Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 7/3/13

Zimmerman Defense Engages in “Racist Bullying”

“They’re trying to put together a scenario that paints Trayvon as the aggressor” the night that George Zimmerman shot the teenager dead, said Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. The defense in the televised murder trial, in Sanford, Florida, has engaged in “a certain white supremacist condescension and bullying” of witness Rachel Jeantel, the young woman who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin during his fatal encounter with Zimmerman. “They’re playing into a certain white dislike and fear of an angry Black person, where the sister had a right to be angry, because she was being mistreated on the stand,” said Dix.

Lynne Stewart: Keep Up the Pressure

People’s lawyer Lynne Stewart, battling Stage Four breast cancer in her fourth year of a ten-year prison sentence for zealously defending her client in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, vows to continue her fight for compassionate release. The head of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons rejected her plea, claiming Stewart’s health was “improving.” “They are lying,” said Ralph Poynter, Stewart’s husband and comrade in activism. “There as been no improvement in the cancer in her lungs. They didn’t talk about her diabetes, they didn’t talk about her inability to move around” and her low white blood cell count. Poynter will lead demonstrations in New York and resume a vigil, in Washington. “I’m going to start building a fire in front of this White House,” he vowed – in line with Stewart’s wishes.

Snowden’s Gift to the World

If Ecuador or another country grants NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum, “the whole world will benefit, because some of the revelations are that the U.S. is spying on civilians all over the world,” said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research. “Snowden is fleeing political persecution, and Ecuador takes that very seriously.” Might the U.S. try to seize Snowden from sanctuary? “No, I don’t think so,” said Weisbrot. “There’s a lot of public support for what he did here in the United States, and most of the world sees him as a hero.”

U.S. Revs Up for Another Mideast War

Citing an “Emergency situation,” the United National Anti-War Coalition, UNAC, has called for National Days of Action against U.S, NATO and Israeli attacks on Syria, from now through July 17. “We need to keep working to keep the United States from starting a whole new war,” said UNAC’s Marilyn Levin. Washington is attempting to stage a replay of the “humanitarian” attack on Libya and the WMD-justified war on Iraq. “This is just phony,” said Levin, referring to U.S. claims that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. “They always have to have a pretext.”

The West’s Crusade Against Mugabe

The U.S. is unrelentingly hostile to President Robert Mugabe’s government in Zimbabwe because Washington “opposes the very idea of political and economic independence in Africa,” said political analyst Eric Draitser, founder of the web site Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party “have really begun to exercise this independence” with a land redistribution program that has replaced 6,000 white landholders with 245,000 Black farmers, he said. Zimbabwe hold elections at the end of July. The West backs Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, which Draiter called “the mouthpiece of the United States and the British,” the former colonial ruler.

Obama Finally Names Special Africa Envoy

Back in 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama won passage of his only significant piece of legislation, to prevent further destabilization of eastern Congo by its neighbors. The bill called for the appointment, within 60 days, of a U.S. Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of Congo. But President Obama only last month got around to naming former Democratic senator Russ Feingold to fill the job. “Although it is overdue, we are pleased that he has finally appointed this individual,” said Jacques Bahati, of the Africa Faith and Justice Network, in Washington, DC. “I suspect that the “Rwandan lobby” and “special interests” cause the delay, said Bahati.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: One hour.