Archive for April 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: a call for a new kind of peace movement, one that cares about the whole of humanity; Mumia Abu Jamal’s lawyers believe they have a good case for ending his long incarcartion; and, the government of Colombia has detained two women activists in the struggle for Black territorial and community rights.

President Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, is said to have never seen a war he didn’t like – but, that applies to a lot of Republicans AND Democrats. We spoke with Phyllis Bennis, director of the New International Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, in Washington. Bennis thinks Bolton is an especially dangerous man.

President Trump came into office promising to be tough on China, and he has been pushed by the Democrats to increasingly confront Russia. However, with Asia now, not only the population center of the planet, but also home to the most dynamic economies, the U.S. role in the world seems more and more to be holding back human progress. In Philadelphia, Duboisian scholar and lifelong activist Dr. Anthomy Monteiro says what’s needed in the U.S. is a new kind of peace movement.

Also in Philadelphia, supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, will gather on April 30th for a hearing in a Pennsylvania state court. Lawyers for Abu Jamal believe they have a good case for overturning his conviction or gaining a new trial in the 1981 death of a police officer. Ronald Castille was a top prosecutor at the time. Castille later became a judge, and repeatedly turned down Mumia’s appeals. Gwen DeBrow, of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, says Castille should not have been allowed anywhere near Mumia’s appeals process. She thinks there may be a real path to freedom for Abu Jamal, but you also need big demonstrations to make that happen.

Black Colombian community organizations are demanding the release from detention of two of their leaders, Sara Quiñonez and her mother Tulia Maris Valencia. The women are members of the Black Communities Process, or PCN, which advocates for Black territorial and civil rights in the war torn South American country. Charo Mina-Rojas is a spokesperson for Black Communities Process. She explains what happened to her comrades.

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.

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.

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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