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Archive for April 9th, 2013

The State of Equality and Justice in America: ‘No One Can Change the Change’

Posted by Newsroom On April - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.

The 13th op-ed of the series “The State of Equality and Justice in America”
The state of equality and justice in America is shameful-especially since the election of President Barack Obama. Unlike many of my friends who think America is going to hell in a hand basket, and have given up thinking things will get better for those who’ve been marginalized for so long, I still have hope for a better day.

When Barack Obama was running for President of the United States, a close friend told me, “Mark my word. When Senator Obama is elected, some people will go absolutely crazy, and after he’s re-elected, they will go mad!” His rationale was that the average White person had never had the opportunity to wake up every morning and see a brilliant Black man on television who was the most powerful man in the world! Unless they were wed to FOX News and the O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck,Von Sustern programs, they would learn so much about us- so many good things they had refused to acknowledge before.

So many of our people are brilliant in what they do, but never had a fair chance to be seen in a positive light in their daily newspapers or on mainstream television or heard on major radio stations. Now, here we are after the Obama victories. He’s there every single day! The madness really swung into high gear with the Tea Party, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, Senator Ted Cruz and a whole lot of others. Some I didn’t mention because they were already on the list of what most of us have come to know as the “crazies”, such as Rush Limbaugh and his horrible ilk.
Black women like our First Lady, Michelle Obama, had not often been seen on the evening news, except when they were there crying over a son or daughter who’d been shot or accused of being involved in some kind of wrongdoing. Now, here she was-beautiful, smart, Mom in Chief, presiding over social events for world leaders and their first ladies. She was dealing with real American challenges-such as military families and childhood obesity. She was out making speeches and inspiring women of all backgrounds.

With people who could not stand all these positive scenes and unbelievable accomplishments, insanity set in, and instead of grinning and bearing the strides America was making, they began trying to set us back to what they called “the good ole days”. Some make every effort to send Black people to the back of the bus, send immigrants of color back to from wherever they had come, send gay people back into the closet, and force women to go back to the kitchen! They began talking about taking back their country as though they didn’t take it from the Native Americans and as though immigrants and enslaved people had done nothing to build this country.

Many in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate tried to block every thing President Obama supported-even if they had supported the same things in the past. They were tone deaf to the phrase “Where there is no justice, there will be no peace!” With a President who truly tried to make all levels of government look like America by appointing women, Hispanics, Asians, gays and lesbians, Democrats and Republicans and being totally inclusive of all of us, those who’d gone mad did not understand that you cannot put a genie back in the box.

We may be going through a rough period as far as progress on equality and justice, but I still believe there are enough good people who will work through their prejudices and biases with which they were reared as they understand that those of us who’ve previously been left out, won’t turn back. I still have hope. No one can change the change for which we’ve worked so hard.
Dr. E. Faye Williams is national chair of the National Congress of Black Women. This article – the 13th of a 20-part series – is written in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity – work that continues to be vital today. For more information, please visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

Editor’s Note: “The State of Equality and Justice in America” is a 20-part series of columns written by an all-star list of contributors to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The contributors include: U. S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) LCCRUL 50th Anniversary Grand Marshal; Ms. Barbara Arnwine, President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL); Mr. Charles Ogletree, Professor, Harvard University Law School/Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice; the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., President/CEO, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; the Rev. Joseph Lowery, Co-founder, Southern Christian Leadership Conference; U. S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.); and 14 additional thought leaders and national advocates for equal justice.

1 year after mental health clinic closures protesters tell Mayor Emanuel “It’s time to heal Chicago”

Posted by Newsroom On April - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Mental Health Movement asks Mayor to replace retiring therapists, re-open closed clinics, work on plan to heal Chicago


 While violence in Chicago is at record highs, mental health services to deal with the trauma – especially for the uninsured – are at record lows. One year ago Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 6 of Chicago’s 12 public mental health clinics, now his administration is refusing to replace 3 retiring therapists, leading many to wonder if he is sabotaging the remaining 6 clinics to later justify their closure.

On the one year anniversary of the first clinic closures, people who went to the closed clinics and other mental health advocates will hold a rally outside of Mayor Emanuel’s office to demand he: • Replace retiring therapists • Re-open the 6 closed mental health clinics • Meet with the Mental Health Movement to discuss a plan to Heal Chicago.

Patients, advocates, and supporters of Chicago’s mental health clinics will hold a rally and press conference, on the anniversary of mental health clinic closures, today, April 9th at 11 a.m., in front of the Mayor’s Office, 5th floor of City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Ave. Patients, advocates, supporters of Chicago’s mental health clinics.

Speakers at the protest will include a woman who was recently hospitalized because since her clinic closed she has been unable to get the same level of mental health services, a woman who directs an organization of the formerly incarcerated who will point to the absurdity of Cook County Jail being the biggest mental health provider in the country, and other people affected by the clinic closures.

“People need to know that they’re not alone, people in our communities need a safe place where they can go to deal with their problems and get assistance not just physically but mentally. We should be expanding mental health clinics, not shutting them down,” says Wendell Smith, a Mental Health Movement member who will be speaking on Tuesday.

