UNDERSTANDING THE SANDERS REVOLUTION
From a post on Facebook
Let me see if I get this correctly:
Bernie Sanders went on demonstrations in the early 1960s, but then took a 50-year break until 2014.
So he skipped the anti-Vietnam War movement, the women's movement and the other critical social movements of his generation.
Now he supports working people, but thinks its ok to bomb them in other countries.
And he's for democracy, but he supports monarchies and Israeli apartheid.
He's for government transparency, but wants Snowden to stand trial.
He's independent, but has always supported the corporate Democratic Party candidates.
He's against police violence, but thinks the police are a socialist institution.
He voted against the Iraq War, but then voted to fund it.
He's battling the Washington establishment, but he's a lifelong professional politician.
He's against Hillary Clinton, but has pledged to support her after she wins the primary.
He's a democratic socialist, but assures us he will not threaten capitalism.
And he has proclaimed that his vote in Iowa was the beginning of a Political Revolution...
So - he's getting movement activists off the streets and signing them up to strengthen the Democratic Party, a party that destroys progressive movements, so he can lead the revolution that will end Democratic Party politics, in order to move to a kind of socialism that preserves capitalism?
Makes total sense.
Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:
A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS
B. ARTICLES IN FULL
A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS
Sunday, March 20: National March
to Support Palestine in D.C.!
Momentum grows for the National March on D.C. to Support Palestine: Exciting confirmed speakers!
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March 20, 2016
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Dr. Cornel West
Sabry Wazwaz - Palestinian-American activist, documentary filmmaker
Laila El-Haddad - Palestinian freelance journalist, author, blogger, and media activist from Gaza City
Fatina Abdrabboh - Executive Director, Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (Michigan). Adjunct Professor of Law, Wayne State University Law School
Joe Catron - American journalist who has spent years on the ground in Gaza covering the brutal Israeli terrorist assaults against the Palestinian people
On Sunday, March 20, 2016, there will be a major National March on Washington, D.C., to support Palestine and the Palestinian people. Stand with Palestine, say NO to the racist reign of terror and the Apartheid Wall, and say YES to the right of Palestinian refugees to return home.
Buses are being reserved and organized. Transportation centers are being set up in cities up and down the East Coast and in the Midwest. We expect people from every region to descend on Washington, D.C.
The National March and Rally is timed to coincide with the opening of the AIPAC Convention in downtown Washington, D.C. We will gather in front of the White House for a rally at 12 Noon. At 1:00 pm we will march to the D.C. Convention Center, the site of the AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) conference.
Al-Awda, The Palestinian Right to Return Coalition and the ANSWER Coalition are co-sponsoring the National March on March 20 (#SupportPalestineInDC2016). We are expecting hundreds of organizations and individual leaders to endorse this activity and join the effort!
What you can do:
Become an endorser of this important national action
RSVP at the bottom of this page
Sign up if you can help bring other people from your area to Washington on March 20
Palestine is calling and the world must answer. International solidarity can make the difference, as it did in bringing an end to apartheid in South Africa. This must be a united effort for justice. We must stand together to reject the efforts by the Israeli state and settlers to abuse, violate and evict the Palestinian people. We say NO to racism and YES to self-determination.
Please join and help bring thousands of people to Washington, D.C., on Sunday, March 20, 2016.
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1. Become an endorser of this important national action
2. RSVP online to say you're coming
3. Sign up if you can help bring other people from your area to Washington on March 20
Palestine is calling and the world must answer. International solidarity can make the difference, as it did in bringing an end to apartheid in South Africa. This must be a united effort for justice. We must stand together to reject the efforts by the Israeli state and settlers to abuse, violate and evict the Palestinian people. We say NO to racism and YES to self-determination.
Please join and help bring thousands of people to Washington, D.C., on Sunday, March 20, 2016.
General Motors is Guilty in Flint!
Demand GM, which made $9.7 billion in 2015, immediately contribute $4 billion to rebuild Flint's water infrastructure, housing and schools, and provide quality, lifetime healthcare and services for Flint's youth!
Working people across the U.S. and even many celebrities have made significant contributions to aid the people of Flint, who are experiencing the devastating effects of the Water Lead Poisoning Scandal. One entity, however, has been notably silent: General Motors Corporation. This is despite the fact that it was the actions of GM that are responsible for the financial destruction of Flint, which led to the city being placed under racist Emergency Management with the disastrous consequences that followed.
- GM eliminated 72,000 union auto worker jobs in the Flint from 1970 to the present, driving out half of the population, and turning Flint from one of the wealthiest cities in the U.S. to the poorest. GM moved operations all over the globe seeking low wages and replaced workers with robots in its drive for super-profits.
- When GM became aware of the toxic nature of Flint's water supply in October 2014, it didn't alert the public or call for the end of its use in family water taps. No, it negotiated an exemption for itself to get water from Lake Huron so its parts would not be corroded, the people be damned.
- GM is the single greatest polluter of the toxic Flint River, using it to dump industrial waste for years.
- GM promoted lead-based gasoline for 60 years to make its engines more efficient at the least cost, knowing full well the poisonous effects of lead.
- GM got a bailout from the federal government in 2009 which cost taxpayers $11 billion. The State of Michigan, under governors Granholm and Snyder, gave GM $4 billion in tax credits through 2030, meaning every year GM is profitable it pays ZERO state taxes.
- GM pocketed $9.7 billion in profits in 2015. It's time for GM to pay its debt to the people of Flint.
For more info: 313-680-5508
This farmworker documentary project needs your support
This coming year is going to be a watershed for farm workers.
Wages have been going down, people are living in crowded conditions - sometimes even outside under the trees, in tents and in cars. The communities of indigenous migrants who harvest our food up and down the Pacific Coast have been rising in protest, and last year organized strikes from Baja California to Washington State.
