There was a lynch mob. There was a death without a trial, without a jury, without a sentence. There was an execution — that’s lynching.
—  Eddie Conway, former leader of the Baltimore Black Panthers, talked to Democracy Now! about the murder of Freddie Gray in Baltimore police custody. The head of the police union in Baltimore called protests against the police killing a “lynch mob.”

Silencing the Scientist: Tyrone Hayes on Being Targeted By Herbicide Firm Syngenta

Wow. These herbicides that the US is still using proved to mutate male frogs into women frogs or homosexuals. This herbicide is banned in Europe.

“Yeah, not far from where we are now, in 1939, Billie Holiday stands on stage in a hotel, and she sings the song “Strange Fruit,” which obviously your viewers will know is an anti-lynching song. Her goddaughter Lorraine Feather said to me, “You’ve got to understand how shocking this was, right?” Billie Holiday wasn’t allowed to walk through the front door of that hotel; she had to go through the service elevator. To have an African-American woman standing up, at a time when most pop songs were like twee, you know, “P.S. I Love You,” that kind of thing, singing against lynching in front of a white audience was regarded as really shocking. And that night, according to her biographer, Julia Blackburn, she’s told by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, “Stop singing this song.”

Federal Bureau of Narcotics was run by a man called Harry Anslinger, who I think is the most influential person who no one’s ever heard of. Harry Anslinger takes over the Department of Prohibition just as alcohol prohibition is ending, and he wants to find a new purpose for it. You know, he’s got this huge bureaucracy he wants to run. And he’s really driven by two passions: an intense hatred of African Americans—I mean, this is a guy who was regarded as a crazy racist by the crazy racists in the 1930s; he used the N-word in official police reports so often that his senator said he should have to resign—and a really strong hatred of addicts. And Billie Holiday, to him, was like the symbol of everything that was going wrong in America. And so, he gives her this order.

She refuses. She basically says, “Screw you. I’m an American citizen. I’ll say what I want.” She had grown up in segregated Baltimore, and she had promised herself she would never bow her head to any white man. And that’s when Harry Anslinger begins the process of stalking her, and eventually, I think, playing a role in her death, as was explained to me by her friends and by all the archival research.”

The Hunting of Billie Holiday & the Roots of the U.S. War on Drugs

The courts have been crystal clear on this matter. You have a right, under the First Amendment of the Constitution, to take photographs or video of anything in public. … the police certainly don’t have the right to look at your camera or seize your phone without a warrant.
—  Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union. Watch his interview on Democracy Now! today.

Angela Davis on Prison Abolition, the War on Drugs and Why Social Movements Shouldn’t Wait on Obama



iraq war: us soldier throws his medals and stars!!! and quits


Title: Meet the Dutch Physician Who Defied Abortion Bans by Bringing Her Clinic to the Sea —– Description: As Republicans in the new Congress and in state legislatures across the United States seek new restrictions on abortion, we look at the story of a Dutch doctor who has brought safe abortion to countries around the world where it is illegal. The new documentary “Vessel” follows Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, founder of Women on Waves, who set sail on a ship to provide abortions in international waters, where a country’s bans do not apply. Gomperts later founded Women on Web, an online support service that helps women obtain and safely take medications to induce abortion. Full episodes of Democracy Now! can be viewed at the link: —– By: freespeechtv

faffhrdleiber asked:

10/16/14 NPR-Democracy Now: Host and panel discussing the protests in Ferguson. Man calls in to ask, in a defensive and affronted tone, do blacks expect police officers to treat them differently just because they are black? Caller's implied message: Substitute "better" for "differently" and "than whites" for "jbtab". We want equality, not supremacy. We want the system to STOP treating us differently just because we are black.

The Clintons are directly responsible for the greatest increase in the prison population under any president.
—  Julius Jones, founder of Black Lives Matter Worcester, Massachusetts. Jones confronted Hillary Clinton on her record on race and mass incarceration during a campaign event in New Hampshire. Watch their exchange on Democracy Now! today.

Dear White People: Film Tackles Racial Stereotypes on Campus & Being a “Black Face in a White Space”

One of the few films I’m looking forward to.


