We Must Look Back in Order to Move Forward

by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III

Racial murders often begin in the mind. “Too many police forces and officers view the African American citizens that they have sworn to ‘Protect and Serve’ as enemy combatants to be ‘Feared and Eliminated.’” The mindset of U.S. cops is conditioned by a national history of institutionalized racial oppression.

Free Haiti: Impeach Martelly

by Ezili Danto

The clock is ticking for Haiti to cast off the U.S.-backed regime of Michel Martelly, who will soon rule by raw decree if he is not quickly impeached. Haiti’s senate has the “authority to indict, impeach and remove Martelly immediately to protect the population, avoid a bloodbath, reinforce democratic institutions, and assure some institutional continuity.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/8/14

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CIA and Police Impunity are Linked

The long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture practices “could be the most important document, with respect to reviewing the crimes of U.S. intelligence agencies, since the Pentagon Papers,” said Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. “This is the cover-up underlying human rights abuses that no one has ever been held accountable for.” Yet, unarmed Black men fin the U.S. face extrajudicial assassination by police. “There is clearly no equal justice in this country,” said Buttar, “and no two things make it more clear than torture with impunity juxtaposed with mass incarceration.”

Remove the “Instruments of Death” from Our Communities

The new mass movement is wrestling with fundamental questions of Black life in America. “One demand is that you may not kill our children,” said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the noted whistleblower and activist with the Hands Up Coalition - DC, which last week presented a list of demands to the U.S. Justice Department. “It’s important that we get these instruments of death out of our communities,” said Coleman-Adebayo, who is also an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report.

Black People’s Humanity is not Negotiable

The Obama administration points to the numerous consent decrees it has arrived at with police departments around the country as evidence that it is serious about combating abuses in the criminal justice system. However, Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, is unimpressed. “These federal consent decrees do not get to the heart of the problem, which is that this system has criminalized and demonized Black people,” said Dix – just as Ferguson cop Darren Wilson described Michael Brown as a “demon.” “We have to say No, Black life matters, and we will not allow you to erase our humanity.”

What’s Trust Got to Do With It?

The “impotent” Black political class mimics white politicians when they call for “restoration of trust” between Blacks and police. “When was there ever trust in the first place?” asks Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report to Prison Radio. “The cruel, painful history of relations between police and the people is one of predation, not trust.” The police “are there to control Black mobility and to discipline Blacks for fear they’ll pose a threat to white wealth, life or property,” said Abu Jamal, at Frackville State Prison, in Pennsylvania.

Fast Food Strikers Spearhead Low Wage Workers Movement

Employees went on strike at fast food outlets in 190 cities, last week, demanding $15 an hour and union representation. The action, which also engaged airport, convenience store and other low wage workers, climaxed two years of organizing that began with a walkout at a single restaurant in New York City, said Kendall Sells, organizing director of Fast Food Forward. “Over the next six to twelve months,” said Sells, “I think people are going to see a complete explosion of low wage workers taking to the streets. That’s how we’re going to get these workers out of poverty.”

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. Click here to download the show. Length: One hour.

What Did Young Activists Gain From White House Meeting? What Did the President Get?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

After sending an extra hundred FBI agents to Ferguson in the days just before the grand jury decision, the White House invited young activists opposing police murder and impunity to a Monday meeting with the president. Black Agenda Report spoke briefly with Mr. Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders, asking what was gained or lost.

NOTE: This article has been significantly amended since initial publication on Dec 3, including the insertion of several links, most notably one to Davey D's much longer interview with Phillip Agnew of the Dream Defenders at its very end, which was broadcast on KPFA-FM after our initial publication date.

The New Movement: Are We There Yet?

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

A new movement is being born, but yet to be named. Unlike its historical predecessors, this struggle is primarily directed against the police, the armed, coercive organs of the state. Some degree of violence is inevitable. “In the final analysis, cities will almost certainly have to be rendered ungovernable before the State will accede to substantive people-power demands.”

