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The Impact and Echoes of the Wal-Mart Discrimination Case

by Nina Martin

Wal-Mart’s victory in a massive women’s class action suit, two years ago, has thrown a deep chill into employee civil rights litigation. “As the case goes on, the Supreme Court keeps drilling more nails into the coffin of effective civil rights law.” Mega-discrimination requires mega-remedies. “To fight these battles individually, ‘it’s often impossible.’”

Disposable Killing Machines R US

by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

The wakeful sleep of the 1% is

Haunted by long shadows of

Conscious soldiers, progeny

Of militant mass movements —

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/30/13

The “Sick, Anti-Democratic” Corporate Plan for Detroit

“They want to pour all the resources into a little corridor of 7.2 square miles of downtown and on the river,” instead of “the 139 square miles of Detroit where the people live,” said Tom Stephens, a people’s lawyer who has submitted briefs to the bankruptcy court overseeing the city. Wall Street is pulling the strings – and pulling the plug – on the mostly Black metropolis. “They want to have their own little transit and their own little police force and office buildings and luxury condos, at the expense of the people that live in the neighborhoods,” said Stephens. “You have this brainless, sick, and anti-democratic policy that they’re trying to force down our throats.”

Socialist Surge in Seattle

Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative Party candidate for Seattle city council who garnered 30 percent of the vote in a race for the state legislature, last year, said “the word ‘socialism’ is not so much an obstacle” in electoral politics as in the past, especially among young voters. “What’s really an obstacle is for people to feel that changes can actually happen.” Sawant has picked up endorsements from local chapters of the postal union, AFSCME, the AFT and CWA, on a platform of a $15 minimum wage, affordable housing through rent control and expanded public transit, paid for by taxes on the rich.

Obama’s Long List of Lies

President Obama prevaricated from beginning to end during his speech to the United Nations, last week, said anti-war activist David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.org. For example, Obama said that national sovereignty cannot protect someone who commits wanton murder. “This, from a man who on Tuesdays goes through a list of men, women and children and picks which ones he wants murdered,” said Swanson. The president’s speech was “absolute hypocrisy, and much of the world hears it that way, just as much of the world heard Colin Powell” in 2003.

Send Killer Kagame to International Criminal Court

Demonstrators in Toronto demanded that Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame be tried by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where six million people have died since 1996. “It is one of the worst dictatorships in the world,” said Christopher Black, a criminal justice lawyer who has argued for 13 years before the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal. Much of Congo’s wealth has been looted by Kagame’s military. “Rwanda is nothing more now than a sort of pirate haven where these gangsters steal resources and take the biggest cut,” said Black.

Happy Birthday Lynne Stewart

October 8 is the 74th birthday of people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart, who is serving ten years in prison for zealously defending her client. Celebrations will be held around the country, including a grand affair at St. Mark’s Theater, in New York City, said Ralph Poynter, her husband and partner in struggle. Stewart is suffering Stage Four breast cancer, but the Obama administration continues to deny her compassionate release. “Al Capone got out, when he was dying from syphilis,” said Poynter. “As far outside as he was, he was still a part of the system. It’s only the people who say the system must change who become the public enemy.”

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Detroit as Bantustan: Wall Street’s Black Goons

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The worst elements of Black society are eager to facilitate the dissolution of Detroit and the crushing of its people. Having already been disenfranchised, Detroiters must now bear petty insults and torments like last week’s unannounced cut-off of electricity. “The exercise of arbitrary power allows the ‘Stephens’ of the Black Misleadership Class to feel more a part of the oligarchy they serve.”

Freedom Rider: Wilson Goode, Barack Obama and the Good Negro

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

In the documentary Let the Fire Burn, former Philadelphia mayor Wilson Good comes off as the hollowest man, dissembling, changing his story and evading questions but ultimately admitting that he approved the horrific plan which killed little children.” He ordered the burning of MOVE because he believed in “the natural order of white people being on top and killing black people if they choose to.”

Obama Reeks of Sulfur at the UN

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

There was nothing conciliatory about President Obama’s speech to the UN. His message was blatantly subversive of the UN Charter, reserving the right to launch pre-emptive wars for “humanitarian” purposes and to circumvent the world body through proxies and “coalitions of the willing” in quest of regime change. No less than George Bush’s message in 2006, it was a declaration of war against peace.

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The World Needs Peace – But Not a Pax Americana

by Cynthia McKinney

“The war machine of the United States, Israel, and NATO will continue to roll until we stop it.  The Bolivarian Alliance countries of Latin America are showing us the way – that we can achieve democracy and self-determination and liberation with ballots instead of bullets.”

The Living Legacy of Comrade George Jackson, September 23, 1941 – August 27, 1971

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

George Jackson was a pre-eminent organizer of prisoners who founded a Black Panther Party chapter behind the walls of San Quentin prison. In the 42 years since his death a black leadership class has emerged which is deeply complicit in the sixfold expansion of US prisons in that same period. Now, more minds and hands than ever are engaged in the project to which Jackson gave his life, the political organization of the prisoner class.

