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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of April 30, 2012

     

    McKinney Sees New “Movement” in the Making

    If veteran community organizations and the Occupy movement can combine their strengths, “you have the beginnings of the makings of the movement that many of us have been longing to see,” said Cynthia McKinney, the former Georgia congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate. McKinney is engaged in a nationwide Build People’s Power Tour. She said community groups have “experience and some expertise” while Occupy brings “youth and vitality and fresh ideas” to the table.

    POP Marks May Day in Home Stretch of Daily Newark Demos

    The People’s Organization for Progress marked its 310th day of daily demonstrations on May Day, just 71 days short of its goal to match the longevity of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. The campaign for jobs, housing, education, justice and peace, which has been endorsed by 175 community organizations, “has strengthened and disciplined our organization,” said POP chairman Larry Hamm. “We’ have an impact.”

    U.S. Moving in “Fascist Direction”

    We need to build an anti-war movement that is also an anti-bankster, anti-plutocrat, anti-injustice movement – as it is all connected – and to push it hard on our representatives before it’s too late,” said David Swanson, publisher of the influential web site War Is A Crime. “Our country is moving in a dangerously fascistic direction and, at some point, fear may become overpowering.”

    Protest and Mumia’s Birthday at Justice Department

    Why is George Zimmerman walking the streets and Mumia isn’t walking the streets?” said Monica Morehead, of the International Action Center, at the Occupy the Justice Department demonstration. April 24 was also political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal’s 58th birthday. “We want de-carceration, and the destruction of the mass incarceration complex,” said Jamal, in a recorded message. Fellow political prisoners Sekou Odinga, 67 years old, and Mutulu Shakur, 61, sent birthday greetings to Mumia. Public Enemy’s Chuck D told the crowd, “two and a half million people are incarcerated, but they’ve built facilities to hold five to seven million in the next ten years.”

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    Why Isn't Closing 40 Philadelphia Public Schools National News? Where Is the Black Political Class?

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    If some racist made an inappropriate remark about the First Lady or her children our national "civil rights leaders" Obama fans all of them, would be all over that. But standing up for ordinary black children is something our leaders just don't do much any more.  When was the last time you heard Sharpton, Jealous or any of that tribe inveigh against school closings and the creeping privatization of our schools?  

    Freedom Rider: The War on Black Women and Children

     

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    White supremacy is on the offensive, especially against Black women. “Black people are punished for driving, for walking down the street, for having children, for putting their children in school, for acting the way children act, and even for having children who are killed by other people.” There is only one option: “Restart the freedom movement and never let it end.”

    Private Prison Corporations Are Slave Traders

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Crime has been going down for nearly a generation, and the states have finally put the brakes on prison growth in response to the fiscal crunch. But Wall Street prison profiteers see the crisis as an opportunity. The Corrections Corporation of America has offered to buy nearly all the nation’s state prisons. “To ensure their profitability, the corporation insists that it be guaranteed that the prisons be kept at least 90 percent full.”

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    2 Years on, BP Gulf Disaster Proves Obama Just As Oil-Soaked A Political Stooge as Cheney or Bush

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    When the Gulf Disaster happened, President Obama had solid majorities in Congress and a free hand. Instead of using it to protect the public, he grabbed for the favor of oil companies and protected their homicidal, ecocidal practices. Can there be any doubt who Barack really is?

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    Why the U.S. Can’t Compete Educationally

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The United States cannot follow the Finnish model to emerge from second class world educational status, because the Finnish system is based on social equality and esteem for the teaching profession. Here, “teachers are relentless hounded and degraded, made the scapegoats of society’s inequalities by sharing low scores with their students, whose families and communities are cut off from America’s wealth.” To compete, America must be radically transformed.

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    Put Your Hands On the Radio --- Free Webinar Thurs April 26 on How To Obtain Low Power FM Radio Station Licenses!

    The FCC is about to grant low power FM radio station licenses in hundreds of communities across the country. Low power FM radio binds communities together and can further the mission of your arts group or community group, union, neighborhood association or other civic body like nothing else. To find out more, join Black Agenda Report for a Thursday April 26 webinar at 9PM Eastern Time. Click the link at the end of the article below to register.

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    When It Looks and Feels Like Totalitarianism…

     

    by BAR editor and columnist Jemima Pierre

    The Obama administration has spent the last three years building the infrastructure of a totalitarian police state, that “has surpassed the Bush administration’s attempts to expand executive power by crushing the civil liberties of US citizens.” At the center of the repressive edifice is preventive detention without trial, buttressed by various measures that, effectively, criminalize dissent. Clearly, and methodically, “the US government is preparing for domestic insurrection.”

