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Black Agenda Radio – 05.09.16

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with your host Glen Ford and co-host, Nellie Bailey.

– Thousands of teachers went on sick-out in Detroit, last Monday and Tuesday, shutting down the city’s public schools. The sick-out was led by Steve Conn, who was elected president of the local teachers union but deposed at the urging of the national American Federation of Teachers. Steve Conn and activists from the BAMN organization, By Any Means Necessary, have been holding teacher sick-outs since November, to protest Governor Rick Snyder’s efforts to privatize the public schools, which are already more than half charter.

– The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations plans events in a number of cities, to put together a National Black Political Agenda. The project came out of a Black Is Back Coalition national conference, in Harlem, last month. Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela, explains.

– In Seattle, Washington, city councilwoman Kshama Sawant, head of the Socialist Alternative Party, has launched a petition calling on Bernie Sanders to run as an Independent candidate for president, after he fails to win the Democratic presidential nomination, in Philadelphia, this summer. Sawant says the nation needs a third party, to represent the 99 percent. But, what about the Green Party, which is already on the ballot – or will be – in a majority of states in November?

– Paul Street is an historian, an activist and author, who wrote early on that Barack Obama was a corporate politician who, as president, would side with Wall Street and the Pentagon. Paul Street’s latest book is titled, “They Rule: The One Percent Versus Democracy.” Street says Hillary Clinton will pull the Democratic Party even further to the Right, packing it with Republicans who prefer her to Donald Trump.

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Leid Stories – Lessons Learned from Detroit, Flint and the Indiana Primaries – 05.04.16

And on the third day, there’s school. The Detroit Federation of Teachers has ended a two-day sickout that shut down 94 of its 97 public schools on Monday and Tuesday. Teachers were told over the weekend that the state’s largest school district would run out of money by June 30 and their salaries for summer school and thereafter could not be guaranteed.

Meanwhile, President Obama today visits Flint, Mich. He’ll get “briefings” there on the city’s water-contamination crisis—two years after it came to light. And in Indiana, the presidential primaries delivered many surprises. Leid Stories discusses the lessons to be learned from all three events.

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Leid Stories – Water Shutoffs Add to School Shutdowns in Detroit; Election 2016: The Indiana Primaries: – 05.03.16

For the second day, most all of Detroit’s 97 public schools remain closed—the result of a sickout by teachers whose salaries are not guaranteed beyond June 30, when the state’s largest school district runs out of money. About 46,000 schoolchildren remain home today. Abayomi Azikiwe, editor in chief of Pan-African News Wire and a co-founder of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs, reports that the misery index goes several notches higher for many of their parents; more than 20,000 households face water shutoffs today.

Voting is brisk in Indiana, where Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls are duking it out for decisive delegate wins to assure nomination or for badly needed voter boosts to flagging campaigns. Leid Stories discusses the Indiana primaries.

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Leid Stories – School’s Out in Detroit, and That’s the Plan; Hillary Had Dinner in Detroit, Total Contempt on the Menu – 05.02.16

Almost all (94) of Detroit’s 97 public schools are closed today—the result of a sickout by teachers reacting to news over the weekend that the state won’t be able to pay them after June 30, when emergency aid to the bankrupted city runs out. Elena Herrada, an elected member of the school board whose authority over local education was overridden during the imposed bankruptcy, says the sickout protest is a publicity stunt to cover up the union’s complicity in the main objective: destroying the public education system in Detroit.

Presidential candidate was the keynote speaker at the Detroit NAACP’s Freedom Fund Dinner last night. Leid Stories discusses the main item on the menu: total contempt for the very people chiefly responsible for her viability as a political candidate.