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: Durham, North Carolina, becomes the first city in the country to prohibit its police force from collaborating with Israel; a prison activist in South Carolina indicts the state for the death of seven inmates in the worst prison violence in a quarter century; and, the Bronx welcomes home two of the 120 young men imprisoned in the biggest police raid in New York City history.

Russia says it will soon move its most sophisticated air defense systems to Syria, so that the west will pay a high price if it repeats this months attack on Syrian forces. We spoke with Dr. Francis Boyle, the renowned professor of international law, at the University of Illinois. There is still no evidence that the government of Syria actually carried out any chemical weapons attack on civilians. But, in a sense, that really isn’t the point, is it, Dr. Boyle?

The city council in Durham, North Carolina, unanimously voted to prohibit its police force from engaging in training or other exchanges with the Israelis. That’s a first for any city in the United States. The ban was pushed by a Coalition of ten organizations, under the heading “Demilitarize Durham to Palestine.” Ajamu Amir Dillahunt, of Black Youth Project 100, explains.

Seven prison inmates were killed and at least 17 injured in violence at a prison in Lee County, South Carolina. Officials call it the worst prison conflict in a quarter century. South Carolina’s governor claims the root cause of the violence is the proliferation of illegal cell phones behind the bars. But Efia Nwangaza, director of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination, in Greenville, South Carolina, says the governor’s fixation with cell phones is…nonsensical.

Two years ago, New York City police and federal agents staged a massive raid on five housing complexes in the Soundview section of The Bronx, hauling away 120 young men on conspiracy to commit a whole range of crimes. It was called the largest gang raid in the city’s history. Two years before that, in 2014, cops and federal agents staged a similar raid at two Harlem housing projects, arresting 100 people on conspiracy charges. On Friday, community members and activsts will welcome home two of the men arrested in the 2016 Bronx raid. The “Welcome Home Party,” at the Bronx Social Center, was put together by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, Black Youth Project 100, Take Back the Bronx, and the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. Kraig Lewis was doing graduate work in college when he was hauled off in the raid and locked up in the infamous Metropolitan Detention Center, or “MDC,” for almost two years. He spoke with Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser.

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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: a Black activist announces her campaign for the U.S. senate, at a Black is Back Coalition electoral politics school in St. Louis; a Black prosecutor in Virginia explains why its important to make cops accountable when they kill unarmed people; and, Mumia Abu Jamal remembers Winnie Mandela. 

Activists took to the streets in cities around the country to protest the Sacramento police killing of Stephon Clark, an unarmed young Black man shot to death in his grandmother’s back yard. Black Agenda Report senior columnist Margaret Kimberley says the burst of protest activity is a good sign.

In St. Louis, Missouri, over the weekend, the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations held a school on electoral politics to promote transformational change. One of those on hand was Coffee Wright, a longtime activist who is running for the U.S. Senate, from Missouri.

 

Members of the National Black Caucus of Young Elected Officials Network held a press conference, last week, demanding local and national political reforms in the wake of the police killing of Stephon Clark, in Sacaramento, California. One of the officials on hand was Stephanie Morales, the young Commonwealth’s Attorney for Portsmouth, Virginia, who successfully prosecuted a police officer for killing an unarmed Black man. Morales handled the case, herself.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Mario Cuomo are demanding that the state parole board reverse its decision to parole Herman Bell, the former Black Panther who has been in prison for almost four decades in the killing of a police officer. Ralph Poynter is an activist with the New Abolitionist Movement, and the husband of the late people’s lawyer and political prisoner Lynne Stewart. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio say that no one that kills a cop should ever go free. Ralph Poynter says these two politicians should pay a heavy price for trying to keep Herman Bell in prison.

Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, spoke on the passing of Winnie Mandela, the widow of the the man who was once the world’s best known political prisoner.

Last week marked the 50 th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, the peace and justice advocate. The week also saw Israeli troops move down nearly a score of unnamed Palestinian protesters, in Gaza. Black Agenda Report managing editor Bruce Dixon has this commentary.

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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: The cops in Sacramento, California, shot Stephon Clark in the back in his grandmother’s backyard, sparking protests all across the country, including New York City; and, a New Jersey judge sides with the police union, ruling that a community complaint review board violates the due process rights of cops.

