Thursday, November 3, 2011

More Young Black Men Fill British Prisons

Blacks in Prison
Each year, scores of young Black men enter correctional facilities across the U.S. — now, new data from across the pond shows that Black boys aren’t faring any better in Britain.

According to a report published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons, young Black males now make up nearly 40% of the population in youth jails across England and Wales.

The numbers in the report, Children and Young People in Custody 2010-2011, also showed that the percentage of Black and minority ethnic children in custody has not fallen at the same rate as that of white children. Between 2007 and 2011 there was a 37 percent reduction in white children in custody, compared with a 16 percent reduction in black and ethnic minority children. England’s hushed race issues came to a head earlier this summer as nearly uncontrollable riots raged through many London neighborhoods and the city’s Black and minority citizens used the international spotlight to bring attention to their concerns.

A post-riot analysis of the arrests during the unrest showed that of those brought before the courts for riot-related offenses, 46% were Black, 42% were white and only 7% were Asian. Blacks make up just 3 percent of London’s total population.


Libyan rebels round up blacks, put them in prison camps

NATO-backed Libyan rebels are rounding up thousands of innocent black migrants and taking them to prison camps as part of mass reprisals that include reports of indiscriminate killings, mistreatment and torture, as the “humanitarian” veneer of the west’s military intervention quickly crumbles.

Migrant blacks and sub-Saharan Africans comprise one third of the entire Libyan population, and a minority were hired by Gaddafi as mercenary fighters, but rebels are treating them all as enemy combatants, with reports of abuse, murders and mass arrests increasing in volume.


Islamist Jihad ready for all-out war with Israel – Reuters

GAZA (Reuters) – The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, which traded deadly fire with Israel at the weekend in Gaza, does not expect a subsequent truce to last long and has at least 8,000 fighters ready for war, a spokesman said.

Islamic Jihad is the second largest armed group in Gaza, after Hamas, which rules the tiny Mediterranean enclave. The two share a commitment to the destruction of Israel and both are classified as terrorist groups by most Western governments.

However, while Hamas has recently spent much of its energy on the business of government, Islamic Jihad has kept its focus firmly on theconflict, gaining in prominence and enjoying significant backing from Muslim supporters, including Iran.

“We are proud and honoured to say that the Islamic Republic of Iran gives us support and help,” Abu Ahmed, the spokesman for Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, the Jerusalem Brigades, told Reuters in a rare, long interview.

He denied widespread reports that Iran had provided his group with arms and smiled at suggestions it now receives more sophisticated weaponry from Tehran than Hamas. He also declined to comment on rumours that the Jihadists were trained by Iran.

“What I will say is that we have every right to turn to every source of power for help,” said the burly, bearded Abu Ahmed, occasionally flicking a string of yellow prayer beads.

Islamic Jihad’s latest confrontation with Israel left 12 Palestinian gunmen and one Israeli civilian dead. The fighting ended only after neighbouring Egypt brokered a cease-fire with both parties, but Abu Ahmed did not see it lasting long.

“Theoretically the calm has been restored, but in practice it hasn’t really,” he said. Israel, he said, is itching for a fight in Gaza following last month’s prisoner-swap accord, in which Israel released 477 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held by Hamas since 2006.
Israel says it attacks only in self-defence.


It killed five senior Islamic Jihad militants on Saturday in retaliation for a rocket attack two days earlier that it blamed on the group. That rocket caused no casualties, but landed deep enough into Israel to set off sirens on Tel Aviv’s outskirts.

Abu Ahmed denied responsibility for the missile, saying this was how Israel had managed to find five top fighters together in the open — because they had not expected to be targeted.

But the Jerusalem Brigades soon hit back, firing numerous rockets into southern Israel, piercing the country’s defensive missile shield. One Israeli man died, at least four others were injured, while cars and a building were also set ablaze.

