Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:
A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS
B. ARTICLES IN FULL
A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS
Big, big news – we're going on STRIKE November 10, 2015.
On November 10, we're holding a national day of action to support $15 an hour and union rights. Believe me, you want to be there.
As fast-food workers across the country go on STRIKE on November 10, people across the country will be coming together to stand with them, with child care workers and with all 64 million underpaid workers making less than $15. Because it's TIME for $15.
Together we're turning the tide in favor of working people and our families. And we'll need everyone's help – including yours – to make this a reality.
Sign up now to let us know you'll be there on November 10 and be one of millions demanding the fair pay, respect, and the future we deserve!
We're angry. Fast-food workers like me work hard all day – and still don't make enough to pay our rent or feed our families.
So, on November 10, we're standing up, we're walking out, we're STRIKING – for $15 an hour and union rights.
Will you stand with us?
Sign up now to come to a protest alongside striking fast-food workers in a city near you on 11/10.
When we strike, we win. We won in New York, we won in LA, we won in Seattle and we won San Francisco.
Now, it's time to take it to the next level.
Help us send the message to McDonald's and all the other big fast food companies: We need $15 an hour and union rights NOW!
RSVP right now to protest alongside striking fast-food workers across the nation. We need you with us.
Thanks for standing with us.
North Carolina McDonald's Employee
Fight for $15
International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity
AN EVENING OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE CUBAN PEOPLE
Featuring Kenia Serrano Puig, President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP)
Friday November 13, 7:30pm
East Bay Center for the Performing Arts
339 11th Street, Richmond CA 94801-3105
Doors Open 6:30pm
$10-20 Donation at the Door
(nobody turned away for lack of funds)
Students and children free admission
This will be a unique opportunity to hear from the Cuban perspective about the new stage of U.S.-Cuba relations and the role that the U.S. Cuba solidarity movement can play in ending the U.S. blockade.
Keynote Speaker, Kenia Serrano Puig, President of ICAP
Welcome by Gayle McLaughlin, Richmond City Council Member
Dr. Laura Gomez, recently graduated from the Latin America School of Medicine (ELAM)
Leima Martinez, ICAP North America Division
Walter Turner, KPFA Host of Africa Today
Musical performance by a local group
ICAP is a social organization founded on December 30, 1960 for the purpose of promoting and explaining to the peoples of the world the relations of solidarity that sparked the Cuban Revolution. ICAP is the vehicle to reach around the globe to people who are in solidarity with Cuba. ICAP is that interface that strengthens the network of solidarity, while representing the Cuban people, and delivering a strong message that solidarity not only benefits Cuba but the peoples of the world who are aspiring to promote the idea that a better world is possible for all.
Initiated by the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity
Co-sponsors: Global Exchange, Richmond-Regla Sister City Association, Berkeley-Palma Soriano Sister City Association.
SIGN CALL for Nov. 15 "Say No to Capitalism and Racism Day" to Protest G20 Summit
"YOU CAN'T HAVE RACISM WITHOUT CAPITALISM!"
TO END RACISM AND ALL THE EVILS THAT COMES WITH IT, WE MUST END CAPITALISM" – MALCOLM X
CALL FOR THE WORLD: A SAY NO TO CAPITALISM & RACISM DAY
November 15 A People's Response to the G20 Summit
*Click peoplespowerassemblies.org/petitions/nov15endorse to endorse
NYC PROTEST 4PM, SUNDAY, NOV.15 @ CNN, 59 Street and Columbus Circle
Facebook Event Page:
On November 15 and 16 the heads of governments of the G20 — the world's 20 largest economies — along with the heads of their central banks, as well as the top bankers of the world, will be holding their annual summit meeting, which is taking place this year in Turkey.
Please support this call to make November 15, the first day of the G20 Summit – A SAY NO TO CAPITALISM AND RACISM DAY. Endorse this call and help to build the protest in NYC (and elsewhere)
The next G20 summit will be the most important G20 meeting since the global financial crash of 2008. The current volatility in global financial markets is a sign that the world capitalist system is entering a new, more intractable and more violent crisis.
No matter what the official G20 meeting agenda says, the question on the next G20 summit's agenda (which in reality is dominated by the super-rich of the U.S. and the West) will be: What must be done to rescue world capitalism and the 1% that profit from its perpetuation?
Ultimately, this means that the people of the world will be subjected to more unbearable inequality, poverty, hunger, homelessness, gentrification, neo-liberalism, austerity, more joblessness, more low wages, more war and occupation and the even greater prospect of a planet that is rapidly exhausting its capacity to sustain life.
JUST AS OMINOUS AND DANGEROUS, the deepening world economic and political crisis will create an even greater opportunity for the manifestation of racism and fascism.
The police war against Black people in the United States that has given rise to the powerful Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the war against Arab, African, Asian, Muslim, Indigenous and Latino/a migrants from the borders of Europe to the U.S.-Mexican border are examples of the intersection between capitalism and racism.
The time has come for progressive forces across the world to stand up and say that capitalism can't be reformed and should not be saved.
