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Black Panther Party

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    University of Revolution

    by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner

    Mass rallies, strikes, pickets, voter registration, armed
    Self-defense; from flash-mobbing miserly Wal-Marts,
    To slipping “Which Side Are You On?” in on the St Louis
    Symphony, to unfurling anti-racist banners on Monday Night
    Football, National TV, revealing inconvenient truths about cold-
    Blooded murder…

    Homage to the Freedom-Fighting Freeman Bros

    by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner

    The Freedom-fighting Freeman Bros are Heroes, now, just as they were back then,
    Stellar, like the Nicholas Bros to tap dancing
    The Alou, Alomar and knuckle-balling
    Niekro and 3rd base Boyer Bros to baseball
    Like the Heath, Marsalis and Jones Bros to Jazz

    “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten”—Ashanti Proverb

    America: Young Black Men Have No Right to Life

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Over the past 50 years, Black America has gone from fists in the air to arms raised in surrender; from assertion of the right to self-defense, to pleas for sensitivity from militarized police occupiers. Black America has been turned into a vast Constitution-free zone.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 8/04/14

    The Chosen People – for Incarceration

    “They’ve created a permanent caste from which people cannot escape,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress (POP), referring to America’s system of mass Black incarceration. POP supports the New Jersey Decarceration Act, aimed at drastically reducing prison populations. Historically, police forces and prisons have expanded to contain Black people, socially and geographically. “What they’re worried about now is there’s a potential for us to build alliances with other groups that have been economically disenfranchised in the last few decades, and that there could be an even wider societal response to the suffering that’s going on in this country,” said Hamm.

    Challenge to Arbitrary Solitary Confinement

    Prison inmate Lester Alford has hauled New Jersey into court, charging prison officials with arbitrarily locking him in solitary under appalling conditions. “They only gave him one set of clothing for three years, and didn’t let him clean his cell for three years,” said Jean Ross, a lawyer who has advised many state prisoners. The state accused Alford, now middle-aged, of being a gang leader. “There is no excuse, no defense to the fact that they placed him under isolated confinement without any kind of due process of law, and under conditions that we would not keep animals in,” said Ross, who is also an organizer with the People’s Organization for Progress.

    Former Panther Blasts Huey Newton

    Wayne Pharr, a former captain in the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, has just published a book titled Nine Lives of a Black Panther: A Story of Survival. “I don’t bash anybody but Huey Newton,” the Panther co-founder who, Pharr writes, set himself up as Supreme Commander and sent hit squads against members considered disloyal. “That’s what turned me off from the whole thing, because that spoke of ego and no humility,” said Pharr, who now makes his living in real estate. The FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO played a role in the party’s demise. “We knew were under surveillance with COINTELPRO,” said Pharr, “and COINTELPRO is still working, right now.”

    U.S. Complicit in Israeli Crimes

    “Not a minute of this war would be possible without complete and total U.S. funding, political support, and diplomatic support every step of the way,” said Sara Flounders, of the International Action Center. But, “the world has not been silent” to the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, nearly 2,000 of whom – overwhelmingly civilians – have died at Israeli hands. What the Israeli’s want, said Flounders, “is the silence of the grave; that’s their only plan.” A huge demonstration is set for this Saturday, August 9, at the United Nations building in New York, said Flounders, who is also an organizer with UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition.

    Mumia: Zionists Lust for Land

    America’s best known political prisoner says “Israel intentionally targets civilians, which is a war crime.” Mumia Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio, called Israel “a settler colonialists state which has no use for the indigenous people of Palestine, yet lusts for its land.” President Obama claims Israel “has the right to defend itself. But, one wonders: doesn’t Palestine have that right, as well?”

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    An Ideal Blueprint: The Original Black Panther Party Model and Why It Should Be Duplicated

    by Colin Jenkins

    There is no need to wholly reinvent the wheels of revolutionary struggle in the United States. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense provides a still-useful model. “The party possessed a ‘big picture approach’ that has become a necessity, especially in today's world of globalization, neoliberalism, and multinational corporate power.”

    Making the Case for an Election Boycott: Why the Left Should Refrain from US Imperialism's Electoral Charade

    by Danny Haiphong

    The left should not participate in, “and thus provide consent for, the rule of imperialism every four years.” Say “No” to the charade. “Barack Obama's two-term presidency has been a lesson for the entire left that voting for a Wall Street politician within the imperialist state can only bring more misery and political confusion, not less.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/20/14

    IFCO Tax Exemption Imperiled

    The IRS is threatening to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, IFCO, the venerable anti-poverty and human rights group. The government is investigating IFCO’s aid to Palestinians in Gaza and its assistance to U.S. students that want to avail themselves of medical scholarships in Cuba. The web site of the pro-Israel Investigative Project on Terrorism accuses IFCO of links to Hamas. “To have the IRS utilize a blog to come after a 47-year old, faith-based, non-profit organization run by people of color since its inception, is an outrage and an insult,” said IFCO co-director Gail Walker.

