Black Agenda Radio – 06.15.15

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.


Leid Stories – 06.15.15

Hillary’s Off. And Running Against Obama?

Black Like Me: What Should Rachel Dolezal’s Story Mean to America?

A vapid yawner of a speech at the Iowa State Fairgrounds yesterday, scripted to the nth degree by her political handlers, did little to sell Hillary Clinton’s self-proclaimed superlative experience and skills in international trade. Instead, the Democratic presidential candidate took aim at her former boss and “buddy,” criticizing President Barack Obama’s handling of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and related trade issues, but not saying where she stands on the TPP. (Note to Hillary: Obama’s not running.)

Leid Stories explains what’s behind Hillary’s attack on Obama and her murkiness about her position on the TPP and similar trade agreements.

The national brouhaha rages on about Rachel Dolezal—the Eastern Washington University professor and president of the NAACP’s local chapter in Spokane—over her claimed African American identity.

What should Dolezal’s story, and the furor it has caused, mean to America?

peter van buren

Keeping Democracy Alive – Goodbye Iraq, Now What?/Pressure on Obama for Transparency – 06.07.15

Though Iraq is less than 100 years old, it’s just about finished. Twenty Four year State Department veteran Peter Van Buren talks about what he sees as the last throes of what was never a real nation, with optimism for the future. And on part two, in addition to the push for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, there’s a movement to push Obama to issue an executive order to require disclosure of political spending by government contractors. It may yet happen.

Riot police clear demonstrators from a street in Ferguson

Leid Stories – 05.18.15

Police Reform? What Police Reform?

President Obama today announces an executive order banning the purchase or transfer of some military gear and equipment to local police departments across the country. It’s a turnaround of sorts for the president; just last December the White House was defending $18 billion in spending by five federal agencies on programs that provided police departments with military-grade gear and equipment.

Leid Stories in a commentary contends that Obama’s move is largely cosmetric; it doesn’t deal with the central issue that has been raised time and again—real, systemic reforms of police and policing.

In Missouri, which was a national and international touchstone on the subject–with the shooting death in Ferguson last August of Michael Brown by ex-cop Darren Wilson–the state Legislature closed its session without passing a single measure related to police reform. Some 60 pieces of reform-minded legislation were up for passage.

Leid Stories in a commentary explains that politicians have no intention of taking on the matter of police reform. It remains a “people’s struggle.”


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 …


Black Agenda Radio – 04.06.15

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.’”


Leid Stories – 03.25.15

Doubling Up, Doubling Down: Obama Wrestles with Foreign Policy Criticisms In the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Republican-assisted crash landing in Congress on March 3 to hector the United States into scuttling international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, President Obama finds himself the target of renewed, and even more scathing, criticisms of his foreign policies, especially in “hot spot” …