfinished Work

The scourge of poverty has increased since the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968 was interrupted by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said Willie Baptist, a veteran of the welfare and homeless movements, and now an organizer of the 21st century version of the campaign. “Poverty has gotten worse, with huge sections of the middle strata being rendered homeless and a good section of the poor rendered superfluous,” said Baptist, now based in New York City at the Union Theological Seminary’s Kairos Center. Changes in technology are “not just saving labor, it’s actually eliminating labor,” he said. “The world’s productive capacity totally outweighs its purchasing capacity. As a result, you have poverty in the midst of plenty.”

Afro-Colombian Leader Beheaded

Rightwing paramilitaries are suspected in the murder of Emilsen Manyoma, a leader of a network of Black and indigenous community organizations. “Her assassination was a response to the work she was doing, defending the rights of Black people,” said Charo Mina-Rojas, an Afro-Colombian political activist who reports that over 200 Black and indigenous leaders were killed last year, despite a peace agreement between the government and FARC guerillas. Blacks and natives in Ms. Manyoma’s region are under pressure from coca producers and illegal mine operators and their gunmen.

Where Did All the Black and Latino Teachers Go?

Back in 2002, 27.2 percent of the teachers hired by the New York City public schools were Black or Latino. By 2012, the proportion had shrunk to 11.6 percent. What happened? “When you look at what’s been going on for the past 15 years, you see a picture that requires people to point to the real causes of the disappearances, and to change those policies,” said Sean Ahern, a political activist who teaches juvenile prisoners at the giant Rikers Island jail. Ahern blames the drop in minority teachers on “mayoral control” of the schools, “high stakes testing, school closings, charter school push-ins” -- essentially, the whole program of so-called “reform” that was pushed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and championed by the Obama administration.

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 January 16, 2017

The Democrats: Serving the One Percent, Blaming the Russians

The Democrats are using the Russians as a scapegoat to avoid confronting “the rightwing Wall Street-captive party that they’ve become,” said activist and educator Paul Street, author of several books on President Barack Obama. Essentially, Democrats are saying, “It’s not that we’re a rightwing, corporate, neoliberal party beholden to the nation’s unelected dictatorship of money and empire. It’s not that we abandoned the working class and the causes of social justice and peace decades ago.” Speaking at the Open University of the Left, in Chicago, Street said Donald Trump did not ride to victory on a “big rust belt rebellion of the white working class.” The real story “is that the Democrats lost those voters to non-voting.”

When Capitalism Gets Sick, the Democrats Get Mean

The Democratic Party’s sharp turn to the right is its response to the “existential crisis at the core of capitalism,” a global phenomenon that has left the ruling class and its servants with “hardly any space to reform the system,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Philadelphia-based Duboisian scholar and activist. With “no room to maneuver,” the capitalists resort increasingly to war and repression. “Monopoly capitalism must be undone, the banks broken up, and a large part of them nationalized,” said Monteiro. “In other words,” there must be “a profound and fundamental end to the neoliberal order, globally; a retreat from empire and war; and a seizing of the military budget and turning it towards economic development, jobs and a green economy.”

Political Prisoners Under Pressure in Indiana

Khalfani Malik Khaldun, serving time at Wabash Valley prison, in Indiana, said officials have carried out “a series of raids on targeted political prisoners,” including himself. Khaldun was told by “top brass” that they consider him to be the facility’s “most influential” inmate and are pressuring him to use that influence to “stop the proliferation of meth, a synthetic drug spreading throughout the prison.” Otherwise, “they had orders to put me and ten of my comrades in solitary confinement,” where he is now housed. Khaldun said prison officials “are making me out to be running some form of drug ring, in an attempt to destroy my political credibility as an activist on the inside.”

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 January 9, 2017

Rally in DC for Black Self-Determination

Self-determination is the “missing ingredient” in contemporary Black politics, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The Coalition will hold a rally on January 14 at Freedom Plaza, on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, to advance “an independent Black agenda for our people, and not have us joined at the hip to the Democratic Party.” The time is ripe for a Black self-determinationist strategy, said Yeshitela, because “the Democrats, the Republicans, and the electoral process, itself, have fallen into disrepute.”

