War on Syria

Black Agenda Radio Week of June 27, 2016

BREXIT Panics Ruling Classes

“This cannot be a happy time for those people who run stock markets, big banks, hedge funds and the political system” in the global capitalist economy, said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the noted Duboisian scholar and member of the Black Radical Organizing Committee (BROC). The rulers are “panicked” because Britain’s vote to exit the European Union marks “a rebellion among the British working classes against the ruling elite and against the austerity and globalization” that pits native born workers against immigrant workers.

U.S. Jets Defend al Qaida Jihadists in Syria

The U.S. scrambled  F-i8 fighters to confront Russian war planes that were bombing al Nusra, the al Qaida affiliate in Syria, earlier this month. The Americans “want to protect these forces that they have armed and trained,” the same forces that are “recognized as terrorists trying to destroy Syria,” said Sara Flounders, of UNAC, the United Anti-War Coalition. “There are now 13 countries involved in bombing Syria that have not been invited in by Syria” – all allies of the U.S. “It’s a completely aggressive action, and they’re using it to destroy the infrastructure of Syria,” said Flounders.

Dred Scott and Freddie Gray

“What the system is telling us is that Black people have no rights that their police are bound to respect,” said Carl Dix, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, speaking outside the Baltimore courthouse where a judge acquitted a cop charged with the “depraved heart” murder of Freddie Gray. “This was a modern day lynching, and they just gave us a modern day Dred Scott Decision.” The prosecution has so far failed to win convictions against any of the police officers involved. “These prosecutors must be very good at putting Black people in prison,” said Dix, since 72 percent of Maryland prison inmates are Black. “But, when a cop murders a Black man, all of a sudden they forget how to prosecute.”

Mumia: Look “Beyond Bernie”

The nation’s best known political prisoner said Democrats opposed to Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid should “look beyond Bernie” Sanders for inspiration. “For millions of people, the Bernie Sanders campaign has led to a political depression” because the two major parties are led by “the least popular candidates in memory,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, serving a life term in a Pennsylvania prison. However, youthful idealism doesn’t have to die. “Why not form a new political party, a new political movement,” Mumia asked? “Don’t mourn Bernie’s failure to win. Organize!”

Temporary Work Agencies Do Employers’ Racist Bidding

Chicago’s Workers Law Office has sued six temporary employment agencies and their clients for favoring Latino workers over Blacks. “There’s a financial benefit from having a population that does not know as much about their rights in the workplace and is not as willing to fight to enforce those rights,” said Atty. Alva Ayala. One agency provided 5,000 workers to a baking company, 98 percent of whom had Latino surnames.



Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 1, 2016

A Reprieve for “Child Lifers” in Prison

Thousands of inmates serving life sentences for crimes committed when they were juveniles may be eligible for release from prison in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that such sentences amount to cruel and unusual punishment. “I get a chance to return to society and show people that I’m not the animal that they were portraying me to be,” said Kerry Shakaboona Marshall, a contributor to Prison Radio, who was 17 when he was charged with murder, 25 years ago. However, Marshall said the State of Pennsylvania “really doesn’t want to carry out the spirit of the Miller decision. They want child lifers to die in prison.”

UN Tallies U.S. Crimes Against African Americans

A United Nations panel of experts has released its report on human rights violations against Blacks in the U.S., after soliciting testimony in five cities, last month. The report on the various “forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, Afrophobia and related intolerance” in U.S. society, will be a “ready reference” for both activists and UN member states, said Efia Nwangaza, director of the Malcolm X Center for Self Determination, in Greenville, South Carolina. “I think that China, which does its own annual human rights report, will find it very useful,” as will African countries that are abused by U.S.-based corporations.

Tribunal: Michigan Officials Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity

The denial of water to poor people in Detroit and the poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s water system were not just Republican crimes, said Monica Lewis-Patrick, co-founder of We the People of Detroit. “You had local leadership, you had Black clergy, you had city council people, you had mayors all across this great state that participated in this structural violence, and who are prepared to commit genocide on the people in this state,” said Lewis-Patrick, at a People’s Tribunal on Water Crimes. A people’s jury convicted Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and two appointed emergency financial managers.

Adolph Reed’s Case Against Reparations

The demand for reparations for Black Americans “doesn’t add anything to a call for redistribution” of wealth and resources, said Dr. Adolph Reed, the noted Black public intellectual and professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. Reed, who supports Bernie Sanders for president, said it’s folly to demand “a designer program that will redistribute only to one’s own group.” Education, jobs and criminal justice, he said, are “Black issues.”

Western “Panic” Drives Syria Talks

The talks getting underway in Geneva, Switzerland, on the war in Syria are “a combination of public relations and panic on the part of the western powers,” said BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka, a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. “This is a replay of Geneva I and Geneva II,” said Baraka. “The only thing that has really changed is that the western powers and the Gulf Cooperation Council are more concerned about the possibility that the whole strategy of regime change is coming apart.”

Haiti Factions Jockey for Spots in Interim Government

Massive protests against rigged elections forced cancellation of a presidential run-off vote in Haiti, last month, paving the way for appointment of an interim government. The U.S.-installed president, Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly, is constitutionally required to leave office on February 7. “There is a lot of posturing, a lot of theater going on,” said Pierre Labossiere, of the Haiti Action Committee. “What upset the cart has been the entry of the grassroots” into the equation, including the Fanmi Lavalas party of former president Jean Bertrand-Aristide, who was overthrown in a 2004 U.S.-backed coup. The massive popular opposition to the Martelly regime shows that “the Haitian people have to have their say” in the next government, said Labossiere.



Palestinians Resist Zionist Terror, Plus U.S., European, Arab Royal, Turkish and Nigerian Terror

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The West has forced millions to become wandering, destitute refugees, as it destroys nations and peoples that get in the way of Empire. Palestinians have lived this reality for 67 years. Beirut sits at the lip of the volcano.

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.”


Freedom Rider: Refugees Flee American Aggression

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Americans are made uncomfortable by pictures of drowned refugee children, but most cannot accept that their own government’s “unrelenting effort at regime change in Syria is the cause of this crisis.” U.S. corporate media parrot Washington’s lies, keeping tally of the displaced and doomed, but blaming Syria’s government for defending itself against western-backed jihadists. Rather than demand the West leash its dogs, “they call for more war.”


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