In this crucial year I'm going to travel through the Pacific Coast's indigenous farm worker communities, working with and guided by community activists as we document peoples' lives. We will produce a reality check - the hard work, the bad housing, but also the vibrant culture and the way people organize in response.
I'm writing to ask you to help me.
I need to raise at least $20,000 to make this happen. Beacon Reader has generously offered to help raise the money, and even to match every contribution made on its website, dollar for dollar. But I only have a month, starting today. You can make your donation HERE:
The money will be used in the following ways:
--- It will produce large photographic prints that will travel through urban and rural communities
--- It will produce written narratives by indigenous migrants that will accompany the photographs
--- It will produce an interactive website combining the photographs and voices
--- It will publish the photographs and narratives in mainstream media, and eventually collected as a book.
You can make this photojournalism and deep reporting possible, by making a donation to this crowdfunding campaign. I've been doing this work for over a decade, and your pledge will be carefully used.
Your pledge will have an impact on people's lives.
It will be used to help reduce anti-immigrant hysteria, and support indigenous migrant communities as they seek understanding and justice. It will educate people living in cities, concerned about the food they eat, about the lives of the people who put it on the table. People worried about the impact of pesticides on their children might also consider how much greater the impact is on those working in the fields, and on their children who breathe the dust blowing into their schoolyards.
All donations are appreciated and will be acknowledged. But if you donate at least $100, you can get an 8.5x11" print from the series we'll take this year. If you donate more, we'll send you a larger print and books. I'll even come and talk about the project with you. The website explains it all.
There's a short, 90-second video on the website that also shows you the power of combining the voices of community leaders with photographs that document their reality.
Please be as generous as you can, and put me on the road this coming year. You won't regret it.
In the 38th Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards David Bacon won first-place in the photo series category for his August 6, 2014 cover story for the East Bay Express, "Living on the Streets of Oakland," a photo essay that examined the situation of homeless people in the Bay Area's third largest city.
THE REALITY CHECK - David Bacon blog
EN LOS CAMPOS DEL NORTE: Farm worker photographs on the U.S./Mexico border wall
Youtube interview about the show with Alfonso Caraveo (Spanish)
David Bacon radio review of the movie, Cesar Chavez
Interviews with David Bacon about his book, The Right to Stay Home:
Book TV: A presentation of the ideas in The Right to Stay Home at the CUNY Graduate Center
KPFK - Uprisings with Sonali Kohatkar
KPFA - Upfront with Brian Edwards Tiekert
Books by David Bacon
The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration (Beacon Press, 2013)
Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press, 2008)
Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008
Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)
The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)
EL DERECHO A QUEDARSE EN CASA (Critica - Planeta de Libros)
HIJOS DE LIBRE COMERCIA (El Viejo Topo)
For more articles and images, see http://dbacon.igc.org
Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson featuring exchanges with an Outlaw Kindle Edition
State Seeks to Remove Innocent PA Lifer's Attorney! Free Corey Walker!
The PA Office of the Attorney General (OAG) filed legal action to remove Corey Walker's attorney, Rachel Wolkenstein, in November 2014. On Tuesday, February 9, 2016 the evidentiary hearing to terminate Wolkenstein as Corey Walker's pro hac vice lawyer continues before Judge Lawrence Clark of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas in Harrisburg, PA.
Walker, assisted by Wolkenstein, filed three sets of legal papers over five months in 2014 with new evidence of Walker's innocence and that the prosecution and police deliberately used false evidence to convict him of murder. Two weeks after Wolkenstein was granted pro hac vice status, the OAG moved against her and Walker.
The OAG claims that Wolkenstein's political views and prior legal representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal and courtroom arrest by the notorious Judge Albert Sabo makes it "intolerable" for her to represent Corey Walker in the courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Over the past fifteen months the OAG has effectively stopped any judicial action on the legal challenges of Corey Walker and his former co-defendant, Lorenzo Johnson against their convictions and sentences to life imprisonment without parole while it proceeds in its attempts to remove Wolkenstein.
This is retaliation against Corey Walker who is innocent and framed. Walker and his attorney won't stop until they thoroughly expose the police corruption and deliberate presentation of false evidence to convict Corey Walker and win his freedom.
This outrageous attack on Corey Walker's fundamental right to his lawyer of choice and challenge his conviction must cease. The evidence of his innocence and deliberate prosecutorial frame up was suppressed for almost twenty years. Corey Walker must be freed!
Read: Jim Crow Justice – The Frame-up Of Corey Walker by Charles Brover
Go to FreeCoreyWalker.org to provide help and get more information.
At JP Morgan "Health Care" Conference in SF: A Report
Outrage Against Big Pharma!
Activists Protest "Obscene" Conference
Corporate Big-Wigs Say Protest Is "Abomination"
"This conference that we are picketing ...
is an obscene reflection of the reality of this country today,
that the most important thing is money and profit,
and not human needs!"
- Carole Seligman,
Speaking at the demonstration
It was in their fancy tailored suits and with suspicious eyes that Big Pharma CEO's and investors got interrupted by protestors and speeches such as the above, as they came and went from the (too-big-to-fail) JP Morgan-sponsored conference on "health care" (read: profit care) at the elite Westin St. Francis hotel on Union Square in San Francisco on Monday, the 11th of January 2016.
Public Health Not Corporate Wealth!
Called out by the OASIS Clinic, a not-for-profit in Oakland CA that specializes in treating patients with Hepatitis-C, the demonstration was organized in collaboration with the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (LAC) and supported by numerous other groups. Some 70 protestors, including OASIS staff, patients and medical professionals, marched outside the hotel, as the pharmaceutical investors came and went, to demand proper treatment for the 3 million victims of Hep-C in the US, including 700,000 prisoners; and to give the CEOs a warning: we are watching! Profiteering must stop!
