Archive for January 2018

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.

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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. military has spread its tentacles across the length and breadth of Africa, leading to millions of deaths in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But Margaret Kimberley says the Congressional Black Caucus hasn’t said a peep about Washington’s culpability in the slaughter.

NCOBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, has written a primer explaining all you need to know about HR 40, the congressional legislation on reparations for the descendants of American slaves that has been sponsored for the past 27 years by Detroit Congressman John Conyers. However, no sooner was the ink dry on the primer for HR 40, than Congressman Conyers announced that he is resigning his seat, in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. We spoke with one of the authors of the HR 40 primer, NCOBRA legislative director Kamm Howard.

Supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, rallied in Philadelphia, hopeful that a legal opening has developed that might lead to a reversal of his 1982 conviction in the death of a policeman. A Pennsylvania state court is looking into the behavior of Ronald Castille, a prosecutor who helped convict Mumia and then went on to become the same judge who rejected Mumia’s appeal. Dr. Johanna Fernandez, a Baruch College history professor with the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, explained the legal issues involved.

Mumia Abu Jamal’s brother, Kevin Cook, was also on hand at the rally.

Mumia Abu Jamal has dedicated his latest Prison Radio essay to a father and daughter whose names are now inscribed on the lists of martyrs in the Black struggle.

Since the founding of AFRICOM, the U.S. Military Command in Africa, in 2008, U.S. troops have spread across the face of the continent. Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley says the Congressional Black Caucus has been glaringly silent on the U.S. militarization of Africa. Kimberley was part of a panel discussion on AFRICOM, at a Baltimore conference of the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases.

Also at that conference against U.S. foreign military bases, was Maurice Carney, of Friends of Congo.

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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: Anti-war activists from around the country gathered in Baltimore to agitate for an end to U.S. military bases around the world; Supporters of political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal will converge on Philadelphia, seeking a reversal of his 36 year-old murder conviction; and, a celebration of three hundred years of Black history in New Orleans.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and work has been institutionalized, with commemorations of his birthday occurring this week in virtually every city and town in the nation. Dr. King’s anti-war views are less celebrated by the powers-that- be. King called for a movement to oppose the “triple evils” of racism, militarism and materialism, and indicted the United States as the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world, today.” We spoke with Duboisian scholar Dr. Anthony Monteiro, in Philadelphia.

Like no other empire in all of human history, the United States virtually covers the world with military bases – with servicemen and women in 172 countries, by some counts. At the University of Baltimore, this past weekend, anti-war activists held a conference against U.S. foreign military bases. Among the keynote speakers was Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party’s 2016 vice presidential candidate and lead organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace.

Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, has spent the last 36 years behind bars in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. Abu Jamal’s supporters see the possibility of overturning his conviction. Ronald Castille, a former prosecutor in Mumia’s case, went on to become a judge, and then wound up ruling against Mumia’s appeal. Castille was also a great friend of the Fraternal Order of Police. Mumia’s lawyers say Castille should have recused himself from the case. A State court judge has repeatedly ordered the District Attorney’s office to turn over all of its records in Mumia’s case. Mumia’s supporters were encouraged when a progressive lawyer named Larry Krasner was elected as the new district attorney for Philadelphia. However, Krasner appointed former prosecutor Ronald Castille to his transition team. That’s not a good sign, said Gwen Debrow, of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.

The city of New Orleans is celebrating its 300 th birthday this week. A three-day conference on the Black experience in New Orleans is scheduled to begin on January 18 th , under the direction of Dr. Clyde Robertson, director of African and African American Studies at Southern University, New Orleans. The events surrounding Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, are a low mark in the Black historical journey. One hundred thousand Black people were forced into exile after the storm, and Dr. Robertson remembers that much of the white power structure saw the mass removal of Blacks from the city as a good thing – a great opportunity.

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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: Anti-war activists prepare to gather in Baltimore to find ways to halt the spread of U.S. military bases around the world; the job of organizing against corporate power may get a lot more difficult, with the end of internet neutrality; and, the U.S.-backed regime in the Democratic Republic of Congo opens fire on protesters organized by the Catholic Church.

Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition, says reverence for the martyrs of Black struggle – those who have given their lives for Black people – needs to be rekindles.

The United States has as many as one thousand military bases around the world, a far bigger military presence on the planet than any other nation or empire in history. Anti-war activists from around the country will gather at the University of Baltimore, January 12 th through 14 th , to discuss ways to scale back or eliminate the U.S. military grip on the planet. We spoke with anti-war activist and author David Swanson, publisher of the influential web site “War is a Crime.”

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, troops loyal to President Joseph Kabila have killed scores of demonstrators organized by the Catholic Church. Meanwhile, a mysterious army is slaughtering Congolese in the Beni region of the country. The neighboring nations of Uganda and Rwanda are the prime suspects in the mass killings. Kambale Musavuli is an organizers with Friends of Congo, based in Washington.

Political activists are scrambling to find ways to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to do away with Internet neutrality. Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser spoke with Nabil Hassein, a technical worker and organizer with the Movement for Black Lives, in New York City. Hassein points out that big corporations already dominated the internet, even before the FCC ruling.

 

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

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