Monthly Archives: November 2017
In Mexico, the existing political structure is a dizzying patchwork of corruption. Government is sometimes indistinguishable from the notorious drug cartels. Perhaps that’s why indigenous candidates are now emerging, to give voice to the millions of people who were there before the Spanish came, to try to right the ship of state. Today, a woman called Marichuy is crossing the country seeking formal registration for office, but she calls herself a “non-candidate,” a woman content to be called an indigenous spokesperson.
As I complete this column, the situation in our continental African nation of Zimbabwe is growing evermore intense. Our Elder, Baba, Freedom Fighter and President Robert Mugabe has been forced to “resign” – and removed from his democratically-elected office by that nation’s military and the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) leaders – in an apparent coup.
As we continue to raise awareness and lift up our voices so that we may be heard on the issues of systemic racism and economic exploitation in the criminal justice system, as well as prison slavery and police killings and brutality, we continue to see an evil and determined enemy dig in its heels in the name of White Supremacy. In October 2017, it was reported that the Trump administration is seeking more immigration jails and detention facilities to house more immigrants that they plan to arrest.
In Texas, prisoner lives don’t matter, and nothing illustrates this point better than the decision by the federal government to abandon over 2,000 prisoners at the federal prison complex in Beaumont during Hurricane Harvey. My friend, journalist Candice Bernd of Truth-Out, wrote a heart-wrenching piece which detailed the horrendous living conditions prisoners were forced to contend with during and in the aftermath of Harvey.
A 1968 book-length report, titled “A Study of the Manpower Implications of Small Business Financing: A Survey of 149 Minority and 202 Anglo-Owned Small Businesses in Oakland, California,” was sent to the Bay View by its author, Joseph Debro, prior to his death in November 2013, and his family has kindly permitted the Bay View to publish it. The survey it’s based on was conducted by the Oakland Small Business Development Center. The Bay View is publishing the report as a series.
As a nation and as revolutionary nationalists, we must dissect and use the method of scientific socialism in our pursuit of self-determination. We must study and struggle using the New Afrikan revolutionary teachings laid out by our forerunners to raise national consciousness, spark a social revolution and move the RNA toward national liberation. The “New Afrikan Liberation Movement” is not the same as the more narrow “Black” movement in general. We are fighting the U.S. not just as an oppressed “race” or class of individuals, but as a colonized nation that has declared its independence.
In 2010, Victoire Ingabire attempted to run for president against Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, but went to prison instead. The Rwandan Supreme Court ultimately sentenced her to 15 years. On Nov. 24, the African Court of Human and People’s Rights ruled that she did not receive a fair trial, that she had not denied or minimized the Tutsi genocide, and that her criticism of the government should have been allowed as part of her freedom of expression within Rwandan law.
Cherie Williams, a 35-year-old African-American woman in the Bronx, just wanted to protect herself from her abusive boyfriend. So she called the cops. But although New York requires police to make an arrest when responding to domestic violence calls, the officers did not leave their car. When Williams demanded their badge numbers, the police handcuffed her, drove her to a deserted parking lot and beat her, breaking her nose and jaw and rupturing her spleen. They then left her on the ground.
The rubber sides of the boat were like arms – thick, round, hard. “These are the boats refugees have to travel in. Men sit on the side, the women, children and elders in the middle, sometimes getting splashed and sick with the leaking gasoline from the engine because they are covering miles of ocean to go from one country to another.” The tour guide from Médecins Sans Frontières, known in English as Doctors Without Borders, was narrating the “Forced From Home” traveling exhibit of removal, imperialist wars and NGO and government abuse of indigenous bodies across the Global South.
“I” is “We” in Afrikan science. In terms of surviving 22 years of solitary confinement, “I/We survived” primarily because the indomitable spirit of our Afrikan ancestors lives on in each of our spirits. “We survived” but we were not unaffected. “We survived” but we did not leave solitary normal. “We survived” because we refused to be counted among the broken men. “We survived” because the repressive tactics and measures inflicted upon us by our captors bred a fierce resistance within us.
