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A journal dedicated to truth, freedom of speech and radical spiritual consciousness. Our mission is the liberation of men and women from oppression, violence and abuse of any kind, interpersonal, political, religious, economic, psychosexual. We believe as Fidel Castro said, "The weapon of today is not guns but consciousness."

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    Rev. Al was not alone in his snitching activities. We have had snitches among us since slavery. Many slave revolts were snitched on by African Negroes. We had snitch ass nigguhs during the Marcus Garvey era, Civil Rights, Black Liberation Movement down to the now. Here in the Bay Area they say Give Up Three and You Go Free! A US Marshall told Oakland Post Publisher Paul Cobb half the preachers are card-carrying police and FBI agents, like himself. The US has 16 different spy agencies. In the hood there are African Negroes who report of the Mood of the people. Then there are those who report on persons of interest. Rev. Al is in the tradition of the rats. We have rats here in the Bay posing as journalists, some are posing as Black Studies professors. We are in a police state, just know that!
    --Marvin X

    Rev. Al Sharpton worked as FBI informant, taping conversations with mob pals to help bring down Genovese crime family: report

    Sharpton became an informant after he was caught on tape with a drug kingpin discussing cocaine deals, and the feds threatened him with charges unless he flipped and snitched on Mafia acquaintances, according to The Smoking Gun. In an interview with the Daily News on Monday, Sharpton disputed much of the report, saying he turned to authorities after receiving threats from Gambino family member Joseph (Joe Bana) Buonanno and others.

    Published: Monday, April 7, 2014, 5:38 PM
    Updated: Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 9:07 AM

    Portrait of American religious leader and civil rights activist Reverrend Al Sharpton in his office, New York, New York, January 20, 1991. (Photo by New York Times Co./Chester Higgins Jr./Getty Images)NEW YORK TIMES CO./GETTY IMAGESThe Rev. Al Sharpton in his office in New York on January 20, 1991. Sharpton worked as an FBI informant during the 1980s, according to a report by The Smoking Gun.
    He's had the titles of civil rights activist, presidential candidate and TV host.
    But for a time, the FBI secretly called the Rev. Al Sharpton something else: “CI-7” — a confidential informant who taped mobsters with a bugged briefcase, helping the feds bring down members of the Genovese crime family, it was revealed Monday.
    For four years in the 1980s, Sharpton secretly assisted a joint FBI-NYPD task force known as the “Genovese squad,” The Smoking Gun website disclosed.
    Sharpton’s role as an FBI informant was first disclosed in 1988 — but The Smoking Gun obtained hundreds of pages of secret court filings and FBI memos that provide stunning new details of his cooperation. The documents depict Sharpton operating easily in an underworld of violence and corruption, helping the feds collect essential information.

    WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20:  Rev. Al Sharpton listens as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (not seen) speaks during the National Action Network's annual King Day Breakfast, at The Mayflower Hotel, January 20, 2014 in Washington, DC. On Monday, Americans honor the birth of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    The Rev. Al Sharpton disputed much of The Smoking Gun's report in an interview with the Daily News.
    • WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20:  Rev. Al Sharpton listens as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (not seen) speaks during the National Action Network's annual King Day Breakfast, at The Mayflower Hotel, January 20, 2014 in Washington, DC. On Monday, Americans honor the birth of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    • President Barack Obama and Al Sharpton
    “Sharpton’s cooperation was fraught with danger since the FBI’s principal targets were leaders of the Genovese crime family, the country’s largest and most feared Mafia outfit,” said the report by writer William Bastone.
    In an interview Monday with the Daily News, Sharpton acknowledged assisting the FBI beginning in 1983, but he denied he was an informant and disputed much of The Smoking Gun’s report.
    The revelations come as Sharpton’s National Action Network holds a convention in New York this week that will feature speeches by Mayor de Blasio on Wednesday and President Obama on Friday. The White House had no immediate comment on The Smoking Gun report.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 27:  Al Sharpton attends Def Jam Records Press Conference on August 27, 1993 at Shatto 30 Lanes Bowling Alley in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage) RON GALELLA, LTD./WIREIMAGE
    The Rev. Al Sharpton at a press conference on August 27, 1993, in Los Angeles. 
     	UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Rev. Al Sharpton (Photo by Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) TIME LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES
    Rev. Al Sharpton.
    The feds referred to the Rev. Al Sharpton in court documents as 'CI-7'— shorthand for Confidential Informant No. 7.
    Sharpton allegedly became an FBI informant after he was caught on tape with a drug kingpin discussing cocaine deals. The feds reportedly threatened him with charges — although it’s unlikely any case would have held up — and successfully flipped him to snitch on Mafia acquaintances.
    They saw Sharpton as an asset because he had “established relationships with (boxing) promoter Don King, various elected officials and several powerful New York hoodlums involved in concert promotion, record distribution and talent management,” The Smoking Gun said.
    Agents gave Sharpton a customized Hartmann briefcase he used to record conversations touching on mob hits, extortion schemes and the activities of Genovese crime boss Vincent (Chin) Gigante, the cagey mobster who tried to outfox the feds by claiming he was mentally incompetent, The Smoking Gun disclosed.

    Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, center, wearing bathrobe
    Vincent (Chin) Gigante, wearing a bathrobe, is escorted to court in this Sept. 11, 1995 photo after being arrested in a massive RICO case.
    • Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, center, wearing bathrobe
    • 67 East 77th St., former home of Vincent "The Chin" Gigante
    Sharpton had 10 face-to-face meetings, all recorded, with Joseph (Joe Bana) Buonanno, a Gambino family member. FBI agent John Pritchard, one of the heads of the squad, paid Sharpton in small amounts, the report said.
    The information Sharpton gathered was used to get wiretaps to bug two Genovese family social clubs, three cars used by mobsters and many of their phones, according to the court records obtained by the website.
    “The resulting surreptitious recordings were eventually used to help convict an assortment of Mafia members and associates,” The Smoking Gun said.

     	circa 1935: Headshot of Italian gangster Carlo Gambino.  HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES
    Italian gangster Carlo Gambino, circa 1935.
    Surveillance photos provided by the FBI to in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.HANDOUT
    Surveillance photos of Gambino family member Joseph (Joe Bana) Buonanno.
    ** ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, FEB. 3 **FILE**  Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, Genovese family boss, is shown in this July 11, 1997, file photo. More than 70 years after a bloody mob war ended with a peace producing New York City's five Mafia families, the heads of each crime syndicate are simultaneously behind bars for the first time. (AP Photo)   Original Filename: GONE_GODFATHERS_NY398.jpgMICHEAL SCHMELLING/AP
    Genovese crime boss Vincent (Chin) Gigante.
    Sharpton was referred to in the documents as CI-7, short for Confidential Informant No. 7.
    In his interview with The News, Sharpton said he contacted authorities after receiving death threats from Buonanno and others over his activism in trying to get African-Americans more work in the business end of the music industry. “If you’re a victim of a threat, you’re not an informant — you’re a victim trying to protect yourself,” he said.
    He acknowledged that his conversations with mob figures were recorded, but he denied using a bugged briefcase. He said he was never paid, but was occasionally reimbursed for travel. “I encourage kids all the time to work with law enforcement,” he said. “You’re acting like it’s a scandal for me to do that?”

    Mafia Social Club -
    The Triangle Social Club in Greenwich Village, which served as the Genovese family's home office.
    • Mafia Social Club -
    • Vincent ``Chin'' Gigante, Frankie Condo, Bruce Palmeri, Dominack Canterino
    He said the role of his information in bringing down mob figures was vastly exaggerated.
    “I was never told I was an informant or I had a number or none of that,” he said. “Whether or not they used some of the other information they got during that period for other purposes, I don’t know.”
    But the report said that eight federal judges signed wiretap orders based on sworn affidavits that included information from Sharpton — including two taps of Gigante’s home, the phone of Genovese big Dominick (Baldy Dom) Canterino, the Queens home of reputed mob soldier Federico (Fritzy) Giovanelli — who was later sentenced to 20 years for racketeering — and the office of music industry honcho Morris Levy, a family associate.

    Reverend Al Sharpton stands with US President Barack Obama after introducing him at the 20th anniversary National Action Network Gala on April 6, 2011 in New York City. The National Action Network is a coalition of civil rights groups headed by Sharpton. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGESThe report comes as Sharpton is set to stage a three-day convention beginning Wednesday that will include appearances by Mayor de Blasio and President Obama.
    In his conversations with Sharpton, Buonanno spilled dirt on Gigante’s role at the head of the crime family, a hit ordered by Levy on Buonanno’s brother that was never carried out, and details of loansharking, gambling and African diamond-dealing schemes, according to recaps of the meetings obtained by the website. The bombastic reverend’s relationship with law enforcement petered out after the Tawana Brawley scandal in 1987, the report said.
    Sharpton insisted his only goal was to draw out evidence about the threats against him. “You don’t just walk in to a guy and say, ‘Threaten me.’ You get in a conversation,” he told The News. “They may have said things that hurt them, but that wasn’t my goal.”
    He called the report an effort to smear him ahead of his convention this week. “Where is the crime?” he said. “They admit that I never did anything wrong.”

    Read more:

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    As the Newark mayor's race heads to the May 13 vote, the opposition is playing dirty tricks. Aside from the bus burning, Ras Baraka's mother, Amina, had her tires punctured.  She now has 24 hour security at her home on South Tenth Street.

    Newark mayor's race: 

    Baraka bus burning suspect arrested

    The campaign bus of Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka was vandalized in February. Today authorities arrested Michael Benkowski in connection with the arson. (Saed Hindash/The Star-Ledger)
    David Giambusso/The Star-LedgerBy David Giambusso/The Star-Ledger 
    Email the author | Follow on Twitter
    on April 04, 2014 at 3:16 PM, updated April 05, 2014 at 12:44 AM

