Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/07/15

Michael Brown’s Killer Indicted by Black People’s Grand Jury

After two days of investigation and deliberations, a Black People’s Grand Jury handed down a first degree murder indictment against former Ferguson, Missouri, policeman Darren Wilson in the death of teenager Michael Brown. Four Black prosecutors presented evidence to the 12 St. Louis County residents, who also drew on the records of the mostly white official grand jury that failed to indict Wilson in November. “Darren Wilson is a killer, but he’s not out there by himself,” said lead people’s prosecutor Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement. “Somebody made the decision to leave the body there for 4 ½ hours” in the blazing August heat. Darren Wilson “has been rewarded with almost a million dollars by white people. The problem is institutional, and this grand jury is more capable of understanding that” than the one that was seated and manipulated by St. Louis prosecutor Bob McCulloch.

An Awakening People

Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the lifelong activist and former professor of African American Studies at Temple University, said young Black people are “awakening. They’re getting a sense of their power and what they can do without any corporate-designated leaders. And, once they’ve seen that, they’re going to connect the killing of Black people by the police to the economic and social crisis that engulfs the country.” Dr. Monteiro was fired from his post at Temple for his political activism.

Beyond Issues of Brutality: Social Transformation

“What we’re seeing is the radicalization of a new generation,” said Ajamu Baraka, an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report and fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Through struggle, Black youth will learn that “what is absolutely required is a fundamental transformation of social relationships, and of the entire structure of oppression in this country.” Baraka was a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network.

America’s “Unworthy Victims”

Activist scholar Paul Street, author of the recent article, “Worthy and Unworthy Victims: From Vietnam and Iraq to Ferguson and New York,” said the United States lauds its soldiers and cops as saints. The message is: “They’re policing the world and keeping chaos at bay; they’re nobly sacrificing themselves for the common good.” Meanwhile, “the folks on the other end of our guns” die in far greater numbers: millions killed in Vietnam and Iraq and untold numbers murdered under color of law in the “homeland.”

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. Download the show here. Length: One hour.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/29/14

Black Grand Jury to Judge Cop that Killed Michael Brown

A Black People’s Grand Jury will convene in St. Louis, January 3 and 4, in response to a mostly white grand jury’s failure to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. “Already, there is so much evidence that the grand jury process was manipulated by the prosecutor,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Network. “We’ll see whether or not Africans will come to the same conclusion, with more or less the same evidence.” The Black People’s Grand Jury will call additional witnesses, including Black police officers from the region. “It’s a tool that can be used by African people in any city in this country to deconstruct the colonial relationship that we have with white power,” said Yeshitela.

Movement Will Resist Pressures to Retreat

The anti-police violence movement will not waver, despite calls from politicians to “tamp down” on supposedly “divisive rhetoric” out of “respect” for the two New York City cops killed by a lone Black gunman. “The fact that they seem to be more concerned with the lives of police officers than with the lives of young Black people is going to create a greater crisis of legitimacy, not just for the police, but for the American government and its local representatives around the country,” said Dr. Johanna Fernandez, professor of history and African American Studies at Baruch College. Twenty-five thousand police staged a show of force at one of the officer’s funeral. Protests have continued, however, “a sign that the movement is not going to easily disappear into the night,” said Fernandez.

Mumia: “Respect for Whom?”

The nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, rejects calls to suspend demonstrations “out of respect” for police. “Who respects whom?” he asked. “When cops killed Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, who showed respect for them?” Concerning Eric Garner’s death at police hands, in New York, Abu Jamal said: “Choking a man to death for suspicion of selling a cigarette – real respectful, huh?”

Rogue Cops are Terrorists

Matthew Fogg, a former deputy U.S. Marshal, whistleblower, and activist with Hands Up Coalition DC, said the so-called War on Drugs “changed the paradigm” of police behavior, giving officers a larger “discretionary window” to use deadly force. “A rogue cop is the same as a terrorist,” said Fogg, founder of the Congress Against Racism and Corruption in Law Enforcement (CARCLE). “He has the training, the skills and the means to hurt people and to kill folks.”