Freedom Rider: Ferguson’s Reckoning for Obama

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Black folks should have only one thing to say to President Obama: “’Prosecute!’ Every time Eric Holder or Barack Obama or a high profile misleader turns up in public they must be met with this very simple demand.” The only thing standing in the way of civil rights charges against Darren Wilson is Obama, himself.

When the System Provides No Remedies to Torture, You Must Overthrow It

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The United States got a black eye from the UN Committee Against Torture, last week, in a report that was deeply influenced by events in Ferguson and the endemic, full-spectrum criminality practiced by police in places like Chicago. However, “U.S. law does not even define what torture is, or set any standard to measure it” – proof that there is no intention of abolishing torture in the U.S. Thus, there is no alternative but to dismantle the system.

Ajamu Baraka: “Peoples in Resistance from Ferguson to Palestine: A Report Back” Dec 10-11

by The Editors

In an era when corporate news don't cover the existence of Palestinians as human beings, or the simple fat that Israel's apartheid regime continues to wage a genocidal war against them, nothing is more valuable than first hand reporting. Black Agenda Report's Ajamu Baraka is recently returned from a trip to Palestine, and will do his first 2 report backs Dec 10 in Atlanta GA and Dec 11 in Augusta GA.

“Why are They Doing This to Me?”: Seattle Students Walkout on Ferguson Decision and Racism

by Jesse Hagopian

Ferguson is everywhere – including Seattle, where thousands of students took to the streets last week. “What is sweeping the nation—something the media cannot acknowledge without legitimizing challenges to their own supremacy—is a politicized populace of Black people, people of color, and their allies, with a goal of uprooting institutional racism.”

The Lessons of Libya

by Dan Glazebrook

Led by Western self-interest, NATO embarked on a massive military intervention in Libya in 2011 that leaves many lessons for the Global South. Above all stands the lesson that Western military intervention cannot bring about the desired change, but rather creates failed states.

Thanksgiving is the Expression of the Colonizer, Then and Now

by Danny Haiphong

What most Americans think they know about the historical “Thanksgiving” is a myth, yet the story is acted out on a global and domestic scale under contemporary U.S. imperialism. For example, in Syria, the U.S. invents and arms “moderate” rebels while bombing the ISIS kind. Domestically, “both the Obama Administration and the corporate media have divided Black American resistance between "civilized" peaceful protesters and "savage" looters.

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

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/1/14

Ferguson Creates Crisis for U.S. Rulers

“This government is on edge,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “This government has an incredible quandary in dealing with the re-emergence of Black people in this ‘post-racial’ situation that’s supposed to be defined by the presidency of Barack Obama.” White people are on edge, too. “There’s no editorials being written about the fact that white people are arming themselves to the teeth in the whole Missouri area,” said Yeshitela. “It’s a crisis of great magnitude and they have no idea how to deal with it.”

Black America Must Appeal to International Allies

“At the end of the day, if this epidemic of police killings is” to be halted, “we are going to have to appeal to the international community,” as did Blacks of past generations, said Dr. Gerald Horne, historian and professor of African American Studies at the University of Houston. “It’s no accident that RT in Moscow, CCTV in China, Telesur in Venezuela, Prensa Latina of Cuba, and Press TV of Iran have been much more incisive” on Ferguson “than many of our local and domestic outlets.” Horne was interviewed on the Real News Network, as was Kevin Alexander Gray, the Columbia, South Carolina activist and author. “What needs to change is the ability of police on the street to invoke the death penalty without due process,” said Gray. Ferguson cop Darren Wilson “got a lot of due process; Michael Brown got none. What’s gonna happen is, people are going to have to rethink what self-defense means in this country, in light of giving the police such unfettered power.”

Mumia: Ferguson Enters Pantheon of Black Pain

“The name Ferguson joins an ancient line of place names of pain, loss and Black death – places like Birmingham, Philadelphia and, now, Ferguson,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner. In a report for Prison Radio, Abu Jamal said that some Blacks will seal away the memory of Ferguson, while “others will grow in radicalism, convinced that this case is the very epitome of racist injustice.”

