Statement by the Central Executive Committee of the Congress of South African Trace Unions (COSATU) on the Aids Crisis

Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) - 26 April 2001

COSATU's Central Executive Committee (CEC) at its
meeting today welcomed Zackie Ahmet and Mark Heywood,
Chairperson and Secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign
(TAC) for a discussion on how to take forward the campaign
for affordable treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The CEC agreed that last week's court case victory against
the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PMA) was a
critical step toward establishing a legal framework for making
medicines in South Africa affordable. It was also an important
victory of activists, poor people and people with HIV/AIDS
over corporate abuse of power.

The CEC recognised that this victory was only possible
because of a superbly organised global effort and the
dedication of thousands of volunteers. COSATU
congratulated and thanked all their allies and supporters for
their contributions.

There is however also agreement that a long battle still lies
ahead before affordable medicines are accessible to all those
who need them. If steps are not taken immediately to
implement the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment
Act, the victory could prove to be a hollow one.

The whole of civil society has to share the responsibility for
taking the campaign forward. COSATU demands that
employers, especially the big corporations, provide free
treatment to those of their workers and their families who are
living with HIV/AIDS. We also demand that insurance
companies, banks and medical aid schemes end all
discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS.

But the government has a special responsibility to give a lead.
COSATU will be government's firmest supporter when it
does the right thing, such as introducing the Medicines Act,
but we will be its sternest critic if it fails to meet its
constitutional duties to protect life and dignity. Particularly
concerning are the continual delays in implementing a
countrywide mother-to-child transmission prevention
programme and the lack of a treatment plan.

The government must:

· Immediately implement the Medicines Act;

· Immediately promulgate the regulations required under

the Act;

· Begin implementing a countrywide mother-to-child

transmission programme without further unnecessary

delays;

· Immediately apply for voluntary licenses on essential

generic medicines;

· Invest more money into AIDS prevention

programmes and include treatment as part of the

prevention message;

· Develop a treatment plan by 16 June, which will

outline how treatment will be made accessible to all

South Africans with HIV/AIDS, opportunistic and

sexually transmitted diseases, and will commit the

government to increased health-care spending.

Linked to these measures, the government must urgently
introduce a comprehensive social security system, to end the
poverty and hunger which contribute to the spread of
HIV/AIDS and makes its treatment far more difficult.

The pharmaceutical companies must act in good faith and not
hamper the implementation of the Medicines Act. They may
be represented in discussing the Pricing Committee
regulations, but civil society, particularly TAC, other AIDS
groups, health-care workers and labour must also be
represented and have greater influence, as they represent the
majority of our people.

An important lesson from the PMA court case has been that
global solidarity on social issues is immensely powerful. We
would not have won so easily and quickly without global
mobilisation. Issues of concern to all poor countries must be
combated with a united front.

The next big battle is Brazil's legal battle in the World Trade
Organisation with the United States pharmaceutical companies
who want to stop the Brazilian government doing the same as
the South African government is trying to do. The South
African government must issue a statement of support for
Brazil.

COSATU's objectives are to get treatment for people with
HIV/AIDS in the context of building a quality health-care
service. We will use all means at our disposal to achieve these
aims, including:

· Highlighting the issue of affordable treatment on May

Day, 1 May, and Youth Day, 16 June;

· Writing a joint letter with TAC to the Minister of

Health, setting out our demands;

· Organising an AIDS Walk to raise money and

awareness;

· Sending an office-bearer to Brazil to convey our

solidarity and negotiate for the importation of cheap

antiretroviral drugs;

· Convene an Alliance summit meeting to discuss the

treatment plan;

· Work with fellow trade unions in the Southern African

region.

For further information please phone Theo Steele, Cosatu

Campaigns Coordinator, on 011 339 4911

Siphiwe Mgcina

COSATU Spokesperson



siphiwe@cosatu.org.za

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Declassified Files Confirm US Collaboration with Nazis

by Martin A. Lee

May 7, 2001
San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Honest and idealist ... enjoys good food and wine ...
unprejudiced mind ..."

That's how a 1952 Central Intelligence Agency assessment
described Nazi ideologue Emil Augsburg, an officer at
the infamous Wannsee Institute, the SS think tank
involved in planning the Final Solution. Augsburg's SS
unit performed "special duties," a euphemism for
exterminating Jews and other "undesirables" during the
Second World War.

Although he was wanted in Poland for war crimes,
Augsburg managed to ingratiate himself with the U.S.
CIA, which employed him in the late 1940s as an expert
on Soviet affairs. Recently released CIA records
indicate that Augsburg was among a rogue's gallery of
Nazi war criminals recruited by U.S. intelligence
shortly after Germany surrendered to the Allies.

Pried loose by Congress, which passed the Nazi War
Crimes Disclosure Act three years ago, a long-hidden
trove of once-classified CIA documents confirms one of
the worst-kept secrets of the Cold War – the CIA's use
of an extensive Nazi spy network to wage a clandestine
campaign against the Soviet Union.

