Black Agenda Report for December 18, 2013: The Long Death of Nelson Mandela, Obama's Legacy, Snowden Person of the Year

20 December 2013 — Black Agenda Report

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

As Nelson Mandela lay for nine months near death, the world got an education on his legacy – including the scope of the deal that he and his African National Congress comrades cut to abandon the Freedom Charter. Blacks got the vote, and little else, while whites held on to economic power. Imperialism got a new lease on life in Africa.

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Thanks to WikiLeaks, a chapter of the secret agreement being negotiated by the White House has been made public. It will enshrine corporate profits as sacred rights, above the ability of local governments to make health, safety, wage, and “buy-local” regulations, and enable corporations to patent drugs, trivial techniques, diseases and living organisms.

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Edward Snowden is vilified as a “traitor” by politicians of the American political duopoly, and hunted like Public Enemy Number One by the global imperial apparatus. However, for a large proportion of Earthlings, Snowden has made the singular contribution to humanity of the year 2013.

by BAR editor and columnist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The author learned first hand how the U.S. collaborated with white Afrikaners in Nelson Mandela’s new government to accept unwanted private sector programs. A Black administration was in place, but the Freedom Charter was a dead letter. “Mandela and his colleagues were aware that moving forward to implement the Charter would be considered an act of aggression against global capital.”

by Anthony Monteiro

The veil must be lifted from the deliberations and machinations that led Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress to discard the people’s Freedom Charter in favor of an accommodation with white capital, in the early Nineties. Why, at South Africa’s most critical juncture, did the ANC make a pact with the Devil? And why did they keep it?

by Harold Green

When Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe attended the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, he “received the loudest cheers and applause” among the dignitaries. Zimbabwe’s successful land reform stands in stark contrast to South Africa, where “barely 10% of farm land has been redistributed,” and the wealth gap – which is a race gap – “has become one of the most unequal in the world.”

by David Sheen

Israel has launched a wholesale roundup of African immigrants, whom members of the ruling parties call a “cancer” on the Jewish state. To circumvent court rulings against imprisonment without trial, the government has packed the refugees into a detention center in the desert. The aim is to convince the Africans “to give up all hope of a normal life in Israel” and go back where they came from.

by Netfa Freeman

René González is the only member of the Cuban Five to be released from prison since their arrest in 1998. His verdict on the U.S. criminal justice system: “The judges are stupid dogs. That’s what they are, most of them. They don’t have any sense of justice at all. And when a political guy ends up being a defendant, what falls on him is the whole hatred of a system that is unjust in itself.”

by Mark P. Fancher

The U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM, becomes more entrenched on the continent by the day. American drones bases dot the landscape and U.S. troops interact constantly with their African counterparts. Africa has collaborated in its own occupation. “There has been increasing cooperation between African militaries and U.S. forces, and it has allowed AFRICOM to gain a more secure foothold on African soil.”

by Sean Posey

In the future as depicted in the RoboCop movies, Detroit’s people struggle against the tyranny of corporate rule. That future is about to arrive, way ahead of schedule, as wealthy predators scheme to build a new city in Detroit’s downtown and waterfront, a “free market utopia, ideal for corporate growth.”

by Solomon Comissiong

The ideological spectrum of U.S. corporate media is so narrow, the light of truth seldom penetrates. All are “politically right of center, however, some, like Fox ‘News,’ blatantly promote themselves as further right than the rest.” Their collective criminality presents a unique danger to humanity at large.

by Danny Haiphong

Most social workers want to do good in the world, but wind up managing the mess created by the ruling classes. “Social workers are hired by the state and/or ‘non-profit’ private enterprises to stabilize capitalist exploitation.”

by Raymond Nat Turner

BABY, PLEASE GO VOTE

The battle is no longer in the streets

BABY, PLEASE GO VOTE

Now, we fightin’ for those leather seats

no doubt: the murders of oscar grant

Trailer for “No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant” from Ida B. Wells Institute on Vimeo.
by Thandisizwe Chimurenga
Oscar Grant was murdered by a transit cop on a Bay Area subway platform before hundreds of witnesses. To enable his killer to go free, he had to be murdered again and again in the media and the courts. This book, coming in January, tells the story of these multiple murders, and deserves your support.

Newark Rallies for Mandela

“We marched because we wanted to highlight the revolutionary dimension of his personality, rather than an anemic and eviscerated Mandela,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of POP, the People’s Organization for Progress, following a demonstration in downtown Newark, New Jersey, last week, in honor of the deceased South African leader. “Believe it or not,” said Hamm, “there are still people who don’t know about Mandela.” Founded in 1983, POP’s first buttons demanded “Free Nelson Mandela!”

America’s Mostly War Budget

Peace and social justice activists gathered on Capitol Hill to mark International Human Rights Day and demand that Congress reject a budget that allocates more than 50 percent of resources to war-making. David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.Org, noted that some lawmakers were away in South Africa. “You can’t celebrate nonviolence and then come back and dump over 50 percent of your money into so-called ‘defense,’” said Swanson. “It’s offensive, in every sense of the word.”

De Blasio Picks Giuliani “Retread” for Top Cop

According to Stop Stop-and-Frisk activist Carl Dix, New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s choice of William Bratton as his police commissioner is designed to send a message: “Guess what? There will still be two cities, and the city that I represent, the city of the power brokers, of the elite, of the capitalist class, will continue to clamp down on the rest of you.” Bratton deployed the much-feared street crime units under law and order mayor Rudy Giuliani in the mid-Nineties.

Slavery + Genocide + Vast Theft = Capitalist Genesis

“The capitalist state was an imperialist state from its inception,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, at the party’s 6th Congress in St. Petersburg, Florida. The wealth necessary to launch capitalism was accumulated through slavery, extermination and land theft. “Our material condition has its origin in the attack on Africa,” said Yeshitela.

Obama Mouth Runs Amok with Double-Talk

Rhetorically speaking, President Obama has once again positioned himself as a “populist,” declaring that income inequality is “the defining challenge of our time.” “Obama is quite practiced in double-talk,” said Paul Street, historian and author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. “As if he hasn’t been attacking Social Security and Medicare; as if he hasn’t pushed deficit reduction, in some ways, even more dramatically than the Republicans have.”

Lynne Stewart “Home for the Holidays” Campaign

Federal prison officials pretend that people’s lawyer and political prisoner Lynne Stewart, who suffers from Stage Four breast cancer, “is getting better, but she is not,” said her husband and fellow activist Ralph Poynter. Supporters should sign a petition asking the Bureau of Prisons, President Obama and Attorney General Holder to grant Stewart compassionate release from prison in time for the holidays. The administration is “stalling and stonewalling, and the clock is running out,” said Poynter.

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