Friday, July 11, 2008
The Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac collapses are very serious for the U.S. government and the entire U.S. parasitic capitalist economy. Fannie and Freddie are U.S. government backed institutions falling under the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Together they have provided over half of all mortgages in the U.S. They were caught up in the same subprime mortgage investment scam as Bear Stearns and all of the Wall Street investment banks. They used subprime mortgages (primarily targeting African people) as bonds to reinvest and make billions of dollars.
When the subprime mortgage defaults skyrocketed last year and the subprime industry collapsed, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were also affected and lost billions of dollars. In August of last year their shares were $70 for Fannie Mae and $67 for Freddie Mac. Today their shares are $4.70 and $8.54 respectively. They have lost billions of dollars and as the subprime mortgages continue to default in massive numbers, Fannie and Freddie are broke and getting more insolvent every minute! The collapse of these institutions would bring down the entire Wall Street financial sector!
The U.S. government is saying it would bail out these corporations--effectively buying them and putting them into "conservatorship" meaning they would be taken off Wall Street and their debts would be paid for by the U.S. tax payers. Their debts are estimated to be at least 11 trillion dollars! This would more than double the U.S. public debt which is already close to $10 trillion.
This is a very serious blow to the U.S. government and the Bush Administration. The bail-out is a measure of absolute desperation and is no solution. For one thing every other major Wall Street firm is right behind Fannie and Freddie and are also in complete insolvency: Lehman Brothers, etc., etc. If one of these come down, all of them will come down because their investments and debts are so intertwined and interconnected with all the other firms, as opposed to 20 years ago when the government would let banks with bad investments fail. Today if one goes they all will go. Needless to say, the government cannot bail out the entirety of Wall Street! But also $20 trillion in government debt--I don't know what all that will mean--except to say that it is profound crisis for the U.S. government and capitalist system.
Also note that oil and gold are up again today-with oil flirting with $150 a barrel. The stated reasons given by Wall Street for the upswing today are: threat of oil field strike in Brazil, continued "tensions" in Nigeria and the possible threat of an Israeli strike on Iran. Wall Street and overall parasitic capitalist speculation, parasitic greed and frenzy are responsible for the skyrocketing food prices and the deepening immiseration of oppressed and colonized peoples on the planet. Wall Street/U.S. government are responsible for the war and starvation of African people and the majority of the planet. Resistance to this is deepening as oppressed peoples struggle to control their resources and to even survive.
Rising prices are still making some individuals of the ruling class richer and richer. Exxon-Mobile just made the largest profits in the history of capitalism-- $40 billion in 2007. But the resistance of colonized peoples and the implosion of the parasitic system threaten to bring this system down overall.
In fact, this is becoming an accepted probability.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
As part of some of these events I also gave a PowerPoint presentation from APSC with information on Obama’s political stands, his advisors and his financial backers. As many people know, his chief advisor is the imperialist warmonger Zbigniew Brezinski. The head of his financial team is Penny Pritzker, the wealthy banker who ripped off her clients and launched the marketing campaign for subprime mortgages targeting the African community. Obama also got more funding from Wall Street than any other candidate.
As Obamamania swept the country many people held on to their fantasy that the Illinois senator would represent a meaningful departure from imperialist war and oppression. But almost from the minute he secured the Democratic nomination Obama has made it clear that he is a loyal and dutiful servant of white power.
As ABC News summed up after a rapid Obama speech last year calling for U.S. troops to be deployed in Pakistan with or without the permission of its president, Obama is “proposing a geopolitical posture that is more aggressive than that of President Bush.”
Here are some of his stands since his nomination:
• AIPAC speech to the Israel lobby (the day after he secured the nomination). As a previous supporter of the cause of the Palestinian people Obama pledged full backing for Israel and an "undivided Jerusalem" as Israel's capital. Every world government, including the Bush regime, recognizes the UN resolution designating Jerusalem as an international city.
• Flip flopping on one of his strongest campaign issues: the stated 16-month withdrawal from Iraq. Now he says his decision is based on discussing it with the generals “on the ground.”
• Vicious attack on African men on Father’s Day—a statement that no white candidate could ever get away with. The reality is that more than one of every nine African men has been put in the dungeons of this colonial prison system that is used for economic stimulus for white communities.
• Adopted Bush's Faith Based Initiative, a key Republican neocolonial program targeting black ministers and churches. This program cuts back government funding for social programs in the African community and gives black churches millions of dollars to “administer” programs and private schools.
• Supports the death penalty for child rapists. This is important because you are either for the death penalty or not. As the senator from the state that has a moratorium on the death penalty because so many African men have been found to have been falsely accused, Obama has always claimed to be an execution opponent.
• Dodges all questions on reparations for African people; quit Rev. Wright's church which has strong pro-reparations position.
• Upheld the New York acquittal of the killer cops in the Sean Bell case without even a statement of support for the family. Obama said, "The judge has made his ruling, and we're a nation of laws, so we respect the verdict that came down."
• Would attack Iran: “I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he told AIPAC. “I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel.”
