News


Written by      Tuesday, 13 January 2015 00:00    PDF Print E-mail
Phil Africa of MOVE dies under suspicious circumstances in Pennsylvania prison

“It is with great sadness and anger at the state and all those responsible for his death that we announce the passing of our brother and comrade, the beloved MOVE member and artist, Phil Africa. We extend our deepest condolences, solidarity and love to Phil’s closest family, the MOVE organization, to his wife, Janine Africa, and the rest of the MOVE 9. We stand prepared for the struggle ahead to expose the plan the state has to just kill our sisters and brothers rather than face their total innocence and the imperative of having them granted parole immediately. We say ‘NO!’ to that evil plan.” – The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition

by Ramona Africa

Phil Africa

Phil Africa

On Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, Phil Africa, revolutionary, John Africa’s first minister of defense and beloved brother, husband and father, passed away under suspicious circumstances at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, Penn.

On Sunday, Jan. 4, Phil Africa wasn’t feeling well and went to the prison infirmary. Though he wasn’t feeling well, other inmates saw Phil Africa walking, stretching and doing jumping jacks.

Hearing that Phil was in the infirmary, MOVE members drove up to visit him and were denied a visit by the prison. While they were visiting with Delbert Africa, Phil was secretly transported to Wilkes Barre General Hospital, where he was held in total isolation, incommunicado, for five days.

Prison officials at SCI Dallas wouldn’t communicate about Phil’s condition. They told MOVE that Phil was at Wilkes Barre General Hospital, but the hospital denied he was there and this back and forth lie went on for days, almost the entire time Phil was being held.

The hospital and the prison behaved very suspiciously, denying Phil the ability to call family members or his wife of 44 years, Janine Africa, stating that she was not a blood relative. The hospital and prison received hundreds of phone calls in support of Phil from around the world.

On Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, Phil Africa, revolutionary, John Africa’s first minister of defense and beloved brother, husband and father, passed away under suspicious circumstances at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, Penn.

When they finally submitted to pressure and allowed Phil to call Janine on Thursday, Jan. 8, he was heavily drugged, incoherent and couldn’t even hold the phone to talk to her.

On Friday, Jan. 9, Phil was sent back to the prison infirmary and placed in hospice care upon arrival. On Saturday, Jan. 10, Ramona and Carlos Africa were granted permission to visit Phil in the prison infirmary.

MOVE 9

MOVE 9

When they reached him, he was incoherent and couldn’t talk or move his head to look at them. An hour after they left, Delbert called with the news that Phil passed away.

Inmates in the infirmary and others in the prison were shocked when they heard the news. They had witnessed his vigorous health for decades in the prisons, had just seen him stretching and doing jumping jacks six days earlier.

This rapid decline all occurred while he was being literally held incommunicado from his MOVE family at Wilkes Barre General Hospital or Dallas prison or wherever these conspirators were holding him with murderous intent.

The fact that Phil was isolated for the six days before he passed and the prison even refused to acknowledge that he was in the hospital is beyond suspicious.

This is another example of how the system hates MOVE and will do anything to stop MOVE. You can look at the example of Aug. 8, 1978, when the MOVE 9 were illegally imprisoned, and May 13, 1985, when the government dropped a bomb and intentionally murdered 11 MOVE members to see this point clearly.

When Merle Africa died in prison on March 13, 1998, the conditions were very similar. She had been one way in the prison, but within hours of being forced to go to an outside hospital she was dead.

Phil made a deep impression on people all around the world. He was constantly writing, often dozens of letters a day, encouraging solidarity and strength and warmly advising hundreds of people. Phil worked hard to learn to paint and created countless paintings, which he sent to supporters for free to draw attention to issues, get raffled off for the struggle, and bring people together.

Phil made a deep impression on people all around the world. He was constantly writing, often dozens of letters a day, encouraging solidarity and strength.