    Health Disparities Rooted in Racist Legacy

    Racial income and wealth gaps lead to racial health disparities, said Brian Miller, executive director of United for a Fair Economy, UFE. “Vast economic disparities are still with us, and these disparities, coupled with racial segregation, create a toxic soup that is brewing up health problems and shortening people’s lives,” said Biller, at a press conference to debut UFE’s 2014 State of the Dream Report, “Healthcare for Whom? Enduring Racial Disparities.”

    War on Poverty was Great Success

    The War on Poverty accomplished many of its goals, according to Annelise Orleck, professor of history at Dartmouth University and co-editor of The War on Poverty: A Grassroots History, 1964 – 1980. President Lyndon Johnson’s community action programs made enemies. “It shook things up when poor people demanded representation in school boards and housing boards and welfare boards,” said Orleck. The War on Poverty was attacked “not because it failed, but because it succeeded.”

    White Racism Undermined Anti-Poverty Effort

    “White backlash” scuttled some War on Poverty programs, including job training for minorities in the skilled trades. White workers whose union hiring halls had “for decades hired their sons, their nephews” became Reagan Democrats, said Jill Quadango, professor of sociology at Florida State University and author of The Color of Welfare: How Racism Undermined the War on Poverty. White union members saw minority trainees as “a direct threat to their prerogative to choose who was hired.”

    Mumia on COINTELPRO

    A new book reveals the identities of three people who broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in 1971, and made off with files on the bureau’s COINTELPRO campaign against Blacks and the Left. Mumia Abu Jamal, America’s best-known political prisoner, recalled learning of the revelations, shortly after he left the Black Panther Party. “To read about people who you’ve known for years, who were FBI informants, was absolutely mindblowing,” Abu Jamal told Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild and host of WBAI Radio’s Law and Disorder program.

    Socialism Needed – Quickly

    Capitalism “is utterly irrational, it’s out of control, and unless we democratically organize and plan this economy, they’re going to kill us, literally, through climate change,” said Michael Steven Smith, co-editor of Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA. The new book contains 31 essays by a wide range of Left activists and writers.

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    Freedom Rider: The Burglary and COINTELPRO

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Forty three years ago, a group of brave activists clandestinely liberated documents from an FBI office that proved the existence of COINTELPRO, the government program to destroy the Freedom Movement. A new book recounts how most of the media refused to touch the story. Today, the chill is even deeper.

    A Moral Outrage: Albert Woodfox's 41 Years in Solitary Confinement – An interview with Rev. Dr. Patricia Teel Bates

    by Angola 3 News

    One more to go. “Albert Woodfox remains the sole Angola 3 member still in prison.” His comrade, Herman Wallace, was released in October, just a few days before dying of liver cancer. Amnesty International declared, "Herman died a free man. Let's help Albert live as one."

    From the Bullet to the Ballot: An Unfavorable Review of a Work on the Black Panther Party

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Historians are supposed to help us make sense of the world, by illuminating the forces and trends that shape the lives and destinies of ordinary people. But historians in the service of power do something else. Whether carelessly or carefully, they omit and distort to come up with histories that justify today's establishment as the inheritors of a noble tradition of struggle on the part of ordinary people. It's time for more people's histories of our movement, and of the historic Black Panther Party. Regrettably, this is not one of them.

    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.

    Obama’s Anti-Black Rant

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    Obama’s twisted view of Black people and their history was on full display at the March on Washington anniversary. The president spewed slanders and lies, conjuring up welfare queens, crazed Black militants and his old stand-by, bad Black parents. “To put it bluntly, the First Black President gave a very good standup impression of a racist white man.”

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    Freedom Rider: Sex Tapes and Butlers

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Racist propaganda comes in many forms, and from many sources. Russell Simmons and Lee Daniels are well-paid Black purveyors of the anti-Black propaganda arts. Daniel’s turns history and truth on its head in The Butler, while Russell Simmons depicts Harriet Tubman as a whore who turns tricks for freedom.

    Radicalized = Weaponized = Kill at Will

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    These days, a radical label can get you killed. In National Security Speech, “it is clear that to ‘radicalize’ means very much the same as to ‘weaponize’; the radicalized person has been transformed into a weapon.” Under such assumptions, the secret police feel justified in using lethal force on purely political pretexts.