The group posted a video online showing a missile-launcher on the back of a truck firing a salvo of rockets. It was the first time the group has claimed to have such firepower, although there was no independent confirmation of its use.

“The Jerusalem Brigades really surprised Israel, forcing them to rethink their assessment of us … I don’t think they realised we had that weaponry,” said Abu Ahmed, indicating the vehicle was immediately hidden underground after the attack.

Jerusalem Brigades cells are dotted around Gaza and Abu Ahmed said there was huge demand from youngsters to join.

“We take some, but can’t accept everyone … It is a question of quality, not quantity,” he said, giving for the first time an estimate of the strength of the force. “We have at least 8,000 fighters, who are fully equipped.”
The group got a boost to its standing in August when the new rulers in Egypt started dealing with it directly over truces, rather than through Hamas. Abu Ahmed said Hamas was not involved in the latest fighting and that all the talking was with Egypt.

He played down reports of tensions with Hamas, which since Israel’s military offensive in Gaza in late 2008 has appeared reluctant to go head-to-head with its sworn enemy.

“Certainly in terms of ideology, there is no difference between Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. The difference is in the methodology,” Abu Ahmed said, adding that Hamas’s governmental role meant that it was “more vulnerable to outside pressure.”

He said Islamic Jihad’s biggest problem was the Israeli armed drones that regularly buzz over Gaza seeking out militants. “Warfare has changed. You can’t just hide a gun in your jacket like you could in the 1980s,” he said, adding that the Jihadist fighters were not afraid of sudden death.

“It is a good feeling to be under drone attack. When we chose the path of resistance, we opted either for martyrdom or victory. Martyrdom is the more desirable.”

Desperate times call for desperate measures

By Rebekah Rast
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
And in these desperate times in America — plagued by high unemployment and a never-ending housing crisis — President Obama is seeking desperate measures.

His latest: Calling the naming of a national monument a jobs creation act.

This new monument in Virginia, Fort Monroe, was once one of the nation’s largest Army posts. During the 17th century it played a key role in the history of slavery and during the Civil War housed escaped slaves.
President Obama ensures Virginians that this monument, “will help create nearly 3,000 jobs,” in a White House press release.

Of course he left out the part where once the landscaping is up to par and the buildings restored on this national monument that many of those 3,000 jobs will cease to exist. He also left out the small detail that these are government-created jobs. They were not spawned from the private-sector market, so therefore your tax dollars will be used to create and sustain this land and many of the jobs needed to maintain it.

“All the government does is take money out of one pocket and put it in another,” says Don Todd, senior research director at Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “The government does not create wealth, it just moves money around.”

A National Parks and Conservation Association study in 2006 claims that the park system generates at least four dollars in value to the public for every tax dollar invested in its annual budget, making a strong statement in support of the parks system. Yet, in the very next sentence it states, “every year the parks suffer an operating shortfall of $800 million, in addition to a massive multi-billion dollar maintenance backlog.” With almost 400 national parks in America today already, how can we afford one more?
This doesn’t sound like much a jobs plan.

Get full story here.

U.S. has already provided $20 billion to bail out Europe

By Robert Romano
“The fact is, we are already bailing out Europe.”

That was Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson’s take on a recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report published in September that showed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has already dispensed €78.5 billion to the creditors of Greece, Portugal, and Ireland, or about $112 billion for refinance bailout loans.

The U.S. provides 17.72 percent of the IMF’s finances. Which means the “U.S. taxpayers’ tab is already almost $20 billion so far that the IMF has put at risk,” Wilson noted.

He urged members of Congress to resist any further U.S. role in providing financial assistance to Europe to alleviate the sovereign debt crisis, saying, “It’s not up to the American people to bail out European banks that bet poorly on the sovereign debt of socialist governments that could not afford to be paid back.”
According to the CRS report, Europe’s various efforts through the €440 billion European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) have been “backstopped by various forms of assistance from the U.S. Federal Reserve Board (FRB) and the IMF.”

