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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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Black Agenda Radio for Week of March 14, 2016

“Billionaires” Fund Defamation of Public Schools, Teachers

A poll commissioned by In The Public Interest shows Americans still hold public schools and teachers in high regard, want charter schools to conform to the same standards as conventional public schools, and oppose an over emphasis on standardized testing. “Billionaires and folks who run hedge funds have decided that the best way to make their political opponents weaker is to grow as many charters as possible,” said Donald Cohen, the group’s executive director. These forces have funded “an ongoing campaign to convince the American public that schools are bad” – but most people aren’t buying it.

Save the Schools: Opt Out of Standardized Testing

Parents and students should not ask permission to opt out of the high stakes standardized testing regimen. “We don’t need legislation to approve it,” said Dr. Denisha Jones, a board member of United Opt Out and an assistant professor of early childhood development at Howard University. “We need to say that we are opting out as an act of civil disobedience to protect education from the corporatization and the testing,” said Jones, who helped organize a recent national Opt Out conference, in Philadelphia.

New York Mayor de Blasio is No Progressive

Despite official denials, the New York City Police Department continues to operate under a “broken windows” philosophy, targeting mainly Black and brown men for minor violations under a quota summons system, according to Robert Gangi, director of the Police Reform Organizing Project. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “support for those kinds of practices completely undermines his claim to be a progressive political leader, and that the main purpose of his administration is to successfully address social, racial and economic inequities,” said Gangi. “’Broken windows,’ driven by the quota system, is a central factor in creating those inequities.”

Clinton and Obama Have Honduran Activist’s Blood on Their Hands

The Obama administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bear responsibility for the March 3 assassination of Honduran indigenous people’s leader Berta Caceres, said Beverly Bell, a founder of Other Worlds and long time friend and comrade of Caceres. The U.S. backed a military takeover of Honduras in 2009, and Clinton “even bragged of her role in the coup in the last book she wrote,” said Bell. “There is not any doubt who killed Berta Caceres. She has received more death threats from the government of Honduras than anyone could possibly count.”

Obama Woos Cuba, Targets Venezuela

President Obama, who will visit Cuba later this month to further “normalize” relations with that country, has intensified his military and economic subversion of Cuba’s ally, Venezuela. “At the very same moment that the U.S. is unfreezing relations with Cuba, it is continuing to destabilize, to undermine, to destroy the independent socialist nation of Venezuela,” said political analyst Eric Draitser, founder of StopImperialism.org.

 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of March 7, 2016

New FBI Guidelines for Targeting Classroom “Radicals”

The nation’s teachers will soon be getting revised FBI guidelines on how to spot “radicalized” students. “The modern FBI ‘counter-violence and extremism’ program is directed primarily at the Muslim community, right now,” said Michael German, a former FBI agent who is now a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. “But the conceptual part of it applies to any ideology, and in the past has applied to civil rights organizing, anti-war organizing and many other types of legitimate social advancement, in the name of protecting security.”

Executed for Sleeping While Black

Kisha Michael, a 31 year-old mother of three sons, and Marquitan Sandlin, a 32 year-old father of four daughters, were shot to death by an Inglewood, California, SWAT team after being discovered asleep in a car at 3:00 in the morning. “If they get away with this, they’ll say, ‘In two months we’ll go out there and kill us another couple,” said Ms. Michael’s aunt, Virginia Sewell. “It makes me feel really threatened because it seems as though they’re laughing about it.”

Were Marquitan and Kisha executed for failing to wake up? “Yeah, and that they were Black,” said Keith Jackson, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, who helped the victims’ families organize protests. “I say that because this is racially targeted throughout the country. It is really like a genocidal onslaught.”

Don’t Put it All on Trump: White Supremacy and Capitalism in Crisis

Beginning in the 1960s, according to Dubois scholar and Black Radical Organizing Committee member Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Republicans methodically reorganized their party “based upon one ideological position: white supremacy.” Now, with both the capitalist economy and white supremacy in crisis, “working class and lower middle class Republicans are in an existential crisis.” Monteiro believes a “more positive rebellion” is occurring among Democrats. “The Black Left has to begin to shape and give guidance to a rebellion that will include Black people, as well as whites and Latinos and others.”

