The Need for an Ethical and Political De-Colonization of Human Rights: A Reflection on International Human Rights Day

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The ethos of Western-based “human-rights” groups rests “on a stratification of humanity” with European “civilization” at the apex. What the world needs is a people-centered human rights “based on the communitarian principles of social solidarity, cooperation, non-discrimination in all social relationships, collective public ownership of the earth’s resources, respect for difference” and self-determination and dignity of all peoples.

Justice for Eric Garner? From the Justice Department? Don’t Hold Your Breath

by Mark P. Fancher

The U.S. Justice Department’s routine refusal to prosecute killer cops is based on an erroneous interpretation of the law. The feds claim that wrongful police homicides cannot be prosecuted unless the cops intended to violate the victim’s constitutional rights. But the federal courts have ruled that such conduct constitutes “‘open defiance’ or ‘reckless disregard’ for the constitutional rights of the victims.

From Iguala to Ferguson, Resistance requires a Global Movement against US Imperialism

by Danny Haiphong

The kidnapping and mass murder of students in Mexico is also a crime of U.S. imperial policy toward its southern neighbors. “It is the task of a the revolutionary movement in the US and around the globe to connect the graveyard conditions imposed on Black America to the same imperialist system committing state-sponsored mass murder in Mexico.”

Class, Race, Gender and U.S. Policing

by Michelle Renee Matisons

The policing ethos in America is caught in an “omni-crisis” – an intersection of oppressions. “In a seemingly psychotic paradox, this system has all its (military) equipment, but it persists in evoking its imagined white vulnerability in the face of darker people's also imagined predatory (and highly sexualized) prowess.”  

We Must Look Back in Order to Move Forward

by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III

Racial murders often begin in the mind. “Too many police forces and officers view the African American citizens that they have sworn to ‘Protect and Serve’ as enemy combatants to be ‘Feared and Eliminated.’” The mindset of U.S. cops is conditioned by a national history of institutionalized racial oppression.

Free Haiti: Impeach Martelly

by Ezili Danto

The clock is ticking for Haiti to cast off the U.S.-backed regime of Michel Martelly, who will soon rule by raw decree if he is not quickly impeached. Haiti’s senate has the “authority to indict, impeach and remove Martelly immediately to protect the population, avoid a bloodbath, reinforce democratic institutions, and assure some institutional continuity.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/8/14

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CIA and Police Impunity are Linked

The long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture practices “could be the most important document, with respect to reviewing the crimes of U.S. intelligence agencies, since the Pentagon Papers,” said Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. “This is the cover-up underlying human rights abuses that no one has ever been held accountable for.” Yet, unarmed Black men fin the U.S. face extrajudicial assassination by police. “There is clearly no equal justice in this country,” said Buttar, “and no two things make it more clear than torture with impunity juxtaposed with mass incarceration.”

Remove the “Instruments of Death” from Our Communities

The new mass movement is wrestling with fundamental questions of Black life in America. “One demand is that you may not kill our children,” said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the noted whistleblower and activist with the Hands Up Coalition - DC, which last week presented a list of demands to the U.S. Justice Department. “It’s important that we get these instruments of death out of our communities,” said Coleman-Adebayo, who is also an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report.

Black People’s Humanity is not Negotiable

The Obama administration points to the numerous consent decrees it has arrived at with police departments around the country as evidence that it is serious about combating abuses in the criminal justice system. However, Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, is unimpressed. “These federal consent decrees do not get to the heart of the problem, which is that this system has criminalized and demonized Black people,” said Dix – just as Ferguson cop Darren Wilson described Michael Brown as a “demon.” “We have to say No, Black life matters, and we will not allow you to erase our humanity.”

What’s Trust Got to Do With It?

The “impotent” Black political class mimics white politicians when they call for “restoration of trust” between Blacks and police. “When was there ever trust in the first place?” asks Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report to Prison Radio. “The cruel, painful history of relations between police and the people is one of predation, not trust.” The police “are there to control Black mobility and to discipline Blacks for fear they’ll pose a threat to white wealth, life or property,” said Abu Jamal, at Frackville State Prison, in Pennsylvania.

