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Rosatom – Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation – has recently signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with a number of African nations to build nuclear power plants within their borders. I spoke to David Himbara, a professor of international development and African energy activist, about the likelihood of Rosatom actually building these nuclear plants. Currently, Sub-Saharan Africa faces an extraordinary level of energy poverty.
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.
Oct. 14 marked the seventh anniversary of Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire’s arrest shortly after she attempted to run for president against Rwanda’s military dictator, President Paul Kagame. The Brussels-based International Women’s Network for Democracy and Peace commemorates Oct. 14 as Ingabire Day, a day of solidarity with Victoire Ingabire and all political prisoners. I asked Claude Gatebuke, Rwandan genocide survivor and founder of the African Great Lakes Action Network, to explain Victoire Ingabire’s message.
One of the most beautiful stories in the San Francisco Black Film Festival this year is “The Lucky Specials.” The story, set in South Africa, is about a group of musicians who come into contact with the deadly disease tuberculosis, a major killer in Africa and around the developing world. The film is filled with triumph, loss, happiness, disappointment and a whole host of other emotions as well as the viewer gets a glimpse into South Africa’s speech patterns, music, dances and more.
In the mid-‘80s, before computers, Black and disabled teenager Leroy F. Moore Jr. was very interested in the welfare of people with disabilities in South Africa. Leroy tried to write a paper on that subject at the time but, due to lack of accessible public information, the paper ended up being only two pages. That is when he knew that he had to visit South Africa. His research was later enhanced by the advent of computers and the internet.
The violent events of the past week have placed the country at a decisive moment. Words matter but deeds matter more. Leadership matters. President Obama spoke about the need for real change and new “practices” following the murders by police officers of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Following this story is a Black Lives Matter statement on the murder of police and escalating protests to end state-sponsored violence against Black people.
Fifty years ago, on June 16, 1966, in Greenwood, Mississippi, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Chair Kwame Ture, then known as Stokely Carmichael, addressed a crowd of youthful demonstrators and the media covering the militant March Against Fear and forcefully re-echoed our millennial and generational demand for “Black Power.”
Elaine Brown’s “A Taste of Power,” a memoir which chronicles her leadership of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense when co-founder Huey P. Newton is imprisoned, still resonates with me. The idea that a Black woman is nominated to the leadership position of the most powerful civic organization in the country at that time is still remarkable and speaks to what Kathleen Cleaver calls revolutionary imagination.
This article was prompted by the unrelenting campaign by friends and associates of the late Dr. Walter Rodney, to maintain the false accusation that Forbes Burnham ordered Walter Rodney’s assassination. Many of these academics and commentators are not Guyanese and do not fully understand the circumstances in 1980 that led to Walter Rodney’s demise. The adage, chanted by Bob Marley, that “half the story has never been told” is 100 percent correct.
2015 was a historic political year for the African continent because one of the continent’s most radical anti-imperialist leaders chaired the African Union, and I am talking about President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. I talked with Obi Egbuna, the U.S. correspondent for the Zimbabwean national newspaper, The Herald, about what President Mugabe accomplished leading Zimbabwe and the African Union in 2015. Here is what he had to say.
The Canadian Globe and Mail reports that the United States has warned former Rwandan military officer Robert Higiro that his life is in danger because of evidence he gave to The Globe and Mail, to the BBC and to a U.S. House Subcommittee about the Rwandan government’s alleged efforts to assassinate dissidents who had fled abroad. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.
Our community report back will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 6:30-9 p.m., at the McClymonds Youth and Family Center (Game Room) located on McClymonds High School’s campus, 2607 Myrtle St., West Oakland. This trip wasn’t just for me or my students; it was for our community. We will show footage of the trip, allow young people to tell their stories, and do a panel so that members of the community can ask questions and learn from our students.
President Zuma just announced live on national television that there shall be no university fee increases for 2016. This is a major victory for the thousands of youth who have been struggling for more than a week against the attacks on their education. Zuma was meeting with vice-chancellors from all universities at the Union Buildings, the seat of government. The sight of thousands of students besieging this symbol of power will reverberate throughout South African society.
I talked to a future repatriate, my comrade Dr. Chris Zamani, about his recent trip to South Africa in search of a homeland and a place for him to stick his flag. I talked to him about some of the factors that he has to consider in order to prepare to make that move. He has a very interesting outlook on history and life that is driving his decision to want to leave the U.S., and I wanted to share this ongoing conversation that we have been having with each other for the last few years. Check out Dr. Zamani in his own words ...
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.
International journalist and freedom fighter correspondent Gerald Perriera speaks on world politics four years after the assassination of Qaddafi and two years after Chavez, covering Libya, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Venezuela, Guyana, Mali, Niger, France, the U.S. and more. “Libya is a failed state,” Perriera observes, since Qaddafi’s Jamahiriya was destroyed, with several factions and many militias “all doing their own thing.” Some 3 million Libyans who supported Qaddafi now live in exile. Libyans throughout the country demonstrated against the death sentence for Qaddafi’s son, Saif.
Over 1,000 Black activists, artists, scholars, students and organizations have released a statement reaffirming their “solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people.” “We urge people of conscience to recognize the struggle for Palestinian liberation as a key matter of our time,” the statement asserts.
Do they think that we are stupid? We were there. We have the pictures. We have the video. We heard what they said. We saw what they did. Yet, publications blatantly misrepresent the truth, posing serious harm to Black lives. These misrepresentations actively push forth a narrative that absolves law enforcement of the brutality and racism they inflict and, ultimately, blame victims for their own repression. We are not here for it.
Over the years, Kharyishi Wigington has been a tireless advocate for empowering West Oakland youth at McClymonds High School. She is at it again, this time taking a group of students on a cultural exchange to South Africa. The young leaders who have been studying and fundraising all year for their trip to South Africa are scheduled to leave in a few days but have not yet raised all the money they need. Please help as generously as you can.
Margaret Stroud Block, long time civil rights activist, passed away June 20 in Cleveland, Mississippi, where she was born and raised. She lectured at universities and organizations throughout the U.S., particularly in the eastern part of the country, on civil rights and current education policies. Margaret was a dear friend. We met each other in the mid-‘80s when Proposition J was proposed.