This week on CounterSpin: Public protest against racist police brutality has been a beacon for all kinds of activists looking for ways to stand up to oppression—a model for those who want to go down on the right side of history with principled, persistent and peaceful action in resistance to increasingly frightening reactionary exertions of state power. Into this context we now introduce, by way of documents leaked to the magazine Foreign Policy, the FBI’s designation of “black identity extremists” as a movement constituting a violent threat to public safety, and warranting the surveillance and scrutiny of the country’s “counterterrorism” forces. What do we know about the definition of this term and, more importantly, the FBI’s application of it? The ACLU’s Racial Justice Program is on the case; we’ll hear from lead attorney Nusrat Choudhury.
Also on the program: Amazon has just ended its request for proposals from US cities jockeying to be the home of the mega-corporation’s second headquarters. We’ve seen jokey stories about what municipalities are offering as incentives—including being willing to change a town’s name to “Amazon”—but what about the much-less-humorous considerations of what a city or state ought to be able to put on the block to woo a wealthy private corporation, and who, ultimately, comes out a winner in such deal-making? Village Voice news editor Neil deMause is author of The Brooklyn Wars and co-author of Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit. He’ll help shed some light on that story.