Thursday, December 02, 2021

Abayomi Azikiwe Analyst: System in US 'Must be Overthrown to Achieve Justice’ for Black People

Thursday, 25 November 2021 7:12 PM

Press TV  Analyst: System in US ‘must be overthrown to achieve justice’ for Black people (presstv.ir)

The system in the United States “must be overthrown to achieve justice for African Americans,” African American writer and journalist Abayomi Azikiwe says. 

Azikiwe, an editor at the Pan-African News Wire, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Thursday while commenting on a statement by US President Joe Biden who said the verdict that found the three white men charged in the death of African American Ahmaud Arbery guilty of multiple counts of murder was not enough.

“While the guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job, that alone is not enough. Instead, we must recommit ourselves to building a future of unity and shared strength, where no one fears violence because of the color of their skin,” Biden said in a statement.

He said his administration “will continue to do the hard work to ensure that equal justice under law is not just a phrase emblazoned in stone above the Supreme Court, but a reality for all Americans.”

On Wednesday, all three white men charged in the killing of Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old Black Muslim man, were convicted of murder by a jury in the state of Georgia. 

All three defendants were convicted of murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal intent to commit a felony. They face a minimum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. 

Travis McMichael, 35, who fatally shot Arbery, was convicted on all nine charges, including malice, murder and four counts of felony murder.

McMichael's father, Gregory McMichael, 65, was convicted on the remaining charges, including the felony murder counts. McMichael's neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, was also found guilty of three of the felony murder counts.

Prosecutors have said that they intend to seek life in prison without parole for the three defendants.

Biden says the United States still needs work to achieve equal justice after the conviction of three white Georgia men for the murder of African American Ahmaud Arbery.

Azikiwe said, “If the administration of President Joe Biden is serious about moving beyond the guilty verdicts in the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery, he should make a renewed push for the passage of federal anti-lynching laws and the adoption of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.”

“The problem of racist violence against African Americans has existed since the period of enslavement beginning in the 17th century. Also, Biden should reintroduce in Congress a new voting rights act to overturn the state legislative measures which have curtailed the right to universal suffrage,” he added.  

“Many people sacrificed immensely to win the right to vote after the Civil War through the 1960s. The voting rights movement along with efforts to win other fundamental democratic rights represents the cornerstone of the African American liberation movement. Biden owes his presidency to the African Americans and other people of color electorates,” he stated.

“In addition, the government should vigorously pursue the prosecution of Kyle Rittenhouse in Wisconsin based upon the violations of the Civil Rights of the two people killed and one wounded by this vigilante from the state of Illinois. As the mother of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old killed by police in Cleveland several years ago, the system in the United States must be overthrown to achieve justice for African Americans,” he concluded.

Three Racist Vigilantes Found Guilty of Felony Murder in Georgia

By Abayomi Azikiwe 

Nov 25, 20210

Ahmaud Arbery was murdered by white men in 2020 sparking national outrage, unlike Wisconsin, where another vigilante was acquitted, these men were found guilty on multiple counts

Brunswick, Georgia in the southern region of the state, served as a flashpoint during the early months of 2020 when a young African American man was chased and shot to death by white racists claiming they acted in self-defense while trying to carry out a “citizen’s arrest.”

Ahmaud Arbery had committed no crime and was only out jogging in the area when he was targeted, chased and brutally murdered by the assailants.

Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Arbery, said she had never thought the day would come where the men who killed her son faced sentencing on multiple counts of murder. The attorney for Cooper-Jones, Lee Merritt, praised the mother’s persistent quest for justice.

Lee Merritt noted that: “Eighteen months ago when she learned about the murder of her son, they told her that she would just have to deal with it alone. They told her that there would be no arrest, that there would be no accountability, that there would be no justice. And she made her son a promise before she laid him in the ground, that his mom would fight for justice for him.” (https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/arberys-mother-now-rest-peace-verdict-81379539)

Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, Jr. on February 23, 2020, pursued Arbery after he had stopped at a construction site to view the work that was being done. The African American had taken nothing from the location and had no property on his person when he was attacked, assaulted and murdered by the vigilantes.

Garin Flowers reported in an article for Yahoo News saying: “The makeup of the jury also caught heat during the selection process for its lack of diversity in a state still haunted by the memory of lynchings. Glynn County, where the trial took place in southeastern Georgia, is about a quarter Black, but only one Black juror was chosen. The state accused the defense of eliminating Black jurors based on race. Walmsley said at the time that the ‘court has found that there appears to be intentional discrimination’ in the jury selection process, but allowed the trial to move forward. He said the defense had met the legal standard necessary to dismiss the potential jurors, coming up with reasons beyond race for removing them. The three men also face federal hate crime charges in a trial scheduled for February 2022.” (https://news.yahoo.com/jury-finds-men-guilty-of-murdering-ahmaud-arbery-191835692.html)

Historical Context of the Verdict

Later in 2020 after the murder of Arbery, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, was killed by police while in her own apartment. The shooting was a case of mistaken identity, yet no charges were ever filed against the law-enforcement officers who fired the fatal shots which resulted in Taylor’s death.

Obviously, the tipping point was the public police execution of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 of last year. The videotaped murder of Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis fueled the already existing outrage over police brutality and racist violence against African Americans and other people of color across the United States.

Cities and towns all over the country exploded in mass demonstrations and urban rebellions from coast to coast. The protests against the police killing of Floyd spread around the globe with manifestations in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean and Canada. The uprisings even prompted the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to hold a full hearing in Geneva, Switzerland on the question of racist violence in the U.S. The UN hearing was held at the aegis of several African states utilizing a resolution of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the African Union (AU), based upon a resolution motivated by Malcolm X during his July 1964 visit to the Second OAU Summit held in Cairo, Egypt.

The brother of George Floyd, Philonise, testified at the UNHCR hearing on June 18, 2020 and appealed to the international body to take action aimed at ending racist violence in the U.S. The then administration of President Donald Trump evoked the slave-era Insurrection Act of 1806 deploying federal agents and troops to cities in various regions of the U.S. Trump demanded that the authorities dominate the streets. In essence he was calling for the use of maximum and lethal force in quelling the demonstrations and rebellions.

Dozens of people were killed along with thousands being arrested from the time of the George Floyd killing and extending for several months. With the demonstrations continuing throughout the summer of 2020, it left an indelible mark on the political landscape of the country. The civil unrest following the murder of Floyd exposed to the world even further the institutionally racist and genocidal character of the U.S. state.

The three white men who murdered Arbery were claiming self-defense based upon a slavery-era law related to making “citizen’s arrests.” This law was overturned even in the Georgia state legislature in 2020.

Wisconsin Releases Vigilante After Killing Two and Wounding One

In another similar case, Kyle Rittenhouse of Illinois, was acquitted of murder after killing two people and injuring a third in another state, Wisconsin, on August 25, 2020. The deaths at the hands of Rittenhouse came during anti-racist demonstrations in Kenosha, Wisconsin in the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake, an African American man wounded seven times by the police while he was moving away from the officers.

Blake’s shooting which resulted in his permanent paralysis, was a source of mass demonstrations and even a one-day strike by National Basketball Association (NBA) players in the aftermath of the incident. Of course, due to the role of the judge in the Rittenhouse trial, none of this social background information was allowed to be presented as evidence of racist motivations on the part of the defendant.

The deceased, who were also white: Joseph Rosenbaum (36), Anthony Huber (26), and the one wounded, Gaige Grosskreutz (27), were not allowed to be described in the proceedings as victims of gun violence. The judge admonished the prosecuting attorney for ostensibly introducing a line of argument forbidden by the bench.

Under these circumstances it was not surprising to many that Rittenhouse was allowed to walk away from such a blatant act of murderous violence. How could anyone seriously claim self-defense after crossing the state line with a high-powered AR-15 rifle under the guise of protecting private property. There were no concerns on the shooter’s part in regard to those demonstrating to demand justice for Blake. These and other factors clearly illustrate the inherent bias and institutional racism within the U.S. legal system.

