Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 11/27/13
Black Man Fights Death Sentence Based on Racial Predisposition to Murder
A broad-based campaign is demanding a new sentencing hearing for Duane Buck, who was sentenced to death in a 1997 murder in Houston, Texas. “Testimony was elicited by the trial prosecutor from a psychologist indicating that Mr. Bucks was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is Black,” said Christina Swarns, of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Buck had no prior violent offenses and has not been cited for a single infraction in his 15 years on death row. “People should not be executed based on their race or any other immutable characteristic that has nothing to do with sentencing,” said Swarns.
Dr. Cornel West: Stop U.S. Murders by Drone
“We want our fellow citizens to know that those precious babies who are killed by U.S. drones in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen have exactly the same value as those priceless white children who were killed in New Town, Connecticut,” said Dr. Cornel West, of the Union Theological Seminary, speaking at the Drone Summit, in Washington, DC. “We will not allow callousness to catastrophe and indifference to criminality to become the norm and routine in America.”
Seattle Socialist Calls Her Victory a “Political Earthquake”
Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative Party member who won a seat on the Seattle city council, this month, said her win “represents the embryonic beginnings of what could eventually be the triumph over capital. It’s a political earthquake.” Sawant defeated an entrenched Democratic machinery on a platform to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and tax the rich for more extensive city services. “I hope that people see this campaign’s success as a rallying cry to urgently get into the nuts and bolts of building mass movements,” she said.
DC Busses to Get Snowden “Thank-You” Ads
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund will purchase ad space on busses in the Nation’s Capital thanking Edward Snowden for his revelations of NSA spying on citizens. “There’s been a huge effort from the establishment in Washington to demonize him when, in fact, what he’s done is heroic,” said Fund director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard. “You can’t have the basic format of a democracy when you have a government that is collecting complete data on each one of us that allows them to have a detailed, personal profile on our lives, our thoughts and our associations.”
Corporate Spies Run Amok
The Center for Corporate Policy has issued a new report titled, “Spooky Business: Corporate Espionage Against Non-Profit Organizations.” Big business fears that non-profits “can do a lot of damage to corporations’ bottom lines and to their most valuable asset, their brand,” said Center director Gary Ruskin. Corporations like Wal-Mart, Monsanto, Bank of America, Burger King and others often use the services of former CIA, NSA, military and law enforcement officers. “We will be asking that the Justice Department investigate in cases where there is wrongdoing,” said Ruskin.
Corporate Dominion Over a Black Town
The mostly Black and poor city of Benton Harbor, Michigan, must borrow millions of dollars a year to pay its bills under the dictatorship of an Emergency Financial Manager. Activist leader Rev. Edward Pinkney says the giant Whirlpool Corporation, which has long dominated the town, “doesn’t pay any taxes, and they also pay nothing for the water” consumed at their corporate headquarters and celebrity golf course. Whirlpool backed defeat of a bill that would have taxed the income of all those who work in Benton Harbor, most of whom live elsewhere. “They have no intention of doing anything to help this Black community,” said Rev. Pinkney.