Ralph Nader & Former Phila Police Captain Ray Lewis say… Occupy Congress!

Since these elected lawmakers seem to care more about helping rogue nations, and doing the bidding of their corporate paymasters, maybe WE should just take over the Congress and start IMPLEMENTING OUR OWN LAWS that will protect and empower REAL PEOPLE and not large multi-national corporations and corrupt governments.

The PEOPLE OF THE USA MUST START LEADING, and then our elected “leaders” must follow!

CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING WEB SITES for ideas!

http://tinyurl.com/PoliticalCourageTest
http://tinyurl.com/BackBoneThankNSpank
http://tinyurl.com/ThePeoplesPetition

****** CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE EVENTS FROM LAST YEAR, BUT  STILL VERY MUCH RELEVANT AND INSPIRING! ******

——————–

From 1/20/12
Sgt. Shamar Thomas (from 1 Marine vs. 30 Cops fame) along with other OWS protesters Detain Sen. Carl Levin Over NDAA. Hilarious!

I Am An INC. Today

Ralph Nader says Occupy Congress

Philly Police Captain Ray Lewis Interview at Occupy Congress J17

THE CORPORATION – A Legal “Person”

THE CORPORATION – The Pathology of Commerce

:: Corporation : Clinical Diagnosis (PCLR) ::

——————–

Popular Resistance Newsletter – Announcing Creative Resistance!

Occupy Puppets protesting the Trans-Pacific Partnership
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, www.popularresistance.org
March 5th, 2014

Above: OWS Puppets protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The Joy and Resolve of a Movement Built on Creative Resistance

Beginning with the iconic image of the ballerina on top of the Wall Street Bull, art has been central to occupy and was an important reason for its powerful impact.

Art adds vitality and energy to advocacy; and it reaches people at deeper emotional levels and in their hearts conveying what cannot be said with mere facts.

We had been covering art as part of our reporting on the movement at Popular Resistance, but it wasn’t enough. There has been so much artistic activism that we decided it needed to be highlighted with its own website, Creative Resistance.org. It is a place where community members, activists and activist artists can connect and inspire each other. We encourage everyone to find ways that art can be incorporated into your actions and into the work in your community.

Art Builds Commitment, Community and Movement

One goal of public protest is to pull people to the movement in order to grow into a mass movement that cannot be ignored.  Activist art turns a protest into a spectacle, from a turn-off to a turn-on, from an event ignored to one that is widely reported. The protest becomes art itself. If done well and with intention, it will draw people to the movement.

For example, before a protest or other event, a community art build can be organized where people involved in advocacy create art together; and where families, community members, professional colleagues and others are invited to co-create. This process builds stronger connections within the community, deepens the understanding of the issue and provides a way for individuals to express their personal relationship to the issue.

As Tatiana Makovkin, an organizer with Creative Resistance, wrote recently: “Art is good for our communities, and artistic collaboration is a bonding experience. We make art together, not just because of the changes it can bring to the world around us, but because of the way it changes us internally.”

Source: http://www.creativeresistance.org/beehive-design-collective/

Source: Bee Hive Collective listens, then draws the narrative, http://www.creativeresistance.org/beehive-design-collective/

Another group that uses the creation of art as a catalyst for change is the Bee Hive Collective. This Maine-based group tells stories through incredible graphics.  They are done in a sophisticated cartoon-like style in order to make them accessible and engaging. The stories are based on concerns that communities have about their lives and the environment.  They have gone to the coal fields of Appalachia, refugee camps in Latin America and partnered with other communities whose voices need to be amplified, whose stories need to be heard and whose struggle for social and environmental justice needs to be told.

Sometimes art lifts a protest to what Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign calls a “spectacle action.”  We’ve been involved in protests against the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Moyer and each was a spectacle action.  In a recent TPP protest we draped four massive banners on the building of the US Trade Representative, across from the White House complex. The action, which the Washington Post called the greatest guerrilla theater in DC history, created images used by media all over the world and showed people who are opposed to the TPP in other countries that there is opposition in the US too.

Tar Sands Blockade in Winnsboro, TX. From http://www.popularresistance.org/saturday-sept-21-draw-a-line-against-tar-sands/

Tar Sands Blockade in Winnsboro, TX. Fromhttp://www.popularresistance.org/saturday-sept-21-draw-a-line-against-tar-sands/

In a protest in Salt Lake City as TPP negotiators were inside a hotel conducting secret negotiations, theBackbone Campaign and other groupsflew massive weather balloons holding a banner outside their conference window saying “Psst TPP. What are you hiding?”  The banner used humor to mock their secret negotiations and raise the issue of why they were hiding from all of us who will be impacted by the deals they make behind closed doors.

These spectacle protests also sent a message to our adversaries that we are a force to be reckoned with because we were willing to take risks and were clear in our denunciation of their unpopular, anti-democratic actions. They were put on notice – proceed and you should expect resistance.

That same type of message has been sent all up and down the Keystone XL pipeline that will bring toxic tar sands sludge from Canada through the farm belt of America, over precious fresh water sources and to the Gulf of Mexico to be processed for transport overseas. When the Tar Sands Blockaders began in the southern portion of the pipeline, they put up massive banners in the trees where activists were doing tree sits.  The message on the banner: You Shall Not Pass was a clear threat of resistance.

In the South and in the northern part of the pipeline where Obama has not yet approved construction, indigenous peopleslandowners, ranchers and farmers have joined people concerned about climate change and ecological destruction to protest in creative ways like putting up a solar energy producing barn where the pipeline is planned to go. TransCanada is so afraid of this resistance they are urging police to treat protesters as terrorists, including an absurd glitter terror case in Oklahoma.

Backbone Campaign puppets from http://www.creativeresistance.org/backbone-campaign/

Backbone Campaign puppets fromhttp://www.creativeresistance.org/backbone-campaign/

The use of art in resistance can make protests less frightening and something people want to attend and join. Protest signs that advertise an event or are used at the event draw attention and spread our message, as do the massive puppets seen at many protests produced by groups like People’s PuppetsBread and Puppet Theaterthe Backbone Campaign and others. As these puppets march through neighborhoods accompanied by singing and chanting, people are drawn to them and some end up participating. Street theater is another way to attract people.  Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir is one example of many groups who perform.

A book which shows the breadth of creativity in activism is Beautiful Trouble. It compiles hundreds of examples of creative resistance. The authors write, “The realization is rippling through the ranks that, if deployed thoughtfully, our pranks, stunts, flash mobs and encampments can bring about real shifts in the balance of power. In short, large numbers of people have seen that creative action gets the goods — and have begun to act accordingly. Art, it turns out, really does enrich activism, making it more compelling and sustainable”

Reaching People Beyond Their Heads

To be effective in our advocacy it is not enough to provide facts, figures and graphs and reach people in their heads.  Studies have shown that facts that contradict someone’s belief are often ignored and even have the opposite effect of strengthening people’s preconceived notions. In order to change people, we have to reach them at a deeper, more emotional level.

Source: http://www.creativeresistance.org/center-for-artistic-activism-new-york-ny/

Source: Center for Artistic Activism Training,http://www.creativeresistance.org/center-for-artistic-activism-new-york-ny/

The Center for Artistic Activism describes their rationale for the use of creative resistance writing:

Throughout history, the most effective political actors have married the arts with campaigns for social change.  While Martin Luther King Jr is now largely remembered for his example of moral courage, social movement historian Doug McAdam’s estimation of King’s “genius for strategic dramaturgy,” likely better explains the success of his campaigns.

