THE HANDSTAND

JULY 2006

index: eyewitness; crystalcartierx poem; cynthia mckinney interview;essay richard carlson



eyewitness report from harlem



folks, i just witnessed a very disturbing event that i hope some public furor may have an effect on, i'm sending a one-time real-life non-poetic message:

NYPD brutality and fraud in Harlem today

i live on west 116th street, where the 28th precinct presumably keeps the peace. but this afternoon, around 4pm, the so-called eacekeepers nearly started a riot. and it's almost too bad that we didn't get to that point.

there's a fancy new building with million dollar condos at 316 west 116th street. it's a beautiful building, much better than the crackhead shanty lot that was there three years ago. when some developers started working on the property, they hired Victor as security guard, first over the construction site, and now as combo security guard/super/doorman for the completed building, which already has several tenants.

this afternoon, a friend of Victor's -- they've known each other since childhood -- stopped by to say hello. while saying hello, he was also committing the high crime of having an uncapped guinness in a brown bag in his hand. two ununiformed, unidentified men came into the courtyard and demanded entry to the building. one took Victor's friend and shoved him up against the wall, demanding to know what was in the brown bag. the other demanded entry to the building. Victor, doing exactly the job he is paid to do, asked the man who he needed to see, what was his purpose of wanting to enter the building. instead of answering, the man tried to push past Victor, and Victor physically restrained him by knocking him down. again, this is the job that Victor is paid to do.

turns out the two hoodlum-clad cowboys were plainclothes cops, not that they ever once bothered to mention this. they may have been responding to a call from within the building, but this was never
made clear.

one cowboy whips out a radio and sends an "officer down" message. in my five years on this street, i have never seen so many cops -- more than 20 at one point -- on this block. meanwhile, the officer that is "down" (and apparently unhurt) keeps trying to get up but his partner repeatedly tells him "No, don't get up, don't get up, we're getting an ambulance for you." the guy was obviously capable of getting up, and was clearly being coached not to in order to escalate this case far beyond its merits.

meanwhile, Victor has been thrown to the floor, his arms are twisted up behind his back, and a recently-arrived uniformed cop is sitting on his back. Victor is screaming that his arm is about to break, that he works there, would the cop please reduce the pressure on his arm. he is ignored.

by now, a pretty big crowd has gathered. we outnumber the cops by quite a few, and all of us are screaming at the cops:  What are you doing? He works there! He's the security guard! He's just doing his job!

now the cops are getting nervous. i try to get a couple of them to talk to me, to give them some context, but all they're interested in doing is getting the crowd to disperse and having the unhurt officer carried off on a stretcher.

i have known Victor for 2 or 3 years now, as has everyone on our block. he has intervened and solved potential fights, robberies, and other threats. sometimes, when i got home late at night and passed him at his post, he'd walk me to my door (i live just a few houses down). he gives advice on where you can and cannot park without getting a ticket. he is a good man, who, according to his lifelong friend (who asked not to be named because he is afraid of NYPD retribution, and who can blame him for that?) has never been in jail.

so a security guard, on duty at his post, with no criminal record, is arrested because he prevented two unidentified men from entering the building he is charged to protect.

and as for the guiness-drinking friend, well, after he got shoved into the wall and screamed at (for a "crime" that i believe warrants only a ticket, not an act of force), well, he was just forgotten in the melee that the POLICE THEMSELVES created on 116th street this sunny thursday afternoon.

i am faxing this account to the captain of the 28th precinct.

i am emailing it to every single press contact that i have.

i ask that any of you who read it, forward it as well. this one incident could deprive Victor of his future -- of any future -- for no good reason at all.

the cop who came out on the stretcher? smiling. sitting up on his own. no blood. no bruises. one shoe off. that's it.

the telephone number of the 28th precinct is 212-678-1611. feel free -- even feel encouraged! -- to call them if you have some strong feelings about the way that this situation was handled.

thank you.


