Blacks Disenfranchised by School Takeovers
“Black and brown communities are being stripped of democracy” by state takeovers of their school systems, said Keron Blair, executive director of the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, a Washington-based coalition of groups representing seven million students, educators and community members. “The takeover of these districts is rooted in the belief that Black and brown people are incapable of governing themselves, and so we’ve got to give their schools over to state-run, generally white administrations,” said Blair. “And then you hand us failing institutions,” over which Black people have no control, “so that’s a double-whammy.”
Rally in Harlem for Rise Up October
Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson, who was killed by police in March, 2000, was among several relatives of victims of lethal police violence to address a rally to build support for a campaign of demonstrations and civil disobedience in New York City, October 22-24. “Police officer Louis Rivera literally blew my son’s brains out,” Ms. Young told the crowd at First Corinthian Baptist Church. The police must be sent a message, she said: “We have had enough of you coming into our communities, destroying families.” Stop Mass Incarceration Network co-founders Dr. Cornel West and Carl Dix also spoke.
#BlackLivesMatter: What’s a Movement Without Demands?
The #BlackLivesMatter organization “has done great damage to the movement by refusing to make demands of presidential candidates,” Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford told the national conference of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, in Philadelphia. Rather than make substantive political demands, “this group wants face time” and “access to the ruling class and to the servants of the ruling class: the candidates,” said Ford. “They refuse to challenge the system by making demands” of candidates, “and that includes even the mildly reformist demands they have posted on their own web site.” The theme of the Black is Back Coalition conference was “Black Power Matters.”
“If we ain’t struggling for power, we ain’t struggling for nothing. This is not a game,” said Herdodia Benton, a St. Louis activist with the Uhuru movement, part of the Black Is Back Coalition. Ms. Benton’s legs bore recent wounds from police rubber bullets.
Justice for Tyree Carrol
Community members rallied to the cause of Tyree Carrol, a 22 year-old Black man who was beaten in front of his Philadelphia home by two dozen cops for riding his bicycle the wrong way on a one-way street. “It’s another case of police brutality in the City of Brotherly Love gone amuk,” said Asantawaa Nkrumah Ture, of Justice for Tyree. “Fortunately, it was caught on video by his neighbors.” Mr. Carrol was assaulted in April, but not released on bail until August.
Bail as a Weapon of Oppression
Trial was set to begin Friday for Allen Bullock, the 18 year-old who smashed the window of a Baltimore police car during the rebellion that followed the police killing of Freddie Gray. Bullock’s $500,000 bail was higher than any of the six cops charged in Grays death. “It is a scare tactic that has been used to suppress people’s voices, from elevating their voices around systematic issues that have taken place inside their communities for so long,” said Tre Murphy, a community activist who helped raise Bullock’s bail.
Bernie Sanders a Fan of Saudi Role in Mideast Wars
Reputed socialist Bernie Sanders advocates a greater military role for the royal Saudi Arabian regime in the Mideast, according to Sam Husseini, of the Institute for Public Accuracy. The Democratic presidential candidate “is basically calling for more and bigger proxy wars” in the region, said Husseini. “He’s justifying the tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. has profiteered” by selling weapons systems to the Saudis, whose bombing campaign against Yemen has killed thousands and strengthened the hand of al Qaida.