“MOVE 8” – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 1859887, Clements Unit, 9601 Spur 591, Amarillo TX 79107

“MOVE 8” – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 1859887, Clements Unit, 9601 Spur 591, Amarillo TX 79107

Phil took his commitment and work as a revolutionary very seriously, but was often smiling, laughing and giving people hugs and encouragement. He was a warm father figure to many in the prison, where he taught inmates how to box, to think, and how to get stronger.

Despite having two of his children murdered by the system and being separated by prison, Phil was a father figure to many. He was separated from his wife Janine for over 36 of the 44 years they were married, but he worked hard to stay connected with her even though they were so callously isolated by the system.

Phil took his commitment and work as a revolutionary very seriously, but was often smiling, laughing and giving people hugs and encouragement.

It’s this system’s intention for MOVE people to die in prison. The MOVE 9 never should have been imprisoned at all, and according to their sentence they should have been paroled over six years ago.

The death of Merle and Phil Africa rests directly at the feet of this government! Phil will never be forgotten and this is not the end.

He is dearly missed, but his strong example should inspire everyone to fight harder for the freedom of the MOVE 9 and all political prisoners. This latest government treachery will be the fuel needed to motivate people to step up the pace for this revolution.

Long live Phil Africa! Long live Merle Africa! Free the Move 9! Long live John Africa!

For more info or to ask how you can help, contact Ramona Africa at OnaMoveLLJA@gmail.com or rebelchild170@aol.com. Ramona is the only adult survivor of the 1985 bombing of MOVE headquarters by Philadelphia police that killed 11 people and destroyed 60 homes.

Free the MOVE 9

Nearly 37 years after the Aug. 8, 1978, confrontation in Philadelphia, the eight remaining “MOVE 9″ prisoners are still being denied parole, after becoming eligible in 2008. MOVE is asking for support in building public pressure for the MOVE 9’s release.

Write to the MOVE 9 and let them know they are remembered:

  • Michael Davis Africa, AM4973, P.O. Box 244, Graterford, PA 19426-244
  • Delbert Orr Africa, AM4985, 1000 Follies Rd., Dallas, PA 18612
  • Edward Goodman Africa, AM4974, 301 Morea Rd., Frackville, PA 17932
  • Charles Sims Africa, AM4975, 660 State Route 11, Hunlock Creek, PA 18621-3136
  • Debbie Sims Africa, 006307, Janet Hollaway Africa, 006308, and Janine Phillips Africa, 006309, 451 Fullerton Ave., Cambridge Springs, PA 16403-1238

MOVE is asking for support in building public pressure for the MOVE 9’s release.

Check out www.move9parole.blogspot.com for more specific information on how to support parole for the MOVE 9.

The MOVE family was bombed in an attempt to stop their work to free all life and, specifically, the MOVE 9. The MOVE 9 are still incarcerated. Let’s bring them home.



Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit! Del.icio.us! JoomlaVote! Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Yahoo! Free social bookmarking plugins and extensions for Joomla! websites!
 
Written by Janette Sherman    Sunday, 11 January 2015 00:00    PDF Print E-mail
Carcinogens, not bad luck, cause cancer

The twin 20-story Geneva Towers, located just a few minutes away from Candlestick in Visitacion Valley, were imploded on May 16, 1998. Note the dust cloud – laden with toxins – over hundreds of homes. – Photo: Thor Swift, SF Chronicle

The twin 20-story Geneva Towers, located just a few minutes away from Candlestick in Visitacion Valley, were imploded on May 16, 1998. Note the dust cloud – laden with toxins – over hundreds of homes. – Photo: Thor Swift, SF Chronicle

The headline, “Biological bad luck blamed in two-thirds of cancer cases, researchers say,” has received very wide coverage. Tell that to the people living at Hunters Point!

If one ignores chemistry, biology, physics and history, then one might believe it. It matters little whether exposures occur at home, workplace or neighborhood – it is not bad luck, it is exposure to carcinogens, and they are additive and cumulative. Carcinogens are found in common chemicals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and nuclear radiation.