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    Black Agenda Radio on PRN, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 5/13/13

    Assata, JZ and Beyonce: The Connection

    Domestic law enforcement is at odds” with President Obama because of his “new approach to Latin America and the war on drugs,” said Dhoruba bin Wahad, former Black Panther and co-founder of the Black Liberation Army. According to bin Wahad, who spent 19 years in prison on political charges, Obama is seeking to “calm the shift in power to the Left in Latin America” in his second term. “JZ going to Cuba, getting a visa, was not coincidental,” he said. The recent JZ-Beyonce “trip was about opening up Cuba” to U.S. tourism, “to disrupt and undo the Cuban revolution.” Exiled former Black Panther Assata Shakur’s elevation to number one domestic terrorist on the FBI list “represents the disgruntlement of U.S. law enforcement” with this process.

    The Betrayal of the Black Misleadership Class

    The Black political class that emerged from the tumult of the Sixties became eager partners with corporate neoliberalism, said Jay Arena, author of Driven from New Orleans: How Non-Profits Betray Public Housing and Promote Privatization. The first generation of the post-Sixties Black political class “emerges just at the time when the national state begins their neoliberal austerity and privatization agenda – and they embraced that,” said Arena, a veteran activist and professor of sociology at the College of Staten Island, New York. Many Black politicians and non-profit organizations collaborated in the dismantling of public housing in New Orleans and cities across the nation.

    Superpower Woes in Syria
    “The United States, and any other imperialist nation on earth, has no right” to interfere with the internal affairs of Syria, said Jeff Mackler, national secretary of Socialist Action. Washington’s ambitions in Syria have been frustrated because “they don’t have any forces on the ground that they can trust to defend their interests.” The U.S. faced a similar situation in Iraq, and has no reliable allies on the ground in Afghanistan, either, said Mackler.

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    Why Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz Must Be Released From Solitary Confinement: An interview with Theresa Shoatz and Matt Meyer

    by Angola 3 News

    Former Black Panther Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz has spent 28 of the last 30 years in “control units” – solitary confinement. “The remedy is an end to all control units, the present day prison system, and freedom for Maroon and all my extended family: the political prisoners who stood on the front lines for our freedom,” says his daughter.

    A Tale of Two Political Prisoners – and You Can Help Both of Them

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    Two heroic political prisoners need your urgent help. Albert Woodfox, of the Angola 3, has spent four decades in solitary confinement. Lynne Stewart, the people’s lawyer, is fighting cancer in a Texas prison cell. “Lynne’s family and legions of supporters are asking that she be given compassionate release from prison so that she can at least have a chance at survival.”

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    Goodbye Black Studies!

    by Cecil Brown

    Black Studies is in deep trouble, on the internal and external racial fronts. “The test of whether a Black Studies department will survive depends on how many white teachers and students they have.” Meanwhile, the absence of an African American political movement has undermined Black Studies, which has “lost the self-respect and the respect for other blacks.”

    “When Other Folks Give Up Theirs…” Black Freedom and the Gun Control Debate

    Akinyele Umoja

    Contrary to Congressman John Lewis’ revision of history, “the notion that the Civil Rights movement was exclusively nonviolent is a popular mythology.” In fact, “Some members of Lewis’s Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee picked up weapons and worked with community people to defend their lives against white terrorists.”

    December 4, 1969 -- Nothing but a Northern Lynching: The Assassination of Fred Hampton

    by G. Flint Taylor
    Observations of one of the attorneys who represented the families of survivors of the murderous December 4, 1969 raid by the FBI and Chicago police on the home of Fred Hampton, Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. 

    NY Times Underestimates Oakland’s Radicals

     

    by Davey D

    The corporate media are always declaring radical activism dead, hoping their predictions will come true. Oakland is, according to the New York Times, situated right on the edge of the radical extinction zone. But Davey D sets the Times straight: Oakland’s Occupy movement flourished “because it was preceded by an intense, well-heeled movement for social justice that addressed many of the overarching issues that eventually were raised by the Occupy Movement.”

    The Revision and Origin of Black August

     

    by Kiilu Nyasha

    The commemoration of Black August is inseparable from the lives and struggles of revolutionary freedom fighters: “George and Jonathan Jackson, James McClain, William Christmas, Khatari Gaulden, and sole survivor of the August 7, 1970 Courthouse Slave Rebellion, Ruchell Cinque Magee.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of May 28, 2012

     

    Obama Asked to Veto a “Poison Pill” Whistleblower Bill

    A bill purporting to protect whistleblowers contains a “poison pill” that would effectively abolish federal workers’ rights to access to the courts, said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, a founder of the NO FEAR Coalition and herself a noted whistleblower. The so-called Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which has passed the Senate, would allow a board of federal employees acting as judges to pass final summary judgments on workers’ discrimination complaints – a reversal of guarantees to due process provided by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, said Coleman-Adebayo. Historically, she said, the board has turned thumbs down on all but 2 percent of discrimination complaints. If the House passes the measure, Coleman-Adebayo urges President Obama to veto it. “You do not want to be the president who overturned the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”

    Roots of Police Killings of Blacks in New Orleans

    New Orleans has always been “a very violent city with a particularly toxic racial environment,” said Dr. Jeffrey Adler, professor of history and criminology at the University of Florida and author of “The Killer Behind the Badge: Race and Police Homicide in New Orleans, 1925-1945,” an article recently published in the prestigious Law and History Review. “The low level of training, the lack of professional standards, the corruption of politics, were more powerful and more deeply entrenched in New Orleans than in many other southern cities,” said Adler. “If police officers believed that social stability was bound up in rendering African Americans submissive and compliant, then they understood resistance as a threat…and they could shoot.”

