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ExiledOne Commentary

Unique View of An African from America

The Liverpool Interview Pt4 (Exile 2002)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
ExiledOne Commentary Archives extends part four of the Liverpool interview, documenting what was on my mind and topics people in Europe and online and through letters wanted to dialogue about. This was our second year of exile, 2002. Darren Guy of Catalyst Magazine (there in England) and I spoke late one night and detailed a number of often asked about issues. In this interview section, I speak about the pivotal 1970s when numerous organizations crumbled under weight-internal and external. The system responded to peoples' movements worldwide with fury yet also with money tricks. Exile of political dissidents increased but corporate news coverage of the Black Movement for Justice also was censored. This was a period of change, discovery (Media, Pennsylvania break-in of FBI offices, Church Committee investigation of USA counterintelligence) and transitional ideas. The Black Panther Party, due it's high profile, remains a focus for discussion across the world. I speak about the dawn of the 80s. I give my views and some personal thoughts as I recall the era. Critical analysis, autonomy and the future of activism are explored.




Inequality's Growth: 1970s




What about after the Black Panthers?   

I was still young, I was a teenager in the 70s – but from what I
understand and what I learned from talking to older activists–
anybody who was talking about political change was just crushed.
The US government had and still has enough money to just pour it
into neighbourhoods and say ‘Oh capitalism, hey black capitalism’,
Nixon was talking about that. So this came right in along with the
drugs and the guns – there was nothing that was politically
progressive, there was nothing – so it was a wasteland and it was
only the Black Liberation Army, Late 70s early 80s – and many of
them were hunted down, jailed, imprisoned – some made it to exile.
Some people survived the 70s people like Mumia Abu Jamal, but when
the 80s came they were captured, so different people did what they
could. ‘MOVE’ did what they could – they were an inspiration to a
lot of us and they were unafraid to fight the system on every
level. When the 80s came a lot of people were just talking – I was
a young person doing grassroots work. A lot of organisations that
survived like The Republic of New Africa – especially looking back,
were not going to do much more than talk. For that and for other
reasons, like infiltration – I publicly resigned. But I’ve been
doing what I can.


So you mentioned Black Capitalism, that is encouraged in this
country, they have the race relation’s acts, and so-called positive
discrimination – in the US they have affirmative action – could you
talk about this?
 



Well a tiny few people were able to get some crumbs and it was
blown out of proportion by the media and the government – claiming
that this was happening for all the people. You don’t have to be a
theoretician to realise that that’s impossible, I mean capitalism
in order for it to function, needs people who can barely exist, at
the bottom. Maybe ordinary people just don’t see that – maybe the
people who are talking and analysing these things are out for their
own personal agenda, this was a big problem too. Yeah there were
some people after the 60’s and 70’s saying positive things, but
they have their own agenda, so you have a lot of people dressed in
African clothes who are capitalists, they are living in big houses
among whites, outside of the black ghetto and they are preaching
this whole solid pan African thing, but they are just about taking
care of their own - standing on a pedestal talking down to the
masses about how they need to pull themselves up - its just a black
version of Horatio Alger and all the other stuff. This is what it
is – this is pure confusion. I mean you can’t orchestrate a
revolution, it doesn’t work this way – maybe this is what the BPP
didn’t understand, you cannot organise yourself to have a
revolution. I mean - why do you wear a uniform, when you don’t have
the strength to take on a mighty enemy? Many of them who were
honest once admitted that they didn’t know what they were up
against. It wasn’t until years later when many of them had been
killed, imprisoned or exiled, when the people who survived said
‘Wow we were really up against a huge monster’. So people didn’t
understand. We are not blaming anyone, but people didn’t really
understand. I mean these are things that today we should look at
and realise that there are many ways to fight, there is not just
one way to fight the system, and the mistake of duplicating
something that has happened before note by note - that’s a
disaster. If you think you are just going to print up and hand out
literature so that people can be free, that doesn’t make sense
either, maybe it did 100, 150 years ago – but its not making any
sense today.

What makes sense then?  

What makes sense I think – is wherever people can they have to have
an analysis and that doesn’t mean meetings and chalk boards, it
means people have to be honest with themselves, if they are
privileged, they have to admit that and think ‘where did it come
from’ how can I use this privilege to fight’ if you want to change
something and you don’t know where to start you have to talk to
someone who has done it before or study what has gone on before
you. But whatever you read, see or hear – it’s not the gospel
truth, so many people just don’t get that – they just can’t think
for themselves. Thinking critically and analytically it’s the most
important thing to do if you are going to fight, we say if you’re
not fighting analytically then you’re not fighting. This is at the
heart of what I think people have to do – critical thinking. Once
you have that – then you can decide for yourself. You know if I’m
travelling this path and if this isn’t going to work, let me get
off, I see the enemy coming for me, I have to think how do I
camouflage myself’ you know that’s critical thinking.