On April 9th, 2012, the Northwest Mental Health Clinic in Logan Square and the Northtown/Rogers Park Mental Health Clinic closed. On April 30th, the Auburn/Gresham, Woodlawn, Beverly/Morgan Park and Back of the Yards Mental Health Clinics closed. In addition to the 6 clinic closures, 40% of the staff was laid off. The City of Chicago clinics are the only place besides Cook County Jail where the uninsured can receive affordable mental health care. In addition to the city clinic closures, at least two non-profit clinics – the Counseling Center of Lakeview and the Community Mental Health Council – have also closed during the past year. The south side of the city, in particular, is a desert for mental health care.

Seven Illinois Municipalities band together to file suit to recover unpaid taxes from Online Travel Companies

Posted by Newsroom On April - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Clifford Law Offices, with a consortium of law firms, filed a lawsuit Friday (April 5, 2013) in federal district court on behalf of seven Illinois local governments to collect unpaid hotel taxes from a number of online travel agencies.

Among the towns suing the online companies are the cities of Warrenville, Oakbrook Terrace and Rockford and the villages of Bedford Park, Oak Lawn, Orland Hills and Willowbrook.  Together they have filed a class action in the district court for the Northern District of Illinois to address ongoing tax evasion by more than a dozen out-of-state companies including Expedia, Travelocity and Priceline that market and sell hotel rooms in Illinois but who fail to pay or remit taxes on the amount customers pay to stay in those rooms.

These companies have been named as defendants in a number of lawsuits across the United States for similar practices.  Some of these cases have resulted in the companies being ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes and penalties for their conduct.

Courts have recognized the inequity of the online companies competing with local Illinois hotels but the online companies fail to pay taxes on the full rates charged, thereby maintaining a competitive advantage.  “The lawsuit filed in Illinois seeks to even the playing field,” said Thomas K. Prindable of Clifford Law Offices.  “There needs to be greater transparency in exactly what these companies are charging its online customers.”

Clifford Law Offices, along with Paul A. O’Grady of Peterson, Johnson & Murray in Chicago, John W. Crongeyer of Crongeyer Law Firm in Atlanta, and William Q. Bird and Kristen L. Beightol of Bird Law Group in Atlanta are representing the plaintiff municipalities.

A press conference was held yesterday at Clifford Law Offices, 120 N. LaSalle St., 31st Floor, Chicago.  The press conference was streamed live on the internet at the firm’s website at www.CliffordLaw.com.

For further information, contact Michael Krzak, partner at Clifford Law Offices, 312-899-9090.



New Book: “Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy”

Posted by Newsroom On April - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
Award-winning historian Gary May examines how African Americans finally overcame longstanding obstacles to secure their most fundamental right as citizens – an achievement codified in the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — With the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, African Americans obtained the right to vote, a right that was to “not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 nearly a full century later, however, most eligible black voters were kept from the polls through literacy tests, poll taxes, and property requirements imposed upon them by white segregationists across the South. 
In BENDING TOWARD JUSTICE: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy (Basic Books; April 9, 2013), award-winning historian Gary May describes how African Americans finally overcame these longstanding obstacles to secure their most fundamental right as citizens – an achievement codified in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. “Marked by heroism and sacrifice, oppression and triumph,” May writes, “the origins of the Voting Rights Act reveal both its necessity and its promise.”
With Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act currently being challenged in the Supreme Court, it is clear that the fight for voting rights is by no means over. BENDING TOWARD JUSTICE, the only book to fully examine the Voting Rights Act, offers a gripping, in-depth account of a critical turning point in American history as well as a necessary reminder of how courage and sacrifice are necessary to preserve our most precious freedoms.
About The Author
Gary May is a Professor of History at the University of Delaware. He is the winner of the Allan Nevins Prize of the Society of American Historians and author of four books, including The Informant: The FBI, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Murder of Viola Liuzzo. May lives in Newark, Delaware.
About The Book
Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy
By Gary May
Published by Basic Books
Publication date: April 9, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-465-01846-8
$28.99 (US) / $32.00 (CAN) • Hardcover • 336 pages
E-Book ISBN: 978-0-465-05073-4
Photo Caption: Bookcover

New Black Panthers make ground with Pan-Africanist Movements of Azania (South Africa)

Posted by Newsroom On April - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Pledge to liberate Africans by Any Means Necessary

By Chawn Saddam Kweli

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — “A long overdue family reunion”, is the way Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz, National Chairman and organizer of the New Black Panther Party( NBPP) describes the historic meetings of his organization, based in the United States, with 30 national chapters and several international bases, and the revolutionary Pan- Afrikanist Congress of Azania( PAC), whose President is Letlapa Mphahlele, with a steady seat in Parliament of Azania, known by the criminal settler name of South Africa in the Western hemisphere and many parts of the world. The PAC has a lengthy history of struggle at various stages of its existence, going all the way back to the great leadership of the Honorable Robert M. Sobukwe. The connection marks the first time that two revolutionary groups joined forces, to begin what is now known as the “Revolutionary Roots Tour.” The main objective of the tour is to connect the African of the Continent with the lost and disjointed African or Black Family of the Diaspora. The circumstances surrounding this historic movement, is a tragic event in time, called the Sharpeville Massacre. 

