Black Agenda Radio for Week of July 3, 2017

Out of Prison, Rev. Pinkney Resumes Protests

“They knew that if they got an all-white jury, I had a 99.9 percent chance of being convicted, even without any evidence,” said Rev. Edward Pinkney, the Benton Harbor, Michigan, community leader who served 30 months of a possible ten-year sentence for allegedly tampering with election documents. Pinkney now faces a year on parole, but he plans to hold a protest at the Berrien County courthouse on July 11 “to let them know I’m back,” and will picket the Whirlpool Corporation, which has long dominated the politics of his mostly Black home town.

East St. Louis Massacre Remembered

Activists from Greater St. Louis and around the country marked the centennial of the bloody massacre that left hundreds of Blacks dead in East St. Louis, Missouri. The 1917 white mob assault was part of a century-long pattern of racist violence, said Dr. Randy Short, a key organizer of the commemoration. “These things go all the way back to the Jacksonian pogroms” of the 1820s. “The elite classes of whites offered impunity to whites who took action to destroy Black people,” said Short. “It was almost an expiation for their failure to provide jobs for their fellow whites.”

Green Party Challenger Says de Blasio is No Progressive

“This man has nothing to do with the day-to-day lives of Black and brown men and women in New York City,” said Akeem Browder, the Green Party candidate for mayor. “He doesn’t make what we make per year. He doesn’t live in our communities.” Browder’s brother, Kalief, spent almost three years in the Rikers Island jail awaiting trial on a charge that was finally dismissed, and later committed suicide. Akeem Browder says he’ll fight for defendants’ right to a speedy trial. He says the New York criminal justice system operates on “the ‘ready rule’: when we’re ready, we’ll get to you.”

Mumia Charges Prosecutorial-Judicial Bias

Supporters of the nation’s best known political prisoner are “asking people to call, email or tweet” the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office “and ask them to release all of the files in Mumia’s case,” according to Dr. Johanna Fernandez, of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. A former prosecutor, who later became a judge, may have exercised undo influence in Mumia’s case as a judge.

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.

Out of Prison, Rev. Pinkney Resumes Protests

“They knew that if they got an all-white jury, I had a 99.9 percent chance of being convicted, even without any evidence,” said Rev. Edward Pinkney, the Benton Harbor, Michigan, community leader who served 30 months of a possible ten-year sentence for allegedly tampering with election documents. Pinkney now faces a year on parole, but he plans to hold a protest at the Berrien County courthouse on July 11 “to let them know I’m back,” and will picket the Whirlpool Corporation, which has long dominated the politics of his mostly Black home town.

Dr. Randy Short on the 1917 East St. Louis Pogrom

A century ago, white mobs killed hundreds of Black people in East St. Louis, Illinois, in a slaughter that shaped Black politics for much of the remainder of the 20th century. Back in 1917, when the white media spoke of “race riots,” they meant mass white assaults on Black communities. Many historians now refer to attacks like the one on East St. Louis, as pogroms -- organized racist bloodbaths. Dr. Randy Short was a principal organizer of three days of actions marking the massacre. He says these rituals of mass murder were standard white political behavior, for many generations.

Akeem Browder Fights For Green Mayoral Nomination in New York City

The Green Party’s candidate for mayor of New York City, Akeem Browder, thinks his fight to get on the ballot will be successful, despite the difficulties that small parties face in challenging the rule of the duopoly, corporate parties. Akeem is the brother of Kalief Browder, the young man who spent one thousand days locked up in New York’s infamous Rikers Island jail, before charges against him were dropped for a crime he didn’t commit. Kalief Browder then fell into a deep depression and committed suicide. His brother Akeem's challenge to Mayor Bill Deblasio is an uphill climb. Diblasio was once seen by many as the great progressive white hope for New York. But, fewer people feel that way now that he’s up for re-election.

Philly DA's Office May Be Forced To Reveal Evidence of Prosecutorial and Judicial Bias

The 4th of July is just another day behind bars if, like Mumia Abu Jamal and many others, you are a political prisoner in the United States. Mumia's 35 years in prison, much of it on death row, in the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer, has been marked by many courtroom dramas, punctuated by massive mobilizations of his worldwide supporters. There was encouraging news on the legal front, last month. Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser spoke with Dr. Johanna Fernandez, a professor of history and African American Studies at Baruch College, and a key organizer in the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. Dr Fernandez explained the complex legal issue that is now before the Pennsylvania courts. 

“Color Revolution” Comes Home? Are Americans Also the Victims of “Regime Change”?

by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

The longstanding U.S. practice of staging “color revolutions” against unwanted governments around world has inevitably come home to roost. Donald Trump’s presidency is the target, “not only based on his policies but also through manufactured crises such as RussiaGate.” Phony progressives serve the aims of the War Party by providing a “pink” veneer to the color-coded regime change apparatus.

Would Slavery Have Ended Sooner if the British Had Defeated the Colonists’ Bid for Independence?

by Keith Brooks

By the evidence of their actions, most Blacks wanted the British to defeat their white settler masters. Most Native Americans, too. The British had prohibited settlement west of the Appalachian mountains, and showed some signs of moving towards abolition of slavery. “While 5000 mainly free black people from northern colonies joined with the colonists' fight for independence, tens of thousands more enslaved black people joined with the British.”

W. E. B. Du Bois's Revolutions

by Phillip Luke Sinitiere

W.E.B. Du Bois did not formally join the Communist Party until 1961, at age 93, but he had long proposed “meaningful socialist solutions to tackle contemporary, systemic problems of racial terror and economic disaster.” The author maintains that Du Bois, a founding Pan-Africanist, “did more to educate African-Americans and people of the African diaspora about Africa than any other person in U. S. history.”