    NEWARK — Michael Benkowski, the man suspected of lighting a fire on Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka’s campaign bus, was arrested yesterday and charged with arson, according to a statement issued by acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray’s office.
    On Feb. 16, the bus emblazoned with Baraka’s image and campaign slogan was vandalized, police said. A small fire was set inside the vehicle and sugar was poured into the gas tank, police said.
    No one was injured and the bus is back in operation, but the incident became a flash point in what has been a contentious campaign. Benkowski, a 43-year-old Newark resident, was a paid canvasser for Baraka’s opponent, Shavar Jeffries, according to campaign filings.
    A former state assistant attorney general, Jeffries has made fighting crime a central issue of his campaign against Baraka. He has denied any knowledge of the vandalism.
    "The Jeffries Team for Newark welcomes the news of an arrest in this case and hopes that any individual involved is brought to justice," said Lupé Todd, a spokeswoman for Jeffries.
    MICHAEL BENKOWSKI.JPGMichael Benkowski, arrested for torching Ras Baraka's campaign bus, was a paid canvasser for the Shavar Jeffries campaign 

    After the vandalism occurred, police and investigators at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office used surveillance video and photographs to identify the suspect. This week they issued a warrant for Benkowski’s arrest.
    "He was arrested earlier this morning by members of the Prosecutor’s office and agents of the FBI fugitive task force," Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly said yesterday. "He was arrested in Newark without incident at an apartment on Broad Street."
    Benkowski has been charged with third-degree arson, third-degree criminal mischief and third-degree burglary. He is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility. Bail was set at $100,000.

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    Archivist Marvin X, Dr. Julia Hare, Dr. Nathan Hare, Attorney Amira Jackmon

    Keep me posted. It doesn’t look good. I’m not sure how much many white liberals valued black studies, especially the empirical silent majority, unless maybe they wanted to teach in it. They would have preferred that it be polka dot. specially those of an empirical mindset. But more than that they prefer the battle to take place off campus. Or be an off campus issue or one that is not divisive. Not only was what you call history-making done to the historian’s home, but more than that, it could be tantamount to them touting black studies itself, as you yourself imply. However, it is not possible to make them like it if they don’t. Maybe if I didn’t have all of their degrees it would help. Lol. It will be a great disappointment and put me in a bind, but there’s nowhere to go but forward and no place to go but up. The challenge will be to keep on going. If nothing significant happens soon, I will want to set up a legal prohibition to keep anybody from acquiring my archives after I am dead. Or simply have them destroyed in the early future. I don’t care if they’re historically white, historically black or historically chartreuse or whatnot. So time is running out.
    415 672 2986

    Dear Marvin,

    Thanks so much for your note.  I'm pleased to hear that the Hare archives are close to finding an institutional home.  Unfortunately, I am unable to provide the counteroffer that you propose, so I'm afraid Stanford will have to bow out.  

    I appreciate your patience during this long process and would be pleased to learn where the archives are placed, so that I might eventually refer interested researchers to them.  Again, thanks for your patience and engagement; I applaud your Community Archives Project and your care of the Hare archives. 

    Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope our paths cross again. 

    All best,

    Ben Stone
    Green Library
    Stanford University
    The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Was In The Forefront Of The Civil Rights Movement Of The 1960's. This Massive Financial Archive Provides An Insight To That Organization

    Up for Auction: SNCC's Massive Financial Archive


    NOTE: This important SNCC archive must be in the hands of CONSCIOUS Blackfolk. Morehouse, Spellman, Tuskeegee, Fisk, Howard, Hampton and other HBCUs should be bidding on this treasure trove. Or Black individuals who can afford to buy this archive and donate it to an HCBU should be in on the bidding. We should not let this go to some white college/university or some white individual's personal archives to appreciate value for his or her personal wealth. Or can a collective of former SNCCFolk pool their meager resources and "rescue" this archive?-- Sam Anderson

    The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) (snik) was one of the organizations of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

    Many unpaid volunteers worked with SNCC on projects in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and Maryland. SNCC played a major role in the sit-ins and freedom rides, a leading role in the 1963 March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party over the next few years. SNCC's major contribution was in its field work, organizing voter registration drives all over the South, especially in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.

    The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Archive consists of greater than 4000 pieces, all of which have been placed in slip sheets and organized in [20] Three-Ring Binders. This financial archive covers various dates ranging in 1963-68 to include accounting and bookkeeping documents such as doner lists, expense reports, vouchers, travel receipts, ledger sheets, office expenses reports, vendor bills, utility bills, ect. There is some type of document for nearly every city in the Southern states. And, there are literally 1000's of names involved within these SNCC documents.

    Although the archive is too volumnus to fully collate, we do note documents associated with several key Black Civil Rights leaders.

    John Lewis signed an expense request. (Lewis was an influential SNCC leader and is recognized by most as one of the important leaders of the Civil Rights Movement as a whole).

    Julian Bond is listed on an expense report. (On Easter weekend, 1960, Bond was one of the several hundred students who formed SNCC. Bond also took part in voter registration drives in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas.)

    Stokley Carmichael, ALS regarding expenses. (Carmichael took part in the SNCC Freedom Rides of 1961. When he reached Mississippi he was arrested, the first of his nearly three dozen arrests. Carmichael later became a field organizer for SNCC and led voter registration drives in Mississippi.)

    Fannie Hamer, a doctor's bill. (In 1962, when Hamer was 44 years old, SNCC volunteers came to town and held a voter registration meeting. She was surprised to learn that Blacks actually had a constitutional right to vote. She became a SNCC Field Secretary and traveled around the country speaking and registering people to vote.)

