Freedom Rider: UNAC Shows the Way

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Early in the 21st century, the United States appeared to have a large anti-war movement. But, the huge crowds melted away when a Democrat took his turn as Imperialist-in-Chief. UNAC, the United National Anti-War Movement that was created in 2010, “doesn’t waver and doesn’t make exceptions regardless of who in the two party duopoly occupies the White House.” UNAC also opposes U.S. wars against people of color and the poor, here at home.

Mass Protests Trigger On-Going Investigations of Police Homicides

by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The Washington Post’s effort to tabulate police killings of civilians has discovered that, “among the unarmed victims of police homicides, African-American and Hispanics represent 67% or 2/3rd of all victims.” So far this year, cops have already killed more people than the FBI’s annual estimate. “If police continue to kill citizens at this rate, over 1,000 people will die at the hands of police by the end of this year.”

US imperialism's Stamp is All over Chaos around the World

by Danny Haiphong

U.S. imperialism attempts to forestall its terminal decline by waging war against much of the world. It is an accomplice in all of Israel’s crimes, and “much, if not all, of Saudi Arabia's destruction of Yemen is made in the USA.” Washington threatens war against Russia and “pivots” its military towards China. Domestically, “the Black Lives Matter mobilization has brought the daily murder of Black people by police to the forefront of the US political landscape.”

Feeding the Frenzy: The Sanders Syndrome Hits Home Court

by Paul Street

Attending an Iowa event for Bernie Sanders, Paul Street notes that his crowd is mostly aging left white Democrats who shunned the 2012 Occupy movement, that Bernie Sanders denounces only Republican plutocrats, never Democratic ones or the military budget, and that Sanders' presence ultimately legitimizes Hillary as victor in some kind of "democratic" process.

“Am I free to go?”: The Refuseniks’ Campaign to Resist Police Street Harassment

by Ajamu Nangwaya

“Carding,” Toronto’s version of stop-and-frisk, is opposed by a huge and growing proportion of the city’s population, as well as influential actors among the corporate elite. Yet, the local police oversight body “has given the cops a virtual license to carry out street harassment and racial profiling.” What’s needed are neighborhood-based structures “to permanently organize against the violent behavior and street harassment of the cops.”

Empty Boxes – The West and Ethiopia’s Elections

by Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

The ruling party in Ethiopia has gotten away with another sham election, this time with very little protest from the western powers, with whom the regime in Addis Ababa is strategically aligned. “The international community provides the regime with carte-blanche to continue its repressive rule,” including suppression of rival parties and oppressed nationalities, and massive land giveaways.

World Soccer Corruption, Africa’s “Illicit Financial Flows” and Elite Silences

by Patrick Bond

Corruption is built into the ruling structures of the United States, which has launched globe-trotting prosecutions of soccer bribery, and South Africa, which is suspected of paying bribes to host the World Cup. But the real costs of sports extravaganzas in South Africa could be as high as $10 billion. “Brazil suffered far worse, with more graft and many more forced removals from Rio’s favelas.”

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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This is What Happens When We Follow the Democrat Sheepdog. And What Can Happen If We Don't

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

It's time for a realistic plan to lift left electoral choices out of the “lesser of two evils” dilemma. The tools and opportunity to escape this perennial trap are here, but only if activists turn their backs on the lure of sheepdog Bernie Sanders and his corporate shepherds Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.

Rand Paul Makes More Sense than the Democrats’ “Left” Champion

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

U.S. rulers have designated Hillary Clinton as the Democrats’ next front person, while Sen. Bernie Sanders has volunteered to be the loyal “lefty” opposition – who will step aside and endorse Clinton at the proper time. Sanders will refuse to indict Obama or Hillary for embarking “on a war against world order and civilization, itself, in which Salafist death cults are its frontline storm troopers.” But Rand Paul, the right-winger, will.

Freedom Rider: Who is on the Left?

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Much of what calls itself “left” in the United States is phony – “left” only in the most relative, but not substantive, sense. It exists only in juxtaposition to the Republican boogieman, and has made no real break with “America’s horrendous tale of conquest, race based terrorism and numerous other oppressions.”

Data Show Cops Growing More Aggressive Against Blacks In Missouri

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Missouri’s own statistics confirm “the general impression among Black people that the police are becoming measurably more aggressive in their dealings with African Americans.” Racial disparities in police traffic stops broke state records last year – a key indicator of police attitudes towards Blacks. However, only a handful of states keep comprehensive records on the consequences of Driving While Black.

 
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Mass Protests Trigger Washington Post Study of Police Killings

by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The federal government has never gathered meaningful statistics on police killings of civilians. Now the Washington Post has begun an ongoing examination of deaths at the hands of police, in cooperation with two existing web sites that have tried valiantly to fill in the gap. The Post’s count shows “385 people were shot and killed by police nationwide during the first five months of this year, more than two a day.”

A Hurricane without Water: Detroit’s Foreclosure Disaster

by Dianne Feeley

Public policy in Detroit, the nation’s largest majority Black city, seems structured to create blight and force the current population out of their homes. Sixty-two thousand properties are set for foreclosure, this year, more than half of them occupied. “This could result in the displacement of as many as 100,000 Detroiters, or about one seventh of the city’s population.”

