[As the first days of the Trump regime take shape, the lurch from the ways things have been is shocking and angering many who have never considered the path now unfolding. Old plans and assumptions have been tossed into irrelevance. As the great revolutionary Karl Marx once noted about earlier crises, “All that is solid melts into air . . . . and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.” Anxiety has spilled into the streets across the US and around the world, and millions discuss and debate the situation and what to do about it. A powerful analysis begins to dissect what is happening, and chart the contours of the pathways out of the hell that the majority of people face–for many, a continuation and intensification of ago-old nightmares, now joined by many millions more whose lives have been roughly and rudely interrupted, with no prospect of returning to an idealized past. Moving forward against this tide is the challenge that fills the air. We have received, and share, this article as a first step in joining the debate at hand. — Frontlines ed.]
Build and Fight: Beyond Trump and the Limitations of the United Front
by Kali Akuno and Doug Norberg
On Inauguration Day, we note the considerable range of the opposition to Trump, from traditional activists to very mainstream folks. In many respects the opposition mounted was unprecedented, on a day where patriotic and jingoistic hyperbole is typically concentrated and loudly broadcast more than at any other time, and when, traditionally, new Presidents make appeals to the heart and to democratic unity while all who know how false the claims are, bite their lips, party, and hope for the best. The opposition struggling to find expression is broad and deep. But, nearly all expressions of opposition are resorting to traditional methods of reformist oriented protest while millions of people throughout the United States and the world are discussing and debating how they are going to survive and resist the emerging Presidential regime of Donald Trump and the rise of right-wing populism and a resurgent “America first” white nationalism. Continue reading →
The Black Panther Party was founded 50 years ago in Oakland, on Oct. 15, 1966, and within two years it had chapters across the country. The New York Times is taking this opportunity to explore the Black Panthers’ legacy, through their iconic use of imagery and how they were covered in our own pages.
The Black Panther Party is often associated with armed resistance, but one of the most potent weapons in its outreach to African-Americans in cities across the country was its artwork. In posters, pamphlets and its popular newspaper, The Black Panther, the party’s imagery was guided by the vision of Emory Douglas, its minister of culture.
His art came from many sources. As a teenager in San Francisco during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Mr. Douglas found himself incarcerated at the Youth Training School in Ontario, Calif., where he got involved with its printing shop. He went on to study graphic design at San Francisco City College, where he developed a deep interest in the Black Arts Movement, the artistic arm of the Black Power Movement.
[Bruce Dixon provides an important (but beginning) critique of the new Stanley Nelson film, which portrays the Panther’s iconic nature as helpful survival programs and electioneering. The film shows the Panthers as beaten by police, but gives no lessons for contemporary self-defense or revolutionary systemic challenge. The film in this sense plays a similar role as SELMA: a superficial memorial. The strengths and weaknesses of the film are being discussed and debated. Reactionaries and white supremacists hate it, liberals love it, but revolutionary organizers today will not find it contributing much to the materials which could guide new efforts on the ground today. — Frontlines ed.]
Stanley Nelson’s documentary on the BPP is “history” by and for lazy American liberals. He turns the BPP into a pop culture icon a T-shirt. Nelson mentions guns hundreds of times, big naturals and swagger a few dozen times but not the word “socialism” once in 2 hours. The BPP described its Breakfast For Children and Free Medical Clinics every day as “socialism” in person and in our newspaper, to each other and to the neighborhoods we served.
“Vanguard of the Revolution” is Liberal History, Strips and Omits Socialism from History of the Black Panther Party
by Black Agenda Report managing editor Bruce A.Dixon, February 17, 2016
“Stanley Nelson is what Americans call a “liberal” and that’s what Vanguard of the Revolution is…. a liberal’s take on the BPP….”
I used to have a Che Guevara T-shirt. It was a pretty good shirt, but it told me nothing about the man or his life’s work. It had Che’s face on it, but by itself the face is just a pop culture icon, shorthand or short-brain for everything you want to know, or everything think you already know about it. That’s what Stanley Nelson’s film, Black Panthers, Vanguard of the Revolution does to the Black Panther Party. He made the movement of my youth an icon. A T-shirt.
