Video

“These Drones Attack Us and the Whole World is Silent”: New Film Exposes Secret U.S. War

Source: http://www.democracynow.org

A U.S. drone strike killed three people in northwest Pakistan earlier today, marking the first such attack since Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly called for President Obama to end the strikes. Just last week, Amnesty International said the United States may be committing war crimes by killing innocent Pakistani civilians in drone strikes. Today we air extended clips from the new documentary, “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars,” and speak to filmmaker Robert Greenwald. The film looks at the impact of U.S. drone strikes through more than 70 interviews with attack survivors in Pakistan, a former U.S. drone operator, military officials and more. The film opens with the story of a 16-year-old Tariq Aziz, who was killed by a drone just days after attending an anti-drone conference in Islamabad. We are also joined by human rights attorney Jennifer Gibson of Reprieve, co-author of the report, “Living Under Drones.”

This drone strike killed three people in northwest Pakistan earlier today, marking the first such attack since Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly called for President Obama to end the strikes last week. The identity of the victims has not been confirmed, but Pakistani intelligence officials say they are suspected militants, as is generally the claim with U.S. drone attacks. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism says at least 400 civilians have been killed by CIA drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004. But in a twist Wednesday, the Pakistani government significantly downgraded its official estimate of civilian casualties. Previous reports have detailed the Pakistani government’s extensive cooperation with drone strikes. Today’s attack came as members of a Pakistani family are in the United States calling for an end to drone strikes which they say are killing innocent people.

One year ago, a 67-year-old Pakistani woman was killed by an alleged U.S. drone while picking vegetables in a field with her grandchildren on October 24, 2012. The United States has never acknowledged killing her or any other drone strike victims in Pakistan, always claiming that it is militants locked in the crosshairs. This week, her son and two of her grandchildren traveled to Washington, D.C., to became the first drone victims to testify before members of Congress — even though only five Democrats appeared at the hearing. Live in studio, we speak to Rafiq Rehman and his two children, nine-year-old Nabila and 13-year-old Zubair, both of whom were injured in the strike. “I don’t understand why this happened to me. I have done nothing wrong,” Zubair says. “What I would like to say to the American people is to please tell your government to end these drones because it is disrupting our lives.”

See her story @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE2O0q6rynQ

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Angela Davis – Women, Race & Class

Angela Davis - Women, Race & Class

Book of the Week!

If and when a historian sets the record straight on the experiences of enslaved Black women, she (or he) will have performed an inestimable service. It is not for the sake of historical accuracy alone that such a study should be conducted, for lessons can be gleaned from the slave era which will shed light upon Black women’s and all women’s current battle for emancipation.

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Mumia – Long Distance Revolutionary the movie

Mumia - Long Distance Revolutionary the movie

STILL IN THEATERS
Newark, NJ (Essex County College)
October 24, 2013

New York, NY (Quad Cinemas)
October 25-31, 2013

Boston, MA (Hibernian Hall)
November 1, 2013

Pittsburgh, PA (Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh)
November 8, 2013

By Chris Hedges

I am sitting in the visiting area of the SCI Mahanoy prison in Frackville, Pa., on a rainy, cold Friday morning with Mumia Abu-Jamal, America’s most famous political prisoner and one of its few authentic revolutionaries. He is hunched forward on the gray plastic table, his dreadlocks cascading down the sides of his face, in a room that looks like a high school cafeteria. He is talking intently about the nature of empire, which he is currently reading voraciously about, and effective forms of resistance to tyranny throughout history. Small children, visiting their fathers or brothers, race around the floor, wail or clamber on the plastic chairs. Abu-Jamal, like the other prisoners in the room, is wearing a brown jumpsuit bearing the letters DOC—for Department of Corrections.

Abu-Jamal was transferred in January to the general prison population after nearly 30 years in solitary confinement on death row and was permitted physical contact with his wife, children and other visitors for the first time in three decades. He had been sentenced to death in 1982 for the Dec. 9, 1981, killing of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. His sentence was recently amended to life without parole. The misconduct of the judge, flagrant irregularities in his trial and tainted evidence have been criticized by numerous human rights organizations, including Amnesty International.

Abu-Jamal, who was a young activist in the Black Panthers and later one of the most important radical journalists in Philadelphia, a city that a few decades earlier produced I.F. Stone, has long been the bête noire of the state. The FBI opened a file on him when he was 15, when he started working with the local chapter of the Black Panthers. He was suspended from his Philadelphia high school when he campaigned to rename the school for Malcolm X and distributed “black revolutionary student power” literature.

Stephen Vittoria’s new film documentary about Abu-Jamal, “Long Distance Revolutionary,” rather than revisit the case, chronicles his importance and life as an American journalist, radical and intellectual under the harsh realities of Pennsylvania’s death row. Abu-Jamal has published seven books in prison, including his searing and best-selling “Live From Death Row.” The film features the voices of Cornel West, James Cone, Dick Gregory, Angela Davis, Alice Walker and others. It opens in theaters Feb. 1, starting in New York City. In the film Gregory says that Abu-Jamal has single-handedly brought “dignity to the whole death row.”

The late historian Manning Marable says in the film: “The voice of black journalism in the struggle for the liberation of African-American people has always proved to be decisive throughout black history. When you listen to Mumia Abu-Jamal you hear the echoes of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, and the sisters and brothers who kept the faith with struggle, who kept the faith with resistance.”

The authorities, as they did before he was convicted, have attempted to silence him in prison. Pennsylvania banned all recorded interviews with Abu-Jamal after 1996. In response to protests over the singling out of one inmate in the Pennsylvania correction system, the state simply banned recorded access to all its inmates. The ban is nicknamed “the Mumia rule.”

“I was punished for communicating,” Abu-Jamal says.

Cornel West says in the film: “The state is very clever in terms of keeping track, especially [of] the courageous and visionary ones, the ones that are long-distance runners. You can keep track of them, absorb ’em, dilute ’em, or outright kill ’em—you don’t have to worry about opposition to ’em.”

“If you tell them the truth about the operation of our power this is what happens to you,” he goes on. “Like Jesus on the cross. This is what happens to you.”

During my four-and-a-half-hour conversation with Abu-Jamal I was not permitted a pencil or paper. I wrote down his quotes after I left the prison. My time with him mirrors the wider pattern of a society where the poor and the destitute are rendered invisible and voiceless.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_unsilenced_voice_of_a_long-distance_revolutionary_20121209

http://www.mumia-themovie.com

Video

Lupe Fiasco: Solely for the Soul

This is an example of a great black man who is constantly progressing in his quest for attainable knowledge.

Lupe Fiasco is one of our great artists who should be looked upon by our young black boys and men. He is a teacher in the language of our culture, our history, our present day and our future.