May 19th Versus Memorial Day in the Battle of Ideas

by Danny Haiphong

Rather than memorialize U.S. imperial wars, we should mark the birthdays and legacies of Malcolm X, who “strongly condemned US imperialism's invasion of Vietnam,” Yuri Kochiyama, who cradled Malcolm’s dying head and spent another half century as a committed “fighter for Black and anti-imperialist liberation,” and Vietnamese revolutionary Ho Chi Minh, who “wrote an essay on lynching in the US.”

40 Reasons Our Jails and Prisons Are Full of Black and Poor People

by Bill Quigley 

There are many paths to prison in the United States, the undisputed world leader in incarceration. The process begins with hyper-surveillance that can last a lifetime. “Not until Black men reach 50 years old do their rate of police stops for this kind of treatment dip below those of white men twenty five and under.”

I'm a Black Ex-Cop, and This is the Real Truth About Race and Policing

by Reddit Hudson

Black cops are keenly aware that racism permeates policing in the United States. “The reality of police abuse is not limited to a number of ‘very small incidents’ that have impacted black people nationwide, but generations of experienced and witnessed abuse.” Black cops often fear for their own lives when out of uniform.

Authoritarian African Leaders with a Thin Veneer of Democratic Legitimacy

Ann Garrison's picture

by Ann Garrison

The U.S. and its genocidal allies, Uganda and Rwanda, sought to destabilize the government of Burundi by painting its elected president as power hungry. President Pierre Nkurunziza seeks a third term in office. The leaders of Uganda and Burundi, as well as neighboring DR Congo, have all served long than Nkurunziza, but imperial stooges are accorded special privileges.

Obama’s Failed State Policy in Africa

by Thomas C. Mountain

President Obama’s is a state-destroyer, especially in Africa. Chaos, misery and failed states are his legacy on the continent. Obama’s fatal touch causes “already failing societies to begin to disintegrate, filling our screens with ever more scenes of death and destruction.” South Sudan is a state that failed before it began.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 1, 2015

A Global System of Oppression

Black Americans’ problems with the police are part of a global conflict, said Phillip Agnew, of the Dream Defenders, the youthful activist organization that emerged after Trayvon Martin’s death in 2012. “They’re all connected to one system: a system of injustice, a system of exploitation, a system of oppression that governs and controls us, nationally and internationally,” he said. “The same thing that is happening in Jacksonville, Florida, is happening in Palestine. The system isn’t broken; it’s working exactly how it was designed to work in order to oppress people around the world.”

Rulers Face Crisis of Legitimacy

Voter turnout in Philadelphia in last month’s local elections was the lowest in generations, especially in poor Black districts. This does not bode well for Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton, according to scholar and activist Dr. Anthony Monteiro. Unless something happens to dramatically energize Blacks, “Hillary Clinton cannot win the state of Pennsylvania, and if she cannot win Pennsylvania, she cannot become President of the United States.” Monteiro believes “we have entered a period where there is a crisis of legitimacy, where those who govern no longer have the legitimate support of the people they govern,” he said. “The question is, How will they govern without the support of the people and call it a democracy?”

Taking Measure of the “Ferguson-Baltimore Moment”

Black resistance confronts “a financialized, monopoly capitalism, with its repressive apparatus – the police and so forth – combined with the ideological apparatus of the educational system and the entertainment system,” said Dr. Cornel West, of Union Theological Seminary, on a Real News Network special program on “Building a Mass Movement.” “When folks are able to see through” the system’s ideological apparatus and “keep track of the suffering, and provide better, more liberating conceptions of what it means to be in the world, then I think we’re in a new day. I think we’re approaching that new day with what I call ‘the Ferguson-Baltimore moment,’” said West.

Marshall “Eddie” Conway, a former Black Panther Party member who spent 44 years as a political prisoner, said poor communities in cities like Baltimore have been “driven so far down, they can only go up.” Activists must help build “institutions that will sustain these communities.” The government and vested economic interests will then respond with attacks on such people’s institutions, but the community will learn that the system “doesn’t work in their interest.”

The current historical moment is marked by young people’s “rejection of traditional leadership, the outright disdain for those leaders who have served to temper the social movement,” said Rev. Osagyefu Sekou, of the Fellowship for Reconciliation. “Internal work” in Black communities will be key. “What are the ways that Black communities are going to self-organize, outside of the specter of the State, through cooperatives and feeding programs, cop-watches, self-patrols, those kinds of things where folks feel that they have a buy-in in the geography they occupy?”

 
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Cops Continued “Coon Huntin’” in Cleveland Despite 2004 Federal Consent Decree

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

No sooner had a Cleveland judge acquitted the only cop charged in the “mass firing squad execution” of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, than the Feds announced their second consent decree with the city in recent years. “It appears the Justice Department’s role is to restate the law and then call it ‘reform’ and a ‘model’ for urban America.”

