Haiti election

Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 2, 2017

Obama, Trump, Clinton, Bush – They All Serve the Same Masters

When Donald Trump recently stated a willingness to escalate the arms race, it caused a great media stir. But President Obama set in motion a trillion dollar nuclear weapons upgrade with barely a peep from the corporate press. “It really shows that it’s the U.S. system, it’s the Pentagon as a military institution, and corporations that must expand or they suffocate,” that are the source of endless war policies, said Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition. “Although the media always acts like there is a choice, that there are huge differences” between the candidates of the two major parties, “both carry out the interests of U.S. corporate power.”

Haitians Take to Streets to Defy U.S. – and Americans Should Do the Same

Jovenel Moise, the rightwing candidate that elections officials claim won 55 percent of the vote in a four-way presidential race, “is the individual that the United States understands will continue the plunder, the pillaging that they’ve been doing in Haiti,” said Daoud Andre, a Brooklyn-based Haitian community activist and radio host. Charging the November 20 vote was rigged, tens of thousands of Haitians have engaged in nearly daily protests. U.S. progressives should take note, and “not take on Donald Trump from a defensive position,” said Andre. “I think we have to go back to the militant movements of the Sixties, movements for people to take their destinies in their own hands. We cannot be afraid of a clown. These are paper tigers.”

Obama’s “Legacy”: A Boon for the Rich

“We are in a ‘post-hope’ era,” BreakingBrown.com publisher Yvette Carnell told Counterpunch Radio host Eric Draitser. “He saved the financial industry and neutralized working people’s politics, especially Black politics, and left us far worse off than we were before he came.” The outgoing president “was a creature of Wall Street and finance capital from the beginning,” said fellow guest Pascal Robert, a lawyer and frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report. “He had complete control of the Senate and the House” but “expended no political capital to push a jobs agenda at any time in his presidency.”

Milwaukee Cops Pressure Panther Feed-the-People Program

Activists and parents say Milwaukee police hit a 10 year-old girl in the face while targeting a community feeding program operated by the Revolutionary Black Panther Party, last week. “This is the first time since the 1960s that they have attacked a Black Panther food program,” said Dr. Alli Muhammad, Chief General Commander of the RBPP. The police seem angered that the Panther group held an armed march -- legal, under Wisconsin law -- and organized an African Holocaust Human Rights Tribunal, the week before. “It appears that they are trying to intimidate the people, to make them afraid to support us,” said Dr. Muhammad.

Mumia on the “Magic of Black Music”

The nation’s best known political prisoner noted the passing of Sharon Jones, lead singer for Dap-Kings, and British pop star George Michael. “It was in the magical realm of music that Black folks found their closest vision of freedom -- to be, to become, themselves,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, in a commentary for Prison Radio. Of George Michael, he said: “Black musical beats and rhythms liberated him, freed him to be his self, because in Black music one finds that yearning for freedom.”

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.

Haitians Say “No” to the Imperialists and Their “Banana Man”

by Èzili Dantò

Five years ago, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton imposed a criminal right-wing regime on the militarily occupied people of Haiti. Now the U.S. and its allies have rigged yet another Haitian presidential election. “The CIA and US government have been busy creating new gangsters, terrorists and drug dealers in Haiti, as they’ve done in Jamaica, Syria, Venezuela and Libya to serve U.S. goals and interests.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of December 19, 2016

Cop Unions Try to Gut Newark Review Board

If police a union suit succeeds in denying subpoena power to Newark, New Jersey’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, the People’s Organization for Progress may have to relinquish its seat on the body, said POP chairman Larry Hamm. Although Mayor Ras Baraka, who Hamm calls “a friend,” wants to preserve even a weakened board, Hamm said a board without subpoena power “cannot be effective.” POP will stick with the board while the legal battle unfolds, said Hamm, but the best defense against police abuse is the ability to organize in the streets. “We do this because the police demonstrate again and again that they are an instrument of repression in our community.”