Vogelstein & Tomasetti, the authors of the Johns Hopkins study that prompted the headline, claim that cancer is due to random mutations in cells. Where do they think those mutations originated? A simple Internet search would have provided them with ample information on known carcinogens.

Why did this study get such press coverage? Can it be that prevention of disease interferes with the business of medical (sickness) care?

Hunters Point residents continue to battle for their health, and certainly have the right to ask: What researcher can possibly claim that cancer is the result of bad luck?

Hunters Point is a unique place – it was a major shipbuilding and repair site during World War II, and then a largely minority and poor neighborhood. When I worked there for the Navy Radiological Defense Laboratory in the early 1950s, it was easy to see the clouds of asbestos used in ship repairs.

However, it was impossible to see the radioactive contamination from decommissioning the vessels that were exposed to nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. Hunters Point was declared a Superfund Site in 1989.

Adjacent to Hunters Point is Candlestick Park, the world famous stadium built of reinforced concrete in the beginning of 1958. Lennar, the corporation given rights by San Francisco City Hall to develop both the Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick, has plans to implode – to blow up – the building.

Asbestos, as well as other toxic materials commonly used to build at that time, would rise up in a gigantic dust cloud, only to settle back down on the surrounding residential neighborhood to be breathed by the residents. Yet neither those residents nor the public at large were notified or consulted; permission to implode was not publicized.

Neither those residents nor the public at large were notified or consulted; permission to implode was not publicized.

Hunters Point residents continue to battle for their health, and certainly have the right to ask: What researcher can possibly claim that cancer is the result of bad luck?

Janette D. Sherman, M.D., a physician, toxicologist and author, concentrating on chemicals and nuclear radiation that cause cancer and birth defects, is consulting editor for “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and Nature,” a comprehensive presentation of all the available information concerning the health and environmental effects of the low dose radioactive contaminants. Originally published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009 for $150, she has had it republished for wide distribution at only $10. Seehttp://janettesherman.com/books/. Dr. Sherman has worked in radiation and biologic research at the University of California nuclear facility and at the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory at the Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco. Her primary interest is the prevention of illness through public education and patient awareness. She can be reached at www.janettesherman.com.

 

 


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit! Del.icio.us! JoomlaVote! Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Yahoo! Free social bookmarking plugins and extensions for Joomla! websites!
 
Written by Dave Zirin    Wednesday, 07 January 2015 01:47    PDF Print E-mail
Athlete-activists can’t be scared silent after the murder of two NYPD officers

Over the last month, we have seen a veritable “Sports World Spring” as athletes have spoken out on politics in a manner unseen since the 1960s. They have been inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations directed against the killing of unarmed Black men and women by police as well as the inability of the criminal justice system to deliver justice.

Lakers, from right, Jeremy Lin, Wayne Ellington, Carlos Boozer, Jordan Clarkson and Nick Young wear “I can’t breathe” T-shirts as they sit on the bench during the first half of their Dec. 9 game against the Kings. – Photo: Jae C. Hong, AP

Lakers, from right, Jeremy Lin, Wayne Ellington, Carlos Boozer, Jordan Clarkson and Nick Young wear “I can’t breathe” T-shirts as they sit on the bench during the first half of their Dec. 9 game against the Kings. – Photo: Jae C. Hong, AP

The most remarkable part of these protests was not just their breadth nor the stature of the athletes involved, but that commissioners and coaches seemed to be allowing it and in some cases, even nodding in approval. Clearly suspending LeBron James for being upset about the killing of unarmed African-Americans was not seen as savvy public relations.

Now, in the wake of the horrific killing of two NYPD detectives, everything has changed. This eruption of athlete activism will probably not only come to a close, but get thrown down the memory hole where the Masters of Sports keep the lost athletic years of Muhammad Ali, John Carlos and Craig Hodges. In other words, management support will die.

The sports bosses – and probably friends and family as well – will tell players that it is time to shut up and play. They will be told that it would be the heights of insensitivity to be seen as criticizing the police while officers, their families and many others are in mourning. It would be tasteless, bad for business and even dangerous.