Historically there have been thousands of lynchings in the U.S. which have not been investigated by the authorities and often declared “justifiable homicide” by the courts. This process of utilizing law-enforcement personnel, prosecuting attorneys and the courts remains in force well into the 21st century.

In regard to the Rittenhouse verdict of not guilty, the federal government through the Justice Department could file Civil Rights violation charges against the 18-year-old. Evidence related to his right-wing connections and subsequent support received during the prosecution could be introduced as elements which motivated the acquitted shooter in traveling to Kenosha and feeling emboldened enough to confront protesters exercising their purported first amendment rights.

Moreover, what right did Rittenhouse have to exercise maximum lethal force against anyone acting in response to a racial crisis in Kenosha? After being charged with the killing of two people and the wounding of someone else, Rittenhouse was defended by elements within the white community which called for his release.

These two divergent verdicts in Wisconsin and Georgia, illustrate the inconsistencies within the U.S. political and legal system. Although Wisconsin had been considered a progressive state in decades past during the 20th century, it is the state which produced Senator Joseph McCarthy who made a political career out of persecuting communist and those considered subversive to the capitalist and racist power structure. Wisconsin during 2011, was the focal point of right-wing political attacks on public sector unions and educational institutions which set a standard for replication throughout the midwestern region and throughout the U.S. as a whole.

Georgia was built on the forced removal of the Indigenous nations and the super-exploitation of the African enslaved people. Voter suppression and racist violence remains the stock-in-trade of the ruling class within the state and throughout the South. This verdict, many claim, is an anomaly within the social trajectory of the methodology used to maintain the status-quo.

What these two verdicts confirm is the necessity of transforming the entire system to eliminate the material basis for racism, national oppression and economic exploitation. Until the capitalist system is removed, and socialism is enacted, the problems of racist violence, vigilante and police terrorism will remain.

Sudanese Continue to Demonstrate for Democracy Despite Reinstatement of Hamdok as Prime Minister

By Abayomi Azikiwe 

Nov 24, 20210

A new deal signed between the interim civilian leader and the military has not dampened the call for the al-Burhan to return to the barracks

On Sunday November 21, the international media began to report that the ousted interim Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in the Republic of Sudan had been reinstated by the leader of the military junta General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

Hamdok had been held under house arrest after being deposed by the military on October 25 amid mass demonstrations, an earlier reported attempted coup and fierce debates over the future of the oil-rich state.

The revised deal between Hamdok, some technocratic leaders and others appointed to the al-Burhan-created new Sovereign Council, provides for the reconfiguration of yet another transitional administration that will oversee the country’s affairs until elections can be held supposedly during July 2023. Immediately skepticism was voiced by numerous opposition parties, mass organizations, trade unions and youth groupings.

Demonstrations which were scheduled for November 21 continued prompting even more repression by the police and military against the people. Several people were killed by the security forces as hundreds of thousands went into the streets to demand that the military junta leave their positions of absolute authority in Sudan.

The civilian-led Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) have categorically dismissed the Hamdok statement made on November 21 as evidence that the military coup of October 25 is still in force. Hamdok was echoing the military plans to create what they have referred to as a “technocratic” cabinet that would obviously remain under military domination.

FFC elements among others are demanding a complete return to civilian rule. The military in their opinions have forfeited any capacity to govern Sudan without state repression. Since the October 25 coup led by al-Burhan, more than forty people have been killed in demonstrations and resistance related activities.

In an article published by the Sudan Tribune it says of the response of the opposition that: “’We were surprised by the signing of a political declaration between His Excellency Mr. Abdallah Hamdok, the Prime Minister, and His Excellency General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,’ said the FFC in a short statement issued on Sunday (Nov. 21). The political coalition further stressed they were not part of the deal and voiced its support for the demand of the Sudanese people to restore civilian rule. The FFC supported protests calling for the release of Hamdok and the other detainees and to restore the civilian-led transition…. The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) which led the December revolution against the regime of ousted President Omar al-Bashir also rejected the ‘treason agreement’…. The Sudanese Congress Party, Sudanese Communist Party, National Umma Party, Unionist Alliance, SLM led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur, and Resistance Committees rejected the agreement.” (https://sudantribune.com/article226327/)

Although the FFC had included as a main demand within their program that Hamdok be released from custody, the ultimate objective of the democracy movement is to remove the domineering influence of the military within the Sudanese political and economic structures. Many sectors of the national economy are utilized by the military elites to enrich themselves while maintaining hegemony over the functional operations of the state.

Sudan and the International Situation

The al-Burhan regime, which has called itself the Transitional Military Council (TMC), has close ties with the monarchies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which after they seized power in April 2019, pledged several billion dollars in direct assistance. Moreover, Washington under the former administration of President Donald Trump and his successor, President Joe Biden, have demanded the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars by the Sudanese state to survivors of victims of several bombing attacks carried out in Kenya (1998), Tanzania (1998) and the Gulf of Aden (2000).

In exchange for these payments, the U.S. is removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. This agreement will make Sudan eligible for loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other global financial institutions.

However, to date, the Sudanese masses do not appear to have benefited from any of these deals struck with the interim administrations which have come and gone since April 2019. With the advent of a renewed Hamdok-military alliance, many are unconvinced that the situation will improve for the tens of millions of youth, women, workers, professionals and impoverished people in general.

Neighboring Egypt, a state closely aligned with the United States, is seeking to maintain its relations with the military regime in Sudan. Egypt opposes the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project (GERD) which has caused tensions with the Addis Ababa government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Sudan has once again raised the issue of a border dispute with Ethiopia while Addis Ababa itself is battling a Washington-backed insurgency attempting to overthrow the administration of Prime Minister Abiy.

Therefore, the domestic crisis in Sudan has regional, continental and international implications due to the geographically strategic location of the country and its vast oil and other natural resources. The initial Sovereign Council under Hamdok and al-Burhan, signed onto the Abraham Accord which ostensibly normalized relations with Tel Aviv even though such a maneuver is in violation of the Israeli Boycott Act of 1958. The decision to boycott Israel was made by an elected parliament and national government just two years after the independence of Sudan from British imperialism in 1956. Any move to reverse this course at the aegis of the U.S. and its allies, would surely appear to be in contravention of Sudanese constitutional law. Until an elected government of the people can be established, there cannot be any real political debate on the relationship of Sudan to those occupying Palestinian land.

Forcing the Abraham Accord on as many states within West Asia and Africa as possible is designed to further undermine the Palestinian struggle for statehood and independence from Israeli control. Yet the Palestinians are continuing to resist the colonial occupation as was evident in the uprising which occurred during May 2021.

The political balance of forces within Sudan is of importance to imperialism and its allies throughout the African continent and West Asia. Consequently, Washington under Trump or Biden does not want a revolutionary government taking power in Khartoum. A genuinely revolutionary democratic government in Sudan would inevitably be in solidarity with the Palestinians and all progressive forces throughout Africa and the world.

According to a report written by Joseph Krauss for the Associated Press and reprinted by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) as it relates to the role of Tel Aviv in the Sudanese internal political crisis: “Israel is also seen as a potential ally of the generals, who were the guiding force behind Sudan normalizing relations with it last year in exchange for removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism…. Israel’s Walla news website reported that an Israeli delegation met with Sudan’s generals days after the coup. The Israeli government has not commented on the coup or its aftermath.” (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/what-reinstating-sudans-prime-minister-means-for-the-country)

Although the U.S. has expressed opposition to the military coup of October 25, the objective of Washington in the short-term is a partnership between the Sudanese military and a technocratic elite to govern the country. The U.S. does not want a civilian administration that would oppose its designs on Sudan.