• Would attack Venezuela: Obama stated, “We have lost Latin America.” Obama declared that the democratically elected governments of Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua are a “vacuum to be filled.” Claimed Iran has influence in Latin America and endorsed Colombia’s “right to attack ‘terrorists’ who cross the border into Venezuela.”
• Promised to continue the embargo against Cuba.
• Obama called the Robert Mugabe government of Zimbabwe "illegitimate and lacks any credibility," and said the United States should tighten sanctions against it.
• Is voting for Bush’s FISA Bill (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) and is supporting wire tapping of individuals and immunity for telecom companies, despite the fact that several times during his campaign he stated strongly that he would vote against this.
• Abandoned campaign financing
• Named as his economic advisors two of Clinton's key free trade advocates—Wall Street insiders and bankers. They are Jason Furman and Robert Rubin, Citigroup's Executive Committee Chair. One pundit writes, "These two are notorious for their justifications of policies that benefit Wall Street, CEOs, and large retailers at the expense of the economic well being and careers of millions of Americans.”
• Now supports the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), even though he criticized Hillary Clinton for her support and pretended throughout his campaign he was against it. Obama stated he "would never withdraw from NAFTA."
• Obama is heavily invested in ethanol, just as Bush is in oil. Now a billion dollar emerging economy the ethanol industry is a key player in the skyrocketing of food prices and food scarcity around the world. Fidel Castro says that ethanol is genocide and will be responsible for starvation of 3 billion people on the planet.
• Obama named a "Senior Working Group on National Security." This is a group of advisors and potential cabinet members, including:
•Madeleine Albright, Clinton’s Secretary of State who advocated "regime change" in Iraq before the Bush administration. Here is her response to questions about the sanctions against Iraq on national TV in the 90s: "We have heard that a half million children have died," Interviewer Leslie Stahl said. "I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. Is the price worth it?" Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price—we think the price is worth it," said Albright.
•Warren Christopher, the Clinton Secretary of State after Albright who among much else kept the Bush Sr. sanctions going against Iraq.
• David Boren, former chair of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, long-time friend of the Bush family.
• Along with: Lee Hamilton, former chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. William Perry, Clinton’s secretary of defense and weapons dealer. Robert Gates, current Bush defense secretary who was involved in Iran Contra.
Kahentinetha Horn, publisher of Mohawk Nation News, hospitalized with a heart attack on June 14, 2008, after being attacked by special forces in Canada at the Cornwall/Akwesasne border. Photo by Sagowaiaks.
By Brenda Norrell
CORNWALL, Ontario -- Kahentinetha Horn, 68, was handcuffed in a police stress hold at the border crossing. Kahentinetha told them she was having chest pains and to loosen the handcuffs. The officers responded by tightening the handcuffs. Kahentinetha was told to bend over in the presence of a male and female officer. She was suffering a trauma induced heart attack. During the attack Katenies, Mohawk Nation News editor, was beaten and jailed by the gang of at least 10 special forces. Kahentinetha is out of the hospital and is recovering. Please consider contributing to the legal fees for a lawsuit against the Canadian police and special forces who attacked the two Mohawk grandmothers.
For more information on Kahentinetha's condition and letters of support: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send checks and money orders to:
Mohawk Nation News
Quebec CANADA J0L1B0
Posted by email@example.com
Thursday, July 3, 2008
The headlines scream the reality:
Foreclosures are skyrocketing. Unsold houses multiply by the tens of thousands even as prices plummet. Tent cities for the homeless are springing up all over the country.
The dollar hovers at its all time low. Oil is courting $150 a barrel. Gas prices are the highest ever on an express elevator to $7 and even $10 a gallon. A half million jobs have been lost so far this year. Private debt of Americans is about $14 trillion.
Food costs are increasing. The stock market is seeing its greatest losses since the 1930s. The highways and infrastructure of this country are in a state of deterioration. Forty-eight million people have no access to health care.
The U.S. war against the Iraqi people has no end in sight and things are escalating in Afghanistan. The threat of an attack on Iran looms on the horizon. Even the weather is in a state of upheaval as the devastation of floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and global warming dominates the news.
Most of us in white America have not come to terms with this reality. We are waiting for everything to get back to normal after a momentary annoyance. We still anticipate being able to fire up the SUV again for family outings anytime we want.
But as a recent article in the Los Angeles Times stated, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!”
Things are predicted to get much, much worse. Articles comparing the current situation in America to the fall of Rome abound.
This is life in America now. This is the crisis of imperialism, the death throes of capitalism, the end of the empire. Neither Obama nor McCain have answers. Someone has suggested that the candidates should choose economists for running mates, but it won’t help. This downward spiral can’t be reversed.
The party’s over. Cheap oil, the sense of entitlement to use and waste massive resources, instant gratification, the world of the mall and vacations and dinner out is finished for most of us.
This crisis is the natural, predictable outcome of a system African People’s Socialist Party leader Omali Yeshitela likens to a tapeworm, born and maintained by sucking the blood of African and other oppressed peoples on the planet.