We will no longer tolerate the system killing, oppressing, marginalizing, or scapegoating people of Color, migrants, poor people, women, lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people, people with disabilities, young people and all working people.
Peoples Power Assembly
May 1st Coalition for Worker and Immigrant Rights
International Working Womens Coalition
*Click peoplespowerassemblies.org/petitions/nov15endorse to endorse
Northern California Climate Mobilization
Saturday, November 21, 2015, 10:30 A.M.
What will happen at the event?
10:30 am - Gather at Lake Merritt Amphitheatre
12:00 noon - March
1:00 pm - Rally at Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland, CA
This event is part of the Global Climate March. On November 30th, world leaders meet in Paris to start negotiating the next global climate deal. That's why, the day before, people around the world will take to the streets and push leaders at every level of government to commit to 100% clean energy. Together, we can push the world towards a climate deal that gets us off dirty energy and unleashes clean energy for all. Let's make history -- RSVP on the right for this Global Climate March event!
Commute Kevin Cooper's Death Sentence
Sign the Petition:
Urge Gov. Jerry Brown to commute Kevin Cooper's death sentence. Cooper has always maintained his innocence of the 1983 quadruple murder of which he was convicted. In 2009, five federal judges signed a dissenting opinion warning that the State of California "may be about to execute an innocent man." Having exhausted his appeals in the US courts, Kevin Cooper's lawyers have turned to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights to seek remedy for what they maintain is his wrongful conviction, and the inadequate trial representation, prosecutorial misconduct and racial discrimination which have marked the case. Amnesty International opposes all executions, unconditionally.
"The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man." - Judge William A. Fletcher, 2009 dissenting opinion on Kevin Cooper's case
Kevin Cooper has been on death row in California for more than thirty years.
In 1985, Cooper was convicted of the murder of a family and their house guest in Chino Hills. Sentenced to death, Cooper's trial took place in an atmosphere of racial hatred — for example, an effigy of a monkey in a noose with a sign reading "Hang the N*****!" was hung outside the venue of his preliminary hearing.
Take action to see that Kevin Cooper's death sentence is commuted immediately.
Cooper has consistently maintained his innocence.
Following his trial, five federal judges said: "There is no way to say this politely. The district court failed to provide Cooper a fair hearing."
Since 2004, a dozen federal appellate judges have indicated their doubts about his guilt.
Tell California authorities: The death penalty carries the risk of irrevocable error. Kevin Cooper's sentence must be commuted.
In 2009, Cooper came just eight hours shy of being executed for a crime that he may not have committed. Stand with me today in reminding the state of California that the death penalty is irreversible — Kevin Cooper's sentence must be commuted immediately.
Senior Death Penalty Campaigner
Amnesty International USA
Kevin Cooper: An Innocent Victim of Racist Frame-Up
- from the Fact Sheet at: www.freekevincooper.org
Kevin Cooper is an African-American man who was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in 1985 for the gruesome murders of a white family in Chino Hills, California: Doug and Peggy Ryen and their daughter Jessica and their house- guest Christopher Hughes. The Ryens' 8 year old son Josh, also attacked, was left for dead but survived.
Convicted in an atmosphere of racial hatred in San Bernardino County CA, Kevin Cooper remains under a threat of imminent execution in San Quentin. He has never received a fair hearing on his claim of innocence. In a dissenting opinion in 2009, five federal judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals signed a 82 page dissenting opinion that begins: "The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man." 565 F.3d 581.
There is significant evidence that exonerates Mr. Cooper and points toward other suspects:
The coroner who investigated the Ryen murders concluded that the murders took four minutes at most and that the murder weapons were a hatchet, a long knife, an ice pick and perhaps a second knife. How could a single person, in four or fewer minutes, wield three or four weapons, and inflict over 140 wounds on five people, two of whom were adults (including a 200 pound ex-marine) who had loaded weapons near their bedsides?
The sole surviving victim of the murders, Josh Ryen, told police and hospital staff within hours of the murders that the culprits were "three white men." Josh Ryen repeated this statement in the days following the crimes. When he twice saw Mr. Cooper's picture on TV as the suspected attacker, Josh Ryen said "that's not the man who did it."
Josh Ryen's description of the killers was corroborated by two witnesses who were driving near the Ryens' home the night of the murders. They reported seeing three white men in a station wagon matching the description of the Ryens' car speeding away from the direction of the Ryens' home.
These descriptions were corroborated by testimony of several employees and patrons of a bar close to the Ryens' home, who saw three white men enter the bar around midnight the night of the murders, two of whom were covered in blood, and one of whom was wearing coveralls.
The identity of the real killers was further corroborated by a woman who, shortly after the murders were discovered, alerted the sheriff's department that her boyfriend, a convicted murderer, left blood-spattered coveralls at her home the night of the murders. She also reported that her boyfriend had been wearing a tan t-shirt matching a tan t-shirt with Doug Ryen's blood on it recovered near the bar. She also reported that her boyfriend owned a hatchet matching the one recovered near the scene of the crime, which she noted was missing in the days following the murders; it never reappeared; further, her sister saw that boyfriend and two other white men in a vehicle that could have been the Ryens' car on the night of the murders.
