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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela and Collective Power

by Kevin Alexander Gray

Whatever verdict history decrees on three decades of nominal Black rule in South Africa, one thing is certain: Nelson Mandela is not the only person responsible. The unfinished struggle was a collective effort. “Moderates and radicals, ANC members and non-members, martyrs, marchers, clergy, secular, individuals and organizations made up the collective.” Indeed, lots of the change-makers weren’t even South African.

Freedom Charter is Key to New Struggle for South Africa

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“Marikana was the great shock to the national consciousness, and Mandela’s death brought a final end to the pretense of social transformation.” In the transition from apartheid, the ruling African National Congress chose Black capitalism and neoliberalism. But, trade unionists plan to create a workers party that will fight for implementation of the Freedom Charter – and socialism.

Letter to Obama: America’s Selective Memory and the Cuban Five

by Piero Gleijeses

Washington’s selective memory of Cuba’s role in the world – and America’s own sordid past and present – prevents its leaders from seeing reality clearly. But President Obama witnessed first hand that Africa remembers who its friends are. “While the Cubans were fighting for the liberation of the people of South Africa, successive American governments did everything they could to stop them.”

The African National Congress: The Rise and Tragic Fall of a Revolutionary Movement

by Anthony Monteiro

Black “rule” in South Africa is illusory. “White supremacy without the obvious hand of white people is the form of social and political control, which replaces legal apartheid.” The revolution was derailed. “The road from the Freedom Charter, to the Morogoro Consultative Conference, to the 1994 elections, to the murder of 34 miners at Mirikana in 2012, is the ANC’s road to counter-revolution.”

South Africa and Zimbabwe: A Tale of Two Land Reforms

by Harold Green

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When Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe attended the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, he “received the loudest cheers and applause” among the dignitaries. Zimbabwe’s successful land reform stands in stark contrast to South Africa, where “barely 10% of farm land has been redistributed,” and the wealth gap – which is a race gap – “has become one of the most unequal in the world.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/16/13

Newark Rallies for Mandela

“We marched because we wanted to highlight the revolutionary dimension of his personality, rather than an anemic and eviscerated Mandela,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of POP, the People’s Organization for Progress, following a demonstration in downtown Newark, New Jersey, last week, in honor of the deceased South African leader. “Believe it or not,” said Hamm, “there are still people who don’t know about Mandela.” Founded in 1983, POP’s first buttons demanded “Free Nelson Mandela!”

America’s Mostly War Budget

Peace and social justice activists gathered on Capitol Hill to mark International Human Rights Day and demand that Congress reject a budget that allocates more than 50 percent of resources to war-making. David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.Org, noted that some lawmakers were away in South Africa. “You can’t celebrate nonviolence and then come back and dump over 50 percent of your money into so-called ‘defense,’” said Swanson. “It’s offensive, in every sense of the word.”

De Blasio Picks Giuliani “Retread” for Top Cop

According to Stop Stop-and-Frisk activist Carl Dix, New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s choice of William Bratton as his police commissioner is designed to send a message: “Guess what? There will still be two cities, and the city that I represent, the city of the power brokers, of the elite, of the capitalist class, will continue to clamp down on the rest of you.” Bratton deployed the much-feared street crime units under law and order mayor Rudy Giuliani in the mid-Nineties.

Slavery + Genocide + Vast Theft = Capitalist Genesis

“The capitalist state was an imperialist state from its inception,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, at the party’s 6th Congress in St. Petersburg, Florida. The wealth necessary to launch capitalism was accumulated through slavery, extermination and land theft. “Our material condition has its origin in the attack on Africa,” said Yeshitela.

Obama Mouth Runs Amok with Double-Talk

Rhetorically speaking, President Obama has once again positioned himself as a “populist,” declaring that income inequality is “the defining challenge of our time.” “Obama is quite practiced in double-talk,” said Paul Street, historian and author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. “As if he hasn’t been attacking Social Security and Medicare; as if he hasn’t pushed deficit reduction, in some ways, even more dramatically than the Republicans have.”