Cop-Watch in Ferguson Distributes Cameras

The Canfield Watchmen, named for the apartment complex near the street where Michael Brown was killed, has raised thousands of dollars to equip residents with 210 body-cameras and to conduct “know your rights” classes. But the group’s first task was to prevent the police from destroying a makeshift memorial to Brown. “The Canfield Watchmen’s primary goal was to ensure that the memorial was going to be here, and that the people that come down here to visit wouldn’t have to worry about anybody attacking them,” said co-founder David Whitt.

It’s Not Victims’ Families Job to Call for Non-Violence

Dontre Hamilton was shot 14 times, last April, by a white Milwaukee cop who claimed the young Black man was trying to hit him with his own police baton. “This is a Beast, and only the people can take down the Beast,” said Hamilton’s brother, Nate. “So, we’re activating the power of the people.” The families of police victims are not obliged to be the voice of reason, said Hamilton. “My family doesn’t have to be that voice of reason, to come out and say, ‘No violence.’ The mayor has to be that voice of reason. The police chief has to be that voice of reason. The district attorney has to be that voice of reason – not my family, not any family that has to go through injustice.”

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.

Taking the Initiative Back For the Movement After the Brinsley Killings

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The killing of 2 NYPD officers by Ismaaiyl Brinsley were the occasion for fascist cops, mostly Republicans and authoritarian liberal politicians, mostly Democrats along with their black civil rights and media spokespeople, to seize the initiative from the movement against police murder and brutality. But the movement can take the mic back. This issue of Black Agenda Report, is mostly about the movement response to the NYPD killings, along with some timely information on Cuba's present and past role in African liberation, and a remembrance of the US invasion of Panama 25 years ago, which leveled several African neighborhoods in Panama City.
We'll be taking a break next week, and back the first Tuesday or Wednesday in January. Happy holidays and peace, to those who fight for it, and everyone else.

Cops Threaten a Blue Coup in New York City

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

New York City’s cops “threaten mutiny if the State does not stick up for the men and women who do its dirty work.” The police say they are now on a “wartime” footing – as if a state of a war has not existed between police and Black America for the past two generations.

Freedom Rider: Cuba in the American Imagination

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The imperial mentality is not limited to the right wing of the American political spectrum. Some purported leftists greeted the opening to Cuba as if recognition by the U.S. was the greatest thing that ever happened to the island nation. The Cubans don’t see it that way, although they wanted the deal. “President Raul Castro stated in no uncertain terms that Cuba will remain socialist and will not extradite Assata Shakur or anyone else granted asylum by the government.”

Political Mutiny in the New York Police Department. Does DeBlasio Order Officers to Turn in their Badges?

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

Ex NYC Mayor Bloomberg used to call NYPD his army. Facist thug cops are acting the part, publicly feuding with corporate media and liberal authoritarians like the mayor, the attorney general and the president over the degree of their immunity and impunity. DC's Hands Up Coalition, like the rest of the real movement, expresses sympathy and solidarity with the family of Shaneka Thompson, and vows that the demonstrations and public pressure will continue.

Anti-Police Violence Organizing After Ismaaiyl Brinsley's Death

by Michelle Matisons

The three deaths in New York this past weekend – two cops, one young Black man with a gun – do not alter the issues and imperatives of the movement against police repression in Black America. However, “the corporate state's policing apparatus will do everything in its power to use this event as a further call to arms against protesting U.S. residents and communities of color.”

December 20, 1989: The Day that Black Lives Did Not Matter in Panama

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Twenty-five years ago, the U.S military bombed, shot and burned to death 3,000 people in the mostly Black neighborhood of El Chorillo, in the capital city of Panama. It was a war crime, within the larger crime of foreign invasion. “U.S. troops committed numerous other war crimes, from summary executions to the wanton destruction of civilian property and the failure to distinguish between civilian and military targets.”

Despite Deaths of Two Officers, Movement Against Police Brutality is Just

by Johanna Fernández

“The police are already using the killings of these cops as an opportunity to declare war against the black community and to criminalize the growing movement against police violence.”

In real-world America, cops are rarely killed, yet their institutional behavior is central to the “crazy-making” of a racist society.

