Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: The United States claims that it is in Syria to fight al Qaida, but the al Qaida affiliate in that country has disappeared from the U.S. terrorist list; Black students at Temple University explore the Black Panther Party’s approach to social revolution; and, Mumia Abu Jamal says goodbye to a native American activist.
The people of Puerto Rico, a U.S. colony in the Caribbean, are confronting much the same economic powers that bankrupted Detroit, four years ago, and stripped the citizens of that Black metropolis of control over their local affairs. We spoke with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Detroit based Pan African News web site. Azikiwe says finance capital – the bankers – are behind the misery in both Detroit and Puerto Rico, where hurricanes have wrecked the economy and plunged the island further in debt.
The United States claims it is fighting a war on terror in the world, and bombing terrorists daily, in Syria. But, the al Qaida affiliate in Syria, which used to be called the Al Nusra Front, but changed its name, has disappeared from U.S. lists of terrorist organizations. The Syrian government and Russia charge Washington with forming an alliance with al Qaida in Syria. We spoke with Dr. Gerald Horne, the prolific author and professor of history at the University of Houston.
Students and community members gathered late last month at Philadelphia’s Temple University to discuss the life and times of Huey P. Newton, the co- founder of the Black Panther Party. One of the speakers at the all-day conference was Kashara White, of the Philadelphia Saturday Free School. Ms. White recalled the battle over the future of Temple’s African American Studies program, two years ago, that resulted in the firing of activist professor Anthony Monteiro, and the promotion to department head of Molefi Asante, who calls himself an Africologist. Kashara White told the conference that young activists can learn from the Black Panther Party’s experience, in which Party members were killed by cultural nationalists on a college campus in Los Angeles.
In New York City, the activist organization Black Youth Project 100 is engaged in a campaign against the exclusionary practices of the state, including banning people from public housing if a family member is arrested. Rahel Mekdim Peka is an organizer with Black Youth Project 100. She’s also working on the “Swipe It Forward” campaign, which urges subway users with unlimited mass transit cards to help others avoid being arrested for non-payment of fares.
Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, remembers Dennis Banks, the American Indian Movement leader who died, last week.