Philadelphia City Council pushes ‘diversity’ in the building trades

By a WORKING CARPENTER The Philadelphia city council passed a law allowing the city to secure loans for a program to renovate city parks, recreation centers and libraries called Rebuild Philadelphia. Some council members expressed skepticism about the program, asking whether any of the jobs created would go to people living the neighborhoods where the…

Films: John Coltrane Lite

By MARTY GOODMAN “Chasing Trane,” a documentary film by John Scheinfeld. “Trane is now a scope of feeling. A more fixed traveler, whose wildest onslaughts are gorgeous artifacts not even deaf people should miss.” — Amiri Baraka, poet, jazz critic, and activist In July 1967, I heard on a late night jazz radio show in…

Philadelphia DA’s office refuses to release Mumia files

By the MOBILIZATION FOR MUMIA COALITION In the latest attempt to further deny freedom to Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office has contemptuously refused to release the files they were ordered to make public by Common Pleas Court Judge Leon Tucker. On April 24, Abu-Jamal’s 63rd birthday, his attorneys presented an appeal before Judge Tucker…

A DAY OF ACTION FOR MUMIA ABU-JAMAL!

Pressure DA’s office to release documents pertaining to former DA Ron Castille’s handling of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s appeals! PHILADELPHIA—On Tuesday, May 30, The Mobilization For Mumia, a coalition of human rights groups in support of political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, will host a 2 p.m. press conference and rally at the Philadelphia DA’s office to demand that the…

Jimmy Dennis: Free at last!

By JOHN LESLIE On May 13, Jimmy Dennis was released after more than 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The crime and the frame-up On Oct. 22, 1991, Chedell Williams and her friend, Zahra Howard, went to the Fern Rock Transportation Center in Philadelphia to buy a transpass. Outside of the…

Films: “I Am Not Your Negro”

By ERNIE TATE Now and then, and despite its capitalist and racial biases, our culture throws up something that can speak quite eloquently and uniquely about the times we’re living through. In this case, I’m referring to an amazing documentary film that has been released recently, “I Am Not Your Negro,” directed by Raoul Peck,…

Family and community demand answers in Connecticut police brutality case

By CHRIS HUTCHINSON The police shooting of 18-year-old Ra’Shamel Rogers on March 9 in Waterbury, Conn., has mobilized community members in support of his family to demand answers and a transparent investigation. Ra’Shamel was unarmed and shot three times, twice in the abdomen and once in the lungs. Police are trying to justify the shooting…

Somali youth sentenced in ‘Minneapolis Terror Trial’

By KAREN SCHRAUFNAGEL MINNEAPOLIS—The show trial dubbed by our local capitalist media, “Minnesota’s Terror Trial,” ended in November with the sentencing of the nine young men (eight Somali and one Oromo) who pled to or were convicted of charges relating to alleged attempts to join the “designated foreign terrorist organization” ISIS (the Islamic State). The…

Charges dismissed against Baltimore killer cops

By MARK UGOLINI On July 27, Baltimore prosecutors dropped remaining charges against three cops awaiting trial for involvement in the death of Freddy Gray. Gray, a 25-year-old Black youth, died of injuries sustained while in police custody a week following his arrest on April 12, 2015. Officers Garret Miller, William Porter, and Sgt. Alicia White…

Film: Defiance in the Old South

By GAETANA CALDWELL-SMITH “Free State of Jones,” directed by Gary Carr. “The Free State of Jones” is based on a true Civil War story, a little known story, because its subject matter is in a controversial gray area. Here we have Newton Knight (a spot-on Matthew McConaughey at his scraggly, unkempt, bearded best), a Confederate…

Soweto: the Black students’ rebellion of 1976

On the fortieth anniversary of the 1976 Soweto Rebellion in South Africa, we reprint two articles from International Viewpoint, the English-language on-line journal of the Fourth International. The author of the first article, Noor Nieftagodien, is the head of the History Workshop at Wits University. The second author, Leigh-Ann Naidoo, is currently a PHD student…

Muhammad Ali: 1942-2016

  In tribute to Muhammad Ali, who died on June 3, we are reprinting this biographical film review, “‘Ali’ is good … but not the greatest,” from our January 2002 issue. By JOE AUCIELLO “Ali,” directed by Michael Mann, starring Will Smith, Mario Van Peebles, Jon Voight. A Columbia Pictures release, 2001 (rated R, 158…