Dramaturgy means the art or technique of dramatic composition and theatrical representation.  One of the co-founders of the Center for Artistic Activism, Stephen Duncombe, describes the story of how King used drama when the civil rights movement selected Birmingham, AL as the place for protest by creating a confrontation with Police Chief Bull Connor.  Connor had been an abusive police chief in Birmingham for 23 years and in 1961 had abused the Freedom Riders. Connor tried running for mayor, but lost the election.  The day Connor lost the election, King’s group announced Project C (for confrontation) challenging the racist police practices of Connor.  The goal was mass arrests and confrontation that would overwhelm the police and penal system.  King’s arrest led to his Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

Birmingham CampaignOn May 2, 1963, King’s group used a new tactic in Birmingham by having children march through the streets, resulting in 959 children aged 6 to 18 being arrested.  The next day large numbers of protesters came out and Connor turned the dogs and fire hoses on them. This went on for several days and produced images that created anger at Connor and support for the civil rights activists.  Three thousand protesters were arrested over a five day period.  The impact on the reputation and economy was extremely negative causing a majority of businesses to reach agreement with King to desegregate lunch counters, rest rooms and drinking fountains on May 10. The businesses also helped to get the protesters released and created systems for black-white communication. On May 11, Connor was ordered to leave his office.

King had picked the stage, the antagonist and protagonists.  The narrative was predictable because they knew how Connor would react and the civil rights activists had been trained to respond appropriately.  Through dramaturgy, King had created a dramatic composition that was vivid, emotional and engaged the American people – based on the truth – to tell the story of racism in Birmingham and advance the cause of civil rights by reaching people beyond their minds, deep into their emotions.

Think of the iconic photos of African Americans being attacked by dogs and having the fire hoses turned on them; and of children being arrested.  These iconic images are still carried with many Americans because they reached deep down into people. Sometimes when the stage is set and the narrative is being told, the iconic image, unimagined before it happens, is created and advances a movement.

More visit: http://theyesmen.org/ and http://www.yeslab.org/

More visit: http://theyesmen.org/ and http://www.yeslab.org/

Another path into the emotions of people is humor.  The Yes Men are one of the groups that have used humor to make a point. The Yes Men describe their workas “Impersonating big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them, and otherwise giving journalists excuses to cover important issues.” And, they have mocked some of the biggest corporate criminals on the planet.  Their method is to put these corporations in an uncomfortable position, forcing them to respond to hoax news that ‘reports’ the corporation is going to do something good.  The corporation then responds – ‘no we’re not going to do something good.’

The Yes Men are now working to share their experience and broaden the talent of hoax humor activism with the Yes Lab. Their goal is to help activists carry out media-getting creative actions through a series of brainstorms and trainings.  They call their tactic that creates a public spectacle to spark public debate “laughtivism” as they recognize that humor opens people’s minds.

Another powerful artistic tool is music. It draws people in and can open the door to a movement message. From hip-hop to folk music to rock and roll, there is musical activism. And it is also a tool for creating solidarity and confidence when activists face difficult situations.

Creativity sustains movements

The struggle for social justice is a long-term endeavor that goes through periods of ups and downs. Artful activism in resistance movements can provide new energy and make the goals feel more tangible. Art allows us to imagine the future and sense the world differently.

From http://www.creativeresistance.org/gallery-banksys-iconic-street-art/

From Bansky Wall Art  http://www.creativeresistance.org/gallery-banksys-iconic-street-art/

Art does not have to be expensive.  It can be as simple as a can of spray paint for graffiti. The artist Bansky has brought street art to a new level, but at its root it is simple and accessible.  Another group that takes graffiti to a new direction is theCalifornia Department of Corrections, which ‘corrects’ billboards to put forward a social and economic justice message by adding their comments or changing a few words on the billboard.

Bread and Puppet Theater describes the birth of the “Cheap Art Philosophy … born in 1979 when [they] filled their old school bus with hundreds of small pictures painted on scraps of masonite, cardboard and newspaper, painted slogans and statements about art and Cheap Art, and hung them on the outside of the bus. Then they drove it to neighboring towns and sold the stuff for 10 cents to 10 dollars.” They report the idea has spread:

“Today Cheap Art is practiced by all kinds of artists and puppeteers all over, and continues to cry out: Art is Not Business! Art Is Food! Art Soothes Pain! Art Wakes Up Sleepers! Art Is Cheap! Hurrah!”

Isn’t this the sharing world want we need to see? Imagine art builds in every town bringing communities together and deepening commitment, massive puppets and balloons carrying the message of justice in parades and protests across the country, entertaining and educating theatrics in the streets, music reaching the uninvolved and strengthening the resolve of the already active. People sharing and participating together in building a movement of creative resistance whose foundations are joy and resolve spurs us to re-imagine and create the world we want to see.

Sign up for Creative Resistance here.

Note: Next week there will be no newsletter.

From: Create a Peace Economy, http://www.creativeresistance.org/create-a-peace-economy/

From: Create a Peace Economy, http://www.creativeresistance.org/create-a-peace-economy/

Advertisements

Join the Campaign for a NYC Council Resolution to Shut Down Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant NOW!

311_2014Flier_JJ

3.11 No Nukes Action group are organizing two actions for the 3rd Anniversary of 3.11 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster.

TUE. MARCH 11TH 3:30PM

CONSULATE OF JAPAN 299 PARK AVE. (@ 49TH ST.) [MAP]

3:30PM DEMO & PRESS CONFERENCE

4:00PM LETTER DELIVERY TO THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT

4:30PM MARCH TO TIMES SQUARE

[FACEBOOK]

SAT. MARCH 15TH 1PM

UNION SQUARE (14TH ST & BROADWAY) [MAP]

1PM SPEECH & BALLOON MAKING

2PM MARCH TO TOMPKINS SQ.

MUSIC BY: RAGING GRANNIES, RUDE MECHANICAL ORCHESTRA

[FACEBOOK]

Download Flyer: (PDF, 2PAGES)

Download Flyer: (JPG, PAGE1)  (JPG, PAGE2)

March 11th 2014 marks the third year anniversary since the beginning of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in March 2011. This disaster was caused by not only the massive earthquake and tsunami, but the human error and irresponsibility of the state, nuclear industry and their supporters who prioritize profit over people. Countless issues remain unresolved at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, as well as in the surrounding areas with high levels of radioactivity. The radiation from the coast of Fukushima is also contaminating the Pacific Ocean, reminding us that we are all connected by the sea. Fukushima leaves us an overwhelming question; are there any safe places, food or water left for us, or for future generations?

We New Yorkers also live next to Indian Point Energy Center’s two nuclear reactors, sitting right on Hudson River, 25 miles north of NYC. The utility owner Entergy is still operating the power plant, which releases radioactivity 24/7. Indian Point is on an earthquake fault line and one of the reactor’s operating license has just expired in 2013. At any nuclear power plants, danger is inherent and accidents will happen. While we observe an increasing number of natural disasters affecting our city, it’s no longer a question of if, but when Indian Point suffers an accident. And what about the massive amounts of radioactive waste? United States currently has no long-term solution for the highly radioactive nuclear waste being generated every day at over 100 nuclear reactors throughout the country.

We will not forget Fukushima.
Let’s connect and stand with the people in Japan and elsewhere struggling with the consequence of nuclear production.
Join us & Take action!

Organized by the members of: Brooklyn for Peace, Eco-Logic (WBAI-FM), Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC), Shut Down Indian Point Now!, The Manhattan Project, Todos Somos Japon


Organized by Todos Somos Japon, The Manhattan Project & Shut Down Indian Point Now!

—————————

Until our elected “leaders” call for the IMMEDIATE phasing out of nuclear power (and nuclear weapons), our entire city, country and planet will continue to be at grave risk.

Ask yourself WHY they are not talking about this in the debates. Also ask yourself WHY mainstream media doesn’t talk about it!