The Massacre at Sharpeville occurred in the black township of Sharpeville in South Africa. This is place where the police fired on a crowd of blacks, killing over 69 of them and wounding some 250 of them. It was one of the first and most violent demonstrations against apartheid in South Africa. Apartheid by definition is a “system of racial discrimination and segregation.” Formalized in 1948, this system produced, the base, for political and economic rule by the white settler population, and severely restricted the political rights of the Black African, who are the majority of the population in Azania (South Africa). The African National Congress (ANC) due to ideological shifts has become the primary opposition to the PAC but not sole opposition to the party. The ANC’s role in “selling out the people” , and “failing to deliver to the masses of Black people ” has left a sour taste in many of the revolutionary PAC cadre.

During the 1960’s through 1990, the African National Congress (ANC) and other mainly black opposition political organizations were banned. The National Party headed by F.W. DeKlerk the seventh and last State President of the former apartheid-era- South Africa cracked down on all black opposition to apartheid. Leaders of ANC and PAC and other opposing forces were imprisoned, exiled, or killed.

The Pan-Afrikanist Congress (PAC) came to birth in 1959, and from its inception the organization, focused on the treatment of Black people in Africa. A countrywide demonstration was called by the PAC on March 21, 1960, for the abolition of pass laws in Azania. The demonstration participants were instructed to surrender their passes and invite arrest as the form of protest. 20,000 black protesters gathered near a police station in Sharpeville. In response to the protest approximately 69 blacks were killed and more than 180 wounded,( some studies suggest more) some 50 women and children being among those hurt or killed. A state of emergency was declared in South Africa and more than 11,000 people were detained. PAC became a serious threat to the Apartheid regime, and colonial forces of South Africa. The PAC became outlawed and was fought against at every turn. PAC’s organization and the incident helped focus international attention to the South African apartheid policy. Subsequently, President Nelson Mandela chose Sharpeville as the site at which, on December 10, 1996, he signed into law the country’s new constitution. The PAC rejects any notion that there are strident gains since the release of President Mandela, from prison in the highest seat of the land- The Office of Presidency. The PAC teaches its mission is to,” liberate the minds and hearts of African people from white domination, and the remnants of the Apartheid forces. Commander Chris Sankara, a PAC loyalist and Azanian Peoples Liberation commander, said (Azania) remains impoverished, uneducated, and unequal in many areas, while at the same time the rich are continuing to get richer… he adds, “these new age oppressive taskmasters continue to brutalize and murder our people”The complexion of the oppressor has only switched from all white faces, to highly placed black faces.”

Commander Sankara played a pivotal role in uniting the two Pan- Afrikanist organizations, the NBPP and PAC. He says he stayed in communication with Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz for “well over a year”, communicating going back and forth to get the every detail right. Commander Sankara fought against invading forces in the early 90’s, via armed struggle and pushed back the criminal settler racist. The Whiteman’s Colonial forces caved due to extreme losses and unbeknownst to Commander Sankara and the APLA soldiers, who were in exile in Tanzania, the leadership of the PAC and the colonial forces of the Whiteman came to the table and told PAC members, that both sides called for a ceasefire, which was a total lie and aberration of the truth. The APLA forces were still in combat and unaware of the apparent “Peace Treaty” until much later, after they arrived home from exile. The Leadership of the PAC announced that it would “suspended its armed struggle”, and that it would take part in (Azania’s) South Africa’s first universal suffrage election on April 27, 1994. The South African General Election of 1994 was an election held to ” begin the end of apartheid”, and was the first to include, what was known as Universal Adult Suffrage, PAC supporters say, ” the election was a trick to wrest away power from the masses of African people” . Conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the Peace treaty also called for, the Azanian People’s Liberation Army ( APLA), In the 1960s, APLA commander Potlako Leballo modeled the APLA on the basis of other indigenous liberation armies, Templeton Ntantala was his deputy. The APLA, then known as Poqo, in 1976, APLA received 500 recruits and carried out missions to defend the people of Azania. The APLA forces adapted the battle cry of “one settler, one bullet” and in the early 90’s became known for its willingness to fight the colonial forces at all cost. The mainstream progress of negotiations at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa, became a military tactic that by 1994, gained PAC a seat in Parliament but forced APLA to be absorbed into the new South African National Defense Force (SANDF).

Those loyal to the principles of Robert M. Sobukwe refused to accept the agreement and do not view it as valid, whether in the SANDF or not. APLA forces, joined an estimated 10,000-member, multi-party national peacekeeping force within the government, in essence co-opting the struggle of liberation to a position of weakness rather than the position due to the ultimate choice of former PAC Party President Clarence Makwetu. President Makwetu said he made this change because his organizations, “commitment to peace and free and fair elections.” A re-newed vision” and “directional change” were what’s needed to Commander Sankara as he has seen the effects of the Post- Apartheid era first hand. This became the backbone to the entire tour and the motivation of the trip, which spanned a total of 8 townships and provinces of Johannesburg, South Africa all the way to Zimbabwe to meet with leading officials, from the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (Zanu- PF party) led by the Pan- Afrikanist firebrand, President Robert Mugabe.