The CIA reports show that U.S. officials knew they were
subsidizing numerous Third Reich veterans who had
committed horrible crimes against humanity, but these
atrocities were overlooked as the anti-Communist crusade
acquired its own momentum. For Nazis who would otherwise
have been charged with war crimes, signing on with
American intelligence enabled them to avoid a prison
term.

"The real winners of the Cold War were Nazi war
criminals, many of whom were able to escape justice
because the East and West became so rapidly focused
after the war on challenging each other," says Eli
Rosenbaum, director of the Justice Department's Office
of Special Investigations and America's chief Nazi
hunter. Rosenbaum serves on a Clinton-appointed
Interagency Working Group committee of U.S. scholars,
public officials, and former intelligence officers who
helped prepare the CIA records for declassification.

Many Nazi criminals "received light punishment, no
punishment at all, or received compensation because
Western spy agencies considered them useful assets in
the Cold War," the IWG team stated after releasing
18,000 pages of redacted CIA material. (More
installments are pending.)

These are "not just dry historical documents," insists
former congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, a member of the
panel that examined the CIA files. As far as Holtzman is
concerned, the CIA papers raise critical questions about
American foreign policy and the origins of the Cold War.

The decision to recruit Nazi operatives had a negative
impact on U.S.-Soviet relations and set the stage for
Washington's tolerance of human rights' abuses and other
criminal acts in the name of anti-Communism. With that
fateful sub-rosa embrace, the die was cast for a litany
of antidemocratic CIA interventions around the world.

The Gehlen Org

The key figure on the German side of the CIA-Nazi tryst
was General Reinhard Gehlen, who had served as Adolf
Hitler's top anti-Soviet spy. During World War II,
Gehlen oversaw all German military-intelligence
operations in Eastern Europe and the USSR.

As the war drew to a close, Gehlen surmised that the
U.S.-Soviet alliance would soon break down. Realizing
that the United States did not have a viable cloak-and-
dagger apparatus in Eastern Europe, Gehlen surrendered
to the Americans and pitched himself as someone who
could make a vital contribution to the forthcoming
struggle against the Communists. In addition to sharing
his vast espionage archive on the USSR, Gehlen promised
that he could resurrect an underground network of
battle-hardened anti-Communist assets who were well
placed to wreak havoc throughout the Soviet Union and
Eastern Europe.

Although the Yalta Treaty stipulated that the United
States must give the Soviets all captured German
officers who had been involved in "eastern area
activities," Gehlen was quickly spirited off to Fort
Hunt, Va. The image he projected during 10 months of
negotiations at Fort Hunt was, to use a bit of espionage
parlance, a "legend" – one that hinged on Gehlen's false
claim that he was never really a Nazi, but was
dedicated, above all, to fighting Communism. Those who
bit the bait included future CIA director Allen Dulles,
who became Gehlen's biggest supporter among American
policy wonks.

Gehlen returned to West Germany in the summer of 1946
with a mandate to rebuild his espionage organization and
resume spying on the East at the behest of American
intelligence. The date is significant as it preceded the
onset of the Cold War, which, according to standard U.S.
historical accounts, did not begin until a year later.
The early courtship of Gehlen by American intelligence
suggests that Washington was in a Cold War mode sooner
than most people realize. The Gehlen gambit also belies
the prevalent Western notion that aggressive Soviet
policies were primarily to blame for triggering the Cold
War.

Based near Munich, Gehlen proceeded to enlist thousands
of Gestapo, Wehrmacht, and SS veterans. Even the vilest
of the vile – the senior bureaucrats who ran the central
administrative apparatus of the Holocaust – were welcome
in the "Gehlen Org," as it was called, including Alois
Brunner, Adolf Eichmann's chief deputy. SS major Emil
Augsburg and gestapo captain Klaus Barbie, otherwise
known as the "Butcher of Lyon," were among those who did
double duty for Gehlen and U.S. intelligence. "It seems
that in the Gehlen headquarters one SS man paved the way
for the next and Himmler's elite were having happy
reunion ceremonies," the Frankfurter Rundschau reported
in the early 1950s.

Bolted lock, stock, and barrel into the CIA, Gehlen's
Nazi-infested spy apparatus functioned as America's
secret eyes and ears in central Europe. The Org would go
on to play a major role within NATO, supplying two-
thirds of raw intelligence on the Warsaw Pact countries.
Under CIA auspices, and later as head of the West German
secret service until he retired in 1968, Gehlen exerted
considerable influence on U.S. policy toward the Soviet
bloc. When U.S. spy chiefs desired an off-the-shelf
style of nation tampering, they turned to the readily
available Org, which served as a subcontracting
syndicate for a series of ill-fated guerrilla air drops
behind the Iron Curtain and other harebrained CIA
rollback schemes.

Sitting ducks for disinformation

It's long been known that top German scientists were
eagerly scooped up by several countries, including the
United States, which rushed to claim these high-profile
experts as spoils of World War II. Yet all the while the
CIA was mum about recruiting Nazi spies. The U.S.
government never officially acknowledged its role in
launching the Gehlen organization until more than half a
century after the fact.