As Carole Seligman, speaking for Prison Radio and Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal explained, "We know how to feed people who are starving, and we know how to cure people with hepatitis-C and Aids and many other diseases, but ... this obscene conference (is about) not how to cure people, not how to distribute these life saving drugs, but how to make money! This is obscene... we know how to do it! It does not involve profit-making!"
Gilead Charges 100 Times It's Cost for the Hep-C Cure
The big pharma company Gilead Sciences (based in Foster City, CA) was a chief target of this action. Gilead is the owner and manufacturer (but not the developer--that was a company that Gilead bought) of the new drug, Harvoni, which has a 95 percent cure rate for Hep-C in a 12 (or more) week treatment of one pill per day. This is a vast improvement over the previous treatments for Hep-C, but... Gilead charges the outrageous price of $1,000 per pill for the drug, which costs from $84,000 to nearly $100,000 for a full curative treatment, or more than twice what the developing company's suggested price was. Gilead charges about 100 times the cost of production of the pill!
Demonstrators chanted "Public Health, Not Corporate Wealth" and "Pills cost pennies, greed costs lives!" right outside the heavily-guarded private entrance to this invitation-only conference, on the executives' Noon lunch break. Chants and signs also included: "Gilead's profits are rising, Hep-C patients are dying!" and, with reference to prisoners such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, "No Execution By Medical Mistreatment!" and "Jail Drug Profiteers, Jail 'Em All! Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!"
The Reaction Inside the Conference,
and the Anger Outside
We thought we had induced some indigestion, and sure enough, we had! We were told by one journalist covering the conference that the demonstration had really shaken them up. Reaction inside the conference was immediate. Of course, we (protestors & patients) weren't allowed in to hear this, but according to the report, "Drug Makers Dismiss Outrage Over High Prices As 'Abomination'," from Stat News (12 January), because of our demonstration...
"(It) wasn't surprising that during a panel discussion here Monday, a Gilead executive was asked how he lives with himself. Gregg Alton, the [Gilead Sciences] executive vice president for corporate and medical affairs, joked that he goes running. Then his tone turned serious as he talked about research, innovation, and the value of life-saving new drugs. 'I sleep quite well,' he concluded."
Anger At Drug Companies is Called ... an "Abomination!"
Even more outrageous was the following from a conference participant: "Public anger at drug companies is 'an abomination'"! The speaker was Ron Cohen, chairman of the big industry group BIO (allegedly "the world's largest biotechnology trade association" https://www.bio.org). All the talk about pharma profiteering is "a perversion of reality," according to Cohen.
Protest is an abomination?! Anger over big pharma profiteering is a perversion of reality?! The truth is millions of Hep-C sufferers are being denied the curative treatment because they cannot afford it, or their health plans refuse to cover it due to its cost; or because they are prisoners--Mumia Abu-Jamal among them--who are denied it because prison administrations refuse to supply it until they are deathly sick! This is an abomination! Health care for all is a right, but not for these greed-driven big corporate executives!
"Eye-Popping" Price Tags:
Big Pharma Price Gouging Runs Amok!
Many drug makers besides Gillead--Pfizer, Ely Lilly, Amgen, Allergan and Vanda Pharmaceuticals, among many others--have raised prices recently, according to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. "And a slew of new drugs have hit the market with eye-popping price tags: cancer drugs at more than $11,000 a month; cholesterol drugs at more than $14,000 a year," according to the Stat News piece. "Then there's Martin Shkreli, the pharma executive who bought up a decades-old drug and hiked the price 5,000 percent, turning himself into a target of nationwide protests before he was arrested last month on securities fraud charges." (http://www.statnews.com/2016/01/12/public-outrage-drug-prices/)
All this comes in addition to the already over-the-top high drug prices in the profit-driven US "health" system, which is more costly than in virtually any other country! As protest coordinator Jack Heyman pointed out, "Shrekli should have been arrested for profiteering. But in capitalist America, profiteering is not illegal." Where is the perversion, if not in this system, in which profit is god, and the rest of us--the working masses--are sacrificed on the altar of corporate greed?!
Mumia's Radio Commentary, "Medications for the Money, Not Patients," 06 January 2016, deals with the outrageous profiteering of Gilead Sciences in its pricing for the Hepatitis-C cure. The commentary was to have been played at the rally, but technical difficulties prevented it. It can be heard on the Prison Radio site, at: http://www.prisonradio.org/media/audio/mumia/medications-money-not-patients-221-mumia-abu-jamal
Our Demonstration Was Fired Up
Speakers, besides Carole Seligman, included Dr Dianne Sylvestre, Executive Director, and Orlando Chavez and Ana Turetsky of the OASIS Clinic; Dick Becker of the ANSWER Coalition, which provided the sound system; Gerald Sanders of the Oscar Grant Committee; Marsha Feinland of the Peace and Freedom Party; and Robin Roth of the Hep-C Task Force of SF. The Single Payer Now group, along with numerous others also supported this demonstration with their signs and banners. Jack Heyman, ILWU longshoreman (retired) and member of both the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, led the demonstration. A video by Labor Video Project can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8i7pCEMScw
Angela Davis' Comment
Former political prisoner Angela Davis, who was on a speaking tour, sent the following message to the demonstration:
"It is more important than ever to join the campaign both to free Mumia and to protest the fact that capitalist profit is ranked as far more important than human health. Mumia 's health situation demands that we take action immediately. As we know, Mumia has Hepatits C – along with 10,000 other prisoners in Pennsylvania and approximately 500,000 all over the U.S. They are not receiving treatment because the pharmaceutical companies producing drugs that are capable of curing Hep C value profit over human health.
"Mumia continues to struggle against [the] prison industrial complex and the larger capitalist system. It is up to us to Free Mumia and to eventually abolish the prison industrial complex Free Mumia Free Them all!"