The nuclear industry could never exist without massive subsidies by our corrupt federal government and a mainstream media that keeps it OFF PEOPLE’S MINDS. What most people don’t realize is that the mainstream media ARE the nuclear industry and the military industry! And guess what? GENERAL ELECTRIC isn’t going to tell you on NBC that their reactors are threatening the very survival of our species!

Even Wall St. won’t even insure or finance or insure nuclear power! So why is this allowed to continue? There are lots of sane, safe solutions (that can create hundreds of thousands of much needed GREEN JOBS!) The people of Germany, France, and certainly Japan are quickly waking up to the alternatives. Why aren’t we?? Please New York, DO SOMETHING to remedy this situation NOW before it’s too late! Our future depends on the safe, immediate, permanent shutdown of this plant and other plants like it! Fukushima & Chernobyl are for real!

June 12, 1982 – One Million People In Central Park… WE CAN DO THIS AGAIN!

Bombs Will Make The Rainbow Break

STEP #1 ***** CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE ONLINE CHANGE.ORG PETITION *****

STEP #2 – Print / distribute / translate this flyer! Tell all your friends, neighbors and co-workers to do same!

STEP #3 – There are 50 NYC Council members representing 50 districts in NYC. ****** FIND YOUR CITY COUNCIL MEMBER HERE ******* Get a few neighbors together and MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO SEE YOUR COUNCIL MEMBER! Organize a meeting of concerned residents in your district, follow-up with your City Council member and bring MORE people next time around! Ask he/she if they will support this resolution:

NYC City Council Resolution to Close Indian Point

If they will not, ask why? Explain how dangerous this “Fukushima‐on‐the‐Hudson” is to the NYC public and that NYC can obtain all the energy it needs from the solar, wind, water power, and basic conservation. Tell them about the Synapse Report that explains the possibilities for clean energy in NY. See: Indian Point Alternatives – Synapse Report – Indian Point Replacement Analysis: A Clean Energy Roadmap – A Proposal for Replacing the Nuclear Plant with Clean, Sustainable Energy Resources

Click HERE to print out a PDF of the document.

AND DON’T FORGET TWO OTHER VERY IMPORTANT STEPS

STEP #4 – Call & write Governor Cuomo (who has the authority to close the plant immediately)

Phone #: 212-681-4580
Address: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York State, 633 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10017
E-mail: gov.cuomo@chamber.state.ny.us
Twitter: @NYGovCuomo

STEP #5 – Call and write President Obama

Phone #: 202-456-1414
Address: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500
E-mail: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments
Twitter: @BarackObama

LET THEM KNOW how you feel about nuclear power!

BE ACTIVE TODAY, NOT RADIOACTIVE and cancer-ridden tomorrow!

SHUT DOWN INDIAN POINT NOW! NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT NOW!


Dr Helen Caldicott Protests Nuclear Reactors @ No Nukes Rally Unified Arnie Gundersen & Chris Busby

*** Must Hear! Jumpt to 3:52 *** to hear Nader talk about collusion between the Nuclear Industry, U.S. Government & our Mainstream Media (Then hear him talk about raising the minimum wage and how easy it could be if we organize! )

“Playing Russian Roulette with the American People”: Ralph Nader Advocates Phasing Out Nuclear Power

Paul Blanch speaks about dangers posed by Indian Point’s continued operation-H.264.mov

Professor Mitsuhei Murata “A Plea for a Total Ban on Nuclear Energy”

*** MUST SEE **** Mothers/Farmers/Grassroots Anti-nuke activists from Fukushima visit NYC

Mothers from Fukushima visit NYC

SHUT DOWN INDIAN POINT Nuclear Power Plant 1st Video of 4

Helen Caldicott: Loving This Planet | The New School
Jump to 16:37!!!

Time’s Up! “Shut Down Indian Point” Bike Ride & Sail Action

MORE ABOUT THE NUCLEAR PLANT THAT IS ONLY 30 MILES FROM NYC!!! INDIAN POINT

also take a look at the below New York GROUPS… or start your own!

Shut Down Indian Point Now! NYC
NYC Coalition to Ban Depleted Uranium
Times Up NYC
Abolition 2000
ShutDownIndianPointNow.org
Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC)
Todos Somos Japon
Manhattan Project

AND OTHER GROUPS NOT BASED IN NYC

Coalition Against Nukes (CAN)
Beyond Nuclear
Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS)

National Justice Movement for Trayvon Martin

Please sign the petition if you haven’t already! ( www.tinyurl.com/justice4trayvon )

“There is a Trayvon in Every Town”: Rev. Jesse Jackson and Florida Youth Activist Demand Justice

Trayvon Martin’s Unpunished Shooting Death Among 100+ Extrajudicial Killings of Unarmed Blacks

Michelle Alexander: “Zimmerman Mindset” Endangers Young Black Lives With Poverty, Prison & Murder

———-

Posted on Malcom X Grassroots Movement website – National Justice Movement for Trayvon Martin ( www.tinyurl.com/nationaljustice4trayvonmartin )

Proposed Next Steps for the National Justice for Trayvon Martin Movement

Wed, 07/17/2013 – 5:24pm

 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Major Action

We call for a massive mobilization to shut down either Tallahassee or Sanford, Florida in August or September to: a) present a comprehensive set of structural demands and b) help congeal the broad social justice movements fighting for justice for Trayvon Martin to be able to develop and advance a comprehensive BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign.

Some Preliminary Demands:

  1. Repeal the “Stand Your Ground Law”
  2. Immediately Release Marissa Alexander
  3. We call for the elimination of the Police Bill of Rights and the numerous civil service rules and judicial policies and procedures that give the police anonymity, freedom from having their behavior recorded and virtual immunity from accountability and prosecution.
  4. End to the various polices of containment such as racial profiling, stop and frisk, gang injunctions, secure communities, etc.
  5. End the “War on Drugs” and all of its related laws, policies and programs
  6. Enact democratically elected “Police Control Boards”, with the power to fire, subpoena, and indict police officers for human rights violations
  7. Demilitarization of domestic law enforcement, including eliminating the use of Drones and various surveillance operations and institutions.
  8. The redirection of military funding to social programs, such as public education, housing, health care, public transportation, and grassroots-controlled programs to prevent domestic and intra-communal violence.
  9. Legislate and enact a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice that will make the United States government compliant with all the norms and standards of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on all levels

Suggested Strategies, Tactics, and Targets.

Boycott

  1. Boycott the state of Florida until it meets the aforementioned demands on a state level.
  2. Boycott various Florida based businesses, particularly various agricultural monopolies critical to the economy of the state such as Oranges, Tomatoes, Sugar Cane (for more details see http://florida-agriculture.com/), and other entities such as Publix Super Markets, World Fuel Services, Office Depot, etc. (for more details see http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2011/states/FL.html).

Divestment

We call on all unions, churches, investment groups, and all the various forces of civil society to divest from any Florida state bond holdings until the aforementioned demands are meet.

