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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 10/14/13

    Cancel Detroit’s Debt

    Predatory bank lending policies destroyed the tax base of Detroit, and now these same Wall Street institutions want to confiscate the city’s public assets through forced bankruptcy. The debt should be cancelled, said Abayomi Azikiwe, an organizer of the First International People’s Assembly Against Banks and Against Austerity, held in Detroit last week. “It’s illegitimate. It’s based on the systematic destruction of the city,” said Azikiwe, editor of the Pan African News Wire. “We believe that people in other cities have to adopt a similar strategy.”

    Leave Cornel West and Tavis Smiley Alone

    Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP chief Ben Jealous and broadcaster Tom Joyner should halt their attacks on scholar/activist Cornel West and broadcaster Tavis Smiley, said Rev. Anthony Evans, director of the National Black Church Initiative. “Take your hands off these brothers. They are defending the integrity and worthiness of the Black community,” said Evans. Prominent Obama supporters, he said, have told the White House: “You don’t have to worry about Black folks getting out of line; we will keep them in line for you.”

    A Socialist Win in Minneapolis?

    Even the corporate media admit that Socialist Alternative candidate Ty Moore has a chance of winning a seat on the city council, this November. “If we win this race, it’s not because a majority of working class residents of Ward 9, South Minneapolis, are socialists, but because they are angry at the system and they see that the people who are running this city are clearly sided with the rich and big business,” said Moore. “Our organization has built roots in this community, by fighting back.” Another Socialist Alternative city council candidate is running well in Seattle.

    UN Sued Over Haiti Cholera

    The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti filed suit in federal court, demanding the United Nations take responsibility for the cholera epidemic that has killed at least 8,000 Haitians and sickened hundreds of thousands more. The world body claims it is immune from legal action, although it is widely accepted that UN ‘peacekeepers’ were the nexus of the disease. “The UN’s refusal to accept the rule of law in this case obviously undermines its ability to promote the rule of law, elsewhere,” said Institute director Brian Concannon. He notes that the UN, which claims lack of funds to eradicate cholera in Haiti, spent $500 million last year for ‘peacekeeping’ soldiers “in a country that has not had a recognized war in our lifetime.”

    US Finances Congo Carnage

    Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni told a UN Security Council delegation that bringing peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo is not their responsibility. Maurice Carney, of Washington-based Friends of Congo, agrees. “Kagame and Museveni can never be responsible for peace,” said Carney. “What they can be responsible for is stopping the war of aggression that they have been waging against the Congolese people, with U.S. financial and military support and training, and U.S. diplomatic and political cover.” Rwanda and Uganda invaded the mineral-rich eastern region of the Congo 17 years ago, resulting in the deaths of six million people – and counting.

    Demonizing Assad

    American peace activists recently returned from a visit to Syria, where they met with President Bashir Al-Assad. Sara Flounders, of the International Action Center, said it was important to counter U.S. government and media attempts to “demonize” the Syrian leader, as an excuse for arming thousands of jihadist “rebels.” “It was Syria that proposed making the whole region into a nuclear-free and chemical-free weapons zone,” said Flounders. “It was the U.S. who refused.”

    China as U.S. Banker

    Washington is “pivoting” to confront China militarily in Asia, while at the same time Beijing holds the largest share of Washington’s huge foreign debt. “It is quite ironic that the United States is seeking to escalate tensions with its bankers,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American studies at the University of Houston. “I’m not sure that’s a sound strategy. With an impending debt default,” said Horne, the dollar “as the principal world reserve currency comes into question.”

    Philadelphia Declaration: War = Poverty

    Grassroots activists held a Conference to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. “Our declaration of the rights of our people must demand an end to war, threats of war, and preparations for war,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University. “You cannot answer the pressing social problems of this country, uppermost being poverty, without dismantling the warfare state,” he told the gathering at Philadelphia’s historic Church of the Advocate.

    Herman Wallace: A Free Man

    Mumia Abu Jamal, a former Black Panther and the country’s best known political prisoner, saluted Herman Wallace, who was released from prison after 41 years of solitary confinement, earlier this month, only to die two days later of liver cancer. Wallace and two other inmates established a Black Panther Party chapter at Louisiana’s infamous Angola Prison. “He remained a soldier for the people and an opponent to the system,” said Abu Jamal. “Herman Wall truly died free.”

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    Wall Street Bets a Quadrillion of Everybody Else’s Money

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Americans are driven to panic at the prospect of a technical federal default, later this month – an event that could cost the public treasury billions. But Wall Street’s quadrillion dollar gambling obsession actually does threaten to bring down the whole system. “The Lords of Capital are pure gamblers who have transformed the global financial marketplace into a machinery of perpetual uncertainty.”

    Freedom Rider: Aaron Alexis, Miriam Carey and John Constantino

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The recent, strange and very public deaths of three Black people in the nation’s capital have spawned silly and useless conspiracy theories. The real conspiracies against African Americans are writ much larger: the forced bankruptcy of Detroit, school charterization and mass Black incarceration.

    Lynne Stewart: The People’s “First Responder”

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The rich have unlimited capital and all the resources of the State, which they control. “The poor and oppressed have only themselves – and a few precious ‘first responders’ of our own, like Lynne Stewart, the people’s lawyer.” Lynne Stewart celebrated her 74th birthday on October 8.

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    The Bi-Partisan Disappearance of Race and Class

    by Ajamu Baraka

    The ruling elites in both parties are bent on reducing the power and living standards of labor and increasing the dominance of Wall Street. Pervasive racism makes their job that much easier. “We are not going to be able to reverse the four-decade-long assault on the working class if we don’t confront and overcome the influences of white supremacist ideology.”