Nonetheless, this is exactly what is needed inside Sudan and other territories throughout the African Union (AU) member-states. U.S. dominance over the internal and foreign affairs of post-colonial African governments has served as the major impediment to genuine development, sovereignty and revolutionary social transformation.

Sudan through the independent initiatives of the mass organizations, youth, women, trade unions and professional groupings, could serve as an example for a revolutionary movement which emerges from the people. Under such a dispensation, relations with other neighboring states would be based on the principles of peaceful co-existence and mutual cooperation.

Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sun. Nov. 21, 2021--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor

Listen to the Sun. Nov. 21, 2021 special edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of the episode go to this link: Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast | Listen Notes 

The program features our PANW report with dispatches on the ongoing media campaign in the United States to misinform the public about the actual developments inside the Horn of Africa state of Ethiopia; in the Republic of Sudan the military junta has reinstated the interim Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok although this is being rejected by other activists within the mass democracy movement; China's foreign ministry has declared that the independence of Taiwan will never by accepted by Beijing; and the international trade crisis is being worsened due to the conflict between the U.S. and China. 

In the second hour we continue to look deeper into the life, times, contributions and assassination of Malcolm X (Hajj Malik El-Shabazz). 

We listen to two rare achival audio files and a contemporary segment on the exoneration of two of falsely convicted men tried in the murder during 1966. 

Finally, we review some of the most pressing and burning issues in Africa and the world.

Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sat. Nov. 20, 2021--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor

Listen to the Sat. Nov. 20, 2021 edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of the episode just go to the following URL:  Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast 11/20 by Pan African Radio Network | Politics (blogtalkradio.com)

The program features our PANW report with dispatches on the continuing mobilization in Ethiopia against the United States supported efforts to remove the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed; Sudanese are remaining in the streets demanding the removal of the military junta which staged a coup last month; South African activists are calling for the nation's beauty queen to boycott the Miss Universe pageant being held in occupied Palestine; and in the West African state of Burkina Faso there was a demonstration which blocked a French military convoy operating inside the country. 

In the second hour we look back at the assassination of Malcolm X (Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) on Feb. 21, 1965 in light of the recent exoneration of two men falsely accused in his killing. 

Finally, we review some of the most pressing and burning issues of the day in Africa and around the globe.

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Featured on Press TV Spotlight: White Vigilante Acquitted in Deaths of Two People and Wounding of Another in Kenosha

Watch this worldwide satellite television news network program Spotlight featuring Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, discussing the not guilty verdicts in the murder case of a white vigilante in the shooting deaths of two anti-racist activists and the wounding of another in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

To view the recording of this episode just go to this link: US divisive verdict (presstv.ir) 

Abayomi Azikiwe places the incident, trial and acquittal within the centuries-long historical context where whites representing the ruling interests of the United States have been given a license to exact brutality and lethal force against African Americans and their allies in the struggle for justice. 

The promotional language for this news analysis segment says: "In this edition, Spotlight interviews Abayomi Azikiwe, writer and journalist from Detroit and Yahne Ndgo writer and rights activist from Philadelphia to look at racial discrimination in the US after acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse in a murder trial. Rittenhouse, 18, claims self-defense in shooting of protesters at racial justice demonstrations in Wisconsin resulting in the death of two."

This segment aired live on Sat. Sept. 20, 2021.

Abayomi Azikiwe Quoted in 'US Jury Finds White Supremacist Rittenhouse Not Guilty on All Charges in the Murder Trial'

Saturday, 20 November 2021 2:22 AM

Press TV

A US white teenager who shot dead two men and wounded a third during racial justice protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin has been cleared of all charges, including intentional homicide, which carries a life sentence.

After three-and-a-half days of deliberation, a jury on Friday acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of murder in a decision that has ignited a fierce debate about gun rights and the boundaries of self-defense in the United States that has been disproportionately invoked in favor of white defendants.

The jury found Rittenhouse, a white supremacist, not guilty of all five counts that he had been facing. The trial's outcome is likely to further inflame national debates over civil rights.

The verdict comes less than a year after Kenosha County prosecutors failed to charge the white police officer who shot and paralyzed a Black man named Jacob Blake in August 2020, which caused widespread demonstrations against police brutality.

'Lynch law is still alive in US'

“This decision affirms that lynch law is still alive and well in the United States. Nonetheless, most African Americans are not surprised with the verdict. The judge was biased and Wisconsin is a thoroughly racist state,” African American writer and journalist Abayomi Azikiwe commented to Press TV.

Rittenhouse, 18, shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded a third protester on August 25, 2020 during demonstrations on the streets of Kenosha.

Rittenhouse has maintained he shot the men because he had feared for his life. Prosecutors argued he was looking for trouble that night.

“There is no way that this person was not motivated by racist intentions. The demonstrations in Kenosha were in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times moving away from the police. This happened in 2020 amid demonstrations all over the United States against police and racist vigilante killings of Black and Brown people,” Azikiwe said.

“The US Justice Department could file federal civil rights charges against Rittenhouse for his attitude towards the protesters. The case is interesting because both people killed were white. This only proves that even whites that are demonstrating against racism are subject to brutality and death,” he stated.

Following the high-profile and politically divisive trial, US National Guard troops have been sent to the city to deal with protests that are likely to break out over the controversial verdict.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said in a statement Friday that his office respects the jury's verdict.

“Certainly, issues regarding the privilege of self-defense remain highly contentious in our current times," Graveley said. "We ask that all members of the public accept the verdicts peacefully and not resort to violence.”

The case had become a polarizing and even partisan national issue.

Republican leaders on Friday celebrated the verdict while Democrats and civil rights advocates said it was representative of the disparate racial outcomes produced by the country's justice system.

"I believe justice has been served in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial," Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) wrote on Twitter. "I hope everyone can accept the verdict, remain peaceful, and let the community of Kenosha heal and rebuild."

Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), called the verdict a "travesty."

"Rittenhouse's decision to go to Kenosha and provoke protestors was unwarranted. Moreover, the outcome of this case sets a dangerous precedent," Derrick Johnson said in a statement.

 "We have seen this same outcome time and time again; a justice system that presents different outcomes based on the race of the accused. This verdict is a reminder of the treacherous role that white supremacy and privilege play within our justice system."

Jurors on Tuesday began deliberating on five felony charges against the teenager stemming from the unrest August last year in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man.

Prosecutors had accused Rittenhouse of traveling to Kenosha to look for trouble and argued that the double murder could not legally be considered self-defense because he had provoked protesters into attacking him.

"You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create," Thomas Binger, one of the prosecutors on the case, told jurors earlier this week. "That's critical right here. If you're the one who's threatening others, you lose the right to claim self-defense."

Huber's parents said they were angered by the acquittal.

“Today’s verdict means there is no accountability for the person who murdered our son. It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street,” Karen Bloom and John Huber said in the statement.

“We hope that decent people will join us in forcefully rejecting that message and demanding more of our laws, our officials, and our justice system.”

Abayomi Azikiwe Interview on 'US Government Was Involved in Malcolm X's Martyrdom': Journalist

Thursday, 18 November 2021 4:19 PM 

Press TV

Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City on Feb. 21, 1965.

The exoneration of two of the three men found guilty of the assassination of American civil rights leader Malcolm X decades ago further proves that “the US government was involved all along in the circumstances surrounding Malcolm's martyrdom,” according to African American writer and journalist Abayomi Azikiwe.

The Manhattan district attorney's office acknowledged on Wednesday “the wrongful convictions" of Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam, who each spent more than 20 years in prison for allegations of being involved in the assassination of Malcolm X, an African American Muslim minister and human rights activist who was a widely popular figure during the civil rights movement.

The District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. told the New York Times that the FBI and police had withheld evidence that would have likely resulted in their acquittal.

