The Ballot or the Bullet – 50th Anniversary

50 years ago Malcolm X gave his infamous Ballot or the Bullet speech which ranked 7th in the top 100 American speeches of the 20th century. Given the recent Supreme Court McCutcheon decision, I think the speech couldn’t be any more timely in favor of the bullet as the ballot has been even further handed over to the 1%.

Take note of a not-so-well-known piece of history that Malcolm briefly mentions around the 20th minute regarding the March on Washington. Malcolm is speaking about how the revolutionary fervor and originally strong, grassroots nature of the march was co-opted by the Kennedy Administration and other groups (collectively known as the Council for United Civil Rights Leadership) and was essentially neutered complete with censoring speeches and speakers [re: no James Baldwin].

Happy Bornday komrade Huey P. Newton

Nero:

Reblog… All power to all the people.

Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:

We would like to wish our revolutionary ancestor Huey P. Newton a Happy Birthday, who was born on February 17., 1942. He was a powerful warrior in the struggle against racism, capitalism, and imperialism during the 1960s and 1970s.

Without his leadership in creating and developing the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, many of us would not have the opportunities we have today, such as the Women Infant and Children (WIC) program, free school breakfast, Black Studies, and many more contributions for oppressed people to rise up and finally control our society for the advancement of our people and the world.

Watch this video of a huge rally of more than 5,000 people on his birthday, February 17, 1968, organized by Bobby Seale and the Black Panther Party for Self Defense to support the movement to Free Huey from prison.
#FreePeltier #FreeMumia #FreeCuban5 #FreeOscarLopezRivera Free all political prisoners!

HAPPY…

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Reforms and Concessions

This post was supposed to come out earlier and briefly touch on Obama’s NSA reform speech but it applies to most politician speeches including O’s more recent, lackluster State of the Union “festival of lies”. A large majority of the people already saw through Obama’s NSA speech as nothing but a PR stunt. Glenn Greenwald’s piece does well in conveying the sentiments of the people. Reforms and concessions lead us nowhere. Voting seems to only lead to more reforms and concessions. I don’t think folks are voting for the continuation of this bureaucratic capitalism that kowtows to greedy Wall St. oligarchs. Nor do I think folks are voting for the continuation of the ineffective, DEA backed, racist drug war that, like the school-to-prison pipeline, also feeds into the racist prison-industrial complex. The people certainly aren’t voting for gender inequality, a minimum wage that is drastically lower than a living wage or ruling-class drafted policies that aid and abet the destruction of our planet either. It’s time for revolution or change or whatever you feel comfortable calling it but it’s time for it now! It’s not like the ruling class is preparing a list to potentially suppress dissenters or anything, that couldn’t happen here!

I leave you with Jonathan Jackson Jr.’s analysis, in 1994, of COINTELPRO  which is just about 100% transferable today if one just swaps COINTELPRO for PRISM and FBI for NSA.

COINTELPRO, however, was really a symptomatic, expendable entity; a small police force within a larger one (FBI), within a branch of government (executive), within the government itself (liberal democracy), within the economic system (capitalism). Reformists in radicals’ clothing unknowingly argued against symptoms, rather than the roots, of the entrenched system. Doing away with COINTELPRO or even the FBI would not alter the structure that produces the surveillance/elimination apparatus.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Later for that! We’ve got to get together. We got to unify and organize. These reforms and concessions in Obama’s NSA speech are only addressing the symptoms and not the beast that, like COINTELPRO to PRISM, will surely continue to oppress us only under a different name next time.

The Rise of the Post-New Left Political Vocabulary

Nero:

Very good discussion pertaining to the language of leftists today and of yesteryear.

Originally posted on The Public Autonomy Project:

If a handful of time-travelling activists from our own era were somehow transported into a leftist political meeting in 1970, would they even be able to make themselves understood? They might begin to talk, as present-day activists do, about challenging privilege, the importance of allyship, or the need for intersectional analysis. Or they might insist that the meeting itself should be treated as a safe space. But how would the other people at the meeting react? I’m quite sure that our displaced contemporaries would be met with uncomprehending stares.

It’s not so much that the words they use would be unfamiliar. Certainly ‘privilege’ is not a new word, for instance. But these newcomers to the 1970 Left would have a way of talking about politics and political action that would seem strange and off-kilter to the others at the meeting. If one of the time travellers told others at…

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160 year-old Documents Intentionally Destroyed in Franklin County, N.C.

Nero:

Reblog that deserves to be read and shared!!

Originally posted on Stumbling in the Shadows of Giants:

This is one of a countless number of 19th century records seized by the North Carolina Archives and burned on December 6, 2013

This is one of a countless number of 19th century records seized by the North Carolina Archives and burned on December 6, 2013

I rarely re-blog, but this one deserves being spread far and wide.

Timeline of the Destruction of 100 Year Old Franklin County, NC Records

Please read the whole post included above – but the gist is as follows:

– This summer a new Clerk of Court in Franklin County discovered a trove (an entire roomful) of documents, some dating back to 1840, in a previously sealed room in the Franklin County, North Carolina Court House.

– Recognizing the historical value of these materials, she contacted the local historical society to assist in reviewing the materials, preserving them, and inventorying the materials.

– The Local historical group enthusiastically poured themselves into the project, mobilizing volunteers and the whole community – securing space to work, materials, and finances –…

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Honest Tea and Coca-Cola – Think Before You Drink.

In a previous post I explained why co-opted movements, such as a non-profit organization being sponsored by multinational corporations, can undermine the mission of the movement and the integrity of the non-profit. In a tweet of that post to Green America and Honest Tea (a wholly owned subsidiary of Coca-Cola), Honest Tea responded in turn with this post:

Let’s ignore the fact that they cited a TED Talk, which has been receiving lackluster press in some circles, of their own CEO essentially reading the script of this Alternet article. Let’s also forget that the TED Talk, which unfortunately sounds like this Alternet article, doesn’t even address the point they were making in their tweet. Let’s also forget that Coca-Cola (Honest Tea’s parent company) is responsible for atrocities that include systematic torturing, kidnapping and intimidation of union leaders and their families in an effort to crush unions. The point of this response is that Honest Tea completely missed my original point! I responded noting that boycotting companies that fight anti-GMO labeling efforts will bring change.

This isn’t just talk either. Bloomberg cites Coca-Cola’s profit rising as a result of a demand for their healthier drinks. The fact of the matter is, Honest Tea, supported fully by Green America’s hypocritical endorsing of them, is an accomplice to Coca-Cola’s war on GMO labeling.

K.E. Nero