Stop the execution of Imam Jamil, the former H. Rap Brown, by medical neglect in federal prison

by the Imam Jamil Action Network

Imam Jamil Al-Amin, the former H. Rap Brown is an internationally recognized political prisoner. A former member of SNCC personally responsible for cranking up the early and mid-1960s organizng drives in Alabama, and longtime community leader and iman on the west end of Atlanta, he has lived an exemplary life in struggle for the betterment of of humanity. He must not be murdered in prison.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of September 7, 2015

Solitary Confinement to be Sharply Curtailed in California

A settlement between activist inmates and California prison officials will sharply limit the use of solitary confinement in the state. “I do believe there is a deepening movement away from solitary confinement in this country, and I think this settlement is a key moment in that movement,” said Alexis Agathocleous, of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He credits the victory to prisoners at the infamous Pelican Bay lockup and elsewhere who have staged hunger strikes against solitary confinement and other abuses since 2011. California leads the nation in enforced isolation of prisoners, with nearly 3,000 inmates locked down for months, years or decades at a stretch. Nationwide, about 80,000 inmates are in solitary on any given day – more than the total prison population of most countries.

DC Mayor is a Fugitive Slave Catcher

Muriel Bowser, the Black mayor of Washington, DC, proposes targeting all 10,000 of the city’s residents on probation or parole for surprise day or night searches, in their homes or on the street. Ex-offenders caught breaking any number of rules could be held for 72 hours without charge, before being set on a path back to prison. The mayor claims she’s trying to get guns off the street. However, renowned whistleblower Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, an activist with the Hands Up Coalition-DC and an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report, said Bowser’s “recommendation is basically just a warmed-over regurgitation of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793,” which was based on the dictum “Once a slave, always a slave.” Bowser “is essentially saying, once you’ve been convicted of a crime, you are always a criminal,” said Coleman-Adebayo.

The Afro-Colombian Model for Self-Determination

Blacks in the U.S. can learn something from African descendants in Colombia, South America, the third-largest concentration of Black people outside of Africa, behind Brazil and the United States, said Ajamu Baraka, a founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network and editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. Baraka lives in Colombia and took part in a conference of the Black Communities Process, or PCN, the country’s premier self-determinist organization. “They have built structures of organization in which they address, not just the political needs of their communities, but the material needs of their communities,” said Baraka. The PCN pursues a “dual power” strategy, building institutions outside of state control to confront challenges in education, culture, employment and food distribution. “PCN provides models that we can take a look at,” said Baraka.

New Film Documents Ferguson Rebellion

Independent filmmaker Ralph L. Crowder III has spent much of the summer screening his documentary Hands Up Don’t Shoot Our Youth Movement in cities across the country. Crowder says he set out to find what was unique to Ferguson, Missouri, that compelled “these strong Black people to make this kind of stand for justice.” But he soon learned that conditions in Ferguson “were the same as in the very city that I drove from,” Minneapolis. “The bottom line is that our youth are intelligent, they’re engaged with their own struggle, and in many ways they’re very disappointed and disengaged from the adults that claim to have leadership in our communities.”

High Stakes Testing Opt-Out Gains Momentum

The movement among parents to opt their children out of high stakes standardized tests is “growing by leaps and bounds,” said Dr. Pete Farruggio, a veteran educator and anti-privatization activist. “Experts in “psycho-metrics” – testing – “uniformly are opposed to the use of standardized tests to make any important decisions” in education, such as closing schools, firing teachers, and handing schools over to the private companies. The testing regime, said Farruggio, “is part of the whole neoliberal program of social control of the population, dumbing down the population, preventing critical thinking, and preventing the development of troublemakers – like you and me.”


#BlackLivesMatter Hurts Democrats’ Feelings

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The #BlackLivesMatter organization this week rejected the endorsement of the Democratic National Committee, embarrassing top members of the party. However, the DNC resolution was a perfectly logical outcome of the #BlackLivesMatter strategy to make no substantive demands of presidential candidates.” No demands on power, no threat. Why not endorse?

Where's #BlackLivesMatter In the Struggle Against School Privatization?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

#BlackLivesMatter's national board promptly reacted to a fulsome DNC endorsement with an apparent repudiation. While rhetorical opposition to Democrats is fine, on-the-ground work against their concrete polices is a step further. Apart from the prison and police state itself, no Democratic policy affects our communities more adversely than school privatization, which urban Democrats are forcing upon black communities from coast to coast.

