7/10/2020

BAY AREA UNITED AGAINST WAR NEWSLETTER, JULY 10, 2020

Defund the Police!
March to Camp Out
Monday, July 13, 2020, 1:00 P.M.
Meet at Sankofa/Bushrod Park, march to camp out at the Berkeley Police Station
(You don't have to camp out to participate)

Organized by Berkeley and Oakland High School Students

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For Immediate Release                                                            



Press Contact: Herb Mintz

(415) 759-9679



Photos and Interviews: Steve Zeltzer

(415) 867-0628





LaborFest is committed to providing unique and relevant labor theme events while practicing proper social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no printed program booklet and all LaborFest 2020 program events will be available online only at https://laborfest.net/.  Events will be available through YouTube or Facebook using a web address provided in the program schedule.  Events are subject to change or cancellation due to COVID-19 related issues.  Check our website at https://laborfest.net/ prior to each event.


LaborFest is the premier labor cultural arts and film festival in the United States.  LaborFest recognizes the role of working people in the building of America and making it work even in this time of COVID-19.  The festival is self-funded with contributions from unions and other organizations that support and celebrate the contributions of working people.

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"While you're worried about 'bad apples', We're wary of the roots. because NO healthy tree, naturally bears Strange 

Fruit."


—Unknown source




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The San Francisco Mime Troupe will not be performing their traditional live show in Sana Cruz this year.  Instead they are offering one of their classic shows with a timely theme to stream online.

Watch FREEDOMLAND now through July 19 for a ticket price of 99 cents.  This non-profit theater troupe will also appreciate an additional donation.

-Jeffrey Smedberg
Reel Work Labor Film Festival

The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s FREEDOMLAND 
available online Monday, July 6 - Sunday, July 19!
In 2015 the Tony award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe presented an original tragic farce - FREEDOMLAND - to critical praise in parks around the Bay Area, and in theaters across California. FREEDOMLAND is the story of the lengths a Black man will go to in order to keep his grandson safe and alive in a country that seems to prefer Black men in jail or dead. Pulling no punches while still managing to be comedic, FREEDOMLAND was a brutal, tragic, yet in the Mime Troupe tradition sardonic look at the results of the War on Drugs, how fear is used as a weapon of racial oppression, and how police violence destroys Black lives in our police state. And now, for the first time, the San Francisco Mime                                                           Troupe will be making one of its most hard-hitting shows available for a limited time online!

Visit www.sfmt.org for more details, and see the show 
anytime between July 6 to July 19 on Vimeo.

See FREEDOMLAND for FREE but a suggested 
donation of $20 is greatly appreciated!
Watch a trailer!
SF Mime Troupe is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, tax ID 94-1602975.
All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.
Donate Today to FREEDOMLAND!
We also accept checks made out to SFMT.
(And we get your full donation, no third party charges when you send a check!)
Mail to: 855 Treat Ave, SF, CA 94110

San Francisco Mime Troupe | 855 Treat Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

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Thanks for your support!


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Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (Official Video 2019)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5TmORitlKk


Because once is not enough. Because sometimes music is my only solace. Because sometimes it hurts too much too care but to be human is to hurt. Because I feel lucky to have grown up with great music. Because that music was harmonic and melodious. Because that music had soul. Because I grew up with Blues and Motown and Jazz. Because I grew up with Black friends and we played ball everyday and we had fun and we were winners. Because they taught me about music and soul and acceptance. Because they didn't hate me for being white. Because I was brought up with Irish Catholics who taught me that fighting and arguing for justice kept depression in its place. Because they taught me that if you never quit fighting you haven't lost so never quit fighting for justice. Because I was in a union and learned that solidarity is the original religion. Because without solidarity you are alone. And alone is hell and because I have never been in hell. Because I am part of the human race. Because the human race is the only race on earth. Because I am grateful for Marvin Gaye, and John Coltrane, and Sam Cooke and because you know what I am talking about. Because we are going to win and we are going to have fun. Because that's the truth. Because no lie can defeat truth. Because you are there to hear me. Because I know I am not alone.  —Gregg Shotwell
https://www.greggshotwell.com

(Gregg Shotwell is a retired autoworker, writer and poet.)



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"When I liberate myself, I liberate others. If you don't speak out, ain't nobody going to speak out for you."

Fannie Lou Hamer 

Dear Community, 

Do you know what wakes me up every day? Believing that we will win. We always knew that we were on the right side of history—but this summer between unveiling the racist outcomes of COVID-19, the global uprisings and the nationwide 650+ Juneneenth actions, we have momentum like we’ve never had before, and the majority of the country is with us. We know that the next step in our pathway to liberation is to make a strong political move at the ballot box—and we need you to lead the effort to entice, excite, educate, and ignite our people, from the babies to the grannies. Black August belongs to the Electoral Justice Project; it is our turn to set the national Black Political Agenda, and we want you to join us!

In a crisis, we have found resilience and the opportunity to make history. This is the genius of our Blackness—even amid a devastating pandemic that exposed racism and anti-Blackness as the real pre-existing conditions harming our communities, we are rising up and taking action to build power and demand that our rights and dignity be upheld and respected.

This summer, we will continue the legacy of Black Political Power-building and the righteous anger and momentum in the streets to shape a movement that will extend to the November elections and beyond. 

We invite you to join the Movement for Black Lives on Friday, August 28, at for the Black National Convention—a primetime event in celebration of Black Culture, Black Political Power-building, and a public policy agenda that will set forth an affirmative vision for Black Lives.


We are drawing from a legacy of struggle for Black Liberation. In 1964, Black communities across Mississippi and the South united in the face of systemic racism and voter suppression. That summer, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act, which after decades of violence and segregation, was won through sheer will. Then, on March 10, 1972, 4,000 Black people from every political affiliation attended the National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana, to yield power for Black people. While the historic event generated a new Black Political Agenda and quadrupled the number of Black elected officials by the end of the 1970s, it was not without its divisions and tensions—ranging from questions about the efficacy of Reverend Jesse Jackson’s assertion of a “Liberation Party” to the isolation of then–Presidential Candidate Shirley Chishom.

Despite the varied outcomes, the National Black Political Convention was an influential moment in Black History. Forty-eight years later, we are meeting yet another opportunity for radical change. This Black August, join us as we unveil one of the boldest political platforms our country has ever seen, partnering to ignite millions across the country. www.blacknovember.org

You feel that? We’re going to win. 

With Black Love, 

Jessica Byrd and the Black National Convention Planning Teamp


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CODEPINK.ORG


Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers that police have used to kill thousands of Americans!


BlackRock loves to make a killing on killing: Over a thousand Americans have been killed by Tasers — 32 percent of them are Black Americans. Tasers are made by the colossal law enforcement supplier Axon Enterprise, based in Arizona.
One of their top shareholders happens to be Blackrock. Recently Blackrock has been trying to be sympathetic to the atrocities of murders waged on Black Americans and communities of color. If we ramp up massive pressure and blow the whistle on their deadly stocks, we can highlight that divesting from Tasers and the war in our streets will be a step in the right direction in building a fair and just society.
This issue is important to having peace in our streets. But this will only work if people participate. Send an email to Blackrock to divest from the Taser manufacturer Axon Enterprise which is responsible for the killing of thousands of Americans, and CODEPINK will pull out all the stops to make sure Blackrock execs hear our call:

Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers!

Blackrock could do this. They recently announced that they were divesting from fossil fuels — signaling a shift in their policies. If CEO Larry Fink cares about “diversity, fairness, and justice” and building a “stronger, more equal, and safer society” — he should divest from Tasers.
Plus, compared to Blackrock’s other holdings, Taser stocks aren’t even that significant!

But if Blackrock does this, it could be the first domino we need to get other investment companies on board too. Send an email to BlackRock and share this widely! 

Tell Blackrock: stop investing in Tasers!

If there’s one thing our community stands for, it’s peace and social justice. And one way we can help achieve that is by cutting off the flow of cash into the manufacturing of Tasers. So, let’s come together to make that happen, and help prevent more innocent Americans from being killed with these senseless tools.

With hope,
Nancy, Carley, Jodie, Paki, Cody, Kelsey, and Yousef

Donate Now!

This email was sent to giobon@comcast.net. To unsubscribe,  click here
To update your email subscription, contact info@codepink.org.
© 2020 CODEPINK.ORG | Created with NationBuilder
    
 

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Rayshard Brooks, 27 years old, was shot to death while running away from police in Atlanta Friday, June 12, 2020.

SAY HIS NAME!


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/14/us/videos-rayshard-brooks-shooting-atlanta-police.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage


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Kimberly Jones

If you haven't seen this, you're missing something spectacular:

On Saturday May 30th filmmaker and photographer David Jones of David Jones Media felt compelled to go out and serve the community in some way. He decided to use his art to try and explain the events that were currently impacting our lives. On day two, Sunday the 31st, he activated his dear friend author Kimberly Jones to tag along and conduct interviews. During a moment of downtime he captured these powerful words from her and felt the world couldn’t wait for the full length documentary, they needed to hear them now.

Kimberly Jones on YouTube 

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Awesome! I always wonder about what protests accomplish. Here’s a list:

So what has protesting accomplished?

👉🏾Within 10 days of sustained protests:
Minneapolis bans use of choke holds.

👉🏾Charges are upgraded against Officer Chauvin, and his accomplices are arrested and charged.

👉🏾Dallas adopts a "duty to intervene" rule that requires officers to stop other cops who are engaging in inappropriate use of force.

👉🏾New Jersey’s attorney general said the state will update its use-of-force guidelines for the first time in two decades.

👉🏾In Maryland, a bipartisan work group of state lawmakers announced a police reform work group.

👉🏾Los Angeles City Council introduces motion to reduce LAPD’s $1.8 billion operating budget.

👉🏾MBTA in Boston agrees to stop using public buses to transport police officers to protests.

👉🏾Police brutality captured on cameras leads to near-immediate suspensions and firings of officers in several cities (i.e., Buffalo, Ft. Lauderdale).

👉🏾Monuments celebrating confederates are removed in cities in Virginia, Alabama, and other states.