End Part Four


31 May 2015
From Exile,
Bankole





See Related Articles:




Ghetto Prophet And Mirrors (Exile 2013)

"...The cities of Oakland and San Francisco's Bayview Hunter's Point, to name a few, have a long tradition of rugged resistance to police terror. The extremes of California racism and economic injustice almost 50 years ago helped birth the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in Oakland in the fall of 1966. Patrolling the Oakland police with guns and having memorized the US national constitution and the code of law locally, there was a gradual change made. The impact throughout the cities and towns of the USA helped reign in police abuse against African and impoverished people. The reading of rights to the person stopped by the officials and other innovations were supposed to be standard from then on..."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/176797.html






I Am Migration, Pt4 (Exile 2013)

"...There is no doubt that aggressors that are often sure of themselves cannot believe that they can be held accountable. In the 1990s, this was an era in which their power was unquestioned by most people. Failing to criminalize us, unable to halt the case for political refugee status in a United Nations guidelines forum based on legality, the illegal was resorted to. Proving the maxim 'truth is stranger than fiction', the edict to 'get out of this country and you can't go back to the USA', was written in a letter..."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/181059.html





No Silent Sister: Mabel Williams (Exile 2014)

"...The voice of the politically active African so called American woman has traditionally been silenced. This was the case in the era of the USA federal voting, education, housing and employment legislation beginning to take effect, 1955-1965. Mabel Williams,
born in North Carolina in 1931 would live to become a vocal force, in her own way, for social justice.
.."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/199555.html

The Liverpool Interview Pt3 (Exile 2002)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
ExiledOne Commentary Archives releases the third installment of the Liverpool interview, completed during 2002 with Catalyst Magazine and edited by Darren Guy. There is a look at what our perspective was as African so called Americans formally documented as banned persons. What a UN Convention Political Refugee is and why no Indigenous or African from America has ever attained the status is touched on. There is an analysis of declining USA statecraft and the role of domestic and external counterintelligence against any progress by African so called Americans in the geopolitical world spanning the assassination of US North figures of note, Malcolm X at age 39 and Fred Hampton at age 21, the potential of the youth (60s and 70s) and on to the Millenium. The interview segment begins with the most common question asked while exiled and stateless during the stressful season of 2002.



The Post 1960s Lessons In Realtime




Why can’t people from the US claim political refugee status?


Well, 35 years ago the US was very powerful, it was then and it is
now, there are CIA tentacles all over the world now, as there were
then. That means governments, legal bodies whatever, even
internationally, organisations like the UN are intimidated by the
US. And then it comes to people, the officials, its down to the
officials working there, so no one is going to urge Africans or any
people to rise up, because they fear the wrath of Washington, the
US. The other thing is, many of our people are illiterate, many of
our people do not understand because of the brainwashing in the US,
what these terms are, or the importance of them, they don’t
understand it. So you have people in exile. You have people from
that period who have hijacked planes, dozens of people. There were
100 hijackers every year out of the USA between ‘69 and ‘71,
political hijackers. Just because you pull something like that off
doesn’t mean you understand the legal process of what must be done
in order for you to be given sanctuary in another country. These
are mistakes, it’s easy to say looking back, these are the pitfalls
and obstacles that haven’t made it easy for us today, and that
needs to be looked into by people. As I say, as far we know there
are no African American people who have, recognised UN Political
Refugee Status.

The US government is an octopus – the other day I was reading the
FBI are opening offices all over the place, even places they have
never been, everywhere, to impose US dominance, even Jakarta –
that’s crazy you know Indonesia has twice the population of the US,
its very diverse, different from the US and the FBI are going to
move in and set up business. Look they are moving into Baghdad,
Afghanistan, this is very serious, the USA is everywhere. So as
Malcolm X said, African people must broaden their scope in the
international arena - this is essential.


It’s making those connections. I read somewhere that the
destruction of the Black Panthers by the FBI, led way to the rise
of the gangs. Because the BPP controlled the crime in the
communities – could you say something about this?



Well the first thing the Black Panther Party for Self Defence,
wasn’t made up of people like myself, who had time to read as a
young person. Because of the job my father got at the age of 11, I
was plucked away and dropped in suburbia, at the age when I would
be expected to join a street gang. The BPP were made up of people
usually called the ‘Lumpen’, these were people that didn’t go to
school, that were sent to juvenile hall, people that understand
very plainly what the system was all about, that the system
oppressed people, and they had to get what they could get, and the
system didn’t hold any promise at all for them. The BPP and other
organisations like the Nation of Islam, which is a religious
organisation, it had some social perspectives, but it was a
religious organisation, and this was the problem Malcolm X found.
But these organisations were very much rooted into the grassroots,
so obviously they knew the streets and some had been running the
streets, so they were tapped right in. So when they were moved out
of the way by the FBI and US government, you had people, who as
Malcolm X said, were ‘ trying to out criminalize the master
criminal’. Malcolm X said ‘you are outta your mind, you’re trying
to be a better criminal than this master criminal’ (capitalism,
imperialism and racism) Malcolm was saying ‘you are crazy – you
will never out thief the master thief’.