Handling Nazi spies, however, was not the same as
employing rocket technicians. One could always tell
whether Werner von Braun and his bunch were
accomplishing their assignments for NASA and other U.S.
agencies. If the rockets didn't fire properly, then the
scientists would be judged accordingly. But how does one
determine if a Nazi spy with a dubious past is doing a
reliable job?

Third Reich veterans often proved adept at peddling data
– much of it false – in return for cash and safety, the
IWG panel concluded. Many Nazis played a double game,
feeding scuttlebutt to both sides of the East-West
conflict and preying upon the mutual suspicions that
emerged from the rubble of Hitler's Germany.

General Gehlen frequently exaggerated the Soviet threat
in order to exacerbate tensions between the superpowers.
At one point he succeeded in convincing General Lucius
Clay, military governor of the U.S. zone of occupation
in Germany, that a major Soviet war mobilization had
begun in Eastern Europe. This prompted Clay to dash off
a frantic, top-secret telegram to Washington in March
1948, warning that war "may come with dramatic
suddenness."

Gehlen's disinformation strategy was based on a simple
premise: the colder the Cold War got, the more political
space for Hitler's heirs to maneuver. The Org could only
flourish under Cold War conditions; as an institution it
was therefore committed to perpetuating the Soviet-
American conflict.

"The agency loved Gehlen because he fed us what we
wanted to hear. We used his stuff constantly, and we fed
it to everyone else – the Pentagon, the White House, the
newspapers. They loved it, too. But it was hyped-up
Russian bogeyman junk, and it did a lot of damage to
this country," a retired CIA official told author
Christopher Simpson, who also serves on the IGW review
panel and was author of Blowback: America's Recruitment
of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War.

Unexpected consequences

Members of the Gehlen Org were instrumental in helping
thousands of fascist fugitives escape via "ratlines" to
safe havens abroad – often with a wink and a nod from
U.S. intelligence officers. Third Reich expatriates and
fascist collaborators subsequently emerged as "security
advisors" in several Middle Eastern and Latin American
countries, where ultra-right-wing death squads persist
as their enduring legacy. Klaus Barbie, for example,
assisted a succession of military regimes in Bolivia,
where he taught soldiers torture techniques and helped
protect the flourishing cocaine trade in the late 1970s
and early í80s.

CIA officials eventually learned that the Nazi old boy
network nesting inside the Gehlen Org had an unexpected
twist to it. By bankrolling Gehlen the CIA unknowingly
laid itself open to manipulation by a foreign
intelligence service that was riddled with Soviet spies.
Gehlen's habit of employing compromised ex-Nazis – and
the CIA's willingness to sanction this practice –
enabled the USSR to penetrate West Germany's secret
service by blackmailing numerous agents.

Ironically, some of the men employed by Gehlen would go
on to play leading roles in European neofascist
organizations that despise the United States. One of the
consequences of the CIA's ghoulish alliance with the Org
is evident today in a resurgent fascist movement in
Europe that can trace its ideological lineage back to
Hitler's Reich through Gehlen operatives who
collaborated with U.S. intelligence.

Slow to recognize that their Nazi hired guns would feign
an allegiance to the Western alliance as long as they
deemed it tactically advantageous, CIA officials
invested far too much in Gehlen's spooky Nazi outfit.
"It was a horrendous mistake, morally, politically ,and
also in very pragmatic intelligence terms," says
American University professor Richard Breitman, chairman
of the IWG review panel.

More than just a bungled spy caper, the Gehlen debacle
should serve as a cautionary tale at a time when post-
Cold War triumphalism and arrogant unilateralism are
rampant among U.S. officials. If nothing else, it
underscores the need for the United States to confront
some of its own demons now that unreconstructed Cold
Warriors are again riding top saddle in Washington.

Martin A. Lee (martin@sfbg.com) is the author of Acid
Dreams and The Beast Reawakens, a book on neofascism.
His column, Reality Bites, appears here on Mondays.

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"March for Justice" in Cincinnati

Dear Friends,

As you are well aware, the police killing of Timothy Thomas in
April, followed by several days of protest have made Cincinnati a focus
of national and even international attention. The tragic killing of
Thomas has caused great concern in Cincinnati and throughout the country
(and even in other parts of the world) about the issues of police abuse,
racism, and human rights. Mayor Luken created a new commission to
investigate race issues in the city, and the City Council voted for
Federal mediation of the racial profiling suit brought by the Black
United Front and the ACLU. But, so far, there are no changes in the
personnel, policies or pratices of the police department. On the very
day of Thomas' funeral, Cincinnati police
fired shot guns loaded with "bean bags" filled with lead pellets at
peaceful protestors. Consequently, we remain concerned to continue to
keep these issues before the public, and before our local government,
and to push for real change.

Therefore many African American, white, and immigrant organizations
and individuals, meeting over the last couple of weeks (a total
involving over 200 people from dozens of different groups) have decided
to call for a legal, peaceful, integrated, mass march for Justice on
June 2. The March will be the center piece for three days of reflection,
education, and peaceful protest.