It’s a system birthed through the stolen labor of enslaved African people along with the genocide of the Indigenous people and theft of their land and resources. It’s maintained through sheer terror, repression, poverty, war and starvation imposed on the majority of human beings.
This is the crisis of a system that has given us, as white people, bright futures and the promise of unlimited opportunity. We consider that good jobs, meaningful employment, nice housing, cars, education, recreation and leisure are our birthright.
But life on this pedestal has come to us at a terrible price, a price that has cost us our humanity. We have jobs and gas and diamonds because people in Africa, from whose land 80% of our resources are extracted at the barrel of a gun, must subsist on a genocidal dollar a day or less. Our babies have had a future because millions of babies in Iraq and other places must die of poverty, war, starvation on land so rich that resources pour out of the ground.
Many of our sons and daughters assume they will go to college while millions of African sons and daughters in this country must go to prison, fueling a multi-billion dollar two-tiered prison industry that has helped to keep the ailing U.S. economy afloat for the past 20 years.
Dancing in the streets of Africa, Asia and Latin America is likely as the big hulk of America goes under. Bad times for us is excellent news for those in the colonized world. Now they can begin to use their own resources to feed their own children, live past their 40s, realize their own dreams, develop their own countries as they see fit.
Seizing control of peoples’ own resources, land and sovereignty away from the hands of imperialism is the basis of most resistance, whether it has been from the people of Vietnam, Palestine, Cuba, Venezuela or Iraq.
People just want to be free. The Uhuru Movement is leading the struggle to unite and liberate Africa and African people under the leadership of African working people. They are uniting Africans worldwide as one people whose birthright is Africa and all its resources. African people are very serious about retaking Africa as their own. This is what leaders from Marcus Garvey to Malcolm X to Kwame Nkrumah have fought for over generations.
If we can look beyond the myopia our own self interest we can see that a world in which the various peoples of the planet have control of their own land and destiny, no one at the expense of others, is the only basis for a world of peace and harmony. Only by righting this historical wrong will the collective genius of the world be unleashed to solve our most difficult problems: hunger, disease, global warming, alienation of culture from culture.
Five hundred years of an empire based on white power in the form of slavery, genocide and colonialism benefiting a tiny minority of the world’s population is coming to an end.
Now is the time for we white people to jump down off this pedestal sitting on the backs of others. Let’s join in solidarity with most of the rest of the world in building a positive future on a foundation of liberation, justice and human rights.
This is not the end. This is a new beginning.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
By Alex Pickett, Published 07.02.08
Sphere of influence: Since Yeshitela (formerly Joe Waller) tore down a racist mural in St. Petersburg's City Hall, he has earned the respect (and ire) of St. Petersburg residents both black and white. Though once praised by high-profile politicians, he has distanced himself from City Hall and prominent African-American organizations in recent years. He continues to remain active in promoting African self-determination in other U.S. cities and Africa.
How he makes a difference: Some historians credit Yeshitela for ushering in the civil-rights movement in St. Pete, and even some white politicians admit he has empowered the city's black community. Through the Uhuru Movement, he has helped create retail stores, a gym, sports leagues and a radio station. Whenever there is an issue involving African-Americans and police, he becomes involved; a day after the shooting death of Javon Dawson by a St. Petersburg police officer earlier this month, he called a press conference condemning the shooting and telling witnesses that they could talk to a lawyer representing Dawson's mother.
CL: Describe to me what led you to tearing down the City Hall painting in the 1960s. Was it a turning point for you?
Yeshitela: I don't think tearing the mural down was a turning point for me. I had already come to a turning point. That's why I was down there. I was with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). I had made a clear choice that was the organization I would be associated with because of its black power demand, and because of its boldness and willingness to take on struggle where traditional civil rights organizations seemed unable to go.We had been involved in letter-writing campaigns to the mayor about that mural, because the mural was horrible. It was an 8-by-4-foot display in the center of city power. It represented to us a relationship. It was like locking this relationship that they perceived as one between the African and white community that should exist forever. It was a caricature of black people. It wasn't a caricature of all the people; it was black people that were caricatured on there.
So after a series of letter writings and a number of marches down to City Hall, on one occasion, I walked into City Hall with five other Africans and tore it from the wall. I'll never forget this nice woman who was standing upstairs and she says, "You black bastard!" And we walked out with the painting.
This was where the whole concept of black power was still exciting to a lot of people around the world and police were unaccustomed to dealing with forces like us. So we started marching down the street carrying the mural. We made it to Central [Avenue] -- I don't remember how far on Central -- and this cop grabbed me. I'll never forget he was trembling. He grabbed me, and he was literally trembling. Others pulled me away and I ended up running down the street, dragging the mural behind me. I got to the back parking lot of Webb City and was stopped and arrested and went to jail.