No Execution By Medical Mistreatment!
Mumia Abu-Jamal, the world's best-known political prisoner, like 10,000 prisoners in Pennsylvania (where Mumia is incarcerated for a crime he did not commit), and at least 700,000 other US prisoners, suffers from a debilitating Hepatitis-C infection which is not being properly treated by prison administrations.
The LAC's signs saying "No Execution By Medical Mistreatment," referred to the fact that the Pennsylvania police/prison complex have been trying to kill Mumia since 1981, when they found him, and shot him almost fatally at a crime scene with which he had no involvement! On death row and beyond, the authorities have been trying to kill Mumia. Hugo "Yogi Bear" Pinell, one of the longest serving and most brutally treated political prisoners in the US, was set up and murdered in 2015. This is what they are trying to do to Mumia now, by medical mistreatment, and if that fails, by other means! Mumia must be freed from prison!
Support the Prison Radio Legal Fund for Mumia's Case!
The LAC linked this struggle with the potentially precedent-setting court case of Mumia versus the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (Abu-Jamal v. Kerestes), which seeks injunctive relief for immediate treatment with the new (Harvoni) curative medication for Hepatitis-C. Currently, Mumia is being treated with a bogus heat-lamp therapy for his painful body-wide skin inflammation, while being denied treatment for the hepatitis, which is the cause of this and all his symptoms.
Mumia is the first one to point out that prisoners throughout the US are, like him, not being properly treated for this debilitating and always fatal disease. A victory for Mumia in this suit could extend a precedent throughout the prison system. The lawyers for Mumia in this case are supported through a fund organized by Prison Radio, the organization which publishes Mumia's regular commentaries. We urge you to help! Go to www.prisonradio.org for more information, and to donate.
Mumia Must Be Free!
Like so many other prisoners, Mumia needs to receive the life-saving cure for Hep-C. And, as an innocent political prisoner, framed for a crime he did not commit, he must be free. But like Leonard Peltier and other political prisoners who are targeted by the state at all its levels, from local police through state and national politicians and the Justice Department itself, Mumia needs a mass mobilization and workers' struggle to free him from this unjust incarceration. In 1995 masses mobilized to stop the planned execution of Mumia, and in 1999, Oakland teachers, and West Coast longshore workers set an example by conducting labor actions to free Mumia, which included the shutting down of all West Coast ports! Today, with Mumia's life at stake, labor and the community need to build a mass mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!
Public Health, Not Corporate Wealth!
No Execution By Medical Mistreatment!
Free and Proper treatment for All Hep-C Prisoners Now!
Jail Drug Profiteers, Not Mumia!
Mumia Is Innocent! Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!
This message is from:
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
Imam Jamil (H.Rap Brown) moved
Some two weeks ago Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) was moved by bus from USP Canaan in Waymart, PA. to USP Tucson, Arizona. His mailing address is: USP Tucson United States Penitentiary P.O. Box Tucson, AZ. 85734 (BOP number 99974555)
Sign the Petition:
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THE Bureau of Prisons, The Governor of Georgia
We are aware of a review being launched of criminal cases to determine whether any defendants were wrongly convicted and or deserve a new trail because of flawed forensic evidence and or wrongly reported evidence. It was stated in the Washington Post in April of 2012 that Justice Department Officials had known for years that flawed forensic work led to convictions of innocent people. We seek to have included in the review of such cases that of Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. We understand that all cases reviewed will include the Innocence Project. We look forward to your immediate attention to these overdue wrongs.
ASAP: The Forgotten Imam Project
P.O. Box 373
Four Oaks, NC 27524
Luqman Abdullah-ibn Al-Sidiq
Haneef Bey (Beaumont Gereau), Abdul Azziz (Warren Ballentine), Malik Bey (Meral Smith)
"AMERICA'S PARADISE" HAS BEEN THEIR HELL, 44 YEARS OF POLITICAL IMPRISONMENT, THE PAST 15 OF THEM WITHOUT EVEN THE PRETENSE OF THEM SERVING SENTENCES
While the U.S. today declares that the natural inhabitants of the Virgin Islands have "no fundamental rights," it claims that it fairly tried these men in 1972, then held them in the U.S. federal prison system for 29 years. In 2000, even though the U.S. retired their "sentences," it directed the colonial government to hold them nonetheless, indefinitely, and illegally, and this is exactly what it has done for 15-years.
FOR RAISING THE FACT THEY HAVE BEEN ILLEGALLY HELD FOR THE PAST 15-YEARS BY THE u.s. COLONIAL GOVERNMENT THEY WERE LOCKED DOWN AS "SECURITY RISKS." THIS IS SPITE OF YEARS OF THEM GOING OUTSIDE THE PRISON TO COMMUNITY EVENTS WITHOUT ESCORT AS INVITED QUEST SPEAKERS AND HAD IN FACT, HAD JUST RETURNED FROM ONE. tHIS ACTION TOOK PLACE aT THE VERY TOME THAT THE COURT WAS TO HAVE ACTED ON THEIR HABEAS PETITIONS. oN THE DAY THEY SHOULD HAVE FREED, THEY ARE PUT IN THE WHOLE AND REMAIN THERE TO THIS DAY. tO DATE, IN UTTER VIOLATION OF THE LAW, THE u.s. dISTRICT COURT HAS WITHHELD PROCESS, IN VIOLATION OF THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS AS WELL.
