Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford's blog

Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 27, 2017

No Justice to be Found in Louisiana

“Louisiana has the most broken public defender system of any state in the country,” said Kristen Clark, president of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which joined with the Southern Poverty Law Center to bring a class action suit charging Louisiana with depriving defendants of their constitutional rights.

“They lock people up a alarmingly high rates, and then fail to provide lawyers to navigate their way through the criminal justice system,” said Clark. “Many of our clients have, literally, spent months in jail without any contact with an attorney.” Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the nation.

“They Want to Exterminate Us”: MOVE to Hold Conference in Philly

The MOVE organization will hold a three-day conference, beginning May 5, in Philadelphia, to set the historical record straight on “what MOVE really believes in, who [founder] John Africa is, and why the government wants to exterminate us,” said the organization’s minister of communications, Ramona Africa. Ms. Africa is the sole survivor of the 1985 police bombing raid on the MOVE residence that left 11 members dead, including 5 children, and destroyed an entire city block. In 1978, 9 MOVE members were sentenced to life in prison in the death of a policeman, a confrontation that began with petty police harassment. “They said there were housing code violations,” Ms. Africa remembers. “But, since when has this government cared about Black people living in what they say is substandard housing?”

Good News: Trump Does Not Yet Have an Africa Policy

U.S. military intervention in Africa rose dramatically under President Barack Obama, who established an “Atrocity Prevention Board” at the U.S. State Department “to decide which country has the most important atrocities.” However, according to Kambale Musavuli, of Friends of the Congo, the Atrocity Prevention Board doesn’t consider the genocide in Congo to be much of an atrocity, since the main culprits are Washington’s allies, Rwanda and Uganda, which have been destabilizing the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1996. “Because of U.S. policy to support that invasion,” said Musavuli, “we have lost over six million Congolese.” In light of this history, Musavuli would prefer less, rather than more, attention to Africa from Washington. “What is unclear,” he said, “is whether Donald Trump will continue with the Atrocity Prevention Board, or what his Africa policy will be.”

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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.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/12/15

Cop Body Cameras Threaten Civil Liberties

President Obama wants to spend $75 million to equip cops with body cameras. However, Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee warned that “body cameras will ultimately be used to create a mountain of new evidence” against citizens, leading to even higher rates of mass incarceration. “These cameras monitor people without any individualized basis for suspicion” of committing a crime, said Buttar. “The best thing to do is prohibit those police from arresting residents who capture police activities on their phone cameras.”

Mumia Abu Jamal’s Lawyers Challenge Silencing Act

The Pittsburgh-based Abolitionist Law Center and two other legal outfits filed a motion to halt Pennsylvania from enforcing the so-called Silencing Act, designed to muzzle the voice of the nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal. The law gives victims of personal injury crimes the right to sue people convicted of such offenses for inflicting “mental anguish” by virtue of their subsequent, undefined “conduct,” including by speech, written word, or other communication or action. Abolitionist Law Center executive director Bret Grote said the law is irredeemably unconstitutional. “The whole purpose of it was to target Mumia Abu Jamal, whose conduct has been recognized by the courts as constitutionally protected.” Thousands of other Pennsylvania prison inmates and convicts that have served their sentences, as well as civilians who do business with such persons, could also be prosecuted under the Silencing Act.

Mumia: Blowback in France

“Wars have a way of returning home in the most unexpected of ways,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio. The Iraq War still generates new violence, ten years after the invasion. “We’re seeing that now, in France,” said Abu Jamal. “Perhaps we shall see it here, as well.”

Racist Mythology Props Up U.S. Ruling Class

The U.S. social order is largely built on the myth that cops, judges, jailers and prosecutors “are all that stand between us and rampant crime, anarchy and ruin,” said BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon. Rather than provide a decent standard of living for its people, America brands Black and poor folk as unworthy and irredeemable. For that reason, said Dixon, “the burgeoning movement against police immunity and impunity really is a threat to so-called national security, a menace to the privileges of banksters and employers, of privatizers and gentrifiers, and of the prerogatives of the 1%.”

Lynne Stewart: Abolish Grand Juries

In an article published in Socialist Action newspaper, people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart called the grand jury system an “anachronism” that “puts another roadblock in the way of the people. It’s a way in which the prosecution keeps the playing field for itself; it controls all the moves,” said Stewart, who spent five years in prison before she was released a year ago, suffering from Stage Four breast cancer. Only two or three times in her 30 years as an attorney has a grand jury refused to go along with the prosecutions wishes, said Stewart.

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. Click here to download the show.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of September 19, 2011

 

McKinney: Ethnic Cleansing Spreads in Libya

“Ethnic cleansing is taking place in Libya,” said former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. “People are being killed because of the color of their skin.” Atrocities like the virtual erasure of the mostly Black city of Tawergha by rebels have “spread to other parts of Libya,” said McKinney, who has visited the country several times since NATO began its bombing campaign and maintains contacts with people inside Libya. “We are under a massive psychological warfare effort,” said the 2008 Green Party presidential candidate. “Therefore, we cannot believe anything that comes from the mainstream media, because they have been part and parcel of the invasion, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Who is Next Target for “Responsibility to Protect”

“The military action in Libya sets a dangerous precedent,” said Prof. Marjorie Cohn, of Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California. “What is to prevent the United States from stage managing some protests, magnifying them in the corporate media as mass actions, and then bombing or attack Venezuela, Cuba, Iran or North Korea?” NATO’s actions violate not only the UN General Assembly’s position on the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, but also UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which called for the exhaustion of all peaceful means of resolution, said Cohn. “Instead of immediately pursuing a cease fire, immediate military action was taken.”