It was an uproar. It was media from everywhere. They held some of the longest court hearings that went on late into the night. They were historic in terms of their duration into the night. I was charged with I think 11 offenses: disturbing the peace, inciting a riot, resisting arrest with violence, resisting arrest without violence, destruction of public property, just a whole array of charges were thrown at me. I think I was tried for disturbing the peace and probably destruction of public property and sentenced on one of those to six months. I spent a lot of time in the city jail first. They used to keep me isolated, because if I was with other black prisoners it created a problem for them. So they put me in this basement that they had in the city jail and on occasion they would bring little white students through on tours through the jail. And they would bring them down to the hole to see me.
It was an alarming thing for the city officials, and for the state as well, because what happened is it mobilized citizens throughout the state of Florida. Because it was kind of direct action that was talked about a lot philosophically at that time in the civil rights movement.
What was the turning point for you?
I used to -- before there were sit ins and things like this, before Rosa Parks, when there was the little yellow line in the back of the city buses here -- I refused to go behind the yellow line when my mother wasn't with me, to her dismay. I'm the guy who would go to Webb City and would refuse to drink out of the colored water fountains and would go on the fourth floor, where they had the snack bar. Africans on the first floor could eat as long as we were standing, but we could not eat at the snack bar where they sit down. I would go and do it and sit down and they'd kick me out and what have you. Until my high school English teacher learned what I was doing and sort of intervened to stop me from doing that.
It seems like there's been a history of sorts. In fact, one of the reasons I left high school -- I quit high school in my senior year because I was in one of these special classes that's supposedly for bright people and I had this professor who was well recognized as being a top notch professor. He made the statement in class one day that Africans would have to earn the respect of white people and I had a serious disagreement. ... We had struggles around that.
My text for learning how to read was the St. Petersburg Times, and I could read while I was still in diapers. And the stories I grew up reading were of lynchings and other terrible things happening to African people. So it was something that I was always conscious of and to the dismay of my parents, never comfortable with, and always struggled against.
Since Mayor Baker began his Midtown initiatives, have things gotten better in Midtown?
Worse. In the sense that what Baker has done is he co-opted much of the apparent leadership in this community. I don't have to mention Darryl Rouson, but one figure that was of great significance to this community was Goliath Davis. Because he did a tremendous job of containing that terrible police organization temporarily and because of that created a lot of hostility in certain sectors of the white community and certain ideological components of that community. This was an aspect of the city that Baker needed to win as well. To pacify that community without alienating the African community, he kicked Goliath Davis upstairs. I say "kicked upstairs" but I think it was like an elevator because Goliath didn't seem to mind it too much, this concept of deputy mayor. Without a budget. We've seen this kind of thing happen and the conditions of the community continue to deteriorate.
The Hope Six thing that got rid of Jordan Park proper in the name of helping the people. Now only half the people that were there are now there. We can't even trace the others because it wasn't required for them to know what happened to other people. In this community, the white guys in pick-up trucks and clipboards coming through, this massive gentrification where so many people have lost their homes and been kicked out, all in the name of helping us.
And in helping us, the Sweetbay along with other things they have done to help us, raised the value of the property, hence the property taxes, makes it difficult for these old women who have been left now to pay the property taxes and some of that has resulted in loss of their homes. So it hasn't been better at all, it's been worse.
And now you have more return to the policing. What the guy whose there now -- Chuck Harmon -- he brought the [Pinellas County] Sheriff's Department back in. And the sheriff's department has a reputation for rabid anti-African sentiments in that department. They did terrible things in this community following the rebellions that happened here. The sheriff's department is notorious in their brutality. Where as Goliath had told them to keep out, Harmon brought them back in. So after eight years -- they had gone eight years without a single African being killed by a cop -- the first was killed by the sheriff's department, two were killed by the sheriff's department, and now this thing with Javon by the [St. Petersburg] Police Department.
The city reminds me of a heart patient. It has a heart attack, and promises the doctor "I'm going to change my ways, and I'm going to live differently now," and then forget and go back to the same things that started it. That's what this city reminds me of. So it's worse than it was before.
What's the answer to economic development in Midtown?
It is something the city cannot do, that is one thing I'm aware of. They cannot participate in it; it would go against interests of some very entrenched economic forces here. The significance of the African population here is that it is a tremendously important kind of labor reserve for us. And it's cheap labor. And at the point that this community can fend for itself then its labor becomes competitive in terms of what has to be paid for it, and it won't ever happen.
African people are going to have make revolution to be free. We are going to have to be a self-determining people, a people that do not have to rely on the goodwill of anybody else. There are no people on the planet Earth that has ever been able to change their circumstances because of somebody else's good will and that's never happened for us. The thing is that the more one learns about one's condition as an African, the more it becomes clear that the conditions I'm suffering from in St. Petersburg are not separate and distinct from the suffering in Haiti or in Jamaica or in Nigeria or in Sudan. The same historical process is responsible for it and part of it is an attack of Africa, dispersal of African people, a separation of African people from each other and from our resources. That is the resolution there is no other resolution.
Something that may have seemed far fetched just a little while ago, is becoming clearer every day to the point that even pundits tied to the ruling class are raising the question of whether the empire is in decline now. And, of course it is. It is in decline as part of a process that sees other peoples around the world whose resources were necessary for the wealth of the empire. And as people rise up everywhere, the empire is in a state of decline and African people will have to rise up and take back our resources before we'll be free. I don't expect, in the final analysis, any meaningful solutions within the context of the existing system. I'm capable of struggling for certain kinds of reform that contribute to positioning the population and enhancing its capacity to resist and transform our condition. But America can't solve our problems.
