Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:











We Stand with Nuclear Survivors for Global Justice

Gather at Livermore Lab Tuesday, August 9 at 8 AM Nagasaki Day 2016

Music, speakers, drummers, art and more, followed by a short procession to the Livermore Lab gates where those who choose will peacefully risk arrest

Come to the Livermore nuclear weapons laboratory's northwest corner, at Vasco & Patterson Pass Roads, in Livermore. There will be parking set up at the rally site and vanpools from the Dublin- Pleasanton BART station (you must call 925-443-7148 in advance to reserve a seat). 

On the 71st anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we invite all who seek peace and justice to gather at the location where scientists are developing new nuclear weapons for the U.S. arsenal. Each new weapon involves "upgraded" features able to cause unimaginable devastation anywhere on Earth. Livermore Lab's budget reveals that 86% of its funding is for nuclear weapons.

Stand with Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors), Pacific Islanders and others harmed by nuclear technology. This event is part of the global "Chain Reaction: Breaking Free from Nuclear Weapons."


Nobuaki Hanaoka, a Nagasaki A-bomb survivor, will share his experience and insights. International lawyer, John Burroughs, will discuss the U.S. nuclear bomb tests detonated in the Marshall Islands and the Pacific Island nation's courageous "Nuclear Zero" lawsuits against the U.S. and 8 other nuclear weapons states for their failure to disarm. We are sorry to announce that Amb. Tony deBrum is ill and cannot join us. We send him our best wishes for a full recovery. Additional speakers, music and drummers will be followed by a short march to the West Gate for a Japanese Bon dance and nonviolent direct action. 

Co-sponsored by American Friends Service Committee, Asian Americans for Peace & Justice, Catholic Workers, East Timor Religious Outreach, Ecumenical Peace Institute, Lamorinda Peace & Justice, Livermore Conversion Project, Marin Peace & Justice Coalition, Modesto Peace/Life Center, Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center, Nafsi ya Jamii, Newman Nonviolent Peacemakers/Fr. Bill O'Donnell Social Justice Committee, No Nukes Action, NorCal Climate Mobilization Steering Committee, NorCal Committees of Correspondence, NorCal District-Communist Party USA, Pacific Life Community, Pax Christi-NorCal, Peace Action, Peace & Freedom Party, Physicians for Social Responsibility-SF Bay Area, San Jose Peace & Justice Center, Social Justice Center of Marin, Tri-Valley CAREs, United Nations Association-SF, Veterans For Peace-Chapter 162, Western States Legal Foundation.

To co-sponsor, contact Livermore Conversion Project, PO Box 28119, Oakland, CA 9460

The Livermore Conversion Project Nonviolence Guidelines*

We agree to abide by the following guidelines in all of today's actions:

  • We will be open and respectful to everyone we meet; 
  • We will not use verbal or physical violence; 
  • We will not destroy property; 
  • We will not bring drugs or alcohol, 
    except for medicinal purposes; 
  • We will not bring weapons; 
  • We will not run, which can cause panic; 
  • If arrested, we will not resist; 
  • If legal consequences follow our 
    actions, we will treat all those we encounter in the process with openness and respect. 
    *Adopted by consensus of the planning group for the Aug. 9, 2016 actions at Livermore Lab 

Peace Camp

In conjunction with the August 9 action...

Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore August 8, 2016

What: A group camp in beautiful Del Valle Regional Park the night before the August 9th Action at Livermore Lab; appropriate for experienced campers of all ages.

When: Monday, August 8, 2016 - Check in 2 PM - 9 PM. At 7 AM the next morning we will caravan to the Lab for the event. (Note: the park gate opens at 5 AM.)

Where: Eagles' View group camp at Del Valle Regional Park & Reservoir (swimming), located on Del Valle Road off Mines Road, about 9 miles outside of Livermore.

Parking: Limited parking at the campground, carpooling is suggested.

Cost: $10 per person. No additional charge for parking. Bring a water container. 