Why Europe Owes Africa and the Americas for its Wealth and “Civilization”

Although both presidents Bush and Obama did their best to sabotage United Nations conferences against racism, in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 and 2009, the “Durban process” still lives, and its 15th anniversary will be commemorated in the Netherlands, later this month. Veteran activist and BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka, a founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network, will lead a panel at the event. “We said that ‘Europe’ was, literally, a creation of Africa and the America’s; that the hegemony of Europe was a consequence of the invasion of the Americas, the subjugation and attempted extermination of native people, and the importation and exploitation of African labor,” said Baraka. “That was the foundation for Europe’s ‘civilization’ and capitalism.” The analysis formed “the basis for the demand for reparations in terms of relationships between the states in the North and the various states in the African Diaspora.” That’s why the Europeans, Americans and Israelis undermined and boycotted Durban I and II.

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 4, 2016

Building a Black “Movement” from the Current “Momentum”

Dr. Cornel West, the nation’s best known Black public intellectual and a keynote speaker at this weekend’s conference on the Black Radical Tradition, at Philadelphia’s Temple University, said Black America is not yet experiencing a mass social movement. “I would say it’s significant motion and momentum that can become a movement if we can sustain it. We’ve got a significant number of brothers and sisters who have broken the back of fear,” said West, a co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. The path to a full-blown movement starts “with the criminal justice system, and we connect it to mass unemployment, mass underemployment, then connect it to a critique of capitalism and a critique of empire.”

Chicago’s Mayor Failing the “Pacify the Blacks” Test

Rahm Emanuel “is not doing his job,” said activist, scholar and author Paul Street. “One of the main jobs for a mayor of Chicago, frankly, is to keep the Black community in line and non-rebellious, so that downtown finance and real estate interests can continue their endless gentrification and expansion, free of disturbance.” Calls have intensified for Emanuel’s resignation or recall from office for covering up police crimes against Blacks.

Obama to Press for TPP in State of the Union Address

President Obama will “make a very big push” for congressional passage of his Trans Pacific Partnership corporate trade treaty in his January 12 State of the Union Address, said Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance. However, Zeese believes TPP can be defeated. “We’re going to have our people out in force on-line, in the Twittersphere and social media, getting out the facts, because we expect a lot of dishonesty from the president,” said Zeese, who notes that the top Democratic and Republican candidates to succeed Obama oppose TPP.

The Semantics of Terror

On January 25, the U.S. and its allies will meet with the government of Syria and its Russian ally to discuss which of the West’s jihadist proxy armies might be considered legitimate players in any future peace process. Washington considers all of the armed groups except ISIS and al-Qaida to be “moderate rebels.” Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC), said: “They asked Saudi Arabia to head up the countries that will be vetting these terrorist groups. Now, who is most directly responsible for the arming and funding – from ISIS on through – of terrorist groups operating in Syria and Iraq and throughout the entire region?” The whole exercise, said Flounders, “is an outrageous fraud.”

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of December 21, 2015

Michigan Water Crisis Rooted in Crisis of Democracy

In majority Black Flint, Michigan, the mayor has declared a state of emergency due to unsafe water, while in mostly Black Detroit tens of thousands of poor people have been shut out of the water system. Both jurisdictions were plunged into crisis under the dictatorial powers of state-appointed emergency financial managers. Thomas Stephens, a people’s lawyer and activist, blames corporate governance. “The problems with water affordability and access in Detroit, leading to a public health crisis, and the problems with lead and other contaminants in Flint actually have the same root cause: treating water, a necessity of life in our communities, as if it were a widget, something to be dealt with pursuant to the corporate bottom line.”

Exploring the Black Radical Tradition

Activists and intellectuals will converge on Temple University, in Philadelphia, for a conference on “The Black Radical Tradition In Our Time,” January 8 through 10. Keynote speakers include Angela Davis, Cornel West, Anthony Monteiro and Charlene Carruthers, of Chicago’s Black Youth Project 100. Larry Hamm, chairman of Newark, New Jersey’s People’s Organization for Progress, will speak at one of the conference panels. “The conference is needed,” he said, “because we do need a theoretical understanding of what is happening, and at the same time, those who are involved in theoretical work need to hear from people who are involved in the actual organizing on the ground, so that we can have a synthesis of the two.”

Prison as an Incubator for Hepatitis C

About 100 supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal gathered at a Scranton, Pennsylvania, courthouse where a federal judge heard arguments to compel the state prison system to treat the nation’s best known political prisoner for Hepatitis C, which caused complications that almost killed him earlier this year. Joe Piette, of Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, said 8,000 Pennsylvania inmates carry the infection. “People are tested routinely for HIV, but they’re not tested for Hep C,” said Piette. “So they go back to the community when they get out of prison and it just spreads throughout the community.”

