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Leid Stories – 03.07.16

Untied Tongue: Trump Speaks American Ugly With A French Accent

Democrats Troll Flint: Misery Serves As A Political Backdrop

Donald Trump, the frontrunner among Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential race, has an admirer in Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the far-right, trenchantly racist National Front party in France. Gilbert Mercier, editor in chief of News Junkie Post, draws parallels between the ascendancy and growing appeal of Trump and that of LePen.

At the urging of Hillary Clinton, Sunday night’s CNN-hosted Democratic “debate” with fellow contender Bernie Sanders was held in the beleaguered city of Flint, Michigan, which remains mired in a public-health disaster as the city concedes responsibility for exposing tens of thousands of residents to lead poisoning and bacterial infections from its water system. Abayomi Azikiwe, a Detroit organizer for the Workers World Party and editor in chief of the Pan-African Newswire, says Flint served as a convenient political backdrop, but substantive issues affecting its residents went missing.

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New Rate Survey of 500 U.S. Water Systems Finds Private Water Providers Charge 58% More

In the largest U.S. water rate survey of its kind, Food & Water Watch today released a comprehensive review of the 500 largest U.S. community water systems that found that large, for-profit privately owned systems charge 58 percent morethan large publicly owned systems. An overwhelming majority of U.S. water customers—87 percent—receive their water from a publicly owned, not-for-profit service provider. The …

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Black Agenda Radio – 02.15.16

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

– Michigan Governor Rick Synder has agreed to testify before a House committee investigating the poisoning of Flint, Michigan. The committee will also hear from Flint’s former emergency financial manager; the regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; and, Gina McCarthy, the head of the EPA. We spoke with Black Agenda Report editor Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, who blew the whistle on the EPA’s complicity in the poisoning of South African vanadium miners. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo said Michigan’s Governor and the rest of the officials should be asked the “Watergate question.”

– The assault against the people of Flint began with a crime against democracy, when Michigan’s governor appointed emergency financial managers to run all of the state’s heavily Black cities, effectively disenfranchising half of Michigan’s African American population. In Newark, New Jersey, the People’s Organization for Progress, POP, demonstrated in solidarity with the people of Flint. POP chairman Larry Hamm says the people of Flint need their clean water and their democratic rights restored.

– In May of this year, Janine, Debbie and Janet Africa will once again be eligible for parole, after serving 37 years in prison for allegedly killing a Philadelphia policeman. The three women are part of the Move 9. The other Move members face even more time in prison. The draconian sentences stem, not from the 1985 bombing of the Move house by Philadelphia police, but a 1978 confrontation in which a cop was fatally shot. Move spokesperson Ramona Africa recounts the events.

– Alicia Garza, the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Network, has joined forces with advocates for Black women’s reproductive rights. Garza held a joint press conference with La’Tasha Mayes, founder of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, and Monica Simpson, director of the Trust Black Women Partnership. They denounced anti-abortionist forces for trying to co-op the language of the Black movement. Alicia Garza spoke first, followed by Ms. Mayes and Ms. Simpson.

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ELIZA A. WEBB – Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade

At the 5th Democratic debate Thursday night, Hillary Clinton repeatedly attempted to cloak herself in the cape of a populist hero, claiming she has stood up, time and time again, for those Americans “left behind and left out.” In her own words: “[I’ve got a] record of having fought for racial justice, having fought for kids rights, having fought the …

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Chris Hedges – Flint’s Crisis Is About More Than Water

What is in the mind of someone who knowingly poisons children and impairs their lives? Why did the politicians, regulators and bureaucrats who knew the water in Flint, Mich.,was toxic lie about the danger for months? What does it say about a society that is ruled by, and refuses to punish, those who willfully destroy the lives of children? The crisis …

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This Is What Happens To Humans When They Are Exposed To Too Much Lead

In his State of the State address Tuesday night, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder apologized for his handling of the Flint water crisis, which has left tens of thousands of residents without drinkable water. “To you, the people of Flint, I say tonight as I have before, I’m sorry and I will fix it,” Snyder said near the beginning of his …

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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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Black Agenda Radio – 01.25.16

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

– Dr. Anthony Monteiro was one of the organizers of a conference on the Black Radical Tradition, earlier this month, at Philadelphia’s Temple University, the school were Dr. Monteiro taught African American studies until he was fired for his radical activities. We asked Monteiro if the conference accomplished what the organizers expected?

– Who is ultimately responsible for poisoning the water in majority Black Flint, Michigan? Black Agenda Report editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo says the blame stretches all the way to the White House. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo blew the whistle on racism and corporate corruption when she worked for the federal Environmental Protection Agency. She says what happened to Flint, Michigan, goes far beyond environmental racism.

– Flint, Michigan’s water problems began when the State seized power from the local government. Atlantic City, New Jersey, is also facing a State takeover and the privatization of its water supply. BAR executive editor Glen Ford reports.

– The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement is circulating a petition, charging the United States with genocide against Black people. Movement president Herdosia Bentum says the petitions will be presented to the United Nations, which is holding hearings in Jackson, Mississippi, Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC. The Uhuru movement has set up encampments in each of the cities. Herdosia Bentum explains.

– Five years ago, Carl Dix and Dr. Cornel West co-founded the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, which has been confronting the Mass Black Incarceration State, ever since. Dix says the Network is holding conferences in key cities to map out plans for the next phase of struggle.

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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.