👉🏾Street in front of the White House is renamed "Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
Military forces begin to withdraw from D.C.

Then, there's all the other stuff that's hard to measure:

💓The really difficult public and private conversations that are happening about race and privilege.

💓The realizations some white people are coming to about racism and the role of policing in this country.

💓The self-reflection.

💓The internal battles exploding within organizations over issues that have been simmering or ignored for a long time. Some organizations will end as a result, others will be forever changed or replaced with something stronger and fairer.

Globally:

🌎 Protests against racial inequality sparked by the police killing of George Floyd are taking place all over the world.

🌎 Rallies and memorials have been held in cities across Europe, as well as in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.

🌎 As the US contends with its second week of protests, issues of racism, police brutality, and oppression have been brought to light across the globe.

🌎 People all over the world understand that their own fights for human rights, for equality and fairness, will become so much more difficult to win if we are going to lose America as the place where 'I have a dream' is a real and universal political program," Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to the US, told the New Yorker.

🌎 In France, protesters marched holding signs that said "I can't breathe" to signify both the words of Floyd, and the last words of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who was subdued by police officers and gasped the sentence before he died outside Paris in 2016.

🌎 Cities across Europe have come together after the death of George Floyd:

✊🏽 In Amsterdam, an estimated 10,000 people filled the Dam square on Monday, holding signs and shouting popular chants like "Black lives matter," and "No justice, no peace."

✊🏽 In Germany, people gathered in multiple locations throughout Berlin to demand justice for Floyd and fight against police brutality.

✊🏾 A mural dedicated to Floyd was also spray-painted on a stretch of wall in Berlin that once divided the German capital during the Cold War.

✊🏿 In Ireland, protesters held a peaceful demonstration outside of Belfast City Hall, and others gathered outside of the US embassy in Dublin.

✊🏿In Italy, protesters gathered and marched with signs that said "Stop killing black people," "Say his name," and "We will not be silent."

✊🏾 In Spain, people gathered to march and hold up signs throughout Barcelona and Madrid.

✊🏾 In Athens, Greece, protesters took to the streets to collectively hold up a sign that read "I can't breathe."

✊🏾 In Brussels, protesters were seen sitting in a peaceful demonstration in front of an opera house in the center of the city.

✊🏾In Denmark, protesters were heard chanting "No justice, no peace!" throughout the streets of Copenhagen, while others gathered outside the US embassy.

✊🏾 In Canada, protesters were also grieving for Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old black woman who died on Wednesday after falling from her balcony during a police investigation at her building.

✊🏾 And in New Zealand, roughly 2,000 people marched to the US embassy in Auckland, chanting and carrying signs demanding justice.

💐 Memorials have been built for Floyd around the world, too. In Mexico City, portraits of him were hung outside the US embassy with roses, candles, and signs.

💐 In Poland, candles and flowers were laid out next to photos of Floyd outside the US consulate.

💐 And in Syria, two artists created a mural depicting Floyd in the northwestern town of Binnish, "on a wall destroyed by military planes."

Before the assassination of George Floyd some of you were able to say whatever the hell you wanted and the world didn't say anything to you...

THERE HAS BEEN A SHIFT, AN AWAKENING...MANY OF YOU ARE BEING EXPOSED FOR WHO YOU REALLY ARE. #readthatagain

Don't wake up tomorrow on the wrong side of this issue. Its not to late to SAY,

"Maybe I need to look at this from a different perspective."

"Maybe I don't know what its like to be black in America..."

"Maybe, just maybe, I have been taught wrong."

There is still so much work to be done. It's been a really dark, raw week. This could still end badly. But all we can do is keep doing the work.

Keep protesting.

WE ARE NOT TRYING TO START A RACE WAR; WE ARE PROTESTING TO END IT,
PEACEFULLY.

How beautiful is that?

ALL LIVES CANNOT MATTER UNTIL YOU INCLUDE BLACK LIVES.

YOU CANNOT SAY 'ALL LIVES MATTER' WHEN YOU DO NOTHING TO STOP SYSTEMIC RACISM & POLICE BRUTALITY.

YOU CANNOT SAY 'ALL LIVES MATTER' WHEN BLACK PEOPLE ARE DYING AND ALL YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT IS THE LOOTING.

YOU CANNOT SAY 'ALL LIVES MATTER' WHEN YOU ALLOW CHILDREN TO BE CAGED, VETERANS TO GO HOMELESS, AND POOR FAMILIES TO GO HUNGRY & LOSE THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE.

DO ALL LIVES MATTER? YES. BUT RIGHT NOW, ONLY BLACK LIVES ARE BEING TARGETED, JAILED, AND KILLED EN MASSE- SO THAT'S WHO WE'RE FOCUSING ON.

🖤🖤🖤BLACK LIVES MATTER🖤🖤🖤

IF YOU CAN'T SEE THIS, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

*I do not know the original author*

Copy & paste widely!

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BLACK LIVES MATTER


Ultimately, the majority of human suffering is caused by a system that places the value of material wealth over the value of
human life. To end the suffering, we must end the profit motive—the very foundation of capitalism itself.
—BAUAW
(Bay Area United Against War Newsletter)


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Tens-of-thousands protest in San Francisco June 3, 2020





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George Floyd's Last Words
"It's my face man
I didn't do nothing serious man
please
please
please I can't breathe
please man
please somebody
please man
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
please
(inaudible)
man can't breathe, my face
just get up
I can't breathe
please (inaudible)
I can't breathe sh*t
I will
I can't move
mama
mama
I can't
my knee
my nuts
I'm through
I'm through
I'm claustrophobic
my stomach hurt
my neck hurts
everything hurts
some water or something
please
please
I can't breathe officer
don't kill me
they gon' kill me man
come on man
I cannot breathe
I cannot breathe
they gon' kill me
they gon' kill me
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
please sir
please
please
please I can't breathe"

Then his eyes shut and the pleas stop. George Floyd was pronounced dead shortly after.



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Credit...

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Trump Comic Satire—A Proposal
          By Shakaboona

PRES. TRUMP HIDES IN WHITE HOUSE BUNKER IN FEAR OF PROTESTORS
Hello everyone, it's Shakaboona here, on May 29, 2020, Friday, it was reported by NPR and other news agencies that when protestors marched on the White House, the Secret Service (SS) rushed Pres. Trump to a protective bunker in the basement of the White House for his safety. When I heard that news I instantly visualized 3 scenes - (Scene 1) a pic of Pres. Saddam Hussein hiding in an underground cave in fear of the U.S. Army, (Scene 2) a pic of Pres. Donald Trump hiding in an underground bunker shaking in fear beneath a desk from U.S. Protestors as Secret Service guards (with 2 Lightning bolts on their collars) in hyper security around him with big guns drawn out, and (Scene 3) a pic of Pres. Trump later stood in front of the church across from the White House with a Bible in hand & chest puffed out & threatened to activate the U.S. Army against American citizen protestors.
 ~ I think this would be an underground iconic image of the power of the People & the cowardice/fear of Pres. Trump, not to mention that I think such a creative comic satire of Trump would demolish his self image (haha). I ask for anyone's help to turn my above visual satire of Trump into an actual comic satire strip & for us to distribute the finished comic satire strip worldwide, esp. to the news media. Maybe we can get Trump to see it and watch him blow a gasket (lol).
 ~ Please everyone, stay safe out there, b/c Trump is pushing this country to the verge of Civil War. Be prepared in every way imaginable. Peace. - Ur Brother, Shakaboona

Write to Shakaboona:
Smart Communications/PA DOC
Kerry Shakaboona Marshall #BE7826
SCI Rockview
P.O. Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733

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Liz McAlister, the eldest of the King Bay Plowshares 7, was sentenced today via video to time served, three years supervised release and for a portion of the restitution for the seven of just over $30,000. She was the first of the defendants to be sentenced. The remaining six are scheduled to appear in the Brunswick court, June 29 and 30. Thirty-seven years ago Liz first stood before a Syracuse federal judge to hear the court render a sentence for her Griffiss Plowshares direct action protesting nuclear weapons. Today, with her attorney Bill Quigley in New Orleans and her family beside her in Connecticut, Liz appeared via video before Judge Lisa Godbey Wood who sat in Georgia's Southern District Federal Court in Brunswick, to hear today's sentence, maybe the last in the long career of indefatigable hope and courage and unrelenting opposition to nuclear weapons.

Last October, Liz, and the six others were found guilty of trespass, conspiracy and destruction of federal property, three felonies, and a misdemeanor in all, at the Kings Bay Naval Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia, where they had the audacity, in the middle of the night, to symbolically disarm a shrine celebrating US nuclear weapons and to protest the preparations for omnicide—the death of everything. Kings Bay is home to 6 Trident submarines that deploy one-quarter of the US nuclear arsenal.

The world has changed since October 2019 when activists gathered for the trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 in Brunswick, Georgia. We heard testimony and watched a video describing their incursion into the naval base. We heard the defendants explain why they chose April 4—the anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination—to carry out their act of faithful obedience. They described hanging banners, the first, a quote from the Rev. Dr. King that read, “The ultimate logic of racism is genocide,” and another that said "The ultimate logic of Trident is Omnicide." They also painted messages of peace and prayerfully poured baby bottles of blood at the naval base.

In the intervening months, while federal marshals prepared presentencing reports for the Kings Bay 7, the COVID-19 pandemic rose up to take more than 400,000 lives globally—reminding us all, if we have ears to hear, of the peril of complacency in the face of low-probability/high-risk events. It is no exaggeration, and not meant to diminish the suffering of those who have been ravaged by or lost loved ones to the novel corona virus, to say that a nuclear war would make the current struggles look like a paper cut by comparison.

In quiet, quintessential southern, Brunswick, Georgia, the spotlight that shone briefly on nuclear weapons during the trial in October shifted abruptly in May when the pandemic of racism re-entered the public’s line of sight and the world learned that Ahmaud Arbery, a young African-American man was hunted down by three armed white men. Arbery, out for a morning jog in February, the men in pickup trucks, shot and killed him. Going into May, none of the men had been indicted or faced any charges. They had, literally, gotten away with murder. Now the three men sit in the Glynn County jail where Fr. Steve Kelly has been for more than two years.

