Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: Baltimore police officers are on trial, charged with corruption and abusive of power so massive and blatant, a former police chief compares them to 1930s gangsters; And, one of the former political prisoners known as the Soledad Brothers is fighting for release on parole.
Amazon, one of the world’s largest corporation, has pared down to 20 the list of cities that it is considering for its second world headquarters. The commercial giant claims it will bring $5 billion in investment and 50,000 jobs to the table. The cities and states are, in turn, offering billions of dollars in tax subsidies and other giveaways to Amazon, whose major stockholder, Jeff Bezos, is the world’s richest man. We spoke with Greg LeRoy, of Good Jobs First, an organization that has fought for decades against corporate bullying of cities and workers. LeRoy says cities always lose out in these mega- deals with corporations.
In Baltimore, a trial is underway of police charged with robbing and extorting citizens, drug dealing and other crimes and corruption. The former police chief of Baltimore has described the cops involved as behaving like gangsters from the 1930s. Many believe the case is closely linked to the shooting death of a policeman last year, which led to a multi-day lockdown and siege of an entire neighborhood. Carl Dix is a co-founder, along with Cornel West, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. His hometown is Baltimore.
A group of law students at the Southern University Law Center, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has appealed to the United Nations Human Rights Commission on behalf of John Clutchette, a 75-year old California prison inmate who was known in the early 1970s as one of the Soledad Brothers, along with George Jackson and Fleeta Drumgo. The men were charged, but acquitted, in the death of a prison guard. The Southern University law students and their legal advisor, attorney Angela Allen-Bell, say California governor Ed Brown is wrong in trying to reverse the state parole board’s decision to release Clutchette, who’s been serving time on a later murder conviction. They want the Human Rights Commission to consider the long history of state dirty tricks and frame-ups against Black political activists in the U.S. John Clutchette, however, was NOT a political prisoner when he was first locked up, in 1966. Ryan Thompson, one of the authors of the appeal to the UN Human Rights Commission, explains.
For decades, and especially in the last several years, the U.S. corporate media has been full of tales of Russian meddlings and aggressions against the United States. But, much of the world sees a very different picture. Phil Willay to is editor of the Virginia Defender, and a member of the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases, which recently held a national conference at the University of Baltimore. Wilayto says all the talk about supposed Russian provocations is a propagandistic distraction from Washington’s long history of attempting to militarily strangle Russia.