Housing is a national crisis due to speculative investment and gentrification. I spoke to Noni Session, executive director of the Oakland-based East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (EBPREC), about solutions. “EBPREC is: A movement based, investor crowd-funded, multi-land holding entity through which Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and allied communities can cooperatively organize, finance, purchase, occupy, and steward properties, taking them permanently off the speculative market." The Co-op launch party is tomorrow, Dec. 5, at the Oakland Impact Hub.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the heart of Black Africa. Millions of Congolese have been murdered, massacred, enslaved, robbed of their resources and driven from their homes since the Berlin Conference gave the “Congo Free State” to Belgium’s King Leopold II as his personal property in 1885. I spoke to Jean-Claude Maswana about the latest waves of aggression under current Congolese President Joseph Kabila.
Last year the African Union resisted Western pressure to intervene militarily in Burundi. On Oct. 26, Burundi officially completed its withdrawal from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) without being indicted. Western powers, NGOs and press have accused Burundi of human rights abuse within its own borders but not of invading another country. I asked Canadian lawyer David Paul Jacobs, an expert in international law, to contextualize this distinction.
Mike Prysner is a former U.S. Army soldier turned documentary-maker, who produces and co-writes The Empire Files for Latin American broadcaster teleSUR English with Abby Martin. He was, until recently, in Venezuela covering the troubles there. Mike generously gave the SKWAWKBOX his time for a lengthy interview from Los Angeles on the real situation in Venezuela from his first-hand experience. What he related is eye-opening.
Venezuela Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez recently tweeted that the “U.S. State Department deployed its ambassadors in the region to attack Venezuela. We come with renewed vigor to defeat them at the OAS.” So said, so done. Last week, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana Perry Holloway spewed the U.S. false narrative regarding Venezuela in our local newspapers. U.S. ambassadors in a number of other Caribbean countries did the same. It was a coordinated attempt to mislead the people of Guyana and the region about what is really happening in Venezuela.
On Oct. 4, Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti, killing at least 1,000 people and leaving thousands without shelter or food. The hurricane has devastated the city of Les Cayes and many villages in the Southwestern part of the country. The torrential rains and winds have also hit the capital, Port-au-Prince. With massive flooding comes the increased danger of water-borne diseases, particularly cholera, which has already reached epidemic proportions. We ask that all friends of Haiti donate as much as you can to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund.
At Merritt College, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party, on the 74th birthday of its co-founder, Huey P. Newton, the African American Studies Program fittingly hosted a talk by the recently opened Cuban Embassy’s First Secretary Miguel Fraga, where he spoke on Cuban-U.S. relations. Afterwards, he and I continued to talk about the embargo, U.S. relations with Haiti, Venezuela and Bolivia, funding of Radio Marti, and the dissipation of the radical Latin American bloc of nations opposed to U.S. aggression and hegemony in the region and in the world.
When Bill and Hillary Clinton married in 1975, a friend gave them a trip to Haiti for their honeymoon. The Washington Post reported: “Since that honeymoon vacation, the Caribbean island nation has held a life-long allure for the couple, a place they found at once desperate and enchanting, pulling at their emotions throughout his presidency and in her maiden year as secretary of state.”
Rwandan intelligence chief Emmanuel Karenzi Karake was arrested last Saturday in London on a European arrest warrant. The warrant was based on a Spanish court’s 2008 indictment of Karake and 39 other top Rwandan officials for genocide – that is, the massacre of Rwandan Hutu civilians and refugees in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.
During the first week of May, President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC) Advisor Susan Rice met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in New York City. NSC spokesperson Bernadette Meehan then released a statement about their conversation. Ugandan American journalist Milton Allimadi, writing in the New York City-based Black Star News, called the NSC release “newspeak on steroids.” This is a conversation with Milton Allimadi.
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2015, in the Dominican Republic, supposedly a paradise of European development, a Haitian man named Henry Claude Jean, known as “Tulile,” a humble shoe shine worker, was found hanging in a park in Santiago, his hands and feet bound. In Haiti, the U.S.-installed Martelly dictatorship and its controlled opposition remain silent about this atrocious lynching.
My heart filled with grief and sadness when at least five of my people were brutally massacred by the Indonesian military and police in West Papua on Dec. 8, just for protesting against military violence against children. Torturing and killing children is a crime against humanity, and those responsible must be brought to justice.
Twenty years of local democracy in South Africa has been very cruel for Abahlali baseMjondolo and for millions of other poor people. It has been 20 years of hell in shacks. It has been 20 years of living like pigs in the mud. It has been 20 years of living with rats, floods, fire and rotting rubbish. For those of us who have stood up for our humanity, our reward has been lies, assault, torture, wrongful arrest, the destruction of our homes and even assassination.
On Jan. 9, MASSIVE demonstrations throughout Haiti supported former President Aristide after he was summoned to court on frivolous charges seen as political persecution. People say that putting Aristide on trial is the same as putting the Haitian masses on trial and that the charges are meant to divert attention from the third earthquake anniversary and the theft of billions in aid. Speak out against the Red Cross for building a luxury hotel with aid funds. Rally Friday, Jan. 11, 4:30-5:30 p.m., outside Red Cross headquarters, 3901 Broadway, near MacArthur BART, Oakland.
Tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating in Haiti for months. Three years after the earthquake, despite billions donated by a generous public, hundreds of thousands of people are still struggling to survive in tent cities, surrounded by rubble. They are still without clean water or food security or income, still fighting the cholera imported by U.N. troops.
Haitians say protests are the inevitable outcome when troops who have occupied Haiti for five years with seeming impunity have introduced a deadly, misery-multiplying disease.