Reforming the Green Party

“We have to take our movement away from the non-profits, and the only way we can do that is if we can transform the Green Party into something more like the working class, socialist parties overseas,” said Georgia Green Party co-chair Bruce Dixon, speaking on a telephone call-in with party members across the country. “All of these parties are based on membership dues,” with their officers accountable to the membership -- something our current Green Party does not do,” said Dixon, who is also managing editor of Black Agenda Report. Some members warned that a dues structure might discourage involvement of low-income people, while others cautioned against “infiltration” of the Party by other groups. The Green Party garnered only about one percent of the vote in November.

Judge Orders Hep-C Cure for Mumia

A federal judge ruled that, within three weeks, Pennsylvania prison officials must begin administering a Hepatitis-C cure to the nation’s best known political prisoner. Atty. Bob Boyle, of Mumia Abu Jamal’s legal team, told BAR producer Kyle Fraser: “This judge ruled that the 8th Amendment guarantees people in prison adequate health care under the ‘cruel and inhuman treatment’ clause.” Boyle said “upwards of 40 percent of the prisoners in the Pennsylvania system have chronic Hepatitis-C,” and could benefit from the ruling.

Mumia Abu Jamal suffered a near-death crisis in mid-2015 due to complications from the disease. When told of the judge’s ruling, he urged activists to “spread the word, because this is not what the Commonwealth wants people to know about -- that they engage in unconstitutional medical practices designed, not to cure, and not even to treat,” a deadly illness. “Here we have a cure, and the government of Pennsylvania refused to give it to thousands of people for years, until they got to the brink of death.”

Rev. Edward Pinkney Appeals for Help

“I was convicted with absolutely no evidence, no witness, no confession, no crime scene, by an all-white jury,” said human rights activist Rev. Edward Pinkney, serving his second stint in prison for helping Black people in Benton Harbor, Michigan, effectively exercise their right to vote. “I was given the death penalty for a 68 year-old man: 30 months in the prison system, with absolutely no evidence.” Pinkney has already served 25 months of his current sentence. “I am an innocent man, threatened, tried Nazi-style and convicted in an effort to isolate and silence me against the power of the land-grabbing, job outsourcing, blood-sucking, criminal Whirlpool Corporation, that has its headquarters in Benton Harbor. I need the people’s help,” said Pinkney. He can be contacted at the Muskegon state prison, inmate #294671.

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 January 2, 2017

Obama, Trump, Clinton, Bush – They All Serve the Same Masters

When Donald Trump recently stated a willingness to escalate the arms race, it caused a great media stir. But President Obama set in motion a trillion dollar nuclear weapons upgrade with barely a peep from the corporate press. “It really shows that it’s the U.S. system, it’s the Pentagon as a military institution, and corporations that must expand or they suffocate,” that are the source of endless war policies, said Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition. “Although the media always acts like there is a choice, that there are huge differences” between the candidates of the two major parties, “both carry out the interests of U.S. corporate power.”

Haitians Take to Streets to Defy U.S. – and Americans Should Do the Same

Jovenel Moise, the rightwing candidate that elections officials claim won 55 percent of the vote in a four-way presidential race, “is the individual that the United States understands will continue the plunder, the pillaging that they’ve been doing in Haiti,” said Daoud Andre, a Brooklyn-based Haitian community activist and radio host. Charging the November 20 vote was rigged, tens of thousands of Haitians have engaged in nearly daily protests. U.S. progressives should take note, and “not take on Donald Trump from a defensive position,” said Andre. “I think we have to go back to the militant movements of the Sixties, movements for people to take their destinies in their own hands. We cannot be afraid of a clown. These are paper tigers.”

Obama’s “Legacy”: A Boon for the Rich

“We are in a ‘post-hope’ era,” BreakingBrown.com publisher Yvette Carnell told Counterpunch Radio host Eric Draitser. “He saved the financial industry and neutralized working people’s politics, especially Black politics, and left us far worse off than we were before he came.” The outgoing president “was a creature of Wall Street and finance capital from the beginning,” said fellow guest Pascal Robert, a lawyer and frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report. “He had complete control of the Senate and the House” but “expended no political capital to push a jobs agenda at any time in his presidency.”