So Fred Hampton (BPP) in Chicago before he was assassinated, was in
talks with organisations in Chicago and Los Angels this is where
you would have street gangs that would boggle your mind - we are
talking about hundreds of thousands of young men and women in these
organisations in Chicago in Los Angeles. So Fred Hampton was trying
to talk and politicise these groups, bring these groups on board to
recognise it wasn’t about turf and killing each other, it was about
this system that was dominating all of us. They got rid of Fred
Hampton – assassination, a state assassination – in that era there
were about 50 assassinations – by the US government and that was
just in one organisation. 





End Part Three


30 May 2015
From Exile,
Bankole




See Related Articles:



Spray Now (Exile 2013)

"...No longer in the African community was there a leftist or nationalist or pro Black position that can be argued around those issues that affected our lives. The whole debate moved to the right...."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/190520.html



Mumia Is 60 Pt2 (Exile 2014)



"...For centuries, Africans in America had as their greatest feat individually and collectively a goal in being physically unbound. Entwined with this was maintaining and growing in soul liberation, often the flickering critical flame burning quietly inside, determined to roar to life once freedom was realized. But a time came about where mere symbolism, a holiday, a stamp or a paying position glorifying that which oppressed many of the people was satisfactory.."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/201914.html



A Super Windstorm (Exile 2015)

"...Mr Sterling, not the multimillonaire highly publicized one, but the former CIA agent who bit a bitter pill recently, has the world considering once more the reality of 'black agents' of the big spy system struggling to survive. How can we characterize this outrageous structure? A litany of admissions of torture of people of numerous nations by the CIA in the recent past needs to be set to a soundtrack. How does 'Devil's Got Your Tongue' by Aminata Moseka, strike readers of this article?..."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/214358.html

Dispatch, Prison Nation #12
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
DPN #12



Stuff That Kills

Is Nothing New To The Oppressed

Facing your enemy is not usually the opressor's method. As strange as it may seem, 'kettle tactics' in crowds or even the more brutally traditional beating of people with wooden or metal sticks are not as common as steady, planned control and terror. Why executions by the state are semi-public and reported on (but not drone attacks overseas in foreign lands) in detail has to do with the spreading of fears and myths among the public in the first place. Is this 'horror-porn?"


"As far as I know, there is no valid FDA-approved version of thiopental available in this country." David Waisel, Harvard University anesthesiologist

Sodium thiopental has not been available since 2011, when European producers, opposed to USA state prison killings, stopped selling this to the American prison market. Deadly pharmaceutical 'cocktails' were then made by 'mad scientists' who wanted the state and corporate run prisons to continue to kill.

If we don't know what midazolam and hydromorphone* are, that's not surprising. As saddening as it may be to those on 'death rows' in the Prison Nation (about 150 in Ohio alone), the fact that medical needles are used to extinguish lives of prisoners, it is understandable that this is not common knowledge.


"The first drug is supposed to put you to sleep. The second drug paralyzes you so you can't talk or speak or anything. And then the third drug is like injecting fire into your veins because what it does is fries your nervous system. Which I imagine makes your body feel like it's on fire."
Reggie Clemons, age 43
On Missouri death row since 1991

Television, cinema, corporate media magazines, websites and all the rest supporting a inhumane depiction of prisoners is overwhelming. The rare publication or newscast acknowledging a state taking a life of a prisoner is a meek affair.

Except when supply and demand enter the picture.

* sedative and painkillers used in USA state killings for the first time in Ohio, 2014






24 May 2015
From Exile,
Bankole






See Related Articles:





"Liberty" or Death (Exile 2008)

"..Several government agencies and private companies tested pharmaceuticals on inmates at Holmesburg prison in Philadelphia from 1951 to 1974.


Expected to stand tall and dignified on release, the men and women, as young as 15 and as old as 85 are invisible to the outside world. And who can think of much of anything with someone else breathing in their face?

9300 human beings in a space for 5000.

It is criminal how prisoners in America are stacked on top of one another.

No one would want to admit that this dehumanization happens systematically in a Baghdad prison much less 'the Cradle of Liberty", Philadelphia..."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/29086.html





Dispatch, Prison Nation #7

"In a 2012 interview with Political Prisoner Radio host Scotty Reid, Mrs Sheila Hayes described how she has had to travel 300 miles from her home in northern New York state to visit her husband, Robert Seth Hayes, who is routinely denied medical care as a diabetic. She notes that since there are no bus or rail services to make the journey, she relies on rides with a close friend with a car. The prisoncrats apparently waited until after she and Robert Seth Hayes married to move him to a prison far from her home..."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/167353.html





Sam And The Peoples' Holler (Exile 2015)

