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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/19/14

    U.S. Guilty in Haiti Cholera Epidemic

    The United States “is as responsible, if not more,” than the United Nations for the cholera outbreak in Haiti, since “it’s because of the military occupation that we have cholera,” said Dr. Jemima Pierre, professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville. The U.S. backed a coup against the democratically elected government of Haiti, in 2004, and then invaded the country. “ Later, the U.S. brought in the UN “to cover this dirty work and make it legitimate,” said Dr. Pierre. UN “peacekeepers” were the vectors of the disease.

    Crimea Deserves Self-Determination

    Dr. John Quigley, professor of international law at Ohio State University with decades of experience in Russia and its neighbors, said Crimean “sentiment for separation” from Ukraine ”has been very strong for a very long time” and the referendum on secession was not taken “under the gun” of Russia. The U.S. and its allies claim all of Ukraine should have been allowed to vote. But, “the essence of self-determination is that a particular people” – such as the Crimeans – “has that right.”

    U.S. Billions for Ukrainian Fascists, Cuts for Hungry American Children

    Washington is offering $10 billion in loan guarantees to the partly-fascist government of Ukraine, while cutting $8 billion in food stamp benefits to Americans, said Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC). “That is literally stealing food from the mouths of children,” she said. UNAC held demonstrations in 18 cities last week, to protest U.S. support for the coup in Ukraine. “The encirclement of Russia – and China – is what it’s all about,” said Flounders.

    Mumia: Police Still Spreading Anti-MOVE Propaganda

    The Fraternal Order of Police has orchestrated a renewed campaign of hatred and disinformation against the MOVE organization in order to prevent imprisoned members from winning parole, said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best-known political prisoner. MOVE members convicted in the death of a policeman during a 1978 raid have served their minimum sentences and are up for parole, and many Black Philadelphians have never gotten over the 1985 police bombing of a MOVE house that killed 11 people, including five children. A recent Philadelphia Magazine article was “full of innuendo and suggestion that MOVE folks beat and attacked their children,” said Abu Jamal – a ploy designed to focus public anger on MOVE rather than the police who actually killed so many children.

    Monteiro Supporters Blast Temple University and Molefi Asante

    Hundreds of community, student and labor activists demanded reinstatement with tenure for Dr. Anthony Monteiro, an associate professor in the African American Studies Department. “I’m troubled by the fact that all of the people who understand what justice looks like are out here,” instead of in Sullivan Hall, where the university’s board of trustees was meeting, said Henry Nicholas, president of Local 1199C of the Hospital and Health Care Employees Union. Anti-hunger activist Sacaree Rhodes led a few dozen demonstrations into the building, where Temple’s president confirmed that Dr. Molefi Asante, chairman of African American Studies, had collaborated in terminating Monteiro’s contract. Dr. Monteiro told the crowd: “If you are telling me that you can have a department of African American studies without teaching the radical tradition, and the traditions of socialism,” then “you are telling me that you want a department built on a lie.”

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    Cancel Detroit’s Debt

    Predatory bank lending policies destroyed the tax base of Detroit, and now these same Wall Street institutions want to confiscate the city’s public assets through forced bankruptcy. The debt should be cancelled, said Abayomi Azikiwe, an organizer of the First International People’s Assembly Against Banks and Against Austerity, held in Detroit last week. “It’s illegitimate. It’s based on the systematic destruction of the city,” said Azikiwe, editor of the Pan African News Wire. “We believe that people in other cities have to adopt a similar strategy.”

    Leave Cornel West and Tavis Smiley Alone

    Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP chief Ben Jealous and broadcaster Tom Joyner should halt their attacks on scholar/activist Cornel West and broadcaster Tavis Smiley, said Rev. Anthony Evans, director of the National Black Church Initiative. “Take your hands off these brothers. They are defending the integrity and worthiness of the Black community,” said Evans. Prominent Obama supporters, he said, have told the White House: “You don’t have to worry about Black folks getting out of line; we will keep them in line for you.”

    A Socialist Win in Minneapolis?

    Even the corporate media admit that Socialist Alternative candidate Ty Moore has a chance of winning a seat on the city council, this November. “If we win this race, it’s not because a majority of working class residents of Ward 9, South Minneapolis, are socialists, but because they are angry at the system and they see that the people who are running this city are clearly sided with the rich and big business,” said Moore. “Our organization has built roots in this community, by fighting back.” Another Socialist Alternative city council candidate is running well in Seattle.