Venezuelan Revolution Down, But Not Out

The Socialist Party founded by the late Hugo Chavez was soundly defeated in legislative elections, earlier this month. The voting took place amid raging inflation and deep shortages of consumer goods. “The reality is that this was a deliberately constructed scarcity for the purpose of psychological warfare against the people of Venezuela,” said Eric Draitser, a New York-based political analyst who recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Venezuela. After the victory of the U.S.-backed parties, said Draitser, “all of a sudden, those items began magically returning to store shelves.” Draitser’s most recent article on Venezuela is titled “The Revolution That Will Not Die.”

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Black Agenda Radio for Week of November 30, 2015

Two Rights Groups Refuse to Sign Off on Sentencing “Reform” Bill

Legislation is moving through the U.S. House and Senate that would retroactively shorten sentences for crack cocaine possession and, its backers claim, substantially roll back mandatory minimum sentences for other crimes. However, the National Urban League and Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) are refusing to give their blessing to the Sentencing Act, which actually expands the list of crimes subject to mandatory prison terms. The bill “will have a disproportionate effect on minority communities,” according to FAMM president Julie Stewart. “They have created a new class of crime that can now trigger” a sentence of 25 years, she said. Gun possession and crimes of domestic violence would also carry mandatory penalties.

New Film in the Works on Black Panther Party

Former Black Panther Party chief of staff David Hilliard and Emmy Award-winning director Dante James hope to have a documentary on the party completed in time for the 50th anniversary of the BPP’s founding, next September. “Our film is not going to be a response or reaction” to The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, directed by Stanley Nelson, Jr. and distributed by PBS. “For many, many years,” said James, “the corporate media has defined the Black Panther Party from the outside-in.” This time, the party will by defined, not by “fringe or part-time party members, but by people who were there from the very beginning, who knew and worked with Huey P. Newton.”

First Cop Goes on Trial in Freddie Gray Killing

The manslaughter trial of Baltimore police officer William Porter began on Monday, the first of six cops charged in the death of Freddie Gray, last April. Porter drove the police van in which Gray was fatally injured. Jill Carter, a Maryland state legislator and lawyer, told The Real News Network that some of the cops should have been charged with murder. “We all saw in the video that an assault happened prior to Freddie Gray ever being placed in the van,” said Carter. “If there was an illegal arrest that was contemporaneous with an assault, I would argue that would be first degree assault and attempted murder, with cumulative charges for everything that happened after that.” Baltimore erupted in street rebellion in the wake of Gray’s death.

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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 November 23, 2015

Black Agenda Radio for Week of November 23, 2015

ISIS and the White Lives Matter Movement

Although civilians in Nigeria, Iraq and Syria have suffered the highest casualties from jihadist terror, these crimes “get no attention, especially because in most of these tragedies Western governments are the primary responsible parties, said Ajamu Baraka, an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report and a founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. Baraka authored an article in the current issue of BAR titled “The Paris Attacks and the White Lives Matter Movement.” Most Europeans and Euro-Americans exhibit an “inability to recognize the humanity of other people” – a form of psychopathology, said Baraka. ”They advance the notion that they are the upholders of a humanitarian tradition, while at the same time are responsible for the most horrific acts known in human history.”

Black Power Through Sustainable Development

Activists with Cooperation Jackson looked forward to joining huge demonstrations in Paris, later this month, to influence United Nations negotiations about climate change and to promote their Jackson Just Transition Plan to create environment-friendly employment in predominantly Black Jackson, Mississippi. However, French authorities have declared a state of emergency. Cooperation Jackson spokesman Kali Akuno said Black Power has everything to do with sustainable development. “In the 21st century, I don’t think there’s anywhere else for many of us in the United States to go,” said Akuno. “None of the other industries are producing anything that is going to employ us very intensely. We have to realize that the masses of Black people are completely disposable to this system, and we have to come up with the concrete alternatives, ourselves.”

Protestors Mark Anniversary of Tamir Rice’s Murder

Stop Mass Incarceration Network activists confronted Cleveland’s mayor and disrupted traffic on a major thoroughfare to mark the date, a year ago, when a white cop shot to death 12 year-old Tamir Rice. The local district attorney accused Rice’s mother of having “economic motives” for demanding justice for her son. “For this district attorney to impugn anybody’s motive is beyond disgusting,” said Network co-founder Carl Dix. “This is a guy who’s heading a secret grand jury process who has leaked three reports that say the police who murdered Tamir Rice were justified in doing so.” The cops shot the child two seconds after arriving at the park where he’d been playing with a toy gun. “They charged at him like they were some Wild West gunslingers who had their prey in their sights,” said Dix.