We believe that thousands of Cincinnatians of goodwill would like an
opportunity to express their rejection of the past practice of the
Cincinnati government and police, and their hope and desire for change
in this city and in our country. We would like this event to be one that
can attract faith-based organizations, labor unions, community groups,
and students and youth. We expect to have contingents from all of those
sectors of our society and many more. We hope that this event can be one
where thousands of our citizens, adults, youth and children, joined by
supporters from around the country can march in peaceful protest to
express our concerns and our hopes. We ask you to join us.


The official call for the MARCH FOR JUSTICE

We are a coalition of organizations and individuals who are organizing
for three days of education and peaceful protest to demand justice in
Cincinnati from the police department and the city government. We will
organize a series of educational events and peaceful protests on June 1
- 3, with a mass, legal, peaceful march for justice on June 2 at the
center of these events. We invite the residents of Cincinnati and people
from around the country to come to Cincinnati to protest the killing of
Timothy Thomas.

The March for Justice calls for:

*Stop police killings and the abuse of police power.
*End the police department's racist patterns and practices.
*Build social and economic justice.

We invite all who agree with the protest and the goals to joins in us
this effort. Organizations who join may send a member to join the
steering committee and participate in the decision making process of the
group.

Endorsements - March for Justice

As of 5/9/01

AFGE Local 3840

Alliance for Leadership and Interconnection

Black Community Crusade for Children

Children Defense Fund

Coalition for Humane Economy

Concerned Citizens for Justice

International Socialist Organization

Michigan Independent Media Center

Refuse and Resist

Jackie Shropshire, member and officer West End CC, BUF

Stand Up 4 Democracy

Rev Steve Van Kuiken, Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church

Voices of BlueAmerican Citizens Coalition

West End Community Council

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Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural
1411 K Street NW Suite 901
Washington, DC 20002
202-628-7160

For more information contact: hfenney@ruralco.org

ACTION ALERT
House Ag. Committee Needs Pressure to Open Farm
Bill Debate to Rural Development and Other Issues


Action Needed by Friday, May 11th 
Please forward widely!!!

ISSUE: Congress is moving rapidly ahead to draft a new farm bill a year before the old one expires. The Agriculture
Committees have listened mainly to agribusiness interests for new proposals on food and farm policy. Other members of
Congress, including the Congressional Rural Caucus, are urging the House Agriculture Committee to fully consider other issues,
in this case, rural development, as they write the farm bill and allocate resources from the budget surplus. 

ACTION: Urge your Representative to join Representative Eva Clayton and Members of the Rural Caucus on a "DEAR
COLLEAGUE" letter to House Agriculture Committee leaders Larry Combest (R-TX) and Charles Stenholm (D-TX). The
letter (attached below) urges them to make rural development is made integral component of the reauthorization of the farm bill,
and assure that the urgent needs of rural communities are considered as agriculture spending authority is allocated. 

TIMING: The Congressional Rural Caucus is immediately seeking members of Congress to sign-on to there letter. They
need to hear from your member by Friday, May 11!!

HOW:
Download and personalize the letter below and fax to your Representative with the Dear Colleague letter (further below)
included.

OR

Go to http://www.actionalert.org/actionalert/index.cfm?SID=35 

to generate an email an Action Alert to your Representative by
entering your zip code. There, you can also print a hard copy to fax to your representative. 

All letters (faxed, mailed and emailed) should be followed up with a confirmation call to emphasize your concern and
confirm that your message was received.

Need a Fax number?: Call the US Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121. Ask to be connected to your Representative¹s
office, and ask them for a Fax number - or - go to www.house.gov and search for your member by name, zip code or state. 


****Please Note*****

Faxed letters and phone calls are best. Your Representatives get thousands of emails a day, and many are lost. Multiple
approaches are best - fax, email AND PHONE!!


DRAFT LETTER TO YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE: 

May 8, 2001

The Honorable (fill in your Reps. Name)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 200515

Dear Representative (fill in last name);

The House Agriculture Committee is moving quickly to pass a farm bill that does not include rural development or consideration of other matters that are critical to rural communities, consumers, or hungry people.

Due to the failure and growing expense of the 1996 Farm Bill commodity programs, and to meet the constraints of the budget process recently approved by Congress, governing allocation of budget surpluses, the Agriculture Committee and the
Administration are rushing to complete the Farm Bill by July, more than a year before it expires.

While perfunctory hearings have been held relating to commodity issues, there will be little time for public comment when the committee releases its initial draft and starts marking up its bill. Because the 1996 Farm Bill was passed without hearings or
public debate, there has not been a public discussion on food, farm and rural policy since 1990. 

Because of the many issues now facing both producers and consumers, we urge you to call for a real debate on the Farm bill and a dialogue on the future of our food system. Most of all, we urge you to assure the voices of minority and other small
farmers, their rural communities, and all consumers, including low-income communities, be considered in this debate.

As a first step, I urge you to add your name to a Dear Colleague letter which Representatives Eva Clayton, Jo Ann Emerson, Earl Pomeroy and Jerry Moran, co-chairs of the Congressional Rural Caucus, are sending to Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest and Ranking Member Charles Stenholm. The letter urges them to assure that rural development is made integral component of the reauthorization of the farm bill, and that the urgent needs of rural communities are considered as agriculture spending authority is allocated. 