Details: Scott Yundt at Tri-Valley CAREs: (925) 443-7148 or scott@trivalleycares.org


RSVP REQUIRED • Musical instruments welcome • No pets • No alcohol 



Chelsea Manning Support Network

Chelsea faces charges related to suicice attempt

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Chelsea Manning threatened with indefinite solitary confinement for suicide attempt

Yesterday, (July 28) Chelsea Manning found out she is yet again being threatened with the possibility of indefinite solitary confinement.

In a jarringly callous move, Army officials are charging Chelsea with "offenses" related to her suicide attempt earlier this month.

If convicted, her punishment could be indefinite solitary confinement,reclassification into maximum security, and an additional nine years in medium custody. Her chance of parole may be negated.

Read the charge sheet here, dictated over the phone by Chelsea to a Support Network volunteer.

"It is deeply troubling that Chelsea is now being subjected to an investigation and possible punishment for her attempt to take her life. The government has long been aware of Chelsea's distress associated with the denial of medical care related to her gender transition and yet delayed and denied the treatment recognized as necessary," said ACLU Staff Attorney Chase Strangio. 

"Now, while Chelsea is suffering the darkest depression she has experienced since her arrest, the government is taking actions to punish her for that pain. It is unconscionable and we hope that the investigation is immediately ended and that she is given the health care that she needs to recover." Read more here

Chelsea has already faced indefinite solitary confinement threats last year, for innocuous institutional offenses, such as having an expired tube of toothpaste.

Sign the petition

Our friends at Fight for the Future have created a petition where you can sign on to a letter condemning the US Army's attack on Chelsea.

Write the Secretary of the Army

Pressure the Secretary of the Army to take a personal interest and dismiss these cruel and absurd charges against Chelsea.



WASHINGTON, DC 20310-010

Help us pay for Chelsea's legal representation

This May, Chelsea's appellate team filed a brief beginning her appeal process. Your support is critical, not just to continue fighting these ongoing threats from prison officials, but to help challenge Chelsea's draconian 35-year prison sentence and her unjust Espionage Act conviction.

Thank you to those who have already contributed, and to everyone who continues to support Chelsea during this long and strenuous process.

Chelsea can continue to be a powerful voice for reform, but we need your help to make that happen. Help us support Chelsea in prison, maximize her voice in the media, continue public education, fund her legal appeals team, and build a powerful movement for presidential pardon.

Please donate today!










Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson featuring exchanges with an Outlaw Kindle Edition

by Kevin Rashid Johnson (Author), Tom Big Warrior (Introduction), Russell Maroon Shoatz(Introduction)




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


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


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.



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.



TAKE ACTION: Mumia is sick

Judge Robert Mariani of the U.S. District Court has issued an order in Mumia's case, granting Mumia's lawyers Bret Grote and Robert Boyle's motion to supplement the record. 

New medical records documenting Mumia's deteriorated condition from February and March, will be presented June 6th. Judge Mariani has also instructed the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to provide any updates and changes in DOC hep C treatment and policies which affect the plaintiff's treatment.

Calling into Prison Radio, Mumia noted: 

"My friends, my brothers, it ain't over 'til it's over, but there is some motion. It means that we're moving closer to hopefully some real treatment not of my symptoms, but of my disease. I thank you all for being there. And freedom is a constant struggle. I love you all. From what used to be death row, this is Mumia, your brother."

Mumia remains quite ill. While stable, his curable hepatitis C is still active and progressive. The only treatment Mumia has received over the last 14 months to this day is skin ointment and photo therapy. He has not received the medically indicated treatment for hep C, the very condition that put him in the Intensive Care Unit in March 2015. 

Hepatitis C is a progressive disease that attacks Mumia's organs, skin and liver. Unless the court orders the new hepatitis C treatment - one pill a day for 12 weeks, with a 95% cure rate - Mumia's health will remain at serious risk.

Before the court is the preliminary injunction motion, which demands immediate medical care.