He apologized on behalf of law enforcement, which he said had failed the families of the two men.

"This points to the truth that law enforcement over history has often failed to live up to its responsibilities," Vance told the Times, admitting that the two men “did not get the justice that they deserved."

Aziz, 83, was released in 1985. Islam was released in 1987 and died in 2009 at age 74.

Malcolm X, an outspoken Muslim advocate of Black rights, was 39 when he was gunned down, as he was prepared to give a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, on February 21, 1965.

Earlier this year, new evidence emerged suggesting that the New York Police Department and the FBI had been behind the assassination.

Azikiwe said, “The exoneration of these two men is long overdue. Anyone who has read in detail the transcripts of the 1966 trial of three men arrested and tried in the assassination would know that Talmadge Hayer, who was captured by Malcolm X's (El Hajj Malik Shabazz) followers at the scene of the crime in New York City on Feb. 21, 1965, confessed during the hearings that he was guilty.”

“He also said that the other two on trial, Butler and Johnson, had not been involved. Nearly fifteen years later, Hayer, in an interview with journalist Tony Brown, gave up the names of the other four men involved in the assassination. Yet nothing was done by the New York police, the prosecutors or the United States Justice Department. The FBI had this information since the day of the assassination because there were nine of their informants in the Audubon Ballroom where the killing of Malcolm took place. One of the main assassins lived in Newark, New Jersey, until his death just three years ago,” he explained. 

“Consequently, the FBI, the New York police and others were co-conspirators in the assassination. This exoneration further proves that the US government was involved all along in the circumstances surrounding Malcolm's martyrdom,” he stated.

“Malcolm and his wife, Betty Shabazz, were victims of the Counter-intelligence Program (COINTELPRO). Their daughters and other descendants are due substantial reparations for their decades of pain and suffering,” the journalist concluded.

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Interviewed on Press TV Worldwide Satellite News: Sudan Masses Demand Civilian Rule

Watch this worldwide satellite television news network segment featuring an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, discussing the recent demonstrations in the Republic of Sudan demanding an immediate reversal of the military coup which took place last month. 

To view this interview just click on the following URL: At least 15 killed, dozens injured in Sudan's anti-coup protests - YouTube

Abayomi Azikiwe emphasizes that the military regime is obviously receiving external financial and security support since it is acting with complete impunity towards the African Union, United Nations and the actual revolutionary democratic forces operating inside the oil-rich state. 

The report aired live on Nov. 17, 2021.

COP26 Summit Fails to Take Decisive Action on Climate Change

Majority of world’s population dissatisfied with final document approved in Glasgow

By Abayomi Azikiwe

November 17, 2021

Another annual international conference on the climate crisis ended on November 13 in Glasgow, Scotland where a contentious debate over the final document revealed fundamental differences on key issues.

Officially labeled as the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), the event was attended by representatives of approximately 200 countries and territories.

Undoubtedly, the broad character of the summit which included representatives from government delegations alongside Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and independent mass groupings, constrained the ability to pass sweeping resolutions in favor of radical programs for addressing the climate crisis. For example, references to the phasing out of coal production and usage was altered to eliminate any real commitment to shift to more environmentally safe energy sources.

A proposal for the payment of loss and damages to lesser developed countries was removed even from the draft document. The final resolutions made no mention of compensating the former colonial territories for the impact of centuries of mineral extraction, the dislocation of populations and the western demand for cheap labor and control over waterways.

The United States, which was represented by former U.S. Senator John Kerry, was involved in the negotiations over the final document. Although Kerry’s comments appeared to have expressed empathy for poor countries, the actual decisions made in Glasgow were devoid of basic concerns expressed by the peoples of Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Moreover, tens of thousands of youth staged demonstrations outside the conference hall over the two weeks duration of the summit. The main criticism levelled at the COP26 was that it was just another talking session which shied away from making the decisions necessary to mitigate and reverse the process of environmental degradation.

Developments over the last several years have been devastating for the peoples of the Global South and indeed throughout the world. Flooding, severe storms and drought have plagued people internationally. These environmental problems have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic making the distribution more difficult of medicines, including vaccines, to population groups which are not easily accessible by modern transportation.

There were 40,000 delegates to the COP26 gathering yet only a small number were actually allowed to enter the area where the serious discussions were held among participants representing their governments. Assessments of the outcome of the summit will be ongoing. However, there were divergent views on the impact and effectiveness of the gathering. 

The Scientific American magazine wrote in an analysis of the event emphasizing that:

“The final 11-page document, called the Glasgow Climate Pact, says that greenhouse gas emissions must fall by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 for global warming to be maintained at 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. It notes that, under existing emissions reduction pledges, emissions will be nearly 14% higher than in 2010 by 2030. Countries acknowledged the need to reduce emissions faster, and also agreed to report on progress annually. For the first time in a COP text, nations agreed to begin reducing coal-fired power (without carbon capture) and to start to eliminate subsidies on other fossil fuels.”

China and U.S. Announce Agreement During Summit

During the course of the summit, it was announced that China and the U.S. had agreed to work together on the reduction of carbon and methane greenhouse emissions. The current worsening relationship between Beijing and Washington was reflected in the statements made by those representing the administration of President Joe Biden.

The Chinese reaffirmed that the developing countries could not make the transition to green energy sources and production in light of the economic costs involved. China supported the demands for the payments by the western capitalist states for loss and damages to the developing regions of the world.

According to China Daily newspaper: “Both countries have agreed to cooperate on the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on the development of international markets for carbon offsetting. This could help the development of clear international standards to promote the effective functioning of carbon markets, including the voluntary purchase of offsets by companies, which could mobilize billions of dollars of investment in developing countries. The two major powers have also agreed to communicate new nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement in 2025 with targets for 2035. However, given the shortfall in planned emissions reductions in relation to the 1.5 C target, the world needs revised and more ambitious nationally determined contributions from all countries well before 2025.”

Who Is Responsible for Climate Change?

Critics of the COP26 summit denounced the event for being the most exclusionary in its history. This was due in part to the lack of vaccine availability and adequate economic resources to facilitate the travel by peoples from the Global South.

Middle East Eye (MEE) website noted that there are 20 corporations which are behind a third of all carbon emissions between 1965-2017. The news agency emphasized that the blaming of China and India for the deteriorating climate situation overlooks the role of fossil fuels and the demand for this energy resource.

An important liberation movement in North Africa, the Polisario Front, which has fought a decades-long struggle against Spain and now Morocco for its independence, complained that they were excluded from many of the critical deliberations at the summit. The Polisario Front is the major political force within the provisional government of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) that is represented at both the United Nations and the African Union (AU).

MEE describes the situation related to the Saharawi by noting:

“Sidi Breika, a representative for Polisario, the Western Sahara independence movement, told MEE the UN’s climate summit ‘endorses illegal occupation via climate injustice and people’s exclusion from adequate participation and subsequent funding in order to tackle climate change’. Breika, who was in Glasgow, believes the summit was representative of the fact that the international community favors Polisario’s enemy, Morocco. ‘Our exclusion from global climate governance and finance mechanisms means the Sahrawis are denied access to technical and financial support to address climate change, contrary to principles of equity and inclusion.’”

Another major aspect of the rising temperature of the planet is the role of the Pentagon as a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Several studies have been published documenting that the U.S. military is the planet’s largest polluter. With the escalation of its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region in confrontation with China as well as the numerous military bases and direct occupations throughout Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, this situation is unlikely to change without a radical departure from the imperialist projects dominating Washington’s foreign policy.

Interestingly enough, the Pentagon was not represented in the U.S. delegation to the COP26 summit in Glasgow. Although there has been much rhetoric from the Defense Department equating the rapidly evolving crisis of climate change as being a threat on the level with the People’s Republic of China, military officials were not requested to attend the gathering. By keeping the Pentagon away from Scotland, the U.S. is attempting to obscure the role of its security apparatus which is endangering the planet. 