Because of COVID, Instead of gathering in the Brunswick court with activists and supporters, complete with a festival of hope, we gathered in spirit to listen to the court proceedings on a conference call line. The night before, friends, family, and supporters had gathered for a virtual blessing and liturgy via a Zoom/ Facebook event that will be available on our website later this week.

Martin Gugino, the elderly man who was knocked down to the sidewalk by Buffalo police and lay bleeding from his head is a long-time peace activist. He recently made a series of video statements in support of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 activists. He knows them from drone protests at The Hancock AFB in Syracuse, NY and Witness Against Torture actions in Washington, DC. Martin primarily works through the Western New York Peace Center. He texted today to let us know he is alive and in recovery.


Frida Berrigan's Statement


Frida Berrigan, Liz’s daughter, gave a spirited statement of support for her mother attesting to her lifelong commitment to peace. “…as a 46 year-old white citizen in a nation that is going to spend $720 plus billion on the military this year, even in the face of an economy smashing pandemic that has killed 100,000 people and laid bare the stark inequity and fundamental brokenness of every fiber of the social safety net, I am grateful that people like my mother are willing to stand up and say: “Trident is a crime.”

As a 46 year-old white citizen in a country where white supremacy and militarized policing are so emboldened that Derek Chavin can crush George Floyd’s life out of him in front of a crowd, in front of cameras, where the McMichaels father and son can gun down Ahmaud Arbery in broad daylight as he jogged through the streets of a quiet Georgia town, I draw hope and inspiration from white people who continue to invoke Dr. King’s framework of the giant triplets of racism, militarism and materialism… these weights that cripple our collective humanity. I draw hope and inspiration from my mom and her friends who declare that “Black Lives Matter” who wed their anti-nuclear analysis with an anti-racist ethos, and declare that the ultimate logic of trident is omnicide.

So, I am here as a daughter who doesn’t want her 80 year-old mother sent back to jail and a human being who wonders how anything ever changes if people like my mom aren't willing to take that risk.

I’m hoping you agree with the government that Liz McAlister has served enough time in jail already and you’ll help our family close this long and challenging episode of our lives today by sentencing her to time served. I also hope that you will recognize that as a person who owns nothing but the clothes on her back and the water colors she uses to paint with her grandchildren, you will waive all fines and restitution. "

(Frida's full statement is on the website: Sentencing Statement.)

Liz's Statement

Finally Liz spoke about what motivated her to join this action and take such risks. She quoted the biblical exhortation to “Beat swords into plowshares” from Isaiah and said, “All my life I've tried to follow the prophet, Isaiah, to stop learning war... All my life I have spoken and written against nuclear weapons and I believe these are contrary to life, destructive of life on every single level.”

The sentencing hearing began with technical glitches and was adjourned for more than a half hour at the beginning while these were worked out. There were 270 people listening to the audio feed when adjourned and due to some confusion about getting back on only 230 were on for the actual hearing which went on for another hour. Judge Wood said that she had read several hundred letters which had come to her from plowshares supporters and considered each of them. However, the judge then ruled against all the defense arguments for mitigation.

The defendants are considering doing another webinar before the end of June. Stay tuned.
                                                                         

EMAIL: Media: kbp7media@gmail.com
General: kingsbayplowshares@gmail.com
WEBSITE: www.kingsbayplowshares7.org
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Kingsbayplowshares
TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/kingsbayplow7
INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/kingsbayplowshares7

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This will make you smile!


Atlanta called in the NG. Know what the NG did?


https://imgur.com/gallery/3gaTKG3


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Still photo from Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove"released January 29, 1964

Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons 


Spending 2020

  In its report "Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons Spending 2020" the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has produced the first estimate in nearly a decade of global nuclear weapon spending, taking into account costs to maintain and build new nuclear weapons. ICAN estimates that the nine nuclear-armed countries spent $72.9 billion on their 13,000-plus nuclear weapons in 2019, equaling $138,699 every minute of 2019 on nuclear weapons, and a $7.1 billion increase from 2018.
These estimates (rounded to one decimal point) include nuclear warhead and nuclear-capable delivery systems operating costs and development where these expenditures are publicly available and are based on a reasonable percentage of total military spending on nuclear weapons when more detailed budget data is not available. ICAN urges all nuclear-armed states to be transparent about nuclear weapons expenditures to allow for more accurate reporting on global nuclear expenditures and better government accountability.
ICAN, May 2020
https://www.icanw.org/global_nuclear_weapons_spending_2020

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Shooting and looting started: 400 years ago

Shooting, looting, scalping, lynching,
Raping, torturing their way across
the continent—400 years ago—
Colonial settler thugs launched this
endless crimson tide rolling down on
Today…
Colonial settler thugs launched this
endless crimson tide leaving in-
visible yellow crime
scene tape crisscrossing Tallahassee
to Seattle; San Diego to Bangor… 
Shooting Seneca, Seminole, Creek,
Choctaw, Mohawk, Cayuga, Blackfeet,
Shooting Sioux, Shawnee, Chickasaw,
Chippewa before
Looting Lakota land; Looting Ohlone
Land—
Looting Ashanti, Fulani, Huasa, Wolof,
Yoruba, Ibo, Kongo, Mongo, Hutu, Zulu…
Labor.
Colonial settler thugs launched this
endless crimson tide—hot lead storms—
Shooting, looting Mexico for half of New
Mexico; a quarter of Colorado; some of
Wyoming and most of Arizona; Looting
Mexico for Utah, Nevada and California
So, next time Orange Mobutu, Boss Tweet,
is dirty like Duterte—howling for shooting;
Next time demented minions raise rifles to
shoot; Remind them that
Real looters wear Brooks Brothers suits;
Or gold braid and junk medals ‘cross their
chests. Real looters—with Capitalist Hill
Accomplices—
Steal trillions
Not FOX-boxes, silly sneakers, cheap clothes…
© 2020. Raymond Nat Turner, The Town Crier. All Rights Reserved.       



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CALL TO ACTION: 



Respected Elder Jalil Muntaqim 

Hospitalized with COVID-19




Widely respected elder Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom), who in his teens joined the Black Panther Party, and who was convicted at 19 and has been incarcerated for 49 years in NYS prisons on a 25-year minimum sentence, became ill last week, and has tested positive for COVID-19. His health deteriorated over the weekend and he has been hospitalized since Monday.

For months, public health experts, faith leaders, Congress members, and hundreds of others have warned NYS officials that the prisons are potential death traps in the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing this, a New York State judge on April 27th ordered Jalil's temporary release from Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, NY, based on his extreme vulnerability to the virus. Jalil is 68 years old and suffers from serious chronic health conditions that can make COVID-19 deadly.

However, NYS Attorney General Letitia James, acting on behalf of NYS DOCCS Commissioner Anthony Annucci, appealed the ruling, blocking Jalil's release and forcing him to remain in prison. Just as we feared, Jalil, who was ordered released a month ago, eventually contracted COVID-19.

Tomorrow, May 28th, a NYS Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments from Jalil's attorney and the DOCCS attorney. We ask you to call and tweet the AG and DOCCS commissioner today and tomorrow urging them to withdraw the appeal so that Jalil can be released from the hospital to the community, where he has medical and other support awaiting him, rather than be returned to the prison where his recovery will be impeded, and where he will again be vulnerable to contracting another COVID-19 infection.

Here's what you can do:

TWEET!

@TishJames @NewYorkStateAG Withdraw your appeal of Judge Shick's 4/27 order releasing Anthony Bottom. If you had not appealed/blocked his release, Mr. Bottom wouldn't have contracted COVID & wouldn't be seriously ill now. Withdraw the appeal so he can go home, recover & stay safe

@NYSDOCCS Cmr. Annucci should withdraw his appeal of the release of Anthony Bottom. On 4/27, Judge Stephan Schick ordered Mr. Bottom's release to protect him from COVID-19, but DOCCS appealed, blocking release. Now he is ill. Withdraw appeal so he can go home, recover & stay safe

CALL  the Attorney General and Commissioner

Attorney General  Letitia James - (718) 560-2040



Sample Script For AG: 

My name is [X]. I am calling to urge the AG to withdraw her appeal of the release of Anthony Bottom, DIN# 77A4283, which was ordered by Sullivan County Supreme Court Judge Stephan G. Schick on April 27. Had the AG not originally appealed that decision, Mr. Bottom would not have contracted COVID-19, as he recently did, and would not be seriously ill and in the hospital now. The AG's appeal was responsible for his current life-threatening illness. She must now withdraw her appeal so that Mr. Bottom can return to his community after he recovers from COVID-19 and avoid being re-infected. The communities that elected her, and whom she claims to represent, demand this of her.



Commissioner Annucci - (518) 457-8126

Sample Script For Commissioner: 



My name is [X]. I am calling to urge Commissioner  Annucci to withdraw his opposition to the release of Anthony Bottom, DIN#77A4283. On April 27, Sullivan County Supreme Court Judge Stephan G. Schick ordered Mr. Bottom's release to protect him from COVID-19, but DOCCS appealed and he was not released. Predictably, Mr. Bottom contracted the virus and now he is hospitalized with COVID-19. If DOCCS had not appealed this decision, Mr. Bottom would not have contracted COVID-19, as he recently did, and would not be in the hospital now. DOCCS should withdraw the appeal so that Mr. Bottom can return to his community after he recovers from COVID-19 and avoid being re-infected. Alternatively, the Commissioner should expedite and ensure approval of Mr. Bottom's supplemented request for medical parole.  

Read more about the case (with additional articles coming soon):


Questions and comments may be sent to info@freedomarchives.org

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We Need Your Support: Unite to Send Deputy Chairman Kwame Shakur to Minneapolis!