Bill and Hillary Clinton Might Face Indictment

In an article in Harpers magazine, investigative reporter Ken Silverstein predicted that newly-released Clinton Foundation tax returns could get Bill, Hillary and daughter Chelsea indicted on money laundering and influence peddling charges. “As secretary of state she paid particular attention to Clinton Foundation donors,” said Silverstein. Now, after years of filing false returns, “the shit is hitting the fan” for the former – and possibly future – First Couple.

Cuban Official Remembers Jim Crow

Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship of the People, spends much of her time greeting visitors to her island nation. But, this month she led a Cuban delegation on a tour of U.S. cities, starting with New York, where she expressed pride in the great changes the Revolution has made in the lives of the people, especially Black Cubans. “In Cuba, we have a Fifth Avenue similar to the one in New York City. Black people couldn’t walk on Fifth Avenue” in Havana. “Before the triumph of the Revolution, Black people could not work in the banks.” Even the “mulatto” Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista “was not allowed to go to the bourgeois clubs in Cuba,” said Serrano.

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Black Agenda Radio, Week of November 17, 2015

Black Agenda Radio for Week of November 16, 2015

Prison Reformers Distort Facts to Make Obama Look Good

In 2013, President Obama’s Justice Department went into federal court to prevent the retroactive reduction in prison sentences for people convicted under the old crack cocaine laws. The case was U.S. v. Blewett. As a result, about 6,000 inmates were forced to spend additional years in prison. However, according to members of The Sentencing Project, a highly respected prison reform organization, President Obama should not be blamed for keeping thousands of offenders incarcerated under an admittedly racist law. “That was a decision made by lawyers studying constitutional law and applying that in a specific case,” said Sentencing Project advocacy counsel Jeremy Haile, at a telephone press briefing to push for passage of another bill that would – finally! – retroactively scale back crack cocaine sentences. BAR executive editor Glen Ford said Obama seemed to have one prison policy for the public, and another for the courts. “You certainly could make that interpretation,” replied Robert Craemer, a political consultant for the Sentencing Project. But, “whatever sins there may have been in the past, I think they are definitely committed” to passage of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, now before the U.S. Senate. “I’ve been told that by people at the very top of the administration – the White House,” said Craemer.

Black Is Back Coalition Holds Conference at Howard U.

The Russians are correct to help the Syrian government defend itself against U.S.-backed jihadists, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The Coalition held a national conference at Howard University’s Blackburn Center, under the theme “Black Power Matters.” Much of the event focused on global developments. The U.S. “has funded every criminal with a gun and a bomb in the Middle East,” said Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela. “The modern jihad that people are so upset about was created by the Carter regime” nearly 40 years ago.

Margaret Kimberley, senior columnist for Black Agenda Report, said Black people need to build a movement with a global perspective. “It’s Putin who has proved beyond any doubt that the United States was lying about wanting to get rid of ISIS,” she said. “We talk about Black Power mattering. But, if we don’t speak against imperialism then we’re not talking about the whole picture.”

One of the Coalition’s principal demands is Black Community Control of the Police. “It’s a demand that calls for the dismantling of the occupation army that the Black Panther Party identified and described back in 1966,” said BAR executive editor Glen Ford. However, much of the new crop of Black activists “don’t know the meaning of the word ‘demand.’ Movements are defined by their demands, and to that extent, the two factions that go under the heading BlackLivesMatter network and Campaign Zero have dropped out of the movement and dropped – or jumped, or leaped – into the Democratic Party.”

Herdosia Bentum, president of the International Uhuru Movement, who hails from Ferguson, Missouri, is coordinating a campaign to charge the U.S. with domestic genocide against Afrikans. The project involves knocking on lots of doors. “The most important thing as an organizer is going to those houses and sitting down and talking to people,” said Bentum. “Because, they understand that one of the biggest crimes is poverty.”

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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 Aug 3, 2015

Predator Cops Fill Graveyards

U.S. police killed 412 people in 1976, 333 in 1984, and 385 in 1990, wrote Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in an essay now republished for his new book, Writings on the Wall. The cops “obviously haven’t protected or served the thousands they’ve murdered over the years. They serve and protect the system, not the people,” he wrote. “They are predators.”

Stop Police Terror

Murder by police can only be stopped by “our independent action,” said Carl Dix, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. “We are not looking for Obama, Loretta Lynch or any governors or mayors to do this, because they preside over the horrors that we have to stop.” Dix spoke outside the recent national conference of the Movement for Black Lives, in Cleveland. He’s gearing up for “Rise Up October” campaign of actions to “stop police terror,” under the slogan: “Which side are you on?”