“A Hideous Atrocity”: Noam Chomsky on Israel’s Assault on Gaza & U.S. Support for the Occupation

August 7, 2014

Hideous. Sadistic. Vicious. Murderous. That is how Noam Chomsky describes Israel’s 29-day offensive in Gaza that killed nearly 1,900 people and left almost 10,000 people injured. Chomsky has written extensively about the Israel/Palestine conflict for decades. After Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, Chomsky co-authored the book, “Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians” with Israeli scholar Ilan Pappé. His other books on the Israel/Palestine conflict include “Peace in the Middle East? Reflections on Justice and Nationhood” and “The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians.” Chomsky is world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author, Institute Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught for more than 50 years. 

Watch the full 40-minute interview with Noam Chomsky:
Michelle Alexander: Roots of Today’s Mass Incarceration Crisis Date to Slavery, Jim Crow

As the Justice Department sheds new light on the racist criminal justice system in Ferguson, legal scholar Michelle Alexander looks at the historical roots of what she describes as “the new Jim Crow.” From mass incarceration to police killings to the drug war, Alexander explores how the crisis is a nationwide issue facing communities of color. “Today we see millions of poor people and folks of color who are trapped, yet again, in a criminal justice system which are treating them like commodities, like people who are easily disposable,” Alexander says. “We are not on the right path. … It’s not about making minor reforms and plodding along in the same direction. No, its about mustering the courage to have a major reassessment of where we are as America, reckon with our racial history as well as our present, and build a broad-based movement rooted in the awareness of the dignity and humanity of us all.”

Hundreds gathered in New York yesterday to highlight the case of Kindra Chapman, an 18-year-old African-American woman found dead in an Alabama jail cell just one day after Sandra Bland was found dead in a Texas jail. Protesters also honored Bland and India Clarke, the 10th transgender woman murdered so far this year. Watch more at
Who is Gen. Michael Nagata, the Man Tapped by Obama to Train the Syrian Rebels?

AMY GOODMAN: Wait a second. You have to explain this again. Say his name, and talk about what it is he said about your work, and what you had exposed at the time.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, it’s a classified report, so—I mean, I know this because I was told by a member of Congress, who—not a congressional aide, by a member of Congress who read this classified report. I did a report in The Nation magazine in late 2009. I was on Democracy Now! talking about it. In fact, there’s a clip in the Dirty Wars film where I talk about how a military official called me and threatened me, saying that if I did this story, that I was going to be, quote, “on thin ice.” And there is that. And that man, Kirby, is now—John Kirby is now one of the most senior U.S. military officials, the guy who actually threatened me.

We did the report. It was about special ops and Blackwater and JSOC in Pakistan. The report came out. It caused a huge scandal inside of Pakistan. The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, was publicly denouncing the story. The U.S. military attaché was summoned by the Pakistani prime minister and president to answer to these covert U.S. operations. And the U.S. Congress started to inquire about it. And so, a military official, who was at the time the defense attaché in Pakistan, Brigadier General Michael Nagata, was put in charge of investigating not only my article, but a article by Seymour Hersh about how JSOC was developing plans to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. And a member of Congress told me—who had seen the report, told me that it accused me and Seymour Hersh of weaving together innocuous facts into a fairytale narrative and that none of it is actually true. That man, Brigadier General Michael Nagata, was just placed in charge of what is going to become the covert aspect of this overt air campaign in Syria and Iraq.

And he is being—if you google his name—it’s N-A-G-A-T-A—Michael Nagata, he is being praised by people like General James Mattis, who was, you know, one of the main people that ran the Iraq War and oversaw the battle of Fallujah. He is being praised by Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the man who was Stanley McChrystal’s intelligence czar at the Joint Special Operations Command at the height of their Murder Incorporated operation in Iraq. This man is winning praise from all of them and is now in charge of this—the emerging covert aspect of the overt war. And he also was a guy who, to Congress, smeared me and Sy Hersh. And the reporting that I did there, that they all claimed was false, was later vindicated in its entirety when Chelsea Manning leaked the WikiLeaks cables.