Script For Plans To Destroy Bolivarian Revolution Was Written In Washington

by Sergio Alejandro Gómez

Most of the “news” we get in the U.S. about Venezuela is fake, the result of the weaponized selectivity of the international corporate press. “The same day that three million people marched in Caracas to show support for [President] Nicolás Maduro, much less attended opposition protests dominated headlines.” The opposition parties, themselves, were largely created with funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The Canadian Who Helped Conquer Congo for the Belgian King

by Yves Engler

Celebrated Canadian soldier William Grant Stairs helped King Leopold II of Belgium conquer the resource-rich Katanga region of the Congo. Known for his heartless brutality, Stairs headed a heavily armed mission that swelled to 2,000. The goal of the expedition was to extend Leopold’s authority over Katanga to get a piece of the copper, ivory and gold trade. Genocide was the result: “A quarter of the population may have died during Leopold’s reign.”

Justin Trudeau is Not a Friend of all God’s Children

by Norman (Otis) Richmond aka Jalali

The youthful leader of Canada claims to be many things, including a feminist and friend of all the country’s various ethnicities. However, Canada has a poor history of friendly relations with African peoples. “Canada has played a role in the violence the Congo, Rwanda and Somali,” and was a chief conspirator in the overthrow of Haiti’s elected government, in 2004.

The Tide Is Turning on Single Payer, With or Without Bernie Sanders

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Obamacare, was such a huge favor to the insurance companies that Republicans can’t outdo it, they can only make it a little meaner. Liz Warren is telling Democrats that Medicare For All is the issue to campaign on for 2018. But where is Bernie Sanders? Why hasn’t he introduced his long promised Medicare For All bill in the senate? What’s he waiting for? More Democratic unity?

Trump Competes With Hillary in U.S. War of Lies and Terror Against Syria

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Donald Trump is out to prove that he is as bloodthirsty as Hillary Clinton and better than anyone at brinksmanship. Has he gone “play-crazy,” or is it the real thing? “By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a ‘puppet’ and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all.”

Freedom Rider: Nancy Pelosi Sends Democrats Over a Cliff

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Democrats can’t serve their Black and working class base because they get their money from the 1%. “Their allegiance to global elites prevents them from making even small changes.” Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi brags that no change is coming because “we’re capitalist.” But Pelosi’s fund-raising power “won’t bring victory to a party that has been thoroughly discredited.”

Urban Shield: A Federal Protection Racket

by Ann Garrison

Police repression is big business, heavily subsidized by the U.S. government, and promoted by “war games” enterprises like Urban Shield. “Israel, Bahrain, Qatar, and China have all sent police to learn about how to subdue their own populations.” Activists at a city council meeting in Berkeley, California, “unfurled a banner that read ‘Stop Urban Shield, End the Militarization of Our Communities” – and were promptly roughed up and arrested.

The Ghosts of Grenfell: Genocide in the Mainland of Capitalism

by Danny Haiphong

The fire that killed an unknown number of mainly Black and Asian Londoners has plunged Britain’s right-wing government deeper into crisis. Brits are connecting the capitalist dots. “Parliament has spent years enforcing austerity cuts on every public service that exists as a safety net for poor and working people,” leaving housing projects like Grenfell unsafe and unsound.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 26, 2017

Anti-War Conference Welcomes Black Alliance for Peace

The United National Anti-War Coalition’s recent conference in Richmond, Virginia, featured the most Black participation and speakers in UNAC’s history. The theme of the conference was “Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad.” Black Agenda Radio presents excerpts of remarks by Charo Mina-Rojas, Ana Edwards, Maurice Carney, Glen Ford, Clarence Thomas, Ralph Poynter, Ajamu Baraka, Larry Hamm, Margaret Kimberley, and Jaribu Hill. UNAC welcomed the founding of a new affiliated organization, the Black Alliance for Peace.

Philly School Holds 3-Day Focus on James Baldwin

The Saturday Free School, a center of community organizing and transformative political thought and study, will celebrate the life of James Baldwin on July 7, 8 and 9, at Philadelphia’s historic Church of the Advocate. The legendary author, essayist and playwright, who died in 1987, “is one of the most important thinkers of our time,” said student and activist Elias Gonzales. His colleague, Kayla Watkins, explained: “We’re connecting Baldwin to Coltrane, we’re connecting Baldwin to Dubois.” Although Black historical movements are often viewed as separate, “in reality, different questions are posed in order to find the same solutions.”

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

Highlights of the 2017 United National Antiwar Coalition conference, part 1 of 2

Part One: Speakers at the UNAC Conference in Richmond, Virginia

Charo Mina-Rojas, Black Communities Process; Colombian Commission for Peace
Ana Edwards, Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality; Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project
Maurice Carney, executive director and co-founder, Friends of Congo
Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report
Clarence Thomas, past secretary-treasurer, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 10, San Francisco

Highlights of the 2017 United National Antiwar Coalition conference, part 2 of 2

Part Two: Speakers at the UNAC Conference in Richmond, Virginia

Ralph Poynter, New Abolitionist Movement; husband of the late political prisoner and people’s lawyer, Lynne Stewart

Ajamu Baraka, co-founder, Black Alliance for Peace; editor and columnist, Black Agenda Report; Green Party 2016 vice-presidential candidate

Larry Hamm, co-founder and chairman, People’s Organization for Progress, Newark, New Jersey

Margaret Kimberley, member of UNAC administrative committee; editor and senior columnist, Black Agenda Report

Jaribu Hill, Founder and Executive Director of the Mississippi Workers' Center for Human Rights

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