Sunday, July 19, 2015

UNAC 2015 CONFERENCE: PANEL 2: FREE POLITICAL PRISONERS





I co-chaired this panel at the United National Antiwar Coalition on May 9, 2015 in Secaucus, NJ.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Uber: Neo Liberal Bastards from Hell Calling My House

This afternoon I got a phone call from Uber, the $40 billion for hire car company trying to take over the world (it operates in 57 countries) by paying drivers peanuts. I must disclose here that I have an Uber app on my phone and I have used the service  six or seven times in the past year or so.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio is sponsoring legislation to regulate the for hire car industry.  That sounds reasonable to me, given Uber’s bad labor track record of racing drivers to the pay scale bottom and flooding an already crowded city with cars, but it didn’t get to be a big company by playing nice.

Uber has hired David Plouffe, a former Obama campaign aide as a lobbyist. Plouffe is trying to get King Rat Al Sharpton on board to fight the mayor.

This is all fairly standard corruption but today I came home to hear this robocall on my answering machine.

“Hi. It’s Molly from Uber and we need your help. Uber ended the days when you couldn’t get a ride during rush hour or in bad weather. Now mayor de Blasio is trying to bring the bad old days back because his billionaire taxi donors are telling him to.

But why on earth would your Council Member ever consider voting for something like this? They should stand up for you, not take orders from the mayor.

You Council Member is still undecided on this issue and we need your voice. Please call and tell them to vote against mayor de Blasio’s anti-Uber bill. Because you and all New Yorkers deserve reliable transportation.

Paid for by Uber 212 257-1745.”

There are now more Uber cars on the streets than the yellow taxis which provide a living wage. I will tell my City Council Member to back the mayor’s legislation.  I will also tell Uber not to call me again. Any business that hires Al Sharpton is inherently corrupt and will get no support from me. Then again, de Blasio thought that Sharpton was working for him. There really is no honor among thieves.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Russian Documentary "President"

I was watching the May 9th Victory Day celebrations on youtube and came across a Russia 24 network documentary about president Vladimir Putin. It appeared to be a history of his presidency and included interviews with him. Of course it was in Russian and I couldn't understand any of it.

Ah, the wonders of the internet. Thanks to Russia Insider I found a link to the eight-part English translation.

Thank you interwebs!

Episode 1






Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Left Forum 2015, Liberation Politics in the Post Obama World





Black Agenda Report always has a great panel at the recent Left Forum. Glen Ford, Ajamu Baraka, Nellie Bailey, Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and yours truly. The subject was Liberation Politics in the Post Obama World. BAR always brings it.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Police officer charged with killing 2 unarmed African Americans, found N...





I was a guest on Presstv yesterday. I was asked to comment on the acquittal of a Cleveland policeman who murdered two black people in 2012. I was asked why these crimes persist. My answer, "Racism."


UNAC Conference Political Prisoners Panel





I co-chaired a panel along with Jeff Mackler at the recent United National Antiwar Coalition conference. Jeff and I both serve on the Administrative Committee of UNAC.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Was a Very Good Year

Exactly one year ago I began receiving emails announcing that Lynne Stewart, the people's lawyer, was awarded compassionate release from federal prison. I and many others were also asked to greet her at Laguardia airport the next day. I did, and that January 1st began an amazing year.



On February 14th I joined with other fans of Lynne to wish her a happy birthday. Here I am with Lynne and Nellie Bailey. (Photo by Tony Savino)


I was deeply honored when Vanderbilt University professors Jemima Pierre and Peter Hudson asked me to join an illustrious group (Kevin Alexander Gray, Dr. Christina Sharpe, David Austin, Dr. Maboula Soumahoro, Dr. Emira Woods, Glen Ford, Kevin Edmonds, Dr. Aaron Kamugisha, 
Dr. Naomi Beth Reed, Dr. Johnny Eric Williams, Sokari Ekine, and Dr. Rinaldo Walcott) to speak at a workshop entitled Black Folk in Dark Times.  Here I am with my fellow panelists.


Ah spring. In New York City that means Left Forum. As always, Black Agenda Report convened a panel. This year our theme was "Black America and the Empire in Crisis."


Bruce Dixon, yours truly, Dr. Anthony Monteiro, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey in front.

In September I joined my comrades at the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) as we presented the panel "War and the Climate Crisis" at the Climate Convergence Conference.



In October, Counterpunch published "Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence." Thanks to Kevin Alexander Gray, I contributed one of my Black Agenda Report columns, "Obama Dog Whistles Over Trayvon." 


I was very busy in October. On October 10th I was interviewed on Presstv to discuss my column on the ebola epidemic.



On October 10th I joined by Marty Goodman to speak after a showing of the powerful documentary Miners Shot Down at Maysles Cinema in Harlem.

October 24th the Black Agenda Report team presented our annual fundraiser at Riverside church. This year's theme, "After Ferguson."


The very next day, October 25th (yes, I got up the next morning bright and early) to join another UNAC panel, "End the U.S. Wars Around the World and At Home."




More good news came in November. Professor Johnny Eric Williams invited me to speak at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. My topic was "Black America in a System in Crisis." 


All of this hard work paid off in November. The Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia invited UNAC to speak at a conference on December 13th. I was asked to join and speak on the anti police brutality protests which began in Ferguson, Missouri. The other members of our delegation were Bill Dores, Joe Lombardo, Joe Iosbaker, and Mo Hannah. Unfortunately Mo is not in this picture. 





We were all interviewed by Russian media and I was a guest on Govorit Moskva, Moscow Speaks, for an hour long interview with call-in from listeners. These were my first experiences working with translators and it was all very exciting. 



You can read a not very good translation of my radio interview here but better to download on that page so you can hear it.

I love being a tourist.



I left before others in our group and so I missed a protest at the U.S. embassy in Moscow. One of our hosts, Alexander Ionov, is in this photo.



When I returned I got right back to work. I gave another interview on Presstv on December 20th on police violence and the ensuing protests.



There were times that I felt overwhelmed with some of my commitments and wondered if I should slow down. I have learned that sometimes biting off more than I think I can chew is a great way to make progress.

I had no idea in January that I would be going to Moscow in December, but my work made it all possible. It was a wonderful ride which happened because I kept doing what I really love, which is writing and speaking and joining with like minded people whenever possible.

Work hard at whatever you love. That is the moral of this story.