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California and the U.S.

People Magazine ran this photo in March and commented: “Back in 2005, Bill and Hillary Clinton were VIP guests at Donald Trump's wedding to his wife Melania – and it sure looks like all four had a pretty good time. … The billionaire businessman has, over the years, given at least $100,000 to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and made multiple cash donations to Hillary Clinton's various political campaigns before this one.” – Photo: Maring Photography

Voting, the final fig-leaf

May 29, 2016

As elections near, voters face the choices before them with something like dread: Donald Trump: loud, bombastic, bellicose, rich as Croesus and xenophobic, or the presumptive Democratic nominee – unless Vermont’s Bernie Sanders manages to upend her – Hillary Rodham Clinton: slick as oil, flexible as a Slinky, bottled-blonde ambition and wife of the penultimate political animal, “Slick Willie” Clinton.

AIDS activists protesting high drug prices are asked to leave.

Drug discount helping African Americans is at risk

May 28, 2016

It is well established that low-income African Americans tend to be sicker when they arrive at the emergency room. It’s the mission of safety-net providers to treat them – and all patients – regardless of ability to pay. Unfortunately, the drug industry is working hard in Washington to make that much more difficult. At issue is a little known but enormously important federal statute called the 340B drug discount program.

Finally, Albert Woodfox, locked in solitary for over four decades as one of the Black Panthers known as the Angola 3, can join forces with other freedom fighters, here with Minister of Information JR and Arthur League at the Malcolm X JazzArts Festival in Oakland on May 21, 2016. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

Albert Woodfox speaks on being a political prisoner

May 27, 2016

BlockReportRadio.com interviews former Black Panther political prisoner Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3 about his case, his over four decades in isolation, his life as a Panther political prisoner and his release. Finally, Albert Woodfox can join forces with other freedom fighters, here with Minister of Information JR and Arthur League at the Malcolm X JazzArts Festival in Oakland on May 21, 2016. To learn more about Albert Woodfox, visit the Angola 3 website, http://angola3.org/.

Prisoners in Texas grow 24 different crops and tend 10,000 head of cattle.

Who’s behind unpaid prison labor in Texas?

May 27, 2016

The Texas Board of Criminal Justice, which oversees Texas Correctional Industries, the prison industry division within the state’s Department of Criminal Justice, has authority over how much compensation inmates working for the state receive for their labor. Currently, inmates working for TCI are not paid for the work done while serving their time; the only inmates who are paid anything are the small fraction who are employed by TCI’s private sector prison industries program.

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How can a prisoner even dream of raising a family when sentence enhancements keep him locked up forever? Yet to live, he must hope. This drawing is entitled, “Rise.” – Art: G. Lumumba Edwards, B-89208, San Quentin State Prison 5-N-23, San Quentin CA 94974

Federal sentence enhancements keep Black low-level drug offenders in prison for life without parole

May 25, 2016

Over the past few years, President Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, members of both houses of Congress and many other elected officials have expressed the need for criminal justice reform. Much concern has been raised regarding overly harsh penalties for low-level drug offenses and firearms violations. There is, however, one particularly egregious judicial injustice that has not made the headlines, perhaps because it primarily effects only poor African Americans.

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Graphic: Nsiala Kongo

It’s personal: Bubba, your cover’s blown

May 23, 2016

It’s personal because your actions against the oppressed were calculating, premeditated and strategically targeting New Afrikans and other oppressed, poor citizens of this nation. Not only did you wickedly abuse the trust of the people who believed in you, but you demonstrated what hatred looks like in policy. Yes! Your charisma, accompanied with your oiled up tongue, allowed you to work your charms on the people while all the time preying on them like a wild, mad predator.

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Bernie is surrounded by supporters at Morehouse College earlier this year. Young Black voters are flocking to him, and older Blacks are recognizing that he is “unbought and unbossed” in the tradition of Shirley Chisholm. – Photo: John Amis, EPA

Bay View Voters Guide: Cali can make Bernie president if we vote our hopes, not our fears

May 20, 2016

TODAY, MONDAY, MAY 23, is the LAST DAY TO REGISTER for the June 7 primary election. Rarely in my lifetime has the choice been so clear. As U.S. president, Bernie Sanders would definitely make Black lives better. He is “unbought and unbossed” in the tradition of Shirley Chisholm. A big win in the California primary June 7 could give him the leverage to win the nomination – and the presidency. To vote for Bernie, you must be registered either as a Democrat or No Party Preference, and the last day to register for the primary election is Monday, May 23.