Science Daily in 2019 reported on independent research conducted by two universities in the United Kingdom which evaluated the Pentagon’s massive polluting impact. The summary of the study says:

“The U.S. military’s carbon footprint is enormous and must be confronted in order to have a substantial effect on battling global warming, experts argue. Research by social scientists from Durham University and Lancaster University shows the U.S. military is one of the largest climate polluters in history, consuming more liquid fuels and emitting more CO2e (carbon-dioxide equivalent) than most countries…. In 2017 alone, the U.S. military purchased about 269,230 barrels of oil a day and emitted more than 25,000 kt- CO2e by burning those fuels. In 2017 alone, the Air Force purchased $4.9 billion worth of fuel and the Navy $2.8 billion, followed by the Army at $947 million and Marines at $36 million.”

Any serious program aimed at curtailing the most devastating effects of climate change will require a political confrontation with the Pentagon. This is where the struggle against imperialism, unjust wars and the existing international division of labor and economic power converge. The abolition of the ongoing threats of imperialist war combined with the reorganization of the extraction and distribution of energy resources will require a global movement whose mission will be to bring environmental justice and peace to the world.

Sudanese Mass Organizations Reject Overtures by Military Junta

By Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor, Pan-African News Wire

Political Analysis

A new “Sovereign Council” has been inaugurated in the Republic of Sudan without the endorsement of the leading forces within the ousted administration.

On October 25 the military leadership of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemetti), took complete control of the state and placed under house arrest interim Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

These actions were in line with a reemerging phenomenon of military coups on the African continent which began during the 1960s. In many cases, the undemocratic usurpation of authority was guided and marionetted by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the State Department as was the case in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1960 and the Republic of Ghana in 1966.

Sudan has been an independent nation since 1956, one of the first national independence movements which succeeded against British imperialism. The following year, 1957, the former Gold Coast became Ghana under the leadership of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) headed then by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

The Sudanese Professional Association (SPA), a founding organization within the broader Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), has rejected an offer by the Transitional Military Council (TMC) of al-Burhan and Hemetti to become a part of the revised “Sovereign Council”. Undoubtedly, the current regime will continue to be dominated by the military. 

People opposed the coup and the appointment of another interim body dominated by the military immediately reacted to al-Burhan’s moves by blocking roads with burning tires. Thousands of images of the unrest were widely circulated over social media.

On November 13, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in various cities around Sudan including Khartoum, where the capital is located. Despite the arrest of many political leaders and other repressive measures enacted by the military, the turnout to the protests were enormous. Obviously much of the mobilization efforts were conducted clandestinely since the military coup makers control the armaments, broadcasting services, internet connectivity and other critical organs of the state.

Since the eruption of social unrest in December 2018, untold numbers of people have lost their lives in resistance activities. In the aftermath of four months of marches, rebellions and general strikes, in early April 2019 the military overthrew the administration of the-then President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. However, the people leading the opposition forces wanted a civilian government to determine the future of this centrally located and resource-rich African nation.

An article in the Sudan Tribune said of the manifestations on November 13: “According to medical reports, five protesters were killed in Khartoum state, four with bullets, and the fifth after inhaling tear gas, and there are many wounded in the various cities of Khartoum State. Besides Khartoum state, reports from other states say that thousands protested in Dongola and Kareema, in Northern State, Atbara of the Nile River State and Madani of Algazira State. In the Darfur region, demonstrators came out in El Fasher and Nyala, where 64 demonstrators were arrested. The pro-democracy protests also took place in Port Sudan of the Red Sea State and Kosti of the While Nile. The 13 November protests were organized by the Sudanese Professionals Associations and the Resistance Committees in support of the civilian state in Sudan.” ( https://sudantribune.com/article222878/)

Prime Minister Hamdok has dismissed any suggestion that he resume his duties as interim leader of the Sovereign Council and is demanding the reinstatement of the Constitutional Declaration which was negotiated with the involvement of the African Union (AU). Several other members of the cabinet which was removed in the October 25 putsch also continue to be detained.

Since the first recent military coup of April 2019, which effectively blocked any attempt at forming a national democratic government led by civilians from various political parties, trade unions, mass and professional groupings, the TMC has received support from the monarchies of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and the State of Israel. In defiance of its own constitutional law established in 1958, the Sovereign Council agreed to “normalize relations” with Tel Aviv. Since this measure was adopted at the aegis of former U.S. President Donald Trump, there appears to have no exchange of diplomatic missions.

Nonetheless, there are several reports claiming that the TMC has deployed a delegation to Tel Aviv for private discussions. Later there were articles saying the Israelis have sent a team to Khartoum for talks. Despite the role of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Israel, the social conditions are dire in Sudan. The political unrest is clearly fueled by the declining living conditions inside the country.

International Impact of the Coup

Of course, the State Department is shuttling back and forth from Washington to Khartoum in an effort to appear concerned about the situation in Sudan. The tactics of the Trump administration, and the essentially unchanged policies of the current President Joe Biden, have been a destabilizing factor in the country.

The initial Sovereign Council which was chaired as well by al-Burhan although Hamdok was the civilian head, agreed to a number of commitments which will further render Sudan into indebtedness to the world capitalist system. International finance capital has agreed to lend Khartoum money under certain conditionalities which will not enhance its ability to become a genuinely independent and self-sustaining state. 

Hamdok and al-Burhan signed obligations to pay hundreds of millions in U.S. dollars to survivors of victims of terrorist attacks which occurred long before the removal of President al-Bashir. The Sovereign Council was coercively manipulated into signing such agreements in exchange for the removal of Sudan from the list of “state sponsors of terrorism.”

If anything can be learned from the previous six or more decades of independent African countries is the role of funding institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in derailing the development strategies of post-colonial states. In light of the economic crisis largely precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the potential for a renewed round of borrowing and refinancing of loans among AU member-states is highly likely.

Whither Sudan?

The debt incurred by the Sudanese people compounded by the political discontent caused by the acquiescence to the so-called “Abraham Accords”, designed to undermine solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli regime, unless revoked, will only further hamper the capacity of Khartoum to unify under a civilian administration. Within a broader international context, Washington and Tel Aviv along with their allies among the Gulf monarchies, can only offer further indebtedness and war to the people of Sudan and Africa as a whole.

The AU in a statement from the Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat notes: “On the 6th of November, the African Union Peace and Security (PSC) Council suspended Sudan’s membership in the regional organization after the 25th October military coup in violation of the African Union brokered constitutional declaration of 17 August 2019 governing the transitional period. The PSC said that the suspension would continue until the reestablishment of a civilian-led authority. However, coup leaders continue to detain Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, his prominent advisers and cabinet members as well as political leaders.” (https://au.int/en/pressreleases/20211113/statement-chairperson-au-commission-situation-sudan)

Nevertheless, until the resources allocated by imperialism and its allies internationally are halted, the continued subversion of the revolutionary democratic process by the TMC will further stall the total transformation of the country. The mass organizations are calling for additional marches and work stoppages. The fragility of the new “Sovereign Council” will be clearly illustrated since it cannot make any serious case for its existence beyond stifling a progressive path forward.

The new regime is composed of the military along with some leaders of the armed opposition groups which had negotiated a peace agreement in Juba, Republic of South Sudan. These maneuvers have been met with derision and civil disorder. At some point, sooner or later, the tenuous alliance engineered by al-Burhan and his international patrons will burst asunder due to the burgeoning domestic and global opposition to, yet another, neo-colonial construct manufactured in Washington, New York and Tel Aviv. 

