Government & Organizations
Black Agenda Radio - 07.06.15
Prison inmates with the Free Alabama Movement have been placed in solitary confinement for advocating a national prison work strike. “Their argument is that all the attempts at prison reform and appealing to legislative bodies and courts to thwart the explosion of mass incarceration have failed, and that the only mechanism left is to shut down these prisons,” said formerNew York Times correspondent and veteran prisons activistChris Hedges, whose recent article is titled “America’s Slave Empire.” The prison gulag “can’t function without unpaid or poorly paid labor,” said Hedges. The imprisoned strike leaders urge outside supporters to boycott corporations that profit from prison labor, including the fast-food giant, McDonald’s.
“We have a pandemic of police brutality all around the United States,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, drumming up support for a Millions March Against Police Brutality, Racial Injustice and Economic Inequality, July 25, in Newark, New Jersey. “We demand an end to the murder of unarmed people by the police, and to the use of excessive force by the police,” said Hamm, speaking in Plainfield, New Jersey. “First and foremost, we want community control and civilian oversight of all police forces in the United States. This is critical to any effort to reform the police.”
The co-founders of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network fired up an organizing meeting for the “Rise Up October” campaign against “police terror,” set for October 22-24. Veteran activistCarl Dix told the New York crowd: “We’ve got to do this because Black people continue to be targeted by racist killers, in and out of uniform, and this must stop.” The Charleston massacre was not simply the act of a “crazy, lone wolf. The rage that drove him was nurtured by the white supremacy that has coursed through the veins of America since the very first Africans were dragged to these shores in slave chains” said Dix.
Dr. Cornel West, the Union Theological Seminary-based public intellectual and activist and Network co-founder, said “young folk of all colors – but disproportionately chocolate – have been at the center of this movement for the last year or so. It’s been very much a new school leadership, and I like that.”
Dr. Jared Ball, a host for the Baltimore-based Real News Network, asked: Why the solitary focus on the Confederate flag, when Black people have been enslaved, Jim Crowed and mass murdered under the stars and stripes for the entire history of the United States? Marshall “Eddie” Conway, a former Black Panther political prisoner and current producer for the Network, replied: “That Confederate flag is flying over Chicago and wherever there is white supremacy. We need to recognize that as a distraction from who’s really getting the benefits” from the economic arrangement in the U.S. – the ruling class.
Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston, said: “We need to get to the nub of the question, which is the genocidal origins of the United States.”
Karenzi Karake, the intelligence chief for Rwanda, was arrested in Britain for overseeing mass murder of civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Three Spanish aid workers were among the victims, prompting an investigation and issuance of warrants by a Spanish judge. “It is a great embarrassment to the British authorities, because the British government is the number one donor to the Rwandan government,” said Claude Gatebuke, founder of the African Great Lakes Action Network and a survivor of the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The Congo genocide followed. “Even when Rwanda was invading the Congo and causing mayhem, to the tune of six million dead, the British government continued to support” the regime headed by Paul Kagame, Karenzi Karake’s boss.
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