"..Songs throughout history have in one way or another settled into either area. Whether a lullaby, a war chant or love song, they have been sustained on the lips of one generation before pollination and planting in the ears, on new lips and within the hearts of the young or soon to be strong. Music transformed societies. A Change Is Gonna Come, recorded in early 1964 was no doubt a brilliant example of one of Sam Cooke's powerful compositions written at the pinnacle of his career.  It was also a musical evocation of a period of cultural and political shifts..."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/214257.html

The Liverpool Interview Pt2 (Exile 2002)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
ExiledOne Commentary Archives presents the second segment of the Liverpool interview, done in 2002 with Catalyst Magazine by Darren Guy. My wife and I were about to depart England. Our first destination in Europe had been Stockholm, Sweden, where we had received refuge from individuals-an African so called American from Los Angeles originally had put us up with his family, Swedish wife and several children in Gothenburg-while he was in Paris, France on business. We had never met. This was after weeks in hostels in the center of town. A woman from New Orleans, originally, Indigenous and her Swedish partner, housed us for a while. A musician, a Brother from the USA who lived in Stockholm helped us out and we started meeting our folks. A solidarity link by some veteran soldiers back in Chicago was effective but we did not declare ourselves to the Migrationsverket other than as tourists. An African from Kenya later developed some ties to Swedish anti fascists and other Africans from across the Diaspora. A young Canadian came through with energy and put internet alerts out about our plight. Such had been the flexibility of a seedlike network in January 2001. In this, the second part of the interview, the social and personal conditions that we faced in the USA in the 1990s is explored.



Stockholms Sverige:
We Had No Option For Political Asylum Here



Can you tell us about the social conditions of African people in
the USA?  .


The social conditions are just as bad or even worse than before all
you have to do is look at the situation of health care for one,
there are 41 million people with no health care, you know many of
these people have families too, and are holding down 2 or 3 jobs
and they have no healthcare. The infant mortality of African
children in for example Philadelphia is usually triple that of
white children. And these are health care capitals, these are the
home of Glaxo/Wellcom, SmithKline-Beecham, these corporations went
global, before that they came out of Philadelphia. The health care
of African people - its horrible, absolutely horrible. You have
young women giving birth to low weight children that don’t survive
infancy, nobody talks about it, and nobody talks about it! In the
80s when we set up food co-ops, with The Republic of New Africa,
you know it was 12 and 15 blocks to a decent supermarket, one that
sold a wide range of foods.

Meanwhile there are plenty of guns and drugs in the community, so
the elderly would have to risk their lives walking there. These
type of things like access to healthcare, real nutrition haven’t
changed, meanwhile there are plenty of guns in the community,
plenty of drugs in the community. In Philadelphia they would say
you could tell which neighbourhood you were in because there would
be the little plastic bag that the crack would come in, so you
would be in either the grey strip section or the red or blue strip
section, that’s how you knew because these dealers were all
organised people, selling drugs usually with the ok of the police,
young men in their twenties with automatic weapons, that completely
controlled whole neighbourhoods. I saw it for myself in North
Philadelphia, the cops, looking the other way, controlling the
traffic. It took years for the media for anyone outside to know
anything about it, we all knew about it, everyone in the community
knew about it, we saw it everyday. It took about five years before
it was revealed that in North Philadelphia there was about 5 or 6
cops that were responsible for thousands of people going to prison,
many of these people refused to sell crack cocaine for the cops, so
they got set up, because they wouldn’t sell it or wouldn’t sell
enough. All these people got released after this investigation, but
that’s all they got, was released, back into the same street the
same corrupt cops released right back into the madness. These
things go on all the time, and have gone on. Within the USA there
is no solution, we say they have had hundreds of years to change. I
mean the only time I was on a plane was when I was being ordered
out.

I do want to emulate people like Dhoruba bin Wahad, he was in
prison for 19 years for something he didn’t do, he was able to get
out of America – he went to Ghana. It is important that people like
Robert King Wilkerson and Mumia Abu Jamal and others can get out of
the US permanently, because our struggle is not going to be
recognised or seen as legitimate as long as we continue to return
there. As Aisha says people who flee Iraq or Southern Africa where
they experience what our people experience, what our fighters have,
they don’t go back. And as the Canadian authorities said to us,
when we went to the immigration and refugee board ‘ where is your
class of people who have fled and claimed asylum’ what could we
say? There are exiles but as far as we know there is no one who has
UN political refugee status in the world, even people from the
American Indian movement or whatever.


End Part Two




22 May 2015
From Exile,
Bankole





See Related Articles:   




Tågen Mot Alvik (Exile 2002)

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/1591.html





The Knower (Exile 2012)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/162076.html





Heart Seed (Exile 2014

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/209607.html

Obstacle Illusion (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun

In the spring of 1998, we filed for United Nations Refugee Status in Toronto


Everyone must face barriers. As an individual and part of a group, I've been confronted with a few. Crossing into the lands beyond five and a half decades, it can be unsettling at times to realize that hills I have scrambled up, streams I have broad jumped, which now swing into a sharp focus once more can lead to barriers.

