Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of January 23, 2012
Hundreds Protest Obama in Harlem
About 400 people gathered in Harlem to protest President Obama’s foreign and domestic policies. “We’re here to send a clear message to President Obama that he cannot come to Harlem without receiving a scathing message about his service to the 1%,” said Nellie Bailey, of Occupy Harlem, which called for the demonstration. Preventive detention was high on the list of grievances. “Without a doubt, it’s the rise of a police state,” said Bailey. Occupy Wall Street, MoveOn, and Stop Stop-and-Frisk sent delegations to the protest outside of the Apollo Theater, where the President held a fundraiser. “I never thought he would sell out like this,” said Jose LaSalle, of Stop Stop-and-Frisk,” to the point he would sign a bill like this and know how it affects minorities and people who are fighting for justice.”
Mothers Against Stop-and-Frisk
Mary Black’s teenage son was stopped five times in five months for no good reason by New York City police – all within a two-block radius of his family’s Harlem apartment. Ms. Black and other mothers have joined with Stop Stop-and-Frisk to protest a policy that saw 700,000 New Yorkers accosted by police, last year, most of them young Black and brown men. “People don’t deserve for their children to be treated this way,” said Ms. Black.
Preventive Detention Suit
Journalist and author Chris Hedges and other plaintiffs sued President Obama for his New Year’s Eve signing of a preventive detention bill. “The way this law is written is really terrifying,” said Hedges. “It’s the whim of the security and surveillance state, whoever they want to go after, they can pretty much do so under this legislation.” The former New York Times correspondent believes “there has been a clear effort on the part of the security state to try to tar the Occupy movement as an enemy of American democracy.”
Punish Police Torture
“It’s time to recognize torture under federal law as the crime against humanity it is,” said Taylor Flint, of Chicago’s People’s Law Office, at a Capital Hill briefing. Illinois Rep. Danny Davis has introduced legislation to punish police torture of suspects. Over a 20-year period, a police squad under detective John Burg tortured at least 200 suspects into giving false confessions. One of them, Darrell Cannon, spoke at the briefing. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” said Cannon, who served 26 years in prison. “I can never forgive, I can never forget.” Congressman Davis’ bill would also eliminate the statue of limitations on police torture.
“Handwriting on the Wall” in Nigeria
The gasoline price hike “was the straw that broke the camel’s back” and led to a general strike in Nigeria, earlier this month, said Aniedi Okure, of the Africa Faith and Justice Network, in Washington. The Nigerian government first doubled, then reluctantly reduced, prices for gasoline, causing instant inflation in a whole range of other prices. Although a major oil exporter, Nigeria imports most of its gasoline. Mr. Okure blames the Nigerian elite – “the .0001%,” as he called them – for vast economic disparities. “I’m praying that this awakening does not die out,” he said. “The politicians saw the writing on the wall. We might have had a French-style revolution on our hands.”
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 4:00pm ET on PRN. Length: One hour.