History 101: Black Panthers, Palestinians & The Fight to End Racist Zionism

Former Political prisoner Dhoruba Bin Wahad

Former Political prisoner Dhoruba Bin Wahad

We sat down and spoke w/ former political prisoner, Black Panther (Panther 21) and BLA member Dhoruba Bin Wahad who gave us an incredible in-depth history about the relationship between the Black Panther Party and the Palestinian Liberation Movement.. It’s important history that has been erased in the current conversation as there is a concerted effort by organizations like AIPAC to rewrite history and downplay the militant aspects of the Black Freedom struggles. For example many do not know that there were Palestinian Black Panthers in Palestine. Dhoruba explained that they formed because they felt organizations like the PLO were not militant enough. The breakdown on this is serious history.

Our conversation started off with Dhoruba laying down the history of how Israel formed in the first place and the mass displacement of Palestinian people. He clears up the common misperception of Palestine and Israel being in armed conflict for centuries. Its an excuse given so that people avoid looking at Israel’s human rights violations. It obscures the racist and imperialistic aspects of Zionism which is driving the current conflict. More importantly as Dhoruba points out it takes away from the reality of Israel being a ‘settler state’.

Dhoruba talks about the role colonial powers, in particular Britain and France played in issuing mandates and how they fostered a climate that eventually resulted in the current conflict we see going on now in the Middle East..

Palestinian Black PantherDhoruba detailed how and why the Black Panthers linked up with the Palestinians and the important role that the struggles in Algiers played in bringing folks together. Dhoruba explained his role as one of the liaisons between the Panthers and Palestine’s UN delegation..he also details how J Edgar Hoover and his infamous Cointel-Pro program launched a campaign with a racist name called Operation Hymie where they sent off letters to Jewish organizations asserting the Black Panthers were Nazis and Anti-Semitic. It was an attempt to demonize the Panthers and dampen the relationship and support they had from Jewish folks who did support the Panthers.

We were joined in our conversation by local activist and scholar Danea Martinez who detailed the relationship between Palestine and the Black freedom struggle in South Africa. She gave us an accurate perspective on Nelson Mandela, the ANC (African National Congress) and where and how they intersected with the Palestine struggle. She also gave us perspective on Israel displacing Palestinians in 1948 from their homeland and the formation of Apartheid in South Africa that same year.. Its remarkable and sobering history as she details Zionist Israeli’s long sordid relationship with Apartheid South Africa. Its history that many in power are trying to erase.

Both Danea and Dhoruba talked at length about Arab racism and slavery on the African continent. Dhoruba who lived in Africa for a number of years detailed the racial politics and how they play out both here in the US and abroad. He reminded folks that many of the Arabs we’re  talking about involved in slavery in places like Mali and the Sudan are actually Black. he noted they are ‘Blacker than you and me’ but in appearance but they identify as Arab. He walks us through some of the complexities around this and talks about where and how Anti-Black sentiment emerges within the Arab world. The information he breaks down in this segment is extremely insightful and gives important context to this discussion on Arab racism.

We also talk at length about the impact the cold war had on the liberation struggles in both America amongst Black people and in Palestine. We talk about the role it played in heightening racist Zionism..

We conclude the conversation with a discussion of how Israel’s policies and practices are being exported to US police departments and SWAT teams here in the US.. There is an NYPD office in Tel A Viv and many officers have taken leaves of absence to go fight for Israel’s IDF to hunt down Palestinians. This slaughter has got to stop.

Check out the full Hard Knock Radio Interview below

https://soundcloud.com/mrdaveyd/hkr-08-01-14-fight-the-power-black-liberation-palestine-zionism

Update: As we are finishing up this interview we got word that Palestinian futball (soceer) legend Ahed Zaqout  was killed as a result of Israel’s relentless bombings of Gaza. We also got word that 9 members of Dr. Mona El-Farra, of the Middle East Children’s Alliance and the director of Gaza Projects Lost 9 members of her family yesterday.  You can hear her first hand accounts HERE

 