If the athlete-activists do retreat into silence, it would be a tragic mistake. Now more than ever, players who wore the slogan “I Can’t Breathe” a week ago should wear it today. In fact, trying to find your breath when police and media are declaring war against a peaceful movement could not be more critical.

For players to say that standing with the families of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and others would now be “inappropriate” is a concession to political actors who are maliciously reframing why they stepped up in the first place. The senseless murder of two police officers by a suicidal lone gunman with a history of mental illness in no way negates the single most important organizing principle of the movement: that Black lives matter.

Those like Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki and their ilk, who are equating this movement with violence and murder, have never given a damn about opposing police brutality. Instead, they see themselves as foot soldiers in a bigger project of chilling, burying or even criminalizing all criticism of anyone who wears a badge.

If the athlete-activists do retreat into silence, it would be a tragic mistake. Now more than ever, players who wore the slogan “I Can’t Breathe” a week ago should wear it today. In fact, trying to find your breath when police and media are declaring war against a peaceful movement could not be more critical.

The entire focus of everyone involved in this movement – from the people in the street to LeBron and Derrick Rose – has been to demand that African-Americans be afforded the same humanity as everyone else: to be treated as people and not “demons” that need to be put down. There is nothing in the slogans “Black Lives Matter” or “I Can’t Breathe” or the marches and die-ins that remotely suggests that projecting violence toward police is a solution to police violence.

After a week of intense protests in Berkeley, the UCB women’s basketball team had planned to stage a protest at the next home game. But then, tweets forward Brittany Boyd, “After today’s events in Berkeley, entire team came 2 my hotel room & said we need to act 2day.” With their coach’s support, they put silver duct tape on the front of their T-shirts and wrote the name of a Black person killed by either police or by lynching. On the back, they wrote “Black lives matter” and “We are Cal WBB.”

After a week of intense protests in Berkeley, the UCB women’s basketball team had planned to stage a protest at the next home game. But then, tweets forward Brittany Boyd, “After today’s events in Berkeley, entire team came 2 my hotel room & said we need to act 2day.” With their coach’s support, they put silver duct tape on the front of their T-shirts and wrote the name of a Black person killed by either police or by lynching. On the back, they wrote “Black lives matter” and “We are Cal WBB.”

In fact, we have seen athletes like the NFL’s Reggie Bush and pro wrestler MVP who have been both part of the movement and have police officers in their immediate family. Given the explicit calls for vengeance by the NYPD and the rush by the media to place the blame for the shooting on people protesting violence, athletes could use their stature to assert that this movement is just.

I am well aware that this is easy as hell for me to say. It’s not my risk. It’s not my paycheck. It’s not my livelihood. But when you lend support to a movement, you bear a responsibility for that movement’s wellbeing. Black lives matter and in fact that needs to be expressed with urgency.

As long-time criminal justice organizer Keeanga Yahmatta-Taylor said to me: “I can hardly imagine the fear coursing through Black New York today. Don’t let your young sons out of the house. This is what we can’t give into – the siege in Black communities to avenge murder in the name of the law.”

It’s easy when management is patting you on the back, thousands are in the street and Fox News is in the corner mumbling to itself. But now the sunshine is gone and the chill is settling in. If LeBron or Derrick Rose – hell, if Nik Stauskas or Jeremy Lin – can turn their spotlight into even a little bit of sunlight, it will make a difference.

If you believed that LeBron, Kenny Britt, Ariyana Smith, the women of Berkeley and so many other athlete activists were on the side of right a week ago, then there is no reason to not believe that they are still right today. Their voices are needed more than ever.

If you believed that LeBron, Kenny Britt, Ariyana Smith, the women of Berkeley and so many other athlete activists were on the side of right a week ago, then there is no reason to not believe that they are still right today. Their voices are needed more than ever.

Dave Zirin is the author of several books, including “The John Carlos Story (Haymarket), and writes a weekly column for The Nation magazine, where this column first appeared. Receive his column every week by emailingdave@edgeofsports.com. Contact him at edgeofsports@gmail.com.



Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit! Del.icio.us! JoomlaVote! Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Yahoo! Free social bookmarking plugins and extensions for Joomla! websites!
 
Written by Benny Wenda    Wednesday, 07 January 2015 01:46    PDF Print E-mail
Benny Wenda: Indonesian military and police torture and kill children in Paniai, West Papua

Five West Papuan youth, age 17-18, were massacred by Indonesian military and police, who shot into a crowd of protesters Dec. 8. They were protesting an incident the night before, when younger children were beaten and a 12-year-old tortured for complaining that a military vehicle was being driven with its headlights off.

Five West Papuan youth, age 17-18, were massacred by Indonesian military and police, who shot into a crowd of protesters Dec. 8. They were protesting an incident the night before, when younger children were beaten and a 12-year-old tortured for complaining that a military vehicle was being driven with its headlights off.

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.

Alpius Youw, Alpius Gobai, Saday Yeimo, Simon Degei and Yulian Yeimo were all boys aged between 17 and 18 and were all shot dead by the Indonesian military yesterday in Paniai. This horrific tragedy occurred when the Indonesian military and police mercilessly opened fire upon a crowd of people, mostly youths and children who were demonstrating against the torture of another 12-year-old boy by Indonesian soldiers.

There is absolutely no excuse for the cold blooded massacre of between five and 12 innocent boys and I want to say that I fully condemn this evil human rights atrocity. How can the Indonesian government ever defend its position in West Papua while it continues to massacre my people, even children, just for speaking out against military brutality?

There is absolutely no excuse for the cold blooded massacre of between five and 12 innocent boys and I want to say that I fully condemn this evil human rights atrocity.

Events such as this horrible day of bloodshed in Paniai reveal to the world exactly what the Indonesian government is to this day doing in West Papua. Recently I was interviewed by BBC Indonesia and I declared that I do not trust the new Indonesian president Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and do not believe that he will bring any positive change for my people.

Outside the Indonesian embassy in London on Dec. 13, the Free West Papua Campaign and British friends protest the Dec. 8 massacre of West Papua youth

Outside the Indonesian embassy in London on Dec. 13, the Free West Papua Campaign and British friends protest the Dec. 8 massacre of West Papua youth

This heinous massacre against the Papuan youth is exposing Jokowi’s lies to the world and is proof that he is continuing to murder the next generation of my people just like former Indonesian presidents have done, with no regard whatsoever for our human rights.

With so much evidence coming out of West Papua every day, the world cannot remain blind to my people’s suffering while my country is under illegal occupation and my people, including children, are being viciously massacred by Indonesian soldiers. We will not be silent.

I am calling upon the international community to condemn this act of extreme terror towards my people who were only protesting against military brutality. Please look at the reality of what is really happening to my people. Men, women, children – all of us are being killed like flies in our own country by an occupying Indonesian army.

I ask all supporters and friends including human rights organizations, NGOs and church groups to also fully condemn this massacre of boys and children in Paniai. Please share and widely publicize this atrocity so as to increase worldwide awareness about the genocide in West Papua.

I am calling upon the international community to condemn this act of extreme terror towards my people who were only protesting against military brutality.

Please help to lobby politicians to support my people in breaking free from the Indonesian military occupation by supporting us in our struggle for self-determination and independence. You can send this letter to your political representatives and ask them to support media freedom and self-determination in West Papua. My people are in desperate need of voices to report the reality of this genocide we are facing every day.

Benny Wenda leads the protest in London. Wenda is a West Papuan independence leader and international lobbyist living in exile in the U.K., where he was he was granted political asylum in 2003 by the British Government following his escape from custody while on trial in West Papua.

Benny Wenda leads the protest in London. Wenda is a West Papuan independence leader and international lobbyist living in exile in the U.K., where he was he was granted political asylum in 2003 by the British Government following his escape from custody while on trial in West Papua.