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sun. Nov. 14, 2021--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor

Listen to the Sun. Nov. 14, 2021 special edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

The podcast for the episode is available at this link: Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast 11/14 by Pan African Radio Network | Politics (blogtalkradio.com) 

The program features our PANW report with dispatches on the condemnation by the Ethiopian government of the United States sanctions imposed on the State of Eritrea; the African Union has called for the Sudanese military junta to negotiate a settlement to the continuing unrest in the country; a Nigerian general has been killed in an attack by insurgents operating in the north of the West African state; and the son of the slain former leader of Libya Col. Muammar Gaddafi has announced he is running in the national elections for president next month. 

In the second hour we examine the 1619 Project written by Nikole-Hannah Jones which is now being republished as a book. 

Finally, we review some of the important issues and developments in Africa and internationally.

Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sat. Nov. 13, 2021--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor

Listen to the Sat. Nov. 13, 2021 edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of this episode just click on the website below: Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast 11/13 by Pan African Radio Network | Politics (blogtalkradio.com) 

The program features our PANW report with dispatches on the role of the United States in the efforts to destabilize and overthrow the government in Ethiopia; Sudan mass organizations have rejected the offer by the military junta to establish another coalition administration after the coup on Oct. 25; in the U.S. state of Louisiana there are effort underway to grant a posthumously pardon of Homer Plessy who was arrested for defying segregation laws during the early 1890s which resulted in a draconian supreme court decision upholding the system of Jim Crow; and the 1619 Project which won a Pulitzer prize is now being published as a book. 

In the second hour we listen to two discussions exposing the aims of western imperialism to remove the current administration in Ethiopia led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. 

We also rebroadcast a speech delivered by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa analyzing the results of the recently-held local governmental elections. 

Finally, we examine issues impacting Africa and the world.

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Interviewed on Press TV News Review: Sudan Mass Demonstrations Continue After Generals Appoint Another Sovereign Council

Watch this worldwide satellite television segment of News Review featuring Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, discussing the developments in the Republic of Sudan where the military junta head has reappointed himself as leader of the country.

To view the interview, go to this link: Sudan army chief names new governing Sovereign Council, led by himself | Urmedium  

Abayomi Azikiwe noted the lack of support domestically and internationally for the coup which was carried out on Oct. 25. 

The interview aired live on Thurs. Nov. 11, 2021.

Abayomi Azikiwe Interview--US Was ‘Founded on Racism and National Oppression’: African American Writer

Thursday, 11 November 2021 5:13 PM

Press TV US was ‘founded on racism and national oppression’: African American writer (presstv.ir)

The United States was “founded on racism and national oppression,” according to African American writer and journalist Abayomi Azikiwe.

Azikiwe, an editor at the Pan-African News Wire, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Thursday while commenting on a new poll which has found that 43 percent of Republicans oppose American schools teaching about the "history of racism."

The Monmouth University poll released Wednesday found that 43 percent of Republicans said that they are against the teaching of historical racism in public schools. Five percent of Democrats said they are also against it.

Fifty-four percent of Republicans said they were in favor of teaching about the history of racism.

About 78 percent of Republicans disapproved the teaching of critical race theory, with only 16 percent said they were in favor of the practice. Seventy-five percent of Democrats said they approved of teaching critical race theory while 15 percent said they disapproved.

Critical race theory

Critical race theory (CRT) is a way of studying the legacy of racism and slavery in the United States and how these forces continue to impact Americans. The educational concept is based on the argument that race is a social construct and that the United States was built on racist structures that exist today.

CRT isn’t widely taught outside of American colleges and universities, but a debate is underway whether it should be integrated into earlier American education.

Some US lawmakers have opposed teaching CRT in high schools.  In addition, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma have created prohibitive legislation on what can be taught in schools.

The UN human rights chief calls for end to racism against Black people and and prosecution of law enforcement officials for unlawful killings.

“This undoubtedly has become one of the main wedge issues utilized by the Republican Party to rationalize outlawing the teaching of the actual history and social conditions in the United States. The US was founded on racism and national oppression. There is no way this can be denied,” Azikiwe commented to Press TV.

“However, in efforts to maintain the status quo, the racists must deny their own history. They must also refuse to acknowledge the continuing problems of residential segregation, economic exploitation, police brutality and the environmental degradation of Black and People of Color communities across the country,” he added.

“Several state legislative bodies and local school boards have passed laws and resolutions which essentially prohibit educational materials which document racism and national oppression,” he noted.

“African American authors are being banned from curriculums. Literary icons such as Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., Malcolm X, to only name a few who have contributed immensely to the cultural and social life of the US, are being treated as criminals,” the activist revealed.

A majority of Americans say they support teaching critical race theory (CRT) to high school students and about the implications of racism and slavery in the United States.

“People who are honest must struggle to defeat this racist movement to ban books and other course materials which expose racism and other forms of oppression,” he stated.

“With the US rapidly changing demographically, becoming a combined people of color majority, the racists must devise new schemes to maintain segregation and apartheid. These racist attacks on teaching the truth will not succeed no matter how many Republicans say they want to whitewash their own history,” he concluded.

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Interviewed over Sputnik Radio's By Any Means Necessary on the Crisis of Governance in West Africa

Listen to this segment at the link above of By Any Means Necessary radio program featuring Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, discussing the posture and policies of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) towards the military juntas which have seized power in Mali and Guinea.

To hear the podcast of the interview go to this link:  Sanctions Levied On West African Nations (spreaker.com)

Abayomi Azikiwe notes the close links between the coup makers and the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM). The broadcast aired on Wed. Nov. 10, 2021 over Sputnik Radio. 

The promotional language for the segment reads as follows: "In this segment of By Any Means Necessary, Sean and Jacquie are joined by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire to discuss the imposition of sanctions on Mali and Guinea by the Economic Community of West African States, the relationship of ECOWAS to the United States, the developing situation in Guinea, and the patterns taking place across the African continent."

Ethiopians Mobilize to Halt Western-backed Coup Attempt

November 8, 2021

Rebel groups fighting the central government are being encouraged to further fragment the Horn of Africa state

By Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor, Pan-African News Wire

Monday November 8, 2021

Commentary

Since November 4 of 2020, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has been under attack by former rulers of this East African state.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has openly defied the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who was recently elected by a wide margin to establish an inclusive administration representing the various regions and ethnic groups inside the country.

A TPLF-controlled Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) party took power in May 1991 at the aegis of the former President of the United States George H.W. Bush, Sr. The TPLF-EPRDF regime remained in charge of the country over a period of 27 years when they were ousted in a popular uprising during the early months of 2018.

Since the ascendancy of Abiy he has lifted a years-long state of emergency, released thousands of political prisoners, opened up avenues for broader participation of women in political life and negotiated a resolution to a border dispute with neighboring Eritrea. Abiy signed agreements with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki which ended hostilities between the two Horn of Africa states which went to war in 1998 and 2000. Prior to the independence of Eritrea in 1991, the political leadership of the country, a former Italian colony, waged a thirty-year war against Ethiopia.

As a result of these measures enacted during his first few months as leader of the vast country of 115 million people, Prime Minister Abiy was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway in 2019. Prior to receiving the Nobel Prize, he was awarded the Peace and Reconciliation Award for his efforts in resolving a 27-year split within the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church (EOTC), one of the oldest Christian denominations in the world. 

Yet despite these achievements, the TPLF and its allies refused to recognize the new emerging political dispensation. During 2020, the central government proposed a postponement of the regional and national elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The TPLF, which still controls the northern Tigray province, rejected the government’s delay and held their own separate elections. Later reports emanating from the government of Prime Minister Abiy stated that the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) stationed in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray, were attacked by the TPLF-aligned military units.

After the attacks on November 4, 2020, the Ethiopian federal military forces moved into Tigray and took control of the provincial administration. The government declared the deployment a “police operation” to bring the province under federal authority. 

Nonetheless, the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF), the TPLF military wing, regrouped and continued to launch attacks on the ENDF in the province. In July of 2021, Abiy announced a unilateral ceasefire with the TPLF and withdrew federal forces from Mekelle and other areas. However, the Tigray military units continued to advance outside of the area launching attacks in neighboring Amhara and Afar provinces.