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Detroit Citizens Say No to Bankruptcy

by Abayomi Azikiwe

Detroit’s dictatorial Emergency Manager is attempting to railroad the Black metropolis into bankruptcy for the benefit of predatory bankers. However, the people of Detroit, in public hearings and in the streets, “are saying that the municipality is not a private corporation and that people have a vested interest in maintaining their jobs, salaries, healthcare benefits, pensions and city assets.”

Are America and NATO replacing the UN?

by Motsoko Pheko

The United States and its allies behave as if their will is international law, in Syria and everywhere on the globe. “To trust such America and NATO investigators to be impartial in their search for chemical weapons and to identify who used them is like naively believing that jackals can look after sheep without reporting that some of them are ‘missing’ or ‘dead.’”

Legacy of Slavery Still Fuels Anti-Black Attitudes in the Deep South

by Susan Hagen

A study at the University of Rochester attempts a statistical analysis of white southern racism and finds – surprise! – that slavery lies at the root. “The legacy of the plantation economy and its reliance on the forced labor of African Americans continues to exacerbate racial bias in the Deep South."

Racist Pot Prosecution in Louisiana

by Bill Quigley

Although whites and Blacks use marijuana at roughly equal rates, Blacks are far more likely to be arrested for possession. In Louisiana, the racial bias in prosecution is extreme. “In Tangipahoa Parish, blacks are 11.8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than whites and in St. Landry Parish the rate of black arrests for marijuana is 10.7 times as likely as whites.”

who am i?

by brian kwoba

my father was a harvard-trained capitalist economist my

mother was a consultant for the world bank and white-savior-industrial complex

Crawling contradictions…

by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

Tuesday he’s renaming

Children “Collateral Damage,”

Reducing family trees to charcoal

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/23/13

Lynne Stewart Imprisonment Meant to “Chill” Defense Lawyers

New Justice Department guidelines on compassionate release from prison should, by all rights, apply to people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart, serving a 10-year sentence for zealously defending her client, said David Gespass, former president of the National Lawyers Guild. Stewart suffers from Stage 4 breast cancer. “The only possible reason not to release her would be just pure vindictiveness,” said Gespass, an attorney practicing in Birmingham, Alabama. “I think her prosecution was a warning to defense lawyers that they should not do their jobs as vigorously as they are required constitutionally to do, particularly in cases involving allegations of so-called terrorism.”

October 22 Day of Protest Against Police Atrocities

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network will hold the 18th annual National Day of Protest to stop police brutality, repression and the criminalization of a generation, said Carl Dix, a co-founder of the event. “If anything, it is even more relevant, today.” The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin killing “takes us back 150 years and more, to the Dred Scott Decision, when Black people were ruled to have no rights that white people are bound to respect,” said Dix.

October 24 is “Workers Demand a Raise Day”

The Baltimore Workers Assembly will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the federal minimum wage with demands that today’s minimum be raised to $15 an hour. “If wages had kept up with the cost of living since the first minimum wage was enacted, it would now be $15.23,” said organizer Karen Black. President Obama and other politicians have not been helpful in increasing workers’ paychecks. “That’s in part why we formed a workers assembly that can get a movement going to force these issues,” said Black.

Obamacare Would Still Leave U.S. Last in Developed World

Forty-eight million Americans are still without health insurance, and 48,000 of them die every year due to inadequate care, said Dr. David Himmelstein, of Physicians for a National Health Plan. “Billions and billions are drained out of the health care system by greedy insurance companies whose interest is in denying people care,” said Himmelstein, whose organization favors a Medicaid-for-All system. “Even if Obamacare works as planned, we’re still going to have 31 million people who won’t have coverage,” which means the U.S. health care system will remain “the worst in the developed world.”

The Incredibly Shrinking Welfare State

The remnants of the federal welfare program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, “needs to be made more accessible,” said Timothy Casey, senior attorney for Legal Momentum. “Right now, two out of three families and children who are eligible don’t get any benefits.” Moreover, “benefits in every state are far below the official poverty level – typically less than half,” said Casey. Legal Momentum was formerly known as the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.

U.S. Protects Purveyors of Genocide in Congo

Washington refuses to bring real pressures on Rwanda to halt its 17-year war and occupation of the eastern Congo, the “deadliest conflict in the world since World War Two, in which millions of Congolese have lost their lives,” said Maurice Carney, executive director of Friends of Congo. “When you compare it to the way the U.S. has acted against Zimbabwe, or the way it’s been beating the war drums against Syria, the U.S. hasn’t brought substantial weight, whatsoever,” against its ally, Rwanda, said Carney.

Kenyans Say No to International Criminal Court

Both houses of Kenya’s parliament voted to sever ties with the International Criminal Court, which had previously indicted Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, the current president and deputy president of the country. “They had and election, and one of the major aspects of the campaign was, We can handle our problems ourselves and we don’t need the ICC,” said John Philpot, a Canadian attorney and expert on international criminal law who has defended clients before the ICC. Parliament’s action “was a good step,” said Philpot, “because the ICC is the right hand of military/political intervention” and only prosecutes Africans.

Download the episode here.

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