Freedom Rider: Gentrification and the Death of Black Communities

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Gentrification – the displacement of Black and brown urban residents by more affluent whites – is a function of the same forces that emptied the cities of much of their white populations, generations ago: the movement of capital. Capital wants the cities back, and clears spaces for whites. “The system is stacked in favor of moneyed interests and white people.”

Obama Invokes U.S. Civil Rights Movement to Defend Israel

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

What should one expect when the First Black President of the world’s first apartheid state attempts to defend Israel, the planet’s last surviving apartheid state? Pure nonsense. President Obama managed to entangle the U.S. Civil Rights movement in a butt-kissing magazine article on the Zionist state.

 
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Holder’s Legacy: Corporations Too Big to Jail, Mass Incarceration, Gentrification and Protection of Killer Cops

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The first Black U.S. Attorney General, like the president who appointed him, entered office with high expectations among Black folks. “We now know what to expect from the Obama administration – nothing.” After years of betrayal, “the families of John Crawford III, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and all the other victims around the country must let go of any illusions that DOJ or the White House is in their corner.”

Susan Rice and Museveni Shake Hands on Crimes in Central Africa

Ann Garrison's picture

by Ann Garrison, with Milton Allimadi

The U.S. project to make South Sudan an independent country has descended into catastrophe and mass death. Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Washington’s hit man in the region, intervened in the South Sudanese civil war. “Now what we have in South Sudan is a conflict between an invading army, Gen. Museveni’s army and a South Sudanese army.” Museveni’s previous interventions in the Congo left millions dead.

2015 Memorial Day: Praying for Peace While Waging Permanent War?

by Bill Quigley 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 declaration that the U.S. was the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world” remains true, today. “We must commit ourselves and organize others to a true revolution of values and confront the corporations and politicians who continue to push our nation into war and inflate the military budget with the hot air of permanent fear mongering.”

The American Liberal vs. The Revolutionary: Exposing the Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

by Solomon Comissiong

Liberals, despite their protestations, remain wedded to U.S. imperial rule in the world. They wish only that it morph into a kinder, gentler imperialism. A Revolutionary knows that the only way change will ultimately come is by way of a sustained social revolution, one that engages a critical mass to work collectively in dismantling injustice and oppression.”

Black Agenda Radio, Week of May 27, 2015

Tanks Don’t Kill Blacks – It’s the Racist System

President Obama’s executive order “banning” the transfer or sale of certain weapons, gear and vehicles to local police departments is “based on a false narrative” that the conflict between police and Black communities is “non-racial,” said Justin Hansford, an associate professor at the University of St. Louis School of Law. “The armed occupation of Black communities by police has been going on for many decades before they brought out the tanks,” said Hansford, a Washington, DC native. “It’s an attempt to create an easy fix and a non-racial fix.” Michael Brown, Eric Garner and countless others were not killed by cops shooting automatic rifles from the tops of armored vehicles. “They were killed by a false narrative of Black criminality” and “the idea that Black life is more disposable.”

Cops Kill Sisters, Too

The “Say Her Name” campaign is necessary to “bring into the mix of this discussion of police getting away with murder the fact that police kill sisters, too,” said Carl Dix, a co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. Protesters took to the streets and public transportation systems of Chicago, Detroit, Oakland and Philadelphia, last week, to highlight police violence against women and girls.

Death By Demonization

Political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal told Prison Radio that the recent deaths of nine bikers in Waco, Texas, the 1993 massacre of Branch Davidian men, women and children in Waco, and the 1985 bombing of the MOVE house in Philadelphia “all have something in common: they’d been demonized.” Abu Jamal remains seriously ill from untreated diabetes and other, unknown ailments.

Settlement to Curtail “Trap-and-Detain” Arrests

In what the Washington-based Partnership for Civil Justice Fund calls an “unprecedented” settlement, the U.S. Department of the Interior has agreed to abide by strict standards for policing demonstrators on federal property. Fund executive director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard said the agreement “requires that they not use police lines to surround demonstrators, and stop the ‘trap-and-detain’ kettling tactic that was used around the country.” If police are contemplating making arrests at protests, “they must give people complete notice and opportunity to comply with any lawful police orders,” said Verheyden-Hilliard. The settlement also awards $2.2 million to 400 protesters arrested in 2002, in Washington.

Socialist Alternative Exploring Electoral Possibilities in St. Louis

Seeking to expand from its base in Seattle, Washington, the Socialist Alternative party is considering fielding candidates or backing other leftist political aspirants in St. Louis, Missouri, said organizer Ashton Rome. Campaigns could be centered on demands to “tax the rich” and for a civilian police oversight board “that actually has teeth.”

Malcolm X Set the Stage for Sixties Rebellion

The Sixties “was the high tide of Black intellectual and political thought around the world” – much of it influenced by the work of Malcolm X, who would have been 90 years old on May 19, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African Peoples Socialist Party. In a birthday salute to Malcolm at the Uhuru House, in St. Petersburg, Florida, Yeshitela said: “They assassinated him, but they killed him too late; it was his influence that created the Black Panther Party...and that was the most influential throughout the country.”

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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