Philly Throws a Party for Mumia
Mumia Abu Jamal’s hometown turned out for a day-long celebration of the nation’s best-known political prisoner’s 60th birthday. “This government was hell-bent on killing Mumia” for the 1981 death of a Philadelphia policeman, said Pam Africa, head of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia. The former Black Panther and radio journalist is alive because “we formulated what was known as Millions for Mumia” that unleashed “bombs of truth.”
High Court Brings Back Old Jim Crow
The U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold a Michigan referendum banning affirmative action “reinstitutes a policy of state’s rights that characterized the old Jim Crow,” said Shanta Driver, of Detroit-based By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), who argued the case before the High Court. Worse, the ruling means “that a white majority in any state can create unequal access to the political process and discriminate against Black, Latino and Native American communities.”
Socialist Alternative Gears Up to Put Wage Hike on Seattle Ballot
The Socialist Alternative party and its allies plan to collect 50,000 signatures to put a $15 an hour minimum wage proposal on the ballot in Seattle. Kshama Sawant, who won a seat on the local city council last year on a wage hike platform, warned 500 delegates to a national 15 Now conference that Seattle’s mayor is backing a watered down measure that would delay the increase for 3 to 4 years for big businesses and phase in the raise over 5 to 7 years for smaller firms, with no cost-of-living increases until the phase-ins are complete. Sawant recalled a low-wage worker’s response to the phase-ins: “Dear Mayor,” he wrote. “If I phase in my rent over 7 years, will the police not evict me?” Sawant told the crowd: “We have to continue to build a movement, never forgetting that the forces of big business, the forces of the super-wealthy, the forces of capitalism, are going to be relentless.”
Secret Trade Treaty Aimed at China
President Obama’s proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty with 11 Asian and Pacific nations “is shrouded in secrecy because the only way they can pass this is if we don’t know what’s in it,” said Kevin Zeese, co-director of It’s Our Economy. Leaks of the treaty’s text “show that there are no protections for the environment” and that “Obama is pushing the most corporate position of any country involved” in the negotiations. Zeese said the pact is linked to a U.S. military encirclement of China.
Minorities to Lose Under Internet Pay-for-Speed Rules
The National Hispanic Media Coalition has weighed in against the Federal Communications Commission proposal to allow big corporations to buy faster speed on the Internet. “The Internet has been a democratizing force,” said Jessica Gonzalez, the coalition’s general counsel and executive vice president. “Through the Internet, we’ve been able to tell our stories and to organize for change.” Under the FCC’s new proposal, “where there’s a fast lane, and the rest of us who can’t pay, who aren’t wealthy, have to go into the slow lane, we don’t have the same opportunity.”
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.