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Black Agenda Radio – 04.20.15

The Empire of “Humanitarian” Foreign Wars and World’s Largest Gulag

President Obama’s signature foreign policy of “humanitarian” military intervention is “imperialism,” pure and simple, said Margaret Kimberley, a spokesperson for United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC). Obama “can use the ‘humanitarian’ commitment to wreak havoc all over the world – perhaps more than any conservative Republican,” said Kimberley, a BAR editor and senior columnist. UNAC is holding its national conference May 8 to 10 in Secaucus, New Jersey, just outside New York City, under the banner “Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad.” “This country has the largest number of people in prison, and a greater percentage of people in prison, than any other country in the world,” she said, yet “we look down on or attack other nations that don’t lock up as many people as Americans do.”

Black Party Seeks Statewide Role in Maryland

The Ujima People’s Progress Party, which is attempting to gather the 10,000 signatures necessary to appear on the statewide ballot next election day, will hold a conference at Coppin State University, in Baltimore, May 2. The conference “will look at issues and work together to change the conditions that affect Black and working people in Maryland,” said Dr. Ken Morgan, whose Urban Studies program is co-sponsor of the event. Maryland is the 4th Blackest state in the nation, right behind Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia. Most Blacks self-identify as Democrats, but Dr. Morgan said “all are welcome to the conference. This is not an adversarial kind of interaction.” He expects “the ongoing issue of police brutality” will loom large at the event.

New York Mayor Threatens Anti-Brutality Protesters

Police arrested 42 people and sent two to the hospital during the National Action to Stop Murder by Police, near the Brooklyn Bridge, April 14. Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to prosecute the demonstrators to the full extent of the law. That’s the same as saying “Our police can brutalize you, they can murder you, but if you come out and protest, we’re gonna go after you,” saidCarl Dix, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. Dix vowed to continue to protest against “business as usual in America, because business as usual means police getting away with murder.” Atty. Kenneth Montgomery told a press conference: “We have millions of people incarcerated. But, right down the block, we have Wall Street, one of the biggest crime scenes in the world.”

CopWatch Units Flip the Script on Police

“We use their maps and statistics to be able to know where there’s gonna be more police activity, and we hit those areas,” said Jose LaSalle, co-founder of the CopWatch Patrol Unit, which operates in all five boroughs of New York City. Police were “very aggressive” when the citizens’ patrols were first organized, said LaSalle, but now “they’re getting accustomed to our presence out there.” Recording the police “is becoming a part of the culture within the community of color.”

Shaming Dixie with the Truth: the Scottsboro Boys Museum

In 1931, nine Black males, age 12 to 19, were falsely charged with raping two white girls on a freight train that passed through Scottsboro, Alabama. Their trials and ordeals illuminated the true nature of American apartheid. Today, Sheila Washington runs the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center, housed in a 136 year-old Black church. “The powers that be in this town don’t want the museum here,” said Washington, speaking to Norman Richmond, of CKLN Radio, in Toronto, Canada. “They don’t want the town known for the Scottsboro case. It’s still a fight to keep the doors open, because the city doesn’t recognize the museum, nor does the county commission. They’d like to let it die.”

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