AMY GOODMAN: So, what do you think this says about the current war in Iraq and Syria?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, you know, I think that there’s a degree to which President Obama is only nominally in control of his military policy. I don’t mean to imply that there’s a coup, that the generals, you know, have taken over or something. But what we are looking at is a situation where the most dark forces of the U.S. military and the CIA have been given carte blanche from the White House to fight the exact kind of war that they always have wanted to fight, where there is very little accountability, a huge amount of money and maximum flexibility in a borderless war. And it is going to largely be fought through airstrikes and covert operations on the ground. And, you know, 10 years from now, you and I could sit down, and we’ll look back on this the same way that we now look back on what the U.S. did in Afghanistan in the 1980s, when it funded networks that were tied to Osama bin Laden—

AMY GOODMAN: When the U.S. funded.

JEREMY SCAHILL: When the U.S. funded networks tied to Osama bin Laden. And we know how that story went. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the people that Brigadier General Michael Nagata is going to be training now in Syria and Iraq later come back and attack the United States in some form.

McDonald’s and other franchises are suing the city of Seattle over its new $15-an-hour minimum wage law, arguing it violates its corporate personhood rights. They are basing their case on the 14th Amendment, a constitutional provision written to protect newly freed slaves after the Civil War and ensure equal rights for all people.
—  Democracy Now!: Should McDonald’s & Monsanto Have the Same Rights as People? A Debate on Corporate Personhood

Amy Goodman’s interview w/ Russell Brand is #6 in our top 20 interviews of 2014 @rustyrockets

AMY GOODMAN: And this week has also been historic in Mike Brown’s parents going to Geneva and testifying around the issue of torture, a whole issue of police brutality. At any moment now, a decision is going to be made by a grand jury over whether the police officer who killed Mike Brown, Darren Wilson, will be indicted.

RUSSELL BRAND: It’s unfortunate. It’s a really scary, terrible incident, and what’s happening in Ferguson more broadly is frightening. But what I heard was that $4.2 billion worth of military equipment have been transferred to local police authorities across the United States. So the militarization of police forces in your country and in our country is terrifying. It’s almost like they’re anticipating further public unrest, and instead of placating members of the population through fairness, redistribution of wealth, not beating them up and shooting them, they’ve decided to just arm the police. “Well, we’re going to have to shoot them a bit, then shoot them some more.” It’s really sort of frightening. I think what’s happening in Ferguson, we’ll be seeing a lot more of that in countries all over the world, as this growing disparity between rich and poor, this gulf of inequality, continues.

AMY GOODMAN: You know, we have a law, Posse Comitatus, that says troops can’t—

RUSSELL BRAND: What? Hakuna matata? That’s from The Lion King. That’s not a law. What is it called?

AMY GOODMAN: Troops can’t—Posse Comitatus, that says—

RUSSELL BRAND: Why is it called that in America?

AMY GOODMAN: —troops can’t march through the streets of the United States.

RUSSELL BRAND: Hakuna matata?

AMY GOODMAN: And I wonder if the arming of police is a way of getting around that.


AMY GOODMAN: Because you then have police with military weapons, with tanks, rolling down the streets of the United States.

RUSSELL BRAND: That’s really worrying. That’s sort of—you know those people, survivalists, that live in a mountain with a rifle and say, “We want to set up our own society based on camo and eating squirrels.” Makes you think that they’ve got a point, doesn’t it? You know, if the government are trying to find proxy ways to militarize the police force and march them through the streets. But my hope comes from the fact that members of the police force that I know, in our country and in your country, they’re ordinary people from ordinary backgrounds that, somewhere in them, know that they’re there to protect and to serve the public, not to be the henchmen of the establishment.
"This Country Values Property Over People": Ferguson Activist Speaks Out as Protests Spread

Protests are set to begin for a third day in a row in Ferguson, Missouri over a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. On Tuesday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon deployed more than 2,000 National Guardsmen to patrol the St. Louis area. Police repeatedly fired smoke bombs and tear gas to scatter protesters gathered near Ferguson City Hall. Police said 44 people were arrested. Meanwhile demonstrations over the Michael Brown case spread across the country from Los Angeles to New York. We go to Ferguson to speak with Tory Russell, one of the founders of the group Hands Up United and a member of the St. Louis-based Organization for Black Struggle.