    Hunger Strike at Virginia’s Prison

    A number of inmates at Virginia’s infamous Red Onion maximum security prison refused to eat in protest of harsh conditions, including mass solitary confinement. “The racial dynamic that exists there, it’s out of control,” said Max Gaskins, who spent four years behind bars at Red Onion and is a founding member of SPARC, Supporting Prisoners and Acting for Radical Change. “I saw men get their eyes shot out, me were shot in the back and paralyzed,” he said. Prison officials now claim the hunger strike has ended.

    Black Middle Class “Largely Cut Ties” With Black Poor

    The African American middle class has partly been successfully integrated into the American mainstream and has, maybe to the greatest extent in its history, cut ties with the Black and working class,” said Dr. Gary Peller, a professor of law at Georgetown University, in Washington. Peller is author of the new book, Critical Race Consciousness: Rethinking American Ideologies of Racial Justice. Integrationism “helps to apologize for the basic distribution of wealth, power and prestige in American society.” Dr. Peller said “Black nationalism achieved its real pinnacle of theoretic sophistication in the late 1960s and early Seventies, with Malcolm X and his followers, the Black Panther ideologists, and others.” The Panthers, in particular, “not only had programs for Black liberation, but also had a critique of American involvement around the world.”

    POP Protest in Newark Only 43 Days from Goal

    The People’s Organization for Progress (POP) has passed the 338-day point in its daily demonstrations in Newark, New Jersey – just 43 days from matching the 381-day longevity of the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, Bus Boycott. Nearly 200 local organizations have endorsed POP’s marathon action for jobs, housing, education, peace and justice. “The only avenue we have is to do what POP has done, to be out there and demonstrate and let people know that we’re not satisfied,” said Jerry Owens, vice president of the local long shore workers union and president of the area’s A. Philip Randolph Institute.

    Cory Booker and Obama Beholden to Vulture Capitalists

    The Black Misleadership Class, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker and President Barack Obama, “must deliver the votes of their people to the campaign contributors who made their careers possible,” said Bruce Dixon, managing editor of Black Agenda Report. However, they “must pose as at least half-hearted opponents of the blood-sucking model of parasitic vulture capitalism practiced by Bain Capital, JP Morgan, Citibank and other players.” Obama’s “heart belongs to JP Morgan.”

    Preventive Detention Gone Wild

    It’s come down to the point where some guy riding a bike down a street in New Delhi is a threat to the United States and we’ve got to know where he’s going, what his name is, who his family is and who his friends are, so we can round him up and put him under surveillance so that he can’t communicate with some guy who’s riding a bike in Malaysia,” said Doug Valentine, co-author of a paper, “The Dangerous World of Indefinite Detention.”

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    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.”

    The Idiocy that Executed Trayvon Martin: Marian Hammer of the NRA

    Eshu’s blues by michael hureaux perez

    The National Rifle Association is a vector of violent death, and “white Amurrikin cowboy fantasies will not be satisfied until this land is mindlessly purged with blood, to paraphrase John Brown.” The nation was far safer 40-something years ago, when the right to bear arms “was defended by such stalwarts of the 2nd Amendment as the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords and the American Indian Movement.

    'People Power' Pries Abu-Jamal from Punitive Administrative Custody

    by Linn Washington Jr.

    30 years after his conviction on charges of killing a policeman – Mumia Abu-Jamal last week entered the general prison population. Abu-Jamal’s release from isolation in Administrative Custody followed a worldwide mobilization of his supporters, who charge that “authorities misuse Administrative Custody as repression against inmates for their political activism.

    Medical Self Defense And The Black Panther Party

     

    by Angola 3 News

    The U.S. State demonized the Black Panther Party as thugs bent on killing police, and even the narratives of Panther supporters tended to emphasize the Party’s paramilitary aspects. Yet the Panthers championed the people’s fundamental right to health care – a contribution explored in a new book. “The BPP exposed the misuse of power whether it was at the hands of police officers or physicians,” says the author. “So, it's also useful to think of the Panthers as being engaged in medical self-defense.”

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