The exhaustion of administrative remedy and the procedural hurdles make it extremely difficult for people in prison to actually get their grievances heard through the review process. The Prison Litigation Reform Act was passed specifically to create these very almost insurmountable barriers to access to the courts.

Please read the New Yorker article, Why it is Nearly Impossible for Prisoners to Sue Prisons.

In Abu-Jamal vs. Kerestes, one very telling point was when the DOC's Director of Medical Care, Dr. Paul Noel, took the stand. He said that he had never testified before in court! He has worked for the DOC for over a decade.   

That meant that no prisoner had access to adversarial cross examination. Before Mumia's day in court in late December 2015, no prisoner ever had the opportunity to expose the PA DOC's blatant lies. Lies so bold that Dr. Noel disavowed his own signed affidavit, and in court he stated that he "did not sign it and it was false and misleading". The knowingly false and fabricated document was put in the record by Laura Neal, Senior DOC attorney.

Take Action for Mumia

Call prison officials to demand immediate treatment!

Dr. Paul Noel-Director of Medical Care, DOC
717-728-5309 x 5312

John Wetzel- Secretary of DOC
717+728-2573 x 4109

Dr. Carl Keldie-Chief Medical Officer, Correct Care Solutions
800-592-2974 x 5783

Theresa DelBalso-Superintendent, SCI Mahanoy
570-773-2158 x 8101

    Tom Wolf, PA Governor 

    Phone  717-787-2500

    Fax 717-772-8284                                             

    Email governor@pa.gov

    Sign the Petition now to demand Mumia's right to life-saving hepatitis C care.

    Help Mumia's lawyers prepare to demand access to Mumia's medical records from court!

    Thank you for keeping Mumia in your heart and mind,

    Noelle Hanrahan

    Director, Prison Radio


    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:







    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!




    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




    Major Battles On

    For over 31 years, Major Tillery has been a prisoner of the State.

    Despite that extraordinary fact, he continues his battles, both in the prison for his health, and in the courts for his freedom.

    Several weeks ago, Tillery filed a direct challenge to his criminal conviction, by arguing that a so-called "secret witness" was, in fact, a paid police informant who was given a get-out-of-jail-free card if he testified against Tillery.

    Remember I mentioned, "paid?"

    Well, yes--the witness was 'paid'--but not in dollars. He was paid in sex!

    In the spring of 1984, Robert Mickens was facing decades in prison on rape and robbery charges. After he testified against Tillery, however, his 25-year sentence became 5 years: probation!

    And before he testified he was given an hour and a ½ private visit with his girlfriend--at the Homicide Squad room at the Police Roundhouse. (Another such witness was given another sweetheart deal--lie on Major, and get off!)

    To a prisoner, some things are more important than money. Like sex!

    In a verified document written in April, 2016, Mickens declares that he lied at trial, after being coached by the DAs and detectives on the case.

    He lied to get out of jail--and because he could get with his girl.

    Other men have done more for less.

    Major's 58-page Petition is a time machine back into a practice that was once common in Philadelphia.

    In the 1980s and '90s, the Police Roundhouse had become a whorehouse.

    Major, now facing serious health challenges from his hepatitis C infection, stubborn skin rashes, and dangerous intestinal disorders, is still battling.

    And the fight ain't over.

    [©'16 MAJ  6/29/16]

    Major Tillery Needs Your Help and Support

    Major Tillery is an innocent man. There was no evidence against Major Tillery for the 1976 poolroom shootings that left one man dead and another wounded. The surviving victim gave a statement to homicide detectives naming others—not Tillery or his co-defendant—as the shooters. Major wasn't charged until 1980, he was tried in 1985.

    The only evidence at trial came from these jailhouse informants who were given sexual favors and plea deals for dozens of pending felonies for lying against Major Tillery. Both witnesses now declare their testimony was manufactured by the police and prosecution. Neither witness had personal knowledge of the shooting.

