Search for Boko Haram Deepens Imperial Penetration in Africa
France recently oversaw an agreement between Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin to mount joint efforts to combat Boko Haram fighters, with the U.S. and Europeans providing financing, training and equipment. “Why should a conference concerned with the security of Nigeria and West Africa be held in Paris?” asked Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan African News Wire. “The question speaks volumes to the degree of neocolonialism that is still prevalent” in Africa. “This is just an effort on the part of France, the United States and other imperialist states to deepen their military intervention on the African continent” in the guise of humanitarian concerns, said Azikiwe.
Ras Baraka’s “Daunting Challenge” in Newark
Ras Baraka’s mayoral victory in Newark, New Jersey, represents “a significant break with the past, with the [Cory] Booker administration,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress. Baraka faces the “daunting challenge” of a $93 million budget deficit when he takes office, July 1. During the campaign, he opposed further school closings and charterization, and called for an end to state management of local schools, now in its 18th year. Some fear a state takeover of municipal finances, as well. “This points out the challenges of Black Power in the 21st century,” said Hamm.
Beware Banksters Bearing “Gifts” for Detroit
Wall Street banking giants JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are offering millions in loans and grants for a structural makeover of Detroit, still mired in bankruptcy proceedings. “They say it’s philanthropy, but they also say they expect to make money” on the deal, said Tom Stephens, a people’s lawyer active in the resistance to the state and corporate takeover of the city. What the banks are actually funding is “a pretty overt racist, neoliberal and neocolonial framework – with strings attached – that is not going to benefit the vast majority of the people of Detroit.” JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs “should be facing charges for predatory, fraudulent financial manipulation” for helping bring Detroit down, said Stephens.
Temple U. Students Vow to Protest Monteiro Dismissal All Summer
“We’re fighting for students and community people to have a real voice at the university,” including matters such as gentrification of surrounding Black neighborhoods, said student leader Kashara White. The Temple University provost, she said, maintains that the firing of African American Studies scholar Dr. Anthony Monteiro was done in accordance with school policy. The problem “is not that the school isn’t following its policies, but that their policies are unjust,” said White. Adjunct professors need more job security, so they won’t be fired when they support student and community demands, as Dr. Monteiro did. The protests will continue through the summer. “This is going to set a standard for students in Philadelphia and across the nation,” she said. “We want Dr. Monteiro back because we know he sets that same precedent for faculty.”
A State of Mourning for Elombe Brath
Legendary New York-based activist Elombe Brath succumbed to a long illness, May 19. The Patrice Lumumba Coalition founder was honored on May 11 of last year at Harlem’s Harriet Tubman School. Raymond Santana, who along with others of the Central Park 5 was imprisoned for 13 years for a rape they did not commit, said he knew Brath “as a protector, a man who embraced me as one of his own sons, a man who stepped up for the Central Park 5 when lots of people wouldn’t, and still champions for us to receive our just due.”
Rodolfo Reyes, the Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations, also honored Brath in 2013. “Cuba remembers with high esteem his tireless struggle for the freedom of the Cuban 5, unjustly imprisoned in United States jails,” said Reyes. “By following the example of Elombe Brath, we can turn into reality the goal of our leader, Fidel Castro, that a better world is possible, where justice, human dignity and solidarity prevail."