Some thoughts on Black Liberation, Palestine & the Angry Black Woman Open Letter

BLACK LEADERS AND PALESTINEFor the past couple of days an article written by ‘An Angry Black Woman‘ has been making he rounds.. It’s an open letter to Palestinians telling them to stop referencing  Black ‘Freedom struggle‘ when speaking about their own struggle. It goes on to make the claim about how Martin Luther King , Coretta Scott King and others were all Zionists…That article can be found here–> http://bit.ly/1mYL90V

A few things to keep in mind.. First understand the article/letter which is being championed by Zionist backed publications and outlets and the Israeli Lobby is designed to do a couple of things. First and foremost it gets people debating the author who up to now has been relatively unknown and her particular merits or lack thereof.. It centers her as a Black woman in this debate and cleverly obscures the long-standing human rights abuses of Israel.

Thank God Gandhi, the Mau Mau and other liberation movements around the world that inspired and informed us didn’t get upset and write editorials telling Black folks fighting for freedom to stop referencing their movements but lets not digress. The issue here is distraction and articles like these are take the focus off of Israel..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq6Y6LSjulU

Such articles leave have us no longer talking about innocent civilians and children that have been ruthlessly massacred in the past couple of weeks. We are no longer talking about Gaza being an open air prison where its residents are blockaded by Israels army via land, sea and water and have been for decades..

We are no longer talking about Apartheid style check points or the Jewish only roads that lead to Israeli settlements that have been set up in Gaza in the most hostile and aggressive fashion.

We are no longer talking about how an estimated 60-70% of Gaza citizens are youth..The median age in Gaza is 18..

We are not talking about the history and legacy of Afro-Palestinians..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIDXv0vI_PM

We are not talking about the tactical suppression training US police are receiving from Israel and how the increased militarization, domestic spying, secrecy and brutality of US police are playing out everyday in our communities.In particular Black and Brown communities..There is a lot of talk about the rise of the warrior cop.. Well the model and training is Israel.. Lets talk about that..read about it here–> http://bit.ly/1zqqFXp

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp33RPksz_g

The article is designed to get us focusing on ‘An Angry Black Lady’ who dislikes Palestinians and not on Israel’s very public and widespread hostile mistreatment of Blacks as a matter of policy.. We are suddenly overlooking Israel’s racial school segregation policy as outlined here–> http://thebea.st/1mYgAbE

We are no longer talking about Ethiopian immigrants in Israel being coerced and forced to take sterilization/ birth control shots as outlined here–> http://onforb.es/1tW0dC1

We are no longer talking about her harsh mistreatment of Israel’s 60 thousand African refugees who are being forced to flee Israel after seeking asylum and being denied. Long time Israeli journalist David Sheen has a ton of documentaries and videos that show the widespread anti-Black  hatred up close and personal.. You can see that here–> http://bit.ly/1tVYs7S

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPxv4Aff3IA

The article also serves another purpose which in recent years has been part of a larger trend which is to narrowly define and rewrite the Civil Rights/ Black Liberation movement. One gets the impression that the mass struggle around Black liberation was only Martin Luther King, when in fact you had everyone from Malcolm X, to the Black Panthers to SNCC, to the Nation of Islam to the Black Arts Movement etc..

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King

The list is long and so if one wants to claim that MLK was a Zionist which he wasn’t as outlined here–> http://bit.ly/1tW55Hi and decry folks from connecting their struggle to the Black Liberation struggle you can’t make that claim if you include the words of Malcolm X who eloquently spoke out against Zionism.. You can read that here–> http://bit.ly/1l9xWCO

Also on a side note, in the article the author cleverly claims MLK Sr vs his more famous son MLK Jr was a Zionist..  In anycase many have made the false claim about MLK Jr so its good to clear up the misinformation once and for all.

Moving along, we should not forget about Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton‘s position on Palestine when he said ‘We support them 100%” .. Read that here–> http://bit.ly/1oFyqW6

We also have Stokely Carmichael aka Kwame Toure speaking out against Zionism in 1970 .. Read that here–> http://bit.ly/1xtUsvB

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gvbw9DF7Go

There is also an ad that ran in the NY Times and other papers around the country in 1969 by Black leaders condemning Zionism.. A picture of that headline to this ad is shown above..you can see a full copy of that ad here–> http://bit.ly/1AtDYIf

There are lots more to list, but the overall point is that speaking out against Zionism and supporting the Palestinian cause was not unusual or unheard of during the Civil Rights struggle.