Fast Food Strikers Spearhead Low Wage Workers Movement

Employees went on strike at fast food outlets in 190 cities, last week, demanding $15 an hour and union representation. The action, which also engaged airport, convenience store and other low wage workers, climaxed two years of organizing that began with a walkout at a single restaurant in New York City, said Kendall Sells, organizing director of Fast Food Forward. “Over the next six to twelve months,” said Sells, “I think people are going to see a complete explosion of low wage workers taking to the streets. That’s how we’re going to get these workers out of poverty.”

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. Click here to download the show. Length: One hour.

What Did Young Activists Gain From White House Meeting? What Did the President Get?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

After sending an extra hundred FBI agents to Ferguson in the days just before the grand jury decision, the White House invited young activists opposing police murder and impunity to a Monday meeting with the president. Black Agenda Report spoke briefly with Mr. Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders, asking what was gained or lost.

NOTE: This article has been significantly amended since initial publication on Dec 3, including the insertion of several links, most notably one to Davey D's much longer interview with Phillip Agnew of the Dream Defenders at its very end, which was broadcast on KPFA-FM after our initial publication date.

The New Movement: Are We There Yet?

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

A new movement is being born, but yet to be named. Unlike its historical predecessors, this struggle is primarily directed against the police, the armed, coercive organs of the state. Some degree of violence is inevitable. “In the final analysis, cities will almost certainly have to be rendered ungovernable before the State will accede to substantive people-power demands.”

Freedom Rider: Ferguson’s Reckoning for Obama

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Black folks should have only one thing to say to President Obama: “’Prosecute!’ Every time Eric Holder or Barack Obama or a high profile misleader turns up in public they must be met with this very simple demand.” The only thing standing in the way of civil rights charges against Darren Wilson is Obama, himself.

When the System Provides No Remedies to Torture, You Must Overthrow It

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The United States got a black eye from the UN Committee Against Torture, last week, in a report that was deeply influenced by events in Ferguson and the endemic, full-spectrum criminality practiced by police in places like Chicago. However, “U.S. law does not even define what torture is, or set any standard to measure it” – proof that there is no intention of abolishing torture in the U.S. Thus, there is no alternative but to dismantle the system.

 
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Ajamu Baraka: “Peoples in Resistance from Ferguson to Palestine: A Report Back” Dec 10-11

by The Editors

In an era when corporate news don't cover the existence of Palestinians as human beings, or the simple fat that Israel's apartheid regime continues to wage a genocidal war against them, nothing is more valuable than first hand reporting. Black Agenda Report's Ajamu Baraka is recently returned from a trip to Palestine, and will do his first 2 report backs Dec 10 in Atlanta GA and Dec 11 in Augusta GA.

“Why are They Doing This to Me?”: Seattle Students Walkout on Ferguson Decision and Racism

by Jesse Hagopian

Ferguson is everywhere – including Seattle, where thousands of students took to the streets last week. “What is sweeping the nation—something the media cannot acknowledge without legitimizing challenges to their own supremacy—is a politicized populace of Black people, people of color, and their allies, with a goal of uprooting institutional racism.”

The Lessons of Libya

by Dan Glazebrook

Led by Western self-interest, NATO embarked on a massive military intervention in Libya in 2011 that leaves many lessons for the Global South. Above all stands the lesson that Western military intervention cannot bring about the desired change, but rather creates failed states.

Thanksgiving is the Expression of the Colonizer, Then and Now

by Danny Haiphong

What most Americans think they know about the historical “Thanksgiving” is a myth, yet the story is acted out on a global and domestic scale under contemporary U.S. imperialism. For example, in Syria, the U.S. invents and arms “moderate” rebels while bombing the ISIS kind. Domestically, “both the Obama Administration and the corporate media have divided Black American resistance between "civilized" peaceful protesters and "savage" looters.