Prisoner Support
“I Am Not Goin’ Down for This!”


by  crystal cartierx


Everyone has a thug in the family
Whether his collar be white or blue
Still family stands by family
as we’ve been taught to do
But there are limits to my loyalty
when what you’ve done is wrong
even if we share blood
the devil in me just ain’t that strong
I will not be blinded nor silenced to hide in shame
by an “aggravated” miscarriage of justice that soils our Name
I will try to legally help you as best I can
because I know without God there is no hope for a poor Black Man
But never think that I agree with your crimes
For surely you will reap what you’ve sown
No matter who is kneeling in prayer or standing by your side
when the Lord is ready to collect or punish you... you are on your own
So I’m sending up my timbre for mercy to both God & Government today
You’ve spanked him on his butt.  Now please send him on his way
Give Love a chance to help
Only the Holy Spirit can make them change
But continued incarceration in this profiteer’s warehousing based economy
is guaranteed to make them strange
Anyone can be accused of anything... then villified and crushed
Lie or the truth it doesn’t matter
if the enemy wants to push
But God has a way of rescuing
the wayward children that He loves
from any Lion’ Den where or whenever Caesar shoves
Still you must know that I am disappointed in you
I lament that long long, ago Black Man knew
that when you screw up... your entire family gets screwed
Can we rise above the shame
of your dark deeds against our name?
You should have stopped in your tracks & prayed
BEFORE you commited misdeeds then tried to get Saved
and as a parasite on your family’s blood you’ve began to feed
I have to get on with what remains of my own life
I won’t risk my hard earned peace
I’m tired of falling asleep with balled up fists
Dammit I love you but...
I’m not goin’ down for this!

06/06/06


CYNTHIA MCKINNEY RAPS WITH KALONJI JAMA CHANGA

  The Congresswoman speaks the real on Cointelpro, Tupac Shakur and
The Black Panther Party


  When it comes to electoral politics, my motto is "just say no".  The
whole Vote or Die charade that Puffy pulled made me want to pour some
red Kool-Aid on his pink shirt.  On the real, while people were
starving, Puff and Russell Simmons were making millions off of Sean
John and Phat Farm shirts, acting like they were really concerned
about the masses right to vote.  I must honestly admit, that for my
people that do vote, there are only two candidates in America at this
time that I would endorse. The first one definitely would be Charles
Barron, the former Black Panther turned Politician that changed the
game in New York.  The second would be none other than Cynthia
McKinney, the sometimes controversial, molotov-mouth Sistah, who
remembers she is Black first and a Congresswoman from Georgia after
that.  I first met Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, about a year ago
when she spoke at a benefit a number of us put together for Bernard
Burden, a 21 year old Black Man who was
 lynched here in the very racist State of Georgia.  I had the pleasure
of kicking off the first day of the summer by interviewing the Rebel
Congresswoman who held no punches.  Check it out.



  Kalonji:  What is the Martin Luther King Jr. Records Act and how
does it relate to rapper Tupac Shakur?