    James Forman docket approval on expense report (Forman was an American Civil Rights leader active in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Black Panther Party, and the International Black Workers Congress.)

    MacArthur Cotton, listed on expense report. (Arthur was an ealry ally of Medger Evers).

    Robert Weil on several financial documents. (white member of SNCC staff).

    Betty Miles on dozens of documents. (Miles was the SNCC accountant).

    There are several topics which are very well represented in this archive. Those topics include Voter Registration and Training for those Registras.

    • The Miles College Work Study, 1963-64, a literacy effort;

    • Freedom Singers, formed in 1962 in Albany, Georgia to educate communities about civil rights issues through song;

    • The Arkansas Project, designed to combat segregation in public facilities and schools, to assist voter registration;

    • Council of Federated Organization (COFO), organized Freedom Summer, a national campaign launched in June 1964 to attempt to register as many Black voters as possible in Mississippi. In addition to these topics, there are some really fascinating items.

    For example, [6] $100 Cash Bond receipts dated early March 1964 from Jackson Mississippi. Also 100's of Bus Ticket receipts to dozens of Southern cities in 1964.

    A complete binder filled with Contributors and organized by state. Another binder of utilities bills for each SNCC office in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.

    An unusual letter regarding a Bond Fund for Selma Alabama.

    This immense archive will provide years of research opportunites and a unique opportunity to understand the inner workings of one of America's most prolific Civil Rights organizations.

    Current Bidding
    Minimum Bid:  $3,750
    Current Bid:    $0.00
    Estimate:    $7500 - $15000

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    9 April 2014

    Q&A: The Central African Republic’s human rights crisis

    A girl sits at the back of a truck as she prepares to flee sectarian violence in Bouar.
    A girl sits at the back of a truck as she prepares to flee sectarian violence in Bouar.
    © REUTERS/Siegfried Modola
    The Central African Republic is gripped by a human rights and humanitarian crisis of historic proportions. By failing to respond more robustly and urgently, the international community has shown a callous disregard for the country’s embattled civilians, abandoning them in their moment of need.
    Christian Mukosa, Central Africa Researcher at Amnesty International
    The Seleka militia (meaning “alliance” in Sango, the national language) was responsible for widespread and systematic human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR) over the course of 2013. After a murderous rampage that started in the north-east, the Seleka spread out across the country, seizing the capital Bangui and ousting then-President François Bozizé in March 2013. Over the following 10 months, Seleka forces killed countless civilians, burned numerous villages, and looted thousands of homes. (See Amnesty International, CAR: Human rights crisis spiralling out of control, AFR 19/003/2013.)

    The arbitrary and abusive nature of the Seleka’s rule helped give rise to the current high level of sectarian hostility. The majority of the country’s population is Christian, as was former President Bozizé. Seleka leader Michel Djotodia, who served as the country’s transitional president until 10 January 2014, is Muslim, as are most members of the Seleka forces.

    Seleka abuses spurred the emergence of the loosely organized “anti-balaka” militia (“machete proof” in Sango), made up of Christians and animists opposed to Seleka rule. In the last four months of 2013, anti-balaka fighters carried out horrific attacks on Muslim communities, particularly in CAR’s northwest, including on many villages around the town of Bossangoa.

    daring 5 December 2013 anti-balaka attack on Bangui led to an explosion of violence, tearing whatever was left of the country’s social fabric. After the Seleka forces managed to repel the anti-balaka offensive they carried out an extensive series of reprisal attacks against Christians in the city. Although the Seleka in some cases claimed to be pursuing anti-balaka militants, they did not make a meaningful effort to distinguish between militants and non-militants, killing between 800 to 1,200 people, primarily civilian men.

    French military forces with a UN mandate began their deployment in CAR during the early December violence, joining a small African-led peacekeeping force that was already deployed there. They are due to be joined in the near future by up to 1,000 European Union troops, which will hand over to a larger UN peacekeeping mission in September 2014.

    How has the situation in CAR evolved since January 2014?

    The situation in CAR changed significantly after the resignation of President Michel Djotodia on 10 January 2014, and the election of a new interim president, Catherine Samba Panza soon after.

    As soon as Djotodia left office, Seleka forces began to withdraw from their outposts across the country. In town after town, when the Seleka left, the anti-balaka militia moved in and launched violent attacks against the Muslim minority. Because international peacekeeping forces were extremely slow to deploy across the country, the field was open to the anti-balaka to assert their power and authority. They killed many hundreds of Muslim civilians, sometimes in large-scale massacres, looted Muslim homes and shops, and burned and destroyed mosques. Among their victims were women and young children; in some cases entire families were killed. Their stated goal was to rid the country of Muslims forever.

    Anti-balaka fighters are now the main perpetrators of violence, especially in Bangui and in the western third of the country. Seleka forces that retreated to the north also continue to commit serious human rights abuses in the territory under their control. There is currently no functioning justice system in CAR, with little or no possibility of police investigations, court proceedings, and incarceration, resulting in total impunity for human rights violations.