Ronald Reagan Opposed Nelson Mandela. He saw him and the Adfrican national Congress as Terrorists

Nelson Mandela

The other thing not to be overlooked is Israel’s alliance with South Africa’s brutal Apartheid government and their long time arms trade.. What’s overlooked is they opposed UN backed sanctions against South Africa’s Apartheid Regime up to 1986… What’s also overlooked is what Nelson Mandela had to say about his support of Palestinians as shown here in this townhall–> http://bit.ly/1tWgrv4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5TiUhhm7cQ

What we’re dealing with here is a well placed and well-financed distraction with a Black face being used as validation.. As a friend of mine recently pointed out.. These are desperate times and many out here are thirsty.. Thirsty people do thirsty things.. This article is a manifestation of that thirst..Folks should be wary.

Lastly, we should not dismiss and deny that there is Anti-Black sentiments found throughout the Arab world. And while anti-Black sentiment can be found all over to the degree there is a long history of Black-Palestinian support, it’s important that alliance not be tainted by racial ignorance. It would be nice if we saw and heard strong Arab voices loudly and publicly condemning racism left and right and planting seeds for much larger and longer conversations that should be had moving forward.

If I was Israel running this propaganda campaign.. The next steps I would be taking on top of boosting up articles like this would be to find some crazy prominent Arab who hates Blacks and give him/her a platform to spew hateful things and leave folks angry and confused.. That I feel is coming down the pipe and folks best be prepared..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LcLqP-GOj0

 

Here’s What We Should Teach Our Kids Today on Ronald Reagan Day

Today, February 6 is Ronald Reagan Day and to be quite frank, I’m happy to celebrate. As folks gear up to pull out all the stops and all the bells and whistles to commemorate what would’ve been the Big Gipper’s 103rd  birthday, I too wanna leave no stone unturned. People all over the world especially our children deserve to know the truth about the man who was nick named ‘The Great Communicator‘.

First let’s start by noting that it’s been fascinating to watch as many in power in particular corporate interest who greatly benefitted from his 8 year reign have been hard at work re-writing history and making one of the most detestable figures to ever reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave seem down right angelic.

In short revisionist history of Reagan here in the US is on par to the revisionism that notable figures like former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have undertaken. If Reagan is getting a historic make over why not do make overs and put a smiley face on notorious figures like Idi Amin Dada, Saddam Hussein, Augusto Pinochet, François ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier, Benito Mussolini and maybe the founding fathers of the US, many of whom were slave owners… Oops sorry, I went too far.. We are doing revisionist make overs of slavery,  thank to the Texas State Board of Education who want to refer to ‘slavery‘ as ‘Atlantic Triangular Trade’.

Also thanks to the Kentucky Tea Party and their esteemed Senator Rand Paul who want to disassociate the fact that our founding fathers were slave owners. Certainly we won’t dwell on the fact that two years ago congressional lawmakers after insisting on the Constitution be read during their swearing-in (112th congress), they  decided to skip over the parts where it was declared that Black people are 3/5th human.

So today as we celebrate Ronald Reagan Day lets remind the kids what this man was all about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPyjJ1MMUzQ

Should we start be reminding folks that Ronald Reagan was the ultimate corporate pitchman? Should we tell how he started out working for General Electric which as you know is one of the world’s largest weapons makers and that he modeled himself to be the ultimate peddler of corporate interests. He was one of the first indicators that the presidency was no longer for the people but for the corporation. Reagan was the personification. In their new documentary Rendezvous with Destiny, GE lays out how Reagan selling skills laid the groundwork for his assent to being the nation’s 40th president.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPfZ74TesSc

Ronald ReaganShould we remind the kids that Reagan was a union buster?  We should dig deep into the archives and look at the Air Traffic Controllers strike of 1981 where Reagan fired 11,ooo workers and ultimately got the union Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) de-certified. Reagan’s mass firing was a major line drawn in the sand. The demonizing and attacks on unions especially those within the federal government have been going ever since.