Baltimore Black Political Class Protected White Mayor O’Malley

Jill Carter, a young Black lawyer from Baltimore and the most progressive member of the Maryland state legislature, said it’s no wonder that former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has trouble dealing with Black activists’ on the presidential campaign trail. During his term as mayor of Baltimore, between 1999 and 2007, O’Malley oversaw the arrest of 750,000 people, more than the total population of the city, many of them on charges that “were illegal or unwarranted,” said Carter. Nevertheless, the entire Black city leadership supported and protected O’Malley, “even when faced with the reality that he was destroying the city and the community’s relationship with the police department.” O’Malley’s protectors included the current and former mayors of Baltimore, the whole of the city council, plus all of the city’s delegation to the state legislature – except for Jill Carter.

Bernie Sanders Runs as Populist, not Socialist

Paul Street, the veteran political scholar and activist, said Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is running as a populist, not a socialist. “He doesn’t say ‘socialism’” in his campaign speeches,” said Street, who was among the first to point out Barack Obama’s conservative political tendencies. Senator Sanders “identifies himself with the social democratic states of Scandinavia, particularly Denmark, Sweden and Norway, but does not refer to himself as a socialist,” said Street. “And, unlike the serious Socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs, back in the day, I haven’t heard him mouth the term ‘capitalism’ once.”

New Black Movement Combines Mix of Older Tactics

The emerging Black political movement “combines the tactics of the Civil Rights Movement – mass marches, civil disobedience, shutting things down – with programs and ideas that did not always crystallize in the Black Power Movement, but were thought about” during that period, said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, former professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. Protesters gathered on Temple’s campus to demand Dr. Monteiro’s reinstatement to what chairman Molefi Asante has renamed the “Department of Africology.”

 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of July 20, 2015

Mumia “May Have Been Poisoned”

Six months after Mumia Abu Jamal nearly died from diabetic shock, the nation’s best known political prisoner’s underlying illness has yet to be diagnosed, said Dr. Johanna Fernandez, a professor of history at New York City’s Baruch College and member of Educators for Mumia. Abu Jamal’s maddeningly itching skin has turned a leathery black, and his output of commentaries and analysis for Prison Radio “has diminished significantly,” said Fernandez, who fears Mumia is suffering a “deeper, systemic problem” or “may have been poisoned.” Nevertheless, “Mumia is delighted and inspired by the movement against police violence that has emerged in the country,” and will continue to speak out “from the belly of the beast.” That’s why, she said, “over and over, the state has tried to silence and kill him.”

Obama’s Recent “Epiphanies” on U.S. Racism

President Obama’s recent discovery that “racism is part of the DNA of this country” was sparked by a need to reposition himself in the wake of the Charleston massacre and “the resistance that is growing among African people in this country,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The Coalition is gearing up for a national conference, in Philadelphia, August 22 and 23, with a focus on Black community control of police, a stance that Yeshitela believes “resonates with Black people” and can put the struggle firmly on the road to self-determination.

TPP is a Black Issue

“Any agreement that has a detrimental impact on workers anywhere, is a Black issue,” said Ajamu Baraka, veteran human rights activist and editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. “We are the victims of this global capitalist economy, and so we have solidarity and responsibilities to people in other parts of the world,” Baraka told Solomon Comissiong, of Your World News. President Obama’s proposed Trans Pacific Partnership is “specifically a Black issue because one can’t understand the objective material conditions in places like Baltimore, Detroit, Gary, Indiana, and South Bend, Michigan, without connecting these conditions to the transformation of the U.S. economy” by deindustrialization – which will further intensify under TPP.

 
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Taking the Initiative Back For the Movement After the Brinsley Killings

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The killing of 2 NYPD officers by Ismaaiyl Brinsley were the occasion for fascist cops, mostly Republicans and authoritarian liberal politicians, mostly Democrats along with their black civil rights and media spokespeople, to seize the initiative from the movement against police murder and brutality. But the movement can take the mic back. This issue of Black Agenda Report, is mostly about the movement response to the NYPD killings, along with some timely information on Cuba's present and past role in African liberation, and a remembrance of the US invasion of Panama 25 years ago, which leveled several African neighborhoods in Panama City.
We'll be taking a break next week, and back the first Tuesday or Wednesday in January. Happy holidays and peace, to those who fight for it, and everyone else.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of July 13, 2015

Austerity Rendering Detroit Unfit for Habitation

A serious fire raged out control due to chronic low water pressure in Detroit, despite the majority Black city’s location in one of the world’s major fresh water regions. “The whole process of so-called rebuilding of Detroit has not been clearly thought out,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, veteran activist and editor of the Pan African News Wire. “How can you rebuild a city when you don’t have fundamental infrastructure, such as fire services, public safety, education, emergency services, simple things like being able to go to a supermarket?” The economic elite are “doing everything possible to drive out the African American population,” he said, but poor infrastructure discourages white resettlement. “What you have is the anarchy of capitalism.”