Proposed Demands and Campaigns in Depth (from Let Your Motto Be Resistance found at http://mxgm.org/let-your-motto-be-resistance-a-handbook-on-organizing-new-afrikan-and-oppressed-communities-for-self-defense/)

  • Police Control Boards – Grassroots Police Control Board’s are intended to serve as directly elected oversight and disciplinary committees on a city or municipal level. They have the power to monitor and reform policies and to discipline, fire, subpoena and prosecute police or other law enforcement agencies operating within their jurisdiction. Campaigns to institute Police Control Boards are designed to avoid the pitfalls of Citizen Review Boards. Over the last 50 years various movements and communities have demanded Citizen Review Boards that have been taken over by Mayors and other local officials. Mayors have appointed their own political cronies to protect the police and the status quo. We propose that our movement organize electoral campaigns or referendums that transform the Charters of Cities and Counties to establish Police Control Boards via the limited democratic means that presently exist. Electoral campaigns for Police Control Boards become vehicles for extensive outreach and education to move our base and shape public opinion. Campaigns of this nature will require grassroots fundraising to retain the integrity of the initiative and pay for media ads, etc.  They will also require forming alliances with various forces in the city or region that share similar interests and the development of a comprehensive strategy that builds enough power to institute this structural reform.
  • Anti-Containment Campaigns – These campaigns focus on stopping local, statewide, and national policies and programs that repress and displace our communities like racial profiling, check points, stop and frisk, weed and seed, gang injunctions, drug war policies, three strikes and zero-tolerance policies, etc. In addition to stopping these reactionary policies, we should also engage in proactive campaigns, like those that seek to abolish prisons.
  • Anti-Surveillance Campaigns – These campaigns should focus on forcing the state to become transparent about its extensive surveillance infrastructure and operations, and organizing campaigns that demand that they be wholly dismantled. These campaigns can start with initiatives that publically expose the methods and tactics used by various government agencies to monitor our social activities. We must also develop and effectively utilize a national database that exposes the undercover agents and provocateurs used by the government to infiltrate, disrupt, and discredit our social movements (this must be done through extensive factual documentation and not innuendo which can be and is very destructive to our movements).
  • Demilitarization Campaigns – These campaigns should focus on ending the military weapons and tactics used by domestic law enforcement.  Law enforcement agencies throughout the US empire have enhanced their military capacities since the 1960’s, primarily focused on containing and repressing the national liberation and progressive social movements. For their arsenals they have acquired and incorporated military assault rifles, tanks, combat ready helicopters, grenades, hollow point bullets, camera and satellite integrate surveillance systems, infrared equipment, and sonic and microwave crowd control equipment, etc. Tactically, they incorporated various strategies of counterinsurgency and pacification, including envelopment tactics that surround communities, check-points that control traffic in and out of a community, “weed and seed” programs that deliberately divide communities, gang injunctions that criminalize social relationships and customs (youth fashions, informal associations, etc.), “stop and frisk” tactics that allow for illegal searches and seizures on a massive scale, and initiatives like “Operation Ghetto Storm” intentionally designed to terrorize oppressed communities.  These campaigns are intended to heighten the contradictions between the people and the state (i.e. the government) and put the questions of institutional racism, national oppression, and US imperialism at the center of public debate within the empire18.
  • Anti-Drone Campaigns – The introduction of surveillance and military drones over US held territories marks a critical new phase in the development of the repressive capacities of the US government. In order to preserve any notion of democratic space, we must launch local campaigns to resist the use of drones at the local and municipal levels and join or start campaigns that challenge their legitimacy and utilization throughout the empire.
  • Prisoner Defense Campaigns – These campaigns should focus on defending a) our political prisoners, prisoners of war, and political exiles from ongoing prosecution and violations of international law, b) our prisoners from unjust prosecution and human rights abuses, and c) community members from entrapment, false imprisonment, and false prosecution. These campaigns should employ every means of struggle we have available to us, but should rely first and foremost on methods of mass struggle, rather than legalistic methods that appeal to the enemy’s courts rather than the people.
  • Truth and Reconciliation Initiatives – Dr. Mutulu Shakur and other New Afrikan political prisoners, prisoners of war, and political exiles are demanding that the US government commit to a process of Truth and Reconciliation similar to that employed in post-Apartheid Azania (South Africa) to address the governments human rights violations during the COINTELPRO era and provide amnesty for the political prisoners, prisoners of war, and political exiles whom the US government transgressed against during this era. These Truth and Reconciliation campaigns can and should be launched on a local and regional level, following the model of organizers in Omaha, Nebraska regarding the Defense of the Omaha 2, which have targeted the role of local police forces in collaboration with the FBI in infiltrating organizations like the Black Panther Party and the Revolutionary Action Movement, and setting these organizations up via provocateur actions. These campaigns are essential to holding the US government accountable and fortifying the will and confidence of the people in their right and ability to successfully resist. On the Federal level people should link with and support the Truth and Commission organizing process being driven by Dr. Mutulu Shakur19.
  • National Plan of Action for Racial Justice and Self-Determination – This campaign should be focused on building a movement with enough strength and power to force the Federal government to implement broad social reform program based on international law to combat institutional racism and it various manifestations and legacies in the US empire. The National Plan of Action for Racial Justice and Self-Determination is an outgrowth of the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa and the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA), and calls on the Federal government to commit to a transformative program of action to combat inequality caused by the legacies of colonialism, genocide, enslavement, and economic exploitation.  In addition to campaigning for this demand on Federal level, we should also demand that city, county and state governments pass similar measures that respect, protect, and fulfill the full human rights of oppressed and exploited peoples.

The Zimmerman Verdict is a Reflection of the Times. The People Must ORGANIZE!

Mon, 07/15/2013 – 12:39am

Trayvon Martin was never going to get justice from a courtroom of the United States government. Justice for Trayvon and for the hundreds of other Black women, men, and children executed by someone employed or protected by the US government on a daily basis will only come from our people and the power we are able to wield through the strength of our organization and the resolve of our will. Zimmerman was only put on trial because millions of our people took to the streets in early 2012 and threatened to disrupt the system. The trial was a means to divert our energies and return things to the status quo.

Obama’s statement that a “a jury has spoken” encouraging what he called, “calm reflection”, is just another effort to lure Black people to sleep and keep us accepting the status quo. The status quo of white supremacy has never and will never work for Black people.  As W.E.B. DuBois stated, “a system cannot fail those who it was never meant to protect.” White supremacy and the systems that support and reinforce it like capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy must be defeated and dismantled. We must always keep this in mind and be prepared in concrete, organized ways to ensure that there will be no peace if there is no justice. Now is the time for direct action in the form of organized Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns that disrupt the status quo systems of the US government through massive non-compliant resistance.

We must also be clear that the Zimmerman verdict is a reflection of the times. 17-year old Trayvon Martin was the 31st Black person executed by someone employed or protected by the state in 2012. As we demonstrated in Operation Ghetto Storm, 313 Black women, men, and children were executed without trials by the police, security guards or certified “neighborhood watchmen” in 2012. These extrajudicial killings have by no means stopped or slowed down, as witnessed by the execution of Kimani Gray and dozens more Black people in the first six months of 2013. With the Zimmerman verdict justifying and setting new precedent for the disposal of Black life, we should expect the number of extrajudicial killings to increase. It is now more imperative than ever for us to strengthen the organization of our communities and defend ourselves.

We must defend ourselves, and we have every right to do so by any means necessary.

Black people are in a heightened state of crisis. Since being brought to the shores of North America as captives from European wars of aggression we have constantly battled one crisis after another. However, there are times that are more critical and intense than others. We are presently living through one of these super -critical periods.

We have been hunted and killed in cold blood by the US government in increasing numbers and herded into prisons like cattle in record numbers. The facts presented in Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of Black People presents us with a deeper understanding of the utter disregard held for Black life within the United States.

The continual practice of executing Black people in the country without pretense of a trial, jury, or judge is an integral part of the government’s current overall strategy of containing the Black community in a state of perpetual colonial subjugation and exploitation. The verdict in the George Zimmerman trial is a testament to the reality that the institutions of the United States uplift and are complicit in the ongoing genocide of Black people.

The only way we are going to defend ourselves against these genocidal challenges is to create a massive social movement. We need a movement that strategically takes on the systemic oppression and exploitation that prevent Black people from exercising self-determination and human rights.