The 8 person delegation from the United States(U.S.) consisted of high ranking New Black Panther Party Officials, All- African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC) represented by Bob Brown, organizer with the Student Non violent Coordinating Committee(SNCC) and Kwame Ture’ (formerly Stokely Carmichael), Pastor Ted Sutton, a Baltimore, Maryland based youth pastor, founder of, ” The Ministers of Defense” a mentorship program that teaches about self respect, decency, and curbing Black violence among so-called gangs and finally a beautiful, bold, Black woman, from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s, Nation of Islam under the direction of Minister Louis Farrakhan in Phoenix, Arizona, named Sister Khameelah Shabazz who has studied with the Muslims Girls Training Classes(MGT) since 1975. The schedule was jam packed, and O.R. TAMBO or Oliver Tambo Airport, named after a former President of the ANC was the first port of entry into this monumental occasion. From the moment the New Black Panthers and delegation stepped off the plane (piloted and stewarded by Black Africans) into the airport they were greeted and received, with the cheers and applause and embraces of love from our brothers and sisters of the PAC. Family who has waited 400 long years to greet each other now had the chance. The mood was electric as banners of PAC streamed the airport and voices yelling “Welcome Home.” Nothing but love, and the 9 member delegation took time to breathe all this in, but there was no time to waste.

The first stop was PAC headquarters to meet with key leadership and time was ticking. The Delegation rushed off into a caravan of cars and trained members of the APLA forces took the lead in ensuring the safety of the NBPP delegation, and its membership, meanwhile, the NBPP was equally watchful of its leadership and delegation as the threats against this united front were flying from all around. Members of opposing White parties threatened to do harm, it was clear the criminal settler racist, were vehemently, concerned with the apparent overthrow of the old slave Apartheid ways. As the NBPP delegation and PAC commanders pulled into headquarters, the African’s were everywhere, stunned at the arrival of their long lost brothers and sister, who are now dressed in Black Battle fatigues, berets, and patches that read, “Freedom or Death.” Panthers said “hey brother, we missed you” as they got out and walked into the marble tower offices of the PAC headquarters. The office was packed from wall to wall with membership of the PAC, both high ranking and rank and file, all excited to see their African Revolutionary family, whose ancestors left as slaves but have now returned, as warriors for African people.

Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz received standing ovation as he championed the cause of Pan- Africanism and talked about the importance of the serious days ahead. He reminded the audience sternly, “The same rabid dogs that bite you, bite us too, we are one!” It was this attitude that set the tone or the entire tour. The commemoration of Sharpeville (March 21st) is considered a National Holiday in Azania, and it is one that has continued for several years, however the commemoration has not happened without a fight. Segments of the ANC have taken the militant and tragic tone away from the event and now instead of the focus being the massacre at Sharpeville, it has now been reduced to something President Mandela calls “Human Rights Day says PAC organizer Lehlohonolo Shale – Branch Chairman of Pimville/ Klipspruit” Comrade Shale calls this a “tragic departure from the original concept of the commemoration.” PAC leadership under the voice of Commander Chris Sankara laugh at this attempt to re-write this tragedy of Azania, and continue to hold their own commemoration independent or the ANC and even some of their own PAC reformist leadership.

Chris Sankara and others like him are hard-line fundamental Pan- Afrikanist revolutionaries; they refuse to allow the mainstream politics of this new ANC leadership or watered down figures within the highest ranks of the PAC to dilute what was started by the venerable founder Robert Sobukwe. They hold their own commemoration every year, and make sure that there is massive support from the staunch PAC members and the downtrodden Blackman and woman in Azania, who want freedom coupled with their land. Thousands pour into the streets shouting “Izwe- Lethu” meaning “the land is ours.”

Attorney Malik Shabazz and delegation walked to the very spots where members of the Sharpeville Massacre were slain. Attorney Shabazz was shocked, as the ages of the murdered became younger and younger. He hugged, embraced, shook hands, and kissed the hands of the mothers, who lost sons, uncles, fathers, brothers, husbands, companions and the like. The delegation could not believe its eyes, as they read the names of those who lost their lives, just for standing up to a brutal color struck regime and those who knew that the pass laws were/ are unjust. At the same time the ANC hosted its own Human rights day, and as they took the stage PAC and the NBPP took to a high stage, with a waterfall behind them to address a massive crowd, which had formed. Attorney Shabazz who stands around 6′ 7′ inches tall was at an advantage as he was able to be seen from far away, with no microphone, no megaphone, he yelled ” Izwe- Lethu” and the massive crowd of thousands yelled in return ” I- Africa” meaning “Africa is our Land.” With their attention the National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party, and founder of the U.S. based Black Lawyers for Justice went to work and began to talk about the foundational aims of PAC, the position of the NBPP, and a United States of Africa. As he spoke more people came in from the streets, singing revolutionary Azanian songs, and instead of stopping them, Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz encouraged them to sing louder and in his words, “come on with that!” The Atty. Shabazz said, “You give me life with that.”, “Even though I don’t know all the words, because the Whiteman stole our language, your soul and your spirit gives me life.” Atty. Shabazz told the audience this was, “his first time in Africa, but not his last.”