WHO ARE THE VIRGIN ISLAND 3
THE VIRGIN ISLAND 3, FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE "VIRGIN ISLAND 5," HAVE BEEN IMPRISONED FOR 43-YEARS FOR THE KILLING OF SEVEN WHITES AND A MULATTO AT THE FOUNTAIN VALLEY GOLF COURSE IN ST. CROIX IN 1972. EVEN THOUGH THE INCIDENT WAS DESCRIBED AS A "ROBBERY GONE BAD," THE U.S. GOVERNMENT TREATED IT AS THE TIP OF SOME SORT OF "MAU MAU" UPRISING TO FORCE ALL WHITE PEOPLE OUT OF THE ISLES. IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE INCIDENT THE U.S. SENT IN AN ARMY OF RACIST WHITE FBI AGENTS, ALONG WITH 300 MARINES, AND PLACED ALL OF THE ISLES IT CLAIMS TO "OWN" UNDER A STATE OF RACIST MARTIAL LAW. THE ENTIRE BLACK POPULATION WAS SUSPECT, PARTICULARLY YOUNG BLACK MEN, WITH OVER 100 OF THEM BEING ROUNDED UP IN HOUSE TO HOUSE SEARCHES. MOST OF THE YOUNG MEN WERE SUBJECTED TO VARIOUS FORMS OF TORTURE THAT INCLUDED BEATINGS, WATER-BOARDING, ELECTRIC SHOCK, AND BEING HUNG FROM TREES AND BUILDINGS BY THEIR FEET. (for a more detailed account click this link "Maracatu")
WITHIN A WEEK AFTER THE INCIDENT THE FBI SETTLED ON FIVE YOUNG MEN AS THE CULPRITS WITH SCANT EVIDENCE AND "CONFESSIONS" OBTAINED THROUGH TORTURE. THOSE FIVE YOUNG BLACK MEN WHERE ISHMAEL LABEET, RAPHAEL JOSEPH, WARREN BALLENTINE, BEAUMONT GEREU, AND MERAL SMITH. THEY WERE QUICKLY TRIED TOGETHER IN THE U.S. DISTRICT COURT BY A JUDGE WHO USED TO SERVE AS THE ATTORNEY FOR THE ROCKEFELLER FAMILY, WHICH OWNED THE GOLF COURSE. THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE TO CONVICT A ONE, WHICH WAS WHY THE STRATEGY WAS TO TRIE THEM TOGETHER, IN ORDER TO FUDGE THE FACTS. THE GUN USED TO KILL THE PEOPLE WAS AN AUTOMATIC RIFLE REGISTERED TO THE VI POLICE DEPARTMENT, BUT NO POLICE OFFICER WAS EVER MADE SUSPECT. THE ASSAILANTS WERE MASKED THE ENTIRE TIME AND THE INCIDENT OCCURRED IN A MATTER OF MINUTES WITH THE ASSAILANTS ALLEGEDLY DISAPPEARING BACK INTO THE SURROUNDING RAIN FORREST FROM WHICH THEY CAME. HOWEVER, SOME WITNESSES REPORTED THAT THE MEN DROVE OFF IN A CAR AND THAT THE INCIDENT WAS SOME SORT OF "HIT."
AFTER A HASTY TRIAL, WHEN THE JURY INFORMED THE JUDGE THAT THEY COULD NOT CONVICT, HE ORDERED THEM HELD FOR NINE DAYS UNTIL THEY CAME BACK WITH GUILTY VERDICTS AGAINST ALL FIVE. WITHIN THE HOUR AFTER GETTING THE GUILTY VERDICTS THE JUDGE HAD ALL FIVE BROUGHT BEFORE HIM AND SENTENCED EACH TO EIGHT CONSECUTIVE LIFE SENTENCES, THEN HAD THEM MARCHED FROM THE COURTHOUSE DOWN TO THE HARBOR IN CHRISTENSTED. IN THE HARBOR WERE A NUMBER OF SEA PLANES THAT THEN FLEW THE FIVE OFF TO FEDERAL PRISONS IN THE UNITED STATES. THE SPEEDY ARREST, TRIAL, CONVICTION, AND IMPRISONMENT WERE INTENDED TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THE NATURAL INHABITANTS AGAINST EVEN CONTEMPLATING OPPOSING U.S. RULE, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME TO ENSURE WHITES THAT ANY BLACK UPRISING WOULD BE DEALT WITH QUICKLY, HARSHLY, AND EFFECTIVELY. THE QUICK ARREST, PROSECUTION, TRIAL, CONVICTIONS, HARSH SENTENCES, AND QUICK EXECUTION AMOUNTED TO A LYNCHING IN ORDER TO TERRORIZE THE NATURAL INHABITANTS. AND THIS IS WHY THESE MEN REMAIN IMPRISONED TO THIS DAY, IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THAT TERROR MESSAGE.
iN 1983, WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED BACK TO PRISON IN THE STATES AFTER APPEARING BACK IN ST. CROIX FOR A COURT HEARING, , ISHMAEL LABEET HIJACKED THE PLANE AND ESCAPED TO CUBA WHERE HE WAS GIVEN POLITICAL ASYLUM AND LIVES TODAY. IN 1992, RAPHAEL JOSEPH ALONE WAS PARDONED BY THE GOVERNOR FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR, EVEN THOUGH HIS BEHAVIOR WAS NOT ANY BETTER THAN THE OTHER THREE.
IN 2000-01, ALTHOUGH THE U.S. FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS RETIRED THE SENTENCES OF THE REMAINING THREE AND DISCHARGED THEM FROM ITS CUSTODY, IT DID NOT RELEASE THEM FROM DETENTION. INSTEAD OF BEING RELEASED AS REQUIRED BY LAW, THE THREE WERE ILLEGALLY "TRANSFERRED" TO THE CUSTODY OF THE COLONIAL GOVERNMENT, EVEN THOUGH THEY NO LONGER HAD SENTENCES.