In recent weeks reports indicate that the TPLF has taken control of two towns in the north central region of the country, Dessie and Kombolcha, located in the Amhara province. The seizure of these two towns prompted a response from the prime minister who reimposed a state of emergency in Ethiopia and called for a countywide mobilization of all citizens against the attempted takeover of the government in Addis Ababa.

An editorial published in the state-owned Ethiopian Herald on November 6 said: “[R]esidents across Ethiopia have been expressing their readiness to defend the sovereignty and unity of Ethiopia against the satanic divisive prophecies of the terrorist groups Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and OLF-Shane with their western coalitions. Yesterday, tens of thousands of Ethiopians from different regional states including Oromia, Gambela and Dire Dawa rallied in support of the unity and territorial integrity of their beloved Ethiopia, and denounced the war waged against the state in a concerted manner by both internal and external elements. What has been chanted loud among the people is that: ‘We, Ethiopians, at home and in every corner of the world reaffirm commitment to repeat the victory secured as a result of the fallen fathers at the Adwa Battle (1896).’ They said it loud and clear: ‘We have never, and we will never, compromise on our sovereignty and unity. Rather, we defend them by defeating the conspiracies of terrorist TPLF and its local and external allies.’” (https://www.press.et/english/?p=44751)

Western Imperialists Led by the United States Behind the Current Conflict

Another major factor underlying the recent attacks on Ethiopia is the plan by the government to make operational the Grand Renaissance Dam Project (GERD). Neighboring Egypt, a close ally of Washington and the second largest recipient of U.S. aid after the State of Israel, has vehemently opposed the filling of the dam saying it would threaten its dominance over the water flow from the Blue Nile. 

Former U.S. President Donald Trump during 2020 attempted to impose an agreement on Ethiopia which was contrary to its national interests. Trump suggested that the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi would have no alternative than to blow up the project. Such provocative language set the stage for the armed insurrection against the central government in Addis Ababa. 

President Joe Biden, the successor to Trump, has maintained the same interventionist and imperialist foreign policy towards Ethiopia. Several months ago, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, issued threats against the Ethiopian government accusing the Abiy administration of preventing humanitarian aid from reaching Tigray.

These threats signaled to pro-U.S. elements in the U.N. to echo such accusations prompting the Ethiopian government to expel several officials of the international body. These expulsions led to further condemnations of the Abiy administration within the U.S. and western media outlets.

In early November, the Biden administration suspended Ethiopia from eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a program adopted in 2000 under the presidency of Bill Clinton which provides incentives for corporations to establish light industrial production facilities in various continental states. Biden placed the Ethiopian government in the same category as Mali and Guinea, where the U.S.-trained military officers have staged coups against elected governments in 2020-2021. 

The political situation in Ethiopia must be viewed separately from the developments in Mali and Guinea. In Ethiopia, the recently elected administration of Prime Minister Abiy and the Prosperity Party, are struggling to maintain civilian rule and national unity. In Mali and Guinea, a clique of military officers trained in Pentagon war colleges overthrew the governments in defiance of the 15-member regional organization the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the 55-member states African Union (AU). Guinea and Mali are operational centers for the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) which has thousands of Pentagon troops stationed on the continent.

In another public relations maneuver, nine opposition groupings including the TPLF and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), signed a pact in Washington, D.C. on November 5 pledging to overthrow the existing government in Ethiopia. Such an action would not have been allowed if these organizations were not working in the interests of U.S. imperialism. 

Spokespersons for the Ethiopian government immediately denounced the opposition groups’ announcement in Washington, D.C., saying that the majority of the organizations involved in the press conference have no real presence on the ground inside the country. Although the Biden administration has recently called for a cessation of hostilities, its actions in providing diplomatic and other forms of support to the rebels reveals that they are working on behalf of the State Department.

According to a report in Africa News: “Ethiopia’s government on Friday (Nov. 5) called the alliance ‘a publicity stunt,’ asserting that some of the groups involved ‘are not really organizations that have any traction.’ It also asserted that life in the capital had a ‘sense of normalcy’ and rejected any notion of a siege. The prime minister’s spokeswoman, Billene Seyoum, addressed the alliance when she tweeted that ‘any outliers that rejected the democratic processes Ethiopia embarked upon cannot be for democratization,’ pointing out Abiy’s opening-up of political space after taking office in 2018. His reforms included welcoming some opposition groups home from exile.”

(https://www.africanews.com/2021/11/05/ethiopia-9-rebel-groups-join-forces-against-the-government// )

These events related to Ethiopia illustrate clearly the role of imperialism in fostering division and balkanization in Africa. The continent needs greater unity among its governments and people in order to realize genuine development and sovereignty. The Biden administration’s posture towards Addis Ababa follows the same pattern as its destabilization efforts against Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran, China, the Russian Federation, Syria, Zimbabwe and many other states within various geo-political regions internationally.

Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sun. Nov. 7, 2021--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor

Listen to the Sun. Nov. 7, 2021 special edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of this episode click on this link: Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast 11/07 by Pan African Radio Network | Politics (blogtalkradio.com) 

The program features our regular PANW report with dispatches on the mass demonstrations held in the capital of Ethiopia in support of the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed; the Sudan Professional Association (SPA) has rejected the offer by the military coup makers to establish another coalition government; opposition parties in Mali are demanding that the military leaders stay on course for the transition to civilian control; and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are continuing to pressure the military junta to withdraw from their positions of power in the government. 

In the second hour we listen to detailed reports on events in Ethiopia. 

Also, there is a briefing from the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Finally, we further examine issues impacting Africa and the international community.

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Appeared on Press TV Spotlight: Racism and the Legal System in the United States

Watch this worldwide satellite television news segment Spotlight featuring Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To look at this report just go to the following link: Press TV's Spotlight - Racism in US | Urmedium 

The discussion centered around the pervasive racism within the legal system in the United States. 

Promotional language for the program says: "In this edition, Spotlight interviews Graylan Hagler, senior pastor and social activist from Washington DC and Abayomi Azikiwe writer, journalist from Detroit to look at racial discrimination in the US following the selection of a 12-person panel consisting of 11 white jurors and one Black man for the trial of three white men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. In recent years, cases of police brutality and racial injustice continue to mount unabated across US."

Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sat. Nov. 6, 2021--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor

Listen to the Sat. Nov. 6, 2021 edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of this program, go to the following link: Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast 11/06 by Pan African Radio Network | Politics (blogtalkradio.com) 

The episode features a PANW report with dispatches on the current threat to national sovereignty in Ethiopia amid the escalating conflict initiated by western-backed rebel groupings; Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has attended the COP26 climate conference held in Glasgow, Scotland; reports says that 98 people have been killed in an oil tanker exploision in the West African state of Sierra Leone; and the Sudanese mass organizations have rejected a settlement offered by the military leaders that seized power on Oct. 25. 

In the second hour we look at the contributions of Ghana musician Nana Kwame Ampadu who recently joined the ancestors. 

In addition, we examine in detail the conflict in the Horn of Africa state of Ethiopia. 

Finally, we look into other issues impacting Africa and international community.

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Interviewed on Press TV: Ethiopia Under Attack by United States Imperialism

Watch this worldwide satellite television news segment featuring Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, on the escalating conflict in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia located in the Horn of Africa. 

To watch the news segment just go to this link:  UNSC calls for ceasefire, national dialog in Ethiopia | Urmedium

Abayomi Azikiwe emphasizes the role of the United States in supporting the rebel TPLF grouping which has been challenging the authority of an elected government in Addis Ababa. 

The African Union (AU) Secretariat is based in Addis Ababa and therefore this attack is a threat to the entire continent. 

The interview aired live on Nov. 5, 2021.