On the plus side, it’s a pretty good T-shirt. Vanguard of the Revolution contains some great interview footage from Erika Huggins, Elaine Brown, the freedom fighting Freeman brothers and Wayne Pharr, my old comrade Michael McCarty and several others. On the minus side, Nelson omits and obscures the domestic and global political context the BPP came out of and thrived in. According to Vanguard of the Revolution, the BPP arose out of black northern frustration after the passage of civil rights legislation. It caught on due to the irresistible appeal of its naturals, big guns, the murdermouthing rhetoric of Eldridge Cleaver, downright sexiness, and black is beautiful, all of which earned the BPP pop culture stardom. And pop culture stardom needs no further explanation. Cue the music, fists in the air, and power to the people…
300 black people killed by US police at highest rate in year of 1,134 deaths total
Final total of people killed by US police officers in 2015 shows rate of death for young black men was five times higher than white men of the same age
Jon Swaine, Oliver Laughland, Jamiles Lartey and Ciara McCarthy | The Guardian | Thursday 31 December 2015
Young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015, according to the findings of a Guardian study that recorded a final tally of 1,134 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers this year.
The Guardian view on killings by US police: why we must keep counting The Counted has made up for the Obama administration’s failings, but the lack of oversight remains. So we will restart our count of people killed by police until the government does its job
Despite making up only 2% of the total US population, African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 comprised more than 15% of all deaths logged this year by an ongoing investigation into the use of deadly force by police. Their rate of police-involved deaths was five times higher than for white men of the same age. Continue reading →
[The writer Mannish Sethi relates the court order to the arbitrary and malevolent character of law in India today. — Frontlines ed.]
Blind to justice
Why the December 23 order of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court — refusing Professor Saibaba bail and issuing a notice of contempt to Arundhati Roy — takes one’s breath away.
Social activists staged a protest in Nagpur Thursday, demanding Saibaba’s release on bail. (Source: Express Photo)
Law is no stranger to prejudice or moral anxieties. Judicial pronouncements can sometimes cast aside constitutional values and defer to societal biases masquerading as righteousness. The recurrence of “collective conscience” in terror cases, where the threat of terrorism looms so large that it can overshadow the lack of evidence, is only too well known. Even so, the December 23 order of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court takes one’s breath away. It rejected the regular bail plea moved by the lawyers of Delhi University professor, Saibaba, cancelled his interim bail which allowed him to receive treatment till December 31, and ordered him to surrender within 48 hours. Besides, the court issued a notice of criminal contempt to Arundhati Roy for her article, ‘Professor, POW’, published in Outlook magazine. The order will be remembered for its naked display of contempt for civil rights, partisanship and renunciation of judicial independence.
Wheelchair bound, Saibaba spent over a year in jail before the division bench of the Bombay High Court granted him interim bail on the plea of a social activist in June 2015. (Illustration by C R Sasikumar)
[Professor GN Saibaba has been ordered to return to prison in India, adding yet another political prisoner to the many hundreds of thousands of activists who have been imprisoned, often on the basis of British colonial-occupation laws. — Frontlines ed.]
Saibaba expressed disappointment over the HC order.
Social activists staged a protest in Nagpur Thursday, demanding Saibaba’s release on bail. (Source: Express Photos)
“I DON’T feel like a victim but certainly feel I am being used and it is unfair,” said Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, responding to a question if he was a victim of a tussle between two benches of the Bombay High Court.
Saibaba, who was arrested last year for alleged Naxal links and was out on bail, arrived here on Friday evening by flight from Delhi to present himself before the central prison authorities following a Nagpur HC bench’s order two days ago cancelling his bail and asking him to surrender within 48 hours.
“Right from the beginning, I have been subjected to constant witchhunting and false framing. Without any evidence to justify the prosecution, I am being returned to incarceration,” Saibaba said in a statement to journalists. Continue reading →
Family members and supporters are demanding justice for Sandra Bland after a grand jury failed to indict anyone for her death. Bland, an African-American woman, was arrested on July 10 in Prairie View, Texas, after she allegedly failed to signal a lane change. She was jailed with bond set at $5,000. Three days later, she was found dead in her jail cell. Authorities say she committed suicide, a claim her family rejects. The family has filed a wrongful death suit and wants charges against the officer who arrested her. Will anyone be held to account for Sandra Bland’s death? We are joined by Sandra Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal; her sister, Sharon Cooper; and family attorney, Cannon Lambert.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Family members and supporters are demanding justice for Sandra Bland after a grand jury failed to indict anyone for her death. Bland, a 28-year-old African-American woman, was arrested on July 10th when a traffic stop escalated into a confrontation with the officer involved. Three days later, her body was found hanging from a trash bag inside her jail cell. Authorities say she killed herself, a claim her family rejects. They’ve also questioned why Bland was arrested and jailed in the first place, and why she was kept behind bars for so long.