    UN Sued Over Haiti Cholera

    The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti filed suit in federal court, demanding the United Nations take responsibility for the cholera epidemic that has killed at least 8,000 Haitians and sickened hundreds of thousands more. The world body claims it is immune from legal action, although it is widely accepted that UN ‘peacekeepers’ were the nexus of the disease. “The UN’s refusal to accept the rule of law in this case obviously undermines its ability to promote the rule of law, elsewhere,” said Institute director Brian Concannon. He notes that the UN, which claims lack of funds to eradicate cholera in Haiti, spent $500 million last year for ‘peacekeeping’ soldiers “in a country that has not had a recognized war in our lifetime.”

    US Finances Congo Carnage

    Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni told a UN Security Council delegation that bringing peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo is not their responsibility. Maurice Carney, of Washington-based Friends of Congo, agrees. “Kagame and Museveni can never be responsible for peace,” said Carney. “What they can be responsible for is stopping the war of aggression that they have been waging against the Congolese people, with U.S. financial and military support and training, and U.S. diplomatic and political cover.” Rwanda and Uganda invaded the mineral-rich eastern region of the Congo 17 years ago, resulting in the deaths of six million people – and counting.

    Demonizing Assad

    American peace activists recently returned from a visit to Syria, where they met with President Bashir Al-Assad. Sara Flounders, of the International Action Center, said it was important to counter U.S. government and media attempts to “demonize” the Syrian leader, as an excuse for arming thousands of jihadist “rebels.” “It was Syria that proposed making the whole region into a nuclear-free and chemical-free weapons zone,” said Flounders. “It was the U.S. who refused.”

    China as U.S. Banker

    Washington is “pivoting” to confront China militarily in Asia, while at the same time Beijing holds the largest share of Washington’s huge foreign debt. “It is quite ironic that the United States is seeking to escalate tensions with its bankers,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American studies at the University of Houston. “I’m not sure that’s a sound strategy. With an impending debt default,” said Horne, the dollar “as the principal world reserve currency comes into question.”

    Philadelphia Declaration: War = Poverty

    Grassroots activists held a Conference to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. “Our declaration of the rights of our people must demand an end to war, threats of war, and preparations for war,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University. “You cannot answer the pressing social problems of this country, uppermost being poverty, without dismantling the warfare state,” he told the gathering at Philadelphia’s historic Church of the Advocate.

    Herman Wallace: A Free Man

    Mumia Abu Jamal, a former Black Panther and the country’s best known political prisoner, saluted Herman Wallace, who was released from prison after 41 years of solitary confinement, earlier this month, only to die two days later of liver cancer. Wallace and two other inmates established a Black Panther Party chapter at Louisiana’s infamous Angola Prison. “He remained a soldier for the people and an opponent to the system,” said Abu Jamal. “Herman Wall truly died free.”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of December 3, 2012

     

    NAACP Image Awards Targeted for Protest

    Benton Harbor, Michigan, activist Rev. Edward Pinkney plans to lead hundreds of pickets at the NAACP’s Image Awards ceremonies on February 1, in Los Angeles. “Our main objective is to wake up the NAACP, and show that they are out of touch with the community,” said Pinkney, longtime leader of the civil rights group’s local chapter. Pinkney charges the NAACP collaborated with a Whirlpool Corporation scheme to take over the Ben Harbor NAACP, in return for financial support. The Los Angeles protest will send the NAACP a message, said Pinkney: “We need you to stop taking these corporate dollars.”

    White House and Republicans Play Fiscal Tag Team

    The Obama administration and Republican congressional leaders “are pushing essentially the same solutions” to the so-called fiscal cliff problem. “Nobody on either side is talking about the military budget” or “serious taxation of billionaires; in fact, both sides are talking about cutting corporate taxes,” said David Swanson, publisher of the influential website War Is a Crime. “You don’t really have opposition between these two parties, you have agreement,” he said.

    Arne Duncan Must Go

    Black and progressive educators should push for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to be replaced early in Obama’s second term, said Dr. Sam Anderson, of New York City’s Independent Commission on Public Education. The concept of education as a “human right is historically rooted in our struggle to be free in this country, as Black people,” said Anderson.

    Bill Clinton Most to Blame for Congo “Holocaust”

    Millions of Congolese have died since 1996 due to policies set in motion by President Bill Clinton, said Prof. Yaa Lengi, of the Congo Coalition. Neighboring Uganda and Rwanda “are always coming up with schemes to foment chaos in eastern Congo” in order to exploit the region’s mineral resources. “Cell phones, lap tops, flat screen TVs – all those gadgets need the minerals of the Congo,” said coalition organizer William Misezuel.

