Kali Akuno of Cooperation Jackson reflects on the movement for the Movement for BlackLives after the Dallas shootings. Recorded at the Common Bound conference in Buffalo for The Laura Flanders Show and New Economy Coalition
“With under 5 percent of the world’s people, the US accounts for 25 percent of the planet’s prisoners. More than half its 2.2 million prisoners come from the one eighth of its population which is black. Today, an astounding 3 percent of all African Americans languish in prisons and jails, and nearly as many more are on probation, parole, bail, house arrest or court supervision… Right now, the shadow of prison squats at the corners of, and often at the center of nearly every black family’s life in this nation.”
Yesterday President Obama repeated some of these same figures, and they are pretty much the same. Total US prisoners are still 2.2 or 2.3 million, and a slight drop in the black incarceration rate makes us now a little less instead of a little more than half, but the overall picture is unchanged in a decade. The president then announced the release of forty-some nonviolent federal drug offenders out of a total of about 70,000, and stopped in at a federal prison Thursday. The same day, ex-president Bill Clinton offered a half-hearted “apology” for his 1990s crime bills, which he admitted “set the stage” for state and federal governments to nearly double the US prison population.
Why? Why did President Obama wait six and a half years into his presidency to say the basic damning numbers and free a token handful of drug war prisoners? And how come Bill Clinton, fifteen years out of office chose this week to publicly admit that black mass incarceration was maybe not the best public policy?
Sky Valley Chronicle, December 7, 2014
(MONROE, WA.) — Five days ago Op-Ed writer Eugene Robinson wrote a piece for the Washington Post called, “What America’s police departments don’t want you to know.”
In that piece he provided information that many Americans may never have been exposed to — data relating to police shootings of civilians across the country.
Robinson came to the conclusion the death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri at the hands of a white police officer was not an isolated incident.
It was part of what Robinson called, “A tragic and unacceptable pattern: Police officers in the United States shoot and kill civilians in shockingly high numbers.”
How many civilians are shot to death every year by police? Nobody really knows, says Robinson because “police departments don’t want us to know.” Continue reading
(CNN) — Once again, the streets are electric with anger after a white police officer evades charges for fatally shooting a black man. Sirens screech and wood batons push back marchers protesting from Missouri to New York to Los Angeles. This time the cadence of “No Justice, No Peace” has been replaced with “Hand’s Up. Don’t Shoot.”
But there was another sign raised above the crowd in a recent protest in New York: “Doing Nothing with Saying Nothing. Changes Nothing.” The mathematics of this one are clear. Something’s gotta give.
A loose network led by African Americans in the film and arts world has emerged from the fog of tear gas to call for a quiet riot in response: a boycott of Black Friday shopping.
Ryan Coogler, who directed the 2013 film about police brutality called “Fruitvale Station,” told us he was confounded by the eruptions of “human rights violations committed by public servants.” Continue reading
Monday, November 3, 2014
[We are not accustomed to quoting the Bible, but sometimes the biblical words have become part of common culture, as in this: “Matthew 7:15-20, ‘You Will Know Them by Their Fruits’ — ‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.'” Which is appropriate warned, when perusing the shifting claims and tides of Obama-ists like Angela Davis, whose latest statement (read down to her Guardian article) reaches into more radical territory to restore credibility. Davis, who partially broke with the path of the revisionist CPUSA many years ago, and who has made contributions to the growing prison abolitionist movement, still has promoted electoral-democratic-reform illusions about the imperialist system against revolutionary strategies. (our highlights, for emphasis). — Frontlines ed.]
[We have received other reports that, while the numbers of protesters were much smaller than claimed in this AJA press release, the action clearly and prominently challenged the fascist Modi’s claim of universal embrace and acclaim. The views of AJA are offered here by Frontlines, to understand the growing and diverse opposition to the Imperialist’s Modi. — Frontlines ed.]
Massive protests send clear demands to Indian PM Modi: End suppression of minorities and desist from clamping down on civil society institutions
Alliance for Justice and Accountability — Press Release
New York, NY | September 28, 2104
Alliance for Justice and Accountability, a broad coalition of organizations and individuals, announced that the rally this morning in New York City during Prime Minister Modi’s event at Madison Square Garden, was a huge success. Hundreds of people, including human rights activists, professionals, students and people from all walks of life attended the rally. Protesters were a large and spirited group of Indian Americans comprising of people of all faiths and ideological persuasions, with one thing in common: they were demanding justice and accountability in the case of Mr. Modi, and an end to repression of minorities and crony capitalism in India.
“The protests have demonstrated the rejection of a leader who represents a hateful and divisive agenda, ” said Robindra Deb, a key AJA organizer of protest on September 28. “We represent the 70% of Indians that did not vote for Mr. Modi,” added Mr. Deb. Continue reading