The crowd erupted with applause and cheers of “Black Power.” As the Delegation made its way through the thousands of spirited Africans, they made their way to the streets, only to be greeted by more members of PAC and community. The Delegation ran in the streets with fist pumping and hearts beating as they made their way to the awaiting PAC Rally “under the tent.” This was to bring all the PAC loyalist and top brass together and that’s exactly what it did. The tent featured top members of the PAC and veteran freedom fighters of the Azanian stuggle with a banner of PAC in hand; we marched to the Sharpeville cemetery, where the fallen warriors were laid to rest. Delegates we’re told to pick up pebbles and place them on the gravesites of those who lost their lives at the hands of the Apartheid regimes. Attorney Malik Shabazz and delegation walked past each of the graves, over 69 in all, and laid pebbles on the headstones. The youngest to be killed was just 13 years old. From there we walked the streets of Sharpeville singing revolutionary songs, only to be greeted by an impromptu African dance/ drum session, by a the PAC youth group, Classic Youth dance Corps. They preformed their hearts out dancing in traditional African attire. They were happy to see the NBPP and delegation, and agreed that wherever Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz and his delegation go in Africa, they want to go also. All who participated where overtaken, by the magnitude of all that gathering. The next day the delegation made its way to Kliptown, a small Ghetto of Azania where some of the roughest parts and examples of the post Apartheid era politics remain. Poverty and need of Blacks run high in this area, as Attorney Shabazz and delegation walked this neighborhood they saw tin houses, impure water, health conditions and looks of despair.

Residents told the delegation that “Politicians only come to see about us for election times.” In essence they squeeze the votes out of the people with false promises of improvement only to deceive after the election process is over. The NBPP and delegation stopped by homes in Kliptown along with roadside businesses to give away Rand (South African Currency) worth thousands of dollars in U.S. money, not for fame or fortune- NO, this was done just to pick the people’s spirits up and give them the inspiration they need to keep pressing on. From there the delegation walked into a small section of the town that housed a center called Soweto Kliptown Youth orphanage (SKY), this recreational center serves as a home for orphans, some who have no mother or father, or may have lost both. Immediately the entire delegation gravitated to the children who although poor and parentless, had “some of the greatest spirits he had ever seen,” Atty. Shabazz recalls.

The orphanage was directed by a young spiritual Blackman named Bob affectionately called “Bo Bo” by the youth. What was next no one could prepare Atty. Malik Shabazz or the delegation for. Brother Bob had the children perform; a musical they created called “The More You Give, The More You Have.” It was worthy of a slot on Broadway, based upon their lives and being able to persevere by being good to others. These children although impoverished danced and sang their hearts out, so much so, Atty.Shabazz and his delegation we’re up on their feet dancing and singing as well, as the request of some of the performers who wanted them to dance right along with them. Attorney Shabazz and delegation we’re so moved, they donated the Rand value of 3,000 dollars in U.S. value to the orphanage and have promised with the permission of the director to adopt the orphanage and financially support it by any means necessary.

As the delegation travel throughout Azania, Attorney Shabazz reminded the delegation, “we are the People’s servants”, and our people all over the world need service.” Every member of the Delegation pledged, to do more about the conditions of our people in Africa, and to do much more for Black people the United States. Another Glaring highlight of the trip was Zimbabwe, as the National Chairman chartered a plane and made his way to the Pan- Afrikanist nation, which is now currently fighting off U.S. sanctions and economic stranglehold, Atty. Shabazz met with key cabinet members including: secretary of publicity and information comrade gumbo, Director of External Relations comrade Jonga, Secretary of woman’s Affairs Comrade Oppah comrade Mariaere, director of transportation, Secretary General Dr. Mutassa and Zanu- PF of Azania official Linda Gondo. Atty. Shabazz and delegation were hosted by comrade Chen Chetumengwende, an advisor to President Mugabe and Pan- African organizer. They all were instructed to come representing President Mugabe also, to hear what Atty. Malik Shabazz and the delegation had to say. It was a meeting of the minds as Atty. Shabazz laid out a solid case of solidarity, unity, and comradery.

Atty. Shabazz called for an end to U.S. Sanctions against Zimbabwe, and spoke of the work that the New Black Panther Party and his legal group, Black Lawyers For justice we’re willing to do in the United States. He also pledged to help expose the west to the real aims and objectives of the Presidency of Mr. Mugabe, and make Americans aware of President Mugabe, ZANU-PF the great good that they are doing and have done for Zimbabwe and oppressed Black people. ZANU- PF was so overjoyed, that their comrade and brother from the New Black Panther Party, would pledge such solidarity under tough times and economic hardship that they demanded he have a meeting with the President himself. Atty. Shabazz was elated, and was asked to stay another day- which he did.

The next day the two Parties reconvened, and Atty. Shabazz was scheduled to meet with President Robert Mugabe, even receiving word that Mr. Mugabe was asking about him and his Party, however, due to upcoming elections and serious party matters at hand, his meeting with key leaders ran over and President Mugabe unfortunately had to postpone the meeting and attend the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa) conference. Atty. Shabazz made it clear, “we strongly endorse President Robert Mugabe in the upcoming elections”, “to support this effort we will hold a major webcast within the next 60 days via our website (newblackpanther.com) and other allied sites.”

The Chairman also unveiled actual facts on opportunities, for Black people in the West to mine producing diamonds and gold, to work independently for self, as he learned during the course of his visit to Zimbabwe. Atty. Shabazz views the entire trip as a success and says, “this provides a strong beachhead for Pan African relations in Zimbabwe and worldwide.” He added, “We have also established the NBPP in Azania and Zimbabwe.”