In order to fight effectively we have to organize ourselves on a higher level. One of the critical areas where we have to step up our organizing efforts to be qualitatively more effective is in the area of self-defense. We have to be clear that we cannot and should not count on our enemies – like the courts, and other forces of the US government or transnational corporations – to protect us. We have to protect ourselves.

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) believes that an essential part of our Movement for survival must be Self-Defense Networks.

We think there are two types of Networks that we have to build:

New Afrikan or Black Self-Defense Networks are alliances, coalitions, or united fronts of Black organizations whose purpose is to defend the Black or New Afrikan community from external (the police, FBI, white terrorist organizations, etc.) and internal (agent infiltration, intra-communal violence, etc.) threats to its safety and security.

People’s Self-Defense Networks are multi-national (or multi-ethnic and/or racial) alliances, coalitions, or united fronts whose purpose is to defend their communities against mutual enemies and threats and advance a common agenda based on shared interests, hopes, and aspirations.

Oppressed peoples and communities can and will only be secure in this country when they are organized to defend themselves against the aggressions of the government and the forces of white supremacy and capitalist exploitation.

The Every 28 Hours Campaign proposes a model for organizing:

 

  1. The formation of Black Self-Defense Networks to defend our people and combat police terrorism. These Networks should seek to build Copwatch programs, engage in mass rights based education trainings for the community, serve as first responders to acts of Police Terrorism, and help coordinate mass resistance to these acts via mass mobilizations and direct action. These Networks should also be encouraged to engage in offensive campaigns, such as referendums to institute Police Control Boards.
  1. The formation of People’s Self-Defense Networks to defend the lives and interests of all oppressed peoples’ and exploited classes against various forms of state terrorism. These People’s Self-Defense Networks would work as multi-national alliances to engage in a broad manner all of the tasks mentioned above to defend oppressed peoples and targeted communities, such as LGBTQ2GNC communities, against institutionalized racism, white supremacy, institutionalized sexism, patriarchy and state repression be it racial profiling, gender profiling, stop and frisk, mass incarceration, or mass deportations.
  1. Waging campaigns for local referendums to institute Police Control mechanisms – i.e. community based structures that have the power to hire, fire, subpoena, and discipline the police on the local level. And waging massive, non-compliant campaigns of resistance employing BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanction) strategies and tactics on statewide, regional, and national levels.
  1. Forming People’s Assemblies, on local, citywide, and regional levels to engage in program and demand development initiatives that will enable the people to engage in the broad implementation of people’s programs for self-defense and mutual aid.

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) and the Every 28 Hours Campaign seeks to strengthen organizing initiatives within Black or New Afrikan communities for self-defense, by presenting these initiatives with a comprehensive analytical framework and practical organizing tools to ground and unite them.

MXGM offers to Black and other oppressed communities three resources 1) Operation Ghetto Storm, a full report on the 2012 extra judicial killings; 2) Let Your Motto Be Resistance, an organizing handbook for self-defense; and 3) We Charge Genocide Again!, a curriculum for the Every 28 Hours Campaign, to further this objective

Links:

 

Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of Black People

http://mxgm.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Operation-Ghetto-Storm.pdf

 

Let Your Motto Be Resistance

http://mxgm.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Self-Defense-Manual-MERGED.pdf

 

We Charge Genocide Again!

http://mxgm.org/we-charge-genocide-again-new-curriculum-on-every-28-hours-report/

For more information on these resources or trainings please contact Kali Akuno at kaliakuno@mxgm.org.

For coalition building and Self-Defense Networks please contact Taliba Obuya at taliba@mxgm.org.

 

Chokwe Lumumba’s Mayoral Victory Speech – Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Thu, 06/06/2013 – 9:08pm

Chokwe Lumumba, human rights attorney, radical community organizer, and founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, delivers his victory speech on Tuesday, June 7th, 2013 after winning the general election for Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi with 87% of the vote.

For more information on organizing effort to win the Jackson Mayoral seat please visit http://electlumumbamayor.com/.

Chokwe Lumumba’s Mayoral Victory Speech – Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chokwe Lumumba voted Mayor of Jackson, MS with Clear Mandate

Wed, 06/05/2013 – 11:06am

CHOKWE LUMUMBA FOR MAYOR

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 4, 2013

NATIONAL CONTACT:  Kali Akuno

PHONE:  323.422.6025

LOCAL JACKSON CONTACT: Chokwe Antar Lumumba

PHONE: 601.629.7684

 

 

Chokwe Lumumba Elected Mayor of Jackson, MS with Clear Mandate

The People of Jackson Have Spoken: “One City, One Aim, One Destiny”

 

With more than 85% of the vote, the people of Jackson clearly voiced their support for Chokwe Lumumba’s vision of a unified, democratic Jackson.  Lumumba, an attorney with a long record of grassroots activism and leadership in Jackson and nationwide, offered his heartfelt thanks to residents for their faith and confidence in his candidacy.

“I want to thank each and everyone who made this victory possible. I am grateful for your vote and your trust.  I am committed to upholding that trust,” says Lumumba .  “ This has been a team effort from the very beginning.  We have always said, ‘The people must decide.’ And the people have spoken for a revitalized Jackson that works for all of us, not just the few. ”

The hotly contested race drew national attention as Lumumba is considered one of the most progressive candidates ever to be elected mayor of a major city – particularly in the South.   The Mayor Elect was outspent by more than 4-1 by his primary opponent as well as the target of vicious attack ads.  Despite the challenges, Lumumba stayed focus on issues of economic justice, democracy and the underlying root causes of Jackson’s social problems.

“The vast majority of people saw through the smear tactics and really responded to our message and vision,” says Safiya Omari, campaign manager for Elect Chokwe Lumumba Mayor.  “We have faith in Jackson.  Our people know the deal.  Chokwe speaks to their everyday reality.”

Campaigning with the message “One City, One Aim, One Destiny,” the campaign brought together a wide range of constituencies across the city committed to a progressive vision of a just and equitable Jackson.   An important component of the citywide organizing effort is the Peoples Assemblies – grassroots leaders from across the city that have been working together with Lumumba to build a people centered policy agenda.

Says Lumumba, “This has been a grassroots campaign from the start.  And my commitment to listening to you, the people of Jackson, won’t end with the campaign.  I look forward to working with everyone committed to building a just and thriving city.  We have challenges ahead.  We have work to do but I believe we are up to the task before us.”

The Mayor Elect will be sworn in as Mayor on Monday, July 1st.

#######

Camp Pumziko 2013

Tue, 06/04/2013 – 8:28am

Camp Pumziko – “We Come In Peace, Ready to Defend!” The name of our camp is taken from a Kiswahili term, which means “at ease or at peace.” Our slogan embraces the concept of peace and preparedness. Our defense comes in instilling a sense of pride in our Afrikan heritage as well as discipline and responsibility to make the communities we live in safe and viable. Camp Pumziko is a project of CAD.

To register your child and to pay for their registration visit http://www.cadnational.org/camp_pumziko

We Charge Genocide Again! New Curriculum on Every 28 Hours Report

Mon, 05/13/2013 – 1:11pm
Download the Fully Illustrated Version of the Report Using this link (PDF).

Monday, April 8, 2013

Contact:     Kali Akuno

404.567.5938

kaliakuno@mxgm.org

For Immediate Release: New Curriculum, We Charge Genocide Again, notes the importance of Operation Ghetto Storm findings for younger generations

Operation Ghetto Storm, a critical report released by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) in April, calls for awareness of acts of genocide, commitment to struggle, and mobilization of the people. Crucial to all three of those tasks, is political education. The We Charge Genocide Again curriculum is a series of lesson plans generated from the Operation Ghetto Storm report that encourages the critical thinking that are necessary to stimulate and guide action against the genocidal dynamics and practices illustrated in the extrajudicial killing reports produced by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

“This is about our future. We have to educate our youth and prepare them for struggle”, says Tongo Eisen-Martin, author of We Charge Genocide of Again. “We designed this curriculum to be used by all who struggle, as struggle makes all of us educators”. “We have to make sure that this curriculum gets into every high school and college that serves Black and Latino people” says Tongo.