'Vote your hopes not your fears' Bruce Dixon, Georgia Green Party

Bruce Dixon on building the Greens into a mass party

May 5, 2016

Bernie Sanders’ defeats in the East Coast primaries have triggered a flurry of conversation about what the 25 to 35 percent of Sanders supporters who’ve told pollsters they will not vote for Hillary Clinton will do instead. Seattle-based Socialist Alternative has called for Sanders to run as an independent or join the Green Party ticket. Ann Garrison spoke to Georgia Green Party activist and Black Agenda Report Editor Bruce Dixon.

Is there a balm in Gilead?

April 29, 2016

The great Black activist and artist Paul Robeson in 1958, in Carnegie Hall, sang the gospel song, “Balm in Gilead”: “♪There is a balm in Gilead, ♪To make the wounded whooole♪ ….” These words in song sprang back from over half a century, when the news emerged of a big pharmaceutical, Gilead Sciences, Inc., buying the drug Sofosbuvir – and then tripling its preferred price – to treat hundreds of thousands of people suffering from Hepatitis C.

While Hillary Clinton tries to recast herself as a champion of Black empowerment, even a child can sense the hypocrisy behind the smile.

Hillary Clinton is no friend of Black empowerment

April 26, 2016

As an African American, I have struggled to understand why so many of my Black brothers and sisters seem to prefer Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Hillary’s record on civil rights is indeed extensive, albeit inconsistent and often ignoble. By contrast, Bernie has a long, proud, consistent record on fighting inequality – often far ahead of the Democratic Party in this regard – and always far, far ahead of Hillary Clinton.

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Wil b Revolution, cropped

Free Wil B and the other 13 defendants fighting police terror in LA!

April 26, 2016

Block Report Radio interviews Wil B about the charges that can land him in prison for eight and a half years after being arrested at an anti-police terrorism rally a year ago in Los Angeles. Some of Wil’s 13 codefendants have taken plea deals, but he says that he will fight the charges until the end and declare his innocence. Please read the attached letter to the faith community calling for folks to contact LA Prosecutor Mike Feuer and ask him to DROP THESE CHARGES.

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Crystal Chaplin’s sons André and Bryson

Two sons shot in the back by police: A mother’s cry for justice

April 23, 2016

As I write these words with tears in my eyes, my chest is so heavy and it aches like I’m living those days again. I relive the nightmare every day of being told my boys were shot. I live this every day. A mother should never have to hear those words or, even worse, be told that their child has died. My heart goes out to the families that have lost a loved one to this madness. I want justice for my sons Bryson and André.

Apache Stronghold is on the march to prevent the sacred site of Oak Flat, Arizona, from becoming the site of the largest copper mine in North America.

From Oak Flat to Oakland, the fight to save all of our mountains on Turtle Island

April 12, 2016

“If this act goes through, it will not just mean the privatization of Oak Flat but of all federal open land all across the U.S.,” said Duke Romero, Indigenous land warrior and member of the Apache Stronghold occupation at the sacred site of Oak Flat, Arizona. The bill will enable a foreign mining company, Resolution Copper, to take over Oak Flat and build the largest copper mine in North America – and it would effectively open up all federal land to corporate desecration.

Former President Bill Clinton has a heated exchange with Black Lives Matter protesters during a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton Thursday in Philadelphia. Clinton was interrupted by people holding signs reading “Clinton crime bill destroyed our communities” and “Welfare reform increased poverty.” – Photo: Ed Hille, The Philadelphia Inquirer/AP

Michelle Alexander: Bill Clinton’s rant was a tutorial on all that’s wrong with the ‘New Democrats’

April 11, 2016

Bill Clinton says that he “almost” wants to apologize for embracing “super-predator” rhetoric, insisting Black Lives Matter protesters support murderers, and blaming his crime bill on Black politicians. Personally, I am not demanding an apology from Bill Clinton. Instead, I would like to say thank you, Bill, for giving the nation a 10-minute tutorial on everything that was wrong – and apparently remains wrong – with the “New Democrats” and their approach to racial politics.