The Police and the Massacre of Afro-Brazilian Youth

by Brian Mier

Brazil has the largest population of black people outside Africa, leads the planet in police murders of young blacks. Like their US counterparts, murderous Brazilian cops enjoy immunity and impunity. Besides the article published below, our friends at This Is Hell interviewed Brian Mier...

A Comparative Tale of Two Cop Killers - The Millers VS Ismaaiyl Brinsley

by Davey D

When a white couple killed two Nevada cops earlier this year, draping a tea party flag and swastikas on one of the corpses before being gunned down, we didn't hear a nationwide outcry about how cops feared for their lives. There was no pressure on open carry and tea party folks to denounce the killers. What does this kind of selective outrage tell us?

The Politics of Language Pt. 1: Six Concepts For This Movement's Continued Political Education

by Danny Haiphong

The battle against the Black Mass Incarceration State will move forward through both organized, concrete action and spontaneous rebellion. The goal is social transformation. “Capitalist ideology is merely window-dressing for a genocidal, racist system built on the graves of Black America and the material conditions that brought the #BlackLivesMatter movement to life.”

Why Shaneka Thompson's Life Matters

by Thandisizwe Chimurenga

In their haste to seize a political opportunity with the killing of 2 NYPD officers by Ismaiyil Brinsley, corporate media, cops and politicians have shown once again whose causes and lives really matter. Brinsley's first victim was Shaneka Thompson. Remember her name. Her life matters too.

Jamaica and the Politics of Debt Trap

by Jeb Sprague

In Jamaica, as in so much of the formerly colonized world, debt strangles development and negates national sovereignty. “Jamaica’s two main political parties are largely concerned with remaking Jamaica into a more globally competitive platform for transnational capital.”

Cuba - An African Odyssey, Parts 1 and 2

A Cuban Odyssey: Cuba's key role in the struggle for African Liberation

An indispensable film by by Jihan El-Tahri.

From its beginnings, the Cuban Revolution has been the indispensable ally of liberation forces on the African continent.

This is part of the history that most Africans, and certainly every Cuban knows, but which few of us in the US, even activists and scholars are aware. It's also key to understanding the implacable hostility of the US to the Cuban Revolution.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio, Week of Christmas Eve, 2014

Counter-Revolution in Cuba by Other Means

The U.S. is establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time in nearly 55 years, but Washington is still up to no good. “I think the people in the Obama administration have decided that this is just another way to overthrow the Cuban revolution,” said Netfa Freeman, of the International Committee for Freedom for the Cuban 5. “They still have the same disposition about Cuba, but they want to change how they go about destabilizing it.” The remaining three members of the Cuban 5, who were imprisoned in 1998 on espionage charges, were freed as part of the diplomatic breakthrough.

Ferguson as Truth-Teller to the World

Russians were shocked at Michael Brown’s killing and the scale of protests that followed, said Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley, just returned from a conference of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russian, in Moscow. “The small suburb of St. Louis is now known around the world,” said Kimberley, “and the people of Ferguson have really done an amazing thing in telling the world the truth about life in the United States, particularly for Black people.” Kimberley traveled as part of a delegation from UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition.

U.S. Power Structure Searching for Slick Black Hope

Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the BAR editor and columnist, renowned whistleblower and activist with the Hands Up Coalition-DC, said U.S. rulers confront a huge challenge: “How do we take control of the movement and provide it with a leader that will be accepted among the young?” Obama favorite Al Sharpton and much of the traditional civil rights leadership are vying for the job. The power structure “needs these organizations to provide a diversion away from people asking very fundamental questions about whether capitalism can meet the needs of Black people in this country.”

The Ever-Morphing Police State

New York police commissioner Bill Bratton, architect of the “Broken Windows” philosophy of policing, has other tricks up his sleeve, said Josmar Trujillo, of New Yorkers Against Bratton. “He’s here to figure out new, innovative ways to get into our lives,” such as “predictive policing,” a “muscled-up, proactive” approach that provides yet more forced encounters between cops and their Black and brown prey. “The police state that communities of color live in is, literally, killing people” – such as “Broken Windows” victim Eric Garner.