There are a more than a couple of reasons why, I actually suppose, at various times of various days, under a dome of mostly grey hair and a receding hairline. Still, and maybe it's a longterm issue for me, I bristle at the realities I've lived through, my people have, which are generally dismissed as if the realities do not exist.

If I somehow 'got over' in the past it doesn't feel meaningful. No, not always.


I'm one of few.


And that makes no sense.



22 May 2015
From Exile,
Bankole





See Related Articles:




Children And Protection (Exile 2010)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/94471.html



The Refugee And The Enchilada (Exile 2013)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/172868.html



Texas Pt3: Hear Tell: Houston (Exile 2014)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/201267.html

Gossip (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun



A fair amount


of Chatter

               passes us by. Yes, it's about us more times than is acceptable.



There are
Whispering campaigns

and

that's a critical tactic.                                   And then


there is gossip -
which we tend to avoid

about others and ourselves. Still we are amazed that

"People Who    WOULDN'T Share     Oxygen


In An Elevator


Will     Share 


Gossip."


11 May 2015
From Exile,
Bankole



See Related Articles:


Mother Returns, 1960 (Exile 2006)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/116860.html




Mid Year Bulletin (Exile 2012)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/160246.html



Clational (Exile 2014)

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/203048.html

Drums Gone Metal (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
Explosions and eruptions were not just the destructive ones during the 1940s, triggered by imperial and political giants. Humanity, on small islands also spawned tremendous social upliftment, tectonic in scope. Yes, they had something to say and had been saying it for centuries...




The National Instrument of Trinidad and Tobago, The Steel Pan

The Caribbean basin, where centuries of peoples' struggles on lands and sea against an oppressor who had killed and kidnapped them for profit was the scene. Cuba, one of the largest of these would one day make it's mark politically. But there was before then the islands of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago to be considered. The early 1960s political independence from England in the 1960s were a long time coming about. Home to stubborn resistance traditionally by Africans to physical captivity and slavery, colonial and other powers of capitalism that Europeans, above all, had constructed, the cultural artforms that resulted were life affirming and defiant of the system. Indigenous Caribbean, Spanish, French, North African, West African, English, Indian, Arab, Chinese and other influences were blended with the unprecedented African nations intertwined with nations of Africa forced into captivity.




70th Anniversary Commemoration of Bob Marley (1945-1981)

The musical expression in Jamaica, closely linked to strong social commentary on all topics of life had been like lightning going back into the centuries. Mento music had grown and cross pollinated with the forms of music, notably so called jazz, of the Africans in the USA. But it's the calypso of Trinidad and Tobago and it's third mixture element with Jamaica's flowering (with the music of Africans in North America) that had personalities like Lord Fly and Lord Flea record in and tour places as far away as the USA and Canada as well as England. The rare distinction of having created a new musical instrument, the steel pan, belongs to the Africans of the Caribbean. In time, ska, rock steady, and absolutely, reggae, would put a commercial label on a music of swirled resistance hundreds of years old, on the world map.



6 May 2015
From Exile,
Bankole




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http://exiledun.livejournal.com/92003.html





African Surinamese Experience In Europe DS3 (Exile 2012)

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/156210.html




Mauro's London Pt 3 (Exile 2013)

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/174057.html

The Liverpool Interview Pt1 (Exile 2002)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
ExiledOne Commentary Archives presents the Liverpool interview, done in 2002 with Catalyst Magazine. We had arrived in the northwest port city in England and the late evening talk was soaked in the tension of the times gone by, the post 11 September 2001 events and the expression of still resonating personal events some 18 months earlier. Namely, the decision of the Canadian government to order us out of the country while awaiting a legal appeal at the Ottawa courts. We had been the high profile 'USA citizens' who both had filed a United Nations Convention Refugee Claim in Canada in 1998. Aisha's portion of the interview wasn't printed. A rambling conversation, I thought at the time, reveals close to thirteen years later, recurring themes. Part One follows.




Liverpool Docks


Seeking Asylum

By Darren Guy

Bankole and Aisha are two African-Americans who were forced to flee
the USA because their freedom, and possibly their lives were under
threat.

Aisha & Bankole. They were fighting for social justice in their
communities. Aisha was a Music School Teacher, who had taken the
Charlottesville, Virginia Public Schools and the US department of
education to court. The case had been filed on behalf of African
American children, who said Aisha had suffered racial abuse at the
school during her time there, after three years they won the case.
But both Aisha & Bankole, a political activist, researcher and
community worker, felt that despite the fact that they had never
been convicted of any offence, the American authorities and in
particular the notorious ‘COINTELPR0’ the FBI unit, set up by J
Edgar Hoover was closing in on them. And that they like many other
politically involved black people, would end up behind bars, on a
trumped up charge. They firstly fled to Canada, but found every
attempt to re-establish their lives, was thwarted. Jobs they would
be accepted for would suddenly end with no explanation. Eventually
they were told, despite presenting 4000 pages of evidence and
expert testimony, by the Canadian authorities, that their claim for
political refugee status was denied, and they were given three
weeks to find somewhere else to live (they could not even transit
though the US) desperate - they chose Sweden.