FOR THE PAST 15-YEARS THESE MEN HAVE BEEN DETAINED WITHOUT EVEN THE PRETENSE OF A PRISON SENTENCE, HELD BY A GOVERNMENT IMPOSED AND CONTROLLED BY A FOREIGN POWER - THE UNITED STATES. THIS GOES TO PROVE THAT FROM THE VERY OUTSET THEIR IMPRISONMENT WAS POLITICAL AND ILLEGAL, THESE MEN WERE MADE "TERROR SUSPECTS" 30-YEARS BEFORE GOERGE BUSH AND DICK CHENEY MADE THE TERM UP. jUST LIKE MANY OF THE SO-CALLED "TERROR SUSPECTS" AT GUANTANAMO BAY, THIS MEN WERE SWEPT UP IN A WARLIKE U.S. INVASION OF THEIR COUNTRY. AND JUST LIKE WAS DONE TO THE SO-CALLED "TERROR SUSPECTS" AT GUANTANAMO BAY, THESE MEN WERE ALSO SUBJECTED TO "ENHANCED INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES," OR TORTURE. AND JUST LIKE WITH THE SO-CALLED "TERROR SUSPECTS" AT GUANTANAMO BAY THEIR CONTINUED DETENTION IS OUTSIDE OF ALL KNOWN LAW AND MORALITY.
MALIK, HANEEF, AND ABDUL CAN BE REACHED BY MAIL AT THE GOLDEN GROVE PRISON, IF IN FACT THEY ARE STILL THERE AND NOT BEEN SPIRITED OFF TO SOME OTHER "BLACK SITE:"
RURAL ROUTE 1, BOX 9955, KNGSHILL VI OO8500
HOWEVER, PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE IS NO INTENT TO JUST LET THEM TO CONTINUE TO HOLD THEM, WE ARE NOT GOING TO WAIT FOR JUSTICE TO COME FROM A PLACE WERE IT DOES NOT EXIST. WE HAVE WORK TO DO IN THE ISLES RIGHT NOW. YOU CAN HELP, PLEASE FOLLOW THE PEOPLE'S ALERT BELOW. THANK YOU
ON DECEMBER 31, 2015, THE VIRGIN ISLAND 3 WERE LOCKED DOWN FOR PETITIONING THE U.S. DISTRICT COURT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, THE SAME COURT IN WHICH THEY WERE "TRIED" 44-YEARS AGO, TO END 15-YEARS OF BEING ILLEGALLY DETAINED BY THE COLONIAL GOVERNMENT OF THE "U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS." INSTEAD OF DUE PROCESS, INSTEAD OF JUSTICE, THEY HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO MORE OPPRESSION AND REPRESSION
INSTEAD OF DUE PROCESS AND JUSTICE, THEY GOT RETRIBUTION
We need people to do the following things
SIGN PETITION TO GOV. KENNETH MAPP
DONATE TO THE GROUND WORK
Kenneth Mapp is the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, a former police officer in the states, is directly responsible for the illegal detention of the Virgin Islands 3. All he does not need a court to order their release, all he needs to do is to decide that his government will no long violate the law and the Human Rights of its own people.
Read more at: http://virginislands3.yolasite.com/
Afrikan Black Coalition just started a petition to the University of California Regents, UC President Napolitano, and UC Chief Investment Officer Bachher stating:
Last year, we pushed the University of California to divest $25 million in private prison shares. We dedicate this victory to the millions of our people languishing in America's mass incarceration regime. But the University of California still has not divested the $425 million in shares from Wells Fargo, one of the largest private prison funders.
Wells Fargo maintains a $900 million credit line to private prisons. If we all truly believe that #BlackLivesMatter from the hood to the academy, we must stand with our family and friends who are currently incarcerated or are at a higher risk of incarceration because of their very Blackness.
Tell the UC to divest effective immediately, all of the $425 million it has currently invested in Wells Fargo!
Sign now →
UC, Divest from Wells Fargo Immediately!
We just started a petition titled "University California (UC) Divestment." Below is the appeal that we will deliver to the University of California next month:
We, the undersigned community members and justice seekers, are excited by the Afrikan Black Coalition's recent victory in getting the University of California to divest $25 million from the private prison corporations Corrections Corporations of America (CCA), The Geo Group, and G4S. The victory was historic because private prisons have exacerbated America's mass incarceration regime, are implicated in gross human rights violations, and should be outlawed.
However, we share the Afrikan Black Coalition's outrage and frustration resulting from the UC system's startling $425 million investment in Wells Fargo, one of the largest financiers of private prisons. According a report from Enlace, Wells Fargo acts as a syndication agent and issuing lender on CCA's $900 million line of credit. As of their latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Wells Fargo owned 998,350 shares in CCA and 462,342 shares in GEO Group, nearly 1.5 million shares total. It bears noting that Wells Fargo is a bank that practiced discriminatory lending and maneuvered people of color (primarily Black and Latino) into subprime mortgages that led to the financial meltdown of 2007-2008; and in response to accusations of racial discrimination in its lending practices, Wells Fargo settled for $175 million in 2012 with pending litigations from several U.S cities about discriminatory practices.
I share the Afrikan Black Coalition's outrage and frustration resulting from the UC system's startling $425 million investment in Wells Fargo, one of the largest financiers of private prisons.
It is for these reasons that we stand in solidarity with the Afrikan Black Coalition in its call for justice for those who are systematically dehumanized by an unforgiving and unfair judicial system that continues to criminalize Black and brown bodies. We acknowledge these cases illustrate the evolution of America's legal institution to uphold race, gender, and class hierarchies. By investing in Wells Fargo Bank, the University of California is actively supporting a legacy of historical emphasis on profit margins at the expense of human beings, and the continued mass criminalization of Black existence. It is an ethical embarrassment and a clear disregard for Black and immigrant lives for the UC to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Wells Fargo as a financier of private prisons. In the age of Black Lives Matter and a reinvigorated Black Freedom Struggle, the UC should NOT be bankrolling the inhuman mass incarceration regime that has gripped America.
