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    Obama's Ferguson Commission a Joke: Why Liberal Proposals and "Solutions" Don't Cut It

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The Interim Report of the Task Force for 21st Century Policing is the crunchy, fluffy wish list of big city cops and consultants who helped bring us the current police and prison state, assembled by the corporate-funded nonprofit sector which launched President Obama's career. With only 600 -odd days left in this administration it's a gesture of contempt toward the communities most affected by the machinery of our police and prison state.

    Kymone Freeman: #DC Ferguson, Poet, Playwright and Guerilla Artist

    by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    As prime mover at Washington DC’s independent We ACT Radio station, Kymone Freeman wrestles with the burning issues of Black life, daily. “How do we enforce demands? How do we escalate the calls for justice? How do we protect ourselves? Who are our allies? How do we force the police to share power with the community? How do we fund an organization truly committed to these values?” Being a poet helps, too.

    Police Unions VS the Public, Torture and Mass Incarceration VS Restorative Justice

    A radio interview by Chuck Mertz on This is Hell Radio.

    Flint Taylor, co-founder of the Peoples Law Office in Chicago, who has represented the victims of police and political violence for 45 years explains the role of police unions, public defenders, the problems of supposedly progressive candidates who claim more cops will solve problems, and what restorative justice might look like.

    Stop Kidding Yourself: The Police Were Created to Control Working Class and Poor People

    by Sam Mitrani

    The cops have always worked for the rich and powerful. In the South, policing began with slave patrols. In Chicago, “businessmen donated money to buy the police rifles, artillery, Gatling guns, buildings, and money to establish a police pension out of their own pockets.”

    Black People’s Grand Jury Indicts Cop for First Degree Murder of Michael Brown

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    A mostly white grand jury, manipulated by a racist prosecutor, will not have the last word in the death of Michael Brown. “We cannot trust our children, the future of our community, in the hands of this establishment that has proven to us over and over again its disregard for black life,” said one of the prosecutors for the Black People’s Grand Jury. The indictment is “an exercise in self-determination, a collective response to a collective assault on a people.”

    Freedom Rider: Police Corruption Exposed

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The informal NYPD slowdown is proving that cops do more harm than good. Low level arrests have plummeted, but “so far, none of these declines in enforcement have had an impact on safety in the city.” The lesson is clear: “The hyper policing inflicted on black communities is a sick farce, serving only the purpose of making white people feel comfortable about the numbers of black people in jails.”

    The Big Reality Show, the 1% and the Myth of the Thin Blue Line

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The myth that a thin blue line of cops, jailers and prosecutors aggressively policing the ghettoes and public spaces being all that stands between society and chaos is far more important than the profits of prison labor or privatizers in maintaining America's vast prison state. The moral lesson of off-the-chain cops and the prison state justifies and makes legitimate the the brutal inequality of neoliberal America.

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    FIST Boston Statement On The #BlackLivesMatter Movement

    by Danny Haiphong

    “The police ensure Black America, Indigenous America, and the majority of people of color live under a constant state of social and economic violence.” The U.S. military seeks to impose a similar regime in the rest of the world. Both institutions serve the global imperialist system.

    Liberals, Trojan Horses and the Myth of Police-Community Relations

    by Josmar Trujillo

    “Community policing” is whatever the cops want it to be, coexisting with hyper-intrusive “Broken Windows” policing, saturation policing, and cultivation of community snitches. “Community policing's most strident advocates are liberals who fundamentally believe in the role of the police as it stands.”

    Despite Deaths of Two Officers, Movement Against Police Brutality is Just

    by Johanna Fernández

    “The police are already using the killings of these cops as an opportunity to declare war against the black community and to criminalize the growing movement against police violence.”
    In real-world America, cops are rarely killed, yet their institutional behavior is central to the “crazy-making” of a racist society.

    LET US SPEAK! LET US SPEAK! LET US SPEAK! Voices from Ferguson to Sharpton

    Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, BAR editor and columnist and Kevin Berends

    The spirit of the people in motion will often overcome the pretentions of their so-called leaders. Thus it was inevitable that young activists denied any part in Sharpton's stage-managed DC spectacle save that of crowd extras, briefly seized the mic to address the their peers, their elders and the world.

    December Surprise (Class struggle trumps Trail of Tricks)

    by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

    With young, Black America’s sound
    New meaning to ‘boots on the ground!’
    Like a ‘surge,’ chum-rushing the stage
    Declaring: The Ferguson Age!