Should we remind the kids how Reagan ignored the AIDs epidemic that sprung up during his two terms? People were dying all over and good ole Ronnie was steadfast in not talking about the dreaded disease in any form or fashion. The sad joke at the time was he cared more about UFO’s than he did victims of AIDs.  Ronnie was out to lunch on that crises.

Speaking of lunch, maybe we should teach the kids about how Ronald Reagan insisted that ketchup and relish were vegetables as he aggressively fought to push inner city school lunch programs to cut cooked and fresh vegetables from their menus. 30 years later we have a major health problems especially in the area of obesity amongst our youth.. Thanks Ronnie you did good.

Perhaps we should remind the kids that under Reagan, the Legal Aid Corporation was defanged. This meant that unscrupulous landlords, corporations and utility companies were free to take advantage and abuse consumers, knowing that the people they were jacking wouldn’t be able to get effective legal assistance to fight back.

Reagan Gun ControlI could always teach the kids about Reagan’s trickle down economic theory where he fought to allow rich corporations and businesses to cut taxes which would allow them to create new jobs thus benefitting the masses. I guess I should also teach the kids how many of those rich folks who got those tax breaks promptly took their American jobs overseas where they continued to enjoy tax breaks while our economy was turned upside down..

I’ll be sure to teach the kids how Reagan opposed the Equal Rights Amendment even though women at that time and even today still make less than men. we’ll also remind the kids about Reagan’s tricknology. He promised to name a woman to the supreme court (Sandra Day O’Connor) if the ERA was defeated. The end result is as we celebrate Reagan’s birthday he gets props for opening up the supreme court while forgetting that he threw the average everyday working woman under the bus.

We could also talk about how he was vehemently opposed to the Black Panthers and pushed for the Mulford Act which was specifically designed to target and disarm them. Thats when Reagan and the NRA were for gun control.

We should also remind the kids that Ronald Wilson Reagan opposed the 1965 Voting Rights Act which was championed by Dr Martin Luther King. He said its passage was a ‘humiliation to the South’.

The Father of Crack

I guess because so many kids are enamored with rap star Rick Ross, perhaps I could use his popularity as a teachable moment. I could start by letting kids know that Ross the rapper from Miami derived his name from Freeway Rick the drug dealer out of Los Angeles.

Freeway Rick who has been touring the country lecturing against the harmful impact of drugs is erroneously called the Father of Crack.  His South Central LA operations is legendary as he’s reported to have moved up to 3 million dollars worth of product a week,  but that’s only part of the story. Freeway Rick was not the Father but the proverbial God son.. The real Father of Crack was Ronald Reagan. It’s a sore point of contention to Reagan revisionists who bristle at the notion, but we know better.

You see Freeway Rick was allowed to flourish because our government at the time had some dirty war business they wanted to conduct and found it difficult to circumvent the law and limits set up by Congress. Freeway Rick was able to lavish the hood with tons of crack cocaine because of little scheme we came to know as the Iran Contra Scandal . It was the biggest scandal this country had ever known. Even bigger than Richard Nixon’s Watergate.

To sum it up what you had was in the early 80s, the US was beefing with Iran and the US was beefing with left leaning factions in Nicaragua called the Sandinistas. Reagan and his boys wanted to knock off the Sandinistas because they didn’t like their politics and the populus movement they represented. Latin America was on the rise and overthrowing dictators who were backed by the US. Reagan wanted to overthrow the Sandinistas by arming a bunch of CIA backed rebels called the Contras. Since we’re supposed to be a freedom loving country we couldn’t do our bidding publicly, and as I noted Congress wasnt with the program, so Reagan’s senior advisors launched a secret war.

What they did was covertly sell arms to Iran and take the money and use it to fund Contra operations in Nicaragua. Additional money was netted for the Contras through the sale of crack cocaine which suddenly overnight gained huge popularity in hoods throughout the country. Freeway Rick and South Central, LA was ground zero.