I am outraged that Wells Fargo spends almost $1 billion funding modern-day slave plantations. The University of California should not be in business with such an immoral bank!
In Solidarity and Struggle,
Afrikan Black Coalition
Sign now →
SUPPORTERS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL,AND FREE QUALITY HEALTH CARE FOR ALL:
The Oasis Clinic in Oakland, CA, which treats patients with Hepatitis-C (HCV), demands an end to the outrageous price-gouging of Big Pharma corporations, like Gilead Sciences, which hike-up the cost for essential, life-saving medications such as the cure for the deadly Hepatitis-C virus, in order to reap huge profits. The Oasis Clinic's demand is:
PUBLIC HEALTH, NOT CORPORATE WEALTH!
PUBLIC HEALTH, NOT CORPORATE WEALTH!
IMMEDIATE AND FREE TREATMENT FOR ALL HCV-INFECTED PRISONERS!
NO EXECUTION BY MEDICAL NEGLECT!
JAIL DRUG PROFITEERS, FREE MUMIA!
This message from:
Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610 • www.laboractionmumia.org
06 January 2016
Mumia Is Innocent! Free Mumia!
MAJOR TILLERY BACK IN THE HOLE!!
In her own words:
Listen to Chelsea's story in Amnesty podcast
Whistleblower Chelsea Manning was the subject of Amnesty International's podcast, In Their Own Words, a brand new series featuring the stories of human rights activists around the world.
One of the most trying aspects of Chelsea's imprisonment has been the inability for the public to hear or see her.
"I feel like I've been stored away all this time without a voice," Chelsea has said.
In this episode, Amnesty finally gives Chelsea a voice, employing actress Michelle Hendley to speak Chelsea's words. Through Michelle, we hear Chelsea tell us who she is as a person, what she's been through, and what she's going through now.
"I have to say, I cried a few times listening to this," said Chelsea, after a Support Network volunteer played the podcast for her over the telephone. "Hearing her speak, and tell the story. She sounds like me. It sounds like the way I would tell my story."
Since its release on Feb 5, the podcast has already been listened to over 10,000 times, passing up Amnesty's first episode voiced by actor Christian Bale by over 4,000 listens. It received attention from Vice's Broadley, BoingBoing, Pink News, Fight for the Future, the ACLU, the Advocate and numerous other online blogs and tweets.
Listen to the podcast or read the full transcript here
In her latest Guardian OpEd, Chelsea Manning shares about a rare and meaningful friendship she had while in the isolating environment of prison. "At the loneliest time of my life," explains Chelsea, "her friendship meant everything."
Chelsea Manning, Guardian OpEd
Feb 8, 2016
Prisons function by isolating those of us who are incarcerated from any means of support other than those charged with keeping us imprisoned: first, they physically isolate us from the outside world and those in it who love us; then they work to divide prisoners from one another by inculcating our distrust in one another.
The insecurity that comes from being behind bars with, at best, imperfect oversight makes us all feel responsible only for ourselves. We end up either docile, apathetic and unwilling to engage with each other, or hostile, angry, violent and resentful. When we don't play by the written or unwritten rules – or, sometimes, because we do – we become targets...
Read the complete op-ed here
When Drone Whistleblowers are Under Attack,
What Do We Do?
STAND UP, FIGHT BACK!
We honor Stephan, Michael, Brandon and Cian!
These four former ex-drone pilots have courageously spoken out publicly against the U.S. drone assassination program. They have not been charged with any crime, yet the U.S. government is retaliating against these truth-tellers by freezing all of their bank and credit card accounts. WE MUST BACK THEM UP!
Listen to them here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43z6EMy8T28
PLEASE HELP THEM:
1. Sign up on this support network:
2. Sign this petition NOW:
3. Call and email officials TODAY, listed below and on FB site.
4. Ask your organization if they would join our network.
Statement of Support for Drone Whistleblowers
(Code Pink Women for Peace: East Bay, Golden Gate, and S.F. Chapters 11.28.15)
Code Pink Women for Peace support the very courageous actions of four former US drone operators, Michael Haas, Brandon Bryant, Cian Westmoreland, and Stephan Lewis, who have come under increasing attack for disclosing information about "widespread corruption and institutionalized indifference to civilian casualties that characterize the drone program." As truth tellers, they stated in a public letter to President Obama that the killing of innocent civilians has been one of the most "devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world."* These public disclosures come only after repeated attempts to work privately within official channels failed.
Despite the fact that none of the four has been charged with criminal activity, all had their bank accounts and credit cards frozen. This retaliatory response by our government is consistent with the extrajudicial nature of US drone strikes.
We must support these former drone operators who have taken great risks to stop the drone killing. Write or call your US Senators, your US Representatives, President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, and CIA Director John Brennan demanding that Michael Haas, Brandon Bryant, Cian Westmoreland, and Stephan Lewis be applauded, not punished, for revealing the criminal and extrajudicial nature of drone strikes that has led to so many civilian deaths.
URGENT: Sign and Share NOW! Drone Whistleblower Protection Petition
Contacting your Government
- White House comment line: 202-456-1111
- Email President Obama: firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com
- White House switchboard: 202-456-1414 for telephone numbers of your Senators and Representatives.
- Email your Senators and Representatives:
-Contact Ashton Carter Secretary of Defense: Go to http://www.defense.gov/About-DoD/Biographies/BiographyView/Article/602689 and select appropriate icon.
- Contact John Brennan, CIA Director: Go to
https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/leadership/john-o-brennan.html and select appropriate icon.