Aisha and Bankole were touring the UK recently, telling their
stories. Bankole was promoting his second book ‘ ExiledOne Volume
2:1’, while Aisha was performing her traditional brand of classic
African-American music (Soul, Blues & Jazz).

Bankole and Aisha are people without a home, travelling, it would
seem, on an endless journey - hopefully one day to somewhere they
could call home. I managed to encourage Bankole to talk with me,
the evening before he left Liverpool. To move on to their endless
journey (destination unknown).


Well the machine is set, it’s late I know you have a long journey
tomorrow, so I won't keep you.


No, keep me as long as you want, I’m not real sleepy.

How did you become a political refugee from the USA?

Well, a) for a long time I tried to think for myself, and b) I was
born in the middle of the century, amidst uprisings, huge social
upheavals; changes. I guess I just had some ideals as a young
person, that African people in the US should have the same rights
as whites and anyone else in the world. To qualify that I mean I’m
not talking about assimilation and integration I’m talking about
human rights to self-determination. People should have a choice;
they should have the human right to choose what their life should
be like.

You were saying to me a few days ago about the situation in the USA
and that the police were going to fit you up. Could you explain?


Yes. It’s almost inevitable, on top of just the persistent
targeting, the routine imprisonment of African people in the States
– on top of that if you have a mindset or solutions to do something
about food, clothing, heath, education, self defence - its pretty
much inevitable you’re going to be set up. If just the conditions
of trying to survive don’t lead you that way. So for many years I
was able to evade a lot this. But by the time the 90s came along,
and we took certain issues into the courtrooms, we took on the
media in the USA, which is a very powerful body. Another thing a
lot of people don’t realise – the FBI has grown from 7000 officials
in the early 90s to 12000 today and it’s sure to grow with all
these worldwide Gestapo type measures. So five years ago Aisha and
I decided we weren’t going to wait – to be fitted up.

What happened then?

What happened then was, once we won a few battles in the court,
Aisha won a law suit in the US, we won some battles by getting our
stories about what was happening to us in the media. I went up
against three lawyers in a discrimination and retaliation case, and
of course the corporation involved paid a lot of money to fight me,
an ordinary person, and we exposed the corruption in the court
system, and it was effective. So after that it made sense to get
out, to make tracks, before they ‘retaliated’ against us. Aisha
managed to get a work permit to go to Canada, and we decided to try
and make a life somewhere else, but it wasn’t far enough away. By
1998, Aisha's job had been sabotaged, we’d had apartment break
in's, mail stolen – we were being followed. After the long drawn
out process of being found eligible to bring a UN political refugee
claim in Canada – we were turned down in Feb 2000 after written
personal information forms and a few months after that we were
ordered out of Canada. Then we were faced with the question - where
are we going to go? - and we were told we could not go back to the
USA even to transit. So we had to go elsewhere and we had to think
quick and we chose Sweden.

Why Sweden?

We thought about some countries that were strongly anti US, or at
least not pandering to the US completely. We decided in the end it
was either France or Sweden, and we didn’t know French. A lot of
people speak English in Sweden. And Sweden had a history of being
opposed to the USA government. They took 35,000 war resisters
during Vietnam. In Cuba, another option, there is a good chance you
could go to prison, while they evaluate your claim. We decided we
weren’t going to prison anywhere, if we could help it, because we
hadn’t done anything. Also with Cuba you may not be able to leave
and there are many activists from the 60’s and 70’s who are in
Cuba, but they aren’t free to leave. So that wasn’t appealing to
us. I mean people said to us ‘Oh go to Africa, or go to South
Africa’ but if you take any realistic look at the recent history of
Africa, I’m talking about the last 30/35 years, they have not been
able to break free of European or US dominance. They have flag
independence, that’s all. Sweden seemed to be the best option. 


End Part One




5 May 2015
From Exile,
Bankole




See Related Articles:



Soppin' (Exile 2011)

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/125782.html



Waiting In Strength/End Zone (Exile 2014)

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/195589.html




Haunting Season (Exile 2014)

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/207803.html

Fight Of The Lifer (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
A close look at medical issues in the Prison Nation


The Fight Of A Lifer

While the  USA reels from international attention about it's police killing of unarmed African so called American people, many of them boys and young men, Mumia Abu Jamal is ill, condemned to substandard health care in a prison infirmary.


In this, the end of the first quarter of 2015, a man's life is in the balance. As a Pennsylvania 'lifer', he has been ordered to spend every one of his days, his last days included, in a prison cell. The courts that did the ordering have been proven to be some of the most corrupt in modern history, in Philadelphia. Mythical Pennsylvania does not shine it's spotlight on children (often teens under age 18) sentenced to life in prison by it's criminal courts. But this is what is reality: at least 500 'juvenile lifers' are in Pennsylvania prisons in 2015, the most in the USA. These girls and boys have been denied parole-there is no chance of release-ever. This matter has relevance, youth overwhelmingly African so called Americans and Spanish speaking, being captive by the state when they are not reasonably able to handle actions that landed them in courtrooms.