  C. McKinney:  I have been interested in cointelpro - the
counterintelligence program for a long time.  My interest originally
arose because I was trying to figure out why my young Black Son didn't
have proud Black adult male role models, or that they were limited in
number.  Yet the African American Men who were prominently portrayed
by the mainstream media, were not exactly what I would call positive
role models for my son.  Then my search for an answer took me to the
volumes around cointelpro.  Of course the definitive work is that done
by Ward Churchill, which is a compilation and dissection of the
cointelpro papers.  Once I got into the mindset of U.S. Government
employees, who would basically disrupt marriages, orchestrate and even
incite murder, I began to ask the question, "Well what happened in the
murder of Dr. King"?  At that point I hooked up with a gentleman who
is the executive director, on a volunteer basis, of an organization
called The Committee on
 Political Assassinations (COPA), his name is John Judge.  COPA has
assigned to itself the herculean task of going through the millions of
pages of documents relating to the murder of JFK.  So I began to ask,
"Do you have any papers relating to the murder of MLK"?  So they began
to broaden their search and there was one document in particular,
that's not included in the book, The Cointelpro Papers.  It's a May
11, 1965 document that says, "Somewhere at the top there must be a
Negro who is clean, who can step into the vacuum once Dr. King is
either exposed or assassinated".  That sentence stuck out in my mind
for many reasons, because it says a lot.  First of all, it says that
they were looking for what they considered to be "Clean Negroes" and
that means they were looking for acceptable Black People to assume the
mantle of leadership of the African American Community.  In the
cointelpro papers they said they would never allow another Martin
Luther King to rise.  But here we
 have a document, here fore unknown, that's talking about Dr. King's
assassination.  Also, it intimates a policy of regime change on Black
America.  There in that one sentence, in that one document, is a
description of the affliction that continues to this day to effect the
Black Community in America.  Then I decided that I would join with
John Judge, who is now on the congressional staff and we work on these
issues full time.  It was before he joined the staff that we came up
with the idea of drafting the Bill.  Then after he joined the staff we
drafted the Bill.  We contacted various African American
organizations, such as The National Bar Association, The Association
of Black Librarians, and The Black Political Scientists.  People who
deal with political documents and documents in terms of archiving
them.  We began to contact them and include them as resources as we
began to draft the Bill.  We used the Martin Luther King Records Act
as a template for the Tupac Shakur
 Records Act.  Just as they have a myth that is not true about the
murder of Dr. King, we also do not have the truth about the murder of
Tupac Shakur.  It will be my efforts, for as many days as I remain in
the United States Congress - I want to find the truth and provide the
truth to the American people, who need to know the truth.  The things
that were done in the cointelpro era against Americans of conscience
was illegal then.  But now we have an administration that chooses to
either change the law, as in the Patriot Act, which is really
Un-Patriotic, or to ignore the law as in the secret wire tapping of
American citizens.  More than ever, with the revelations of police
surveillance of Hip Hop cultural icons, we need to know exactly what
this government is capable of, so that we can adequately protect
ourselves.


  Kalonji: 
Why is it important to investigate the murder of Tupac
Shakur?


C. McKinney: 
I think knowing the truth, that Tupac was murdered.  You
notice I don't say, "died" with Tupac and I don't say, "died" with Dr.
King, because they were both murdered.  We need to understand the
language we use is very powerful in the way we think about things.
These people were murdered, I believe, because they had vision.  They
had the power of persuasion over Black People and White People.  They
had conscience.  If you look at what J. Edgar Hoover wrote in the
first document that opens Ward Churchill's Cointelpro Papers book,
what J. Edgar Hoover wrote was in October of 1919 about Marcus Garvey.
He said, "He excites the Negroes".  Now, let's look at the fate of
Black People who have "excited the Negroes" in America.  It's been a
whole lot of bloodshed, a whole lot of murder.  If I go back and I
look at what happened before, during the cointelpro days, if I
understand the motivation from the Marcus Garvey experience, then I
will have a basis on which to
 judge what's happening today.  Remember, it's closer to you because
you're a whole lot younger than I am.  I was a distant observer, not
really fully appreciative earlier on, or else I would have intervened
to try to stop it.  The East Coast-West Coast conundrum that overtook
the Hip Hop Movement was exactly the same phenomenon that accelerated
the dissipation of The Black Panther Party.  From the cointelpro
papers, we know that that was incited by the FBI.  So if they would do
it to The Black Panther Party, why wouldn't they do it to young,
culturally rich, politically potent, African American Men?  Then we
know that point # 5, on the founding cointelpro document, written
March 1968, was directed at preventing young Blacks from adhering to a
Black Nationalist ideology. They wrote that down.  Tupac was steeped
in Black Nationalism, with the wonderful philosophical militantism of
his mother, and the men around him.  So Tupac understood that the
plight of African Americans
 in this country, was not due to African American misbehavior, but it
was due to structural inequities that were built into the American
system, and that the system itself would have to be attacked.

  Kalonji:  Do you think it may be possible, that the assassination of
Tupac could have been a Political hit?

  C. McKinney:  I could tell you that I have seen reports that there's
one particular organization that was involved in death threats against
Tupac and shaking him down for money.  That same organization was
linked in the cointelpro papers, to the demise of The Black Panther
Party.  So those are two dots, upon further study that might be
connected.