We Charge Genocide Again is part of an organizing toolkit produced by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement to accompany the Operation Ghetto Storm report. The other major tool in this toolkit is Let Your Motto Be Resistance a handbook on organizing for self-defense released in March. Together these tools form a comprehensive guide for community organizers throughout the United States to challenge extrajudicial killing and repressive police tactics like “stop and frisk” that lead to the mass incarceration of Black and other oppressed people.

“The United States government is intent on creating more and more laws and practices that target Black, oppressed, and impoverished communities. The aim is social control to maintain the status quo, and they will go to whatever extent necessary, including extrajudicial killings and acts of genocide, to achieve this aim”, says Kali Akuno, and organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. “We Charge Genocide Again is a counter, one of many that we have to produce and put in the hands of our youth to give them a fighting chance to live lives free of oppression”, says Kali.

We Charge Genocide Again is issued by the Every 28 Hours Campaign and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. The curriculum can be downloaded for free at www.mxgm.org.

##

we charge genocide FINAL

The Decade for People of African Descent and the Durban Declaration and Program of Action: Overcoming Inequality and the Challenges Confronting African People in the 21st Century

Mon, 04/29/2013 – 10:19pm

Overview

In 2011, at the conclusion of the 10 year commemoration of the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) and the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA), the Durban + 10 Coalition, in addition to several international non-governmental organizations and members of the African bloc and the Group of 77 (G-77) nations, proposed to the General Assembly (GA) of the United Nations (UN) that a Decade of People of African Descent be declared and implemented from 2012 through 2022.

While the General Assembly (GA) has considered the Decade proposal on several occasions since the fall of 2011, it has basically stalled as a result of the resistance to it mounted by the United States (US) and several members of the European Union (EU). The resistance of the US and EU states is centered around the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA) being a fundamental point of orientation and program development for the Decade. The US and various members of the EU have been opposed to the DDPA since its inception in 2001. And they want to make sure that the DDPA has no influence on the Decade and any program of action that is associated with it.

As the approval process continues to drag out within the General Assembly (GA), the US and EU are making steady progress to divorce the Decade and its adoption from the DDPA. Any force concerned with justice for Africa and African people throughout the Diaspora cannot allow this to happen!

The DDPA is one of the most important documents ever produced by the United Nations (UN) pertaining to people of African descent. A few of its most critical contributions are that it recognizes the trans-Atlantic slave trade as a crime against humanity, it acknowledges the economic roots of slavery, the ongoing impact enslavement has upon the social and economic status of people of African descent throughout the world, and states unequivocally that restitution is needed to address the crime of enslavement and the unequal and inequitable systems it has produced.

Given the global scourge of anti-Black racism and the continuing challenges posed by the legacies of the slave trade, slavery, and colonialism, it is critical that there be a Decade of People of African Decent to challenge theses issues in the 21st century. However, we must do everything within our power to make sure that the Decade addresses the deep structural issues confronting African people, and do more than just affirm the cultural contributions of African people. To do this, the Decade must stand on the foundations of the DDPA, and use it as the basis of its programmatic work.

What You Can Do

  1. We encourage all justice loving organizations to endorse the call for Decade of People of African Descent based on the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action.
  2. We encourage you and your organization to contact the Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) of the nation-state you are a citizen or resident of and demand that they support the Decade and the inclusion of the DDPA into its programmatic work.
  3. We encourage you and your organization to contact the Secretary General (SG) of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and demand that he push for the Decade to be approved, ensure that it fully incorporates the DDPA, and that the program drafted by the Working Group of People of African descent be adopted, promoted, and fully funded as the core basis of its implementation. The Secretary general can be contacted via mail at United Nations, SA-1B15, New York, NY 10027. By phone at 212.963.7162 or fax at 212.963.7055.
  4. We encourage you and your organization to contact the representatives of the various alliances within the United Nations (UN) – Africa bloc, the Islamic bloc, the Group of 77 (G77), and the Non-Aligned Movement – and implore them to remain firm on their support and commitment to the Decade and the DDPA.
  5. Finally, we encourage you and your organization to organize your own educational and promotional events for the Decade and the DDPA. It is critical that we inform our own social bases and the general public about the importance of the Decade and the DDPA as a means of addressing the human rights crisis confronting people of African descent.

To sign on or for more details please contact Kali Akuno, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Co-Convener of the Durban + 10 Coalition at kaliakuno@mxgm.org.

By Kali Akuno

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Durban + 10 Coalition

La Década para los Pueblos Afrodescendientes y la Declaración de Durban y Programa de Acción: Superando Iniquidad y los Retos que Enfrentan los Pueblos de África en el Siglo 21

 

Por: Kali Akuno Movimiento Popular de Lucha Malcolm X y la Coalición de Durban 10

Sinopsis:

En el 2011, al final de la décima conmemoración de la Conferencia Mundial contra el Racismo y la Declaración de Durban, la Coalición de Durban + 10, junto a varias organizaciones nogubernamentales, miembros del Bloque Africano y naciones del Grupo de los 77 (G77), le propusieron a la Asamblea General de las NNUU (ONU) que se declare la implementación de la Década del Pueblo de Ascendencia Africana desde el 2012 hasta el 2022.

Mientras que la Asamblea General ha tomado en consideración la propuesta de la Década en varias ocasiones desde el otoño del 2011, básicamente se ha frenado como resultado de la resistencia a que se lleve a cabo en EEUU y varios miembros de la Unión Europea. La Década de los Afrodescendientes y  la Declaración de Durban y Programa de Acción: Superando la Inequidad y los Retos que Enfrentan las personas africanas en el Siglo XXI. Básicamente se ha frenado debido a la resistencia de que se inaugure en los Estados Unidos, también por varios miembros de la Unión Europea. La resistencia por parte de los EEUU y varios estados miembros de la Unión Europea se basa en que el punto fundamental es de orientación y un programa de desarrollo para la Década. Los Estados Unidos y varios miembros de la Unión Europea se han opuesto a la DDPA desde su origen en el 2001. Se quieren asegurar de que la DDPA no tenga influencia sobre la Década así como sobre ningún otro programa de acción con el cual esté vinculado.

Durante este tiempo, el proceso de aprobación que se ha venido arrastrando dentro de la Asamblea General, los Estados Unidos y la Unión Europea están comprometidos para desvincularse de la Década y su adopción por parte de la DDPA. Cualquier esfuerzo concerniente a la justicia para el África y el pueblo africano a lo largo de la Diáspora no puede permitir que esto suceda!

La DDPA es uno de los documentos más importantes que ha producido la Organización de las Naciones Unidas en lo que respecta a las personas de ascendencia africana. Algunas de sus contribuciones más circunstanciales es que proclama el comercio transatlántico de esclavos como un crimen contra la humanidad, reconoce las raíces económicas de la esclavitud, el impacto continuo que tiene la esclavitud sobre el bienestar económico y social de los afrodescendientes a lo largo del mundo y establece sin reparo que es necesaria una restitución para abordar el crimen de la esclavitud y el sistema desigual e inequitativo que ha producido.