A staunch opponent of bailouts, Wilson was not happy, saying, “The bailout of European banks is already taking place under the noses of members of Congress and is putting U.S. taxpayer resources at risk, whether through the IMF or the Federal Reserve.”

Wilson warned representatives and senators that there were multiple avenues the government was moving bailout monies into Europe, “It’s not enough just to stop the IMF. It’s got to be comprehensive.”
Get full story here.

Breaking news: Greek crisis calls for Papandreou to resign

George Papandreou
Greek PM George Papandreou is facing calls from senior members of his own party to resign, amid uncertainty about a eurozone bailout deal.

Four ministers, including influential Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, said they opposed Mr Papandreou’s plan to hold a referendum on the EU deal.

Earlier the BBC reported that the prime minister was preparing to offer his resignation.
But state TV later reported that he had ruled this out during the meeting.

The opposition New Democracy party has said it would accept taking part in a coalition government if Mr Papandreou agreed to stand down.

The BBC’s Mark Lowen, in Athens, says that whatever the outcome, Greece has been thrown into a period of intense political instability.

The EU bailout, agreed last month, would give the heavily indebted Greek government 130bn euros (£111bn; $178bn) and a 50% write-off of its debts, in return for deeply unpopular austerity measures.
‘Ready to talk’

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras called for a caretaker government to safeguard the EU deal.
“I ask for the formation of a temporary transition government with the exclusive responsibility to immediately hold elections, and ratify the loan deal under the present parliament,” he said, quoted by AFP news agency.
A government spokesman said it was ready to talk to the opposition about the issue.

“We welcome New Democracy’s decision to support the 26 October deal,” said spokesman Ilias Mossialos, referring to the EU bailout deal.

“As far as the other proposals are concerned, we are ready to seriously discuss them, in the interest of the country.”

Mr Papandreou had called a vote of confidence for Friday. His Pasok party holds a slim majority, 152 out of 300 seats.

Greek parliament graphic
However, he was faced with a parliamentary revolt after several of his MPs withheld their backing. Some called for early elections or a government of national unity instead.
Shadow over G20

One Pasok rebel MP, Eva Kaili, told the BBC: ”I think now the only solution is to have a new government of national rescue and co-operation led by a person that is recognised by the majority [as] prime minister and tries to uphold the agreement [on the EU bailout] of 26 October.”

The row threatens to overshadow a meeting of the G20 in Cannes, where leading industrialised nations are to discuss the eurozone debt crisis.

Mr Papandreou told reporters in Cannes his referendum would in effect be a vote on whether Greece should remain in the euro.

“The treaty doesn’t foresee an exit from the eurozone without exiting the EU,” spokeswoman Karolina Kottova told a briefing in Brussels.

Earlier, the chairman of the group of eurozone countries, Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg, said plans were in place for a Greek exit from the euro.

“We are absolutely prepared for the situation that I have described and do not want to see come about,” Mr Juncker told German ZDF television.

Mr Venizelos launched the parliamentary revolt in the early hours of Thursday with a statement saying Greece’s membership of the euro could not be put in doubt.

“If we want to protect the country we must, under conditions of national unity and political seriousness and consensus, implement without any delay the decision of 26 October. Now, as soon as possible,” Mr Venizelos said.

Mr Venizelos is a former challenger for the Pasok leadership. In 2004, he was defeated by Mr Papandreou by 56% to 38% in a party vote.

Greece was due to receive the next tranche of funds from its first bailout later this month. However, the EU has said it will not transfer the 8bn euros until after the referendum.