In light of recent protests following the May 24, 2020, state-sanctioned lynching of George Floyd, a black man, and resident of Minneapolis, MN we recognize the protests happening there as an organic demonstration of resistance to imperialist oppression by the people and understand the importance of having the New Afrikan Black Panther Party on the ground in order to give proper leadership and direction to this important struggle. Because of this, we believe that it is necessary to get our Deputy Chairman, Kwame Shakur from Indiana, where he resides, to Minneapolis, MN.  We are calling on all of our friends and supporters to materially assist us in accomplishing this task!  Kwame will need resources that will enable him to travel to Minneapolis, MN, remain for as long as need be, and return to his home in IN.  You can donate to this cause through PayPal at PayPal.me/drayonmiller or through CashApp at $PantherLove2005.

Kwame has been actively organizing and leading mass demonstrations in Indianapolis IN in response to prisoner abuse and police killings there. His involvement and development of wide community support can be seen in the many live recordings made on the ground, which can be seen on his Facebook page (see link below) and podcasts on YouTube. We want to take this revolutionary guidance to Minneapolis and develop new forces to build and advance the work of the mass struggle there. We want boots on the ground! All power to the people!
DONATE
Facebook
Website
Copyright © *2020* *Kevin Rashid Johnson*, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:

Kevin Rashid Johnson
D.O.C. #264847, G-20-2C
Pendleton Correctional Facility 4490 W. Reformatory Rd

PendletonIN  46064




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Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin 



conviction integrity unit—confession and all





Petition update - Please sign at the link above!
May 23, 2020 —  

We have submitted our application to the @FultonCountyDA #ConvictionIntegrityUnit demanding a retrial for Imam Jamil Al-Amin FKA H. Rap Brown. 

We must now show the establishment that we care more about justice than they do about corruption and injustice. 

The proof of misdeeds is clear, the proof of innocence is clear, a retrial or release are the only acceptable options. 

We make the news so let our voices once again be heard loudly and in unison…we demand a retrial…we demand justice!   #FreeImamJamil

Questions and comments may be sent to info@freedomarchives.org

To unsubscribe contact: http://freedomarchives.org/mailman/options/ppnews_freedomarchives.org



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#FreeOurYouth Chicago
Chicago community members have been active in #FreeOurYouth actions to call for the release of incarcerated young people during the pandemic. Photo: Sarah-Ji @loveandstrugglephotos 

Dear Friend,

More than 50 years ago, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign taught us what COVID-19 remind us of today. Living wages, health care for all, jobs, and labor rights are issues of right vs. wrong and life vs. death.

On June 20, please join AFSC and partners across the U.S. for a digital gathering of the new Poor People’s Campaign to demand our government prioritize the needs of the poor and working class—and ensure all people have the resources they need to thrive.

Here are this week’s resources to help you stay informed and support your activism.  

Video: How we're responding to COVID-19 in the U.S. and around the world: AFSC’s Joyce Ajlouny, Kerri Kennedy, and Sayrah Namaste share how AFSC is responding to the needs of communities around the world in this pandemic. And join us on Facebook every Thursday at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT for our weekly updates from AFSC staff! (Facebook)

AFSC and partners file class-action lawsuit demanding the release of all immigrants from for-profit detention center: One employee has already died from the virus, and 18 people in detention and another 17 staff members have tested positive. (Gothamist)

As we honor health care professionals, let's remember Razan al-Najjar and all health care workers in Palestine: AFSC’s Mike Merryman-Lotze explains the challenges facing health professionals in Palestine and invites all to join AFSC’s social media day of action on June 1.

If the state fails to act, prisons will become death camps: New Jersey must immediately release more people from prison and provide adequate medical and social services to those incarcerated, co-writes AFSC’s Bonnie Kerness in this op-ed with attorneys Jean Ross and Daniel McCarey. (Star-Ledger)

4 things you need to know about the Supreme Court case on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals): A decision on the fate of hundreds of thousands of young people is expected any day now—here’s what could happen and how we can advocate for permanent protection for DACA recipients, writes AFSC’s Peniel Ibe.

The call to #FreeOurYouth during COVID-19: In Chicago, community members are demanding the release of incarcerated youth—and real investments in their health and future, writes AFSC’s Mary Zerkel.

Be well and take care. 

DONATE NOW

AFSC.org  |  unsubscribe  |  Donate 
Follow us online:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Resolution for Funding for the Undocumented




Whereas, Governor Newsom recently announced the creation of a $125 million emergency relief fund for undocumented workers, none of whom are eligible for the federal stimulus, the centerpiece being a one-time payment of $500 to 150,000 individuals;

Whereas, the undocumented pay $3 billion in state and local taxes every year;[1]

Whereas, California's cost-of-living is extraordinarily high;[2]

Resolved:  Adult School Teachers United considers the one-time $500 grant to undocumented workers at best, token.  It is barely 25 percent of the weekly wage or six percent of the monthly wage the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) considers necessary to lift a family of four in the Bay Area above the poverty line. This is approximately $47.50-an-hour total per household before taxes extrapolating from figures provided by HUD.

As the fifth largest economy in the world, and with Silicon Valley, agribusiness, defense contractors and Hollywood sitting on huge capital reserves, California must provide a living wage to all. Instead it has failed to even match the $600 a week Unemployment Insurance (UI) boost provided by the federal government which itself is grossly inadequate.

We will attempt to circulate our position widely in the labor movement and in the immigrants' rights community, and we call for united labor actions to fight for the necessary level of financial support.”

Contact: 

Kristen Pursley, President,

Adult School Teachers United (ASTU)

(510)-741-8359



[1] https://www.kqed.org/news/11809657/new-covid-19-relief-benefits-leaves-out-some-undocumented-immigrants
[2] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44725026
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/10/americas-10-most-expensive-states-to-live-in-2019.html

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Veterans Join Call for a Global Ceasefire, The Lasting Effects of War Book Discussion, Sir, No Sir Viewing, VFP's Online Convention, Workshop Proposals, Convention FAQ, No More COVID-19 Money For the Pentagon, Repeal the AUMF, Community Conversation on Hybrid Warfare, St Louis VFP Delivers VA Lunch, In the News and Calendar




Veterans Join Call for a Global Ceasefire 


Veterans For Peace, as a United Nations Department of Global Communication affiliated NGO, is most gratified to see UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres make his plea for a worldwide ceasefire during this global pandemic. 

The first line of the Preamble of the UN's Charter says that they originated to save “succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. But sadly, because the UN was created by the victors of WW2 who remain the powers of the world, and because the UN depends for funding on those same militarily and economically dominant nation-states, primarily the U.S., much more often than not the UN is very quiet on war. 

Please join Veterans For Peace in appealing to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft to support the Secretary General's call for a GLOBAL CEASEFIRE! 


For more information about events go to:

https://www.veteransforpeace.org/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=fa5082af-9325-47a7-901c-710e85091ee1




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Courage to Resist
COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT!
www.couragetoresist.org ~ 510.488.3559 ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist

484 Lake Park Ave # 41
OaklandCA 94610-2730
United States
Unsubscribe from couragetoresist.org 

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From Business Insider 2018

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"The biggest block from having society in harmony with the universe is the belief in a lie that says it’s not realistic or humanly possible." 

"If Obama taught me anything it’s that it don’t matter who you vote for in this system. There’s nothing a politician can do that the next one can’t undo. You can’t vote away the ills of society people have to put our differences aside ban together and fight for the greater good, not vote for the lesser evil."

—Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)

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When faced with the opportunity to do good, I really think it’s the instinct of humanity to do so. It’s in our genetic memory from our earliest ancestors. It’s the altered perception of the reality of what being human truly is that’s been indoctrinated in to every generation for the last 2000 years or more that makes us believe that we are born sinners. I can’t get behind that one. We all struggle with certain things, but I really think that all the “sinful” behavior is learned and wisdom and goodwill is innate at birth.  —Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)


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Support Major Tillery, Friend of Mumia, Innocent, Framed, Now Ill




Major Tillery (with hat) and family


Dear Friends of the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia,

Major Tillery, a prisoner at SCI Chester and a friend of Mumia, may have caught the coronavirus. Major is currently under lockdown at SCI Chester, where a coronavirus outbreak is currently taking place. Along with the other prisoners at SCI Chester, he urgently needs your help.

Major was framed by the Pennsylvania District Attorney and police for a murder which took place in 1976. He has maintained his innocence throughout the 37 years he has been incarcerated, of which approximately 20 were spent in solitary confinement. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture has said that 15 days of solitary confinement constitutes torture.

When Mumia had Hepatitis C and was left to die by the prison administration at SCI Mahanoy, Major Tillery was the prisoner who confronted the prison superintendent and demanded that they treat Mumia. (see https://www.justiceformajortillery.org/messing-with-major.html). Although Mumia received medical treatment, the prison retaliated against Major for standing up to the prison administration. He was transferred to another facility, his cell was searched and turned inside out repeatedly, and he lost his job in the prison as a Peer Facilitator.

SCI Chester, where Major is currently incarcerated, has been closed to visitors since mid-March. Fourteen guards and one prisoner are currently reported to be infected with the coronavirus. Because the prison has not tested all the inmates, there is no way to know how many more inmates have coronavirus. Major has had a fever, chills and a sore throat for several nights. Although Major has demanded testing for himself and all prisoners, the prison administration has not complied.

For the past ten days, there has been no cleaning of the cell block. It has been weeks since prisoners have been allowed into the yard to exercise. The food trays are simply being left on the floor. There have been no walk-throughs by prison administrators. The prisoners are not allowed to have showers; they are not allowed to have phone calls; and they are not permitted any computer access. 

This coronavirus outbreak at SCI Chester is the same situation which is playing out in California prisons right now, about which the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia, along with other groups, organized a car caravan protest at San Quentin last week. Prisons are enclosed indoor spaces and are already an epicenter of the coronavirus, like meatpacking plants and cruise ships. If large numbers of prisoners are not released, the coronavirus will infect the prisons, as well as surrounding communities, and many prisoners will die. Failing to release large numbers of prisoners at this point is the same as executing them. We call for "No Execution by COVID-19"!

Major is close to 70 years old, and has a compromised liver and immune system, as well as heart problems. He desperately needs your help. 