    No FEAR, Chapter 4 continued: The Sound That Freedom Makes

     

    by BAR editor and columnist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo has permitted us to serialize excerpts of her new book, No FEAR: A Whistleblower’s Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo incurred the wrath of EPA when she protested the agency’s alliance with corporations that were poisoning miners in South Africa. This week, we continue with Chapter 4.

    Sudan, South Sudan on the Brink of War Over Oil

     

    by Abayomi Azikiwe

    Multiple wars now wrack Sudan and South Sudan, which less than a year ago were one country. Oil fields on the Sudan side of the border, seized earlier by South Sudan, are now back in northern hands. “Within South Sudan itself, there is factional fighting that has resulted in the dislocation of thousands of people in recent months.” South Sudan-allied rebels are on the offensive in the north, with “a military campaign against the Sudan government in Blue Nile state.”

    Two years After the BP Drilling Disaster, Gulf Residents Fear for the Future

     

    by Jordan Flaherty

    Now is not the time to let BP off the hook for the Gulf oil spill disaster. Environmentalists report “shrimp born without eyes, fish with lesions, and crabs with holes in their shells.” The Obama administration has not acted in the public’s interest. “The US government seemed to protect BP more than coastal communities or the environment.”

    The Corporate Anti-Education Sham of Teach For America, Part 1 of 2

    by Education Radio

    Founded in 1990 by Wendy Kopp, Teach For America has become the personnel agency for corporate school reform.  School districts fire experienced, often black teachers to hire underpaid TFA recruits with 5 weeks training to do brief "missionary work" stints in public schools before moving on.  Turning teaching into Wal-Mart style temp work is what TFA is all about.

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    The Ongoing Sham of Teach For America, Part 2 0f 2

    by Education Radio

    Teach For America hijacks the catch-phrases of the social justice movement in the service of corporate "school reform" and ultimate privatization of public education.  In Part 2 of Education Radio's exploration of TFA, we hear from TFA participants, parents, real teachers and researchers on the lasting damage TFA has already inflicted on children, teachers and school communities.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of April 23, 2012

     

    Backdoor” threat to Social Security

    Democratic Senator Kent Conrad, of North Dakota, head of the Senate Budget Committee, would raise full retirement eligibility for Social Security to age 69, under legislation based on the Simpson/Bowles Deficit Reduction Commission report. “It’s a backdoor attempt to reduce Social Security benefits,” said Don Owens, of Social Security Works, in Washington. “Not too many businesses are hiring 68 and 69 year old workers.”

    Obama Fails to Spend Funds on Hardest Hit Homeowners

    More than $7 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Fund money set aside for hardest hit homeowners, disproportionately Blacks and Latinos, was allow to sit in President Obama’s Treasury Department, unspent, for two years. The administration managed to spend only 3 percent of the $7.6 billion allocated. However, South Carolina writer and activist Kevin Alexander Gray doesn’t think the malfeasance will hurt Obama with Blacks at the polls. “As long as they have someone that cosmetically looks like them in the White House,” and “as long as Black people are not organized to make coherent demands of the system, he doesn’t have to worry,” said Gray.

    African Americans Have Right to Self-Determination

    Based on Article One of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the U.S. is a party, “African Americans have the right to determine their political status and pursue their economic, social and cultural development,” said Dr. Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Boyle spoke on the subject to a Chicago meeting of the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities.

    U.S. “On the Defensive” in Africa

    The rise of China, India, Brazil and other countries has made the U.S. desperate to maintain its domination of Africa, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Because “Africans are capable of playing the China card,” they don’t necessarily have to buckle under to “the U.S., France or the other imperialist countries.”

    Chicago March Against NATO Wins Endorsements

    May 20 demonstrations against the summit meeting of NATO heads of state, in Chicago, has been endorsed by Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rainbow-Push, three major service employees international unions, the Chicago teachers, and a nurses union, said Chris Gavreau, spokesperson for the United National Anti-War Coalition. “This march is going to be the major Spring action against war and austerity,” she said.

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    Trayvon Killing Reveals Unreconstructed White Nationalism on the March

     

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    “’Shoot the Blacks’ is a winning political platform.” That’s the message brought home to African Americans by the Trayvon Martin murder and George Zimmerman’s Stand Your Ground defense. Far from a post-racial society, the U.S. is, in many ways, devolving. “So bold have the racists become, they now seek to empower white citizens in general with lethal privileges to defend white space, wherever it is claimed – a reversion to lynch law, on top of police terror.”