    Recent months have witnessed massive ethnic cleansing: a forced exodus of tens of thousands of Muslim civilians to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Much of this newly-created refugee population is living in makeshift camps where conditions are dire. 

    The few thousand Muslims who remain in the capital and the western part of the country (where they used to represent about 15 percent of the population) are nearly all displaced. Many are taking refuge in churches, and most are waiting for evacuation, fearing attacks by anti-balaka fighters. 

    There are still more than 650,000 internally displaced people inside CAR. Thousands of houses have been looted and burnt, leaving many people – Christians and Muslims alike – without a home to return to. 

    Is it a religious conflict?

    Civilians are being targeted along religious lines, but not because of their religious beliefs or practices. Although different religious communities lived peacefully together for generations, intermarrying and living in mixed neighbourhoods, mistrust and even hatred now separates many members of different religious communities. Religion is viewed as a critical indicator of one’s loyalties to the country’s different armed groups. 

    Not all Christians and Muslims have embraced sectarian hatred. Indeed, many Muslim civilians have been protected by their Christian neighbours, or have sought – and found – protection in churches and Catholic missions. In addition, some Christians, especially women who married Muslim men, have been threatened and harmed by the anti-balaka militia.

    Amnesty International has characterized the forced expulsion of Muslims from CAR as “ethnic cleansing”. (See CAR: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings in the Central African Republic, AFR 19/004/2014.) Although the term does not have a formal definition under international law, a UN Commission of Experts has defined it as a “purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.”  The anti-balaka militia groups each operate under a local command but with the common objective of ridding the country of its Muslim population. These acts can constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes.

    How are the new transitional authorities dealing with armed groups?

    The new government, led by President Catherine Samba-Panza, includes some representatives of the Seleka and anti-balaka militias. Negotiations are ongoing between the government and militia leaders. This has led to various splits among both armed groups, especially on the question of disarmament. 

    About 8,000 Seleka fighters are still cantoned (but not yet disarmed) in military camps in Bangui and are expecting to benefit from a Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process. While some anti-balaka are willing to disarm if they benefit from a similar package as the Seleka, radical leaders of both armed groups have told their members to keep fighting. The phenomenon is similar with the former army (Forces Armées Centrafricaines or FACA), dispersed since the departure of President Bozizé. Along with former police and gendarmerie forces, some ex-FACA agreed to reintegrate their positions under the supervision of international peacekeepers in Bangui. However others gathered in the north to form a new armed group called Renewal and Justice (RJ) and are recruiting anti-balaka fighters. RJ now controls a huge territory along the border with Cameroon and Chad.

    Several areas of the capital Bangui have increasingly come under the control of the anti-balaka militias, who have (especially since 22 March 2014) launched repeated attacks on civilians and African Union-led peacekeepers of the International Support Mission to Central Africa (MISCA). The rest of the country generally remains out of control, as the government has no authority outside Bangui and relies on international peacekeepers. Some Seleka members who fled Bangui have regrouped in towns where peacekeepers are not present, especially in the country’s north-east, where they continue to commit atrocities, and have not shown any willingness to disarm. Others have fled the country, mainly to Chad, raising serious questions about whether they will ever be brought to justice. 

    What happens to people fleeing the CAR?

    Tens of thousands of people forced to flee the violence in the CAR are now facing another humanitarian catastrophe in neighbouring countries including Chad, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With the rainy season, the already desperate situation will quickly deteriorate unless shelter, food and medical facilities are urgently made available for them. 

    During a mission to Chad conducted in early March 2014, Amnesty International delegates found thousands of people from CAR who had been neglected by the Chadian authorities and humanitarian agencies, many suffering from severe malnutrition and with no shelter other than the shade of trees. Most of the camps where these people stay are too close to the border, contributing to increasing insecurity and vulnerability of refugees. 

    How involved is the international community?

    In December 2013, the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of international forces, now comprising around 6,000 African Union peacekeepers (MISCA) and 2,000 French troops (Sangaris). Yet these forces failed to deploy swiftly outside Bangui to protect civilians. On 1 April, the European Union launched a military operation of up to 1,000 troops (EUFOR-RCA) to be deployed in Bangui soon, to allow the redeployment of international troops already present there to go to other provinces.  EUFOR RCA is intended as a “bridging mission” until a UN peacekeeping operation of around 12,000 troops and police can deploy in the CAR, which is expected by 15 September 2014.

    What is Amnesty International calling for?
    We are calling on the international community:
    • To provide MISCA and other international peacekeeping forces with sufficient resources to enhance their capacity to rapidly deploy in all regions of the country in order to protect civilians effectively, especially in and around IDP sites and remote towns where Muslims are still present.
    • To immediately start contingency preparations and planning for the transformation of MISCA into a United Nations peacekeeping operation, as requested by Security Council resolution 2127 (2013).
    • To ensure smooth coordination among all military forces present in CAR, including the MISCA, French forces (Sangaris), and EUFOR RCA.
    • To accelerate the disarmament process and ensure that no state is supporting in any way or providing arms to militias active in CAR, as prohibited by the UN arms embargo (resolution 2127 – 2013).
    • To expedite the effective deployment and coordinate the activities of the various human rights monitors, including the international Commission of Inquiry, in order to help identify the perpetrators of human rights violations, including crimes under international law, and ensure that they are held accountable.
    • To ensure the prompt reconstitution of the judiciary and other justice bodies, including courts, prisons, and prosecutorial agencies.
    • To ensure that refugees who flee to neighbouring countries are identified and receive appropriate protection through an effective cooperation between the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the national authorities of Chad, Cameroon and the DRC.

