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Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 10/20/14Pennsylvania Enacts Bill to Silence Prisoners – Especially Mumia Abu Jamal
A new law would curtail the speech of prisoners held by the State of Pennsylvania on the grounds that their utterances and writings might cause “mental anguish” to crime victims. “It’s a backlash, it’s a repressive law,” said Dr. Johanna Fernandez, professor of history at Baruch College and a supporter of Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner. “It suggests that authorities are feeling the heat of emerging movements against police brutality and mass incarceration.”
Speaking from Frackville State Prison, Mumia Abu Jamal said the legislation proves Pennsylvania’s government “doesn’t give a white about their own Constitution, nor about the United States Constitution. I welcome that, because it proves that they are the outlaws.” Police organizations were outraged that Abu Jamal was allowed to give a commencement speech at Vermont’s Goddard College.
Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration
Police and FBI personnel have reverted to throwing around the old term “outside agitators” to describe activists that have journeyed to Ferguson, Missouri, to protest the U.S. criminal justice system. “They’re picking up the terminology of George Wallace, Bull Connor and the like,” said Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, who was arrested along with fellow co-founder Dr. Cornel West, in Ferguson, last week. The point “is to divide the movement to transform the status quo.” Nationwide actions to resist police brutality, mass incarceration and criminalization of Black people are set for October 22.
Prop 47 Would Dramatically Reduce Incarceration in California
The online activist outfit Color of Change has thrown its weight behind passage of Proposition 47, a ballot initiative that would reclassify some nonviolent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and redirect prison funding to programs for transition to life on the outside. “It would impact up to 10,000 people who are currently incarcerated” and spare thousands more from being “overcharged” for offenses, said Matt Nelson, organizing director for Color of Change. Moreover, said Nelson, passage would go far to “make it unacceptable to have such high rates of incarceration, which really start in a racially biased culture.”
Next Round: Rev. Pinkney vs. Whirlpool in Benton Harbor
Community activist Rev. Edward Pinkney goes on trial October 27 on charges of altering signatures on petitions to recall the mayor of Benton Harbor, Michigan, a mostly Black town long dominated by the giant Whirlpool Corporation. “They’re counting on an all-white jury that is motivated by something other than the truth,” said Pinkney, leader of the fight to recall Mayor James Hightower. Whirlpool and county police authorities “would do anything – I believe they would even kill – to keep him in office, because he is the corporate puppet,” said Pinkney.
Temple University Students Supplement “Africology” with DuBois
Students at Philadelphia’s Temple University are holding their own W.E.B. Dubois lecture series to make up for what’s missing from the new “Africology” courses instituted by Dr. Molefi Asante, chairman of the recently renamed African American Studies department. Asante refused to renew the contract of Duboisian scholar Dr. Anthony Monteiro. “We feel a critical analysis, historically, politically and economically, through the vantage of African American struggle, is lacking” under the Africology regime, said student organizer Sabrina Sample. Asante’s agenda has been to “eliminate any competition with Afro-centric ideology within the department.”
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: One hour. Click here to download the show.
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Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 10/13/14
“Baby Doc” is Dead, But Duvalierism Lives On in Haiti Regime
Haiti’s elite flocked to the funeral of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier who, along with father “Papa Doc” killed probably 20,000 people, terrorized the entire population and stole half a billion dollars over a period of two generations. Duvalier died of a heart attack at age 63, “but there are many others who were involved in the actual torture and arrests and stealing who supported that brutal system,” said Brian Concannon, executive director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. “The Duvalierist system has in many ways comes back” with the current government of Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly, who was closing associated with “Baby Doc’s” terror network.
BBC Film Implicates Rwanda’s Kagame in Assassination of Two Presidents
A recently release BBC documentary shows that Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame’s rebel forces shot down the airplane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, in 1994, setting the stage for mass killings. “Kagame’s complicity has been known for many years by the U.S. and the UN,” said Peter Erlinder, an international lawyer who has defended Kagame’s opponents and was himself jailed by the regime for questioning the prevailing narrative, that Kagame halted the Rwandan genocide. Once in power, Kagame’s forces invaded neighboring Congo, igniting yet another genocide that has killed six million people.
Mumia Addresses Goddard College Grads
In 1996, while still on Pennsylvania’s death row, Mumia Abu Jamal earned his bachelor’s degree from Vermont’s Goddard College. “Goddard allowed me to really study what interested and moved me: revolutionary movements,” the nation’s best known political prisoner told the college’s graduating class. Police organizations across the country fought furiously to prevent Abu Jamal from making the commencement speech, in which he advised students to “take what you know and apply it in the real world. Help be the change you’re seeking to make.”
New Film on 1898 Wilmington Massacre
The last vestiges of post-Civil War Reconstruction died in the flames and carnage of Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898, when white supremacists mounted a military assault on the city’s alliance of Black Republicans and white Populists. Hundreds of Blacks may have died, half the Black population left the city, and the last Black Reconstruction congressman fled the state. Christopher Everett hopes to complete Wilmington on Fire, his new film on these historical events, by December. He said racist Democrats carried out the massacre “to put out a signal to the rest of North Carolina that, if they can take over Wilmington, the whole state will follow.”
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.
Your browser doesn't support flash. Click the mic instead to download.