Atty. Shabazz and the delegation are eternally thankful to have the opportunity to visit their mother country, and although some never get the chance, or find the means to make such an audacious move, Atty. Shabazz says, “this was the first time for some of us in Azania (South Africa), but it won’t be our last.”

Photo Caption: Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz, Pastor Ted Sutton, and Pan- Africanist Congress of Azania seen during Sharpeville rally in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and not CopyLine Magazine.


Exxon Oil spill leaves Arkansas neighborhood in shock

Posted by Newsroom On April - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Exxon Oil Spill Leaves Arkansas Neighborhood In Shock  

New America Media

By Lisa Song


Editor’s Note: The rupture of an oil pipeline last week carrying Canadian tar sands has focused national attention on the risks of transporting this particular type of crude, which is difficult to clean up. Another spill in Michigan’s Lake Kalamazoo three years ago is still being cleaned up. InsideClimate News reporter Lisa Song, who was threatened with arrest for trying to interview federal health officials in Arkansas, reports on the fall-out of the oil spill on residents.

MAYFLOWER, Ark.—Nearly a week after an oil pipeline ruptured in Mayflower, Ark., residents of this community of 2,200 are still overwhelmed by the disaster that has upended their lives.

“All of us are in shock,” said David Fox, the pastor of First Baptist Church. “Manmade disasters are so rare in our state … you don’t think this kind of thing can happen to you.”

The oil spill, which occurred on Good Friday, cast a pall over the church service Fox held that day, he said. On Easter Sunday, an Exxon contractor showed up at the church to monitor indoor and outdoor air quality.

The underground pipeline, owned by ExxonMobil, sent at least 147,000 gallons of heavy Canadian crude oil through the streets of one of the town’s more affluent neighborhoods, forcing the evacuation of 22 homes. A smell that residents describe as “acrid” or “like burning tires” still lingers in the North Woods subdivision.On Wednesday night, Fox’s church hosted a dinner for the evacuated families. Church members brought homemade soups, chili, cornbread and dessert. Throughout the evening, families trickled in and out, eating the food and sharing stories about their experiences after the spill.

Several residents told InsideClimate News they were pleased with the way Exxon is footing the bill for their food, lodging and other material needs. But they also said they have many unanswered questions about the health impacts of the oil and how long it would be before their lives could return to normal.

Jennifer Tistle, a mother of three who works in retail in Little Rock, said that until the spill she hadn’t even known that an oil pipeline passed through her neighborhood. She learned about the accident on Friday afternoon, when her husband got a text message from a neighbor.

The couple rushed home from work. By the time they arrived, however, police had cordoned off their street. The family of five spent the night in a hotel room. The next morning, Mayflower’s police chief escorted them to their home so they could pack some belongings.

Tistle said they just ran around grabbing things. “I told the kids, I don’t know if your clothes will match, but you’ll have stuff to wear.”

The oil ran through the Tistles’ side yard and part of their backyard. “We’ve never been in a situation like this,” she said. “We don’t even know what questions to ask. ”

Tistle said it’s hard to think ahead about the future, about whether they’ll move back into their house or try to sell it. She wants to learn more about the composition of the oil, its health effects and how the spill will impact property values.

“It’s just overwhelming,” she said. “My brain is overloaded.”

The ExxonMobil pipeline was carrying Wabasca Heavy crude, a type of dilbit made from bitumen mined in Canada’s oil sands region. Because bitumen is too thick to flow through pipelines, it is diluted with natural gas liquids and turned into dilbit, or diluted bitumen.

In 2010 a pipeline owned by Enbridge Inc. dumped more than a million gallons of dilbit into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, and that spill is still being cleaned up today. Dilbit would also be carried on the Keystone XL pipeline, which will run from Alberta, Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast if the Obama administration approves the project.

Shelia Harrell, the administrative assistant and treasurer for First Baptist Church, lives in the North Woods subdivision but not in the area that was evacuated. Like Tistle, she had not known there was an oil pipeline in the neighborhood.

Harrell was babysitting her 17-month old grandson Friday afternoon when the pipeline ruptured. She said no officials knocked on her door to tell her that her neighbors were being evacuated, or to explain what was in the oil to create the air pollution warnings.

By the time Harrell’s daughter arrived to pick up her son, the smell of the oil had permeated her daughter’s car.

Harrell said the fumes were particularly bad on Friday and Saturday night, when it was cloudy. Since then, she said the fumes seem to come and go, but are getting weaker—though she fears that’s just a sign that she has become habituated to the smell.

Fox, the pastor, lives in another neighborhood about 2,000 feet from a marsh polluted by the oil. The smell at his house was so strong on Friday afternoon that it made him sick to his stomach.

The oil “just stinks,” said Jennifer Whittington, a mother of two who works part time at a church in the nearby city of Maumelle. On Friday, Whittington was backing out of her driveway to pick up her child from school when she saw oil in the street. By 4:40 p.m., about two hours after a neighbor called 911 to report the spill, Whittington, her husband and two daughters all had headaches, so they left for a hotel.

The children, aged 6 and 4, were excited at first about the adventure, she said. But Wednesday morning they woke up crying. Even the hotel swimming pool couldn’t distract them.

“They just want to go home,” Whittington said.

Whittington’s neighbor Amber Bartlett estimates that at least 30 children were among the families that were evacuated.