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    Academy of da Corner professors Marvin X, Jackson Royster and Lumukonda

    I should have known something was wrong when a brother on the bus said, "Have you heard about Jackson?" I replied, "What about Jackson?" and he just looked at me so I went to a seat. The next day while at my Academy of da Corner, 14 and Broadway, downtown Oakland, another brother informed me Jackson had passed away two weeks ago and was to be cremated. No memorial service is planned. Of course this is unacceptable to me so we will give the brother a memorial service, after all, Jackson was a fixture in West Oakland. Few people knew he was a graphic artist since he never stressed the point, rather, when you ran into him or he ran into you, he was always have some archival information to give you, a copy of the Oakland Tribune regarding an event long ago, usually during the heyday of West Oakland's glory. I was utterly shocked when Jackson presented me with an article about my father's florist shop. The article, published in the 1950s, told how my dad had taken a competitor to court for peddling flowers too close to Dad's florist shop on Seventh Street.

    Jackson was forever coming up with materials he'd found, usually by researching the Oakland Public library history section. Yes, Jackson was walking, talking history. I'd gone to his mother's funeral to discover his mother was a poet and his aunt a scholar and principal at McClymonds, the School of Champions, as Jackson would always remind us. He loved telling the glorious history of McClymonds, the athletes who went there, Bill Russel, Jim Hadnot, Jim Hines, Charles Aikins, Beamon, the Pointer brothers, John Handy, and so many others. I didn't go to Mack but I did attend Lowell Jr. High, the feeder school to Mack. At Lowell I was on the basketball team with Joe Ellis, who later played for the SF Warriors. Jackson knew all this history and much, much more. He will be missed. Thank you, Jackson, for coming this way!

    We suspect his archives went into the trash. Since we never saw his collection, we only have an idea how much material he had on the history of Oakland, especially West Oakland. Academy of da Corner and the Community Archives Project lost this time. One of my academy students, Aries Jordan, suggested some time ago that we should go kick in Jackson's door just to see how he was living, what his needs were, did he have any food, was his house clean, etc.? We never made it to his house.

    A memorial service will be held soon, probably at the Senior Center where he loved to eat. 
    --Marvin X
    Academy of da Corner,
    Community Archives Project

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  • 04/12/14--05:56: Free Russell Maroon Shoatz
  • Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz

    Like Mumia Abu Jamal, Russell Maroon Shoatz is a USA political prisoner. Let us liberate all the captives in the Babylon dungeons. We call for a general amnesty for all political prisoners in the USA. We want the same for the 2.4 million who committed crimes while drug addicted and mentally ill, i.e., the dual diagnosed, most of whom are poor as well as non-violent. They are not dangerous to society--alas, society is dangerous to them! Free Russell Maroon Shoatz!
    --Marvin X

    Russell Maroon Shoatz, Jr. and Marvin X in Philly at Atiola's

    Russell Maroon Shoatz <>


    Rising like a Phoenix from the Ashes

    April 7, 2014

    Greetings Maroon Supporters,

    Thank you again for your steadfast support to the international
    movement to free Russell Maroon Shoatz.  His transfer from 22 years of
    solitary confinement into general population was the result of a
    coordinated strategy by Scientific Soul Sessions (SSS) and the
    Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz on artistic/cultural,
    political, and legal fronts that were championed by the power of the
    people.  It is a historic people's victory.  This is especially
    significant since the U.S. government is determined to break the
    spirit of political prisoners through confinement, silencing, and

    Here is an update on Maroon's transition into general population at
    SCI Graterford, Pennsylvania's largest maximum-security prison:

    It has been five weeks since his transfer.  Every week he gains his
    humanity back, as he learns how to live without shackles on his hands
    and feet, breathe fresh air for the first time in months, and
    carefully re-teach himself how to redistribute his weight in order to
    walk up and down stairs again. He is acclimating to his new
    surroundings and becoming familiar with how prison authorities
    regulate his life in general population.

    Upon his transfer, Maroon was introduced to a new set of rules and
    regulations, some of which were specific to him.  Without a doubt, the
    prison authorities are keeping a very sharp eye on him, his movement,
    and his communications.

    SCI Graterford confines up to 3,500 prisoners.  They are holding
    Maroon in the newest wing where prisoners are completely broken.  They
    have lost all self-respect and dignity.  They have been broken by the
    prison system and living out of fear and desperation.  Upon entering
    his new cell, fellow prisoners surrounded and begged Maroon for food.
    This is unimaginable to Maroon since any sign of weakness makes you
    vulnerable to manipulation by both prison authorities and prisoners.