    More Bad News for Congo: Oil

    Of late there’s been a major oil discovery in Congo, which makes it even more attractive” to outsiders, said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston. “The United States needs to put more pressure on the Rwandan and Ugandan regimes,” since Washington “is the puppeteer” of the relationship. Dr. Horne spoke on Regent Radio’s Saturday Morning Show, in Toronto, Canada.

    UN Fails Haiti on Rights

    A report by the Paris-based Federation of Human Rights charges the United Nations with failing to take responsibility for causing the cholera epidemic in Haiti, and with inflicting other human rights violations on the occupied nation. In addition to spreading cholera, UN troops have “violated Haitians’ rights in various ways, from rapes to extrajudicial killings,” said Dan Beeton, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington. The UN recently extended its occupation troops’ mandate for another year.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey - Week of April 9, 2012

     

    Blacks Disappearing From California University Campuses

    Even at African American Studies classes at UC Berkeley, it is now rare that Black students are a majority of the class,” said Yvette Felarca, one of the protesters that briefly occupied the Registrar’s office. African American enrollment has dropped to 3 percent since passage of Proposition 2009, the referendum that outlawed affirmative action in state higher education in 1996. A federal appeals court recently upheld the ban. George Washington, a lawyer for Detroit-based By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), calls the law “a direct attack on the political rights of Black and Latino people. Every other citizen of the state of California can say they want a special admissions program” – except racial and ethnic minorities.

    Look at Dick and Jane. See Their Privileges

    Dick and Jane,” the old picture book primer, taught post-World War Two Americans that lily white suburban lives were the ones “that need to be protected from criminal Others like Trayvon Martin when they enter into gated communities,” said scholar and activist Sikivu Hutchinson. “This whole paradigm was really constructed upon the Othering of African Americans and other families of color.”

    Occupy the Justice Department

    The U.S. criminal justice system will be put on trial, on April 24, when demonstrators “Occupy” the U.S. Justice Department, in Washington. Benjamin Woods, of Students Against Mass Incarceration, hopes to put “prison abolition back on the table, as opposed to just prison ‘reform’ and ‘stop these brutalities.’” The Howard University doctoral candidate said the questions must be posed: “What is an alternative to prison? How can we transform society so that prisons are no longer necessary?”

    California Prisoners Take Torture Case to the UN

    Peter Schey, of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, has filed petitions asking the United Nations to intervene in California’s draconian prison solitary confinement practices. “The majority are placed in solitary confinement” – for years and even decades – “based on mere gang membership or association with gangs,” said Schey. His clients want the UN to issue a report stating that California’s policies “constitute torture in violation of international law.”

    The Rich, and Their Children, Get Richer

    The Senate should pass a bill that would restore taxes on inherited wealth to levels that would raise half a trillion dollars over the next ten years, said Tim Sullivan, of United for a Fair Economy, part of Americans for a Fair Estate Tax. “The concentrated wealth we are seeing right now is at epidemic proportions, the worst it has been since before the Great Depression, and the Estate Tax is near its weakest level since it was put into place 100 years ago,” said Sullivan.

    U.S. Hands Off Mali!

    The Tuareg rebellion that has cut the West African nation of Mali in two is the result of colonial boundaries and decisions that “left out a nomadic people without any kind of land base of their own,” said Anna Edwards, of Defenders of Freedom, Justice and Equality, in Richmond, Virginia. The “destabilization of Libya” by the U.S. and NATO left thousands of Malian Tuaregs jobless. Peace activists should demand that the U.S. not intervene in the conflict, said Ms. Edwards, who has visited Mali several times. “The bulk of U.S. aid to Mali is implemented through AFRICOM, and the desire to find a base on African soil.”

    Cholera Deaths Up in Haiti

    The return of the rainy season has brought an increase in deaths from cholera, which has killed 7,000 Haitians and sickened half a million since its introduction by MINUSTAH, the United Nations military occupation force. The UN has the responsibility to commit the resources to control the disease “because they brought it there, but they’re still denying it,” said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington. “This is the rainy season, and once again they’re not prepared for it. I think they just don’t care enough.”

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    The Non-Election for the Non-Government of the Non-Sovereign State of Haiti

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The Haitian people didn’t want it, even most of the candidates rejected it, so who was supposed to benefit from last Sunday’s farcical election? “The exercise only has value for those who paid for it, the Americans, who spent $14 million on this fraud in hopes of disguising the fact that Haiti is a U.S. colony.”

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