Big Business Tries to Roll Back Socialist Alternative in Seattle

Corporate contributions are pouring into Seattle Urban League chief Pamela Banks’ campaign to unseat Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative councilwoman who championed the city’s $15 an hour minimum wage law. “It’s not so much about my opponent’s qualities,” said Sawant, “It’s because corporations, billionaires, the people who have an incentive to uphold the status quo, recognize that if we win re-election this year, then it really confirms to working people in Seattle and everywhere that we can prevail against the full might of big business and the political establishment.”

Mumia: “Flags and Rags”

The heritage of the Confederate battle flag is “one of terror and violence in support of a system of organized theft of Black labor, in the name of white supremacy and Black subjugation,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report for Prison Radio. “Dylan ‘Dumb and Dumber’ Roof knew, instinctively, what the flag stood for.”

Justices OK Painful Death Drug

The U.S. Supreme Court ended its term by allowing states to continue lethal injections with a cocktail that can cause horrific pain for condemned persons. “Prisoners remain less than human” in the High Court’s eyes, said Kenneth A. Hartman, a writer and prison activist serving life in California. “How else can a decision that allows for deliberate torture be explained?”

Fear of Blacks Triggered 1776 War of Independence

White settlers turned against the their mother country partly in fear that the British Crown would put guns in the hands of Blacks, according to Dr. Gerald Horne, chairman of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston and author of more than 30 books, including The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. In 1775, the British colonial governor of Virginia established an “Ethiopian Regiment” to counter rebellious white settlers. “One of the factors that caused formerly patriotic British subjects to revolt against British rule was this ‘Black scare’ that, I argue, led to the formation of the United States of America,” said Dr. Horne, in a lecture at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 29, 2015

Don’t Just Count Black Bodies – We Need a Program of Liberation

Veteran Malcolm X Grassroots Movement activist Kali Akuno is a co-author of the 2012 report Operation Ghetto Storm, which documented the extrajudicial killing of Blacks by police, security guards and vigilantes – one every 28 hours. “We wanted to highlight, first and foremost to our own people, that we are being hunted,” said Akuno, now living in Jackson, Mississippi. “It’s basically population control and disposal of a population that is becoming unwanted and unnecessary for economic production.” Keeping count is not the point. “What’s the solution, what is the program of liberation? That is what folks should start focusing on now, while there is this upsurge, while there are young people beginning to become engaged in fighting back.”

Farrakhan: Take Down the Stars and Stripes!

“I don’t know what the fight is about the Confederate flag,” said Min. Louis Farrakhan, at the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, in Washington, DC. “We need to put the American flag down, because we’ve caught as much hell under that as under the Confederate flag,” he told a cheering crowd. “What flag do the police have? What flag flies over the non-Justice Department?”

Pelosi Engaged in “Choreographed Corruption” in TPP Vote

The fight to defeat President Obama’s super-secret Trans Pacific Partnership isn’t over, said Popular Resistance activist Kevin Zeese. A vote on the full treaty will come up in the fall. In the showdown over “fast-tracking” the legislation, this month, said Zeese, “Pelosi did her job of fooling progressives into thinking she was on their side, but was in fact helping President Obama to get the exact numbers of votes he needed” – an example of the truth of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s statement that “nothing happens in politics by accident.” Zeese described Pelosi’s machinations as “choreographed corruption.”

Fair Housing Act Escaped Disembowelment by One Vote

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the legal principle that discrimination can be established based on disparities in the racial results of public policies, even if intent to discriminate is not proven. The 5-4 vote left the 1968 Fair Housing Act constitutionally intact. The ACLU’s Dennis Parker said he and fellow civil rights lawyers held their breaths awaiting the Justices’ decision. “People were saying, Why are they so intent on reviewing a principle that had long been established?” The lawyers feared “that they must want to disembowel the law.” That didn’t happen, but “it’s just a question of whether one Justice will join one camp or the other,” said Parker.

Jill Stein: “Power to the People” Means “Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Capitalism”

After formally announcing her presidential candidacy, last week, Jill Stein explained her Green Party’s Power to the People Platform. “It’s a plan to address the crisis of justice and democracy” in the country, said Stein. “It has echoes of the Black Panthers in it, and that’s not by coincidence. It’s about breaking the stranglehold of corporate capitalism and racism. It’s founded on the idea that the struggles of frontline communities should be on the front lines of presidential dialogue.”