President Trump alarmed lots of people when he appointed the serial warmonger, John Bolton, as his national security advisor. Bolton has urged military attacks on both North Korea and Iran. Sara Flounders, of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition, says the U.S. empire is in a state of disarray, confusion and desperation.

A New Jersey State Supreme Court judge dealt a blow to Newark Mayor Ras Baraka’s effort to establish a Civilian Complaint Review Board with the power to investigate and subpoena the police. The judge sided with the Fraternal Order of Police union in ruling that the board constitutes a violation of police officer’s right to due process. We spoke with Larry Hamm, chairman of POP, the People’s Organization for Progress, which has been fighting police brutality in Northern New Jersey for almost 40 years. Hamm says the judge’s ruling is a serious setback to the struggle against police abuse of the community.

The police killing of Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, California, shocked Black communities across the nation. In New York City, activists clashed with police at demonstrations in Manhattan. Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser spoke with Shannon Jones, of Bronxites for NYPD Accountability. Jones says Stephon Clark was the victim of a shoot-the- Black-man- on-sight policy.

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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: The U.S. Senate voted down a bill, sponsored by Bernie Sanders, that would have ended U.S. participation in the war against Yemen: activists gathered, in New York City, to explore ways to end the U.S. governement war against Black people and immigrants; and, and Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz explains why white American men are so committed to keeping their guns.

Ajamu Baraka, the national organizer for the Black Alliance for Peace, recently returned from an historic meeting of representatives of 100 countries in Caracas, Venezuela, in solidarity with the Venezuelan socialist government. Venezuela is set to hold elections in April, but the Trump administration says it won’t recognize the election result as legitimate, and has threatened to take military action. Baraka appeared on the Popular Resistance podcast program, with Kevin Zeese and Dr. Margaret Flowers. He says peace-loving people should stand with Venezuela.

The U.S. Senate last week voted on a bill, sponsored by Bernie Sanders, that would have ended U.S. involvement in the Saudi Arabian-led war against Yemen. The measure was defeated, 55 to 44, but David Swanson, the author and anti-war activist, says that’s actually the closest the Senate has gotten to shutting down a war in a long, long time.

In New York City, activists gathered for a conference designed to bring Blacks and immigrant communities together on issues of mass incarceration and mass deportation. The event was titled, “Breaking Down Walls and Prison Plantations: Mumia, Migrants and Movements for Liberation. One of the speakers was Nyle Fort, a PhD candidate at Princeton University and activist with the Poor People’s Campaign.

This week, we resume our conversation with historian Roxanne Dunbar- Ortiz. Ortiz is author of “An Indigenous People’s History of the United States,” which looks at the establishment of the U.S. through the prism of Native American struggles, and her new book, “Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment,” which explores the role of white militias in waging genocide and maintaining slavery and Jim Crow. Native Americans were also enslaved by the millions, and suffer even higher rates of incarceration than Blacks.

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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: Black and Latino activists come to grips with tensions between the communities over jobs and prejudice. A new report shows that, the way things are going, it will take 75 years to cut the U.S. prison system in half – and even then, it will still be the largest in the world. And, we’ll have a report from the courageous journalist, Eva Bartlett, on Syria.

gun control advocates often despair at matching the political clout of the National Rifle Association, one of the most powerful lobbies in the nation. Historian and acdtivist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, however, is not surprised at all tht the NRA wields so much influence. She’s author of a new book, titled, “Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment,” which explores the deep roots of U.S. gun violence in the centuries of genocide and slavery. Dunbar-Ortiz deplores the historical ignorance of the corporate media, especially in their coverage of mass shootings. Typically, when the media cite the grim body counts of past mass killings, they ignore the long history of massacres of Blacks and Native Americans.

In Washington, the Sentencing Project has a new report out, summing up the setbacks and the progress that’s been made in prison reform. Nazgol Ghandnoosh is The Sentencing Project’s senior research analyst, and author of the report. She calculates that, at the current pace, it would take 75 years for the U.S. prison population to be cut in half. On average, the national prison population has shrunk since reaching a peak in 2009. We asked Ghandnoosh if she’s encouraged by the numbers.

