U.S. Rulers Have No Solution for Urban Crisis
“The powers that be have no solution” to the crises confronting Detroit and other U.S. urban centers, said Abayome Azikiwe, editor of the Pan African News Wire. A federal judge has been hearing testimony on the state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager’s plans to bankrupt the city. “From the White House to Wall Street, all the way down to the state capitals and municipal governments, all they offer is more debt to float more bonds,” said Azikiwe. “There’s no discussion about jobs, economic opportunities, repopulating the cities. The narrative is austerity and more austerity.”
Dollars Trump Black History in Richmond
The Black Mayor of Richmond, Virginia is opting for a baseball stadium rather than preservation of Shockoe Bottom, the city’s historic center, once home to the nation’s second largest slave market. “It really doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not he’s pro-history or anti-history – it’s money,” said Ana Edwards, of Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality. “Shockoe Bottom is the price that he is willing to pay for developers to make their money.”
Free Marissa Alexander
The case of a Black battered wife who fired a shot into her ceiling to fend off her abusive husband has become a focus of agitation in Florida. If convicted on aggravated assault charges, Marissa Alexander could spend two decades in prison. “This is what’s happening with the criminalization of Black women,” said Aleta Alston-Toure, of Free Marissa Now, in Jacksonville. “We need a movement to stop the race, sex and class bias” of the criminal justice system. Black women are more than two and a half times as likely to be killed by a male as their white counterparts.
Feinstein NSA Bill Legalizes NSA Abuse of Power
The FISA Improvement Act, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, an apologist for NSA spying on Americans, “doesn’t improve anything; it codifies practices that already exist,” said Matthew Kellegrew, a legal fellow with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Kellegrew says rival legislation, the USA Freedom Act, “is a step in the direction towards reining in the Patriot Act and out-of-control government surveillance.”
Activists Charge Black Studies Chairman with Betrayal
More than 100 student and community activists gathered in Philadelphia’s historic Church of the Advocate to denounce Temple University’s Dean of Liberal Arts for persecuting African American Studies professor Dr. Anthony Monteiro, and to rebuke Dr. Molefi Asante, the program’s new chairman, for betraying his former colleague. Dr. Asante has “turned on Dr. Monteiro and he’s turned on the community,” said Patrice Armstead, of Building Peoples Power. “He seems to have reversed course relative to building African American Studies at Temple and connecting that project with the lives and struggles and problems of the Black community,” said Dr. Monteiro.
Rwanda Needs to Show It Wants Peace in Congo
The defeat of M-23 fighters by Congolese and United Nations forces, earlier this month, does not necessarily signal an end to the violence that has killed six million Congolese since 1996. Unless neighboring Rwanda and Uganda stop arming and financing so-called “rebels,” said Kambale Musavuli, of Washington-based Friends of Congo, there can be no peace. “The way I will know that Rwanda is serious about stopping supporting rebel groups, is for them to turn over” some of those already charged with atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rather than giving them asylum.