Please write and call Acting Superintendent Kenneth Eason at:

Kenneth Eason, Acting Superintendent
SCI Chester
500 E. 4th St.
Chester, PA 19013

Telephone: (610) 490-5412

Email: keason@pa.gov (Prison Superintendent). maquinn@pa.gov (Superintendent's Assistant)
Please also call the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections at:Department of Corrections
1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Telephone: (717) 737-4531
This telephone number is for SCI Camp Hill, which is the current number for DOC.
Reference Major's inmate number: AM 9786

Email: ra-contactdoc@pa.gov
Demand that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections immediately:

1) Provide testing for all inmates and staff at SCI Chester;
2) Disinfect all cells and common areas at SCI Chester, including sinks, toilets, eating areas and showers;
3) Provide PPE (personal protective equipment) for all inmates at SCI Chester;
4) Provide access to showers for all prisoners at SCI Chester, as a basic hygiene measure;
5) Provide yard access to all prisoners at SCI Chester;
6) Provide phone and internet access to all prisoners at SCI Chester;
7) Immediately release prisoners from SCI Chester, including Major Tillery, who already suffers from a compromised immune system, in order to save their lives from execution by COVID-19.

It has been reported that prisoners are now receiving shower access. However, please insist that prisoners be given shower access and that all common areas are disinfected.


In solidarity,

The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal




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Kiah Morris

May 7 at 6:44 AM

So, in MY lifetime....

Black people are so tired. 😓

We can’t go jogging (#AhmaudArbery).

We can’t relax in the comfort of our own homes (#BothemJean and #AtatianaJefferson).

We can't ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).

We can't have a cellphone (#StephonClark).

We can't leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).

We can't play loud music (#JordanDavis).

We can’t sell CD's (#AltonSterling).

We can’t sleep (#AiyanaJones)

We can’t walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).

We can’t play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).

We can’t go to church (#Charleston9).

We can’t walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).

We can’t hold a hair brush while leaving our own bachelor party (#SeanBell).

We can’t party on New Years (#OscarGrant).

We can’t get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).

We can’t lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).

We can't break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).

We can’t shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)p^p.

We can’t have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).

We can’t read a book in our own car (#KeithScott).

We can’t be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).

We can’t decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).

We can’t ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).

We can’t cash our check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).

We can’t take out our wallet (#AmadouDiallo).

We can’t run (#WalterScott).

We can’t breathe (#EricGarner).

We can’t live (#FreddieGray).

We’re tired.

Tired of making hashtags.

Tired of trying to convince you that our #BlackLivesMatter too.

Tired of dying.

Tired.

Tired.

Tired.

So very tired.

(I don’t know who created this. I just know there are so many more names to be added and names we may never hear of.)

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Articles


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1) Call a Thing a Thing
White supremacy is the biggest racial problem this country faces, and has faced.
"Satisfaction with race relations is somewhat correlated with the silence of the oppressed. … Is the act of taking to the streets to demand justice a form of tension? Again, whenever people object to their oppression, it is framed as problematic to peaceful coexistence. ...White supremacy is the biggest racial problem this country faces, and has faced. It is almost always the cause of unrest around race. It has been used to slaughter and destroy, to oppress and imprison. It manifests in every segment of American life.
By Charles M. Blow, July 8, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/opinion/racism-united-states.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
Protesters gathered for a peaceful demonstration against the systemic oppression of people of color in Brooklyn on June 19. Credit...Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times

Now that we are deep into protests over racism, inequality and police brutality — protests that I’ve come to see as a revisiting of Freedom Summer —  it is clear that Donald Trump sees the activation of white nationalism and anti-otherness as his path to re-election. We are engaged in yet another national conversation about race and racism, privilege and oppression.

But, as is usually the case, the language we used to describe the moment is lacking. We — the public and the media, including this newspaper, including, in the past, this very column — often use, consciously or not, language that shields anti-Black white supremacy, rather than to expose it and hold it accountable.

We use all manner of euphemisms and terms of art to keep from directly addressing the racial reality in America. This may be some holdover from a bygone time, but it is now time for it to come to an end.

Take for instance the term “race relations.” Polling organizations like Gallup and the Pew Research Center often ask respondents how they feel about the state of race relations in the country.

I have never fully understood what this meant. It suggests a relationship that swings from harmony to disharmony. But that is not the way race is structured or animated in this country. From the beginning, the racial dynamics in America have been about power, equality and access, or the lack thereof.

Protests, and even violence, have erupted when white people felt their hold on those things was threatened or when Black people — or Indigenous people, or Hispanics — rebelled against those things being denied.

So what are the relations here? It is a linguistic sidestep that avoids the true issue: anti-Black and anti-other white supremacy.

It also seems that the way people interpret that question is in direct proportion to the intensity of revolt that’s taking place at a particular time. Satisfaction with race relations is somewhat correlated with the silence of the oppressed. When they stop being silent, it affects the outcome.

After the rise of Black Lives Matter, satisfaction with race relations suffered a sustained drop.

The same can be said for the term “racial tension.” Read your news carefully and pay close attention to television and your podcasts and you will hear this phrase repeated. Someone is inflaming racial tensions or trying to cool them. But again, what does this mean?

Is the act of taking to the streets to demand justice a form of tension? Again, whenever people object to their oppression, it is framed as problematic to peaceful coexistence. Furthermore, this tension between the oppressed and the oppressors has always existed and always will. The lulls you experience between explosive revolts of the oppressed should never be mistaken as harmony. They should be taken as rest breaks.

Then there are ever-present terms like “racial unity” and “racial division.” America loves to frame race in this country around unity rather than equality. But, to do so robs the oppressed of legitimate grievance.

I’ve never understood the aim of bringing people together in unity absent the removal of anti-Black white supremacist social and political frameworks. It is one thing to experience transracial unity with an ally who is fighting just as hard for your liberation as you are. But it is literally impossible for me to unify with someone perfectly happy with the current state of affairs, which included the oppression of people who look like me.

Most of these phrases suggest a false premise, that white people and nonwhite ones are operating from equal positions of power in this society and are simply not getting along or agreeing on issues.

In other words, by implication, they make nonwhite people equally at fault for the state of race in America, when both history and social science demonstrate, unequivocally, that this is not true.

It is almost like we are experiencing a Lost Cause revisionism in our language on the issue of race.

It is time for us to simply call a thing a thing: White supremacy is the biggest racial problem this country faces, and has faced. It is almost always the cause of unrest around race. It has been used to slaughter and destroy, to oppress and imprison. It manifests in every segment of American life.

It is odd that we are so timid about using it now because the white men who were the architects of modern white supremacy used it freely.

Mississippi was one of the first states to rewrite its constitution for the express purpose of codifying white supremacy, and states across the South followed the Mississippi example.

As one delegate at the Mississippi constitutional convention of 1890 put it: “It is the manifest intention of this Convention to secure to the State of Mississippi, ‘white supremacy.’”

One hundred and thirty years on, we are still fighting against this architecture.

Until we stop playing cute about these facts, until we stop walking around it like it’s not the root, our dialogue will continue to be hamstrung.

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2) 68% Have Antibodies in This Clinic. Can Neighborhood Beat a Next Wave?
Data from those tested at a storefront medical office in Queens is leading to a deeper understanding of the outbreak’s scope in New York.
By Joseph Goldstein, July 9, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/09/nyregion/nyc-coronavirus-antibodies.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Some neighborhoods, like Corona in Queens, were so hard hit during the peak of the coronavirus epidemic that they might now have herd immunity. Credit...Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

At a clinic in Corona, a working-class neighborhood in Queens, more than 68 percent of people tested positive for antibodies to the new coronavirus. At another clinic in Jackson Heights, Queens, that number was 56 percent. But at a clinic in Cobble Hill, a mostly white and wealthy neighborhood in Brooklyn, only 13 percent of people tested positive for antibodies.

As it has swept through New York, the coronavirus has exposed stark inequalities in nearly every aspect of city life, from who has been most affected to how the health care system cared for those patients. Many lower-income neighborhoods, where Black and Latino residents make up a large part of the population, were hard hit, while many wealthy neighborhoods suffered much less.

But now, as the city braces for a possible second wave of the virus, some of those vulnerabilities may flip, with the affluent neighborhoods becoming most at risk of a surge. According to antibody test results from CityMD that were shared with The New York Times, some neighborhoods were so exposed to the virus during the peak of the epidemic in March and April that they might have some protection during a second wave.

“Some communities might have herd immunity,” said Dr. Daniel Frogel, a senior vice president for operations at CityMD, which plays a key role in the city’s testing program.

The CityMD statistics — which Dr. Frogel provided during an interview and which reflect tests done between late April and late June — appear to present the starkest picture yet of how infection rates have diverged across neighborhoods in the city.

As of June 26, CityMD had administered about 314,000 antibody tests in New York City. Citywide, 26 percent of the tests came back positive.

But Dr. Frogel said the testing results in Jackson Heights and Corona seemed to “jump off the map.”

While stopping short of predicting that those neighborhoods would be protected against a major new outbreak of the virus — a phenomenon known as herd immunity — several epidemiologists said that the different levels of antibody prevalence across the city are likely to play a role in what happens next, assuming that antibodies do in fact offer significant protection against future infection.

“In the future, the infection rate should really be lower in minority communities,” said Kitaw Demissie, an epidemiologist and the dean of the School of Public Health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Dr. Ted Long, the executive director of the city’s contact-tracing program, said that while much remained unknown about the strength and duration of the protection that antibodies offer, he was hopeful that hard-hit communities like Corona would have some degree of protection because of their high rate of positive tests. “We hope that that will confer greater herd immunity,” he said.

Neighborhoods that had relatively low infection rates — and where few residents have antibodies — are especially vulnerable going forward. There could be some degree of “catch up” among neighborhoods, said Prof. Denis Nash, an epidemiology professor at the CUNY School of Public Health.

But he added that even if infection rate were to climb in wealthier neighborhoods, “there are advantages to being in the neighborhoods that are hit later.” For one, doctors have become somewhat more adept at treating severe cases.