On behalf of the Free West Papua Campaign, I give my full and deepest condolences to the families of all those ruthlessly murdered in the Paniai massacre. Their loved, their youths and children died protesting for all our rights, so that freedom and justice will one day come to our people as a whole.

The victims of this terrible day will be remembered in the history of West Papua forever along with the other hundreds of thousands of innocent Papuans who have died in our freedom struggle. May they rest in peace.

Having just returned from Vanuatu, where I have been attending a reunification conference for all West Papuan independence leaders, I have great hopes for West Papua’s freedom struggle. But such massacres as these cause great pain for all Papuans, showing us the urgency of our people’s quest for the liberation from this violence and illegal occupation.

It is for this reason that I am writing these words as a cry for help. Please see the suffering of my people and take action to help us. We are desperately in need of international support to help us find true peace and freedom in our own country.

Please support my people in our peaceful struggle against these horrors of colonialism and genocide. We want our rights to be restored and our justice granted. We want a free West Papua.

Benny Wenda, founder of the Free West Papua Campaign and spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, can be reached at office@bennywenda.org. Learn more at www.bennywenda.organd www.freewestpapua.org.



Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit! Del.icio.us! JoomlaVote! Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Yahoo! Free social bookmarking plugins and extensions for Joomla! websites!
 
Written by BAR executive editor Glen Ford    Thursday, 25 December 2014 00:00    PDF Print E-mail
Cops Threaten a Blue Coup in New York City

“The police union chief instructed his members to impose a martial law-type policing regime on the city.”

When Police Benevolent Association chief Patrick Lynch said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has the blood of two dead cops on his hands, he was issuing a physical threat to both the person of the mayor and the civil authority to which the police are subordinate and sworn to protect. In a nation under the rule of law, such a statement by a representative of an armed and enflamed constabulary – 35,000-strong, the equivalent of three light infantry divisions – would trigger an immediate defensive response from the State, to guard against mutiny. But, of course, no such thing happened.

When Lynch’s PBA declared, in a prepared statement, that “we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a ‘wartime’ police department” and “will act accordingly,” that constituted an instruction to union members to impose a martial law-type policing regime on the city – with no authorization other than the weapons they carry. Sounds very much like a coup.

On Internet message boards, police union activists instructed the rank and file to refuse to respond to incidents unless two units were dispatched to the scene, and to double up even if given orders to the contrary. Under this “wartime” footing, the police would simply seize the power to deploy and assign themselves, as they liked – and to hell with the chain of command and civilian authorities.

To hell, especially, with Mayor de Blasio, who now travels nowhere except under the protective custody of police commissioner Bill Bratton, a “cop’s cop” and architect of the “Broken Windows” policing strategy that begat stop-and-frisk. Bratton translates de Blasio’s words into cop-speak, and has forged a tense truce between the uniformed legions and the man who won 95 percent of the Black vote on the promise to put a leash on the gendarmes.

There is no doubt the cops feel betrayed – a rage that has been building in synch with the growth of a nationwide movement that challenges the legitimacy of the Mass Black Incarceration State, of which they are the frontline troops, the “heroes” in the war to criminalize and contain an entire people. The chants and placards are an insult and an indictment of THEM, and of their centrality to the racist project that has been an organizing principle of the nation for more than two generations. How is it that cops can be compelled to “protect and serve” marchers whose purpose is anathema to the American policing mission: to beat down, lock up, and extrajudicially execute dissident, disorderly, uppity or merely inconvenient Black people?

The cops understand the law, and that the law is conditional, based on place, race and wealth, and that in the end there is only force, the use of which is their sacred monopoly. It’s what gives them a status that union paychecks cannot buy; what makes blue collar guys and gals “somebody” in society. Most of all, they know who is nobody: the beatable, friskable, disposable, killable folks who would be prey on any other day, but have lately been allowed to repeatedly parade down the most protected streets of the richest island in the country, screaming defamations.

“The cops’ rage has been building in synch with the growth of a nationwide movement that challenges the legitimacy of the Mass Black Incarceration State, of which they are the frontline troops.”