Lacking a motive to ascribe to Mr. Cooper for the crimes, the prosecution claimed that Mr. Cooper, who had earlier walked away from custody at a minimum security prison, stole the Ryens' car to escape to Mexico. But the Ryens had left the keys in both their cars (which were parked in the driveway), so there was no need to kill them to steal their car. The prosecution also claimed that Mr. Cooper needed money, but money and credit cards were found untouched and in plain sight at the murder scene.
The jury in 1985 deliberated for seven days before finding Mr. Cooper guilty. One juror later said that if there had been one less piece of evidence, the jury would not have voted to convict.
The evidence the prosecution presented at trial tying Mr. Cooper to the crime scene has all been discredited… (Continue reading this document at: http://www.savekevincooper.org/_new_freekevincooperdotorg/TEST/Scripts/DataLibraries/upload/KC_FactSheet_2014.pdf)
This message from the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. July 2015
For Immediate Release – Thursday, October 29, 2015
Solitary Prisoners' Lawyers Slam CDCR for Sleep Deprivation
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition
SAN FRANCISCO – Yesterday, lawyers for prisoners in the class action case Ashker v. Brown submitted a letter condemning Pelican Bay prison guards' "wellness checks," which have widely been viewed as sleep deprivation. The letter was submitted to United States Magistrate Judge Nandor Vadas, and calls on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to put an end to the checks.
Last month, prisoners achieved a historic victory in the settlement of Ashker v. Brown where the indefinite long term solitary confinement was effectively ended in California, with Magistrate Judge Vadas currently monitoring implementation of the settlement terms.
The guards at Pelican bay Security Housing Units have been conducting disruptive cell checks every 30 minutes around the clock for three months, causing prisoners widespread sleep disruption. The process is loud and according to prisoners, "the method and noise from the checks is torture."
Attorneys representing Pelican Bay SHU prisoners have just completed extensive interviews with prisoners who demand that "the every 30-minute checks have to be stopped or people are going to get sick or worse." In addition, they report that regular prison programs have been negatively impacted.
"To sleep is a fundamental human right," said Anne Weills, a member of the prisoners' legal team and one of the attorneys who conducted the interviews with prisoners in Pelican Bay. "To take away such a basic human right amounts to severe torture, adding to the already torturous conditions of being in solitary confinement."
Most prisoners report low energy, exhaustion and fatigue. Most state that they have trouble concentrating. They try to read, but they nod off and/or can't remember what they have read. Their writing is much slower ("I can't think to write"), and describe the constant welfare checks as having a negative impact on their mental state.
While this recent attorney survey was specifically focusing on sleep deprivation and its effects, prisoners volunteered information about the negative impact of these frequent checks: yard policy and practice has reduced access to recreation, access to showers has been reduced, programs and meals are being delayed, and property for those newly transferred to Pelican Bay is still being delayed and withheld.
Sleep deprivation constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Prisoners and their attorneys are demanding that these checks be halted.
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
Free Albert Woodfox!
On June 8, 2015 a federal judge granted Louisiana prisoner Albert Woodfox unconditional release. Albert's conviction had already been overturned three times - most recently in 2013 - yet every time the state has appealed.
Today, Albert is still behind bars after spending four decades in cruel, unjust solitary confinement. He believes that he and fellow prisoners, Herman Wallace and Robert King, were first placed in solitary confinement in retaliation for their activism. All three men were members of the Black Panther Party. Together, they came to be known as the Angola 3.
It is time for the State of Louisiana to stop standing in the way of justice. Call on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to ensure Albert's cruel and unjust confinement is not his legacy. Learn more
Amnesty for all those arrested demanding justice for Freddie Gray!
Amnesty for ALL those arrested
demanding justice for Freddie Gray!
Sign and distribute the petition to drop the charges!
Spread this effort with #Amnesty4Baltimore
"A riot is the language of the unheard"
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
An estimated 300 people have been arrested in Baltimore in the last two weeks. Many have been brutalized, beaten and pepper-sprayed by police in the streets, and held for days in inhumane conditions. Those arrested include journalists, medics and legal observers.
One individual arrested for property destruction of a police vehicle is now facing life in prison and is being held on $500,000 bail. That's $150,000 more than the officer charged with the murder of Freddie Gray.
The legal system has made it clear that they care more about broken windows than broken necks; more about a CVS than the lives of Baltimore's Black residents.
They showed no hesitation in arresting Baltimore's protesters and rebels, and sending in the National Guard, but took 19 days to put a single one of the killer cops in handcuffs. This was the outrageous double standard that led to the Baltimore Uprising.
Sign the petition to drop the charges on all who have been arrested.