On this Friday, March 23, some of the strongest currents in the Black and Latino movements will come together at New York City’s Holyrood Episcopal Church. The event is called, “Breaking Down Laws and Prison Plantations: Mumia, Migrants and Movements of Liberation.” Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser spoke with one of the organizers, Johanna Fernandez, of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.

Eva Bartlett is a courageous Canadian war reporter who, along with British journalist Vanessa Beeley, has exposed the so-called White Helmets of Syria as a public relations unit of al-Qaida. The western corporate media claim the Syrian government is deliberately starving the people of East Ghouta, an al- Qaida occupied neighborhood near Damascus. They said the same thing about Aleppo. But Eva Bartlett covered the battle of Aleppo and visited the liberated town of Madiya, and saw no evidence of Syrian government atrocities. Bartlett spoke with the Global Research News Hour about her time in the town of Madiya.

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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: Activists in New York held a tribunal on ethnic cleansing, another term for the gentrification that is destabilizing Black neighborhoods across the country; and, the organization created by and for U.S. political prisoners gets ready to celebrate its 20 th anniversary.

Dr. Gerald Horne, the prolific Professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston, has another book out. It’s titled The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, and Capitalism in 17 th Century North America and the Caribbean.”

In New York, the December 12 th Movement organized a city-wide Tribunal on Ethnic Cleansing, to identify and denounce the forces behind gentrification of Black neighborhoods. Black Agenda Radio’s Nellie Bailey is a veteran tenants organizer. She was among those that testified before the tribunal.

 Activist and Episcopal Priest Father Frank Morales told the tribunal the gentrifiers need to be confronted on the streets of the targeted neighborhoods.

The National Jericho Movement was founded by, and in support of, political prisoners in the United States. The movement is now 20 years old. Black Agenda Radio Producer Kyle Fraser spoke with Jericho co-chair Jihad Abdulmumit.

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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: A scholar and activist asks, when does support for prison and police “reform” actually amount to propping up these racist institutions; and, the mayor of New York City claims turnstile jumping has nothing to do with poverty.

Last summer, the voters in Jackson, Mississippi, elected Antar Lumumba mayor of the overwhelmlngly Black city. Antar Lumumba is the son of the late activist Chokwe Lumumba. Some folks are already describing Jackson as “the most radical city in the country” – a very premature assessment. We spoke with Kali Akuno, an activist with Cooperation Jackson, a community self-help organization that is trying to establish cooperative enterprises owned by the local workers.

People that petition and agitate for reform of the police and the mass Black incarceration system may actually be bolstering the power of those racist institutions. Dr. Dylan Rodriguez, a professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, at Riverside, says “reformers” tend to legitimize the very system they criticize – as opposed to those who would abolish prisons and reinvent the way communities are made secure. Prof. Professor Rodriguez authored an article for Black Agenda Report, titled “Mass Incarceration as Police Endorsement.” He understands that some “reformers” might be insulted at being described as allies of police and prisons.

In New York City, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance says his office will stop prosecuting people for fare beating on New York City subways. But Mayor Bill DiBlasio objects, claiming that that turnstile jumping has nothing to do with poverty. Robert Gangi is executive director of the Police Reform Organizing Project, which monitors a court system where, on any given day, 85 to 90 percent of the defendants are Black and brown – many of them charged with fare beating.

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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: A leading scholar and activist predicts that U.S. imperialism is on a course towards chaos and collapse, and that imperialism’s main currency, the dollar, will precipitate that decline. And, we’ll hear a reading of Assata Shakur’s poem, “Affirmation,” by Black political prisoner Sundiata Acoli.

the City of Philadelphia declared 2018 the Year of W.E.B. Dubois, marking the 150 th anniversary of the birth of the great Black political activist, scholar and social scientist. In 1899, Dubois published his famous sociological study of the Black people in Philadelphia. It was not only the first such study of Black people in the United States, but many consider it to be the first example of sociology based on hard scientific data. The first of many symposium’s on Dubois’s life and work was held last weekend at the historic Church of the Advocate. The crowd heard a special tribute to Dubois from Philadelphia’s most internationally famous son, political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal.

The Church of the Advocate symposium on W.E.B. Dubois was organized by Philadelphia’s Saturday Free School. One of the panel members was Ismael Jimenez, a public school teacher.