Milwaukee Cops Pressure Panther Feed-the-People Program

Activists and parents say Milwaukee police hit a 10 year-old girl in the face while targeting a community feeding program operated by the Revolutionary Black Panther Party, last week. “This is the first time since the 1960s that they have attacked a Black Panther food program,” said Dr. Alli Muhammad, Chief General Commander of the RBPP. The police seem angered that the Panther group held an armed march -- legal, under Wisconsin law -- and organized an African Holocaust Human Rights Tribunal, the week before. “It appears that they are trying to intimidate the people, to make them afraid to support us,” said Dr. Muhammad.

Mumia on the “Magic of Black Music”

The nation’s best known political prisoner noted the passing of Sharon Jones, lead singer for Dap-Kings, and British pop star George Michael. “It was in the magical realm of music that Black folks found their closest vision of freedom -- to be, to become, themselves,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, in a commentary for Prison Radio. Of George Michael, he said: “Black musical beats and rhythms liberated him, freed him to be his self, because in Black music one finds that yearning for freedom.”

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 December 26, 2016

Greens Vs. Lesser-Evilism

The Green Party must learn how to “differentiate ourselves from the Democrats.” Otherwise, said Dr. Margaret Flowers, the party’s recent candidate for U.S. Senate from Maryland, “If Trump runs again, it will be another ‘anybody-but Trump’ year, and whoever the Democrats throw up there, no matter how bad, will be considered better than Trump” -- and we’ll have the same old problem. “If we, ourselves embrace ‘lesser-evilism,’ then it only makes sense for other people to do that, as well.” Dr. Flowers said Green presidential candidate Jill Stein failed to think “strategically” before launching her voter recount effort, which was ultimately an expression of lesser-evilism.

Police Reformer Weighs Run for NYC Mayor, Cites Courts Full of “Crap” Cases

When Robert Gangi, director of the Police Reform Organizing Project, sends observers into the New York City court system, they see mainly “crap cases” based on minor offenses rarely, “if ever, involving anyone who we could possibly characterize as being dangerous or predatory.” Gangi said the court dockets prove “the cops are engaged in blatantly racist practices that do little, if anything, to contribute to public safety, and that do harm to people.” He’s considering running for mayor as a “protest candidate” against Bill de Blasio, who has bought into an intrusive and aggressive “Broken Windows” policing policy.

Technology Makes Universal, Quality Employment Possible – But Not Under Capitalism

“The task right now, is how we rethink work, rethink distribution, and rethink ownership –- fundamentally,” said Dr. J. Phillip Thompson, professor of Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Speaking on a podcast hosted by Dr. Michael Dawson, the nation’s premier Black social demographer and director of the University of Chicago’s Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, Dr. Thompson said President Obama missed the chance in 2008 to “use the takeover of General Motors as an opportunity to change ownership or the way manufacturing happens in America.” Thompson said studies show it would cost $600-$700 billion a year “to gainfully employ every able-bodied person in the U.S.” at a good job paying about $50,000 annually –- about one-twentieth of the cost of Obama’s bailout of the financial industry.

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 December 5, 2016

Donald Trump’s Corporate Bait-and-Switch

A new report by Public Citizen shows 70 percent of Donald Trump’s presidential transition “landing team” members are affiliated with corporations. Trump’s rank-and-file supporters should be “furious that here we have corporate insider after corporate insider taking over the administration,” said Public Citizen research director Rick Claypool. Steven Mnuchin, the former Goldman Sachs banker slated to become Secretary of the Treasury, “is the appointment we would expect a president to have picked, if he intends to forge a plutocratic alliance” with Wall Street, said Claypool, who warned: “We can expect a return to the kind of Wild West of anything goes risk-taking that led to the 2008 crisis.”

A Movement Sorely in Need of Science

“The importance of the discussion of analysis has grown since the election,” said Nandita Chaturvedi, one of the organizers of a conference on Revolutionary Science for Radical Times, December 9 and 10, at Philadelphia’s Church of the Advocate.  “You see that there is so much confusion on the left, and you see activists that are aligning with the liberal media and aligning with the Clinton machinery.” Without a disciplined political analysis, social movements lose their moorings. “In order to see clearly what we are trying to oppose, and what is the system that we are dismantling, I think analysis is really needed,” said Chaturvedi.