Petition to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake
City Hall, Room 250,
100 North Holliday St.,
Baltimore, MD 21202
Dear Mayor Rawlings-Blake:
I stand in solidarity with those in Baltimore who are demanding that all charges be dropped against those who rose up against racism, police brutality, oppressive social conditions and delay of justice in the case of Freddie Gray. The whole world now recognizes that were it not for this powerful grassroots movement, in all its forms, there would be no indictment.
It is an outrage that peaceful protesters have been brutalized, beaten and pepper-sprayed by police in the streets, and held for days in inhumane conditions. Those arrested include journalists and legal observers.
Even the youth who are charged with property destruction and looting should be given an amnesty. There is no reason a teenager -- provoked by racists and justifiably angry -- should be facing life in prison for breaking the windows of a police car.
The City of Baltimore should work to rectify the conditions that led to this Uprising, rather than criminalizing those who took action in response to those conditions. Drop the charges now!
[add your name below]
CANCEL ALL STUDENT DEBT!
Sign the Petition:
Dear President Obama, Senators, and Members of Congress:
Americans now owe $1.3 trillion in student debt. Eighty-six percent of that money is owed to the United States government. This is a crushing burden for more than 40 million Americans and their families.
I urge you to take immediate action to forgive all student debt, public and private.
American Federation of Teachers
Campaign for America's Future
Democracy for America
RH Reality Check
Student Debt Crisis
MUMIA'S FINAL APPEAL FOR HEALTHCARE DENIED!
Last night Mumia got notice that the final appeal of his PA Department of Corrections grievance was denied. Listen to his reaction here.
This denial comes on top of the magistrate Judge's proposal to deny Mumia's right to treatment last week.
Remember-- one of the reasons the Judge gave was her claim that Mumia had not "exhausted his administrative remedies" or received a final denial of his request for care. Now he has received that denial.
We know that withholding Mumia's care is immoral and illegal. We are confident that we will win this battle in court- but we can't do it alone.
We have 3 days left to raise $2,948 to support Mumia's legal team in securing his right to hepatitis C treatment!
If you have already joined us, we're inviting you to ask one friend to match your gift. We need about 50 more freedom fighters to join us to reach our goal— and we want you to make that happen with us!
If you haven't given yet- now is the time to make a contribution for Mumia. Will you join us?
Health care is a human right- for Mumia, and for all prisoners. Let's prove it. #freemumia #fight4mumia
Reply directly to this email to respond to the campaign owner, Prison Radio . Visit the campaign page to view all comments and updates for this project.
Help spread the word about the campaign!
Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson
Updates from the New "Team Free Lorenzo Johnson":
Thank you all for your relentless effort in the fight against wrongful convictions and your determination to stand behind Lorenzo.
To garner even more support for Lorenzo Johnson, we have been hard at work updating the website and developing an even more formidable and dedicated team. Please take a moment to visit the new site here.
During the month of July, Lorenzo wrote two new articles for The Huffington Post titled "When Prosecutors Deny Justice for the Innocent," and "Hurry Up and Wait for Justice: The Struggle of Innocent Prisoners." In these articles, Lorenzo discusses the flaws in the criminal justice system, which he deems is a "serious problem in this country."
Lastly, Lorenzo has a message to you all.
A Letter from Lorenzo:
July 23, 2015
Dauphin County Prison
I hope all is well with everyone and your families. As for myself, I'm still on my journey in pursuit of my vindication. Sorry for my website being shut down for a couple of weeks. It was being transferred to a new provider and management. I'm back and will do my best to keep everything up to speed with what's taking place.
I would like to thank ALL of my loyal supporters in the U.S. and in the MANY different counties that have signed on to support my innocence. Thanks for all of the letters, emails, photos, etc. Like I always say, I get energy to carry on and inspiration hearing form you, please stay engaged in my struggle.
As of this moment, nothing has changed, but – the continued delay tactics are constantly being used by my prosecutor, Deputy Attorney General William Stoycos. With the mounting of evidence that supports my innocence and police and prosecution misconduct claims that is steadily piling up, you would think that I would be having a couple of evidentiary hearings on my actual innocence appeal that have been pending since August 5, 2013.
At the time of this writing, I've been moved from SCI-Mahanoy to Dauphin County Prison and locked down for 23 hours and 40 minutes a day. In the 20 minutes I get to come out, I get to take a shower and make a short call. Prosecutor Stoycos had me moved so I can be a witness in his attempt to have my codefendant Corey Walker's attorney removed from representing him. How dare he call into question an attorney who is seeking justice for her client, when prosecutor Stoycos himself violated multiple constitutional rights of mine and Mr. Walker, that led to us being in prison for 20 years and counting.
Prosecutor Stoycos is continuously abusing his power and his endless resources he has at his disposal. He is not tough on crime, he's tough on Innocent Prisoners. Prosecutor Stoycos is doing everything in his power to prevent justice from taking place. I encourage everyone to continue to speak out against my nightmare, invite others to get involved by going to my website and signing my Freedom Petition and whatever else they're willing to do.