But on the same token, the Uhuru Movement seems to have lost influence over the last few years.
You talk about influence. I just read an editorial in the St. Petersburg Times that says nobody will talk to the police. Nobody in the African community. There were 200 and some odd people, they said, where they murdered Javon Dawson, but nobody would talk to the police because of Omali Yeshitela and the Uhuru movement. That's what they said. When this crisis happens you will see the person who heads up the Justice For Javon Dawson committee is his stepmother and his cousins and other folks who are members of this organization. We're not as influential as we'd like to be, and we don't have the numbers that we'd like to have.
Have you heard from any witnesses on what exactly happened?
We've heard people. We've also watched Channel 9. I want to mention this because they talk about Omali Yeshitela won't turn over witnesses, they should subpoena Channel 9. Because I saw people on Channel 9, young people, who are saying the boy didn't have a gun. Yes, I have heard people say that they were there and didn't have a gun. I heard one person go further stating that her daughter who was with him earlier on had actually patted him down and there was no weapon in his pockets.
And this whole thing about how we won't let anybody testify is just nonsense, and it's a way to change the subject, because the real deal is that you have a 17-year-old youngster with no criminal history. And the thing that's really interesting about this is every time the police kills somebody in this community, the next day the first thing you see in the newspaper is a mugshot, and the implication there is that the killing was justified because this person has a record. Now, the media that has so much respect for criminal records, in this instance when they can't find a mugshot, they don't say "There's something wrong here. This kid doesn't have a record. That he's never committed a crime in his life, but he decides on this night the first criminal act he's going to engage in is point a gun at the police, and after pointing the gun at police, they find a way to shoot him, though he's shooting at them, twice in the back." Not only is that strange, but the fact is that we've got a 24-year-old kid that's just back from Iraq, from another occupation, who kills him. That's not even a story. The story is the mysterious witnesses that Omali Yeshitela and the Uhuru movement won't produce. What about those witnesses that Channel 9 won't produce?
So they create this thing that somehow we're responsible for anybody talking to the police. They have a problem, and the problem is it doesn't make sense the boy was shot in the back, not in the side, in the back.
There's a lawyer now that's working with the family. Her name is Maura Kiefer, and she is trying to interview witnesses that people give to her so that she can have an approach of taking these witnesses, so these youngsters won't have to face the same cops they saw gun down this boy, their parents can be there and this is a condition that she is trying to establish with the state's attorney when she goes to them. We have nothing to do with keeping witnesses from testifying at all.
Would this be as big of an issue with you if this was an African-American cop that shot Javon Dawson?
It'd be more of an issue. His young brother had gone to try and help his brother, and I'm told it was a black cop that told him to "get back or you can get shot too" or something to that effect.
The state is the state, and you know people who work for that institution are just as capable. The police is a military organization. Its job is an occupation force in this community. Just like you got Iraqis who work with the U.S. to occupy their country, there are black people who do it here. Just like you had Indian scouts that helped the calvary to track down the indigenous peoples here and wiped them out, we got Africans that will do the same thing.
It would be just as serious for us, and in some ways it would be more serious if it were an African that did it.
But it is worth noting that in every instance these shootings have happened up until now, they've been white cops that have done it.
I think you had a cop that was afraid. He might have even flashed back to Iraq. You know, that's their job to subdue communities. You're in Fallujah again. You've got all these people who know nothing about, in a community about which you know nothing. Listen, when police were called they were called because of too many youngsters in the street and noise from a party. They weren't called to it because of a robbery, mugging, a rape or a killing; they were called because of too much noise at a party. You could send a social worker to take care of that. But they sent the Save Summer guys out there, and one of them knew what occupation really meant and killed that boy.
How come you and the Uhuru don't come out more strongly against black-on-black crime?
We do. We just don't call it black-on-black crime. Most of what you call black-on-black crime is white-on-black crime. It's a façade.
I mean, it's a thing we're concerned about. On a regular basis we challenge the community about violence, but we have a relationship with the people. We're not the police working against the people and preaching at the people; we work with the people to try to change from within. The solution is not the police and not the church. The solution is organizing people to change their circumstances, that's a long and difficult thing. But believe me when I tell you that we challenge this community in a serious way.
If you had the opportunity to move with me in this community, you would see the relationship that we have with young people and the respect that is there with young people. And the fact is if people thought we were in the vicinity where something illegal or violence against somebody else was about to happen, they would cease and desist. We have that kind of respect, because we struggle against it. But we don't call the newspaper. We don't work like that.
It's like Barack Obama suddenly discovering that fathers need to take care of their children. That was his Sister Souljah moment. That was his way to speak to the so-called white social conservatives. I ain't speaking to white social conservatives, I ain't speaking at city hall or the police department. My discussion happens in this community. ... Our attempt is not to have that discussion with white folk, it's to have that discussion inside our community.