Rev. Pinkney Promises “Breaking News” Before His Sentencing

Facing 25 years in prison following his conviction on charges of tampering with an election recall petition, Rev. Edward Pinkney “promises” to have “breaking news” before he is sentenced on December 15. The Benton Harbor, Michigan, community leader said he was “shocked” that he could be found guilty by an all-white jury “with absolutely no witnesses.” Police officer Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri, “murdered a boy with witnesses. Here, they’re about to send me to jail for the rest of my life with no witnesses, with no evidence at all,” said Pinkney, age 65. He promised revelations that will blow the case out of the water.

Obama’s Secret Afghan War Extension

Weeks before the November elections, President Obama secretly extended the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan through the end of 2015. The president’s conduct holds no surprises for author and anti-war activist David Swanson, publisher of the influential web site WarIsACrime.Org. “Obama has been given credit for six years for ending a war that he tripled in size,” said Swanson. “This is his war, far more than George W. Bush’s, in terms of death, destruction, injuries, refugees, money spent, time spent – and he’s gonna keep it going.”

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: Click here to download the show. One hour.

Ferguson: It is Right to Resist, By Any and All Means Necessary

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Having failed to head off the beginnings of a Black mass movement, the Black Misleadership Class and the White House cite violence in Ferguson to discredit youthful activists. However, “any movement that defies police power and rejects the legitimacy of the state – including its prosecutors and grand juries – will inevitably commit acts that are deemed illegal and which are accompanied by some level of violence.”

Freedom Rider: Bill Cosby and Michael Brown

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Unrepentant old rapists aren’t funny. Nor are they good media investments. Karma has caught up with Bill Cosby, who slandered the Black poor as amoral criminals, but “will never have another television show or book on the best seller list and that is as it should be.”

Marion Barry: The Unmitigated Gall to Rise from the Ashes and Come Back to Win

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Washington, DC, which recently lost its Black majority, last week lost the only mayor it ever had who was committed to Black empowerment. Marion Barry “was on the front line fighting to maintain black control of Washington, D.C. from the politically powerful investors bent on ethnic cleaning cum gentrification.”

War on the Down-Low: Obama’s Afghan Lies

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford


In secrecy and deceit, President Obama reversed his promised phase-out of the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan. Which simply proves that Obama “is no different than any other U.S. imperial leader – except that he is a more accomplished liar than most.

Bottomless Cynicism and Contempt For Immigrant Communities: Obama's Long-Awaited “Executive Action” on Immigration

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

President Obama's so-called "bold executive action" on immigration is not a victory for the grassroots movements in immigrant communities. It's an old bone with rotten meat, more evidence of their bottomless contempt for Democrats' so-called "base voters", especially those of color.

The Darren Wilson Non-indictment: Resistance to Oppression is a Human Right!

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka


The U.S. State, corporate media and slavish elements of the Black community are determined to paint the most spirited resistance to white supremacy as illegitimate. Pay them no mind. “The task of the African American resistance movement is not to worry about sitting down with white people infected with the disease of white supremacy, but to build the capacity of black poor and working class folks to resist.”

End Police Terror: Sustained Protests Begin at U.S. Justice Department December 1

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

What do the protesters in Ferguson and their allies around the country want? The Hands Up Coalition has issued a comprehensive list, demanding demilitarization of police, systematic review of all police departments, targeted federal spending for police reform, an end to racial profiling and the criminalization of Blacks, and a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice.

Boston’s War of Gentrification and Homelessness is an Extension of War on the World

by Danny Haiphong

Boston, like most U.S. cities, is attempting to banish its homeless population. “Working class and poor people, especially Boston's Black residents, are being forced outside” the city. Dedicated activists have mobilized to “address the criminalizatiorica:n of the nation's most oppressed section of the working class, US imperialism's own wretched of the earth.”