The children of the 21st Century face a haunting future

This man we are concerned with was 27 years of age when a Philadelphia police officer was shot and killed. Besides patrolman Faulkner, Mumia Abu Jamal was shot in the chest, beaten by other police and almost killed when the medical equipment he was attached to was sabotaged by "Philly's Finest" at the hospital. In the following 'trial', which eventually led to more illegal and corrupt actions by a system unused to justice, Mumia Abu Jamal maintained his innocence of killing Daniel Faulkner. Actual evidence has never been produced by the state but that hasn't stopped the state from subjecting African so called Americans to prison sentencing. From the early 1980s to 2011, Mumia Abu Jamal was held under the penalty of death by poison needle. He has since been in the 'general population' of Pennsylvania's prisons. The USA government courts admitted finally that the illegality of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia courts kept the man unduly at risk of state death. But he was still told to remain in prison for the rest of his life.




Out of and forgotten by society...USA prisoners

His health, like all longterm Political Prisoners in the USA has been eroded by the pressures of no human contact (unable to hug his wife or relations for 30 years), high cost phone calls often $20 for 10 or 15 minutes, extremely harmful so called food and the suffocating hatred reserved for those who refuse to bow to an unjust racist system. In 2015, the denial of care by prison officials while halting the allowance of outside doctors to treat Mumia Abu Jamal for diabetes, gallstones and severe skin rashes indicating blood infections continues. He was chained to a bed, to a chair and guarded by a team of police though he could barely stand. For a time, family, his lawyer and support groups were barred from visiting him as his body neared a diabetic coma.

The Fight of a Lifer enters a new phase as Mumia Abu Jamal approaches his birthday on 24 April. He will be 61 years old.

But a sick, sick system continues to operate. It is a cold and dispassionate machinery under the fluttering red, white and blue flag of the USA, grinding away lives.




Resources:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mumia-abu-jamal-medical-crisis-fund






19 April 2015
From Exile,
Bankole




See Related Articles:


Juanita Young, Bronx Grandmother (Exile 2009)

"By the year 2000, 52% of African so called American women single mothers were in poverty.
In New York City, many women face a startling degree of injustice while attempting to live their lives and protecting the children. Juanita Young, a grandmother has not only taken on some of the greatest foes of humanity. She has held them in check and made demands and received answers. During October of last year, six criminal charges pinned on her were refused and a jury in court said she was not guilty in a 2006 case involving a confrontation with city police. The short, legally blind woman, an African in America, was accused of assaulting police and emergency medical crew members who had arrived at Juanita’s home to encounter her traumatized teenaged daughter. The Forty-Third precinct police in Bronx, she declared under oath, were out to destroy her family. During an arrest she was thrown down a stairwell in 2003. Through the years, as many Africans in America have, Juanita has been beaten, imprisoned and suffered serious injury just for speaking up about injustice in the presence of police. Being denied medical attention and having charges filed against people is just the usual way that black and brown people are dehumanized."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/84717.html



Dispatch Prison Nation #8

"...Children of 2.6 Million USA Prisoners: 600,000
Total Prisoners in England, Scotland, Wales and North Of Ireland: 84,500..."


http://exiledun.livejournal.com/175922.html

Traditions (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
A 'Re-enactment' of Nazi Days, Ukraine


Conference This

Getting back to the traditions is what they claimed to be doing. How did Putin make the 'traditionalists' comfortable? A few weeks ago, numerous corporate wire reports noted the anniversary (1 year) of the ouster of Ukraine's president Yushchenko, who was under 'the West's wing'. This means the USA/Canada/EU/England umbrella geopolitically. Traditionally, the Russians, from Tsarist days through the USSR period and afterward have had a dominating influence in Ukraine, something that has been nurtured by both those with the peoples' interest in mind and the ones intent on manipulation in the crucially negative ways. Unemployment, not being satisfied with a once promised future of privilege and plain youthful testosterone drive some. Others, seemingly intellectual, arrange symposiums and conferences.

These worse ways include a continuation of xenophobia beyond that which was on display just three years ago at the European football championships co- hosted by Poland and Ukraine, two countries who have very few newcomers who aren't White. Near Donetsk and other eastern Ukraine cities during early summer 2012, intimidation and even the killing of a Spanish national had been linked to so called football hooligans. But as in every country and in every time period, bands of men called 'hooligans', 'social organizations' 'sports clubs' and other terms are teams used by politicians and their parties.