Bartlett learned about the spill from her 16-year old daughter, who called while she was driving home from school. She said the police had closed off the subdivision and wouldn’t let her in. That’s when Bartlett opened the door and smelled the oil.

The police eventually let her daughter through the barricade, Bartlett said, but by that time, oil was flowing through the street near their home. After her daughter parked the car, Bartlett threw her a pair of boots so she could wade through the oil to get to the house. The two of them grabbed clothes and toiletries for themselves and the rest of the family, waded back through the oil in boots and drove away.

The family of six is now staying in two adjacent hotel rooms. “I’m satisfied, given the circumstances,” Bartlett said. “Exxon’s been really good” about paying their expenses.

Still, Bartlett and Whittington are worried about the long-term affect of breathing the foul air. Whittington wants to know if the fumes will seep through her carpets, bedding and walls and cause health problems. Bartlett, who works in IT at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said she wants Exxon to have her home thoroughly cleaned, inside and out, before they move back in.

At this point, there’s no clear timeline for when that might happen. On Tuesday evening, Exxon hosted a meeting for the affected families, which media was not allowed to attend. Residents who attended said Exxon told them the neighborhood cleanup will proceed in three stages: If all goes well, some families could return home by this weekend. Others could return next weekend. Families from the two houses that were most affected—where oil has saturated the yards—might have to wait a month.

ExxonMobil representatives said that even after it’s deemed safe for everyone to return, the company will continue to pay for lodging, because of the inconvenience of having traffic, trucks and workers in their neighborhood, Bartlett said.

For Whittington, North Woods won’t feel right until the cleanup operation is over. “I want to go home,” she said, “and have them be gone.”

Republished with permission of InsideClimate News, a non-profit, non-partisan news organization that covers energy and climate change—plus the territory in between where law, policy and public opinion are shaped.

Gov. Quinn takes commonsense gun message to Saint Sabina

Posted by Newsroom On April - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Another miracle when Ondelee Perteet waked alone

By Chinta Strausberg


Four-days before Father Michael L. Pfleger is scheduled to bring a busload of supporters to Springfield to lobby for commonsense gun laws, Gov. Pat Quinn came to Saint Sabina Church Sunday seeking  support in his fight to get commonsense gun laws passed including a ban on assault weapons he hopes will “silence the violence.”

Quinn, who as a child once attended Saint Sabina Church, said to achieve that goal lawmakers must “get commonsense gun safety legislation passed into law in Illinois” within the next two-months.

At Saint Sabina’s Sunday’s 11:15 a.m. worship service, yet another miracle took place when 18-year-old gunshot victim Ondelee Perteet, a quadriplegic who doctors said would never walk, once again shocked parishioners when he walked by himself from the back of the church to the altar to get communion from Father Pfleger. Last year, he stunned the church when he walked with the help of his walker. At that time, Pfleger called it a miracle.

After worship service and joined by Father Pfleger, Illinois Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-16th), J’Marcus Webb and Brittan Golden from the Chicago Bears, Pat and Brandon who are keeping the peace in the Auburn Gresham community, Gov. Quinn echoed Father Pfleger’s earlier praise of Connecticut lawmakers who recently passed tough gun laws in the wake of the December 2012 massacre of 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Gov. Quinn praised his friend, Gov. Dannel Malloy, for signing legislation that bans more than 100 guns from being sold including those used by Adam Lanza, the shooter, who earlier killed his own mother before going to the school and slaughtering the children and adults.

“We’ve got to take that example and do it here in Illinois,” Quinn told reporters after worship service. “A group from this church and many other churches will be coming to Springfield (Thursday) to fight for commonsense gun safety legislation.

“We have to do something about these assault weapons,” he said especially limiting the high capacity ammunition magazines.

Quoting one of the Connecticut mothers, Quinn said, “The gunman had 300 bullets and fired 154 shots in just four-minutes at little children.” Quinn said these high capacity ammunition magazines have to be limited in Illinois as well as lost and stolen weapons he says must be reported. Quinn also wants universal background checks. Saying with Father Pfleger and Webb on his team, Quinn quipped, “We can’t lose.”

Referring to Saint Sabina’s Pat and Brandon, the street organization leaders keeping the peace in the Auburn Gresham community, Quinn said, “I think it is so important that in the neighborhood we have young men who could relate to those who would think in any way about violence…because we can’t have violence in a decent society.” “They’re in the neighborhood every day,” Quinn said vowing to come back to Saint Sabina and march down 79th Street with Father Pfleger and his supporters.

Asked why is he going to churches with his message on gun reform, Quinn explained, “I think the people of good faith come together.” Referring to Perteet, who was shot four-years ago, Gov. Quinn said, “We saw today a man who was shot who made a recovery. He walked. He was in a wheelchair and now he’s walking because he believes in the power of prayer, and he believes in the power good people banding together for a cause he believes in.

“Dr. King lived in our city in 1966. He walked our streets. He ended discrimination and segregation because people of good faith who believed in non-violence came together to win the day, and we’ve got to do the same thing…,” Quinn told reporters outside of the church.

Thanking Quinn for coming to Saint Sabina, Pfleger said it takes this partnership including Senator Collins, a member of his church, to make gun reform a reality. “It’s shameful for me that it’s taken so long for Illinois” to pass a tough gun law.