Dada al flagelo del racismo hacia los negros y los retos continuos que imponen los legados del tráfico de esclavos, la esclavitud misma y el colonialismo, es fundamental que exista la Década de los Pueblos Afrodescendientes para enfrentar estos temas en el Siglo XXI. Sin embargo, debemos hacer lo posible dentro de nuestras posibilidades para asegurarnos que la Década aborde temas estructurales profundos que afrontan los pueblos del África. Para lograrlo, la Década debe sostenerse sobre los cimientos de la DDPA y utilizarla como la pase de su trabajo programado.

Lo que puedes hacer para ayudar:

1. Incentivamos a todas las organizaciones compuestas de amantes de la justicia a acudir al llamado de la Década del Pueblo Afrodescendiente basado en la implementación de la Declaración de Durban y Programa de Acción.

2. Fomentamos que su organización y usted se contacten con el embajador ante la ONU del estado-nación respectivo del que sean ciudadanos o residentes para exigir apoyo para la Década y la inclusión de la DDPA en su trabajo programado.

3. Instamos a que junto a sus organizaciones y/o como individuos se contacten con el Secretario General de la ONU, Ban Ki-moon para exigir que agilice la aprobación de la Década, que asegure la implementación completa de la DDPA, y que se adopte el programa presentado por el Working Group of People of African Descent (Grupo de Trabajo de Personas de Ascendencia Africana), y que éste se promueva y sea auspiciado en su totalidad como lo que es, la base de la implementación de lo propuesto. Se le puede contactar al Secretario General por correo en las NNUU, SA-1B15, New York, NY 10027 o por teléfono al: 212.963.7162 y fax al: 212.963.7055.

4.  Promovemos que su organización se contacte con los representantes de varias alianzas dentro de las NNUU (ONU) como el bloque africano, el bloque islámico, el Grupo de los 77 (G77) y el Movimiento de Países No Alineados, para implorar que se mantengan firmes en su apoyo y compromiso con la Década y el DDPA.

5. Finalmente, alentamos a que junto a su organización armen sus propios eventos promocionales e informativos sobre la Década y la DDPA. Es imperativo que mantengamos informadas a nuestras bases sociales y al público en general sobre la importancia de la Década y la DDPA como medio para tratar la crisis de derechos humanos a la que se están expuestas las personas de ascendencia africana.

Para firmar o para más detalles, contáctese con Kali Akuno del Movimiento Popular de Lucha Malcolm X y Co-Promotor de la Coalición de Durban + 10 a su casilla: kaliakuno@mxgm.org.

Juntos en la Unidad y Lucha,

Kali

Victory to the Ongoing Bolivarian Revolution: US Imperialism Hands Off Venezuela!

Sun, 04/21/2013 – 1:38pm

Victory to the Ongoing Bolivarian Revolution: US Imperialism Hands-off Venezuela!

The Black Left Unity Network (BLUN) salutes the victory of Nicolas Maduro Moros as the new and democratically elected President of Venezuela.

We stand in revolutionary solidarity with the statement issued by the Afro-Venezuela movement that pledges its’ continued support to the objectives of the revolutionary process in Venezuela and the election of President Maduro.

The struggles and voices of Afro-Venezuelans represent the deepest sentiments for democracy and social transformation and were critical to this victory and the ongoing Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela that was led by Comrade President Hugo Chavez.

We will never forget the immediate response by the Venezuelan people led by President Chavez to the tragedy triggered by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast and the offer of major aid to assist the survivors remaining in the disaster area and those dispersed to all corners of the U.S.  The U.S. government’s refusal of this aid and the aid offered by revolutionary Cuba, pointed out clearly how the U.S. government will sacrifice the lives of African descendants and poor people, before it will recognize the good deeds of governments that are anti-imperialist, truly democratic and building a society that benefits the needs of the majority, not the capitalist elites.

Even with the major changes and improvements made by the Venezuelan revolutionary process, the forces of counter-revolution are still part of the economic and racist elite in Venezuelan society.  Their ties to U.S. imperialism make them a major threat to the revolutionary process.  Combating and defeating their maneuvers remains part of the ongoing revolutionary process until this class is defeated.

African descendants in the U.S. know firsthand how elections are manipulated by the capitalist elites. They use their control of major media to try and place doubt in the minds of the people, trying to suggest voter fraud as has been the case so many times for candidates supported by Black people in the U.S.  But in Venezuela, where the elections are structured in ways that safeguard and protect the democratic will of the majority, the capitalist elites have been combated in this arena.

The revolutionary struggle in Venezuela is critical to the revolutionary direction of building and expanding socialism throughout the Americas in the 21st Century.  The organization and struggles of the Afro-Venezuelans as an identifiable and integral part of the Venezuela revolutionary process represents the further advance for socialism.

Through our efforts to rebuild a revolutionary Black movement in the U.S. we will ensure that African descendants in this country understand the common historical and political ties that bound our peoples together. For us there is no question that African descendant’s in the U.S.  must be part of the defense of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, as U.S. imperialism assumes its historical role as a central force supporting and or initiating counter-revolution in Venezuela.

The BLUN commits to educate the Black working-class and to call on the activists and organizations in our network, to mobilize in defense of the Venezuelan Revolution as it is connected to the struggles of All African descendants against the impacts of the colonial, neo-colonial and imperialist past and present, and to further shaping the direction for a revolutionary social transformation throughout the Americas.

Victory to the ongoing Bolivarian Revolution!

Black Left Unity Network-Continuations Committee

Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of 313 Black People

Sun, 04/07/2013 – 10:20pm

Download the Fully Illustrated Version of the Report Using this link (PDF).

                                                                                                       Monday, April 8, 2013

Contact:     Kali Akuno

404.567.5938

kaliakuno@mxgm.org

For Immediate Release: New Annual Report reveals that 313 Black People were killed in 2012, averaging one every 28 hours

Every 28 hours in 2012 someone employed or protected by the US government killed a Black man, woman, or child! This startling fact is revealed in Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killings of 313 Black People by Police, Security Guards, and Vigilantes.

When we started this investigation in early 2012, we knew a serious human rights crisis was confronting the Black community”, says Kali Akuno, an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM). “However, we did not have a clear sense of its true depth until we compiled and examined the annual figures. We have uncovered outrageous rates of extrajudicial killings–rates, that when they are found in countries like Mexico or Brazil, are universally condemned.  The same outrage inside the U.S. also demands immediate action.”

Given recent revelations in the case of Floyd et al v New York City that challenge “stop-and-frisk”, the study demonstrates that NYPD violations of human rights are endemic throughout the U.S. For example, racial profiling that singles out Black people for looking, driving or behaving “suspiciously” leads to at least 43% of Black peoples’ fatal encounters with police. Only 13% of those who were killed were involved in allegedly violent criminal activity that physically threatened others’ lives. These and many more of the Report’s findings reveal the deadly impact of systemic racism in the U.S.

Akuno further points out, “Operation Ghetto Storm follows the trail of extrajudicial killings to the rise of militarized police forces and their occupation of Black communities. And explores how systemic racism has led to increased militarization and repression, which in turn has exacerbated the human rights crises devastating Black communities.”

He added, “This Report breaks new ground by going beyond reliance on police department press releases and investigating as fully as possible the context and consequences of each killing. This investigative journalism serves as an example of respect for Black life so often neglected in public conversations.

Arlene Eisen, member of the Malcolm X Solidarity Committee and the author of the Report, explained, “Any one of these people killed could have been my son or your husband or daughter. Regardless of education, class, behavior or dress, nowhere is a Black person safe from potentially-fatal racial profiling, invasive policing, constant surveillance and overriding suspicion.”

Based on a year of research, Eisen concluded, “police departments and government agencies throughout the United States go to great lengths to hide the data on extrajudicial killings, particularly the race of the murder victims. I am quite sure that there were more than 313 Black people killed by the police in 2012. Social movements in the United States must demand this information and must demand an end to these killings.”