The cops are understandably angry and confused. As primary enforcers of the social order, they have an intimate knowledge of actual class and race relationships in America. Their perspectives are molded by the geographic and social boundaries they patrol; they are shaped and informed by the inequalities of the system they protect on behalf of the powerful people they serve. (Yes, they really do “serve and protect” somebody.) The cop’s worldview is also firmly anchored in the history of the United States. He may not be aware of his profession’s antecedents in the slave patrols, or even that the U.S. Supreme Court once ruled that Black people have no rights that the white man is bound to respect, but cops are the reigning experts on the borders that delineate rights and privileges in their localities. They know that public housing residents have virtually no rights that cops – as agents of the rulers – are bound to respect. They know that whole sections of their cities, encompassing most of the Black and brown populations, are designated as drug zones where everyone is suspect and probable cause is a given, or as high-crime zones where every shooting is pre-qualified as a good one.

These are the Constitution-free zones, full of people who get and deserve no protection by or from the police. The very existence of Constitution-free zones means that the Bill of Rights is not the law of the land, but a Potemkin façade, a con game, a chimera – and no one knows this better than the cops, whose job is to ensure, as best they can, that everyone stays within their designated space.

For about a million Black people, the assigned “space” is prison. The Mass Black Incarceration State is the edifice that defines the American system of justice, setting it apart from the rest of the world in size, racial selectivity, draconian sentencing and institutionalized torture (80,000 inmates in solitary confinement on any given day). The police are the drones that feed the infernal prison machine, and keep Black America in a state of rightlessness. As Shakespeare’s mercenary warrior Othello would put it: We “have done the state some service, and they know it.”

“New York City’s police force is especially prone to mutiny and coup-plotting.”

The cops threaten mutiny if the State does not stick up for the men and women who do its dirty work. PBA honcho Patrick Lynch denounced “those that incited violence on the street under the guise of protests that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did everyday. We tried to warn, ‘It must not go on. It cannot be tolerated.’”

To which the protesters answer: the police killings and the criminalization of a whole people must not go on and cannot be tolerated.

The movement has come to a critical juncture, a moment that would have arrived even if Ismaaiyl Brinsley had not made his own fatal decision. It was always inevitable that the cops would at some point demand that the State dispense with civil liberties pretenses and allow them to crush the nascent movement. New York City’s police force – by far the nation’s largest army of domestic occupation – is especially prone to mutiny and coup-plotting. Thousands of cops, many of them drunk, stormed City Hall in 1992 to express their utter contempt for Black mayor David Dinkins. But, the current crisis is far different, because it is the movement’s show, not the cops’. The people are exposing the most acute contradictions of American life through direct confrontation with the armed enforcers of the State. The cops are supposed to be upset. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. explained, “the purpose of direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.” The crisis is here, and will grow deeper, but freedom is non-negotiable. The movement must win or be crushed.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.



Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit! Del.icio.us! JoomlaVote! Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Yahoo! Free social bookmarking plugins and extensions for Joomla! websites!
 
  • «
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1 
  •  2 
  •  3 
  •  4 
  •  5 
  •  6 
  •  7 
  •  8 
  •  9 
  •  10 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
  • »


Page 1 of 187

Your are currently browsing this site with Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).

Your current web browser must be updated to version 7 of Internet Explorer (IE7) to take advantage of all of template's capabilities.

Why should I upgrade to Internet Explorer 7? Microsoft has redesigned Internet Explorer from the ground up, with better security, new capabilities, and a whole new interface. Many changes resulted from the feedback of millions of users who tested prerelease versions of the new browser. The most compelling reason to upgrade is the improved security. The Internet of today is not the Internet of five years ago. There are dangers that simply didn't exist back in 2001, when Internet Explorer 6 was released to the world. Internet Explorer 7 makes surfing the web fundamentally safer by offering greater protection against viruses, spyware, and other online risks.

Get free downloads for Internet Explorer 7, including recommended updates as they become available. To download Internet Explorer 7 in the language of your choice, please visit the Internet Explorer 7 worldwide page.