On a positive note, I just enrolled in warehouse management trade and started on July 13th. Unfortunately, you're only allowed to miss a couple of days and Prosecutor Stoycos had me temporarily transferred on July 14th … It's extremely hard on Lifers to get into these trades due to the fact that Lifers are placed at the back of the list of ALL vocational classes. I try to further my education every chance I get, so when I do come home, I will be certified in different work.
The month of the hearing has come and left, without me being brought to the courthouse … I'm one of MANY innocent prisoners who endures this non-stop madness in our pursuit of Justice and Freedom. Now that my webpage is almost caught up to speed, I promise prompt updates and as everyone knows that contacted me directly, I personally reply to those in the states and out of the country. For those who can make a financial contribution, everything counts. Take care and let's continue to fight until we achieve Freedom, Justice, and Equality for all innocent prisoners.
"The Pain Within"
Free the Innocent
Lorenzo "Cat" Johnson
[Note: Lorenzo has since been transferred back to SCI Mahanoy and can be reached at his usual address.]
Thank you all for reading this message and please take the time to visit the new website and contribute to Lorenzo's campaign for freedom!
Write: Lorenzo Johnson
301 Morea Rd.
Frackville, PA 17932
Email: Through JPay using the code:
Lorenzo Johnson DF 1036 PA DOC
Directly at LorenzoJohnson17932@gmail.com
Have a wonderful day!
- The Team to Free Lorenzo Johnson
Join the Fight to Free Rev. Pinkney!
Click HERE to view in browser
On December 15, 2014 the Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan was thrown into prison for 2.5 to 10 years. This 66-year-old leading African American activist was tried and convicted in front of an all-white jury and racist white judge and prosecutor for supposedly altering 5 dates on a recall petition against the mayor of Benton Harbor.
The prosecutor, with the judge's approval, repeatedly told the jury "you don't need evidence to convict Mr. Pinkney." And ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE WAS EVER PRESENTED THAT TIED REV. PINKNEY TO THE 'ALTERED' PETITIONS. Rev. Pinkney was immediately led away in handcuffs and thrown into Jackson Prison.
This is an outrageous charge. It is an outrageous conviction. It is an even more outrageous sentence! It must be appealed.
With your help supporters need to raise $20,000 for Rev. Pinkney's appeal.
Checks can be made out to BANCO (Black Autonomy Network Community Organization). This is the organization founded by Rev. Pinkney. Mail them to: Mrs. Dorothy Pinkney, 1940 Union Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022.
Donations can be accepted on-line at bhbanco.org – press the donate button.
For information on the decade long campaign to destroy Rev. Pinkney go to bhbanco.org and workers.org(search "Pinkney").
We urge your support to the efforts to Free Rev. Pinkney!Ramsey Clark – Former U.S. attorney general,
Cynthia McKinney – Former member of U.S. Congress,
Lynne Stewart – Former political prisoner and human rights attorney
Ralph Poynter – New Abolitionist Movement,
Abayomi Azikiwe – Editor, Pan-African News Wire<
Larry Holmes – Peoples Power Assembly,
David Sole – Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
Sara Flounders – International Action Center
MESSAGE FROM REV. PINKNEY
I am now in Marquette prison over 15 hours from wife and family, sitting in prison for a crime that was never committed. Judge Schrock and Mike Sepic both admitted there was no evidence against me but now I sit in prison facing 30 months. Schrock actually stated that he wanted to make an example out of me. (to scare Benton Harbor residents even more...) ONLY IN AMERICA. I now have an army to help fight Berrien County. When I arrived at Jackson state prison on Dec. 15, I met several hundred people from Detroit, Flint, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids. Some people recognized me. There was an outstanding amount of support given by the prison inmates. When I was transported to Marquette Prison it took 2 days. The prisoners knew who I was. One of the guards looked me up on the internet and said, "who would believe Berrien County is this racist."
Background to Campaign to free Rev. Pinkney
Michigan political prisoner the Rev. Edward Pinkney is a victim of racist injustice. He was sentenced to 30 months to 10 years for supposedly changing the dates on 5 signatures on a petition to recall Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower.
No material or circumstantial evidence was presented at the trial that would implicate Pinkney in the purported5 felonies. Many believe that Pinkney, a Berrien County activist and leader of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO), is being punished by local authorities for opposing the corporate plans of Whirlpool Corp, headquartered in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
In 2012, Pinkney and BANCO led an "Occupy the PGA [Professional Golfers' Association of America]" demonstration against a world-renowned golf tournament held at the newly created Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The course was carved out of Jean Klock Park, which had been donated to the city of Benton Harbor decades ago.
Berrien County officials were determined to defeat the recall campaign against Mayor Hightower, who opposed a program that would have taxed local corporations in order to create jobs and improve conditions in Benton Harbor, a majority African-American municipality. Like other Michigan cities, it has been devastated by widespread poverty and unemployment.
The Benton Harbor corporate power structure has used similar fraudulent charges to stop past efforts to recall or vote out of office the racist white officials, from mayor, judges, prosecutors in a majority Black city. Rev Pinkney who always quotes scripture, as many Christian ministers do, was even convicted for quoting scripture in a newspaper column. This outrageous conviction was overturned on appeal. We must do this again!