The letter attached below outlines some of the critical issues rural communities are facing, and articulates the need for a comprehensive rural and farm policy, with an integrated approach. We hope you will support the efforts of the Rural Caucus to
assure that Congress uses this its opportunity this year to consider the problems of rural America by including in the farm bill a comprehensive rural development title. 

We urge you to join the co-chairs of the Congressional Rural Caucus and sign on to the attached letter. Please contact Hallie Maranchick in Rep. Emerson's office at 225-4404 or Derek Miller in Rep. Clayton's office at 225-3101 to sign-on.

Sincerely, 


(Your Name) 

BACKGROUND:

Below is the Dear Colleague letter and other information from the Congressional Rural Caucus.

Make Rural Development a Key Component of Upcoming Farm Bill!

May 2, 2001


Dear Colleague:

While many Americans are aware of the crisis facing American farmers, far fewer recognize that the current farm crisis extends beyond the farm to the whole of rural America. Depressed commodity prices, crumbling public infrastructure, inadequate
educational and employment opportunities, outmigration of youth, lack of health care, and stagnant rural economies all contribute to the crisis of rural America.

However, in spite of the many challenges facing rural America, the response of the US government has been a piecemeal combination of policies. While we devote resources to individual problems facing our rural communities, such as utilities or housing, there is a lack of an integrated policy that seeks to address the entire rich fabric of rural America.

The reauthorization of the farm bill affords this Congress a remarkable opportunity to consider the problems of rural America by including in the farm bill a comprehensive rural development title. While it is critical that Congress continue to provide a strong safety net for American farmers, it is equally critical that we recognize that rural communities have needs as diverse as those of the rest of America that deserve our attention. 

We urge you to join us, the co-chairs of the Congressional Rural Caucus, in signing the attached letter to Agriculture Committee Chairman Combest and Ranking Member Stenholm urging them to make rural development an integral component of the
reauthorization of the farm bill. To sign on to the attached letter, please contact Hallie Maranchick in Rep. Emerson¹s office at 5.4404 or Derek Miller in Rep. Clayton¹s office at 5.3101.

Sincerely,





Eva Clayton Jo Ann Emerson
Co-Chair - Congressional Rural Caucus Co-Chair - Congressional Rural Caucus




Earl Pomeroy Jerry Moran
Co-Chair - Congressional Rural Caucus Co-Chair - Congressional Rural 
Caucus


May XX, 2001


Dear Chairman Combest and Ranking Member Stenholm:

We are writing to you today to express our deep concern for the ongoing struggles of rural America and to urge you to make rural development an integral part of the new farm bill as your committee moves forward with the reauthorization of US farm
policy. 

While many Americans are aware of the crisis facing American farmers, far fewer recognize that the current farm crisis extends beyond the farm to the whole of rural America. Depressed commodity prices, crumbling public infrastructure, inadequate
educational and employment opportunities, outmigration of youth, lack of health care, and stagnant rural economies all contribute to the crisis of rural America.

However, in spite of the many challenges facing rural America, the response of the US government has been a piecemeal combination of policies. While we devote resources to individual problems facing our rural communities, such as utilities or housing, there is a lack of an integrated policy that seeks to address the entire rich fabric of rural America.

We believe that it is critical to ensure that US farmers have a strong economic safety net. However, we also recognize that the challenges and needs of rural America are diverse and complex and, as such, require a comprehensive response that recognizes
the needs of our rural communities.

We understand and appreciate the fact that you must balance many competing demands for time and resources as you move forward with your efforts on the farm bill. As you move forward with your decisions, we urge you to make rural development a significant part of those efforts by establishing a rural development title in the farm bill. 

Sincerely

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For Immediate Release Contact : Eric Ture Muhammad
May 8, 2001 (202) 225-1605

"It's Legal to Kill an Unarmed Black Man in America."

McKinney expresses outrage over misdemeanor charges against a white police 
officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in Cincinnati, Ohio

Washington- Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), today expressed her 
outrage over yesterday's Cincinnati Grand jury decision to only indict white 
police officer Stephen Roach of negligent homicide and obstructing official 
business in the killing of 19 year-old Timothy Thomas, on April 7. Mr. Thomas 
was unarmed when gunned-down by Mr. Roach.

Thomas represents the fifth black man killed by Cincinnati since November and 
the 15th unanswered killing by police there since 1995. The shooting prompted 
three days of the city's worst racial violence since the 1968 assassination 
of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tenn.

Ms. McKinney said the indictment is an embarrassment and will only serve to 
further enrage an entire nation over the issues of racial profiling and 
police misconduct. 

The misdemeanor indictments of Officer Roach "if convicted" at maximum will be 
rewarded by the City of Cincinnati with a nine month prison sentence and at 
minimum, probation. Mr. Thomas death sentence is irrevocable, she said. 