Some epidemiologists and virologists cautioned that not enough data exists to conclude that any areas have herd immunity. For starters, the fact that 68.4 percent of tests taken at an urgent care center in Corona came back positive does not mean that 68.4 percent of residents had been infected.

“For sure, the persons who are seeking antibody testing probably have a higher likelihood of being positive than the general population,” said Professor Nash. “If you went out in Corona and tested a representative sample, it wouldn’t be 68 percent.”

So far, the federal government has released relatively little data from antibody testing — making the CityMD data all the more striking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for instance, has published limited data that suggested that 6.93 percent of residents in New York City and part of Long Island had antibodies. But that survey was based on samples collected mainly in March, before many infected New Yorkers might have developed antibodies.

New York State conducted a more comprehensive survey on antibody rates, which involved testing some 28,419 people across the state. That survey suggested that roughly 21.6 percent of New York City residents had antibodies. But it also revealed a much higher rate in some neighborhoods. While the state has released little data from Queens, its numbers showed that in Flatbush, Brooklyn, for example, about 45 percent of those tested had antibodies.

The CityMD data provides similar conclusions. At a location in Bushwick, a Brooklyn neighborhood which has a large Hispanic population and where the median household income is below the  citywide average, some 35 percent of antibody tests were positive, according to Dr. Frogel.

Dr. Frogel said that across the Bronx, which has had the city’s highest death rate from Covid-19, about 37 percent of antibody tests were turning up positive.

The CityMD in Corona, on Junction Boulevard, serves a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood whose residents include many construction workers and restaurant employees. Many had to work throughout the pandemic, raising their risk of infection.

Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University, called the high positive rate in Corona “a stunning finding.” Epidemiologists said the rate showed the limits of New York’s strategy in curtailing the virus: While public health measures may have slowed the spread in some neighborhoods, they did far less for others.

There are reasons parts of Queens were hit so hard. Homes in Elmhurst and parts of Corona are especially crowded — the highest rate of household crowding in the city, according to census bureau data from 2014. Given that transmission among family members is a leading driver of the disease’s spread, it is unsurprising that crowded households have been associated with higher risk of infection.

For residents of Corona, the main sources of employment are jobs in hospitality, including restaurants, as well as construction and manufacturing, according to a 2019 report by the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York. Many construction workers and restaurant employees showed up to work throughout the pandemic, elevating their risk of infection.

“Our plan did not really accommodate essential workers as it did people privileged enough — for lack of a better word — to socially distance themselves,” Professor Nash said. He said that one lesson of the past few months was that the city needed to better protect essential workers — everyone from grocery store employees to pharmacy cashiers — and make sure they had sufficient protective equipment.

Epidemiologists have estimated that at least 60 percent of a population — and perhaps as much as 80 percent — would need immunity before “herd immunity” is reached, and the virus can no longer spread widely in that community.

But scientists say it would be a mistake to base public health decisions off antibody rates across a population.

“Just looking at seroprevalence alone can’t really be used to make actionable public health decisions,” Dr. Rasmussen, the virologist at Columbia, said.

One reason is that the accuracy of the antibody tests is not fully known, nor is the extent of immunity conferred by antibodies or how long that immunity lasts. Dr. Rasmussen noted that the “magical number of 60 percent for herd immunity” assumes that everyone infected has complete protection from a second infection. “But what about people with partial protection?” she asked. “They may not get sick, but they can get infected and pass it along.”

“It is premature to discuss herd immunity, since we are still learning what the presence of Covid-19 antibodies means to an individual and whether, or for how long, that conveys immunity; and we don’t know how the level of immunity in a single community translates into herd immunity,” said Jonah Bruno, a spokesman for the state Department of Health.

He said he was unsurprised by the high rate in Corona, and senior officials with the city’s contact-tracing program and public hospital system agree. “We know this area was disproportionately affected,” said Dr. Andrew Wallach, a senior official in the city’s public hospital system, “so this just confirms what we’ve seen clinically.”

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3) New Transcripts Detail Last Moments for George Floyd
“They’ll kill me. They’ll kill me,” Mr. Floyd pleaded, according to a body camera transcript in court filings by a former officer who wants the charges against him dismissed.
By Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Kim Barker, July 8, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/us/george-floyd-body-camera-transcripts.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
A memorial for George Floyd, who was killed by the Minneapolis police in May. One officer involved has filed chilling transcripts of body camera footage in state court. Credit...Joshua Rashaad McFadden for The New York Times

George Floyd’s dying moments have played on an endless loop, horrifying the world and prompting a spasm of street protests, but newly released evidence reveals an even more desperate scene than previously known in the moments before an officer pressed his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck.

Mr. Floyd uttered “I can’t breathe” not a handful of times, as previous videotapes showed, but more than 20 times in all. He cried out not just for his dead mother but for his children too. Before his final breaths, Mr. Floyd gasped: “They’ll kill me. They’ll kill me.”

As Mr. Floyd shouted for his life, an officer yelled back at him to “stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

The chilling transcripts of Minneapolis police body camera footage, made public on Wednesday, were filed in state court as part of an effort by one of the officers on the scene, Thomas Lane, 37, to have charges that he aided and abetted Mr. Floyd’s murder thrown out by a judge.

Mr. Floyd, 46, died after another officer, Derek Chauvin, 44, pressed his knee down onto Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes until he was no longer moving.

Mr. Chauvin, who was on the force for 19 years, faces second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges in Mr. Floyd’s death and up to 40 years in prison if he is convicted. Mr. Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, 26, who were both rookie officers, and Tou Thao, 34, also face 40 years in prison if convicted on charges of aiding and abetting Mr. Floyd’s murder. All four officers were fired.

Even before he was on the ground, Mr. Floyd said he was in physical distress, telling officers who were trying to get him into a squad car that he was claustrophobic and could not breathe.

At one point, according to one transcript, he said: “Momma, I love you. Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.”

At another point, Mr. Chauvin asked if Mr. Floyd was high on something; Mr. Lane said he assumed so, and Mr. Kueng said they had found a pipe on him. One autopsy report found traces of illegal drugs in Mr. Floyd’s body.

“Relax,” Mr. Thao told Mr. Floyd.

“I can’t breathe,” Mr. Floyd said.

“You’re fine,” Mr. Kueng replied. “You’re talking fine.”

“Deep breath,” Mr. Lane added.

The new court filings include 82 pages of body camera transcripts as well as the 60-page transcript of Mr. Lane’s interview with investigators from Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

In that interview, when he was asked whether he felt at the time that Mr. Floyd was having a medical emergency, Mr. Lane replied, “Yeah, I felt maybe that something was going on.”

At the end of the interview, though, Mr. Lane’s lawyer, Earl Gray, objected when an investigator asked Mr. Lane whether he felt that either he or Mr. Chauvin had contributed to Mr. Floyd’s death.

“You’re not going to answer that,” Mr. Gray said. Mr. Lane did not answer the question.

Much of what had been known about Mr. Floyd’s final moments had come from bystander video, surveillance footage and probable cause statements released by prosecutors when they filed charges against the officers. But the body camera transcripts, and Mr. Lane’s interview with investigators, provide more details about Mr. Floyd’s exchange with officers, and how vociferously and persistently he had pleaded with them that he was having a medical emergency.

The filings include what Mr. Gray described as pictures from inside the car Mr. Floyd was sitting in when Mr. Lane first approached him. Officers had been called after a nearby store employee reported that Mr. Floyd had passed a counterfeit $20 bill. The pictures show two crumpled $20 bills that Mr. Gray said were counterfeit and that he said were found lodged between the center console and the passenger’s seat.

The filings also indicate that an ambulance, called early in the encounter, did not respond right away and initially went to the wrong spot.

According to the transcripts, Mr. Lane called for an ambulance after Mr. Floyd’s mouth started bleeding. Mr. Lane told investigators it was likely when Mr. Floyd banged his face on the glass inside of the squad car.

Mr. Lane then upgraded that ambulance request, from a less-serious “Code 2” to a more serious “Code 3,” after Mr. Floyd had repeatedly said he could not breathe and the officers discussed whether he could be high on drugs.

The transcripts zero in on the most critical moments of Mr. Floyd’s restraint by officers.

After Mr. Floyd says that the officers were going to kill him, Mr. Chauvin said, according to one of the transcripts, “Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

While Mr. Floyd was being restrained on the ground, on his stomach, with Mr. Chauvin’s knee pressed onto his neck, Mr. Lane asked whether Mr. Floyd should be turned onto his side.

Mr. Chauvin said, “No, he’s staying put where we got him.”

Mr. Lane then said he was worried Mr. Floyd might be having a medical emergency.

“Well that’s why we got the ambulance coming,” Mr. Chauvin responded, according to one of the transcripts.

“OK, I suppose,” Mr. Lane replied, adding soon after, “I think he’s passing out.”

At that moment, a bystander shouted: “He’s not even breathing right now, bro, you think that’s cool? You think that’s cool, right?” Other onlookers repeatedly asked if Mr. Floyd had a pulse.

“You got one?” Mr. Lane asked. “I can’t find one,” Mr. Kueng said. “Huh?” Mr. Chauvin replied. Mr. Kueng tried again, and again said he could not find a pulse.

More than two minutes then went by, according to timestamps on the transcript of Mr. Kueng’s body camera footage. Still, Mr. Chauvin kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, videos show.

After the ambulance arrived, Mr. Lane rode with Mr. Floyd to a hospital alongside ambulance workers and performed chest compressions on him. One worker told Mr. Lane the ambulance waited to respond because it was called in as a “code 2 mouth injury.”

”And then as we’re sitting here, I’m like, ‘Now it says Code 3, I just don’t understand,’” the worker said, explaining what had happened. “And then we figured out where it was so, and then one of your officers was like, ‘Hey, hey ding-dongs, you’re at the wrong spot.’”

The filings were the latest effort by Mr. Lane, who held Mr. Floyd’s legs while he was on the ground, to argue that he does not bear the responsibility for Mr. Floyd’s death that prosecutors say he does.