    Freedom Rider: No Justice for Muslims

     

     

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The U.S. government has been become so brash, so cynical in its entrapments and pure persecutions of Muslims, it is beyond embarrassment. The shameless cannot be shamed. Khalifa al-Kalili tried to hold a press conference to explain that the government was trying to frame him – so they arrested him on other trumped up charges. “A laundry list of people who have been turned into criminals by our government is useless unless a call to action comes along with it.

    Obama Administration Withholds Home Foreclosure Aid to Hardest Hit

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Obama cries crocodile tears about what the Republicans in Congress won’t let him do. But he allowed more than $7 billion in TARP money set aside for worst hit victims of the housing crisis to sit, unspent, in Treasury Department accounts, for two years. “No wonder most people think TARP is only concerned with bailing out the banks. The Obama administration has treated it that way.”

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    The West Wants to Take the Rest of Sudan’s Oil

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Less than a year ago, Sudan was split in two after decades of U.S. support for the secessionist South. Newly independent and deeply impoverished South Sudan has now seized much of what remains of the North’s oil fields. The South refuses to return to its borders, despite widespread international denunciation – a boldness that is inconceivable without the connivance of the United States.

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    No Fear, Chapter 4. The Gore-Mbeki Commission: The Sound That Freedom Makes

     

     

    by Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    The author witnesses sudden death in South Africa, where Blacks had been condemned to social death since the arrival of the Dutch, centuries ago.

    Letter to Florida Judge: No Bond For Zimmerman

     

    by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.

    George Zimmerman has been undercharged and is a flight risk who should be denied bail, says a former human rights and criminal defense lawyer. Bail would also fly in the face of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. “It would be unthinkable for a Black person in Florida to seek bail after being charged with murder in the second degree for causing the death of a white person.”

    Uganda Or Somalia? Get Your Story Straight, America

     

    by Mark P. Fancher

    The U.S. and Uganda are playing a cynical game of musical chairs in Africa. The Americans send Green Berets to Uganda, ostensibly to help the beleaguered Ugandan military hunt down Joseph Kony’s LRA guerillas, while the Ugandans send thousands of soldiers to Somalia to prop up the U.S.-backed government in Mogadishu. “The U.S. has no real interest in the LRA, but is drawn instead to oil fields in Uganda and South Sudan.”

    April 1994 to April 2012: Commemorating More Than 18 years of US Sponsored Terrorism in Central Africa, Part 2 of 2

    by Keith Harmon Snow

    After US-backed forces shot their way to power in Rwanda and Uganda with armies of child soldiers and exemplary atrocities, Western propaganda blamed the horrific death toll on the losers. To legitimize its African pit bull regimes the US now hounds and deports Rwandan dissidents, concealing or concocting evidence at will.

    Namibian Government Blames NATO for Mali Unrest

     

    by Toivo Ndjebela

    In 1964, the Organization of African Unity’s first order of business was to hold sacrosanct the national borders inherited from colonialism, so that the continent would not be plagued by secessionist movements manipulated by the former oppressors. With the partition of Sudan and NATO’s crushing of Libya, Pandora’s box has been opened. Now Mali has been torn in two. “Those tearing Mali into administrative pieces should have observed the African Union’s principle of inviolability of borders of African countries.”

    Fidel Castro and Ozzie Guillen: Evasion of Truth

     

    by Solomon Comissiong

    Right wing Cuban Americans made newly-minted Miami Marlins’ manager Ozzie Guillen grovel after he expressed “love and admiration for Fidel Castro – that he respected the way Castro had survived in power for 60 years.” U.S. corporate media played the story like it was a triumph of the American way of life. Miami’s reactionary exiles have mastered the arts of political and media terror – as well as the more lethal kind – and remain “hell-bent on returning Cuba to a capitalist playground.”

    Remembrances from the Weather Underground: Reviewing Love and Struggle

     

    by Seth Sandronsky

    The Weather Underground waged armed struggle against the U.S. state and “white skin privilege” – a war that put David Gilbert in prison for life. “Gilbert’s memoir in part corrects the historical record with insights on fighting power and wealth with like-minded others for a more humane way of life for all.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of April 16, 2012

     

    Tear Down U.S. Prison Gulag

    It’s a counterinsurgency before there is an insurgency.” That’s how Los Angeles activist Clyde Young views America’s incarceration of 2.4 million people, most of them Black and Latino. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network plans actions in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay area on April 19, a National Day of Resistance to Mass Incarceration. Statutes like Florida’s Stand Your Grand Law encourage racist vigilantism, said Young. “They’re nothing but new forms of lynch laws, where any citizen…can shoot a person down on the street, and be exonerated.” In Atlanta, activist Joey Johnson said George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s killer, was “acting out a larger, racist societal project. It requires a deeper, systemic change if we’re going to get to the root of it, and not constantly be dealing with the phenomenon.”

