police brutality

Black Agenda Radio for Week of September 28, 2015

Black Families and Women Bear Burden of Mass Incarceration

A survey of 1,000 former prison inmates and their families by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, in Oakland, California, “showed that it’s mainly African American women who bear the brunt of a loved one’s incarceration,” said Darris Young, a local organizer for the center who is himself a former inmate. “When an individual is incarcerated, then the impacts on the family, which translate back into the community, are enormous,” said Young. For example, “nearly one out of five families involved in our survey faced eviction – they were denied housing or did not even qualify for public housing once their formerly incarcerated family member returned.”

October Rising: Mass Protest in NYC

“We are coming out of a year of police literally getting away with murder,” said Carl Dix, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and an organizer of Rise Up October, a series of demonstrations set for October 22 through 24in New York City. “We’ve reached a crucial turning point, because the authorities have not only doubled down on releasing their police to brutalize and murder people, but they are trying to demonize the protest movement, talking about it being responsible for a non-existent war on cops.” In reality, cop killings are at an historic low. “We have to meet that with redoubled resistance,” said Dix.

U.S. Foments Chaos and Death in Syria

“From the beginning, the war in Syria has been about tearing down the government of Syria and creating a completely chaotic, destabilized state, which leaves Israel and the U.S. as the strong forces in the region,” said Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition, UNAC. Washington pursues its goals by “sending in mercenaries” to fight alongside the Islamic State, “which was funded by Saudi Arabia and Turkey – both U.S. proxies in this war,” said Flounders.

Washington Caused Flood of “Regime Change Refugees.”

James Paul, former executive director of the Global Policy Forum and author of Syria Unmasked, said the U.S. has a long history of promoting jihadist warfare: “If we go back to Afghanistan, the U.S. pattern of supporting Islamic fundamentalist groups and movements is very consistent – it’s almost the standard playbook,” said Paul. “The biggest gift that the Europeans could give to the refugees in their countries is to look into ending these military interventions.” Paul describes most of the current Middle Eastern and North African migrants as “regime change refugees.”


Police “Training” is the Problem: They are Trained to Oppress Blacks

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Black people don’t need more “training” of the cops that patrol their communities. What’s needed is a new mission for the police – one that is radically different than the current armed occupation – and Black community control over both the project and the personnel. U.S. police are already well trained – in containing, controlling, terrorizing and incarcerating Black people. “For decades, the essential U.S. police mission has been military in nature.”

The Assassination of Sandra Bland and the Struggle against State Repression

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The Black Lives Matter movement has another martyr, as it prepares for a national conference in Cleveland, this weekend. Sandra Bland’s murder in Texas shows, once again, that “defending one’s dignity in an encounter with the police is a crime that that can lead to a death sentence.” The emerging movement must be clear on the political nature of Bland’s death, and that only real power in the hands of the people can break the cycle of oppression.

The Violence of Police Politics

by Steve Martinot

The “dementia” of police behavior is reflected in U.S. prisons, where punishment is justified by the fact of incarceration. “Solitary confinement is imposed on those who think critically and politically.” On the street, police dementia is policy. “In profiling, the police commit an act of suspicion, and then look for a crime with which to charge their suspect.” Profiling renders everything that follows “beyond the law.”

Mass Protests Trigger Washington Post Study of Police Killings

by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The federal government has never gathered meaningful statistics on police killings of civilians. Now the Washington Post has begun an ongoing examination of deaths at the hands of police, in cooperation with two existing web sites that have tried valiantly to fill in the gap. The Post’s count shows “385 people were shot and killed by police nationwide during the first five months of this year, more than two a day.”

I'm a Black Ex-Cop, and This is the Real Truth About Race and Policing

by Reddit Hudson

Black cops are keenly aware that racism permeates policing in the United States. “The reality of police abuse is not limited to a number of ‘very small incidents’ that have impacted black people nationwide, but generations of experienced and witnessed abuse.” Black cops often fear for their own lives when out of uniform.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 1, 2015

A Global System of Oppression

Black Americans’ problems with the police are part of a global conflict, said Phillip Agnew, of the Dream Defenders, the youthful activist organization that emerged after Trayvon Martin’s death in 2012. “They’re all connected to one system: a system of injustice, a system of exploitation, a system of oppression that governs and controls us, nationally and internationally,” he said. “The same thing that is happening in Jacksonville, Florida, is happening in Palestine. The system isn’t broken; it’s working exactly how it was designed to work in order to oppress people around the world.”

Rulers Face Crisis of Legitimacy

Voter turnout in Philadelphia in last month’s local elections was the lowest in generations, especially in poor Black districts. This does not bode well for Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton, according to scholar and activist Dr. Anthony Monteiro. Unless something happens to dramatically energize Blacks, “Hillary Clinton cannot win the state of Pennsylvania, and if she cannot win Pennsylvania, she cannot become President of the United States.” Monteiro believes “we have entered a period where there is a crisis of legitimacy, where those who govern no longer have the legitimate support of the people they govern,” he said. “The question is, How will they govern without the support of the people and call it a democracy?”

Taking Measure of the “Ferguson-Baltimore Moment”

Black resistance confronts “a financialized, monopoly capitalism, with its repressive apparatus – the police and so forth – combined with the ideological apparatus of the educational system and the entertainment system,” said Dr. Cornel West, of Union Theological Seminary, on a Real News Network special program on “Building a Mass Movement.” “When folks are able to see through” the system’s ideological apparatus and “keep track of the suffering, and provide better, more liberating conceptions of what it means to be in the world, then I think we’re in a new day. I think we’re approaching that new day with what I call ‘the Ferguson-Baltimore moment,’” said West.

Marshall “Eddie” Conway, a former Black Panther Party member who spent 44 years as a political prisoner, said poor communities in cities like Baltimore have been “driven so far down, they can only go up.” Activists must help build “institutions that will sustain these communities.” The government and vested economic interests will then respond with attacks on such people’s institutions, but the community will learn that the system “doesn’t work in their interest.”

The current historical moment is marked by young people’s “rejection of traditional leadership, the outright disdain for those leaders who have served to temper the social movement,” said Rev. Osagyefu Sekou, of the Fellowship for Reconciliation. “Internal work” in Black communities will be key. “What are the ways that Black communities are going to self-organize, outside of the specter of the State, through cooperatives and feeding programs, cop-watches, self-patrols, those kinds of things where folks feel that they have a buy-in in the geography they occupy?”


Holder’s Legacy: Corporations Too Big to Jail, Mass Incarceration, Gentrification and Protection of Killer Cops

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The first Black U.S. Attorney General, like the president who appointed him, entered office with high expectations among Black folks. “We now know what to expect from the Obama administration – nothing.” After years of betrayal, “the families of John Crawford III, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and all the other victims around the country must let go of any illusions that DOJ or the White House is in their corner.”


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