  Kalonji:
  Do you feel that cointelpro still exists today in 2006?

C. McKinney:
   Absolutely. The White House has an enemies list and
they keep documents on more than 10,000 names, utilizing FBI records.
This Bush Administration has an active enemies list.  We don't know
what happens to those people.  But, I can tell you strange things
happen to my computer and my telephone (laughs)....

Kalonji:  Now, why would they bother you (laughs)?  We discussed
cointelpro, there was a case right here in Atlanta involving Imam
Jamil Al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown), where he was accused of killing
a deputy sheriff and wounding another.  Based on evidence, there was
nothing linking him to the scene of the crime, could that possibly be
a cointelpro move?

  C. McKinney:
  I have since learned that former members of The Black
Panther Party and their children have all been targeted in various
different ways.  I have also learned that even the Black Activists who
are now prisoners of conscience, that they have been singled out for
"special treatment", that is not good.  It is clear that not only a
new form of cointelpro exists, with a much broader administration, but
they haven't left alone the activists from the cointelpro days.  Not
only the Black Activists, but the Native Americans, such as Leonard
Peltier as well.  Then what they did to the Brothers in Puerto Rico
and all the people of color who were activists during the cointelpro
days who continue to be targeted as well.

  Kalonji:  It was alleged that you were one of the members of
Congress who signed to have Assata Shakur extradited back to the U.S.,
can you speak on that?

  C. McKinney:  During the first time I was in Congress, the
republicans pushed a resolution that came to the floor of the house
about a woman, and to be honest with you, I can't remember her other
name, and that was the name on the resolution.  I remember many of the
Congress members were asking, "what is this?" we didn't know what it
was.  I was with Maxine at the time of the vote and we didn't know who
this person was, now of course, we know it was Assata Shakur.  I don't
think any such legislation has been revisited by Congress.  I know in
the Black Community, the young people stood up, and I would hope that
some of the white members of Congress were approached as well.  Maybe
that's the reason why the Bill hasn't come up again.

  Kalonji:
  A little over a year ago, the FBI issued a One Million
Dollar Bounty on the head of Assata Shakur, why are they still hunting
her?

  C. McKinney: 
This is consistent with what I have learned about the
U.S. Government continuing to target activist from the cointelpro
days.  Crimes committed against people of color in this country.

  Kalonji:  In 2000 you organized a forum in D.C. on Political
Prisoners, will there be a follow up?

  C. McKinney:  That was the first of our cointelpro hearings and then
we did the second one on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., then I got kicked
out of Congress for 2 years.  Last year we continued the cointelpro
theme with what we called "Countering Culture: The Attack on our
Culture Icons".  We focused on Bob Marley, Tupac, Paul Robeson and
Jimi Hendrix.  We are continuing to shed the light on this issue,
which never gets coverage from the mainstream media.  This is life and
death for our Community because in my opinion, this is a form of
genocide.  Genocide is the elimination in whole or part of a people.
If you deny people the right to select their own leaders, then they
cannot adequately address the political system with their grievances.
They are sending us to jail and we don't know what they are doing to
our young men and women in these prisons.  With the DNA swabs, and
building the DNA Banks, that's a whole other issue of technology
against our people that we need to
 be dealing with that we're not.  Our people are experiencing death
prematurely because of lack of access to healthcare.  Then our people
are not being educated due to the lack of access to adequate
education.  All these are results of not having people who are placing
demands on the political system.  Those demands are not being placed
on the political system because those people who are selected Black
Leaders are often not the choice of Black People.

  Kalonji:  BET had a special a few years ago, and there was a
viewer's poll...

  C. McKinney:  BET? Well in the first place, Black People should turn
BET off!  I can't say anything more.

  Kalonji:  I agree with that. Our Chairman of the POCC, Chairman Fred
Hampton Jr., is fighting to get West Monroe Street, where Chairman
Fred Hampton Sr. was assassinated by The Chicago Police Department,
changed to Chairman Fred Hampton Way.  How do you feel about that, do
you support the name change?