Haitians Protest Theft of Election -- Again

For more than a month Haitians have filled the streets to reject an election count that gave U.S.-backed presidential candidate Jovenal Moise 55 percent of the vote in a four-way race. The tally is “totally unacceptable,” said Pierre Labossiere, of the Haiti Action Committee, which backed Maryse Narcisse, the candidate of former president Jean Bertrand Aristide’s party, Fanmi Lavalas --- which was credited with only 8 percent of the vote. The two other major parties also rejected the tally. Who fixed the vote? “The corrupt provisional council, with the help of the UN and the active support of the U.S., France and Canada -- the usual,” said Labossiere. Hillary Clinton’s intervention was key to installing the previous president, Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly.

East Aleppo Liberated from U.S.-Backed Jihadists

Fares Shehabi, an independent member of Syria’s parliament from Aleppo, who is also head of the country’s Chambers of Industry, said the liberation of East Aleppo ended “the largest hostage crisis in history,” dating to the capture of the city by jihadists backed by the West, four and a half years ago. “What we are seeing now is the largest commando hostage release in history,” said Shehabi. He said 1.5 million people from East Aleppo had escaped to safety since 2012, leaving only 100,000 living among the jihadist fighters when the current government offensive began.

Honoring Activists While They Still Live

Inside the Activists Studio, a project of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, strives to “build on the revolutionary journalistic tradition that Mumia represents,” said Robyn Spencer, speaking with BAR producer Kyle Fraser. “The goal is to gather information about one particular historic figure, and then interview that person, after doing intensive research, in a public forum, in a way that highlights their contribution to resistance traditions.”

The Studio did just that, recently, at Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where Mumia Abu Jamal introduced the audience to Ramona Africa, Minister of Communications for the MOVE organization, whose comrades and family have been incarcerated and killed by Philadelphia police. “The case of Leonard Peltier really makes my blood boil, that the people running this country have the audacity to call Leonard a murderer, when they have slaughtered Leonard’s people into virtual extinction,” Ms. Africa told the crowd. “The audacity of these people, to get in our face and call us criminal. We would be criminal if we didn’t resist these sick-ass misfits.”

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.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of November 2, 2015

Kick the Cops Out of Schools

Parents and citizens outraged at the manhandling of a 16 year-old female high school student by a white policeman in Richland County, South Carolina, are pressing for dismissal of all charges against the victim and dismissal of the teachers and administrators “who allowed that cop to maintain a reign of terror in that school for years,” said Efia Nwangaza, director of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination, in Greenville. The policeman has already been fired. “We will be organizing people’s movement assemblies throughout the state to build the Dignity in Schools Movement, to get cops out of schools,” said Nwangaza. “The call is for culturally competent counselors in, cops out.”

Black Pre-Schoolers Pushed Into School-to-Prison Pipeline

African American kids make up 42 percent of students suspended and expelled from U.S. pre-schools, and a majority of those suspended more than once, according to a study by the Center for American Progress and the National Black Child Development Institute. “If we’re pushing children out as early as 3, 4 and 5, then of course we will see some of the things we see in K-12,” when the harms inflicted on Black kids “throughout their educational careers” propel them into the criminal justice system, said researcher Maryam Adamu.

Newark Police Review Board Faces Moment of Truth

The Civilian Complaint Review Board crafted by Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka must have broad subpoena power, said Larry Adams, vice-chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, one of the community organizations that is to be represented on the board. “If it can’t look into the records of individuals, if it can’t look into the records of the organization, then it is very difficult to provide oversight. And, that’s essentially what these bodies have floundered over in other cities,” said Adams. Community organizations would prefer to have “the authority to impose discipline upon the police,” but that power will reside with the mayor-appointed police director.