“We’ve got to get everybody on board whether you’re downstate or whether you’re in Chicago. These are all of our babies. These are all of our children. So, you can’t say that’s not my problem because you’re in downstate Illinois. It’s all of our problem. This is a human condition. When we band together as good people across this state, we can do it and hopefully Illinois will join Connecticut in passing legislation.”

When asked the origin of the opposition for passing the gun bill, Gov. Quinn said, “There’s always going to be opposition to any good cause. We have to band together the people of good faith who believe in our cause. Senator Collins is our leader…. Now is the time. I am prepared to sign laws making our state safer by having commonsense (gun) legislation.”

Quinn said the next two months are critical in passing the law. “We’ve got to really rise up in the best traditions of Illinois and the righteous might of the every day people of our state to get some laws passed to protect the people. There is something wrong when they allow high capacity ammunition magazines and assault weapons to kill people. This is wrong, and we’re going to do something about it,” vowed Quinn.

Senator Colilns said all polls indicate people want commonsense gun legislation. “The think the NRA is the mouthpiece for the gun manufacturers and the lobbyists. Even the NRA members have said that they support commonsense gun legislation. Dr. King said the time is always right to do the right thing. This is the time,” Collins said.

Asked about Anne Smedinghoff, 25, a diplomat from River Forest who was killed Saturday in Afghanistan in an explosion, Quinn said she went to his high school. “I think it is very important that we honor Anne’s life. I mourn her loss. She was only 25-years-old. She was delivering books to children in Afghanistan” when she died in that explosion.

“We thank God for her purposeful life. I think it is important that we pray for her mortal soul…. She was well taught. She understands that social justice is why we’re here on earth. That is why she was so far away in Afghanistan trying to help every day people especially children. Her loss is a loss for the whole world, and we thank God for sending her our way,” said Quinn.

Asked by this writer his reaction to the rash of shootings that has taken so many lives especially children, Gov. Quinn quoted a writer who said, “The birth of a baby of God’s opinion of the world should go on, and I think we’d better take those words to heart. If God wants our world to go on, we’d better protect our babies, our children whether they are in New Town, Connecticut or Colorado or right here in Chicago, Illinois, it’s out duty…the living to make sure we protect our children and all our people.”

As governor, Quinn vowed to “fight as hard as I can with every fiber in my being to try and get some commonsense laws ending these high capacity ammunition magazines that are used by murderers to kill children and others.”

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Illinois Tollway to host construction networking event

Posted by Newsroom On April - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Illinois Tollway is hosting a free Construction Networking Event for firms involved in the heavy-highway construction industry. General contractors, specialty subcontractors, trucking firms and construction materials suppliers are invited to attend. Speakers include Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur, Chief Engineer Paul Kovacs and Chief of Diversity and Strategic Development Gustavo Giraldo.

The event will be held Tuesday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, at Elgin Community College, Seigle Auditorium, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL.

The Construction Networking Event is geared to link firms interested in playing a role in the Tollway’s 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future. Participants will have the opportunity to meet construction industry executives and learn how to participate in upcoming Tollway projects. Participating firms include Aldridge Electric Inc.; Curran Contracting Co.; F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Associates Inc.; K-Five Construction Corp.; Lorig Construction Co.; Plote Construction Inc.; R.W. Dunteman Co. and William Charles Construction Co. 

Event participants also will hear about construction contract opportunities with the Illinois Department of Transportation, how to get pre-qualified by the Capital Development Board and available assistance for small and diverse businesses from the Illinois Tollway. For more information, please visit the Doing Business section on the Illinois Tollway’s website www.illinoistollway.com. Pre-registration closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 12. On-site registration will also be provided at the event.

The Move Illinois Program will improve mobility, relieve congestion, reduce pollution, create as many as 120,000 jobs and link economies across the Midwest region. Move Illinois will address the remaining needs of the existing Tollway system; rebuild and widen the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) as a state-of-the-art 21st century corridor; construct a new interchange to connect the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to I-57; build a new, all-electronic Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project and fund planning studies for the Illinois Route 53/120 Extension and the Illiana Expressway.

About the Illinois Tollway

The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).

Web Site lists the top Summer Internship Programs for 2013

Posted by Newsroom On April - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Thousands of summer and year-round internships available from top companies and organizations like Microsoft, Apple, NAACP, Coca-Cola, Sony, CNN, Smithsonian, and many more


Nationwide — It’s that time of the year again where summer internships are soon to begin, and one new web site, FindInternships.com, is helping students find the right program.

An intern is an assistant or apprentice who is being taught a craft or trade. For college students and graduates, an internship is a short term job, often without pay, that allows them to practice their new skills and learn from more experienced employees. It also gives them a real life look into the day to day activities that will define their work environment for the next 30-40 years.

FindInternships.com is a 100% free online resource for students looking for summer and year-round internships. The web site posts new opportunities daily from major corporations, non-profit organizations, and local and federal government agencies. Some of their opportunities are even for students looking to go abroad.

There are many, many opportunities available, and FindInternships.com filters through each one of them to ensure that they are 100% real and legit. Some are specific to students of certain majors and career paths, while others are only for students who reside in certain cities and states.

For more details and/or to find an internship program, visit:

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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