Don’t Just Count Black Bodies – We Need a Program of Liberation Veteran Malcolm X Grassroots Movement activist Kali Akuno is a co-author of the 2012 report Operation Ghetto Storm, which documented the extrajudicial killing of Blacks by police, security guards and vigilantes – one every 28 hours. “We wanted to highlight, first and foremost to our own people, that we are being hunted,” said Akuno, now living in Jackson, Mississippi. “It’s basically population control and disposal of a population that is becoming unwanted and unnecessary for economic production.” Keeping count is not the point. “What’s the solution, what is the program of liberation? That is what folks should start focusing on now, while there is this upsurge, while there are young people beginning to become engaged in fighting back.” Farrakhan: Take Down the Stars and Stripes! “I don’t know what the fight is about the Confederate flag,” said Min. Louis Farrakhan, at the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, in Washington, DC. “We need to put theAmerican flag down, because we’ve caught as much hell under that as under the Confederate flag,” he told a cheering crowd. “What flag do the police have? What flag flies over the non-Justice Department?” Pelosi Engaged
Charleston Massacre: Vintage Americana
Activist and writer Kevin Alexander Gray lives in Columbia, South Carolina, not far from the Charleston church shooter’s home town, where “a Confederate flag on the bumper of a car is just as common as a stop sign.” It’s also where Dylann Roof learned that Blacks are constantly raping white women and trying to take over the nation, said Gray. “That kind of racist talk is as old as the relationship between Black folk and white folk in America.”
Black Church Needs to Beef Up Security
“This is an assault against the Black church and its members,” said Rev. Anthony Evans, executive director of the Washington-based National Black Church Initiative, a multidenominational coalition of Black churches across the country. Rev. Evans has gone South to advise coalition congregations “how to harden their church in terms of the safety of men, women and children. They don’t have to worry about this in a white church,” he said. “We only have to worry about this in the Black church.”
Broken Windows Policing Criminalizes Communities
The Police Reform Organization Project, or PROP, has released a report on damage done to ordinary people by New York City’s “Broken Windows” policing policy. Titled “That’s How They Get You,” the document provides 117 examples of how lives are ruined and communities embittered under a torrent of fines and jail terms for minor offenses. Broken Windows “actually criminalizes people, and gets them caught up the criminal justice system,” said PROP director Robert Gangi.
Another “Black” U.S. President?
Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, said Democratic presidential politics has become repetitive and predictable. “What we have is simply a continuation of the [Bill] Clinton regime, through Obama, and now I guess Hillary is about to become the third Black president,” said Yeshitela. The Black Is Back Coalition, founded in 2009 in part to show that not all Blacks supported Obama’s corporatist, imperial policies, is gearing up for its national conference, in August.
Newark is the Destination on July 25
The People’s Organization for Progress is expecting huge crowds to gather in Newark, New Jersey, for POP’s Millions March Against Police Brutality, Racial Injustice, and Economic Inequality, July 25. The march has been endorsed by scores of organizations and individuals, including Dr. Cornel West and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who is establishing a civilian police review board complete with subpoena powers. Community organizations, including POP, will hold a majority of seats on the board. However, POP chairman Larry Hamm is “under no illusion” that the review board will solve the problem. “I say categorically, that the greatest antidote to police brutality is the mass movement of the people,” said Hamm. “That’s more powerful than any governmental structure that can be put into place.”
Obama’s TPP Sinking
President Obama’s secret Trans Pacific Partnership treaty suffered a big setback on Friday in the U.S. House of Representatives, thanks largely to activists like Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance. “If you don’t like crony capitalism or rigged trade for big business, you’ve got to be against TPP,” said Zeese. The treaty would make it almost impossible to reverse privatizations of government services, or for the public sector to take any action that might adversely affect corporate expectations of profits.
Black Lives Matter Movement is Dominant Theme at Left Forum
“The powerful movements that have raised the slogan ‘No Justice-No Peace’ in Ferguson, Baltimore and across the country have shaken American politics out of its lethargy,” said Paul Jay, senior editor at The Real News Network, at the annual Left Forum conference at John Jay College, in New York City. However, the wealthy classes are unable to respond to a changing nation and world. “War is the only answer they have. Our ruling elites are dysfunctional: they’re not fit to rule,” said Jay, moderator of the discussion on “Indicting and Transforming the Systems of State and Capitalism: From Ferguson to Baltimore and Beyond.”
A Global System of Oppression
Black Americans’ problems with the police are part of a global conflict, said Phillip Agnew, of the Dream Defenders, the youthful activist organization that emerged after Trayvon Martin’s death in 2012. “They’re all connected to one system: a system of injustice, a system of exploitation, a system of oppression that governs and controls us, nationally and internationally,” he said. “The same thing that is happening in Jacksonville, Florida, is happening in Palestine. The system isn’t broken; it’s working exactly how it was designed to work in order to oppress people around the world.”
This week's entire show is selections from last weekend's conference in St. Louis MO on Community Control of Police.
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
End the “Army of Occupation” in Black America
The Black Is Back Coalition will hold a national conference on Black Community Control of Police, in St. Louis, Missouri, April 18 and 19. “Our recognition that Black lives matter means taking matters into our own hands,” said Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela. “The Sharptons and government representatives want to convince Black people that an election will solve the problem, or body cameras will solve the problem,” instead of confronting “the essence of the system, which is anti-Black and anti-freedom. That’s why the fight for community control of police is so important.”
Democrats Gang up on Seattle Socialist -
Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative Party leader whose campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage won her a seat on the Seattle city council, now faces three Democratic challengers, including the head of the local Urban League. Sawant has earned broad support, but must still contend with the popular mindset that Democrats are the “lesser evils” of politics. “The problem with the logic of ‘lesser evil-ism’ is that it’s ad infinitum,” she said. If we accept that logic, “there’s never going to be a point when we can say: ‘At this moment we have to make a clean break to make sure that we build a movement independent of the two business parties.’”