That was Ismael Jimenez, speaking at the W.E. B. Dubois symposium at the Church of the Advocate, in Philadelphia. Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford was also on that panel. Ford focused on the political and historical importance of DuBois’ book, “Black Reconstruction.”

The symposium was presented by activists at the Saturday Free School, one of whose organizers is Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Duboisian scholar and political activist. Dr. Monteiro says U.S. imperialism is bound to fall, and its currency, the dollar, will precipitate imperial decline.

Prison Radio brings the voices of the incarcerated to the outside world, including Mumia Abu Jamal’s essays and commentaries. Prison Nation organized a reading by prisoners of poem, “Affirmation,” by exiled Black Panther and former political prisoner Assata Shakur, who lives in Cuba. One of those that took part in reading the poem was Sundiata Acoli, who was with Assata Shakur when they had a fatal encounter with New Jersey police, in 1973. Acoli remains in prison, and will not be available for parole until the year 2032, when he will be 94 years old.

 

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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: A glimmer of hope for some modest reform in the Mass Black Incarceration regime; Mumia Abu Jamal explains why White Supremacy actually means White MALE Supremacy; New York City activists take the fight against police repression underground, into the subways; and, Why do so many liberals, and even some supposed Leftists, seem to be in love with the FBI.

The United States has backed regime change in Venezuela for most of this century. But now Washington appears to be escalating hostilities, threatening military action against the socialist-led country. Ajamu Baraka is lead organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace.

The Senate Judiciary Committee easily passed a bill to give judges more latitude in sentencing, bypassing some mandatory-minimum guidelines and providing a way out of prison for some of those convicted under the old, racist 100-to- 1 crack cocaine laws. The Washington-based Sentencing Project works constantly for criminal justice system reform. Kara Gotsch, the Sentencing Project’s director of Strategic Initiatives, says the Senate Committee action is… a very Big Deal.

Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, has long been broadcasting essays and commentaries for Prison Radio. He explains why White Supremacy actually means White MALE Supremacy.

Shannon Jones is a veteran organizer with Bronxites for NYPD Accountability. She and her comrades spend lots of time underground, in the New York City subway system, fighting police racism and repression. Jones explained to Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser what the Swipe It Forward campaign is all about.

Ever since Hillary Clinton’s campaign blamed her defeat on the Russians, folks that claim to be people of the left have been having a love affair with the FBI and the CIA. Professor Ward Churchill has some ideas on how that happened. Churchill is co-author of the book, “Agents of Repression,” a study of the FBI’s campaign to destroy Black and Left organizations. He was interviewed by veteran broadcaster Don DeBar, of Community Public Radio News.

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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: a professor of international law says the U.S. acts like a rogue nation in the world, invading, assassinating and launching unjust wars at will; and, that includes the ultimate threat of nuclear war. We’ll speak with an activist who says the Trump administration is making human extinction more likely.

Public school teachers in cities across the country took part in a Black Lives Matter Week of Action, last week. In Washington, DC, the activities were organized by the DC Area educators for Social Justice, a project of Teaching for Change. We spoke with organizer Deborah Menkart.

U.S. forces attacked and claimed to have killed about 100 Syrian soldiers. Syria and Russia are warning that the U.S. is playing with fire, and has no right to station soldiers on another country’s territory. But the fine points of international law don’t seem to matter to Washington. We called Dr. Francis Boyle, the esteemed professor of international law at the University of Illinois, at Champaign.

The Trump Administration is moving forward with former President Obama’s plans for a trillion-dollar makeover of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The administration’s views on nuclear war can be discerned in the recently released “Nuclear Posture Review.” Greg Mello, executive director of the anti-nuclear weapons Los Alamos Study Group, has read the document, and he finds it very scary. But Mello notes that it was President Obama who was determined to create an adversarial relationship with the Russians.

Historian Peter Hudson, a professor of African American Studies at the University of California, in Los Angeles, has a new book that explores how U.S. banks destabilized the economies and governments of the Caribbean and Latin America. It’s titled “Bankers and Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean.” Dr. Deborah Thomas is a professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She was on hand for a coming out event at UCLA for Dr. Hudson’s book.

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