AMYGOODMAN: Sandra Bland had recently moved to Texas to start a job at Prairie View A&M University, her alma mater. She was driving near campus when Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia pulled her over and accused her of failing to signal a lane change. Police dash cam video, that captured part of the arrest, shows Encinia threatening to forcibly remove Bland from her car. Continue reading →
The number of hunger strikers at a Texas immigrant detention facility has swelled to almost 500 since last Wednesday, an Austin-based advocacy group revealed in a phone call with RH Reality Check.
When news of the protest action broke on October 28, about 27 women at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, 35 miles east of Austin, were reportedly refusing their meals.
While grievances ranged from abusive treatment by guards to a lack of medical care, the women, hailing primarily from Central America, were unanimous in their one demand: immediate release.
The strike snowballed over the weekend, according to Grassroots Leadership, an organization that forms part of a larger umbrella group known as Texans United for Families (TUFF).
Cristina Parker, immigration programs director for Grassroots Leadership, told RH Reality Check that one striker who contacted the organization Sunday night to brief them on the situation used the Spanish expression “casi todo,” suggesting that nearly all of the roughly 500 detainees are now observing the strike. Continue reading →
My name is Assata Shakur, and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex-political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984.
I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. Because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists. Continue reading →
JAMUI: Days ahead of the first phase of election in Bihar, posters have surfaced in Jamui issuing a warning from the Maoists to boycott polls.
The posters that have surfaced in Jamui.
“Majdoor, kisan, chhatra aur naujawan jaan gayee netaon ki chaal… humsab milkar karengay vote ka bahiskar (labourers, farmer, students and youth have understood the viewpoint of politicians and hence will boycott the poll),” read one of the posters which was found pasted on the wall of welcome-archway and Charka Patthar in Sono Block of Jamui district on Friday.
“Operation green-hunt ke naam par nirdosh janata kay saath maar-peet, hatya, jail aadi daman chalanay walay neta ka aaj vote bahiskar karen (let us stay away from the poll of the politicians who have subjected innocent people through coercion like assault, killing and jail in the name of operation green-hunt),” said another poster.
The posters, painted in bold red color and written in Hindi, were in the names of Communist Party of India (Maoist). Such posters had earlier surfaced in Boutha, Musharatand and other villages under Maheshwari panchayat in the district in the past fortnight. Continue reading →
Eric Garner and Tamir Rice among those missing from FBI record of police killings
Only 224 of 18,000 law enforcement agencies reported fatal shootings in 2014
Previously unpublished FBI data sheds new light on flawed voluntary system
Emerald Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, right, cries while standing next to Esaw Garner, Eric Garner’s wife, center, and Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, in April. Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP
Jon Swaine and Oliver Laughland in New York, The Guardian
Thursday 15 October 2015
Killings by police that unleashed a new protest movement around the US in 2014, including those of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and John Crawford, are missing from the federal government’s official record of homicides by officers because most departments refuse to submit data.
Analysis The tracking of police violence in the US may have reached a turning point
The past week has seen a series of comments regarding the state of documenting US police killings – and some clarity on how the government plans to do so
Only 224 of 18,000 law enforcement agencies around the US reported a fatal shooting by their officers to the FBI last year, according to previously unpublished data obtained by the Guardian, which sheds new light on flaws in official systems for counting the use of deadly force by police. Continue reading →
Answer: When the child is Black and the shooter is a police officer.
Welcome to America, where #BlackLivesMatter is a trending hashtag, but police impunity is a lethal reality of Black life.
There’s an old saying that the definition of a consultant is “someone who borrows your watch to tell you what time it is.” That is true when it comes to police experts as well. Cops and prosecutors come from the same culture. So it surprises no one that the experts hired by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty to investigate the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice are reading the time from the watch supplied by law enforcement and have come to the same conclusions as the county police and (let’s be honest) McGinty himself: that the shooting was “reasonable.”
Tamir Rice, 12-year old, killed by police November 23, 2014
Most people probably don’t think of Albuquerque as a border town. But Dine (Navajo) Melaine Yazzie squarely defines the central New Mexico city as a classic one.
Anniversary Vigil and Memorial for Allison “Cowboy” Gorman and Kee “Rabbit” Thompson. Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 19, 2015. Photo: Andy Beale
Surrounded not only by Native and trust lands, Albuquerque and its suburbs are built on an old indigenous land base that now hosts geopolitical and economic powerhouses such as Sandia National Laboratories, Kirtland Air Force Base and Intel Corporation.
“There’s the contradiction,” Yazzie told FNS. “Border towns are established on Native land but power and money is not with Native people.” Although more than 50,000 Native Americans reside in the Duke City, the indigenous community does not possess local political representation, Yazzie added. Continue reading →