    The Radicalization of Ray Richardson: Suspicion Still Surrounds Death of Black Activist TV Producer

    by Jeffrey B. Perry and Charles V. Richardson

    In January, 1971, the young producer of Boston public television’s groundbreaking program Say Brother, was found dead in a Mexican resort, along with his fiancé. Ray Richardson was the grandson of Harlem radical Hubert Harrison. The cause was listed as drowning but, as in this year’s death of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X, in Mexico, questions still linger.

    Haiti, Antihaitianismo, and the Dominican Republic

    by Peter Hudson

    A Dominican Republic court has moved to strip as many as a quarter million Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship rights. The ruling “formalizes a process of exclusion, racism, and harassment that had already construed Dominicans of Haitian descent as second-class citizens in their own country while marginalizing Haitian immigrants.”

    Ethiopia’s 10 Million Human Tsunami

    by Thomas C. Mountain

    Most of the millions of Ethiopians forced into the global limbo of displacement are Oromo or ethnic Somali from the Ogaden, victims of the Ethiopian regime’s genocidal policies. During the recent devastating drought, “all of Oromia and the Ogaden affected by this catastrophe were prevented from receiving food and medical aid by the Ethiopian regime” – one of Washington’s closest allies in Africa.

    We Must Open Our Eyes to America’s Political Prisoners

    by Danny Pforte

    The United States, with by far the largest prison population in the world, denies that it holds even one person for political reasons. In reality, the very size and ferocity of the American Gulag sends a clear political message to all: “challenging the US imperial order, or merely being disruptive to the dictates of private property, can lead to human disappearance.”

    Common again…

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    Making perpetual war,

    Disposable killing machines

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 10/7/13

    Obama ‘Free Trade’ Treaty Speeds Race to the Bottom

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty that the Obama administration is trying to ram through Congress would force American workers to compete with “countries like Vietnam, where the minimum wage is 35 cents and hour, or Peru, where it’s $1.25 an hour,” said Kevin Zeese, an organizer with Popular Resistance. “Even China won’t be able to compete with those kinds of wages, and so we’ll see a continued race to the bottom,” worldwide. “Free trade,” said Zeese, is “a marketing term. What this really is, is rigged trade for the top transnational corporations.”

    Americans Becoming Too Poor for Wal-Mart

    “Wal-Mart is a kind of bellwether for the status and well being of the American working class,” said Dr. Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the Center for Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at the University of California, at Santa Barbara. The giant retailer’s sales are off, party because of competition from even cheaper “dollar” stores. “They serve the bottom of the bottom of the working class, and they’re doing fine because people are so poor” under this economy. “What we really need to do,” said Lichtenstein, “is raise the general wage level of the entire service economy – we’re talking about 50, 60, 70 million people.”

    American “Exceptionalism” is Threat to Humanity

    The prevalence of belief in American “exceptionalism” will lead, “ultimately, if it is not corrected, to devastation of the planet,” said Dr. Johnny Williams, professor of sociology at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. Dr. Williams reports that many of his students “think there will be no repercussions for them” for U.S. crimes around the world, “that there’s no blowback to them. But we know that’s not true. Most of my students couldn’t tell you where Kenya is.”

    Will Working Class Accept Capitalism’s “New Deal”?

    Dr. Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts, at Amherst, said “the world of capitalism has decided to move on, to abandon the United States, western Europe and Japan, and to go where, for them, the grass is greener.” Therefore, corporations now offer the U.S. working class a “new deal”: “No more rising wages, no more rising standard of living, and your children are going to live less well than you do.” The future will be determined by whether the working class accepts the terms of that arrangement.

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    The Shutdown Game

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    What’s at stake in the partial “shutdown” of government? Certainly not Obamacare, which was never in danger. It’s all an exercise in drawing fake lines in the sandbox, so that the bipartisan business of gutting entitlement programs can recommence. Next stop: Grand Bargain junction.

    Freedom Rider: Death and Somalia

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    U.S. corporate media deploy the most technically sophisticated information delivery systems in the world – yet fail to tell even a semblance of the truth when it comes to American crimes abroad. Satellites brought images of horror from a shopping mall in Nairobi, but “Americans know nothing about Kenya or its role as American partner in keeping Somalia in a constant state of war.”

    If Charles Taylor is a War Criminal, Then So are Obama, Bush and Clinton

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    “Whereas Liberian president Charles Taylor was accused of encouraging the slaughter of possibly 50,000 people in Sierra Leone, Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have armed, financed and protected the killers of six million people – 120 times as many fatalities – in the eastern Congo.”

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    Innocent Kenyan Blood Drips from Imperial Hands

    by Mark P. Fancher

    The carnage at a Kenyan shopping mall is a direct result of U.S. policy in Somalia. In 2006, Washington and Ethiopia invaded Somalia, overthrowing a moderate Islamic government and plunging the country into a war that has killed hundreds of thousands and left millions displaced. Kenya later joined the invaders, further escalating a U.S.-led conflict that has finally reached deep into Nairobi.

    From Daley Plaza to Syria: Obama’s Forgotten, Fading Imperial Promise

    by Paul Street

    Purported progressives who claim to be shocked and appalled at President Obama’s warmongering have been willfully ignorant for a very long time. “Its’ a shame folks in leading ‘progressive’ circles didn’t look more seriously into the militantly imperial content of Obama’s speeches and publications during and before his initial presidential campaign.”

    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 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

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