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Truthout: 15 April 2012

Column – truthout.org

The consequences of America’s racist history still linger deep into the present. No one understands this better than Gary Freeman, a 1960s black civil rights activist whose life has been turned upside down by the racial and political injustice perpetuated …

Truthout: 15 April 2012

40 Years on, 1960s Black Radical Still Suffers Racial and Political Injustice
Rania Khalek, Truthout: “The consequences of America’s racist history still linger deep into the present. No one understands this better than Gary Freeman, a 1960s black civil rights activist whose life has been turned upside down by the racial and political injustice perpetuated first by the United States and now by Canada. Freeman has spent the last four years separated from his Canadian wife and four grown children due to false allegations that he is a former member of the Black Panthers Party. This accusation stems from an incident that took place in 1969, when Freeman, just 19 at the time, shot a white police officer in the arm, which he claims was in self-defense.”
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Attacks Hit US Embassy, Government Offices in Afghanistan
Ali Safi and Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers: “Insurgents took over a high-rise building on Sunday and began firing rocket propelled grenades and assault weapons at government buildings and towards the U.S. Embassy. The attack was part of coordinated suicide assaults elsewhere in Afghanistan and appeared to herald the beginning of the Taliban’s spring offensive. There were no immediate reports of casualties in Kabul what appeared to be a strike mirroring an attack on the heavily fortified American mission in September.”
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Erased Peoples, Excised Histories: On My Train Ride, the Tracks Form a Wake of Blood, Sweat and Tears
Sarah Macaraeg, Truthout: “After discovering during a recent train trip that Sabra hummus, a boycott target of the Palestine solidarity movement, was served on Amtrak, I wrote this essay to tackle what the Sabra brand’s presence on the train evoked for me, the child of a railroad worker: the grim intersections of oppression at home and abroad. Presented in five vignettes, the following thoughts are shaped by the Asian-American experience and by the state of urgency that is anti-racism in the era of Trayvon Martin. I wrote this piece with my fellow people in mind – that is, those people who are compelled to change the world and are trying to figure out how to do it effectively.”
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Book on Occupy’s Tent City Era Helps Anchor Roots of Evolving Movement
Michael Busch, Truthout: “There has likely not been a sociopolitical phenomenon more heavily documented than the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. What took root in Zuccotti Park and quickly blossomed in over 1,000 sites throughout the United States captured the world’s imagination, but also its cameras, laptops, iPhones and Twitter accounts. No sooner had OWS celebrated its two-month anniversary, the first ‘Occubooks’ began to appear, offering first cuts at making sense of the most exciting populist movement to rock the United States in seventy-five years.”
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White House Opens Door to Big Donors, and Lobbyists Come In
Michael Luo and Mike McIntire, The New York Times News Service: “Although Mr. Obama has made a point of not accepting contributions from registered lobbyists, a review of campaign donations and White House visitor logs shows that special interests have had little trouble making themselves heard. Many of the president’s biggest donors, while not lobbyists, took lobbyists with them to the White House, while others performed essentially the same function on their visits. More broadly, the review showed that those who donated the most to Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party since he started running for president were far more likely to visit the White House than others.”
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Prevention for the Sickest 10 Percent Is Best Treatment Plan for People, Economy
Jonathan Fleece, Truthout: “Some fear that the corporate vested interests tied to an unhealthy America are too strong and powerful to allow these changes to occur. While the strength of vested interests can never be underestimated, the pendulum swing toward health and wellness has already moved. Momentum is early, but it is sustainable and clear. One by one, Fortune 500 companies are announcing movements in this direction. Smaller businesses are actively following suit. Aggressive government health management programs are growing regularly, too. A critical mass can initiate change, even when opposing forces resist.”
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European Airlines Silence Palestine Protest
Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, Inter Press Service: ” As 60 percent of the international activists set to land at Ben Gurion airport Sunday had their plane tickets cancelled, organizers of the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ fly-in campaign condemned what they say is European complicity in Israel’s illegal restrictions on their right to travel freely…. German airline Lufthansa cancelled all flights from French airports into Tel Aviv scheduled for Sunday. Activists also reported that British airline Jet2.com, Air France and EasyJet had cancelled activists’ tickets, after Israel circulated a no-fly list and threatened legal action should the airlines transport the activists to Tel Aviv.”
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In Barcelona, Austerity With an Iron Fist
Peter Gelderloos, Truthout: “Criminalizing public meetings, expanding police powers and weaponry, and applying anti-terrorist measures to street protests: it sounds like Spain in the Franco years, but all of these measures have been proposed in Spain in just the last couple of weeks. Far from being a throwback to the years of dictatorship, these repressive developments go hand in hand with the current economic crisis. Considering the connection between the 15M plaza occupation movement and the subsequent Occupy movement that spread to several countries around the globe, between the March 29th general strike in Spain and the upcoming May 1st general strike called in the United States, between the brutal austerity measures implemented already a year or two ago by the government in Madrid and the increasing signs of shakiness from more stable EU countries such as France, Spain is, if anything, ahead of the curve.”
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Growth of Income Inequality Is Worse Under Obama than Bush
Matt Stoller, Naked Capitalism: “Recently, the President gave a speech in which he demanded that Congress raise taxes on millionaires, as a way to somewhat recalibrate the nation’s wealth distribution. His advisors, like Gene Sperling, are giving speeches talking about the need for manufacturing. A common question in DC is whether this populist pose will help him win the election. Perhaps it will. Perhaps not. Romney is a weak candidate, cartoonishly wealthy and from what I’ve seen, pretty inept. But on policy, there’s a more interesting question. A better puzzle to wrestle with is why President Obama is able to continue to speak as if his administration has not presided over a significant expansion of income redistribution upward.”
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What Face Should the French Sixth Republic Have?
Jacqueline Sellem, l’Humanite-in-English: “Five analyses of the essential characteristics of the Sixth Republic, the creation of which is the central plank in the electoral platform of the Front de gauche in the current French presidential and legislative elections.”
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Romney: Poor Mothers Should Be Required to Work Outside the Home Or Lose Welfare
Alex SeitzWald, ThinkProgress: “For every Romney action, there is an equal and opposite Romney reaction …. The Republican presidential candidate said he wanted to require women who receive welfare to work outside the home, even if their children are very young. He told a New Hampshire audience: ‘I wanted to increase the work requirement,’ said Romney. ‘I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.'”
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TRUTHOUT’S BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES

The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return Monday, April 16.

How Freedom of Speech is Abused by Fanatics
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Having an Abortion When No One Called Me a Slut
Read the Article at The New York Times

Protesters Announce Plans for Massive March in Charlotte, N.C., City They label “Wall Street of the South,” for Democratic Convention
Read the Article at WCNC

In the Latest Global Warming Chronicles, Midwest Storms Leave 5 Dead
Read the Article at CBS News

Young, Black, Male and Stalked by Bias
Read the Article at The Sunday Observer

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange Gets Russian TV Show
Read the Article at The Village Voice

Cosby: Trayvon Martin Case About Guns Not Race
Read the Article at USA Today

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