    Eric Garner, American Occupation, and the Decline of Empire

    ​by Danny Haiphong

    Like whole flocks of chickens coming home to roost, the deep contradictions that beset the U.S. empire have become acute, at home and abroad. “The militarized police state that is attempting to stifle the energy of the current movement has its roots in the Pentagon's efforts to put down the spontaneous Black rebellions of the mid 60's.”

    Will the Department of Justice Meet the Demands of the Movement?

    by the Real News Network

    Demonstrations of outrage in more than 100 US cities at unpunished police misconduct may be the beginning of a movement against the prison state itself. Established misleaders and the state, Glen Ford observes, try to divide and discredit this movement by labeling parts of it "violent" and "illegal". But these are shallow, hypocritical conventions which mainly serve established power, not the cause of change.

    Will the Department of Justice Meet the Demands of the Movement?

    by the Real News Network

    Race and Militarism from Ferguson to Syria: A letter to African Americans

    by Ajamu Baraka

    “If Congress can give unanimous consent to the murder of more than 2,000 people in Gaza, the majority of them women and children, why would anyone think that those same people would really care about a few hundred African Americans who are being murdered annually by police forces?” U.S. rulers care no more for African American lives than for the “natives” it slaughters in its endless foreign wars.

    CODE BLACK: Murder, Mass Incarceration, Militarization and Genocide in Progress

    by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Kevin Berends

    America has escalated to Code Black, signifying “the occupier's terror campaign against blacks and browns.” Legally speaking, the tripwires to genocide have already been sprung. We demand that this president “declare a permanent cease-fire in all hostilities toward African-American communities including the withdrawal of all military personnel and equipment from urban centers.

    Terrorism, COINTELPRO, and the Black Panther Party – An interview with law professor Angela A. Allen-Bell

    by Angola 3 News

    A noted law professor argues that the U.S. government engaged in terror in its suppression of the Black Panther Party. The Panthers, on the other hand, sought to safeguard the public from the police. “Years removed, we still find ourselves in need of such intermediaries. If their work had not been cut short, would we find ourselves better off?”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/8/14

    Week of 9/8/14

    Hundreds Arrested Demanding $15 and Hour and a Union

    Darius Cephas, a McDonald’s worker from Boston, was one of more than 500 fast food employees arrested during strike and civil disobedience actions in 150 cities, last week. “It shows how strong and how powerful our voices are; the fact that everybody is trying to find out how folks are raising children on $8 an hour,” said Cephas, an activist with the Fast Food Campaign. “We are here and we’re not going away they until they raise the pay and let us form a union without retaliation.”

    Mass Incarceration is Built into the System

    Events in Ferguson, Missouri, “have changed the way that people all across the country look at mass incarceration, police terror and the criminalization of Black youth,” said Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, which has declared October a “month of resistance.” Simply adding more Black cops to the equation won’t solve the problem “because we’re dealing with something that is built into the fabric of this capitalist system.”

    Draconian Sentences Rooted in Racist White Perceptions of Crime

    A report by The Sentencing Project concludes that white people support harsh penalties for crime because they associate criminality with Blacks. “There are many instances where policymakers politicize crime and race in order to further their campaigns,” said Nazgol Ghandnoosh, co-author of the report, titled “Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies.”

    U.S. Political Prisoners Issue Passes UN Hurdle

    A United Nations panel has instructed the United States to report, five years from now, on the status of its political prisoners, said international human rights advocate Efia Nwangaza, director of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination, in Greenville, South Carolina. The move is significant, since the U.S. denies it holds any political prisoners, said Nwangaza, who argued on behalf of Civil Rights and Cointelpro era prisoners in collaboration with the Jericho Movement. “We’ve been building a record which strengthens the case for release of political prisoners,” she said. “It also strengthens our call for formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

    Click here to download and listen to the show.

    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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    Justice Is Served

    by Raymond Nat Turner, BAR Poet-in-Residence

    Justice is served
    A la Carte, chokehold-style, or
    Fifty bullets, forty-one, or one
    Or two well placed headshots
    From killing-machine chefs

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/1/14

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/1/14

    Protesters Demand Dismantling of Militarized Police

    A host of organizations presented a list of nine demands to the U.S. Justice Department, in Washington, including immediate release of “Black boys and men incinerated for minor crimes”; the imposition of “life sentences for law enforcement officials who murder unarmed boys and men”; and, “recall of all military equipment already given to cities and states.” Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, of the NO Fear Coalition, a top organizer of the rally, said events in Ferguson, Missouri, raise fundamental questions about the role of police in Black America. “Clearly, the occupying forces inside our communities are not protecting or serving the people,” she said. “They are occupying the people.”