C. McKinney:
  I think it's a travesty that the house in which Fred
Hampton was murdered by Chicago Police was not saved as a shrine to
show what our governmental authorities are capable of doing to us.
Secondly, why not name a street after a man who was murdered by the
Chicago Police?  This man should have been Mayor of Chicago or should
have had the opportunity to represent Chicago in Congress.  His family
should have been taken care of since he was unceremoniously murdered
the way he was.  But his family was left to fend for themselves, just
like Martin Luther King's family was left to fend for themselves.  I
also want to express my support for the Prisoners of Conscience
Committee and the work that you all do.

  Kalonji:  Tell us about this Capitol Police fiasco, can you fill us
in on where it currently stands?

  C. McKinney:  There are some questions I think people need to ask
themselves.  How could a trivial incident be allowed to spiral out of
control?  What was the role of the so-called mainstream media in
assisting the boost of this incident out of control?  Was it just a
coincidence that so much time and energy was expended by the media and
the Bush Administration against me, and I consider myself to be the #
1 critic of the Bush Administration.  Because, I was actually kicked
out of office for my questions around September 11th.  Other questions
that need to be asked; how come no one is talking about the unresolved
racial issues, evidenced by the numerous law suits, now pending by the
Capitol Hill Police Department's own Black Police Officers?  Why isn't
anyone talking about that?  Why has there been a continuing pattern of
Capitol Police failing to recognize me?  I'm sorry that this incident
took on the proportions that it took, but what can I say? This whole
conversation
 has been about the conduct of law enforcement officials.


  Kalonji Jama Changa can be reached at: therawintellect@yahoo.com or
www.myspace.com/kalonji_ftp


CTHEORY:        THEORY, TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURE        VOL 29, NOS 1-2
        *** Visit CTHEORY Online: http://www.ctheory.net ***

 1000 Days 036    11/04/2006    Editors: Arthur and Marilouise Kroker

 Louis Armstrong International Airport

 (a post-Katrina meditation)
 ======================================


 ~Richard Carlson~


 The sun unfurls its noon fury in the Creole heat of late summer. One
 walks slowly over bare tarmac with the wavy mirage traces of jet fuel
 evaporating from the baked runway. Your eyes must squint to
 distinguish actual form from hallucination in the gaseous blur. The
 mugginess is palpable and steams up from the bayou to create a state
 of perpetual humidity, you strain to wipe away the sweat dripping
 from your brow on the balmy Louisiana day.

 a city under pressure of heat and moisture,

 Steam condenses on your tongue as you try to speak, but because you
 are walking quickly you think again and feel better in the short term
 just to shield your nose and hold your breath as the stench of
 rotting waste reaches you. That which was cast off by mortal flesh,
 and that once consumed by human mutely decay, lay in steaming piles
 and reek in the clammy gulf coast breeze; the waste having not been
 removed for over two weeks.

 a city under pressure of decomposition,

 The concourse which once facilitated the bustle of life in the
 hyper-modernist fast lane was used during the last fortnight as a
 triage for sorting out the ill and as a morgue for the dead.
 Sprawling on strands of cots strung out along the terminal's vast
 expanse of grimy marble floor and close cropped carpet lay the
 injured and poor black folk of the 9th ward and St Bernard's Parish,
 making themselves as comfortable as they could in front of the vacant
 ticket counters, gated newspaper stands, empty coffee joints and
 miscellaneous jazz paraphernalia.

 Transformed from a place which housed mere travelers into a hall of
 the wholly dispossessed is Louis Armstrong International Airport;
 but what else would one expect? The child of a New Orleans
 prostitute, Satchmo was already abandoned and then arrested at the
 age of six.