Malcolm on Lumumba: He was “the Greatest African”

Had he not been assassinated in 1961, Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected prime minister of the Congo, would have been 90 years old on July 2. Maurice Carney, of Friends of the Congo, notes that this year also marks the 90th birthday of Malcolm X, assassinated in 1965. “To a large extent, it was Malcolm who introduced Patrice Lumumba to a new generation,” said Carney. “He said that Lumumba was the greatest African to ever walk the continent, because he stood on his own terms; they couldn’t reach him” – “they” meaning the Western powers.

 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 15, 2015

Broken Windows Policing Criminalizes Communities

The Police Reform Organization Project, or PROP, has released a report on damage done to ordinary people by New York City’s “Broken Windows” policing policy. Titled “That’s How They Get You,” the document provides 117 examples of how lives are ruined and communities embittered under a torrent of fines and jail terms for minor offenses. Broken Windows “actually criminalizes people, and gets them caught up the criminal justice system,” said PROP director Robert Gangi.

Another “Black” U.S. President?

Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, said Democratic presidential politics has become repetitive and predictable. “What we have is simply a continuation of the [Bill] Clinton regime, through Obama, and now I guess Hillary is about to become the third Black president,” said Yeshitela. The Black Is Back Coalition, founded in 2009 in part to show that not all Blacks supported Obama’s corporatist, imperial policies, is gearing up for its national conference, in August.

Newark is the Destination on July 25

The People’s Organization for Progress is expecting huge crowds to gather in Newark, New Jersey, for POP’s Millions March Against Police Brutality, Racial Injustice, and Economic Inequality, July 25. The march has been endorsed by scores of organizations and individuals, including Dr. Cornel West and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who is establishing a civilian police review board complete with subpoena powers. Community organizations, including POP, will hold a majority of seats on the board. However, POP chairman Larry Hamm is “under no illusion” that the review board will solve the problem. “I say categorically, that the greatest antidote to police brutality is the mass movement of the people,” said Hamm. “That’s more powerful than any governmental structure that can be put into place.”

Obama’s TPP Sinking

President Obama’s secret Trans Pacific Partnership treaty suffered a big setback on Friday in the U.S. House of Representatives, thanks largely to activists like Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance. “If you don’t like crony capitalism or rigged trade for big business, you’ve got to be against TPP,” said Zeese. The treaty would make it almost impossible to reverse privatizations of government services, or for the public sector to take any action that might adversely affect corporate expectations of profits.

 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 8, 2015

Black Lives Matter Movement is Dominant Theme at Left Forum

“The powerful movements that have raised the slogan ‘No Justice-No Peace’ in Ferguson, Baltimore and across the country have shaken American politics out of its lethargy,” said Paul Jay, senior editor at The Real News Network, at the annual Left Forum conference at John Jay College, in New York City. However, the wealthy classes are unable to respond to a changing nation and world. “War is the only answer they have. Our ruling elites are dysfunctional: they’re not fit to rule,” said Jay, moderator of the discussion on “Indicting and Transforming the Systems of State and Capitalism: From Ferguson to Baltimore and Beyond.”

#BlackLivesMatter: More Than Just a Slogan

“#BlackLivesMatter is about Black liberation; it was intended to encompass the struggle for human dignity and self-determination,” said Alicia Garza, a co-creator of the slogan and special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “We understand state violence as criminalization, but we also understand state violence as austerity, patriarchy, white supremacy and imperialism.”

Policing in U.S. is Illegitimate

“The purpose of policing in this country is to control Black bodies, to control poor people, and to protect the interests and property of the wealthy,” said Thenjiwe McHarris, director of the Human Rights at Home campaign of the U.S. Human Rights Network. “So, it is essential for us to not just talk about reforming policing in the United States, but to challenge the legitimacy, the existence of policing in the United States.”

The Oppressed Must Lead the Struggle

The Left Forum panel included Makayla Gilliam-Harris, a 17 year-old Baltimore City College High School senior and organizer with City Block and the youth-led think tank Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. “If we truly want to see change from this movement,” said Gilliam-Harris, “we need to listen to those who are from the communities that are struggling, listen to the young, Black, clear women – and then to act, not for, not on behalf of, but with us. Stop making careers out of my struggle.”

Black Community Control of Police

“The mass Black incarceration regime was the United States government’s response to the Black liberation movements of the Sixties. And, today’s emerging movement is Black people’s response to the Mass Black Incarceration State,” said Glen Ford, executive editor of Black Agenda Report. “The police must be subordinated to, answerable to, and chosen by the Black communities that they serve – that means Black community control of police.”