Milan, Italy

Rising Numbers Of Migrants

Add to this a upsurge in brewing populism stirred by racist and anti-foreigner sentiment and 'civil war' as the Western news channels have declared it, becomes reality. The openly racist political movements have largely become political parties in the electoral arena over the last 50 years. From Stockholm, Sweden to Athens, Greece, they are wearing dresses and business suits and have gotten influence in the corporate boardrooms, unmasked themselves or switched from a once lucrative liberal pose. Predictably, there has been a rise in the number of refugees fleeing war and devastation in Africa (Libya, Egypt, Central African Republic, Somalia, etc) and the Arab world (Palestine, Syria, etc) and beyond. At least 625,000 children, women and men, in 2014 alone, made political asylum applications in the EU countries.



New York City "Justice For Eric Garner"

No Glocks Down

This model was in fact the one employed by the grand wizard of
Chicago political groups, the Daley machine founder who set into motion his latest incarnation, Barack Obama. Whites not quite American, the Irish, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Ukrainian and other Europeans' attacks on African people in Chicago would define the 20th century. Housing, economics, public accomodation, education, employment, healthcare all were ultimately enforced by White violence, official or provided by the 'hungry to be accepted' European new to America. The tragedy of Homan Square, the torturer Jon Burge era have roots in White gangs and terror of African and other nonWhite people in all US Northern cities. In blue uniforms or not, the police are a rite of passage for European men in American politics. No lawyer (and nearly all are lawyers) is going to 'go far' if they are not willing to condone police abuse of African, Indigenous or Spanish speaking people. Conversely, there are no reports of nonWhite police killing any Whites and leaving the body/bodies uncovered and in the street for hours. The fear and disdain for the nonWhite population has deep roots in Europe from the Bosporous to Connemara.



"Your Right To Oppose Us Is Withdrawn"


The Players

Groups, including scholars undoubtedly towing a careful line to not offend Moscow hosted this 'let's get back to basics'
conference, held at the St. Petersburg Holiday Inn. Putin, the 21st century Rasputin, has in early 2015 succeeded in courting far right political entities. Curiously, or not, the British National Party, from England where many 'hooligans' are banned from travel to other European countries to attend games was said to have participated. Basically the twisted idea of traditions are plainly an unresolved issue on the island called Britain. What is the BNP doing so far from 'home'? The English Defense League, like the older National Front, appear in nonWhite areas to terrorize and humiliate. They burn, loot and beat nonWhites as Golden Dawn of Greece does, as any number of 'anti Islamization' groups do. The BNP, and the rest, have influence on Ukip, the 'independence' political party that desires strict scrutiny of foreigners is unmistakeable as all eyes of the elites turn right.



PARIS
"Noble Peace Prize (winner) Barack Obama Stop The Killing Of Civilians In Ukraine"


Germany, France And Russia

When the spotlight falls on France, the ascending Le Pen family centered political party, Front National, there is the spectacle of it supporting Russia's bold Crimea takeover. This is no fringe organization, having financial fraud allegations laid by the European Parliament, something all large political parties in the 'democratic' West also can dismiss from time to time. Like the Democratic Party in the USA, specifically the US South, ironed out it's racist face and added brown politicians step by step. Front National has these too, in it's public relations arsenal. It's a reason why, as in Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Czech Republic, England, Greece and other 'democracies' the powerful players, xenophobic political parties, are now at the center of the action, garnering more votes and reaching across the public for sympathy.

Critically, the giant economies of England and France are in a fractured relationship with Germany. Germany, financial friend of Russia can't bear the strain of it all. And what of the engine of the ailing unification of the European Union? It is rocked by the fury of Germans who want refugees from across the world (places like Syria, Palestine and Nigeria and other war hotspots) to leave. The National Democratic Party, clearly a Nazi re-start, has been linked to burning homes of nonWhite peoples, intimidating public officials who try to defend the right to refugees living in Germany and marching to chant, facebook and leaflet their views in the public arena. Pegida, also known as Patriotic Europeans Against Islamization Of The West continues, in Germany where it was founded, is ready to become not just a facebook entity but a political party. Officials in Dresden, Cologne and other cities have turned off nighttime electricity in order to oppose large hate rallies.



The Russian Ruble

From Russia With...

Not just in Russian cities, where at least 7000 migrants were targeted (rounded up and detained) under the government's Operation Migrant 2014 (October and November 2014) but across the society, Moscow's system of disregarding Human Rights has skyrocketed. 'Unity Day', which one might assume is about unification of people or the past Soviet days' highlights, is providing anti-foreigner marches and attacks on nonWhites increasingly in Russia. Uzbeks and Azeris, Chechens and of course Chinese, Turks and Africans are especially at risk when 'Russia for Russians' mobs have stormed into areas where migrants live, go to school or work. While this is much less newsworthy than the elimination of Putin's critics such as Boris Nemtsov, the Russian oligarchy is unable to use the usual 'but look at America' line. Symbols of hatred and narrow minds are universally unacceptable.

What's that again?


Traditions, it is said, again and again, must be protected.

At what cost?    





11 April  2015
From Exile,
Bankole 











Dedicated To The Fallen Seeking Refuge

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