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    Justice Dept Refuses For 20 Years To Comply With Federal Law Requiring It To Gather National Police Brutality Stats

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

    A 1994 law requires the Justice Dept to gather national status on excessive violence by police. So why have Attorneys General under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations refused to gather the info? Why does the Obama Justice Department ignore this law while it resurrects a century-old espionage statute to prosecute truth telling whistleblowers and reporters? The president and attorney general know what side they're on. Do we?

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    Ferguson Versus the Counter-Insurgency State

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    If the people of Ferguson, Missouri, had remained “calm” in the police killing of Michael Brown, the nation would not be discussing the “militarization” of the police forces. “All the nation’s police departments are following the same drill, with the same tools and weapons, under the same mandate: keep the Blacks in check.” Black folks need to liberate some territory.

    Rosa Clemente: On the Ground In Ferguson MO

    by Rosa Alicia Clemente

    Black Agenda Report is pleased to carry the first on the ground report from Ferguson MO from Rosa Clemente, the 2008 vice-presidential candidate of the Green Party, posted 6AM August 20.

    Freedom Rider: American Terror Lives On

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    After every police atrocity against Black people, white people react with surprise and ask, What went wrong? The answer lies in the central fact of American life and history: white supremacy. “In the absence of any desire to leave the past behind, police brutality is inevitable.”

    Ferguson Unmasks the War on Black America

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    Corporate media have discovered that the U.S. police are militarized. Maybe next, they will figure out who the domestic military is waging war against. “Since America tells itself and the rest of the world that it does not make war on its own citizens, the war against Black people had to be called something else – a War on Drugs, or simply a War on Crime.”

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    US Conf of Mayors Ferguson Press Release Shows Complicity, Irrelevance of Black Mayors, the Black Political Class

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The vapid 5 sentence press release of the US Conference of Mayors on the unfolding police repression in Ferguson MO shows that our black political class is in a world of its own, where all that matters is justifying their positions and careers, not restraining, much less rolling back American's prison state or its brutal police in the least.

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    Ten Facts About Police Violence in Ferguson Sunday Night

    by Bill Quigley

    Police provocations against the people are creating a brand new cohort of freedom fighters.

    Jim Crow Lives: The Ugly Face of Racism Behind the Bars

    by Latif Lamonte

    Bayside State Prison is the worst-of-the-worst, administered by the most racist guards and staff the State of New Jersey can muster. The author is one of those forced to live under Bayside’s reign of terror. “These were not just any beatings, but beatings inflicting such brutal force, that one was broken to the point of sobbing, begging for his life.”

    Barack Obama, the State of the Union and the Prison State

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    For a generation now, predatory policing, the war on drugs and the prison state have been government's most frequent intersection with young black Americans. The gossip before this year's State of the Union was that the president would now do by executive order all those good things Republicans have blocked him on the last 3 years. Does that include reining in or rolling back the prison state? Should we hold our collective breath?

    The Living Legacy of Comrade George Jackson, September 23, 1941 – August 27, 1971

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    George Jackson was a pre-eminent organizer of prisoners who founded a Black Panther Party chapter behind the walls of San Quentin prison. In the 42 years since his death a black leadership class has emerged which is deeply complicit in the sixfold expansion of US prisons in that same period. Now, more minds and hands than ever are engaged in the project to which Jackson gave his life, the political organization of the prisoner class.

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    Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def Undergoes Brutal Guantanamo Style Force Feeding

    Actor, rapper & human rights activist Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def graphically demonstrates a little of what Uncle Sam's untried, un-accused, unsentenced but permanently incarcerated prisoners at Guantanamo Bay & elsewhere undergo every day... not for the faint of heart. From the Guardian, where you can find much more real journalistic coverage of the NSA and more.

    Tens of Thousands of California Inmates Join Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    For the third time in two years, inmates in solitary confinement at California’s most notorious prison have gone on hunger strike. Record numbers of prisoners across the state have joined the Pelican Bay strikers, some of whom “have not seen the natural light of day for more than 20 years.”