Ossified “Misleaders” Shoved Aside

“There is nothing more clarifying than the Black Lives Matter movement to show us who are the agents of social change, who are the agents of a fight-back against a brutal social and economic order,” said Kshama Sawant, the Seattle city councilwoman and Socialist Alternative leader. “It is not the Democratic Party establishment; it is not the Black misleaders. It is the young Black people, young people of color, who not only put out a clarion call for militant struggle, but they have proudly rejected these ossified layers of the so-called ‘leadership.’”

 
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Black Agenda Radio, Week of May 19, 2015

“Corinthian 100” Reject For-Profit School Debt

Former students of the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges are on debt strike, despite pressures from the U.S. Department of Education to continue repaying loans. “These students were systematically defrauded, preyed upon, and lied to” by the for-profit college enterprise, said Laura Hanna, of the Debt Collective, an Occupy Wall Street outgrowth that represents the Corinthian 100. “They’ve already paid: once, in the form of their own tax dollars, and again by spending years going through a fraudulent system, and the idea that they would have to pay monthly for this disservice is just baffling,” said Hanna. Half a million students, disproportionately Black and brown, have attended Corinthian Colleges, and could claim billions of dollars in any bankruptcy settlement.

Marchers Mark 1985 Police Bombing of MOVE

Thirty years ago, under the watch of Wilson Goode, Philadelphia’s first Black mayor, police bombed a house occupied by the MOVE organization, killing six adults and five children and burning down two blocks of the neighborhood. Pastor Pamela K. Williams, of the Ark of Refuge Tabernacle, spoke at a march and rally marking the May 13th anniversary of the mass killing. Williams and her mother were witnesses: “We saw the police officers hoisting up the canisters of heavy artillery on their shoulders.... We were there when they decided to kill members of our neighborhood.” Williams’ mother had to identify some of the burned bodies. Today, “We must identify everybody that is affected by the atrocities that are perpetrated against us,” she said.

Mumia: Why the Bombing Matters

What happened 30 years ago in West Philadelphia was a “harbinger” of police killings to come, said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, who covered MOVE-police confrontations as a young radio reporter. “The visceral hatreds and violent contempt once held for MOVE is now visited upon average people – not just radicals and revolutionaries,” he said, in a commentary for Prison Radio. “When many people stood in silence, or worse, to the bombing, shooting and carnage of May 13th, 1985, they opened the door to the ugliness of today’s police terrorism.”

Abu Jamal is himself deathly ill, held incommunicado at a medical center in Danville, Pennsylvania. “The Department of Corrections is releasing no information about his whereabouts, or his condition, and they’re not letting his lawyer talk to him, his wife see him,” or allowing his doctor to speak with prison doctors, said Prison Radio’s Noelle Hanrahan. Abu Jamal almost died from complications of untreated and undiagnosed diabetes. Prison doctors continue “doing things that are not adequate or correct, so we need to have all our eyes on his care,” said Hanrahan.

Youthful Leaders Emerge from Baltimore and Ferguson

The ongoing struggle in Ferguson “is the second-longest resistance in modern history, second only to the Montgomery bus boycott,” said Rev. Osagyefu Sekou, speaking before a crowd of 1,000 at Baltimore’s Metropolitan United Methodist Church. “This new generation of leadership” represents “all of our children, even when they’re throwing stones at police officers,” said Rev. Sekou, who until recently pastured in Massachusetts. The mass meeting was convened by Baltimore United for Change.

UNAC Conference: Free All Political Prisoners

Lynne Stewart, the people’s lawyer and former political prisoner who was released from federal custody on compassionate medical parole, in January of last year, addressed a national conference of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition, in Secaucus, New Jersey. “The fact that there are so many political prisoners betrays the weakness and ineffectiveness of our movement,” said Stewart, who told the gathering that her cancer is no longer advancing. She called on doctors and lawyers to lend their “pro bono” services to the movement.

Peace activist Johnny Achi, of Arab Americans for Syria, said the U.S. proxy war is buttressed by “the vicious media campaign against Syria,” which circulates stories that are “the reverses of facts.” If the Syrian army falls, said Achi, “then you will have a true genocide in Syria” at the hands of U.S.-supported jihadists and mercenaries.

Good News: TPP in Trouble

President Obama’s forces in the U.S. Senate were first beaten, then regrouped, in his bid to “fast track” the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal through Congress. Most Democrats oppose TPP. Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance, a key organizer against TPP, believes the scheme can be stopped in the U.S. House. “We already have about 60 to 75 Republicans on our side,” he said. “If we can add 10 or 15 to that, it becomes almost insurmountable.”

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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