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http://www.blackelectorate.com/archives/050301.asp



Black Electorate

May 3, 2001

A Deeper Look

"Multiculturalism" and the Devaluation of Black Life 
at Penn St. University

By Cedric Muhammad <blackelectorate@cs.com>

The recent discovery of the bodies of two Black men in rural
Pennsylvania along with a history of documented death
threats to Black students at Penn St. University (PSU) are
raising issues that many have deluded themselves into
believing had long disappeared. The appearance of bodies,
the proliferation of death threats and the lack of
responsiveness by Penn St. officials to the fears of the
Black student body is once again producing skepticism over
the commitment that predominately White Universities have
toward multiculturalism and even the commitment that Blacks
have to themselves. The PSU controversy is even rekindling
an age-old argument in the Black community about the wisdom
of encouraging Black students to ignore opportunities at
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in
favor of becoming a small and some say token population at
White-dominated state universities.

The campus events at the school best known for its
championship football teams are just the latest in a long
list of racial problems that occur on state universities
every year. The Penn St. controversy, although covered in
the media in a vacuum, is just the most recent incident of
the mistreatment of Black students at that university. And
the disrespect shown to LaKeisha Wolf, president of the
school's student Black caucus reminds us of the way that
several Black women were treated at the University of
Pennsylvania in the early 1990s - not just by White male
students but by the school's administration.

It all goes back to a point that we have made repeatedly
that Black life is so worthless in the eyes of many Whites -
including those in positions of authority - that it is
fruitless to seek justice from such unjust judges. Which
brings us to the point of asking the question of whether
Black attempts at "integration" in the superficial sense is
well past the point of diminishing returns. Many Blacks shun
HBCUs in favor of state and private institutions dominated
by Whites, thinking that they will be getting a superior
education. They also do so in an effort to compete with the
"best", as if they, themselves are already a notch below
their young White counterparts.

But at what cost?

Throwing various ethnic groups together in a crammed and
competitive setting just for the sake of "multiculturalism"
produces something less than a melting pot of harmony and
understanding. It is more like a tossed salad where students
who come from segregated neighborhoods and high schools in
the suburbs, rural areas and inner cities are asked to now
live right on top of one another for the first time.

And the whole premise of the arrangement is often to blame.

Blacks are viewed as "moving up" as they attend the
so-called "best institutions that White America has to
offer" and Whites are viewed as "tolerating" their new
darker skinned neighbors. It is as if integration is a
spiritual experience for Blacks and one of charity for
Whites.

And Blacks feed into this perverse scenario by constantly
making White acceptance and recognition of them almost the
center of their college experience.

Even the "deal" that was reached yesterday at Penn St.
typifies the offspring that the marriage of White supremacy
and Black inferiority produce. While many of the students at
Penn St. should be credited for making their security and
the investigations of the murders a top priority, the entire
negotiation between the two sides became increasingly
watered down as a group of students, black faculty members
and outside Black interests began to bargain for "things"
from the administration like increased spending and more
Black positions. As CNN reported:

"The agreement, signed about 6 p.m. EDT, commits the
university to establishing an Africana Studies Research
Center and increasing the number of full-time tenured black
faculty members to 10 by 2003. Currently, there are four. A
black vice provost will also be added to the president's
council, which makes key policy decisions".

The Blacks at Penn St. got nothing but crumbs, as is usually
the case when Blacks bargain at the table, seeking
acceptance from Whites and nearness to power centers as
opposed to a relationship based upon mutual respect. The
appointment and payoff game, where a few Blacks get a few
new jobs, and where a few more dollars are spent on "new
programs" is tired, and as old as Blacks have been
emancipated.

The Democratic Party just performed this routine when it
created a voting rights institute and placed Maynard Jackson
at the head of the new office. It just so happens that
Jackson gave considerable competition to the eventual Party
Chairman, Terry McAuliffe, in the race for DNC chair.
Jackson also mobilized an impressive group of Black opinion
leaders, politicians and civil rights leaders in support of
his candidacy - people who know the Democratic Party takes
Blacks for granted and who were making quite a stir over how
the Party has moved away from its Black base in the last 20
years.

So, a deal was made and crumbs were handed out and Maynard
Jackson now presides over a new office with a new budget.
The revolt was quieted, jobs were handed out and Whites
continue to run the Party. Now, they even have a Black
buffer in that Maynard Jackson will be put out front to take
the brunt of Black dissatisfaction when and if things go
wrong in the relationship between Black voters and the
Party.

Instead of walking out with a power base and building upon
the issues that he championed in his race against McAuliffe,
Maynard Jackson decided to do what every Black is told from
the very first time they wish to rebel after suffering an
offense in White society or institutions, - "work within the
system".

Under these arrangements that take place in government and
the private sector every day Whites work the appeasement
formula to perfection as Blacks get virtually nothing in
exchange for quieting down, slowing their unity and
reintegrating themselves into a "reformed" system.

The "work within the system" formula worked itself to
perfection at PSU.

Penn State last week announced it would add faculty to the
African and African-American Studies Department, create an
Africana Studies Research Center, create a new scholarship
program and give more authority to the vice provost for
educational equity, all in an effort to placate, appease and
blunt the power of the growing unity of Black students on
the campus and to spare the school any further bad
publicity. They did so also in an effort to continue to reap
the benefits of tuition and aid that enter into PSU coffers
as a result of the school's Black student population.