 What else would one expect from history in the deep South, only now
 being staged within the facade of an international airport? The
 airport, that bastion of globalization which makes planetary culture
 possible now houses the distraught and dispossessed, the discontented
 and dying of America's 3rd world; hermetically sealed within its own
 environs.

 a city under pressure of history,

 But there are no commercial flights taking off today, just Blackhawk
 helicopters and C-130s involved in rescue and reconstruction. The
 flow of commerce has been halted, preempted by 120 mph winds and the
 flood. The forces of the market which once built this airport reduced
 to a trickle, this port city and hub of world commerce now just the
 glean in the eye of Haliburton or the Shaw Group contemplating the
 future potential of capital ventures and returns at more than twenty
 percent.

 a city at the mercy of military industrial carpetbaggers,

 One walks on to meet the air traffic control manager whose disheveled
 tower is now in disarray and overflowing with controllers sleeping on
 air mattresses in front of sophisticated radar arrays and advanced
 navigation systems. The technology which made this airport possible
 is temporarily out of service and gathering dust. The wide cherry
 table tops of conference rooms where local procedures for approach
 control and the divvying up of airspace were once decided now served
 as the platform to place k rations stale coffee and half eaten
 donuts.

 ratiocination and technology at the mercy of a southern tempest,

 All the technology in the world could not put a bandage on the damage
 done by the storm and flood to get operations back to normal sooner.
 The warm gulf currents which fed Katrina were only heated further by
 the carbon waste spewed from oil refineries and industry along the
 coast. Already no match for a category four hurricane, the dredging
 of swamps by oil companies allowed salt water to seep back into the
 once fertile wetlands which now yield up more than 100 acres a day to
 the sea. The levees of the mighty river denied needed silt to restore
 the earth under this grand old city which allowed it to nestle safely
 between the Mississippi and Pontchartrain.

 ratiocination and technology at the mercy of blow-back,

 Those bound in the cyclic of history of domination, of the eternal
 recurrence of the underclass, are those most effected, but what else
 would one expect, here in the deep South? where burnt crosses still
 smolder in the charcoal heart of Dixie, and can suddenly violently
 alight in an inferno; into which we begin our descent from the French
 Quarter. This is a city which could just as easily burn while being
 martyred for the sins of a nation, but this is the city in the time
 of flood.

 Here now reside those forced to the fringes of our society, those who
 live below sea level, the ones who do not partake of the prosperity
 of this Port economy; of mid-western grain harvest barges,
 trans-oceanic container ships, and Gulf oil rigs. These folks are too
 far removed from the mainstream to be concerned with the storm's
 effect on falling world markets sparked by the rising price of
 gasoline, because they had no vehicles to evacuate the area in the
 first place. They do however, still need food, and the shopkeepers
 have all left for higher ground.

 Already the 200 billion dollar reconstruction being planned has
 passed legislation and funnels funds through the lobbyist and
 technocrat directly into the coffers of the good ol' boys and
 multi-nationals. Yet, the same legislation eliminated the Davis-Bacon
 Act and the minimum wage of the construction laborer. But what else
 would one expect in a state next to the president's own? To be
 rebuilt yet again, but now upon the backs of descendent's of slaves
 of the Americas both North and South. But now a tax cut and a debit
 card with a two thousand dollar limit will have to serve in place of
 forty acres and a mule.

 carpetbaggers conspiring with technology,

 Those who own the technology and resources to begin construction, who
 are the masters of calculating the market forces, who have the ear of
 the vice president will come out ahead in this disaster. Old low
 lying neighborhoods will be bulldozed and then gentrified, those
 shining glass and steel structures will gleam for a new class of
 entrepreneurs who will profit from the Reconstruction. New
 infra-structure will replace the rotting old wooden front porches of
 houses built during the Depression. Law and order will be haphazardly
 restored. The airport will have its waste removed, the concourses
 cleared of patients, the military will depart its taxiways, it will
 be retooled and its technology will reanimate the bayou economy to
 once again fuel the oil gluttony of the global village, even as the
 corps of engineers still struggle to halt the progress of the
 encroaching wetlands.

 technology along with equality and justice sinking slowly in the
 ratiocination of Cajun swamp land



 --------------------
 Richard Carlson is a writer/musician and the president of Pacific
 Weather Inc, a firm which monitors meteorological information at
 airports throughout the United States. His interests include all
 matters related to CTheory, Jazz, Poetry, Integral Yoga, and Global
 Climate Change. He holds a Master of Arts degree from Antioch
 University and currently resides with family on the Olympic
 Peninsula in Washington State.