Durban Plus Ten at “Make or Break” Point

Ten years after an historic United Nations conference in Durban, South Africa, the U.S. and its allies and Israel remain “hell bent on destroying” global efforts to fight racism, said Sam Anderson, of the Black Left Unity Network. The UN General Assembly is set to take up the so-called Durban Principles, this week. It’s a “make or break” moment, said Anderson, a New York City activist and educator. “The progressive movement, globally, has been fragmentized and atomized over the past ten years since the original Durban conference.”

Capitalism Isn’t Working – It’s Just That Simple

It makes no sense to keep throwing “incentives” and tax breaks at corporate America, in hopes of alleviating unemployment, since “this is a system that fundamentally isn’t working, and that’s the problem,” said economist Richard Wolff, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, at Amherst. The demand for goods and services is low because “the real wages of Americans…are the same today as they were in 1978.” Those Americans that are employed are “working more hours than any working class in the world” and can’t borrow any more money.

Favored Obama Jobs Program Doesn’t Work, and is Illegal

The Georgia Works Program, praised by President Obama as a model for providing people collecting unemployment benefits with jobs and job training, “violates federal wage and hour law and federal unemployment insurance law,” said George Wentworth, of the National Employment Law Project. The program, which has since been largely phased out in Georgia, is a “bad model” that provided little meaningful job training or permanent employment. Workers “should be getting paid the minimum wage, and not an employment insurance benefit.”

Olugbala Runs for Mayor of Philly

Campaigning on a platform of inner city economic development and community control of police, Black activist Diop Olugbala said incumbent Mayor Michael Nutter’s imposition of a selective youth curfew is nothing but an election gambit. More funds are being spent on “stopping and frisking…and brutality against our people, than on overall economic development,” said Olugbala.

BAR columnist Jared Ball celebrates William Parker, the free Black Pennsylvania man who killed “man stealers” attempting to kidnap his family to the South, in 1851.

BA Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, Week of March 8, 2011

U.S. Has no “Moral Authority” to Take Khadafi to Criminal Court

The United States “doesn’t have a shred of moral authority” to take Libyan leader Khadafi before the International Criminal Court, says Michael Rattner, executive director of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights. “While Israel was killing 1,400 people in Gaza, the United States didn’t even try to stop it, much less take Israel” to the ICC. The U.S. is not even a signatory to the ICC. Military intervention through NATO would be illegal, says Rattner, and it is doubtful that the full UN Security Council would authorize an intervention. Unfortunately, the U.S. is no respecter of legalities.

Washington Silent On Its Allies’ Possible Genocide in Congo

The Obama administration has offered no substantive response to an October United Nations report that implicated Rwanda and Uganda in mass, targeted ethnic killings in the Democratic Republic of Congo, says Jacques Bahati, of the Africa Faith and Justice Network. The AFJN was among the groups that testified before a Capitol Hill hearing on genocide and resource plunder in the Great Lakes region of Africa. As many as six million people have died since Congo was invade by its U.S.-backed neighbors, in the mid-Nineties.

Black Is Back Coalition to Hold “Other Wars” Conference

It’s not good enough to just be for peace,” says Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “One has to be against imperialism, which is responsible for wrecking the world.” The traditional anti-war movement, he said, “has never been able to deal adequately with what’s happening in Haiti, Congo or throughout Africa, or with the war that is being waged against African people right here in the United States” – the “other” wars. The National Conference on the Other Wars will take place on March 26, in Washington, DC,

New Orleans will once again elect a Black mayor and city council majority, predicts veteran activist and urban planner Mtangulizi Sanyika. In the wake of Katrina, the city’s Black population decreased from 67 percent to 60 percent.

Anti-Black Psy-Ops “have been going on for centuries,” says BAR’s Dr. Jared Ball. “Black America has suffered one constant ‘Shock Doctrine’ after another – a permanent psy-op targeting the identity of Blacks as human.”

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network for the Week of September 8, 2010

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey

 

Confront the Tea Party in Manhattan on 9/11

Progressives must gather in strength to counter the 9/11 rally in lower Manhattan against what the Tea Party calls the “Islamization of America,” says Bill Doares, of the Emergency Mobilization Against Racism and Anti-Muslim Bigotry. The Tea Party action is “part of a nationwide hate campaign...by the same forces that are engaged in hate campaigns against immigrants and all people of color.”

Rwanda’s Genocidal Role in Congo

The leaked UN report citing Tutsi-ruled Rwanda for possible genocide against Congolese and Rwandan Hutu has caused a “political crisis” for the Rwandan regime, says Kambale Musavuli, student coordinator of Friends of the Congo. “Political shifts” are apparent in the region, related to competition between the U.S. and China. Up to six million people may have died in the Congo since 1994, including millions in areas controlled by Rwanda and its surrogates.

Legal Challenge to Obama’s “Kill-At-Will” Policy

Civil liberties groups challenge the Obama administration’s claim to have the “right to assassinate anyone, including U.S. citizens, anywhere in the world.” Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Pardis Kebriael says Obama has gone beyond George Bush’s claims to presidential powers in both quantitative and qualitative terms.

Iraqis Will Make Sure Americans Leave Their Country

The Iraqi people will not allow anyone to prevent the exodus of all U.S. forces from their country at the end of next year, predicts Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi-born political consultant. “People wan their country back, and they don’t want foreign troops to interfere in their business.” There should be negotiations, however, on the size of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, “the largest embassy in the history of humankind.”

Foreclosure Study Shows Huge Racial Gap

“Latinos and African Americans in California make up more than half of the state’s foreclosures,” says Ginna Green, co-author of the Center for Responsibility in Lending report, “Dreams Deferred: Impacts and Characteristics of the California Foreclosure Crisis.”

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.

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