    Along with the breaking of prisoners' spirit, this is also a result of
    the privatization of prisons as they cut corners to make profit.  The
    prisoners are not getting fed enough during mealtimes so they are
    desperate for food.  Most don't have the outside support and cannot
    afford to buy food and drink from the commissary.  As a result, the
    spirit of the prisoners is so low and defeated that Maroon spends most
    of his time alone in his cell reading, writing, and studying.

    Maroon is gaining clarity on the trauma caused by long-term solitary
    confinement.  He understands more concretely how prolonged solitary
    confinement has been specifically designed and used to target and
    destroy prisoners who display political leadership or abilities to
    organize prisoners (i.e. political and politicized prisoners).  He is
    barely beginning to recognize all the psychological and bodily harm it
    has done to him over the past decades.  Despite the fact that Maroon
    is one of the stronger prisoners, it is clear that 22 years of
    solitary confinement has done severe damage to him.  One can only
    fathom how much of a toll solitary confinement takes on prisoners that
    are not as strong-willed as Maroon.

    Overall, Maroon is in a better situation than he has been in over 22
    years. However, we have serious concerns for his safety.  Anyone of
    those broken prisoners could be manipulated to cause him bodily harm.
    Likewise, prison authorities could find arbitrary reasons to throw
    Maroon back into solitary confinement.  Our work to protect him is
    just beginning.

    We will keep you - his ardent supporters - regularly updated on
    Maroon's progress and with his campaign as we transition into a new
    phase demanding a full release from prison.

    Russell Maroon Shoatz is an innocent man who has suffered tremendously
    under the duress of state torture.  He needs the kind of
    rehabilitation that prison may have once promised, but clearly can't
    and won't give him.  His cruel punishment - 22 years of continuous
    solitary confinement and torture - has well exceeded his original

    It is time to free Russell Maroon Shoatz!


    Scientific Soul Sessions |
    NYC Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz
    International Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz

    Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415

    Questions and comments may be sent to

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    Freedom Party
    Alton h. Maddox, jr.                                                     Tel.:(917) 947-8994
    Director                                                                                            Fax : (917) 947-8996
                                                                                                                1061  Atlantic Avenue
                                                                                                                Brooklyn, NY 11238
    Blacks:  Bibliophiles or Bibliophobes? ©
    By Alton H. Maddox, Jr.
                I knew that Mother Kefa and Bro. Bill were on to something.  Attendance at "Third World" was beyond my reach, however.  I was overwhelmed with probono cases.  The courtroom is a battlefield.  Preparation in a "war room" is the key to surviving a battle.  Anyone who represents a Black defendant must not only possess legal courage but also military competence.  Most Black defendants leave the battlefield as "prisoners of war".
                Very few Blacks, with law licenses, are capable of effectively defending Black defendants. White racists are on the same plane. The master-slave relationship stands in the way.  It continued after the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. The master-slave relationship militated against the need for a "code of ethics". 
                The "Central Park 7" is an example.  Only four Black attorneys filed notices of appearances for three defendants. All other attorneys who had been admitted to practice law in New York were MIA.  A "slave" is always MIA.  This is a slave habit. These lawyers are proficient, "after the fact", in describing crime scenes.  "Ambulance chasers" only do "civil" work for a cut of the "loot".
                Years ago, I was told that if you want to hide matters from Negroes, put it in a book. If I put valuable books in my car in Harlem, I could keep the car unlocked.  For ten years, no one ever touched my car in Harlem.  Books are also safe on a plantation.  The master-slave relationship had instructed us that books would drive us crazy or destroy our brains.  This instruction was better than censorship.
                Afterwards, I started to practice law in Brooklyn Heights.  I needed to be near a law library which was beyond my pay scale.   A law library is like a military depot at Harper's Ferry.  John Brown knew where to go before engaging in military warfare. Whites had financed Brown's military adventure.
                Trial by combat has the same requirements.  There are several "legal" depots in Brooklyn Heights.  The rent is expensive, however.  I had to make this sacrifice for all Blacks.  Allegedly, white thieves had a different take on my car and my books in Brooklyn Heights in 1984.   They stole all of my valuables including books, batteries and an expensive camera.  I had acquired a bad habit in Harlem.
                Any Black lawyer who intends to be battle with white supremacy will also establish major law firms and political parties.  These are necessary instruments of war.  There is not a single, Black, major law firm in New York City or a single Black-led and Black-financed political party in New York State.  Blacks would rather "run for the tall grass".  A "mom and pop" operation will never defeat white supremacy.
                The first stage for the development of either a major law firm or an independent, political party is a "code of ethics".  Blacks must be accountable to each other.  This is the necessary glue for building relationships.  There are very few xenophobes in the Black community.  Most Blacks are xenophiles.  These xenophiles elevate the rights of "immigrants" or the rights of "gays" for example, over their own "citizenship" rights.  Xenophiles have "infested" the Democratic Party.
                Our revered ancestors came from a "gerontocracy".  Their wisdom is now contained in countless books.  Most Blacks are unable to communicate with their spirits.  This means that we not only have to read printed materials but also study them intensely and critically.  We buy these books but they end up on bookshelves collecting dust.  See, for example, Dr. Amos Wilson's Blueprint for Black Power.  Slaves are opposed to the exercise of power or any organized effort to secure power.