Bill Clinton lectures Black Lives Matter protesters at a rally for his wife Hillary in Philadelphia on April 7. – Photo: Dennis Van Tine, Star Max-AP

Bill Clinton yells at Black Lives Matter protesters, defends violent crime bill

April 9, 2016

Bill Clinton has a history of sometimes suffering from severe foot-in-mouth disease and veering dangerously off message while on the campaign trail for his wife, Hillary. On Thursday, a short video clip of the former president sparring with Black Lives Matter protesters from the stump in Philadelphia once again raised the question of whether Bill is actually helping or hurting Hillary’s campaign.

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John D. Ehrlichman, appointed counsel to the White House, is seen in 1968. (AP Photo)

Nixon aide reportedly admitted drug war was meant to target Black people

April 2, 2016

An eye-opening remark from a former aide to President Richard Nixon pulls back the curtain on the true motivation of the United States’ war on drugs. John Ehrlichman was Nixon’s chief domestic advisor when the president announced the “war on drugs” in 1971. The administration cited a high death toll and the negative social impacts of drugs to justify expanding federal drug control agencies. Doing so set the scene for decades of socially and economically disastrous policies.

Jacqueline Bediako

Prison abolition is overdue

April 1, 2016

On March 4, I heard Angela Davis speak at the Beyond the Bars: Connecting the Struggles conference, which was held at Columbia University. Davis’ speech focused on the necessary abolition of the criminal justice system, specifically incarceration. As Davis spoke, I flicked through the mental photographs of Black men and women locked in cages. The story of Jamycheal Mitchell came to mind.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church on Cleveland’s largely Black east side on Saturday, March 5, to an audience of 800. To the left of Sanders is Olivet senior pastor, Rev. Dr. Jawanza Karriem Colvin. Skeptical expressions on the faces around him changed as Sanders spoke and, by the time he finished, the audience had given him several standing ovations. – Photo: Rhonda Crowder

Bernie Sanders speaks to Cleveland’s Black community at Olivet Baptist Church

March 28, 2016

The Community Coalition Concerned for Black Life convened a town hall-style meeting with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at the historic Olivet Institutional Baptist Church on Cleveland’s majority Black east side on Saturday, March 5. Organizers said that the overall purpose of the meeting at Olivet was to discuss issues affecting the Black community and how Sanders would address such issues if ultimately elected president.

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Far too many relatively affluent Americans are oblivious to suffering they could reach out and touch – and help to end if they had the will. – Photo: Lucas Jackson, Reuters

America, we have a problem: Homelessness is out of control

March 28, 2016

It’s hard to imagine that the country that controls so much nuclear firepower and drops so many bombs every day is unwilling to educate its children and house its own people. As much as I would like to see zero poverty in the United States, I know that the political will for such policies is just not there today. This, despite the efforts of thousands of people just like me all over the country to alleviate the unnecessary suffering of the poor in the U.S.

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Sharon Jasper, leader of the “Bring the People Home” movement to allow 4,500 New Orleans families to return to their perfectly livable public housing apartments after Katrina, most untouched by the flood, discusses strategy with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the only member of Congress who devoted herself to enabling poor New Orleanians to recover. Despite their brilliant and valiant efforts, public housing was almost entirely demolished in New Orleans. In the years since then, city after city has privatized and/or demolished its public housing, driving thousands of residents – families, the elderly and the disabled – into homelessness.

Rep. Maxine Waters unveils landmark legislation to end homelessness in America

March 24, 2016

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the Committee on Financial Services, introduced landmark legislation that would provide significant resources to end homelessness in America. The measure is a bold effort to declare what is really needed to address this crisis. The legislation provides $13.27 billion in new funding over five years to several programs and initiatives that will help the nearly 600,000 Americans who are currently homeless.

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