To sign the petition in support of the Rev. Edward Pinkney, log on to: tinyurl.com/ps4lwyn.
Contributions for Rev. Pinkney's defense can be sent to BANCO at Mrs Dorothy Pinkney, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Or you can donate on-line at bhbanco.org.
COURAGE TO RESIST
New Action--write letters to DoD officials requesting clemency for Chelsea!
Secretary of the Army John McHugh
President Obama has delegated review of Chelsea Manning's clemency appeal to individuals within the Department of Defense.
Please write them to express your support for heroic WikiLeaks' whistle-blower former US Army intelligence analyst PFC Chelsea Manning's release from military prison.
It is important that each of these authorities realize the wide support that Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning enjoys worldwide. They need to be reminded that millions understand that Manning is a political prisoner, imprisoned for following her conscience. While it is highly unlikely that any of these individuals would independently move to release Manning, a reduction in Manning's outrageous 35-year prison sentence is a possibility at this stage.
Take action TODAY – Write letters supporting Chelsea's clemency petition to the following DoD authorities:
Secretary of the Army John McHugh
101 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-0101
The Judge Advocate General
2200 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-2200
Army Clemency and Parole Board
251 18th St, Suite 385
Arlington, VA 22202-3532
Directorate of Inmate Administration
Attn: Boards Branch
U.S. Disciplinary Barracks
1301 N. Warehouse Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304
Suggestions for letters send to DoD officials:
The letter should focus on your support for Chelsea Manning, and especially why you believe justice will be served if Chelsea Manning's sentence is reduced. The letter should NOT be anti-military as this will be unlikely to help.
A suggested message: "Chelsea Manning has been punished enough for violating military regulations in the course of being true to her conscience. I urge you to use your authorityto reduce Pvt. Manning's sentence to time served." Beyond that general message, feel free to personalize the details as to why you believe Chelsea deserves clemency.
Consider composing your letter on personalized letterhead -you can create this yourself (here are templates and some tips for doing that).
A comment on this post will NOT be seen by DoD authorities–please send your letters to the addresses above
This clemency petition is separate from Chelsea Manning's upcoming appeal before the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals next year, where Manning's new attorney Nancy Hollander will have an opportunity to highlight the prosecution's—and the trial judge's—misconduct during last year's trial at Ft. Meade, Maryland.
Help us continue to cover 100% of Chelsea's legal fees at this critical stage!
Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave. #41
Oakland, CA 94610
B. ARTICLES IN FULL
1) Where Are Black Children Safe?
By Roxane Gay
2) Shaker Aamer Is Released From Guantánamo Prison After 13 Years
4) At a Success Academy Charter School, Singling Out Pupils Who Have 'Got to Go'
5) How America Tolerates Racism in Jury Selection
6) Biased Lending Evolves, and Blacks Face Trouble Getting Mortgages
8) Fake Cover Letters Expose Discrimination Against Disabled
By Noam Scheiber
10) Kentucky: Inmate's Death Brings Civil Rights Charges
Intelligence agencies will always seek to collect more data. But the courts that oversee them must be as concerned about due process as they are with secrets.
November 3, 2015 by Chelsea E Manning
The US intelligence community is in a very poor position to be trusted with protecting civil liberties while engaging in intelligence work. When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail; when you're a skilled intelligence professional, everything looks like a vital source for collection.
Members of the intelligence community are, it's true, under immense stress to prevent a devastating national catastrophe. I understand a little of how that feels: while working as an analyst in Iraq, thousands of military personnel, contractors and local civilians were dependent on our ability to effectively understand the threats we were facing, and to explain them to US military commanders, the commanders of Iraqi forces and the civilian leadership of both nations.
General Keith Alexander, the former director of the National Security, frequently pushed very hard to "collect it all"; during my time as an intelligence analyst, I completely agreed with his mantra. So it's not surprising that today's intelligence community – as well as law enforcement at all levels of government – aggressively pursue an increasingly large and sophisticated wish list of intelligence tools regardless of whether appropriate oversight mechanisms are in place.
Given the immense pressure to guard against the unknown or even unknowable, it's plausible that the US intelligence community doesn't seek to deliberately violate civil liberties and privacy on a grand scale. Rather, its myriad civil liberties and privacy violations may just be the inevitable result of scrutiny, oversight and transparency failures.
Besides which, what the intelligence community – including the NSA, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department and the military branches – will always fail to accept is that simply having more tools for the collection, analysis and timely dissemination of actionable intelligence is not the same thing as having the tools necessary to perform such functions effectively.
And, finally, assembling vast troves of raw surveillance information – whether voluntarily in the case of the recent proposed "cybersecurity" bills before the US Congress, or involuntarily under unilateral subpoenas called "national security letters" or secret court orders – is an inherently awful idea from a civil liberties and privacy perspective.