Freedom Rider: U.S. Turns Teen into “Terrorist”

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The U.S government has sentenced a 17-year old to 11 years in a adult prison for little more than expressing admiration for ISIS. The youth’s offenses included trolling a State Department web site established to dissuade young people from jihadism. Yet Washington and its allies gave birth to the international jihadist movement. “The United States created the monster and now wants to punish anyone who interacts with it.”

Making Black Lives Matter in Riohacha, Colombia

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The organized descendants of Africans in Colombia have some lessons to share with Blacks in the U.S. For one thing, it would be “inconceivable” for any Afro-Colombian organizer, “no matter how inexperienced, to get into a meeting with a presidential aspirant and frame a question around what that person ‘felt’ about their role as an oppressor.”

Killed and Killer Cops

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Cops are crying that their lives are in danger from folks inflamed by “dangerous national rhetoric.” But, “the statistics tell us there has been no rash of attacks on cops.” Indeed, the numbers show that felonious deaths of police in the line of duty “are at historically low levels.” The truth is, the cops are upset that their impunity from punishment is finally in question.


The Fugitive Slave Act of 2015

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The Black female mayor of the nation’s capital wants to launch a dragnet against ex-offenders in the community, targeting them for search and bodily seizure on the streets or in their homes, any time of day or night. Muriel Bowser’s draconian measure “would bring back the repressive and racist 18th Century notion that “once a ‘slave,’ always a ‘slave.’”

Weekly Mass Murders of a Warfare State

by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

What is it about capitalist exploitation, cutthroat
Competition, alienation, isolation of a Warfare State
That drives men mad?

On Black Lives Matter, Hillary Clinton, and the Necessity of Demands

by Danny Haiphong

Why ask what lies in Hillary Clinton’s heart? She has already shown the world that she loves war and bankers. When #BlackLivesMatter activists inquired of her inner feelings, Clinton lectured them “about what she believed was their flawed strategy” and “told them to change laws and policies, not minds.” Clinton’s record is clear: “Her racist and anti-working class policies have ruined countless lives.”

South Sudan Conflict Won't End Until Oil Wealth Benefits South Sudanese: An Interview with Horace Campbell

Ann Garrison's picture

by Ann Garrison

Scholar Horace Campbell warns that unaccountable leaders and foreign interests cannot bring justice to the people of war-torn South Sudan. The United States bear heavy responsibility. “People around Barack Obama himself, like Gayle Smith, people from the Enough Project, Susan Rice, have been involved in this disaster from the beginning.”

“My Dedon, my Dedon, my Dedon: Dedon Kamathi Still Ready for the Revolution”

by Cynthia McKinney

In a time when true friendship is a lost art, I can truly say that Dedon Kamathi was my friend. How difficult it is for me to use the past tense.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of August 31, 2015

Blacks Disenfranchised by School Takeovers

“Black and brown communities are being stripped of democracy” by state takeovers of their school systems, said Keron Blair, executive director of the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, a Washington-based coalition of groups representing seven million students, educators and community members. “The takeover of these districts is rooted in the belief that Black and brown people are incapable of governing themselves, and so we’ve got to give their schools over to state-run, generally white administrations,” said Blair. “And then you hand us failing institutions,” over which Black people have no control, “so that’s a double-whammy.”

Rally in Harlem for Rise Up October

Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson, who was killed by police in March, 2000, was among several relatives of victims of lethal police violence to address a rally to build support for a campaign of demonstrations and civil disobedience in New York City, October 22-24. “Police officer Louis Rivera literally blew my son’s brains out,” Ms. Young told the crowd at First Corinthian Baptist Church. The police must be sent a message, she said: “We have had enough of you coming into our communities, destroying families.” Stop Mass Incarceration Network co-founders Dr. Cornel West and Carl Dix also spoke.

#BlackLivesMatter: What’s a Movement Without Demands?

The #BlackLivesMatter organization “has done great damage to the movement by refusing to make demands of presidential candidates,” Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford told the national conference of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, in Philadelphia. Rather than make substantive political demands, “this group wants face time” and “access to the ruling class and to the servants of the ruling class: the candidates,” said Ford. “They refuse to challenge the system by making demands” of candidates, “and that includes even the mildly reformist demands they have posted on their own web site.” The theme of the Black is Back Coalition conference was “Black Power Matters.”