    This is a case of prosecutorial misconduct and police corruption that goes to the deepest levels of rot in the Philadelphia criminal injustice system. Major Tillery deserves not just a new trial, but dismissal of the charges against him and his freedom from prison.

    It cost a lot of money for Major Tillery to be able to file his new pro se PCRA petition and continue investigation to get more evidence of the state misconduct. He needs help to get lawyers to make sure this case is not ignored. Please contribute, now.


      Financial Support: Tillery's investigation is ongoing, to get this case filed has been costly and he needs funds for a legal team to fight this to his freedom!

      Go to JPay.com;

      code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC

      Tell Philadelphia District Attorney

      Seth Williams:

      Free Major Tillery! He is an innocent man, framed by police and and prosecution.

      Call: 215-686-8711 or

      Write to:

      Major Tillery AM9786

      SCI Frackville

      1111 Altamont Blvd.

      Frackville, PA 17931

        For More Information, Go To: Justice4MajorTillery/blogspot


        Rachel Wolkenstein, Esq. (917) 689-4009RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com



        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.

        In solidarity,

        James Clark
        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




          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

          Courage Campaign

          Daily Kos

          Democracy for America


          Project Springboard

          RH Reality Check


          Student Debt Crisis

          The Nation

          Working Families



          Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson

          Updates from Team Lorenzo Johnson

          Dear Supporters and Friends,

          Show your support for Lorenzo by wearing one of our beautiful new campaign t-shirts! If you donate $20 (or more!) to the Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson, we will send you a t-shirt, while supplies last. Make sure to note your size and shipping address in the comment section on PayPal, or to include this information with a check.

          Here is a message from Lorenzo's wife, Tazza Salvatto:

          My husband is innocent, FREE HIM NOW!

          Lorenzo Johnson is a son, husband, father and brother. His injustice has been a continued nightmare for our family. Words cant explain our constant pain, I wish it on no one. Not even the people responsible for his injustice. 

          This is about an innocent man who has spent 20 years and counting in prison. The sad thing is Lorenzo's prosecution knew he was innocent from day one. These are the same people society relies on to protect us.

          Not only have these prosecutors withheld evidence of my husbands innocence by NEVER turning over crucial evidence to his defense prior to trial. Now that Lorenzo's innocence has been revealed, the prosecution refuses to do the right thing. Instead they are "slow walking" his appeal and continuing their malicious prosecution.

          When my husband or our family speak out about his injustice, he's labeled by his prosecutor as defaming a career cop and prosecutor. If they are responsible for Lorenzo's wrongful conviction, why keep it a secret??? This type of corruption and bullying of families of innocent prisoners to remain silent will not be tolerated.

          Our family is not looking for any form of leniency. Lorenzo is innocent, we want what is owed to him. JUSTICE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FREEDOM!!! 

                                    Lorenzo's wife,

                                     Tazza Salvatto

          Lorenzo is continuing to fight for his freedom with the support of his lead counsel, Michael Wiseman, The Pennsylvania Innocence Project, the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, and the Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson.

          Thank you all for reading this message and please take the time to visit our website and contribute to Lorenzo's campaign for freedom!

          Write: Lorenzo Johnson

                      DF 1036

                      SCI Mahanoy

                      301 Morea Rd.

                      Frackville, PA 17932

           Email: Through JPay using the code:

                        Lorenzo Johnson DF 1036 PA DOC


                        Directly at LorenzoJohnson17932@gmail.com


                        Directly on ConnectNetwork -- instructions here

          Have a wonderful day!

          - The Team to Free Lorenzo Johnson

          Write: Lorenzo Johnson

                      DF 1036

                      SCI Mahanoy

                      301 Morea Rd.

                      Frackville, PA 17932

           Email: Through JPay using the code:

                        Lorenzo Johnson DF 1036 PA DOC


                        Directly at LorenzoJohnson17932@gmail.com













          1)  Pacific Northwest Weighs Response to Risks Posed by Oil Trains

          JULY 31, 2016




          MOSIER, Ore. — The Chinook salmon that Randy Settler and other Yakama tribal fishermen are pulling from the Columbia River are large and plentiful this summer, part of one of the biggest spawning runs since the 1960s. It is a sign, they say, of the river's revitalization, through pollution regulations and ambitious fish hatchery programs.