RICO Prosecutions as a Tool of Gentrification

“They came to my house in the pre-dawn hours with all the elements of war,” said Paula, mother of one of 120 young men swept up in a police raid centered on two housing projects in The Bronx, last April, and charged with a wide range of crimes under RICO conspiracy laws. It was the biggest such sweep in New York City history -- larger than a raid that netted 103 youths from two Harlem housing projects, in 2014. Paula has withheld her last name in fear of retaliation against her son, whose mental health has deteriorated under solitary confinement. “They are not mafia, as they are charged under RICO,” she said. “None of these youth had arsenals of firearms.” Most had no money for defense lawyers. Paula sees the raids as part of gentrification pressures to empty public housing. Many of the mothers, she said, “have their sons in jail and, at the same time, they’re going through an eviction process.

U.S. is Lying Aggressor in Syria...

The United States has no right to interfere in the affairs of other countries, period, said BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley, speaking to a gathering of the Hands Off Syria Coalition, last week. The U.S. carries out regime change under the guise of “humanitarian” intervention to “protect” people from their own government, but “the claim is always a lie, a ruse to make real the Project for a New American Century,” said Kimberley, who is also active with UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “The United States never has a humanitarian purpose in mind, in Syria or anyplace else -- any more so than it does here at home.”

...Just Like in Libya and Iraq

Michael Sampson, a co-founder of the Florida-based Dream Defenders who is now a labor organizer in the Washington, DC area, was among those that testified at a People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War, December 1 and 2, at the University of DC Law School. “The same tanks, the same police equipment, the same tear gas canisters that the war profiteers are spending billions of dollars on, are being thrown on the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore and Milwaukee and Charlotte,” said Sampson. “The wars that occur everywhere are all connected to war at home -- the war on working class people and Black and brown people. All these movements must connect. The people who colonized Iraq are the same people who colonized African Americans, here.” The Real News Network covered both days of testimony, live.

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 Nov 28, 2016

GOP Plans Stealth Attack on Medicare

Republicans in Congress have “never really liked Social Security or Medicare” because the programs “work and they completely go against the ideology that the private sector is always better,” said Nancy Altman, co-director of Social Security Works. The GOP will act “in the dead of night, so the people don’t know what’s happening,” and sneak a privatization bill into a “reconciliation” measure that “the Democrats can’t filibuster,” Altman predicted. “They want to give seniors and people with disabilities a check and say, ‘Good luck, go out and get private insurance.’”

What Do You Mean by Identity Politics?

Lots of people talk about how “identity politics affected the election, but the term is never specifically defined,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston. “As you tease out the rhetoric, it appears to suggest that organizations like Black Lives Matter is identity politics, and people protesting against being shot down in the streets by officers of the state is identity politics.” The only good news to come out of the election, said Horne, “is that Donald J. Trump will probably prove to be the Gorbachev of the United States of America” by accelerating the decline of U.S. imperialism and white supremacy.

2016 was Bound to be a Bad Year

The “panic and hysteria” of some Hillary Clinton supporters “is really very childish,” said Diana Johnstone, author of Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton. “The fact is, there wasn’t going to be a good outcome to that election, anyway; you had two terrible candidates, so you should have been prepared for that.” The Democrats crazily search for Russians behind every web site. “The idea that Russia interfered with the election is absolutely absurd,” said Johnstone, speaking from her home in Paris. “It sounds to me like they’ve decided they’re going to make war against Russia -- and they’re all into that,” including the media.

President Obama’s Hollow Legacy

Barack Obama was “beloved” by large numbers of Black people, but it was a one-way affair. “Politicians score points with white people by assuring them they’re not going to do anything for Black people, and Obama was no exception,” said Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley. “In order to win, Black people have to be thrown under the bus.” Obama “gave white people a message that he would not in any way upset the status quo,” said Kimberley, speaking on the Taylor Report on CUIT radio, in Toronto, Canada. “His is a hollow legacy.” Hillary Clinton lost because “you can’t transfer one person’s popularity to another.”

