“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.