    The Enemy Within

    “We’re looking at a two-prong attack” on the Black resistance in Ferguson, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “One is the obvious military organization” of the various police forces, and “the other – sometimes with their collars on backwards, sometimes not – are those who are there to pacify the people, to tamp down on militancy. They want it to go away.”

    Black Youth in Struggle for the Duration

    Young people in Ferguson are trying to build real structures of enduring resistance, said Erica Totten, an activist from Washington, DC, who has been working with HandsUpUnited.org. “They need mental health care professionals, they need attorneys, they need people to go down there and support these young men and women because they’re going to continue to make noise,” said Totten.

    Mumia: Beware of Lawyers, Preachers and Politicians

    “It is the job of the managerial class of lawyers, preachers and politicians to reduce tensions, to deradicalize movements, to make them more manageable” when crises arise in places like Ferguson, said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner. However, “the masses know the essential nature of the police, fro they see them daily. And they are anxious to oppose them.”

    Click here to download the show, about 52 minutes.

    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.

    Your browser doesn't support flash. Click the mic instead to download.

    Justice Dept Refuses For 20 Years To Comply With Federal Law Requiring It To Gather National Police Brutality Stats

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

    A 1994 law requires the Justice Dept to gather national status on excessive violence by police. So why have Attorneys General under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations refused to gather the info? Why does the Obama Justice Department ignore this law while it resurrects a century-old espionage statute to prosecute truth telling whistleblowers and reporters? The president and attorney general know what side they're on. Do we?

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    Ferguson Versus the Counter-Insurgency State

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    If the people of Ferguson, Missouri, had remained “calm” in the police killing of Michael Brown, the nation would not be discussing the “militarization” of the police forces. “All the nation’s police departments are following the same drill, with the same tools and weapons, under the same mandate: keep the Blacks in check.” Black folks need to liberate some territory.

    Rosa Clemente: On the Ground In Ferguson MO

    by Rosa Alicia Clemente

    Black Agenda Report is pleased to carry the first on the ground report from Ferguson MO from Rosa Clemente, the 2008 vice-presidential candidate of the Green Party, posted 6AM August 20.

    Freedom Rider: American Terror Lives On

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    After every police atrocity against Black people, white people react with surprise and ask, What went wrong? The answer lies in the central fact of American life and history: white supremacy. “In the absence of any desire to leave the past behind, police brutality is inevitable.”

    Ferguson Unmasks the War on Black America

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    Corporate media have discovered that the U.S. police are militarized. Maybe next, they will figure out who the domestic military is waging war against. “Since America tells itself and the rest of the world that it does not make war on its own citizens, the war against Black people had to be called something else – a War on Drugs, or simply a War on Crime.”

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    US Conf of Mayors Ferguson Press Release Shows Complicity, Irrelevance of Black Mayors, the Black Political Class

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The vapid 5 sentence press release of the US Conference of Mayors on the unfolding police repression in Ferguson MO shows that our black political class is in a world of its own, where all that matters is justifying their positions and careers, not restraining, much less rolling back American's prison state or its brutal police in the least.

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    Ten Facts About Police Violence in Ferguson Sunday Night

    by Bill Quigley

    Police provocations against the people are creating a brand new cohort of freedom fighters.

    GA Poised To Greatly Expand Predatory Private Probation Industry -- Unless You Call Now

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Georgia, which already leads the nation with 1 in 13 adults in prisons, jails, court & correctional supervision of all kinds, is poised to greatly expand the private probation industry, to shield it from revealing the amounts of money and number of cases it handles, and to saddle the families of offenders with its cost. Call GA Governor Nathan Deal at 404-656-1776 and ask him to veto HB 837 which is now on his desk. Do it today.

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    3 Years After 2010 GA Prison Hunger Strike, Another Erupts, But Still No Organizing For Prisoners Outside the Walls

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    In December 2010 GA prisoners staged a brief strike, asking for their rights as men and human beings. They depended, and still depend on support from outside, support that is yet to be organized. How much longer will they wait?

    Jim Crow Lives: The Ugly Face of Racism Behind the Bars

    by Latif Lamonte

    Bayside State Prison is the worst-of-the-worst, administered by the most racist guards and staff the State of New Jersey can muster. The author is one of those forced to live under Bayside’s reign of terror. “These were not just any beatings, but beatings inflicting such brutal force, that one was broken to the point of sobbing, begging for his life.”

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