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    One God, One Aim One Destiny
    Africa for Africans
    Those at home
    those abroad
    Up you mighty people
    you can accomplish what you will
    Look for me in the whirlwind
    I shall be there to comfort you
    rest on my shoulders when tired
    I urge you forward
    waving the red, black and green
    for the blood
    for the people
    for the land

    Get organized!
    the world is moving against all unorganized people!

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  • 04/12/14--09:05: Marvin X 70 poem

  • Down in da country
    down by da grape vine
    got ma wine and ma woman
    and I'm doin just fine

    got love in da country
    got honest people too
    got love in da country
    honest people too

    Ain't like in da city
    ain't no city blue

    Got good food in da country
    fill ya up real nice
    Got good food in da country
    fill ya up real nice

    food, wine and woman
    nigguh doin just right
    down in da country
    might spend da night

    hear da birds in da mornin'
    just fo da break of day
    hear da birds in da morning
    just fo da break of day

    dat's why I love da country
    like to hear what da birds
    got ta say!
    dat's why I love da country
    like to hear what da birds
    got ta say

    birds up early in da mornin'
    tryin ta make dey way
    up early in da mornin'
    tryin ta make dey way.

    wish somebody would hear me
    wish somebody say hey!

    Just a country boy
    escaping city life
    just a country boy
    escaping city life

    wanna have some fun
    plus I'm lookin fa a wife.

    Come here country girl
    you so nice so sweet
    come here country girl
    you so nice so sweet

    just like a plum
    nice enough ta eat.

    --Marvin X

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  • 04/15/14--10:15: Artists for Ras Baraka
  • Photo: every Monday until we win!...we are in the home stretch!...seize the time!...this is our time!...
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    The first Statue of Liberty given to the US by France was a Black woman that the US turned down so France replaced that one with the version currently in New York harbor. This Black Lady Liberty also made by France is found on the Island of St. Martin. 

    French historian Edouard de Laboulaye, chairman of the French Anti-Slavery Society, together with sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, proposed to...
    the French government that the people of France should present the United States – through the American Abolitionist Society – the gift of a Statue of Liberty in recognition of the Black soldiers who won the Civil War in the United States, earning themselves their freedom. It was widely known then that it was Black soldiers who played the pivotal role in winning the war, and this gift was supposed to be a tribute to their prowess.

    When the statue was presented to the U.S. Minister to France in 1884, it was rejected on the notion that the dominant view of the broken shackles would be offensive to a defeated U.S. South, who despised their former captives and would not want to be faced with a constant reminder of Blacks winning their freedom.

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    Marvin X and Black Arts Movement's father of music, Sun Ra, who called his band the Arkestra.

    The Malcolm X Jazz Festival is proud to announce the lineup for this year's festival will present Howard Wiley, Faye Carol, The Last Poets and Marvin X with the Black Arts Movement Poet's choir and Arkestra, including percussionist Tacuma King, violinist Tarika Lewis, Zena Allen on Kora. Poets include Ayodele Nzinga, Aries Jordan, Ginny Lim and Juan Felipe Herrera, et al.

    This year's event is in honor of Black Arts Movement founder Amiri Baraka. Sponsored by Eastside Arts Cultural Center, the date is Saturday, May 17, Noon until 6pm. and San Antonio Park, Foothill and East 19th Street, Oakland. Free event.

    The Black Arts Movement Poet's Choir and Arkestra. Eastside Arts has pledged $1,000.00 for the 27 City BAM tour. Mr. and Mrs. Ovis Collins pledge $1,000.00; Pamela Young-King pledges $1,000.00. If you support the BAM Tour, submit your name and pledge amount. Call
    510-200-4164; email

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    The Black Arts Movement Poet's Choir and Arkestra. Eastside Arts has pledged $1,000.00 for the 27 City BAM tour. Mr. and Mrs. Ovis Collins pledge $1,000.00; Pamela Young-King pledges $1,000.00. If you support the BAM Tour, submit your name and pledge amount. Call

    510-200-4164; email

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    Wednesday, March 05, 2014


    I'd originally wanted to go to the U.C. Merced conference on the Black Arts Movement because it was one in a series of events that were to lead up to Amiri Baraka's 80th birthday. When news of his death came in January, I wanted even more to attend, and reconfigured my paper a bit to start at the beginnings of Baraka's long discography of recordings with musicians, with further installments to follow (including at the ICA in London next month). At Merced, I was part of a panel titled "Word, Sound and Power," with papers by Geoffrey Jacques on Langston Hughes's The Panther and the Lash and Anna Everett on teaching Black film and other media of the era. And let's face it, I'd go anywhere to see Juan Felipe Herrerra with a banjo.

    Another attraction was the chance to meet up with so many old friends, and to make new ones. In the audience at our panel I discovered somebody who had been a student at Federal City College in the same years I was there.  

    We all owe a deep debt of gratitude to Kim McMillon, President of the African Diaspora Student Association, and her many colleagues and students who pulled off such a vibrant weekend, starting pretty much from scratch.

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  • 04/17/14--12:22: Space is the place - Sun RA

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  • 04/17/14--12:22: Space is the place - Sun RA

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