At Mr. Lane’s first court appearance a month ago, his lawyer, Mr. Gray, sought to emphasize Mr. Chauvin’s status as a senior officer who helped train rookies, and that the fateful encounter with Mr. Floyd had occurred on Mr. Lane’s fourth day on the force.

“They’re required to call him ‘Sir,’” Mr. Gray said in court about Mr. Chauvin, who served as a field training officer, or F.T.O. “He has 20 years’ experience. What is my client supposed to do but to follow what the training officer said? Is that aiding and abetting a crime?”

In the court papers filed this week where he asks the judge to dismiss the charges against Mr. Lane, Mr. Gray argued that Mr. Lane, as a new officer, was taking his cues from Mr. Chauvin. He also stated that Mr. Lane believed that Mr. Floyd was on drugs “based on his behavior.”

After Mr. Chauvin refused to turn Mr. Floyd onto his side, Mr. Gray wrote in his filings, “Lane listened to F.T.O. Chauvin and thought it made sense because there are times when a person who is OD’ing or passed out one minute but then comes back really aggressive.”

John Eligon and Matt Furber contributed reporting.

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4) South Korean Triathlete’s Suicide Exposes Team’s Culture of Abuse
After Choi Suk-hyeon’s death, her family released secret audio recordings that depict the physical and psychological abuse she appeared to suffer at the hands of her team’s doctor and coach.
By Choe Sang-Hun, July 9, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/09/world/asia/korea-triathlete-suicide.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Choi Suk-hyeon, a South Korean triathlete, spent the months before her death telling the authorities about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her team’s coach and doctor. Credit...International Triathlon Union

SEOUL, South Korea — Just after midnight on June 26, Choi Suk-hyeon, a promising South Korean triathlete, sent two text messages. The first, to a teammate, asked for help looking after her pet dog. The other, to her mother, was more ominous.

In that message Ms. Choi, 22, told her mother how much she loved her, before adding: “Mom, please make the world know the crimes they have committed.”

To her parents and former teammates, it was clear who she meant by “they.”

After Ms. Choi committed suicide, her family released a spiral-bound diary and secret recordings in which the young triathlete documented years of physical and psychological abuse she said she suffered at the hands of her team’s coach, doctor and two senior teammates.

In one recording, the team’s doctor, Ahn Ju-hyeon, can be heard repeatedly hitting her. “Lock your jaws! Come here!” Mr. Ahn is heard saying in the March 2019 recording, followed by a series of thudding strikes.

The diaries and recordings, which were reviewed by The New York Times, have set off a firestorm of criticism and national soul searching about the corruption and abuse that has long pervaded the country’s sports community.

On Monday, the Korea Triathlon Federation banned the coach, Kim Gyu-bong, and the team captain, Jang Yun-jeong, from the sport for life. Prosecutors were also preparing criminal charges against them, as well as Mr. Ahn.

Mr. Ahn, who was referred to as a doctor, but reportedly does not hold a medical degree, did not answer calls or respond to messages seeking comment and has made no public comments about the case. During a parliamentary hearing on Monday, Mr. Kim, Ms. Jang and Kim Do-hwan, another athlete accused of bullying Ms. Choi, all denied the accusations.

South Korea has taken pride in its growing prowess as a global sports powerhouse, with its top athletes winning Olympic gold medals and other prizes. But recurring scandals have revealed widespread physical violence, sexual assault and other forms of abuse against athletes, many of whom are young, vulnerable and live away from their families during training.

Young athletes live together in dormitories and routinely skip classes to attend practices, leaving them with few career choices outside of sports. Such a system gives coaches exceptional power over athletes, and other victims have said they were afraid to earlier speak up for fear they would be left without careers, and ostracized by their teammates.

In a rare example of a Korean athlete speaking out, Shim Suk-hee, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in short-track speedskating, shocked the country last year by accusing her former coach of raping her repeatedly since she was 17. The coach, Cho Jae-beom, was sentenced to 10 months in prison for physically assaulting four athletes, including Ms. Shim, between 2011 and the preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. He is still fighting the rape charges in court.

The Korean cases are part of a larger global trend in which female athletes are speaking out about physical, emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of their coaches and team doctors. In the United States, Larry Nasser, a doctor, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years for molesting scores of girls, many of them Olympic gymnasts, under the guise of giving them examinations.

While it is hard to fully understand her mind-set, Ms. Choi, 22, had sought help, filing complaints and petitions with the authorities. In the months leading up to her suicide, she had reported her case to the National Human Rights Commission, the Korea Triathlon Federation, the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, and the police in Gyeongju City, where the team was based.

Ms. Choi told the authorities, in complaints reviewed by The Times, that Mr. Ahn had slapped, punched and kicked her more than 20 times on the day she made the recording, and fractured one of her ribs. She said she did not seek medical treatment at the time for fear of retaliation.

“She had been stressed out lately because the officials she appealed to acted as if some beating and abuse should be taken for granted in the sport,” said Ms. Choi's father, Choi Young-hee. The authorities, he said, told Ms. Choi “that the accused denied any wrongdoing and that they didn’t have enough evidence to act, even though we gave them the audio files.”

“Our country may have advanced lot in other sectors, but the human rights in our sports remain stuck in the 1970s and ’80s,” said Mr. Choi, a farmer. “Who is going to bring back my daughter alive?”

In a diary she began keeping last year, Ms. Choi extensively described beating, bullying and other abuse.

“I wish I were dead,” Ms. Choi wrote last July. “I wish that I were run over by a car while walking on the street or stabbed to death by a robber while asleep.”

Ms. Choi wondered whether she was “insane” or “paranoid,” as she said her abusers called her.

Ms. Choi later told the authorities that she was beaten by the doctor in March 2019 during a training trip to New Zealand as punishment for eating a peach despite her coach’s order to lose weight. In the audio recording from that day, Ms. Choi sniffled and begged for mercy, repeatedly saying, “I am sorry, sir.”

“Mr. Team Doctor is beating you for your own good,” the coach, Kim Gyu-bong, told Ms. Choi.

“Stop whining!” he said. “Or I will beat you dead myself!”

Ms. Choi, a child swimming prodigy, was selected in 2015 for the junior national triathlon team and earned three gold medals. After graduating from high school in 2017, she joined the elite triathlon team in Gyeongju.

The bullying, hazing and gaslighting began when Ms. Choi, then still a high school student, was allowed to train with the adult team in Gyeongju, she said in her complaints.

Ms. Choi said that much of the verbal abuse was led by Ms. Jang, the team’s star athlete and a national champion.

In her statements to the authorities, Ms. Choi said Ms. Jang “struck my head, pushed and punched me and repeatedly called me names.” She said Ms. Jang humiliated her in front of other teammates by calling her sexually promiscuous. In one instance, Ms. Choi said, the team’s coach forced her to kneel in front of Ms. Jang.

She cited Ms. Jang’s bullying as one of the main reasons she left the team for a year to seek medical help.

While training in New Zealand in 2016, Ms. Choi later told the authorities, her coach slapped her with a shoe. That same year, the coach and team doctor forced Ms. Choi and another athlete to eat $168 worth of bread. They were made to eat and vomit and eat again until early in the morning, Ms. Choi said.

Ms. Choi was chosen for the national team in 2018, but took the year off to receive medical counseling.

“I am back in New Zealand and this is a new start!” she wrote in her diary in January 2019 after rejoining the team for its annual training season there. “I can make a fantastic comeback! I can do it! Let’s go!”

But the abuse resumed.

“We basically like you. All the coaching staff cheer for you, but you cheated us,” the team doctor, Mr. Ahn, was recorded telling Ms. Choi. He indicated that he was punishing her because she had complained about the beatings to outsiders.

n one recording from Ms. Choi’s smartphone, her coach, Mr. Kim, can be heard hitting her once. In another, he calls her “psychotic” and orders her not to eat for three days to avoid gaining weight.

This year, Ms. Choi left Gyeongju for another team, and began filing complaints against her former teammates, coach and doctor.

Her coach, as well as Ms. Jang and Kim Do-hwan, another athlete accused of bullying Ms. Choi, did not respond to messages seeking comment and the team has not released a statement on their behalf. It was unknown if any of the three had already obtained legal counsel. It was also unknown if Mr. Ahn, the team doctor, was represented by a lawyer.  In addition to looking into the abuse claims, prosecutors have also opened an investigation into money the coaching staff and Ms. Jang regularly collected from  team members in the name of covering air travel, “psychological therapy” and other expenses, although the team was financed by Gyeongju City. Ms. Choi’s family alone wired more than $23,000 to them.

After Ms. Choi’s suicide, several former teammates came forward to corroborate her allegations and share stories of their own abuse, according to Lee Yong, a former coach of South Korea’s Olympic bobsled and skeleton team, who is now an opposition lawmaker.

In a news conference on Monday, two former teammates of Ms. Choi said the team was a “kingdom” ruled by the coach, Mr. Kim, and his star athlete, Ms. Jang. The women said they were beaten 10 days per month and verbal abuse was common.

The two athletes who spoke at the news conference on Monday said Mr. Ahn had touched their breasts and thighs in the name of physical therapy. The news media in South Korea granted the two athletes anonymity ahead of the news conference.

“We joined the Gyeongju team fresh out of high school. Although we dreaded the oppression and violence of the coach and the captain, everyone hushed the matter,” one of the women said. “We thought this was the life we had to endure as athletes.”

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5) N.Y.C. Paints ‘Black Lives Matter’ in Front of Trump Tower
The public art project was the latest battle in a feud between President Trump and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
By Michael Gold and Daniel E. Slotnik, July 9, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/09/nyregion/blm-trump-tower.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage
Workers filling in the letters of “Black Lives Matters” on Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th Streets, in Manhattan. Credit...Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times

New York City began painting “Black Lives Matter” in large yellow letters on the street outside Trump Tower on Thursday, the latest flare-up in a yearslong feud between Mayor Bill de Blasio and President Trump, who rose to fame as a Manhattan real estate developer.

Shortly after 10 a.m., city Department of Transportation workers began filling in the first letters of the phrase on Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th Streets, in Manhattan. As school-bus yellow paint was spread on the asphalt, a number of activists, reporters and onlookers milled around, with some occasionally shouting criticism of Mr. Trump.