LAs notorious gangs became the main traffickers who spread all out the country with Freeway Rick being the kingpin. Some of this is outlined in Ice Cube’s song ‘Summer Vacation‘.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXrWIyCW-7E

Freeway Rick’s connection to all the cocaine was a notorious drug supplier named Oscar Danilo Blandón who worked with the CIA and was a key link to the Contras. This is where the whole CIA-Crack connection story emerged . They were outlined in the explosive 1996 San Jose Mercury expose and book called Dark Alliances written by the late Gary Webb.

Oliver North

When all was said and done damn near all of Reagan’s senior advisors were convicted, like National Security Council member Oliver North who played a central role and was later pardoned. Reagan the Great Communicator was protected with folks saying he had no idea all this was happening on his watch. The exact term used was Reagan was ‘disengaged’

Supporter of Apartheid

The term disengaged is an interesting one because it’s in opposition to what Ronald Reagan prided himself. Here was a guy who supported South Africa’s Apartheid Regime. He aggressively opposed Nelson Mandela who was in jail as a political prisoner during Reagan’s presidency. Reagan called Mandela and his and the African National Congress a ‘terrorist organization‘.

During the early 80s, worldwide resistance to South Africa emerged including a call from the UN to have an embargo. Recording artists all over the world launched a boycott to Sun City which was a popular resort in South Africa where some of the Apartheid laws were relaxed.

Ronald Reagan Opposed Nelson Mandela. He saw him and the African National Congress as Terrorists

Ronald Reagan along with Israel and Great Britain opposed all of it. Reagan said he supported South Africa because they stood alongside us during all our wars.. He said the best way to get rid of Apartheid was not through embargos but through this term he coined called  ‘Constructive engagement‘. When he first used it left everyone stunned and asking WTF? There was nothing to engage. People were calling for an end to the brutal Apartheid regime and Reagan was opposing it. It was so bad that after he vetoed sanctions, Congress did a rare thing and over rode his veto.  This man who supposedly loved freedom was on the wrong side of history when it came to making sure it was a reality for Black South Africans. It’s no wonder Nelson Mandela didn’t attend his funeral in 2004.

We can go on and on when talking about Ronald Reagan. He was a hero for those who yearned for the days when many people in marginalized communities were behind the 8 ball not in front of it.  Yes when February 6th rolls around.. I will say Happy Ronald Reagan Day and commence to undo the revisionist history the power elite in this country have spent years constructing. I’ll leave with two musical heroes who went in hard on Reagan back in the days. Gil Scott Heron with the song B-Movie and Melle-Mel with his song Jesse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56ipWM3DWe4

Melle-Mel recorded praising Jesse Jackson-It one of the earliest rap songs encouraging folks to Get Out and Vote

In the song Jesse, Melle-Mel goes in on Reagan with this classic verses.

See Ronald Reagan speaking on TV, smiling like everything’s fine and dandy
Sounded real good when he tried to give a pep talk to over 30 million poor people like me
How can we say we got to stick it out when his belly is full and his future is sunny?
I don’t need his jive advice but I sure do need his jive time money
The dream is a nightmare in disguise (Let’s talk about Jesse)
Red tape and lies fill your for spacious skies (Let’s talk about Jesse)
But don’t think that DC just did it first (Let’s talk about Jesse)
There’s a lot of DC’s all over this universe (His name is Jesse)
He started on the bottom, now he’s on the top
He proved that he could make it, so don’t ever stop
Brothers stand together and let the whole world see
Our brother Jesse Jackson go down in history

The 30th day that’s in December is a day that everyone’s gonna remember
Because on that day a righteous man, thought about taking a brand new stand
The name of the man is Jesse Jackson and his call is for peace without an action
‘Cause now is the time to change the nation without just another negotiation
He went to the East for human rights to free a lieutenant shot down in flight
Just another statistic and the government knew it, they didn’t even want the man to go do it
Before he left, he called the president’s home and Reagan didn’t even answer the phone
But I tell you one thing and that’s a natural fact, you can bet he calls Jesse when Jesse got back

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3IsCfMB0rk

As we conclude.. lets celebrate Ronald Reagan Day with enthusiasm.. He was a piece of work that has been handsomely made over. If they can do it for him, they can do it for you. That means there’s hope for the most vile among us..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lIqNjC1RKU

 

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Gil Scott Heron Agrees Not to Perform in Tel Aviv-Emory Douglass Issues Statement

Gil Scott Heron Boycott Israel press release:

GSH ANNOUNCES CANCELLATION OF TEL-AVIV CONCERT [incl response from Emory Douglas]

by Sukant Chandan

Gil Scott Heron announces cancellation of Tel Aviv concert

Artist won’t play in Israel “until everyone is welcome there”.