Mumia Abu Jamal Daughter Dies

Samiyah “Goldie” Davis Abdullah, the 35 year-old daughter of political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, has succumbed to cancer. The mother of two girls and spoken word artist had just finished earning her masters degree in social work at the University of Pennsylvania. At Frackville State Prison, Abu Jamal told Prison Radio that his daughter “remains with us, echoing in our souls. She is a song we will sing forever.”

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.

Why I Don't Do Kwaanza

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Ron Karenga, the man who invented Kwaanza, headed the US organization, which was responsible for the murder of 4 Black Panthers in Southern California as a tool of COINTELPRO, and the torture of two of its own female members. Kwaanza may now be bigger than its inventor, but Karenga's crimes do cast a shadow on the holiday for many of us.

Getting Rid of Al Sharpton and the Misleadership Class

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The young activists of the Ferguson “movement” may have altered the course of Black and U.S. history, “Thanks to the liberating model of Ferguson, there is the opportunity to thoroughly discredit the Black Misleadership Class” and move forward towards transformational change.

Freedom Rider: Ferguson Reverberates Around the World

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The whole world wants to know where the “Ferguson” movement is going, and Russians are no exception. The author just returned from Moscow, where they “were curious about Barack Obama’s relationship with the constituency that supported him the most and why their needs are still not adequately addressed.”

Rev. Edward Pinkney Sentenced: Whirlpool and White Racism Imprison Another Black Leader

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

An all-white criminal justice process “has snatched 66 year-old Rev. Edward Pinkney away to what could become life in prison” for using the ballot to empower Black people in southwest Michigan. As far as the white authorities and their corporate overlords are concerned, that makes Pinkney a career criminal.

LET US SPEAK! LET US SPEAK! LET US SPEAK! Voices from Ferguson to Sharpton

Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, BAR editor and columnist and Kevin Berends

The spirit of the people in motion will often overcome the pretentions of their so-called leaders. Thus it was inevitable that young activists denied any part in Sharpton's stage-managed DC spectacle save that of crowd extras, briefly seized the mic to address the their peers, their elders and the world.

December Surprise (Class struggle trumps Trail of Tricks)

by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

With young, Black America’s sound

New meaning to ‘boots on the ground!’

Like a ‘surge,’ chum-rushing the stage

Declaring: The Ferguson Age!

Eric Garner, American Occupation, and the Decline of Empire

​by Danny Haiphong

Like whole flocks of chickens coming home to roost, the deep contradictions that beset the U.S. empire have become acute, at home and abroad. “The militarized police state that is attempting to stifle the energy of the current movement has its roots in the Pentagon's efforts to put down the spontaneous Black rebellions of the mid 60's.”

The Global Scourge of Police Killing Blacks

by Lisa Tomlinson

The issue of Black people being victims of systemic brutality, oppression and murder at the hands of the police is not limited to the United States. It is a global problem. If we are ever going to stop this barbaric use of authority to trample the civil and human rights of Black people we must open our eyes to what it happening on an international scale.

Sacramento’s Black Mayor and the Minimum Wage

by Seth Sandronsky

If Kevin Johnson is “progressive,” then the term has become meaningless. The Sacramento mayor and charter school champion, husband of privatization zealot Michelle Rhee, has bought into the corporate argument that meaningful hikes in the minimum wage harm the economy, including the lowest paid workers. In the short term, he wants to “study” the issue to death.

Would You Buy An Obamamobile From This Man?

by Howard Wait

“High Deductible Health Care Model” is President Obama’s legacy to the American people, complete with “skinny networks, overpriced medicines and more tricks and traps than a Halloween funhouse.” But, no need to worry. “After the deductible is paid, which will be never, health care is free!”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/15/14

Sharpton Rally Rejects Young and Rebellious

Aside from relatives of police murder victims, the speakers list at Saturday’s “Justice for All” event in Washington, DC, was dominated by conservative, Black establishment figures. “We came with the genuine intention to see whose voices they would elevate,” said Erika Totten, part of a youthful contingent of Ferguson activists that briefly took to the stage. “We kept being dismissed, so I said, ‘Stand behind me and follow me. We’re gonna shut it down, like we always do.’” Totten was interview by The Real News Network.

Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the noted whistleblower and activist with Hands Up Coalition DC, said the Sharpton rally was an attempt to co-opt the growing movement. “The Obama administration has used a surrogate, Rev. Al Sharpton, to help corral that kind of energy and those kinds of issues back into the political system where those kinds of passions can die an unnatural death.”

Obama Scrapes Bottom of Barrel to Choose Task Force Leader

“It would have been hard for President Obama to find a more inappropriate choice” for co-chair of the new White House task force on police militarization than former DC police chief Charles Ramsey, said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. The Fund won $20 million in damages for police abuse of demonstrators during Ramsey’s tenure as chief, during which he committed massive violations of civil rights and instituted a military style of policing. “Social change never comes in the United State because Congress or the White House suddenly, benevolently decided to do the right thing,” said Verheyden-Hilliard. “It comes because there’s a people’s struggle in the streets and in the courts.”

Nothing New in CIA Torture Report Except “Rectal Feeding”

Most of the information in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s highly redacted report on CIA Torture was “already part of the public record,” with the exception of revelations on forced “rectal feeding” of detainees, said Dr. Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, at Champaign. “It’s really rape – rape-torture,” said Dr. Boyle. “The significance of this report is that we now have a branch of the United States government making official findings of fact,” which, in legal terms, amounts to “an admission against interest.” Boyle is preparing to demand an immediate investigation into CIA torture by the International Criminal Court.

Mumia: CIA = Crime All the Time

“The CIA, the executive hand of the president, has been involved deeply in every crime known to man,” said America’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio. The agency commits thousands of crimes every day, but is immune from prosecution under the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2001. “That’s American law: the law of the outlaw,” said Abu Jamal.

Psychologists Earn $80 Million Torturing Detainees

A company owned by two psychologists was paid $80 million to design and oversee the CIA’s detainee torture program. Moreover, “there’s evidence that the American Psychological Association colluded with the CIA, the Department of Defense and the White House to adjust its ethics policy so that psychologists could consult and participate in interrogations and detention operations,” said Dr. Roy Eidelson, a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility. Both the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association refused to allow their members to participate in the CIA’s torture programs.

Obama Grants Bush Iraq War Immunity

The Obama administration filed papers granting officials of the Bush administration immunity from prosecution for waging war against Iraq. Inder Comar, a California lawyer, argues that George Bush, Dick Cheney and their crew began a conspiracy to wage an illegal war years before Bush won the presidency. However, the Obama administration claims its predecessors were acting “within the legitimate scope of their employment” when they attacked Iraq, in 2003. In the end, said Comar, “this case is going to hinge on District of Columbia employment law.”

America Was “Torture Empire of the World”

Those who say torture is “contrary to U.S. values really don’t know beans about U.S. history, because this used to be the torture empire of the world,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, the prolific professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston. Speaking on Eutrice Leid’s show on the Progressive Radio Network, Dr. Horne pointed out that “the slave owner in the United States honed methods of torture against enslaved Africans to increase productivity and profit.” Dr. Horne’s latest book is titled Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba During Slavery and Jim Crow.

Black Caucus and “Civil Rights” Groups in Pockets of Telecoms

President Obama’s recent statement in favor of Internet neutrality went “even further than I expected,” said Kevin Zeese, a leader of net neutrality activists who set up camp outside the offices of the Federal Communications Commission. Zeese hopes to convince the FCC’s chairman to treat the Internet like a public utility. However, the Congressional Black Caucus and traditional civil rights organizations remain wedded to telecom corporations. “They are so deep in the pockets of AT&T and other telecoms, they have always done their bidding,” said Zeese. “Whether it’s mergers or neutrality, they take the wrong position” every time.

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.

"Teach For America" Trojan Horse Among Ferguson Activists?

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Teach For America has done vast and indisputable harm to black communities across the country, funded by hundreds of millions in deep corporate pockets and tens of millions of federal dollars. Could this be why the St. Louis TFA exec director was picked to meet the president, supposedly as one of the "young black activists"?

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