For more information on the 4 Drone Whistleblowers:
(Must see Democracy Now interview with the 4 drone operators)
Code Pink Women for Peace: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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
Today is the 406th day that Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan
languishes in prison doing felony time for a misdemeanor crime he did not
commit. Today is also the day that Robert McKay, a spokesperson for the
Free Rev. Pinkney campaign, gave testimony before United Nations
representatives about the plight of Rev. Pinkney at a hearing held in
Chicago. The hearing was called in order to shed light upon the
mistreatment of African-Americans in the United States and put it on an
international stage. And yet as the UN representatives and audience heard
of the injustices in the Pinkney case many gasped in disbelief and asked
with frowns on their faces, "how is this possible?" But disbelief quickly
disappeared when everyone realized these were the same feelings they had
when they first heard of Flint and we all know what happened in Flint. FREE
REV. PINKNEY NOW.
Please send letters to:
Marquette Branch Prison
Rev. Edward Pinkney N-E-93 #294671
1960 US Hwy 41 South
Marquette, MI 49855
Please donate at http://bhbanco.org (Donate button) or send checks to BANCO:
c/o Dorothy Pinkney
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
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) NYPD: Resistance Is Felonious
07 March 16
ew York Police Department commissioner Bill Bratton is asking state lawmakers to pass a law that would make resisting arrest a felony, which in turn would allow city policemen to lock up almost anybody who looks at them cross-eyed. A felony conviction, in addition to carrying the potential for significant prison time and loss of civil rights, would allow any crooked cop to act under cover of law against virtually anybody.
The resisting arrest law, as it's written, is designed to allow the state to further punish suspects who endanger the safety of police officers. But it's easily abused. Let's say you are photographing a traffic stop and the cop tells you to put the camera away. You don't do that. Even though you are completely within your constitutional rights to film or take pictures, the police want to now arrest you for "resisting arrest," and you have to mount a felony defense.
Boing Boing reported recently on the identities of several recent would-be felons. They included:
- Chaumtoli Huq, a former general counsel to New York Public Advocate Letitia James, who was charged with resisting arrest for "blocking the sidewalk" while waiting for her family to finish using the restroom inside a Times Square restaurant. Huq has filed a civil rights suit against the Police Department.
- Denise Stewart, a Brooklyn grandmother, who was charged with resisting arrest after several policemen dragged her naked out of her own apartment and into her building's lobby. (They had the wrong apartment.) Stewart is also suing.
- Jahmil El-Cuffee, who was charged with resisting arrest after a cop beat him senseless and stomped on his head for rolling a joint, all the while shouting, "Stop resisting!" The cop has been indicted.
When I was serving time after blowing the whistle on the CIA's illegal torture program, crooked prison guards used similarly lax rules by charging prisoners with "insolence." Disobey a direct order? Insolence. Talk back to a guard? Insolence. It leads to a stint in solitary and loss of good-behavior time and commissary, visiting, phone, and email privileges. It's the prison version of "resisting arrest."
Commissioner Bratton has the same idea. The courts are just supposed to take the cops' word for it. If the police don't like your attitude, if you object to something you see them do, they will be able to charge you with a felony. And whom will the judge believe – a uniformed cop with his shiny badge, or you?
This is part of a bigger problem, one that is not confined to police brutality and overreach. It is one of over-criminalization, over-legislation, and over-regulation. Harvard Law School professor Harvey Silverglate, in his book Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, argues that we are so over-criminalized that the average American, on the average day, going about his or her normal business, commits three felonies. Every day. The bottom line is that if the cops really want to get you, they can get you.
Meanwhile, in just the five years from 2008 until 2013, according to the Congressional Research Service, Congress created 439 new criminal offenses. That makes for a grand total of 4,889 federal crimes. And that's in addition to the growing number of state and local crimes for which Americans can be prosecuted.
To make matters worse, many of these new federal laws lack any mens rea, or "guilty mind," requirement. That means you can be prosecuted even without having any criminal intent. Didn't mean to break the law? Tough luck.
Americans can't rely on friendly judges or on the occasional politician who realizes that our civil liberties are going the way of the dodo bird. It's up to us to ride our elected officials to force them to act. And if they don't, we should take a lead from Chaumtoli Huq, Denise Stewart, and Jahmil El-Cuffee. We should sue.
John Kiriakou is an associate fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies. He is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.
2) U.S. Strikes in Somalia Kill 150 Shabab Fighters
"Pentagon officials said they did not believe there were any civilian casualties, but there was no independent way to verify the claim."
3) Retail Health Clinics Result in Higher Spending, Survey Finds
4) Court Orders One of Japan's Two Operating Nuclear Plants to Shut Down
5) Officer in Ramarley Graham Shooting Won't Face U.S. Charges
"Video evidence from a nearby business shows Mr. Graham adjusting the front of his pants as he walked northbound on White Plains Road near the bodega," Mr. Bharara's statement said.
The officers were suspicious of the way Mr. Graham moved his hands and thought he might be armed, according to the statement." [They didn't like the way he adjusted his pants? That gives them the right to break into his home and shoot him? What the hell! ...BW"
6) Killer Whale From 'Blackfish' Film Is Ailing, SeaWorld Says
"A 2010 report by Outside Online said that Tilikum had developed a habit of chewing on metal pool gates during his time in captivity at a park in Canada, before he was moved to SeaWorld in 1992."
7) Protesters in France Take to Streets Over Proposed Changes to Labor Law
8) On Trade, Donald Trump Breaks With 200 Years of Economic Orthodoxy
9) Elevated Lead Levels Found in Newark Schools' Drinking Water
10) Fukushima Keeps Fighting Radioactive Tide 5 Years After Disaster
"A government examination of Tokyo Electric's safety practices in 2013 found that it had underreported the radiation exposure of a third of the workers whose records were reviewed."
11) Brooklyn Man Is Exonerated After 25 Years in Prison for Murder
12) BP Escapes U.S. Lawsuits Over Post-Gulf Spill Drilling Ban
13) After Rockets Fired From Gaza, Israelis Strike Hamas Bases
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