    Occupy Harlem to Rally for “All the Trayvons”

    It’s essential for us to build a united front against racist killings,” said Dr. William Sales, an organizer of Occupy Harlem’s rally and march, April 21. “We have to move against what has emerged as a New Jim Crow. It’s really a form of terrorism that is more associated with the Old Jim Crow than with law enforcement,” said Sales, an associate professor of African Studies at Seton Hall University. For information, call 646.812.5188.

    Justice Wanted: Plan Needed

    What appears to be an escalation of terror against Black people, is also routine practice,” said Kali Akuno, of the U.S. Human Rights Network, in Atlanta. Akuno is circulating a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice, which includes a data base on recent racist killings of Blacks. Young people “are being force fed this narrative that we have somehow magically emerged into some kind of post-racial society.” Instead, said Akuno, Blacks must “organize into formations that exercise power to create the kind of society that you want.”

    Housing Settlement Almost Worthless to Underwater Homeowners

    Activist David Hungerford led angry members of the Coalition to Save Our Homes to New Jersey’s state capital in Trenton, to demand reductions in mortgage principals. The $25 billion settlement between the nation’s state attorney generals and the big banks “broadly speaking, does almost nothing” for homeowners that are “underwater” to the tune of $700 billion. The top state law enforcement officers “talk with the people who perpetrated predatory lending, but they won’t talk to the victims,” said Hungerford.

    Black Teachers Pushed Out in Denver

    African American teachers are being “pushed, en mass to retirement, fired, put on disciplinary hearing or on leave” in the Denver public schools, because of the Obama administration’s so-called “turnaround” program, said Cozette Hammock-West, a retired teacher with the Alliance of Neighborhood Organizations for Justice for African Americans. Black educators are replaced by “young white teachers, most of them from the Teach for America program, where they are not even trained to teach.”

    A U.S. Chapter for ILPS

    On May 19, in Chicago, the International League of People’s Struggle, representing 200 organizations, worldwide, will welcome its newly organized U.S. chapter. “It’s not only people in those countries that are being invaded and bombed by the United States” that need solidarity, said Bill Doar, a vice-chairman of ILPS. “We, too, need international solidarity to fight against the power of Wall Street and U.S. corporations.” ILPS delegates will also take part in mass demonstrations against the NATO summit meeting in the city.

    A Real Socialist for President

    Stephan Durham, who’s seeking the presidential nomination on the Peace and Freedom Party line, says he is THE socialist candidate in the race. “Capitalism is addicted to war,” said the Freedom Socialist Party member. “Fundamental change” is needed in the U.S., “so that the world will have a chance to breathe.”

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    Obama’s Drones Threaten World Civilization

     

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    President Obama’s vast escalation of drone warfare is “a declaration of war against international law, as it has evolved over the centuries.” He systematically wages war against peace, the highest international crime. More than “just another ‘war president’ – he is a destroyer of world civilization, the terms by which humans deal with one another as states, social groupings and individuals.”

    School Closings Come To Atlanta This Week, To Your City Next Week: It's Time To Dump Arne Duncan

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    A national movement to save public education is coming to life, in the face of a decades-long bipartisan campaign to discredit, de-fund, destabilized and destroy public education. President Bush's Education Secretary said teachers unions were terrorist organizations. Obama's man Arne Duncan believes Katrina was the best thing that ever happened to education in New Orleans. Is it time yet to dump, and to dump on Arne Duncan?

    Freedom Rider: The ICC is Criminal

     

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The New World Order under U.S. dominion turns international law on its head and puts criminal-bought flunkies on the judicial bench. America, which is not even a signatory to the treaty that created the International Criminal Court, calls all the shots like a Mafia don. Africans and a few Serbs are the only ones that get arrested, while great crimes against peace masquerade as humanitarian intervention.

    Obama Signs a Phony – and Dangerous – “JOBS” Bill

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Obama and his Republican soul mates have pulled another fast one, passing a “JOBS” bill that provides no jobs, but instead further deregulates Wall Street’s crisis-making machine. The president has joined his big business backers in an attempt to repeat Bill Clinton’s brief and unstable “boom” by “ inflating another hi-tech bubble to keep the casino wheels spinning for a few years.”

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