Operation Ghetto Storm is issued by the Every 36 Hours Campaign and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and can be downloaded at www.mxgm.org.

##

Preface: Context for Operation Ghetto Storm

 

The facts presented in Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of Black People present us with a deeper understanding of the utter disregard held for Black life within the United States. Operation Ghetto Storm is a window offering a cold, hard, and fact-based view into the thinking and practice of a government and a society that will spare no cost to control the lives of Black people. What Operation Ghetto Storm reveals is that the practice of executing Black people without pretense of a trial, jury, or judge is an integral part of the government’s current overall strategy of containing the Black community in a state of perpetual colonial subjugation and exploitation

In July 2012, in the tradition of “On Lynching” by Ida B. Wells-Burnet and “We Charge Genocide” by William L. Patterson, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement released a critical report that exposed the fact that in the first six months of the year a Black man, woman, or child was summarily executed by the police, and a smaller number of security guards and self-appointed vigilantes, Every 36 Hours! But, the July 2012 report did not tell the whole story. Further investigation revealed a more accurate and gruesome number of extrajudicial killings during the first six months of the year. And true to form, the assault on Black life stayed consistent for the last six months of the year, resulting in the extrajudicial killing of at least 313 Black people in 2012, or one Every 28 Hours!

Setting the Record Straight

If not for our investigation, this gruesome reality would largely be ignored. The United States government has no interest in revealing these facts and police unions actively suppress them. The corporate media is so permeated with white supremacist and capitalist assumptions and rationalizations that reporters and editors deem these killings unworthy of note. With one important exception: They use the stories of “officer-involved killings” to reinforce a stereotypical, but strategic depiction of the most dispossessed sectors of the Black working class as criminal commodities, fit for disposal.

This demonization of Black “targets” reinforces the insidious propaganda of the United States government and its supporters, that the United States is the most democratic and socially liberated country on Earth. But, any critical observer and thinker must ask, how can the supposedly “most democratic” country on Earth be the largest jailer on the planet? What types of “legitimate” democratic processes result in nearly half of the countries prison population being Black, while Black people only comprise 13% of the total population of the United States? What types of resources, planning, coordination and programmatic implementation go into arresting, convicting, imprisoning or deporting over 10 million people annually? And what can possibly justify the extrajudicial killing of at least 313 Black people in one year?

Genuine and healthy democracies do not spend more than 50% of their budgetary resources on their militaries, domestic “law enforcement” agencies, and prisons. The fact that the United States government spends this amount demonstrates that the United States is neither a genuine democracy nor a “healthy” society in any form or fashion. The United States is a European settler-colonial project that has erected a racial state to enforce and maintain a rigid order of white supremacy, colonial occupation, and capitalist exploitation. As the facts presented herein attest, the United States is one of the most repressive and brutal societies in the world, particularly to oppressed peoples like Blacks, Native Americans, and Latinos. The rates of extrajudicial killings on the US rival only those perpetrated against the Indigenous people of Palestine, Mexico, Guatemala and the Amazonian region, and African-descendants in Brazil and Colombia.

The War Against Black People

In order to contain the oppressed peoples within its colonial possessions, the United States settler-colonial government has built the most full-spectrum network of repressive enforcement structures in human history. They include the Police, Sheriff’s, Rangers, Customs, FBI, Homeland Security (including INS), CIA, Secret Service, prison guards, as well as the numerous private security and other protective services. It has also created the largest and most invasive surveillance system in human history. This system includes everything from satellites, police, FBI, and DHS operated surveillance drones, and electronic tracking and monitoring via our cellphones, computers, tablets, email, Facebook, Twitter, and chip-filled passports, driver’s licenses, and identification cards.

These forces of occupation and repression have been strategically deployed over the last 70 years to wage a grand strategy of “domestic” pacification to sustain the colonial occupation of North America via a never ending series of containment campaigns that amount to nothing less than a “perpetual war”. This “perpetual war” has been known by many names over the last seven decades such as the “Cold War”, COINTELPRO”, the” War on Drugs”, the “War on Gangs”, the “War on Crime”, and most recently, the “War on Terrorism”. This pacification strategy is designed to contain the various peoples’, social, and religious movements that resist the colonial order of white supremacy inside the United States, the post World War II imperialist world-system, and the vicious strategy of neo-liberal accumulation by dispossession that it has been aggressively imposing on its citizens, colonial subjects, and the rest of the world. The most visible component of this pacification campaign inside the US, has been the astronomical increase in the incarceration of Black people over the last 40 years.

This “perpetual war” intensified both quantitatively and qualitatively after the events of September 11, 2001. Exploiting those events as justification, the United States government launched a new series of imperialist conquests and occupations and further expanded its overall military operations and spending. It has also justified the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which integrates domestic and international intelligence, surveillance, and repressive institutions of the United States government. Even further it has provided a rational for the implementation of extensive “constitution free zones”, the expansion and deepening of the militarization of the police, and the passage of some of the most repressive legislation in United States history, such as the Patriot, Homeland Security, and National Defense Authorization Acts to name a few.

And the United States government’s grand strategy of domestic containment and pacification via perpetual war shows no signs of either slowing down or coming to an end on its own accord any time soon. Extrajudicial killings are clearly an indispensible tool in the United States government’s pacification pursuits.

Confronting the Crisis

Despite being virtually ignored by the corporate media, our July 2012 report did receive considerable coverage in various Black and progressive media outlets. It’s dissemination via these channels insured that the Every 36 Hours report reached thousands of people throughout the United States and the world. It’s reception helped to stimulate righteous indignation and outrage in many isolated quarters. However, unchanneled and unorganized indignation and outrage are not enough. We must turn this indignation and outrage into organized, sustained, and determined mass action to stop this crisis.

As we noted in the July 2012 report, the first critical step is organizing the Black community to proactively defend itself. We must end our reliance on the model of protest mobilizations that occur after the police have executed one of our loved ones. This must cease being our primary means of securing justice. We have to see the war on Black people for what it is and proactively organize ourselves to resist it. To aid in launching and promoting these necessary organizing initiatives, we have authored and released “Let Your Motto Be Resistance: A Handbook on Organizing New Afrikan and Oppressed Communities for Self-Defense”. It can be found at http://mxgm.org/let-your-motto-be-resistance-a-handbook-on-organizing-new-afrikan-and-oppressed-communities-for-self-defense/.

Let Your Motto Be Resistance” draws on the long history of Black peoples’ struggle to realize self-determination and defend our persons, our rights and our dignity from the assaults of the oppressive settler-colonial government and the forces of white supremacy. Building on this history “Let Your Motto Be Resistance” provides, in summary form, a vision of how we can (re)organize our communities from the ground up.

Self-defense in and of itself is not enough, however. We will not turn back “Operation Desert Storm” and the military machine that aims to keep Black and other oppressed people subordinate and contained, until we defeat and dismantle the systems of colonialism, national oppression, white supremacy, capitalism and imperialism. It is imperative that we build a broad and dynamic mass movement capable of transforming the system and building a new social order.

 

More specifically, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is calling for a broad alliance of Blacks, Indigenous peoples, Latinos, Arabs, Asians, and progressive whites that will challenge the various forms of state repression, including racial profiling, mass incarceration, mass deportation, displacement, and of course, extrajudicial killings. It is our hope that local, regional, and countrywide peoples’ alliances will form and stand as the core of the Peoples’ Self Defense Networks proposed in “Let Your Motto be Resistance”.

To honor the memory of every Black man, woman, and child summarily executed at the hands of the police and other agents of the United States government in 2012, let us organize our communities to end the terror being waged against us.

For more information about the report or any of the proposals contained within it, please contact Kali Akuno at kaliakuno@mxgm.org.