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party by Bunchy Carter in 1968. Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter was the least known of the iconic Black Panther Party leaders in the turbulent late 1960s but was arguably the most legendary as the leader of the L.A. chapter of the Black Panther Party who was murdered in 1969 at the age of 26, only a year after founding the chapter.
The world we find ourselves in is complex and full of contradictions. It is easy to fall for rudimentary textbook propaganda based on simplistic dichotomies, such as “the good guys versus the bad guys.” If we are not aware of the complexities and nuances facing us, we can fall for this type of propaganda, whose sole aim is to keep us apart and destroy any type of unity that could strengthen our ability to defeat the enemy. When examining and assessing the latest information fed us by one of imperialism’s mouthpieces, CNN, there are important things for us, as revolutionary Pan-Africanists, to keep in mind.
One of the most important ways that a tiny 0.01 percent of the population controls all of society is through its police, military and prisons. These are some of the fascist institutions within capitalism that, through its control of mass media, can shape and mold how the contradictions between the capitalist class and working class are viewed. These views never expose the truth about how capitalism is a predatory system that has to be destroyed entirely if the working class is to prevail.
In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, two names emerged from the Native American and Indigenous community that stood for resistance to white repression and assaults on Native life: Russell Means and Dennis Banks. In a time of mass resistance and social upheaval shown by the anti-war (re Vietnam) and Black liberation movements, Banks was among thousands of young activists of Native, Indigenous communities who rose up to speak – and act – on behalf of the oppressed.
On Nov. 18, Rwandan President Paul Kagame inducted seven thieves without borders and one medical doctor into his “National Order of Outstanding Friendship,” presenting them with medals for “exemplary service” to the nation, meaning himself and his ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Kagame is a modern day exemplar of French King Louis XIV’s theory of government: “L’état, c’est moi” (“I am the state”).
A prisoner in New York’s Sullivan Correctional Facility was given a glass-laced pastry by a correctional officer in what he describes as an attempt to murder him. Dr. Al-Fatah Stewart complained about guards destroying his legal work and, in retaliation, he was framed with a weapon, placed in solitary confinement and his food was laced with rocks and glass, now confirmed in a laboratory report. Dr. Stewart reports that “there have been a lot of mysterious deaths at Sullivan, but the families can’t afford autopsies … there are a lot of grievances about staff placing glass in prisoners’ food but nothing is ever done.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 21, more than 100 community members gathered at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors building to demand an audit of Sheriff Gregory Ahern. “We are calling on our county officials to be vigilant and protect our taxpayer dollars,” said Darris Young, senior organizer and advocate with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. “Our Board of Supervisors have a responsibility to make sure the budget is being spent effectively to promote community safety, and continuing to increase the sheriff’s budget is not making us any safer.”
The re-emergence of slavery in Libya exposes the reactionary character of the imperialist war waged by the NATO alliance against the country and across North Africa and the Middle East. In Paris Saturday, Nov. 18, more than 1,000 people gathered in front of the Libyan embassy, after a CNN documentary showing the auctioning of refugees as slaves inside the North African country circulated on social media.
DeCOALonize Oakland: 150 youth, workers rally as Oakland launches boycott on Tagami’s Rotunda Building
On Nov. 21, 150 Oakland youth, clean air activists, workers and labor leaders announced a boycott on Phil Tagami’s Rotunda Building in response to Tagami’s lawsuit against the City of Oakland. Tagami is suing to overturn the popular ban on the handling and storing of coal, so that he can continue with his controversial plan to ship coal through the Oakland Army Base. Oakland communities are responding to Tagami’s attempt to force dangerous, dirty coal dust on the people of Oakland by asking local businesses and organizations to boycott the Rotunda Building.
On Monday, Nov. 21, the Department of Homeland Security announced its inhumane decision to end Temporary Protected Status for nearly 60,000 Haitian immigrants, putting people who have lived legally in the United States for years – and some, decades – at risk to be detained and deported. On the eve of Thanksgiving, the Trump administration has decided to contravene basic humanitarianism in favor of an immigration agenda that is drenched in racism, nativism and xenophobia.