This is the flip side of the disease of racism where Black
inferiority mandates that Blacks work tirelessly to "change
the hearts" of Whites through sensitivity training,
diversity programs and multiculturalism. Unfortunately,
Blacks don't realize how they look in the eyes of the people
whose friendship, acceptance and power they so desperately
seek. They are not respected because the Whites who think
like this and are even being protested against, know that
Blacks are "asking" for, as well as "demanding" the wrong
thing.

The mere presence of Blacks at institutions like PSU where
Blacks have been mistreated and rejected for years, shows
Whites that Blacks don't respect themselves, as they should.
Blacks style their efforts as a demonstration of power,
courage and perseverance and find a friend in the White
mainstream media who go along with the "We Shall Overcome"
chorus that masks the Black inferiority complex.

But deep down, the majority of Whites in this country as
well as people looking at America's racial divide from
abroad, are wondering why it is so important for Blacks to
win the friendship of Whites in places where they are
obviously not wanted, even to the point of being hosed,
bitten by dogs, murdered, and are the recipients of death
threats.

Many Whites and international observers know that the civil
rights movement, for all of the good that it did, has a
serious flaw - it makes Whites and their mistreatment of
Blacks the center of the universe in a way that makes White
validation of the human rights of Blacks the end all.

"Surely", many White Americans and foreign spectators think,
"these Blacks can claim their own humanity and give justice,
wealth and power to themselves".

In the meantime, partly through their own undoing,
Historically Black Colleges and Universities close down, one
after the other, as Blacks frequently turn offers down to
attend. And in many cases, the Black students want to attend
the HBCUs but their parents, thinking in the civil rights
paradigm, persuade them or force them to go to a White or
state school in order to have a chance at a "better job" and
making it in White America.

The whole mentality is really perverse and virtually all of
the Black community feeds into it, at one time or another,
in various spheres of activities.

If Black students and Black people really want their lives
to be secure and their humanity respected, unity and support
of one another will go a lot further than deal-making.
Especially when there are Black bodies and death threats
lying around.

Anytime a young and brilliant Black woman like LaKeisha Wolf
has to wear a bullet proof vest and be surrounded by Black
men just so that she can get an education, it should be
obvious that more is at stake than crumbs from a university
budget.

Instead of walking up to PSU with hands out, cutting deals,
maybe Black students should be walking out of the door.

Maybe some of the other ethnic groups would like to assume
the position of raw meat for ravenous dogs.

Blacks should not have to beg or negotiate for their man and
womanhood from human beings who are not that powerful.

They can claim it all on their own and with the help of God.

And still get a quality education.

Some things just can't be negotiated.

Copyright (c) 2001 BlackElectorate.com. All Rights Reserved.

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If You are Interested in Reparations

The Most Important Red Letter Days for 2001 are

June 22, 23, 24, 2001

 

The 12th Annual Convention

The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America

(N’COBRA)

On the Campus of Historic Southern University

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Hannibal Afrik & Dorothy Lewis – National Co-chairs

Featuring

cultural presentations, marketplace, children’s program, tours, seminars, and workshops

Confirmed presenters include: Conrad Worrill (Chicago), Maulana Karenga (Los Angeles), Sheila Flemming (Florida), Nkechi Taifa (Washington DC), Min. Robert Muhammad (Houston), Ivory A. Toldson (Philadelphia) Adjoa Aiyetoro (Washington, DC), Onaje Muid (New Jersey), Joann Watson (Detroit) Deadria Farmer-Paellmann (New York), Melodye M. Stewart (Philadelphia), Odinga Kambui (Dallas), Gwendolyn Midlo Hall (New Orleans) Daisy Collins (Cleveland), Imari Obadele (Prairie View), Khalif Khalifah (Virginia), Bill Moss (Columbus, OH), Yahya Abdullah (Cincinnati), Omawale Satterwhite(E. Palo Alto) Tony Martin and more.

Complete list available upon request

Call (225) 355-1156

or send email to105216.150@compuserve.com

for information about registration, housing and vending.

The convention is hosted by: Southern University History Department

and Mwewe-Eusi Philosophical Society (a student organization)

Carlton White, Constance Randolph, Johnita Scott, Nuri Madina, Uuka Elegba, Jacqueline Hawkins – local planning committee

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USA: Missouri sues Aventis over Starlink Bio-corn.
07 May 2001
Source: Reuters


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CHICAGO, May 4 (Reuters) - Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon has filed suit against Aventis CropScience, a unit of the
Franco-German pharmaceutical giant Aventis SA , for allegedly failing to inform farmers that its gene-altered StarLink corn was
not approved for human consumption, his spokesman said on Friday.

StarLink corn was found to have slipped into the human food chain late last year, sparking a recall of more than 300 food items
such as taco shells and corn flour. Traces were also found in corn shipped to top importer Japan, and South Korea.

The variety was inserted with the Cry9C protein to resist the European corn borer pest.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not approve StarLink corn for human use because of worries that the insecticide
protein in the corn could cause allergies.

