New at Black Agenda Report 7 October 2015: AGs Lynch Shields Killer Cops, Putin Bombs Islamic State, Obama Bombs a Hospital, Charter Schools Flunk in NOLA

7 October 2015 — Black Agenda Report

Obama’s Justice: Holder Fought Prisoner Release, Lynch Backtracks on Killer Cops

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder are given false credit for the pending release of 6,000 drug offenders, when in fact “the administration has fought tooth-and-nail to limit and slow the inmate release process.” Meanwhile, the new chief at the Justice Department, Loretta Lynch, has made it clear she “will resist pressuring police to give the FBI detailed reports on killer cops.” These three give Black lawyers a bad name.

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Better late than never, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has exposed the West’s support for jihadists in Syria and moved to crush Washington’s Islamist proxies, militarily. In front of the UN, the Big Lie was exposed: “The western nations were never interested in defeating ISIS, the child they spawned through their interventions.” The U.S. promptly vented its imperial wrath on helpless hospital patients in Afghanistan.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Arne Duncan said Katrina was the best thing to happen to New Orleans schools, and his successor, John B. King, doubtless feels the same. But “it’s all propaganda and phony numbers.” Even with more than a third of its poor Black students in exile, the New Orleans all-charter system ranks significantly lower than Louisiana public schools – and that’s after controlling for factors of race, class and qualifications for special education.


by Danny Haiphong

Russia military intervention in support of the legitimate government of Syria, with the support of Iran, Iraq and China, is a check to the West’s proxy jihadist aggression in the region. “The only choices the US and its allies have in Syria are full-scale military invasion or a withdrawal of aid from the jihadists and a negotiated settlement among all parties, Russia included.”

by the Real News Network

Professor Pauline Lipman and educator Jose Luis Vilson discuss the legacy of Arne Duncan and what we know about his successor John B. King 

by Ann Garrison

In 1983, a military clique in Burkina Faso assassinated the anti-imperialist head of state Thomas Sankara, plunging the nation back into the clutches of U.S. and French neocolonialism. The people this year ousted the assassins and their presidential guard, in two mass rebellions. “Anyone who thinks that the presidential guard would have attempted a coup d’état without the knowledge and complicity of the U.S. and France” is blind to the facts.

by Dr. T.P. Wilkinson

After 70 years of routine U.S. aggression and lawlessness in the world, Russia has drawn a line in Syria. President Obama’s response is to make veiled threats “to use whatever means are necessary to make Russia’s defense of Syrian sovereignty as impossible as its defense of the sovereignty of Afghanistan.

by Norman (Otis) Richmond aka Jalali

October 12 is the birthday of one of the most talented and promising young men martyred in the massive State repression against the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. “Unlike Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver and George Jackson, Carter has almost been forgotten from the history of Africans in America except for die hards.” But Al Prentice “Bunchy” Carter was a true renaissance man, a man of many talents – and a man of the people.

by Cynthia McKinney

The fat cats of the world are getting nervous at the tremendous success they have had in siphoning most of the planet’s wealth into their own pockets. A revolt is brewing against capitalism of all kinds, since the system “has always been about the few and has never been about the many.” The “disaster” variety of capitalism attempts to force “changes advocated by a few that would never be acceptable to the majority in the absence of the crisis.”

Reps. John Lewis and Terri Sewell Scheme to Keep Racist’s Name on Selma Bridge

State Sen. Hank Sanders and lots of other people in Selma, Alabama, want to name the Edmund Pettus Bridge for Amelia Boynton Robinson, the “Mother of Voting Rights” who died in August at the age of 110. Ms. Boynton Robinson was an activist in the 1920s, registered to vote in 1934, brought both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and SNCC to Selma, ran for Congress in 1964, was beaten and left for dead by police on Bloody Sunday, 1965, and continued her political work until a month before her death. Edmund Pettus, on the other hand, was a Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon. Hank Sanders won unanimous State Senate support for a bill to remove Pettus’s name, but “Congresswoman Terri Sewell interacted to try and prevent that name from being changed, and so did Congressman [John] Lewis,” said Sanders. “There was a concerted effort to keep the white supremacist’s name on the bridge.” Some in Selma believe the goal is to ultimately have the bridge named for John Lewis, who was also badly beaten on March 7, 1965. Rep. Sewell was rated Worst Black Congressperson on the CBC Monitor Report Card.

100 Relatives of Police Victims Will Attend Rise Up October in NYC

Organizers will bring 100 family members of victims of police violence to New York City for Rise Up October protests, October 22 through 24. “It’s very important that people remember the names of those victims, but also see those who are left behind,” said Rev. Jerome McCorry, director of the Adam Project, which deals with incarceration issues in Dayton, Ohio, and Faith and Social Justice Advocate for the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, founded four years ago by Carl Dix and Dr. Cornel West. “We’re talking about more than seizing a moment; we’re creating a movement,” said McCorry.

Tens of Thousands of Prisoners Suffer Same Medical Neglect as Mumia

Pennsylvania prison authorities continue to resist Mumia Abu Jamal’s demand that he get adequate treatment for hepatitis C, the untreated underlying condition that led to his near death, earlier this year. The nation’s best known political prisoner’s skin resembles “elephant hide,” according to close confidant Dr. Johanna Fernandez, professor of History and Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College, in New York City. “This is a form of cruel and unusual punishment through medical neglect,” said Fernandez, who reports that other inmates afflicted with hepatitis C in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Massachusetts have filed class action suits.  Fernandez said 40 percent of the nation’s prisoners suffer from serious, chronic diseases brought on by prison diets and conditions. “We’re dealing with human rights violations of epic proportions.

Prison Phone Call Prices to Drop

The Federal Communications Commission will soon finalize its order to dramatically reduce the rates private monopoly companies can charge for telephone services to prisoners. Calls at some jails and prisons currently cost as much as $14 a minute, with the companies kicking back some of the profits to prison authorities. The FCC’s new rates would range from 11 to 22 cents a minute, but the kickbacks would remain, said Alex Friedmann, associate director of the Human Rights Defense Center. Prison phone calls are privatized, as are prison money transfers, medical services, food, transportation – “all of these have been contracted out to for-profit companies,” said Friedmann. “In effect, we have monetized virtually every aspect of our corrections system.”

People’s Lawyer Mourned by Attica Brothers

Elizabeth Fink, the People’s Lawyer, died of cardiac arrest in Brooklyn, New York, at the age of 70, last month. Fink defended survivors of the police massacre that followed the Attica prison rebellion of 1971, winning a $12 million settlement for the victims, and secured the release of Black Panther political prisoner Dhoruba Bin Wahhad. Every prosecutor “had to respect the bearing, the presence, the integrity and the ferocity of Elizabeth Fink, who we will miss, dearly,” said Zayid Muhammad, press officer for the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee.

NYPD’s New Guidelines Just “Window Dressing”

New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton has issued new guidelines on reporting the use of non-lethal force against civilians, including striking, maceing, and take-downs. “We are unimpressed,” said Robert Gangi, of the Police Reform Organizing Project. It’s “primarily window dressing – as if most officers will comply with those policies,” or that the department will actually enforce them. “We know from NYPD practices that they don’t punish officers who don’t follow their own guidelines.” Officers are also banned from using force for intimidation or retaliation against civilians. “It would be foolish to believe that,” said Gangi.”


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