We don't want violence in this community; in fact, we have campaigns and programs that say if a brother kills another, you are the police. You are working with the police, you are doing the very same thing they are doing. We have produced DVDs that are not only distributed here against that kind of stuff but all around the world, but we place the violence in the proper context. ... It's pandering. It's pandering to a racist, colonialist assumptions about this community. It's pandering, and it's contributing to this whole notion of the need to have this external force to control our community. it liquidates the contradictions inside this community caused by policies outside this community. so this whole discussion as it would happen on black-on-black crime places the onus of responsibility for the conditions of existence on its victims. So we won't participate with that. We won't participate with that.
Do you agree with the "no snitching" code?
I think it exists in the police department. In fact, they've done movies on it. they call it the code of silence. I haven't heard any report yet of cops saying what happened that night, just this one cop.
When you talk about a code of snitching ... I believe that what this country does is what they cursed the Nazis for doing. They would have an informant on every corner just snitching on people inside their community for the benefit of the state. If it's bad when Nazis do it, it's bad when African people do it. You can't have it both ways. You can't say it's bad to turn a community into a community of informers and snitches when it comes to white people, and it's good when it comes to African people, that somehow we're supposed to be the informers.
The bigger question is this: Why is it that the police department has so alienated the African community that you have to be worried about a code of snitching? That ain't our problem. That's something wrong in the relationship that exists between the police department and the African community. The question really needs to be asked -- why is it that there is such an animosity existing between the community and the police department that people seem to have a problem talking to them?
Do you worry that sometimes talk of socialism and revolution may turn off younger people from your ideas?
It doesn't worry me. the majority of people we come into contact with don't relate to us because of communism, socialism or capitalism. They relate to us because of the pain this system imposes on them. I think most people can relate to goodness, to try and make things better. So most people who we hear that discussion from, like some middle class folk. Ordinary people aren't debating that question. They're trying to feed their children and get them off to school safety and things like that. But I will tell you this -- what we are discovering is daily young people, I n particular, are demanding revolution. They don't want some milquetoast reformist agenda. Young people are demanding revolutionary transformation. Again, it's not just here. All over other world that's our experience. Because we've been reformed out. For example, how many civil rights bills do you think will ever happen. It's not going to happen anymore and what has been the consequence of the last one, except for the middle class? Nothing.
For an organization for African-American self-determination, there seems to be a lot of white people in your group. What's up with that?
Let me tell you this. [Laughs.] It's an interesting question. We're called black nationalists by some folk, and then they see the white people they say, "Well, there's so many white people that something's wrong with them." I have integrationists, who in an attempt to slander me, spread the word that I'm married to a white woman. And I have the same integrationists who say they hate me because I'm for black power and this and that.
When the Nicaraguan revolution took off, before they got to Managua in July of '79, I didn't even know a Nicaraguan. But I went to find some, so we could put all of our organization resources at their disposal, because we could support the struggle of the Nicaraguan people. We did not require that they abdicate their struggle for self-determination. We did not require that they develop a taste for Ray Charles or anything like that. We were in solidarity with that movement.
We have a movement that anybody who wants to express solidarity with can join, but it is a movement for self-determination. And white people can actually join a movement that supports self-determination for black people. There's really no mystery to it.
The problem that we have is this whole racially-based politic that makes the assumption, somehow, that if there are white people or black people who are working in the same process that somehow it must be some kind of integrationist process, or it must be some process that white people are leading. That's usually how the thought process works.
There are white people that have tremendous solidarity. There have been people who have been in the movement 30 years or more. White people in solidarity with the struggle of African people.
Beyond that, most of the resources of the peoples of the world are located in a white community somewhere and genuine solidarity by white folk is required for us to repossess some of our resources. Some of these are material resources and some are human resources. It's a legitimate thing for white people to work in solidarity with the struggle of African people.
How do you feel about Barack Obama?
He's a wonderful representative for white power. I think that his role in part is at a time of tremendous crisis for this whole system that Barack Obama is a neo-colonial ploy. He is a white power in black face. At a time when Africans would be looking for alternatives to the system, he's dragging Africans into the safe embrace of the Democratic Party and the system. He cleans up the image of America throughout the whole world. He becomes an apologist for white nationalism, I'm not just talking about America but white nationalism proper. He condemns anything that comes from this community. he talks about a post-racial America. He is an apologist for the relationship black people have to this country. It's an interesting situation because a lot of black people follow Obama because they think he stands for black power and a alit of white people follow him because they know he doesn't. I think it's a really interesting situation.
How did you come to meet [hip-hop group] Dead Prez?
They were in our organization. They were in Tallahassee. They joined our organization. One of them used to run our New York office.
Do you know if they are going to tour here any time soon?
I don't [laughs].
(Reposted from Mohawk Nation News)
Scroll to the bottom of this article to read the solidarity statement by the African People's Solidarity Committee
For MNN by Ieriwa’on:ni firstname.lastname@example.org
MNN. July 1, 2008. Dear Friends and Supporters: Those of us who are close to Kahentinetha and Katenies, the friends and family who spend time with them on a daily basis, would like to thank all of you for your support and kind words. We would like to share some of the reflections you’ve sent us.