Will the Department of Justice Meet the Demands of the Movement?

by the Real News Network

Demonstrations of outrage in more than 100 US cities at unpunished police misconduct may be the beginning of a movement against the prison state itself. Established misleaders and the state, Glen Ford observes, try to divide and discredit this movement by labeling parts of it "violent" and "illegal". But these are shallow, hypocritical conventions which mainly serve established power, not the cause of change.

Will the Department of Justice Meet the Demands of the Movement?

by the Real News Network

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/1/14

Ferguson Creates Crisis for U.S. Rulers

“This government is on edge,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “This government has an incredible quandary in dealing with the re-emergence of Black people in this ‘post-racial’ situation that’s supposed to be defined by the presidency of Barack Obama.” White people are on edge, too. “There’s no editorials being written about the fact that white people are arming themselves to the teeth in the whole Missouri area,” said Yeshitela. “It’s a crisis of great magnitude and they have no idea how to deal with it.”

Black America Must Appeal to International Allies

“At the end of the day, if this epidemic of police killings is” to be halted, “we are going to have to appeal to the international community,” as did Blacks of past generations, said Dr. Gerald Horne, historian and professor of African American Studies at the University of Houston. “It’s no accident that RT in Moscow, CCTV in China, Telesur in Venezuela, Prensa Latina of Cuba, and Press TV of Iran have been much more incisive” on Ferguson “than many of our local and domestic outlets.” Horne was interviewed on the Real News Network, as was Kevin Alexander Gray, the Columbia, South Carolina activist and author. “What needs to change is the ability of police on the street to invoke the death penalty without due process,” said Gray. Ferguson cop Darren Wilson “got a lot of due process; Michael Brown got none. What’s gonna happen is, people are going to have to rethink what self-defense means in this country, in light of giving the police such unfettered power.”

Mumia: Ferguson Enters Pantheon of Black Pain

“The name Ferguson joins an ancient line of place names of pain, loss and Black death – places like Birmingham, Philadelphia and, now, Ferguson,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner. In a report for Prison Radio, Abu Jamal said that some Blacks will seal away the memory of Ferguson, while “others will grow in radicalism, convinced that this case is the very epitome of racist injustice.”

Rev. Pinkney Promises “Breaking News” Before His Sentencing

Facing 25 years in prison following his conviction on charges of tampering with an election recall petition, Rev. Edward Pinkney “promises” to have “breaking news” before he is sentenced on December 15. The Benton Harbor, Michigan, community leader said he was “shocked” that he could be found guilty by an all-white jury “with absolutely no witnesses.” Police officer Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri, “murdered a boy with witnesses. Here, they’re about to send me to jail for the rest of my life with no witnesses, with no evidence at all,” said Pinkney, age 65. He promised revelations that will blow the case out of the water.

Obama’s Secret Afghan War Extension

Weeks before the November elections, President Obama secretly extended the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan through the end of 2015. The president’s conduct holds no surprises for author and anti-war activist David Swanson, publisher of the influential web site WarIsACrime.Org. “Obama has been given credit for six years for ending a war that he tripled in size,” said Swanson. “This is his war, far more than George W. Bush’s, in terms of death, destruction, injuries, refugees, money spent, time spent – and he’s gonna keep it going.”

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: Click here to download the show. One hour.

Ferguson: It is Right to Resist, By Any and All Means Necessary

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Having failed to head off the beginnings of a Black mass movement, the Black Misleadership Class and the White House cite violence in Ferguson to discredit youthful activists. However, “any movement that defies police power and rejects the legitimacy of the state – including its prosecutors and grand juries – will inevitably commit acts that are deemed illegal and which are accompanied by some level of violence.”

Freedom Rider: Bill Cosby and Michael Brown

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Unrepentant old rapists aren’t funny. Nor are they good media investments. Karma has caught up with Bill Cosby, who slandered the Black poor as amoral criminals, but “will never have another television show or book on the best seller list and that is as it should be.”

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