Occupy Oakland: Violent Clashes Break Out Between Occupiers And Police…

(AFP) — Clashes broke out between masked protesters and police here early Thursday after a day of peaceful anti-Wall Street protests shut down one of the United States’ busiest ports.
The demonstrations were mainly peaceful until around midnight, when dozens of protesters in the city center hurled rocks and bottles, briefly occupied a vacant building and torched a barricade. Riot police responded with tear gas.
The violent protesters appeared to be a breakaway group from the much larger Occupy Wall Street movement that has been camped out near Oakland’s City Hall, many of whom rushed to the scene to urge calm, an AFP photographer said.
The Oakland Tribune reported that one protester was injured and later taken away by an ambulance, and that police had arrested 30 to 40 people. The Oakland police could not immediately be reached for comment.
“Celebrate the death of capitalism,” read a banner on a makeshift altar decorated with flowers. Vendors sold ice cream and cotton candy, music blared, and booths handed out anti-capitalist literature.
Keep reading…

Harlem Activists: The Occupy Movement Is NOT Just A “White Thing”

Check out this fascinating article about Occupy Harlem, and why the Occupy movement ain’t just a “white thing.”

There are definitely prominent Black voices in the movement. Activists and scholars like Angela Davis and Cornell West have been major supporters of the movement since practically day one; Dr. West was even  arrested on October 21st with 30 others in Harlem, protesting that racist “stop and frisk” program.

And by now I’m sure you’ve heard of Occupy The Hood.
The 99% percent is made up of a variety of people from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of priorities. What unites them are a few common enemies; namely greed, corruption and economic inequality.

But will it be possible for such a complicated, motley collective to build a coalition strong enough to affect change in a way that will benefit everyone involved?

From the Huffington Post:
“Occupy Wall Street is not a quote-unquote white thing. It is a white thing that the 1 percent and the bankers are representing white oligarchy and white plutocrats for the most part,” Bailey said. “But this is an organic movement from the bottom up. Now we have to take advantage, seize the time and the moment … and it is time that we become part of this landscape so we can begin to highlight our issues.”
As Occupy Wall Street has spread to cities across the country and the world, the collective face of the movement has remained largely white and youthful, at times shunning or crowding out old-school activists and civil rights leaders. But as the movement has continued to grow, more people of color have gotten involved. There is Occupy The Hood, started by a single mother in Detroit and a substance abuse counselor from Queens. Rappers and entertainers have joined Occupy protests in New York, Oakland, Chicago and Houston.

On October 21, more than 30 people, including the scholar and activist Cornel West, were arrested in Harlem while protesting the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, a practice that critics and community activists say unfairly targets blacks and Latinos. Many of the protesters made their way uptown from Zuccotti park.”


Y’all Ready? ‘Occupy Black America’ is coming

Occupy Dat Ass

Could this be the movement that unites and awakens Americans of color? Occupy Black America is in effect, according to the Black Institute. And according to some, it’s about time.

This from the Huffpost: “Occupy Wall Street is not a quote-unquote white thing. It is a white thing that the 1 percent and the bankers are representing white oligarchy and white plutocrats for the most part,” Bailey said. “But this is an organic movement from the bottom up. Now we have to take advantage, seize the time and the moment … and it is time that we become part of this landscape so we can begin to highlight our issues.”
Watch: Michelle Alexander says black incarceration the ‘new Jim Crow’ (VIDEO)

According to a new report by the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI), “Jim Crow still exists today in the (U.S.) job market,” with more black and Latino workers relegated to the realm of “second-class workers, over-represented in low-skill, low-wage occupations with limited chances to move up the ladder of opportunity”.

Lupe Fiasco was the first “celebrity person” to join the Occupy Wall Street movement, and now, following his lead and the lead of thousands like him it has grown into a movement no man can stop. It resonates with all working people but especially with the historical disenfranchised people of color.
Watch: Lupe Fiasco @ Occupy Wall Street: Day 1 (VIDEO)

“People of color cannot get to job centers far from their homes due to inadequate public transportation services. Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, and particular populations of Asians, live where employers don’t locate, where local and county governments have failed to build public transit, and where the tax base is too small to properly fund schools,” the report said.

Check the Joy Road Project for insight on the prison industrial complex currently in place in the United States.