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    Obama-Inspired Surrender of Black Leadership Makes Real Criminal Code Reform, Mass Incarceration Rollback Unlikely

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    There's a House Judiciary Committee Task Force on Overcriminalization committed to combing through the federal code looking for ways to lock up fewer people. Should we get our hopes up, or get our fight for justice and rolling back the state on? Will the black misleadership class be any help? Probably not much. Should that stop us? Let's hope not.

    Violence and the Prison Nation

    By Against the Grain Radio

    If the problem is violence against women, is the solution the criminal justice system? Many anti-violence activists look to the police, prisons, and stepped-up criminalization for help and protection.  Beth Richie says that's a misguided approach, one that feeds the buildup of the prison nation. Richie describes the contours of the prison nation and the threats it poses to women on the margins.

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    Eric Holder's Ploy to Divert Attention from Obama's Expanded Prisons Budget

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    Attorney General Eric Holder claims to have just discovered racial disparities in prosecution and sentencing in the United States. That’s like Robert E. Lee claiming to be surprised at the existence of slavery. Holder is making noises like a prison reformer to divert attention from the fact that Obama’s budget calls for increased funding for prisons, in the midst of austerity. It’s a con game.

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    Black Mass Incarceration ---- Is It New? Is It Jim Crow? Is the Prison-Industrial Complex Real? And What Difference Does It Make

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Michelle Alexander's 2010 book “New Jim Crow” provided a language to talk about the prison state that we never had before. But is it entirely accurate? Is the prison industrial complex real? What's the difference between fighting against racism or a “new jim crow” or a “prison industrial complex” and confronting the reality of the prison state?

    FCC Opens Rulemaking Process To Lower Price of Prison Phone Calls

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    One of the most accurate predictors of which prisoners will be re-incarcerated is the number and depth of their connections maintained with family on the outside. Jailers on the federal state and local level have long cut deals with phone companies to make huge profits on calls between prisoners and their families. Thanks to years of patient grassroots activism, that might be about to end.

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    GA Prison Hunger Strike Continues, Families Protest, State Officials Stonewall, Feds Refuse to Intervene

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Georgia prison officials, who denied the existence of a hunger strike its first four weeks, finally acknowledged that some prisoners are on their 36th day without food. But they refused to meet with families and citizens who came to its Forsyth GA headquarters early this week. And despite the fact we have a black president and attorney general, and an open-and-shut case of conspiracy to violate civil rights, the feds seem not interested.

    First National Meeting of Formerly Incarcerated Convenes in Alabama

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    In the spirit of those brave and selfless Georgia prisoners who stood up for their human rights last December, formerly incarcerated people from across the country convened their own first national meeting in Alabama last week. The next is scheduled for November in Los Angeles. They stand for the full restoration of civil and human rights, and the rollback of the nation's policy of mass incarceration.

    First National Conference of Formerly Incarcerated Persons Convenes In Alabama

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    The Humanity and Courage of the Prisoners at Pelican Bay and the Moral Responsibility to Support Their Demands

    by Li Onesto

    No moral human being can defend the U.S. prison system, a gulag of torture and debasement designed primarily for the mass incarceration of Blacks and browns. “Nobody—no matter what they have done—deserves to be tortured. Nobody deserves to be put in such extreme conditions of isolation where prison guards try to extinguish everything that makes you human.” The challenge is to act in solidarity with those who struggle against the horror from within the walls.

    America’s Mass Incarceration Policy: Bad for Children

    by Lee A. Daniels

    The “New Jim Crow” that has thrown unprecedented numbers of Blacks behind bars and made crime and stigmatized an entire people, has also mangled the lives of Black children – whether a parent has been incarcerated or not. The generalized effects on Black kids include “increased physical aggressiveness, on the one hand, and, on the other, a sense of worthlessness that reaches levels warranting clinical intervention.” Inequalities are being generationally transferred on a massive scale.

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