"If Aventis had given farmers the information it was required to provide, it would have been much easier to keep StarLink from
going beyond its approved uses and entering the human food supply or reaching overseas markets," Nixon said.

"Aventis needs to be held accountable for these misrepresentations," he said in a statement, adding that the lawsuit was filed
on Wednesday in St. Charles county, where some farmers planted the StarLink variety.

Nixon is seeking an unspecified amount in restitution to farmers. He also wants the courts to fine Aventis $1,000 for each
violation and impose other appropriate penalties.

He said the EPA had required Aventis to inform purchasers that StarLink corn could be used only as feed and for industrial
non-food purposes.

Nixon said Aventis was also required by the EPA to sign a "growers agreement" reminding farmers of the restrictions at the time
of grain delivery, planting and harvest.

Aventis said it was disappointed by the legal action.

"We are extremely disappointed at the actions taken by the Missouri attorney general's office, especially in light of the hard work
that was put into forging an agreement with the attorneys general of 17 other states," Aventis said.

Aventis forged an agreement with 17 states in January that legally binds the company for four years to compensate farmers
and grain handlers for StarLink-related damages.

Farmers in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska have filed class-action lawsuits against Aventis for financial losses caused by declines in
corn prices and exports after StarLink was found to have entered the food chain.

(C) Reuters Limited 2001.

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National Reparations Mobilization & Education Campaign Conference-

at the City College of New York- June 29-30, 2001
Called by
The Reparations Mobilization Campaign Coalition
ebontek@earthlink.net

THE CALL

People of African descent are determined -now more than ever- not
to begin a
new Millennium with the UNRESOLVED issue of compensation for past
and
present crimes against our Humanity.



Sisters and Brothers!

Never before has there been such powerful motion around the demand
for
reparations for past and present inhumane acts against people of
African
Descent. Today, in every part of the world, people are talking
about and
mobilizing around the right of our Sisters and Brothers... the
right of you
and I... to obtain Reparations.

This current Reparations upsurge is grounded on the historic
reality that
our Ancestors suffered the greatest crimes against humanity:

Centuries of brutal captivity not even a pig had to endure.
Centuries of a
middle passage experience far beyond ones worse nightmare.
Centuries of
being deliberately worked to death without pay. Centuries of
thousands of daily
rapes of our African Sisters... .Centuries of knowing your
children will
automatically be born enslaved and put to work at three years old.
This
immoral and evil system still prospers today from peoples of
African descent
being exploited, dehumanized and demonized based on this legacy of
slavery
and the ongoing plundering of Africa.

All this and more resulted in the rulers of Europe and their
ruling European
descendants in the Americas becoming increasingly rich and
powerful on a
global scale.

This historic and international groundswell of support for Black
Reparations
is causing fear and reaction within the ranks of the ruling white
supremacists and their political allies. They clearly understand
the power
of the Reparations Movement to transform the world's uneven social
and
economic relations into a more equitable distribution of wealth
founded on
the blood, sweat and tears of our African Ancestors. They have
tried all of
their international arm-twisting tactics short of use of arms to
"persuade"
the African Ministries and other nations of Asia, the Caribbean
and Latin
America to prevent the issue of Reparations from being considered
at the
upcoming UN World Conference Against Racism. Their desperate acts
have only
resulted in a stronger unification of peoples of color to be
resolute and
stand strong for Black Reparations.

We have also experienced these very same ruling oppositional
forces siccing
their racist rightwing hounds upon the Reparations Movement
through college
campus newspaper ads, TV talkshows, and various kinds of so-called

"debates." Their hopes were to kill the Reparations Movement. But,
just as
in the international arena, their attempts to crush our Movement
for just
compensation have only resulted in positively promoting our
righteous cause.
These very same evil forces have also witnessed -much to their
fear and
frustration- a growing awareness among tens of thousands of our
Latino and
Latina Brothers and Sisters of their African roots and its
historic meaning
within the newly revitalized Global African Reparations Movement.

Sisters and Brothers!

We must never forget that Reparations is not about a demand for
putting cash
in Black hands to -in turn- give it back to the SONYs, Nikes and
Proctor and
Gambels of the world! It's not about making a few of us rich! It
is one of
our most powerful political offensives!

This puts us at a most critical stage:

The need to educate and mobilize our Sisters and Brothers about
joining the
battle for Reparations at this most pivotal moment.

This is why we, who have signed on as cosponsors, are calling for
a working
conference on Reparations Mobilization for June 29 and 30, 2001 in
New York
City. We are united and committed to building the structures that
can help
us educate and mobilize millions of our Sisters and Brothers
across the US
and the African Diaspora about how we can -all together- join in
contributing to the realization of Black Reparations.

Our Ancestors will not rest til we -Africans of the New
Millennium- achieve
Reparations. Our Descendants will not forgive us if we do not
fight the Good
Fight for Reparations.

Join us at City College of NY on June 29-30. 2001 at this historic

conference that launches the Reparations Education and
Mobilization
Campaign!

For details, Call: Muntu Matsimela- 212. 785.1027 or Sam Anderson-

718.270.6287

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