          But barely four miles upstream from the fishermen's nets, state workers are still cleaning up after a major oil train derailment in June. About 47,000 gallons of heavy Bakken crude bound from North Dakota spilled when 16 Union Pacific cars accordioned off the tracks. All of it, Oregon environmental officials said, might have gone into the river but for a stroke of luck that carried the oil instead into a water treatment plant a few hundred feet from the riverbank.

          That juxtaposition — the rebounding river coming a hair's breadth from disaster — has resonated across the Pacific Northwest and brought about a day of reckoning. From ballot boxes to the governors' desks in Oregon and Washington, a corner of the nation that seemed poised only a few years ago to become a new energy hub is now gripped by a debate over whether transporting volatile, hazardous crude oil by rail through cities and environmentally delicate areas can ever be made safe enough.

          "Communities around this state have awoken," said Oregon's governor, Kate Brown, a Democrat. Washington's governor, Jay Inslee, who is also a Democrat, said he thinks that all oil transit should be halted until more stringent track inspection rules can be put into place. "Can it be transported into the Pacific Northwest safely?" he said. "That answer now is no."

          The volume of oil being shipped by rail across most of the rest of the nation has plummeted, as low oil prices and more pipeline capacity have reduced the need for trains. The number of rail cars carrying petroleum is down about 40 percent from the peak in 2014, according to the Association of American Railroads.

          But here along the Columbia River gorge, about 60 miles east of Portland, the trains have continued to rumble through Oregon and Washington in numbers near their peak. Even with lower oil prices, railroad industry experts said, crude heading by rail to refineries in the Pacific Northwest has a shorter distance to travel from North Dakota, making the route cost effective.

          In the tense environment since the derailment, the idea that the Northwest is now bearing a disproportionate burden of energy transport risk has accelerated local efforts to stop the trains or make them safer.

          Last month, the City Council in Vancouver, Wash., where one of the biggest oil terminals in the nation is under review, voted to ban any similar proposals from even being considered in the future.

          In Spokane, Wash., a city built by the railroad industry and one through which almost all oil trains pass, voters will decide in November whether to outlaw that transit. The City Council voted to put the proposal on the ballot, mandating a $261 fine for every rail car carrying oil or coal, even though the railroads have said they would file a lawsuit to overturn the statute as a violation of interstate commerce.

          Both of Oregon's United States senators have proposed the legislation, called The Mosier Act, that would require the Department of Transportation to reduce levels of volatile gases in crude oil and give greater teeth and resources to crash investigators.

          Greater transparency in oil shipments is also on the horizon. Railroads have generally refused to divulge specific oil train schedules, citing security concerns, but starting in October, details about every oil train through Washington will have to be shared with state officials, who will then distribute reports to emergency management agencies through a secure system. The information will be shared with the public on a quarterly basis, starting in December.

          Mr. Inslee, who is running for re-election, as is Ms. Brown in Oregon, will have the authority under state law to decide whether the oil terminal in Vancouver will go forward, a question that could reach his desk this fall. He said that he is keeping an open mind and awaiting the recommendation from the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, which wrapped up a month of hearings on the terminal this week.

          Some environmental groups are already calling the Vancouver project all but dead, saying that an approval by Mr. Inslee would run counter to the governor's often-expressed convictions about climate change — not to mention the book he wrote on the virtues of renewable energy — and would also mean imposing a project on a city that has said it does not want it. Washington's attorney general, Bob Ferguson, announced his opposition to the terminal on Friday, the last day of the hearings.