Since winning the presidential election in 2016, Mr. Trump has increasingly clashed with officials in his former home state, including not only Mr. de Blasio, but Manhattan’s district attorney, who issued a subpoena for eight years of Mr. Trump’s business and personal tax records.

On Thursday, as the painting began, the Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Trump could not shield his financial records from New York prosecutors.

The public art project was announced last month, and city officials have presented its location as a direct rebuke of Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly denigrated those protesting against systemic racism and police brutality in recent weeks.

“The president is a disgrace to the values we cherish in New York City,” a spokeswoman for Mr. de Blasio said in a statement at the time. “He can’t run or deny the reality we are facing, and any time he wants to set foot in the place he claims is his hometown, he should be reminded Black Lives Matter.”

Mr. Trump appeared to take the bait; the announcement provoked an inflammatory response that tried to play on tensions between Black Lives Matter protesters and the New York Police Department.

Mr. Trump and Mr. de Blasio have sparred repeatedly in recent years. The mayor once said that New York would not “welcome back” Mr. Trump, who was born in Queens, after his presidency ended. Months later, the president, who has called Mr. de Blasio “the worst mayor in America,” switched his primary residence to Florida.

The public battle between the two intensified after Mr. de Blasio announced his Democratic presidential bid last year. The mayor made Mr. Trump’s behavior a focal point of his campaign, and the president repeatedly scorned the mayor’s hopes for higher office.

The painting outside Trump Tower is a part of a citywide project that will ultimately see at least one similar mural in each of the city’s five boroughs.


The effort followed an act by Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, who had workers paint “Black Lives Matter” in giant yellow letters outside the White House after the president deployed federal officers during protests there.

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6) F.B.I. to Investigate Case of Black Man Pinned by White Man in Indiana
Vauhxx Booker said a group of white men surrounded him, pinned him against a tree and threatened to “get a noose” after he and his friends had gathered near Lake Monroe.
By Johnny Diaz, July 8, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/us/bloomington-indiana-vauhxx-booker.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage
Supporters of Vauhxx Booker gathered in front of the Monroe County courthouse on Monday. Credit...Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times, via Associated Press


Mr. Booker speaking to supporters at the Monroe County courthouse on Monday. Credit...Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times, via Associated Press

The F.B.I. is investigating a confrontation between a Black man and a group of white men who pinned him against a tree at an Indiana lake over the Fourth of July weekend, after video of the episode drew broad condemnation.

Lauren Hagee Glintz, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I., confirmed the investigation on Wednesday morning, but declined to provide any further comment.

Vauhxx Booker, a member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission in Bloomington, Ind., said on Facebook that the men assaulted him and threatened to “get a noose.” He said that he and his friends had gathered to watch the lunar eclipse at Lake Monroe, a large beach near Bloomington that is about 60 miles south of Indianapolis.

As videos of the confrontation spread online, they drew outrage from officials and in part motivated a protest in the city on Monday night. A driver of a red Toyota accelerated into a crowd of protesters that night, injuring at least two; the police were searching for the driver on Tuesday.

The incident near Lake Monroe began when a group of white men told Mr. Booker and his friends that they were on private property, he said on Facebook.

Part of the confrontation was captured on a cellphone video that Mr. Booker posted online. The video shows one man holding Mr. Booker against a tree as several others surround him. Bystanders can be heard calling for them to let him go.

“I was attacked by five white men,” Mr. Booker said in the post, “who literally threatened to lynch me in front of numerous witnesses.” He said he had heard the men say “get a noose” and use racial slurs.

Mr. Booker said that bystanders eventually got the men to stop and that he and his friends left the area and called the authorities. In another video, the men can be seen following Mr. Booker and his friends, accusing them of trespassing and berating them with profanity.

In his Facebook post, Mr. Booker said he had a minor concussion, some abrasions, bruising and loss of hair from having been pulled.

Katharine Liell, Mr. Booker’s lawyer, said at a news conference this week that the F.B.I. was investigating the case as a possible hate crime.

“We want this investigated as a hate crime, it was clearly racially motivated,” she said, speaking outside the Monroe County courthouse. “We welcome this inquiry and feel we are one step closer to justice,” she added on Facebook.

Mr. Booker and his lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, which manages Lake Monroe, is also investigating the incident, James Brindle, a spokesman for the department, said on Wednesday. No arrests have been made, and an incident report was not immediately available.

“Our conservation officers are working with the Monroe County prosecutor’s office,” Mr. Brindle said. Lake Monroe sits on land owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, private owners and the Hoosier National Forest, he said, adding that the state leases land from the corps for recreational purposes.

Mr. Booker spoke at the news conference, addressing a crowd of supporters with signs that read “Black Lives Matter.”

“We’re not a community where you can lynch someone in the street,” he said. “We are a community that is welcoming or inclusive, and we are going to make sure that justice is served.”

In a statement, Mayor John Hamilton of Bloomington and the city clerk, Nicole Bolden, condemned the confrontation, saying that a group “physically assaulted and denounced and threatened with racial epithets one Black resident of Bloomington.”

They also condemned another incident, in which a sheriff’s deputy of a neighboring county questioned and detained a Black resident who was walking down the street “in an apparent example of racial profiling.”

“We would like to express outrage and grief relating to two apparent racially motivated incidents reported in our community,’’ the statement said. “These separate incidents exemplify the persistence of racism and bias in our country and our own community. They deserve nothing less than our collective condemnation.”

State Senator Mark Stoops, whose district includes most of Monroe County, also said he was “horrified to hear about this racist attack” at the lake.

“This is not just an issue of violence; this is clearly a hate crime and must be treated as such,” he said in a statement.


The senator said that officers with the Department of Natural Resources “had clear evidence that a crime had been committed” in the videos, and that they should have taken “immediate corrective action.” He called for Gov. Eric Holcomb to immediately suspend the officers involved.


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7) The Wasp Network stings in Miami
By Rosa Miriam Elizalde, July 09, 2020
https://groups.io/g/cubanews/topic/75412766

Since Netflix decided to premiere The Wasp Network  on June 19 and reached Covid's captive audience, the film has become a media event for unconventional reasons .

In Florida they have threatened to burn cinemas , if it is ever shown in theaters, and signatures are being collected to force Netflix to withdraw the film, without understanding that the download site is not a television channel. People have the option to watch it or follow it long, although the scandal must have triggered the rating  of a film that had passed without pain or glory at the Venice Festival, despite a cast of celebrities led by Penelope Cruz.

But in Miami right now the theme of the film has become a kind of anti-communist conga with the local media dancing the cool step of attacking the French director, Olivier Assayas, accusing him of propaganda in favor of Cuba. The great detail is that The Wasp Network narrates real events that have been documented by the United States authorities themselves, in a trial that is considered the longest in the history of the jurisprudence of that country and in which three generals, an admiral, testified. a former presidential adviser and confessed terrorists, who appear on screen for what they are.

The plot of La Red Avispa  begins in Havana in the early 1990s. René González (Edgar Ramírez in the film), a flight instructor at a military air base, steals a plane and flees Cuba. A new life begins in Miami, far from Olguita, his wife (who plays Penélope Cruz) and their young daughter. Other Cuban "deserters" soon follow him and form a network to infiltrate organizations based in that city, responsible for attacks on the island, including a bomb campaign against hotels that causes the death of an Italian tourist. Instead of capturing and prosecuting terrorists responsible for heinous crimes, the United States government locks up and blackmail and punish Cuban agents.

It is the story of what happened in its purest state, devoid of opinions or interpretations of the screenwriter and director; an intolerable truth for one of the real characters that appears in the film, José Basulto . He presented himself during those years as a good Samaritan, savior of rafters in the Florida Straits, but he maintained his excursions with drug trafficking, happily violated the air space of Cuba and financed the shootings against bathers on the beaches.

Paradoxically, the evidence of his crimes was not provided by the Cuban Ministry of the Interior, but by the FBI, which was aware of everything that was happening, as the film reviews. Now Basulto rants against Netflix and shows his fist on camera: "I am more than agree with Trump in ending the relationship and agreements with Cuba."

There is a story that seems merely anecdotal of events that occurred more than 20 years ago, but which is current if viewed correctly. Gentuza like José Basulto or Luis Posada Carriles , organizer of the trail of bombs against hotels in Havana and of the sabotage of a civil plane in which 73 passengers and crewmen died, are not marginal in American society today.

The Cuban from the Island who saw The Wasp Network  at the Havana Film Festival, last December, knows that the hatred that inspired the Mayan attacks in the 90s, permeates the speeches of President Donald Trump today and conquers others Radicals swarming through Facebook forums and YouTube channels linked to white supremacists. Furthermore, George W. Bush unleashed his war on terrorism from others, while protecting his terrorist friends at home, and now Trump is courting Florida arsonists and evasive in condemning far-rightists who have left a trail of death during his administration from Charlottesville to Minneapolis, passing through El Paso.

A study by the US Extremist Crime Database  indicates that 74% of terrorist attacks that occurred on US soil after September 11, 2001 through 2016, were the work of the extreme right. Since Trump became President in 2017, most attacks on defenseless civilians are by supremacists. The profile of the aggressor does not vary too much: a white man, inspired by other violent acts and discourses and with easy access to assault weapons. It is the archetype of José Basulto, who benefited as the current extreme right-wingers of US law, which only allows the designation of terrorists to foreign groups or attackers.

Virtues and defects of realization apart, The Wasp Network is unusual and brave. She concentrates on explaining what was hidden for decades and still does not want to look straight ahead: why Cuban agents were sent to the United States. This is the heart of the story that has set the networks on fire, that they are trying to censor on Netflix and that has the right making common cause against the Spanish vice president, Pablo Iglesias. He accompanied the movie poster on Twitter with three words of unsurpassed precision: “Vista. Heroes. Peliculón ”.

(Originally published in La Jornada, Mexico)

Printed article from: Cubadebate:
 http://www.cubadebate.cu

Article URL: 
http://www.cubadebate.cu/opinion/2020/07/09/la-red-avispa-pica-en-miami/

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