South African Local Government Elections Held amid Numerous Crises

By Abayomi Azikiwe 

Nov 5, 2021

Ruling African National Congress wins 46% of the votes while the opposition Democratic Alliance loses control of several municipalities in their Western Cape stronghold

With a COVID-19 pandemic causing enormous public health issues in the Republic of South Africa, local governmental elections were held on November 1 where millions of registered voters participated.

The results indicate that the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the party which led the struggle for national liberation from the apartheid colonial system, has witnessed another erosion of electoral support.

The ANC garnered less than 50% of the votes yet far outperformed the leading opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, by gaining more than twice as many votes. The ANC secured 46.03% while the DA won 21.84%.

In actual numbers, the ANC votes totaled 10.6 million while the DA scored approximately 5.1 million. The third ranking party behind the ANC and DA was the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which earned around 2.4 million votes, this represented 10.41% of the ballots cast.

Although the ANC scored seven percentage points lower than they did in the last local governmental election in 2016 (53%), the DA’s proportion of the electorate also shrunk by six percent. The EFF increased its margin by two percent from 2016. Nonetheless, the EFF remains far behind the ANC as well as the DA.

Other smaller parties such as the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the new group called ActionSA, won much smaller numbers of votes. The remaining twenty-three percent of the votes were largely scattered among numerous smaller parties and some independents.

The ANC has been reeling from internal divisions between factions for and opposed to former President Jacob Zuma, who is now undergoing criminal proceedings related to charges for corruption and refusal to testify before a commission headed by the chief justice of the Constitutional Court. Zuma has been released from prison on medical parole.

These divisions have permeated various local and national structures of the ruling party. The ANC headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg has been the scene of pickets due to the inability of the party to pay salaries to its employees. Recent reports indicate that some of these problems are being corrected.

The DA is still viewed by most Africans as a party of the white middle and upper classes. They have failed to secure a significant proportion of the African electorate. Even in relation to its leaders, at least two Africans selected by the DA to ostensibly serve as president of the organization over the last decade have either been dismissed or resigned in disgust citing the pervasive racism within its ranks.

During the campaign leading up to the November 1 location election, the DA circulated racist posters in the Phoenix area of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province, one of the worst centers of violence during the earlier July riots. The posters appeared to support vigilante actions by the predominantly Asian population in the municipality which resulted in the deaths of several Africans during the unrest.

The EFF headed by Julius Malema, who was expelled as the leader of the ANC Youth League several years earlier, has advocated what appears to be a radical alternative to the ruling party program. They have called for the immediate nationalization of agricultural land and mines inside the country. Yet their message has not gained more than ten percent in the recent local votes. The EFF politicians did win seats on various municipal governing structures. However, the EFF party did not secure even one council as the dominant political force.

Figures released on November 4 by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) revealed that the ANC won 167 municipal councils in comparison to 24 for the DA. In the Gauteng province, the ANC did not regain control of the mayoral seats in Johannesburg and Pretoria necessitating negotiations with other parties to determine the outcome. Within this province, the most urbanized in the country of nearly 60 million, the ANC won 36% of the total votes, a reduction of nine percent since the previous local elections five years before.

The ANC performed its best in the lesser urbanized areas of the country. They won majorities in six out of nine provinces: Eastern Cape (62.99), Free State (50.61), Northern Cape (50.55), Limpopo (68.27) and Northwest (55.4). In the three other provinces of KZN, Western Cape and Gauteng, the votes were heavily split among the opposition parties. The DA in its Western Cape base won a majority of council votes with 54.2%.

Impact of the Pandemic and the Economic Slump

South Africa has been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic on the continent with the largest number of infections and deaths. The government of ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has rolled out an ambitious vaccination program securing doses from numerous sources including Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer-BioTech. The use of Oxford AstraZeneca was suspended in February 2021 over concerns about its lack of effectiveness in preventing transmission of the beta variant.

There is also an agreement to locally manufacture coronavirus vaccines which would be distributed throughout Africa. A recent announcement was made stating that a joint partnership between Pfizer-BioTech and the Biovac Institute in Cape Town was formed to produce vaccines beginning in early 2022. The goal is to produce 100 million vaccines annually.

The subsequent economic and social crises precipitated by the pandemic has resulted in higher rates of unemployment. An unprecedented rate of 34% of joblessness was recorded in the second quarter of 2021. These rates disproportionately impact the African population and youth. This is largely due to the continuing gaps in educational and skills sets between the European and African population groups.

With the arrest of former President Zuma in early July, riots erupted in the KZN port city of Durban and spread to areas of Gauteng around Johannesburg. Although the unrest was sparked by supporters of Zuma, the attacks in KZN and Gauteng were focused on small and medium-sized retail outlets such as malls and liquor stores. There were no reports of property damage at factories and mines. Many people took advantage of the situation to obtain food and other consumer goods. The police and military exercised restraint in repressing the property damage and looting. Nonetheless, over 300 people were killed during the disturbances.

The fact that the riots were confined to certain urban sections of two provinces suggests that the unrest was not necessarily the result of political grievances. Seven other provinces which make up the country remained calm during this period.

High rates of poverty and unemployment appeared to be the motivating reasons behind the overwhelming majority of those who joined the looting and arson attacks on retail businesses. Police were able to recover substantial amounts of the goods taken as the family members and neighbors of those who participated in the riots called the law-enforcement authorities to return the loot. As a result of the attacks on small and medium-sized businesses many more jobs were wiped out. Overall, the riots resulted in $US3.4 billion in lost output and placed another 150,000 jobs at risk. Approximately 200 malls were impacted with some 3,000 shops looted. In addition, 200 banks and post offices were also vandalized in the disturbances.

In the lead up to the local elections there were two significant labor actions worthy of mention within this context. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) held a strike against the steel industry beginning on October 5. NUMSA, which was expelled from the ANC-allied Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) several years ago, demanded an 8% pay increase within the metals and engineering sectors. The strike lasted three weeks and was ended when the union accepted a 6% pay increase over three years.

NUMSA claims to be to the left of the COSATU-ANC-SACP alliance and has formed another trade union federation called the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU). SAFTU attempted to form a party in 2019. However, the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP) gained less than 40,000 votes in the 2019 national elections, not even winning one percent of the electorate. SRWP did not appear to have contested the local elections held on November 1.

COSATU did call a one-day strike on October 7 to protest the high levels of unemployment and other economic issues. The trade union federation marched to the administrative center of government in Pretoria and presented a list of demands to the Ministry of Labor.

The NUMSA strike apparently did not resonate among other sectors of the working class since there has not been a wave of industrial actions in South Africa in recent months. It will be quite interesting to follow the role of labor in the aftermath of the recent elections.

Implications for the Next Three Years

There will not be a national election in South Africa until 2024. The results of the November 1 poll indicate that the political landscape will become more fragmented with the ANC still occupying a dominant role albeit with reduced electoral support.

Objectively there has not been the emergence of a viable organized political alternative to the ANC from the right or left. The party has ruled the country since the 1994 democratic breakthrough resulting in the ascendancy of the first ANC President Nelson Mandela. In every election since 1994, the ANC has won a substantial majority of the votes.

The loss of seven percentage points in its majority during the local elections will undoubtedly prompt deep reflection and calls for rectification. Jessie Duarte, the Deputy Secretary General of the ANC said that the party must “shape up” in response to the results of the elections.

Duarte also said that the party was prepared to negotiate agreements with other forces in municipal councils where there were no clear majorities. This phenomenon of “hung councils”, some 70 in this poll, were present as well after the 2016 local elections. The Deputy Secretary General attributed the low turnout in the November 1 election to the pandemic along with the current energy crisis where power outages (load shedding) have become a serious problem with the state-owned energy firm, ESKOM, being in dire need of reconstruction. Alternative energy sources other than coal are being examined in South Africa.