“If we ain’t struggling for power, we ain’t struggling for nothing. This is not a game,” said Herdodia Benton, a St. Louis activist with the Uhuru movement, part of the Black Is Back Coalition. Ms. Benton’s legs bore recent wounds from police rubber bullets.

Justice for Tyree Carrol

Community members rallied to the cause of Tyree Carrol, a 22 year-old Black man who was beaten in front of his Philadelphia home by two dozen cops for riding his bicycle the wrong way on a one-way street. “It’s another case of police brutality in the City of Brotherly Love gone amuk,” said Asantawaa Nkrumah Ture, of Justice for Tyree. “Fortunately, it was caught on video by his neighbors.” Mr. Carrol was assaulted in April, but not released on bail until August.

Bail as a Weapon of Oppression

Trial was set to begin Friday for Allen Bullock, the 18 year-old who smashed the window of a Baltimore police car during the rebellion that followed the police killing of Freddie Gray. Bullock’s $500,000 bail was higher than any of the six cops charged in Grays death. “It is a scare tactic that has been used to suppress people’s voices, from elevating their voices around systematic issues that have taken place inside their communities for so long,” said Tre Murphy, a community activist who helped raise Bullock’s bail.

Bernie Sanders a Fan of Saudi Role in Mideast Wars

Reputed socialist Bernie Sanders advocates a greater military role for the royal Saudi Arabian regime in the Mideast, according to Sam Husseini, of the Institute for Public Accuracy. The Democratic presidential candidate “is basically calling for more and bigger proxy wars” in the region, said Husseini. “He’s justifying the tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. has profiteered” by selling weapons systems to the Saudis, whose bombing campaign against Yemen has killed thousands and strengthened the hand of al Qaida.


Organizing, Not Activism: Chicago's Dyett HS Hunger Strikers Mark 11th Day Resisting Closing & Privatization of Their School

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Activism is showing up, speaking out, demonstrating here, tweeting there, disrupting that and blogging that. But activists are only responsible to themselves. Organizing, as Chicago's Jitu Brown points out, is entirely different from mere activism. Organizers are responsible to communities, they raise up leaders from among those who've been told they cannot and do not deserve to win.  #FightForDyett

Katrina: The Logic of Genocide

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The best thing that could happen to poor Black people is for a Katrina-like catastrophe to hit their city, scattering them to the four corners of the country. So says an article in a leading “liberal” magazine, which maintains that “the forced exodus of Katrina should be replicated as public policy, for the good of both the purposely displaced and society as a whole.” In the real world, white supremacy and capitalism created the ghettos.

Freedom Rider: Bernie Sanders' Conservative Foreign Policy

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Bernie Sanders and his supporters claim he is different, a breath of fresh air. Yet he “won’t state for the record how his foreign policy differs” from Clinton and the Republicans. “He doesn’t question why the United States has the right to dictate policy to another nation” and “repeats the same discredited mantra" as Obama on the nuclear threat from Iran – a threat that even the CIA has declared never existed. Socialism? He won’t even say the word.

A Rare Conviction of Killer Cops in South Africa

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The conviction of eight Black South African policemen in the grizzly murder of a Black cab driver represents a break from the culture of impunity that surrounds the cops. South Africa’s police are deeply implicated in government corruption, political assassinations of poor people’s and labor organizers, riots against foreign workers, and the massacre of 34 miners, at Marikana, three years ago.


Carl Dix: Revolutionary Communist – Fighting the Plague of Mass Incarceration

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Veteran activist Carl Dix discusses his early incarceration and how he became a revolutionary and a major figure in the fight against mass incarceration. The capitalist system has no place for Black and brown youth in this country. Its solution has been “to unleash its police like occupying armies in the ghettos and barrios across the country, to pass laws that target Blacks and Latinos and to build prisons to warehouse them in.”

#FightForDyett -- What Real Organizing Looks Like: South Side Chicago Parents Stage Hunger Strike at Dyett High School

by the Real News Network

Call Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel's office at 312-744-3300. Tell him the whole world is watching, he can give the parents their high school back RIGHT NOW. Call Alderman Will Burns at 773-536-8103 with the same message."


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