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Leid Stories – 01.27.16

Dirty Water, Dirty Politics: An Update on the Crisis in Flint

Hell in Haiti: Hillary Clinton’s Other Presidential Election

In August 2014, Curt Guyette, an investigative reporter for the ACLU of Michigan, told Leid Stories that tens of thousands of residents of the cash-strapped city of Flint, Michigan, were being exposed to lead-poisoned and bacteria-infected water because the city, under state-imposed emergency management and ordered to cut operating costs, had switched its water supply from Detroit’s water system and instead was drawing its water from the extremely polluted Flint River. Guyette uncovered not only the public-health catastrophe, but efforts by public and elected officials to cover it up. He updates the story since his report a week ago.

Hillary Clinton is actually involved in two presidential elections—one in the United States and the other in Haiti, where her hand-picked president, Michel Martelly, is at the center of political chaos and escalating violence that last week led the country’s electoral council to cancel national elections. Kim Ives, editor of Haïti Liberté, has been reporting on Haiti for Leid Stories. He files an on-site report on the current situation, and explains the continuing legacy of the Clinton connection to Haiti’s chaos.

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Leid Stories – 01.19.16

Dirty Water, Dirty Politics: A Toxic Mix in Detroit and Flint, Mich.

The alarm Leid Stories sounded in August 2014 about a “water crisis and massive public-health catastrophe” in Detroit and Flint, Mich., is only now getting national attention—now that it isn’t just a “black” problem. In Detroit, still reeling from severe austerity measures imposed after the city’s forced 2013 bankruptcy, water shutoffs continue unabated for thousands of homeowners too poor to pay; about 80,000 are behind in their water bills. In Flint, tens of thousands of people have been exposed to lead-poisoned and bacteria-infected water after the cash-strapped city, now under emergency management, switched its water supply from Detroit and instead was drawing its water from the extremely polluted Flint River.

Curt Guyette, an investigative reporter for the ACLU of Michigan, broke the Flint story. He return to Leid Stories to provide a comprehensive update. Abayomi Azikiwe, a Detroit organizer for the Workers World Party and editor in chief of the Pan-African Newswire, is Leid Stories’ correspondent on Detroit’s forced bankruptcy and its aftermath; he reports on the city’s continuing water crisis.

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Black Agenda Radio – 12.21.15

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective.

– The mayor of majority Black Flint, Michigan declared a state of emergency, last week, after health officials discovered a “toxic soup” of pollutants in the city’s water – including a high risk of lead poisoning. The health crisis was created when an appointed emergency financial manager forced Flint to switch from Detroit’s water system, to Flint River water. Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder has appointed Emergency Financial Managers to dictate the affairs of virtually every majority Black city in the state, denying local populations control of their own institutions. In Detroit, water has been shut off to tens of thousands of poor people. We spoke with Thomas Stephens, a people’s lawyer who’s been active in the resistance to state and corporate takeovers in Michigan.

– On January 8th through the 10th, Philadelphia’s Temple University will host a conference on the Black Radical Tradition. Keynote speakers include Angela Davis, Robin D.G. Kelly, Cornel West, V.J. Prashad, Anthony Monteiro, and Charlene Carruthers, of Chicago’s Black Youth Project 100. The title of the conference is “Reclaiming our Future: the Black Radical Tradition In Our Time.” Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark, New Jersey-based People’s Organization for Progress, will take part in one of the conference panels. There has not been a mass movement in Black America for a very long time. We asked Larry Hamm if the Black Radical Tradition is more than just an academic subject.

– More than one hundred supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal gathered outside a Scranton, Pennsylvania, courtroom, as a federal judge heard arguments about why state prison authorities should be forced to treat Mumia for Hepatitis C. The nation’s best-known political prisoner came close to death, earlier this year, from complications of the disease. Joe Piette is a member of the Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal. He says Mumia isn’t just fighting for himself.

– New York based writer and political analyst Eric Draitser recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Venezuela, where the Socialist Party founded by the late Hugo Chavez lost badly to the rightwing opposition in legislative elections. The opposition won two-thirds of the seats in the national legislature. Draitser’s latest article on Venezuela is titled, “The Revolution That Will Not Die.” Although the Socialist project in Venezuela is not yet dead, Draitser agrees that it has suffered a major setback.