Lynne Stewart “Home for the Holidays” Campaign

Federal prison officials pretend that people’s lawyer and political prisoner Lynne Stewart, who suffers from Stage Four breast cancer, “is getting better, but she is not,” said her husband and fellow activist Ralph Poynter. Supporters should sign a petition asking the Bureau of Prisons, President Obama and Attorney General Holder to grant Stewart compassionate release from prison in time for the holidays. The administration is “stalling and stonewalling, and the clock is running out,” said Poynter.

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Freedom Rider: Talking About Mandela

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Nelson Mandela belongs to history now. We should be able to look at his whole life, his whole record in perspective. That perspective ought to include who is praising Nelson Mandela nowadays and why.

Nelson Mandela, The Contradictions Of His Life And Legacies

by Anthony Monteiro

Nelson Mandela lived a long life, with 3 careers, one before he was locked up, another while in prison, and a third after his 1990 release. Dr. Anthony Monteiro reflects upon the life, the lessons and the legacies of Nelson Mandela.

Eyewitness to America Betraying Mandela's South Africa: The Gore - Mbeki Commission

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Nelson Mandela's ANC leadership negotiated the form of the new South Africa on two tracks, the political wrangling in one set of meetings, & the decisions on the nation's economic future separately at another location, headed by Thabo Mbeki. The results were predictable, as Miriam Makeba said: "We got the flag, but they got to keep the money."

Freedom Rider: Obama, Mandela and Dangerous Mythology

By BAR Editor & Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Obamas' visit to South Africa, for people of color on both sides of the Atlantic, is heavy on symbolism and photo-ops, but devoid of any substance for those who hunger and thirst for justice. The ANC won the flag at the end of apartheid, but South Africa's white elite kept the land and the money, after allowing a few well-connected black faces into high places.

RUN SNOWDEN RUN! Dirty Lies, Dirty Wars, Dirty Secrets

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and King Downing

Whistle-blowing can consist of more than simply telling a newspaper about wrongdoing by the State. Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange join the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, in opposing the rule of the unjust. “Some whistleblowers survive, others are murdered or imprisoned, but all are eventually destroyed.”

The Real Invasion of Africa is Not News and a License to Lie is Hollywood's Gift

 

by John Pilger

The cold truth is: the U.S. and its allies’ armed “interventions” seek the “implantation of the West's business plan for Africa, together with the rape of multi-ethnic Syria and the conquest of independent Iran.” The corporate media fiction is: good guys versus terror.

100 Years of the ANC: From Liberation Movement to State Power in South Africa

 

by Adèle Kirsten and Tshepo Madlingozi

There is no doubt that South Africa is in deep crisis – an unfinished revolution. “The land question is unresolved, economic redistribution is not addressed, racial equality is not attained.” Yet the ruling African National Congress remains deeply embedded in the nation’s political culture. “The ANC remains the central organizational pivot in South Africa’s peoples’ lives.”

South Africa’s Unfinished Revolution and the Massacre at Marikana

 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The massacre of 34 miners at Marikana lays bare the central contradiction of the South African “arrangement.” Back in 1994, “the ‘revolution’ was put on indefinite hold, so that a new Black capitalist class could be created, largely from the ranks of well-connected members of the ruling party and even union leaders.” The regime now represses Black workers on behalf of capital.

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March 23: Anniversary of the Beginning of Apartheid's End: The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce Dixon

Apartheid South Africa responded to Angola's 1974 independence from the Portuguese with a US-backed military invasion.  Declaring that "the blood of Africa" flowed through Cuban veins, Fidel Castro dispatched the Cuban armed forces to confront the armies of racist South Africa in Angola.  Between 1974 and 1988 more than 1100 Cubans laid down their lives in Africa to hasten the end of apartheid.  This week is the anniversary of the historic battle of Cuito Cuanavale, in which Cuban, Angolan and Namibian forces routed the supposedly invincible land and air forces of white-ruled South Africa, eventually making possible the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, and the end of apartheid in South Africa itself, and earning for Cuba the lasting enmity of the United States. If we in the U.S. were serious about racial reconciliation, we too would celebrate the March 23 anniversary of Cuito  Cuanavale. 

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