Massive Voter Suppression In Haiti

Haiti held presidential elections on October 25, following disastrous legislative elections this summer that were wracked by violence perpetrated by allies of the U.S. backed government. The failure to punish those responsible for the repression on August 9 produced a “catastrophically low” turnout of 20 to 30 percent in October, said Brian Concannon, of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. His interpretation is disputed by Pierre Labossiere, of Haiti Action, who was part of a human rights and fact-finding mission to the island nation. Labossiere believes supporters of the Family Lavalas party of former president Jean Bertrand-Aristide, who was deposed in a 2004 U.S.-backed coup, turned out in huge numbers in October, but that many were denied access to the polls. He predicts that vote tallies to be released this week will show Lavalas was able “to overcome a lot of these fraudulent practices that were carried out.”



Black Agenda Radio for Week of August 17, 2015

Black People Should ‘Police’ Themselves

The Milwaukee chapter of BND, the Black National Defenders, hold rallies every Saturday and knock on doors in neighborhoods to engage young people in political struggle, rather than fighting among themselves. “We’ve created a hot-line that people can call” to get the BND to intercede in disputes, said organizer Amerikus Luvene. The BND has chapters in Detroit and Baltimore, and is a member of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, which holds its national conference August 22 and 23, in Philadelphia, under the theme, “Black Power Matters: Black Community Control of the Police.” Ultimately, said Luvene, “we’d like to replace the police” in our communities.

Money CAN Change a Movement

“We’ve watched how easily movements can be co-opted, can be bought,” said Phillip Agnew, of the Dream Defenders, the youthful activist group that came together during the outrage over Trayvon Martin’s death, in Sanford, Florida, in 2012. “Something that began very organically, very raw and unaffiliated, unbought and unbossed, can become just the opposite in a short matter of time.” In the year since Michael Brown was shot down by a cop in Ferguson, Missouri, the Dream Defenders have witnessed how “different elements have been able to flourish, that have been smart and strategic,” said Agnew, while others have “been elevated to support a reactionary, separatist view, a sectarian view of liberation for poor people and Black people in this country.”

The Change is in US

“We seen little change in terms of public policy” over the past year, said Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, at a demonstration over the arrest of Millennial Activists United leaders, in Ferguson, Missouri, last week. “Everything we’ve seen has been cosmetic. But, we’ve changed,” said Sekou, who was also arrested in protests commemorating the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. “We’re going to support our young people and defend them at all costs.”

Father Mike Kinman, dean of the Christ Church Cathedral, in St. Louis, provided a haven for protesters who were later arrested fro speaking out against police violence. “This is criminalization of the First Amendment, and it is being done only to our Black and brown brothers and sisters,” said Kinman.

Eyes on Justice

Dr. Cornel West, the nation’s best known public activist-intellectual, was among those arrested in Ferguson, where he spoke at a church rally. “The challenge of every generation is whether you are willing to channel your righteous anger and your moral outrage into love of justice or hatred and vengeance,” he told the crowd. President Obama took seven years “before he could find his voice to go to a prison,” said West. “Black faces in high places don’t always translate into justice for poor people.”

Washington Still Has Designs on Cuba

After more than half a century, the U.S. embassy in Havana formally reopened, last week. But, that doesn’t mean U.S. subversion against Cuba will end any time soon, said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston and author of many books, including Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba During Slavery and Jim Crow. Horne noted that the U.S. became even more aggressive against Haiti after Washington finally recognized the Black republic, 58 years after the triumph of the Haitian revolution. “At best, you can expect Washington to simply change its strategy to destabilize the Cuban revolution,” said Horne.

Haiti Votes – Four Years Late

For the first time in four years, Haiti held elections for its national legislature, earlier this month. “The election had many serious problems,” especially the lack of voting sites in poor neighborhoods, said Brian Concannon, of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. This was also the first time since the U.S.-backed coup and occupation of 2004 that the Lavalas party, which used to command huge majorities at the polls, has been allowed to field candidates. The ballot counting has been slow, but Concannon expects “that Lavalas is probably the most popular party,” despite the damage done by 11 years of repression.

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