Police Violence in Black Toronto: Cops Act Like “Military Police in Occupied Territories”

by Ajamu Nangwaya

The Jane and Finch community is the epicenter of Black Toronto and, not coincidentally, the most intensive arena of police abuse. In Canada, “carding” is the equivalent of U.S. stop-and-frisk. “If the people are able to win victory on the issue of carding, it might build their resolve and confidence to take on other structural or oppressive economic and social issues.”

Africa’s Dilemma: Transitioning From Where to Where?

by George Mwai

Transitional Justice seeks to enable societies to come to terms with legacies of large-scale past abuse, in order to secure accountability, serve justice and achieve reconciliation towards a future that is democratic and free from violence, but its groundings and mechanisms are fraught with multiple dilemmas.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 11/26/14

Cornel West and Bob Avakian Dialogue at Riverside Church

The nation’s foremost Black public intellectual shared the stage with the head of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) at New York’s historic Riverside Church. RCP leader Bob Avakian, an atheist “to the bone,” said: “The movement I envision is one in which people like Cornel and myself can walk together on the road of revolution and emancipation, uniting in struggle to bring about a world in which there will no longer be a wretched of the earth.” His “Christian revolutionary” interlocutor, Dr. Cornel West, of Union Theological Seminary, told the crowd: “This is a unique historical moment. Why? Because, historically, Black rage has always been the central threat to the status quo – not because Black people have a monopoly on truth, goodness or beauty, but because when Black folks wake up, all people who are subordinated and dominated can get in and wake up.”

Roadblocks to Community Control of Police

Activists have been trying to set up civilian boards to oversee police for almost 50 years, with only limited success, according to Larry Hamm, chairman of northern New Jersey’s People’s Organization for Progress (POP). “States must confer power on such boards, such as subpoena powers,” said Hamm. Would effective controls on police get through the state legislature in New Jersey and elsewhere? “I would dare say it would not. It’s gonna be a bumpy road.”

Who Keeps Track of Killer Cops?

The Black community lacks even the capacity to keep track of abuses committed against it by police departments across the nation, said author and activist Kevin Alexander Gray, of Columbia, South Carolina. “In the past, the NAACP in local areas was the place to report police abuse,” said Gray, an editor of the new book Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence. “Some organization needs to take on that role again. The way things are now, if a person has a complaint against the police department they’ve got to take it to – the police.”

Haitians Protest Life Under Occupation

Thousands demonstrated in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, last week, fueled by a variety of grievances, said Ezili Danto, of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network. “They were asking for an end to the U.S. occupation, behind UN guns and private military subcontractors; they were asking that the militarized, Ferguson-like police stop killing the people; and they were asking for mock elections not to continue in Haiti, but for real elections to be held.”

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. Click this link to download the show.

Freedom Rider: Jackson, Sharpton, Holder and Ferguson

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Those who seek justice for Michael Brown should ignore Reverends Jackson and Sharpton, who serve only themselves and Power. One man can order a federal prosecution of officer Darren Wilson. It’s not Eric Holder, but the attorney general’s boss. “If there is no federal prosecution of Darren Wilson, the political disaster of the Obama presidency will be made crystal clear.”

Ferguson Struggle Has Already Altered Black Politics

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

In the three months since Michael Brown was gunned down in Ferguson, the appeal of grassroots movement politics has grown stronger and the influence of the Black Misleadership Class has notably weakened. Black folks are remembering a lesson that had largely been forgotten: “the power is in the streets.”

Political Prisoners Seek Justice at UN Committee on Torture

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Supporters of U.S. political prisoners, most of them former Black Panthers and all of them senior citizens, faced off against the assembled bureaucracy of the United States, at a meeting of the UN Committee Against Torture, in Geneva, Switzerland, last week. The U.S. Human Rights Network spoke truth to power, while the official Washington delegation “engaged in non-stop obfuscation, semantic contortions, and bald denials of fact.”

If “The Economy is Recovering” Why Is There a Surge in Homeless Children?

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

Corporate media and politicians of both capitalist parties agree there is no story, no political issue on poverty or homelessness, at the same time child homelessness reached unheard of proportions. How much clearer can it be that homelessness is a fairly predictable outcome of capitalism?

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