Harriet Nahanni recently died in custody in British Columbia. 500 women have disappeared without any investigation. Kahentinetha survived the trauma induced heart attack inflicted on her by the Canadian Border Services Agency at Cornwall Ontario. Katenies and her family continue to be harassed as they have been since she filed a formal court motion in 2003 asking Canada to prove its jurisdiction over her and her Nation. Her daughter Teiohontateh has filed a human rights complaint over abuse at the same border.
What is MNN’s role in “Indian Country”? There are thousands of voices out there struggling to be heard. By attacking women and elders they are trying to tell us they’ll attack anyone. Will this keep us quiet? No way.
Today is July 1st ,“Canada Day”. There’s lots of drinking, flag waving and fireworks. The colonial regime whose officers committed the June 14th, 2008 assault on these two grandmothers is celebrating the foundations of their squatter state with land and resources stolen from Indigenous peoples. Why are they in such a drunken state? The violent attacks and the violations of international law demonstrate that Canada is still at war with Indigenous people.
They’re trying to forget that every square inch they stand on is Indigenous. Section 2 of Canada’s Constitution Act, 1982 declared that everyone has the fundamental freedom of “thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication”. But does Canada respect its own constitution? No.
Canada does not support freedom of opinion. It has a propaganda mill to control the media. It doesn’t even allow scientists to speak to the public without running their findings past spin doctors. It suppresses historical facts and current evidence of its “serial killer” tendencies. It’s trying to make us invisible. This is one of the reasons why the media have ignored the attack on MNN personnel. An honest state would present the facts for public discussion. The public has no idea what is going on.
Why do operatives hired by the Canadian government want to shut down MNN? MNN is not a rant blog. MNN describes attacks on Indigenous Peoples. It puts into words what people are thinking and checks it out to see what’s true. It conducts critical investigations into Canadian and international corporate misconduct. It is based on solid research and thorough discussion. This panics those who parasite on “Indians” and on honest members of the Canadian public.
Recently lawyer Patrick Nadjiwan of North Bay Ontario accused MNN of libel and slander. MNN proved that its information came from the websites of his clients, the guys who were ready to sue MNN. They were slandering themselves. Their scam at Sharbot Lake couldn’t stand up to the light of day. Suddenly he was silent.
MNN has also come under attack by colonial state operatives. What really gets to them is the way MNN follows the principles of the Kaienerekowa, the Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace. They don’t like the way MNN recognizes that we all have minds. We all have the capacity to see and hear, to think and feel. Every person’s ability to sense and understand is important. The young and the old. The steel-worker, the scholar, the tobacco-trader, the grandmother. The Onkwehonwe and the immigrant. Each of us has a unique insight to contribute, no matter how big or small. We all have responsibilities. That means we can’t just drift along following orders without thinking or questioning.
In the past couple of years, MNN has exposed the colonial beast. The Canadian government hired young men to guard an illegal border in the middle of the Akwesasne community which was never meant for Indigenous people. They have been routinely threatening and harassing Indigenous people who have to pass there. Someone gave them orders to assault the two grandmothers. This violates the natural order. Women and elders are essential to life itself.
There was no valid reason for this attempted assassination. The boundary is an artificial abomination. It was placed there by foreign invaders without any right to do so. Even so, these two grandmothers presented themselves peacefully. They waited quietly in their car for a full hour while these “black shirts” prepared their attack. Why the violence? Why the state sadism?
The appetites of the colonizers are insatiable. They do not maintain sustainable economies. They depend on the exploitation of non-renewable resources. They are conditioned to want more and more and more. Raised on mental “junk food”, they “force feed” their children fascism and call it “democracy”. Bloated but malnourished, their senses are shut down. They cannot access the natural principles of self-determination that can be found in the “Kaianereh’ko:wa”. Their brains are starved. They have become gluttonous hungry ghosts with no control over their appetites.
The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled that CSIS cannot destroy evidence. A no brainer! This should mean the Canadian Border Service Agency cannot destroy the video tapes and other evidence of their attacks on the two grandmothers. So why does the CBSA claim nothing happened that day? Does the Supreme Court ruling on CSIS mean the CBSA is suddenly going to start thinking and acting legally? It doesn’t look like it.
How do we deal with such monsters? How do we deal with a state that uses violence to try to shut down public discussion and the law?
These perverts are trying to create a climate of fear. They’re acting like the caricature of a fascist third world state. It’s not working. Many people are watching and waiting. They aren’t fooled. Canada has become a sick joke.
Some people are curious about what will happen at 9:00 am in the Cornwall Ontario court house on July 14thwhen Katenies appears again. Will Canada obey the default judgment? The justice of the peace who released her on June 16th was already suspicious about the irregular treatment she received. The Supreme Court of Canada is suspicious of CSIS.