Concerns about bulk data collection, the lack of civilian oversight into the intelligence community's actions and whether it can effectively use all the information it collects culminated in the recent passage of the USA Freedom Act, which purports to:
…reform the authorities of the US government to require the production of certain business records, conduct electronic surveillance, use pen registers and trap and trace devices, and use other forms of information gathering for foreign intelligence, counterterrorism, and criminal purposes, and other purposes…
But despite the fancy name and long-winded description, the major concerns over "bulk collection" and "mass surveillance" of citizens have not yet been substantially addressed in the US, because the legislation leaves mostly in place the secret courts established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or Fisa.
Those courts were established nearly 40 years ago, in response to allegations that the intelligence community was abusing their power in order to spy on US citizens: the US Senate's Church Committee conducted a massive investigation into the intelligence community and expressed concerns that the privacy rights of US citizens had been violated by activities conducted under pretenses of foreign intelligence collection.
The result then was new procedures and the creation of a new court system – the Foreign Intelligence Court – to process surveillance requests by the government in secret. Unfortunately, it also created a new host of oversight problems: only a similar secret court process can review the actions taken by the courts, leaving many in Congress and all of the American public in the dark.
Some of these systemic problems have finally been examined by non-Fisa courts in the last two years – most notably by the US court of appeals for the second circuit early in 2015. However, because of the continuing secrecy of the Fisa courts, any ruling by a court of appeals was only a symbolic gesture. The USA Freedom Act, for all that it's trumpeted as the solution to some of the excessed, does little to institute real oversight over the Fisa courts.
The solution: we should abolish the entire Fisa Court system and bring all surveillance requests into the oldest and most tested court system in America: the US district courts and courts of appeal.
Such a move is not a wildly unsafe idea: in the US, grand juries work in secrecy, and the US courts regularly deal with classified information. And the Fisa court itself doesn't have separate personnel or facilities: it always "borrowed" US district judges and used district court premises. Physically, no-one would have to even move offices to institute a civilian review structure subject to oversight.
If Congress did abolish the Fisa courts, the Second Circuit ruling earlier this year would no longer be symbolic. In spirit and in law, the entire surveillance review system would end up where it probably should have started in the first place after the Church Committee: in a tried and true, real and historically viable court system. And the American people could have more faith that our judicial branch wasn't completely beholden to structures put into place by the executive and legislative branches to limit accountability.~
Check out other materials Chelsea released to correspond with her Nov 3rd op-ed
- FISA Reform Act – Chelsea wrote this 129 page bill addressing issues with government surveillance, starting with ending the secret FISA courts that ensure the American public is kept in the dark. Read the bill here! Sign the petition urging your lawmakers to read Chelsea's bill!
- New Blog piece by Chelsea – Ever wonder how Chelsea writes op-eds from prison? It's no easy task! Chelsea documents the challenge of writing the FISA Reform Act from prison in her new Medium blog piece. Read it here.
12) Socialist Politics to Stay: Seattle Re-Elects Kshama Sawant
04 November 15
Seattle voted for working-class politics by re-electing socialist incumbent Kshama Sawant to City Council with a five point lead over her challenger.
Seattle residents will be seeing more campaigns in City Council and in the streets to fight inequality and build social justice after the re-election of socialist City Councillor Kshama Sawant in the city's high-profile municipal election on Tuesday.
"We have accomplished something historic," Sawant said to supporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday night as election results came in. "We have had an open socialist re-elected to City Council."
Sawant, who secured a municipal minimum wage increase in her first term in City Council, won Seattle's District 3 area by 5 percentage points over challenger Pamela Banks, who has been known to align herself with the business community.
Sawant declared the win "a strong victory for all working people, for the socialist movement," and said that the re-election signaled that "socialist politics are here to stay" in Seattle.
In November 2013, Sawant won a seat in the city's then at-large voting system as a Socialist Alternative candidate. She became the first socialist City Councillor elected in Seattle in over a century.
During her first year in office, Sawant won a major campaign for working people with the vote in May 2014 to increase Seattle's minimum wage to US$15 per hour. Despite the achievement, Sawant remained firm that the approval was a partial victory because it allowed big corporations to phase in new wages over a few years. She vowed as a councillor and an activist to continue her fight for poor and low-income people.
Sawant has also pushed a "millionaire tax" on the wealthy and rent control as key policy issues. She has campaigned for workers' and union rights, an end to corporate influence in politics, affordable housing and tenant rights, environmental policies and green jobs, and expansion of public transit, among other issues.
Seeking re-election, Sawant ran on a platform of making Seattle affordable for everyone and building a city "free of discrimination and poverty, with racial and gender equality, where all people can work and live in dignity," according to her campaign website.
Before running for office, Sawant was involved in Seattle's Occupy movement, which she credited with bringing issues of class, capitalism, and inequality into the political debate.
The City Council race was one of Seattle's most closely watched elections, according to local media. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer described the election as a kind of "referendum" on Sawant's "working class agenda."
The election was also the first to be run on a district voting system in over a century. While the nine City Council seats have represented the whole city in the at-large system in use since 1911, now seven of the seats are elected by district. Sawant's District 3 represents the Central Seattle area, including the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
A majority of women councilors make up Seattle's newly elected City Council.