Peltier on Standing Rock Protests

One thousand people took part in the 47th annual Native American National Day of Mourning, last Thursday, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Placards declared “We Are Not Vanishing” and “We Are Not Conquered,” as an Elder read a message from political prisoner Leonard Peltier, the American Indian Movement activist who has been locked up for the past 41 years. The Standing Rock protests “are the greatest gathering of our people in history, and has made us more connected than every before,” said Peltier. “Water is life, and we cannot leave this issue to our children and grandchildren.”

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 Oct 24, 2016

20 Years of Genocide in Congo

Friends of Congo marked the 20th anniversary of the invasion and genocide that has killed at least six million Congolese with an all-day event at Thoughtworks, in New York City. “We’re not just fighting against our own government,” said Nita Evele, of the Congo Global Action Coalition. “We’re fighting against our neighboring countries” in the Great Lakes region of the continent “who figured out that they can make tons of money by helping the big multinationals and the big powers, the United States, France and Canada,” who are allied with the invaders, Rwanda and Uganda.

The Black Panther Party at 50, Bobby Seale at 80

On the same weekend that the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding, in Oakland, California, hundreds gathered to roast and toast former Party chairman Bobby Seale on his 80th birthday. Seale put forward a far less revolutionary version of the Party’s origins and history. “When we went out there to patrol the police, it was a tactic to capture the imagination of the people,” he told the crowd. However, it was Seale’s intent all along to “organize a political-electoral unit and to take over some of these damn cities. My objective was to get more Black politicians, and that’s what happened.” Seale also supports Hillary Clinton for president.

Better a Dog Than Clinton for President, Says Haiti Activist

“The only reason that Hillary Clinton is not in jail; the only reason that the Clinton Foundation is not shut down, is precisely because they are protected by the highest levels of government,” said Daoud Andre, a Haitian community activist and radio host in New York City. Andre said the Clintons have stolen billions from the Haitian people. “It’s like Barack Obama gave Haiti to the Clintons as a gift,” he said. “With regard to this election, whatever is able to stop Hillary Clinton, we have to support that; if it’s a dog running against Hillary Clinton, you have to vote for that dog because of the harm that this family has caused to our people.”

Theater in the Service of the Struggle

The National Black Theater, in New York’s Harlem, hosted a radical political theatrical production titled “Survival Crimes,” produced by the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC). The plot focuses on two current cases:  Mumia Abu Jamal’s legal battle to force the state of Pennsylvania to provide medical treatment for the thousands of prison inmates suffering from Hepatitis C, including himself; and the arrest in The Bronx of 120 people on gang-related conspiracy charges -- the biggest such roundup in New York City history. Activist Kyle Fraser said the play points out the “theatrics of the state, swooping in with helicopters to this neighborhood, using Shock and Awe tactics,” and perverting the rule of law in the Pennsylvania prison system.

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 October 3, 2016

Clinton is Far More Anti-Crime Than Pro-Justice

When Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton clashed over stop-and-frisk at their first televised debate, Clinton only weakly addressed “the idea of racial justice,” but instead “went immediately to the idea of effectiveness” of stop-and-frisk as a crime-fighting tool. “If a program infringes on civil liberties and violates the Constitution, it doesn’t matter at all if it’s effective or ineffective,” said Chip Gibbons, policy and legislative counsel for the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. If, however, the purpose of a policy is “to terrorize people of color, then I supposed you can make an argument that stop-and-frisk is effective in doing that,” said Gibbons.

Trump Not the Only Neo-Fascist Running for President

Hillary Clinton’s “worldview and her policies are just as dangerous as Donald Trump’s,” said Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party’s vice presidential candidate. Lots of folks “talk about the coming of neo-fascism under Donald Trump, but don’t understand that the foundation for neo-fascism has already been created under the Obama administration -- and for some of us, in our communities, we have already been subjected to neo-fascist repression.” In Syria, both Clinton and Trump “are committed to the use of military force to advance the interests of the U.S,” said Baraka.

Candidates “Tone-Deaf” to Inner City Demands

“Our big concern was that the presidential candidates were tone-deaf to the avalanche of organizing and fightback against corporate education interventions that are targeting Black and brown neighborhoods all over the United States,” said Jitu Brown, of the Journey for Justice Alliance, representing 40,000 activists in community organizations in 24 cities. The Alliance demands “real, comprehensive equality in education” and a national moratorium on school charters. “We will not give folks the pass that President Obama got,” said Brown.

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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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