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President Donald Trump’s comments regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi aptly reflect the true nature of the power brokers that he represents. Instead of the usual “Empire-speak” statements, hypocritically condemning Khashoggi’s murder, followed by a pep talk on the values of “democracy” and “freedom of speech,” Trump is basically saying, as the leader of one rogue state to another, that was the “worst cover up ever,” boys, and heads should roll.
This Memorial Day, let us renew our commitment to work for peace. Dr. King stated, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Let us ask ourselves, “What would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. say today?’” Let us remember Dr. King’s sermon. Let us reclaim our belief in the sanctity of human life. Let us turn swords into plowshares. Let us work for peace in our world.
In October 2016, the tiny East African nation of Burundi made history by raising an independent head against U.S. empire. Its legislature voted to withdraw from membership in the International Criminal Court, a tool that the U.S. and its Western allies use to discipline unruly African leaders – especially those who sign resource extraction contracts with Russia or China and/or those who try to do anything for their own people. The Burundian government fits both descriptions.
On Tuesday, June 20, more than 500 Stop Urban Shield activists became ungovernable at the end of a six-hour Berkeley City Council meeting once it was clear that the Council would not pull the Berkeley police out of Urban Shield 2017. As Mayor Jesse Arreguin and other councilors discussed tepid motions and then began voting, the crowd drowned them out chanting, “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
There is a well-documented history of the U.S. government supplying weapons and arms to both friends and foe for political purposes and for profit. In addition to publicly known global arms deals to U.S. political allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia, revelations about the rise of ISIS indicate that U.S. arms and military trainees have been a critical factor in the rise of the terror group. With the recent rise of violence in Chicago involving over 3,000 shooting victims in 2016 so far, it appears that another case of U.S. sponsored gun-smuggling and intentional destruction of inner-city communities may be at play.
On Friday, Sept. 9, activists chained themselves to the entrances to the Alameda County Fairgrounds to protest Urban Shield, the highly controversial SWAT training and weapons expo hosted annually by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. Twenty-three activists were arrested, cited and released. Over 500 community members from many cities across California, joined the Stop Urban Shield Coalition in a massive mobilization, march and rally.
The California Democratic Primary is Tuesday, June 7. Whatever “The Movement” means to you, if you care about human decency and international human rights, we need a Sanders victory and a Clinton repudiation in California on June 7 – and beyond. I admire and support Sen. Sanders for his courageous challenge to the American Israel Political Action Committee, his support for human rights and fair treatment for the Palestinian people, and his open challenge to Hillary Clinton on Israel and Palestine.
Recently, Congresswoman Corinne Brown revealed that white legislators from Florida’s redistricting body changed her district to include the state’s overcrowded but under-represented prisons. If the Congressional Black Caucus had fought for and prevailed on prisoner enfranchisement, Rep. Brown would have no viable argument against her redistricting, for prisoners would be allowed to vote as everyone else.
Dr. King devoted his life to struggle. The end of his career was characterized by a devout rejection of militarism, economic inequality, racism and imperialism. Yet state sponsored commemorations on MLK Day have consistently left out this narrative. In our first post-Ferguson MLK weekend, people around the country mobilized to honor Dr. King’s legacy the way he would have wanted it – through massive demonstrations, direct actions and shutdowns.
Representatives at the forefront of the movements for Black lives and racial justice took a historic trip to Palestine in early January to connect with activists living under Israeli occupation. Black journalists, artists and organizers representing Ferguson, Black Lives Matter, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) and more have joined the Dream Defenders for a 10-day trip to the occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel.
The United States of America’s treatment of Black people – it’s so-called citizens – are nearly identical to how the Israelis treat the Palestinian people. What we have going on here in America is an ongoing counter-insurgency war by the dominant, majoritarian, Anglo-American U.S. government against the minority Black peoples. What we have here is the Palestinianization of Blacks in the United States.
The editorial entitled “Israel, Palestine; Guatemala, Belize” covered many important issues. It highlighted the fact that the subject has not been given the attention it needs but failed to point out that most of the information we, in Belize, receive about Palestine and Israel comes from the United States propaganda machine that takes its cue from Israel, which has been pumping out lies for so long that many people assume they are true.
“Israel” is an up-to-date apartheid state. “Israel” is a wicked occupying force. “Israel” is a raw, primitive, viciously colonialist state, other “neo-colonialisms” notwithstanding. Whether in Gaza or the West Bank, Palestine is not supposed to defend itself against apartheid, occupation or colonialism in this basic logic of the white Western capitalist world, but it does – valiantly. Long live Palestine!
Congratulations to Gerald Lenoir for carrying the torch and blazing the way for so many social justice issues from HIV/AIDS awareness in the Black community to his recent work in just migration for Pan Africans. Much success on your new work! Farewell to Alona Clifton and much success in Atlanta. Congratulations also to Almaz Negash, founder and director of African Diaspora Network in Silicon Valley for her national recognition and award at the Continental African Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.
It is hard not to cry watching the unfolding horror in Gaza – children with heads blown off, a pregnant woman with her body torn by a shell, babies with missing limbs, targeting of playing children, targeting hospitals, targeting ambulances and even a handicap center, killing two handicapped children. Israeli forces then ratcheted up their attacks committing large scale massacres in places like Shujaia and Beit Hanoun.
Veronica Blair has one of those superhero sounding names, and when you find out what her and her friends are into, it may be kind of fitting. Veronica is one of few Black circus artists that I know of in the Bay Area who takes it upon herself to organize events and push the knowledge of our people’s history of involvement in the art form.
In the 23 years since Nelson Mandela walked from his notorious Robben Island prison cell, leaving behind the rotting corpse of South Africa’s system of racial and economic oppression known as apartheid, a new generation has grown into adulthood there, literally unaware of the cruel exploitation and indignities the tiny White minority population inflicted on the masses of that country’s people.
The Caribbean Community’s re-igniting of the reparations movement has raised the stakes to decisive governmental direct action. The 15 member regional bloc of nations established its Reparations Commission in July 2013, laying out the strategy for reparations for African enslavement and colonization and genocide of the indigenous populations of the Caribbean against the governments of Western Europe.
Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who last week completed a peace mission to Syria along with former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and others, delivered the following address to the IBON Conference on Democracy, Self-Determination and Liberation of Peoples. The conference was held Sept. 23 at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.
We ask you, Gov. Brown, to set an example. In their time, the U.S. Army consigned the inhumane prison conditions at Dachau to the trash heap of history. The same thing should happen now to the unbearable prison conditions in the prisons of the United States – and especially the prisons in the State of California, which you govern.