Someone warned MNN: “Of course you know CSIS or RCMP have been monitoring you since MNN started…” They started way before when the Women Title Holders raised the constitutional jurisdiction question in 4 fraudulent New York State land claims in 2004 [USSC 06-165]. They all folded because they refused to respect the Indigenous law that the land can never be surrendered. Katenies raised this inCornwall and won by default in March 2004.
[Posted on MNN December 18, 2006 under “Jay Treaty”]. They can’t keep ignoring the fact that they have no authority over us, even if they have all the guns.
MNN has always advocated peace. MNN has always supported Indigenous people who resist genocide. MNN often warns about the colonial states’ use of armed force to attack unarmed demonstrators and suppress Indigenous opinion. Is Katenies a threat to the rule of law? No way. Her motion and judgment are making them shake in their socks.
Yep! All of the weapons of war belong to the Canadian state. The army and the police are trying to scare people into doing whatever they say, whether or not it’s legal. But it’s not working. As another reader pointed out: “The time has come. The mistreatment of our people is going to stop because we are all watching and telling the world about it”.
People know that these two grandmothers did not bring this on themselves. They are not responsible for the illegal and life-threatening attack they suffered.
A century ago Louis Riel was hung for treason because he defended Metis rights. Today the death penalty has been banned in Canada and in international law. Canada, it is not OK for Canadian government officers to try to implement death sentences by other means such as excessive use of force and extraordinary threats and abuse? It is not OK for border guards to put people under so much physical stress that they have heart attacks? It is not OK for the state to give their agents a license to kill Indigenous people.
Ieriwa’on:niN.B. My e-mail address was written incorrectly at the end of the last article. It should be email@example.com. Your responses are appreciated.
This border issue legal challenge will cost money. MNN has none. Canada has unlimited funds from exploiting indigenous resources. Canada is apparently hiring top law firms to fight the Mohawks. We need counsel that will not be intimidated by this display of power. Your financial help is needed. If you could send donations, it would be greatly appreciated: “MNN Mohawk Nation News”, Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec,Canada] J0L 1B0. Thank you very much.
Phil Fontaine of AFN is a partner in CBSA’s Sustainable Development Strategy 2007-9 See Apprendix 4 for list of external stakeholders; Chris Kealey, Canada Customs Excise, Immigration Taxation Board, CBSA Media Relations 613-991-5197; Alain Joliceour, President CBSA 613-952-3200, 613-957-0612; General inquiries CBSA-ASFC@canada.gc.ca; National Aboriginal Initiative, Canadian Human Rights Commission 204-983-2189, 1-866772-4880 firstname.lastname@example.org; Canada Customs Port of Entry, Cornwall Island Ontario; Gaetan Cousineau, Quebec Human Rights, email@example.com; Akwesasne Mohawk police 613-575-2250 ex 2400; Mohawk Security Louis Mitchell 613-932-5183, 613-575-2340; Lance Markel, District Dir. CBSA 613-930-3234, 613-991-1214; Nurse Rachet at Cornwall Community Hospital 613-938-4240; http://www.,chrc-ccdp.ca/; Brent Lefebvre Investigator for CBSA; Susan St. Clair, Canadian Human Rights Commission, 344 Slater, Ottawa 613-995-1151, 1-888-214-1090, 613-943-5188; National spokesperson CBSA 613-957-6500; Quebec Media Relations CBSA 514-350-6130; Handling arrest Scott Patterson; Chief MCA Nona Benedict firstname.lastname@example.org; Minister Stockwell Day, House of Commons, Ottawa K1A 0A6 613-995-1702 email@example.com 250-770-4480,firstname.lastname@example.org; Dave MacKenzie, Parliamentary Secretary, Public Safety, 613-995-4432;Mackenzie.email@example.com; Melissa Leclair Communications Pub. Safety 613-991-2863; OFFICERS: 17012; 16320; 16511; 16121; 16275;
Report: Mohawk grandmothers attacked by Canadian Border Services Agency guards
“Family furious with Customs” Posted by Trevor Pritchard, Cornwall Standard Freeholder - Saturday, June 21, 2008
Family furious with Customs
Solidarity Statement from the African People's Solidarity Committee
Greetings!From the African People's Solidarity Committee we express our deep solidarity with the Mohawk Nation News and the Mohawk people themselves to exist and live on your own rightful lands in the society that you see fit without the attacks, brutality and colonial domination of the Canadian settler government and people.
We are a white organization working under the leadership of the African People's Socialist Party which leads the Uhuru Movement, a black movement working for the unification and liberation of Africans as one people all over the world. As members of APSC we believe that this land belongs to the Indigenous people and that the only reason that white people have power and wealth is because of the genocide of the Indigenous people and the theft of your land,and the enslavement of African people for hundreds of years.
We had the honor of interviewing Kahentinetha on our show, "Solidarity Not Charity," on Uhururadio.com a few months ago. We are outraged and distressed to learn that she has undergone trauma and brutality at the hand of the Canadian police and that your comrade Harriet Nahanni was murdered by the Canadian police!
In solidarity and Uhuru (freedom),
for the African People's Solidarity Committee