Fans of revolutionary poet and singer-songwriter Gil Scott Heron welcomed his decision last night to cancel the concert he had been scheduled to play in Tel Aviv this May. Heron announced the decision during his set at London’s Royal Festival Hall, the opening night of his world tour.

Activists from the Gil Scott Heron Boycott Israel Campaign had picketed the event earlier in the day, attracting considerable public interest and support. Ten activists from the campaign then continued their protest inside the concert, raising the issue of Israeli apartheid right at the start of Heron’s set and after the first song.

The activists were great admirers of the artist who were shocked by Heron’s decision to play Israel, and said that they protested “reluctantly” given his longstanding commitment to equality and civil rights in both the USA and South Africa.

Upon hearing of the proposed gig in Tel Aviv, South Africans in the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign said they were “shocked” and “disappointed” at the decision.

Heron waited until just before his last song to announce the decision to the audience. His tone was unapologetic and he did not definitively tie the decision to any rationale, simply stating that the tour would “end in Athens, not Tel Aviv” and that he would only play in Israel “when everyone is welcome there”. The campaign is now awaiting confirmation from Gil Scott Heron’s management that the concert has indeed been cancelled.

Emory Douglas, renowned artist of the Black Panther Party, commented “My choice to join the voices opposed to your going [to Tel Aviv] wasn’t personal, but the right thing to do. I will be one of the first in line at your next concert in my town. May you continue to inform and inspire.”

For more information on the campaign, please contact:
sukant.chandan@gmail.com

Notes to Editors
Sukant Chandan is coordinating the GSH Boycott Israel Campaign
• The GSH Boycott Israel Campaign started in response to GSH’s proposed gig in Israel on 25 May 2010
• The GSH Boycott Israel Campaign was established to persuade GSH to cancel this gig

———————–
Full Emory Douglas statement:

Emory Douglass

I commend you on your reversal of not going to perform in Israel, a place ruled by an Apartheid Government. Perhaps the courage you’ve shown by not going will now set the standard and be an inspiration for other performers to be mindful of the choices they make.
My choice to join the voices opposed to your going wasn’t personal, but the right thing to do. I will be one of the first in line at your next concert in my town. May you continue to inform and inspire.
-One Love, Emory Douglas, former Minister of Culture of The Back Panther Party

George Galloway commented:
“Gil Scott-Heron sees sense and cancels his Tel Aviv gig. Well done to everyone who campaigned for him to cancel.”

The GSH Boycott Israel Campaign said:
“We have long been great admirers of Gil Scott Heron’s contribution to the cultural struggle of the oppressed around the world, and were originally planning to attend the concert simply to celebrate and enjoy the great man’s songs. It was therefore with some reluctance that we organised last night’s picket and protest of his concert, but felt it was necessary given Israel’s apartheid policies. His decision last night to cancel the show will be a great boost to all those Palestinians struggling under Israeli occupation, none of whom have freedom of movement even within the West Bank, let alone to go to concerts in Tel Aviv.”

Haidar Eid from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel:
“Gil Scott Heron’s decision to cancel his concert in Tel Aviv is warmly welcomed by most of us here in Gaza and Palestinian civil society at large. This does not come as a surprise to us due to his luminous heritage in support of the anti- apartheid struggle in South Africa
“Once again, we wholeheartedly thank him for his support for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it complies with its obligations under international law and fully respects Palestinian rights.”

Lee Jasper, British race equality campaigner and former Senior Policy Advisor on Equalities to the Mayor of London:
“I welcome Gill’s announcement that he does not intend to play in Tel-Aviv. even better if he could switch the venue and do a fundraiser in Palestine for those who suffer Israeli state oppression and racism.”

Huey Newton meets Arafat

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