13) YES , COMRADES, IT IS INDEED INTIFADA !
Answer the Clarion Call to the International Socialist Movement from renowned anti-zionist activist and voice of conscience Tikva Honig-Parnass:
A Taking Aim Appeal from Mya Shone and Ralph Schoenman:
Answer the Clarion Call to the International Socialist Movement from renowned anti-zionist activist and voice of conscience Tikva Honig-Parnass:
"Embrace the Intifada! Grant your legitimation to my Glorious Palestinian Brothers!"
More than a month has passed since the outburst of the current Intifada. During the first two weeks it was carried out by the youth of Jerusalem who hold a blue identity card which permits them to move freely within Israel. However since the third week, the intifada has spread to the West Bank as well, largely but not only to Hebron area. Bir Zeit and Al-Quds students (among others) have went out to the streets and were involved in clashes with the Israeli army and the PA soldiers. The soldiers often burst into the universities to kidnap activists, thus preventing the ability to carry on regular studies. Last week Palestinian women came out with a call to join the intifada and emphasized Feminist positions of "gender equality in responsibility for the Intifada."
Almost everyday a number of youngsters are committing stubbing or running over operations against settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem or against Israelis in Israel "proper". Until now( November 3) they have operated independently, with minimal preparations or planning. They have not been supported, not to mention organized by the political parties- not even by the "left" PFLP and DFLP. The Palestinian Authority continues to collaborate with the Israeli intelligence (Shabak) and by arresting or detaining activists, (1179 in the West Bank and 59 in Gaza Strip) have managed to hinder many operations. ( " this coordination with the Authority contributes to calm the ground" the Israeli security spokesman told Haaretz ) .The youth of the Gaza Strip demonstrated this month in different places close to the Separation Wall and were involved in with strong clashes with the Army.
The Palestinian citizens of Israel took part in mass solidarity protests. MK Balad, Haneen Zoabi, truly expresses the mood of rather large part of the Palestinians in Israel, especially the '1948' young generation. In an interview granted to Hamas news paper ten days ago she said:
"Today there are only actions of individuals, and what is needed is popular support," [..]"If individual attacks will continue without popular support they will die out in a matter of days – thousands of people going out will turn these events into a true intifada.." Netanyahu directed Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein "to open a criminal investigation against her for calling for a popular Intifada against Israel.
Senior political commentators recognize the "stormy and tumultuous" nature of the uprising and admit that it can not be suppressed through the use of force. Amos Harel ( Haaretz, 23 October) described the determination and bravery of these youngsters: "In most cases the presence of the Israeli soldiers or police and their swift reaction, results in killing [namely executed] or wounding of the attacker in a few minutes." [56 were killed in the West Bank or in operations inside Israel and 17 in Gaza Strip and 2250 were wounded]. But this does not divert those youth from their aspiration. This wave will not fade away by itself. On the contrary. Every killed knihfer [sic] immediately turns to be a "Shahid".
Moreover, their bravery is seen as similar the strugglers of the first Intifada: " The 2015 Palestinian youth remind us of their parents' generation- the youth who marched bar-chest at the head of the demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza. Now they challenge the Israeli army and almost demand the snipers to shoot them."
And indeed what we are witnessing is a continuation of the past attempts of resistance to the Occupation. ( See Ben White "Is it a Third Intifada?" for depicting the current uprising as a link in the chain of different ways of Tzumud and resistance).
According to Haaretz,the Israeli Security Establishment believes that the Intifada would "escalate" and prepares for "a long confrontation". They plan to enlist the reserves in order to strengthen the military regular service, the majority of which has already stopped its training due to the uprising. The Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said in a rare interview to channel 2 that "There is no focused or clear military solution to a challenge of this kind. There is a multi- dimensional, combined response.[I wander of what bloody means he is talking about] I can not hide behind the matter that there is here a popular wide phenomenon which is influenced by external events. I believe that the solution to the problem would be found, but it will take time."
The Marxist radical organizations in Europe and the USA have reacted to the Intifada with a complete silence. They reported about the brutality of Israel bloody policies and condemned it but did not call for solidarity with the uprising or even named it as INTIFADA. I am preoccupied with the questions: What is it in the nature of the present uprising that kept my comrades so alienated? The stubbing?
The fact that it has not yet developed into a mass popular Intifada? Is not their duty to listen to the voices of the oppressed even when they are still weak? Is it the yet lack of support by the Palestinian "representatives of the masses"- the historic political parties- which has deterred them?
Howevr, finally the Fatah has concluded that the intifada does exist. In the morning news of November 3 it was broadcasted that "leaders of Fatah call for expanding the uprising into a wide civil rebellion which will include all parts of the people". Would this be sufficient to for the Internationalist, Socialist organizations to grant their "legitimation" to my Palestinian Glorious Brothers??
14) Plant Collapse Kills at Least 16 People in Pakistan
15) Lawsuit Accuses Missouri City of Fining Homeowners to Raise Revenue
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