          "For the railroads, the politics have turned for the worse," said Clark Williams-Derry of the Sightline Institute, an environmental research and advocacy group in Seattle.

          Railroads and oil companies said they have responded to public concerns and that oil transport can be safe.

          A spokesman for Union Pacific, Aaron Hunt, said in an email that lag bolts — a track-fastening system that failed in Mosier, according to the preliminary federal investigation — are being replaced with more secure rail spikes and that the railroad had enhanced its inspection processes.

          Dan Riley, a spokesman for Tesoro Petroleum, a partner in the Vancouver terminal project, said that the company has been a leader in shifting to newer, more secure tank cars and that the attention since the Mosier accident will only accelerate those safety enhancements. "It's an opportunity to improve the entire system," he said in an interview.

          But railroads have also resisted rules that might have mitigated the Mosier accident and other derailments around the country, said Sarah E. Feinberg, the administrator at the Federal Railroad Administration, specifically outfitting trains with modern braking systems, called electronically controlled pneumatic braking.

          "These trains are basically operating with a braking system from the Civil War era, and we have said to the railroads, 'You must upgrade,'" she said. "And we get a tremendous amount of pushback from the industry: It's too expensive, it's too complicated, it's logistically complicated."

          Tribal fishermen like Mr. Settler, 61, who has been piloting boats on the Columbia River since he was 9, said he fears that for the river, the worst is not over. State officials said recently that oil from the spill had seeped into the groundwater, which connects with the river. In any case, Mr. Settler said, it is clear to him that human failure and inadequate track maintenance, not bad luck, caused the crash.

          "They knew it was a high-risk area," Mr. Settler said on his boat on a recent morning off Mosier's shoreline. "But it didn't stop the trains from coming."



          2)  U.S. Conducts Airstrikes Against ISIS in Libya

          AUG. 1, 2016



          WASHINGTON — The United States escalated its war against the Islamic State in Libya on Monday, conducting airstrikes in the coastal city of Surt as part of a new military campaign against the extremist Sunni terrorist group's stronghold in North Africa.

          President Obama approved the strikes last week after Libya's fragile United Nations-backed unity government asked for help in its fight against the Islamic State, administration officials said.

          The strikes, which American officials have forecast for months, are intended to help break an impasse between Libyan militias and the Islamic State fighters they have cornered in a grinding urban battle in Surt's downtown.

          American officials, who estimate that there are fewer than 1,000 Islamic State fighters in Surt, say that American warplanes could provide a decisive advantage to the attackers and help break the stalemate along the fighting fronts in the southern and western part of the city. But they also say that the Islamic State's modest numbers in Surt belie their determination, if not desperation, and that with escape routes from Surt largely cut off, the Islamic State fighters may fight to the death.

          American warplanes conducted only two airstrikes on Monday, but officials said there would be a steady series of strikes in coming weeks. The Monday strikes, by both drones and manned warplanes, hit a tank and troop supply and transport vehicles, military officials said. Reconnaissance drones, flown in from Italy, were also used in the operation.

          The Obama administration has been negotiating for weeks with the Libyan government on how to use American airstrikes to support the limited capability of Libyan warplanes to hit targets in Surt. The American military brings the ability to strike in a dense urban area more precisely — whether by drones or manned warplanes — and thus reduce civilian casualties.

          Although there have been American Special Operations forces on the ground in Libya for several months, American spotters did not call in the airstrikes, military officials said. Instead the Pentagon used the same model it has with some Syrian rebel groups: Libyan ground forces, who were given rudimentary instruction by American Special Operations trainers on the ground, provided basic identification and targeting information for the warplanes.

          Fayez Serraj, the head of Libya's unity government, said in a televised statement that no American ground forces would be deployed to aid the effort, and that Monday's airstrikes caused "major casualties." But Pentagon officials said they did not know how many Islamic State fighters may have been killed.

          Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in January that the United States planned to take "decisive military action" against the Islamic State in Libya. Since then, United States and British special operations teams have been conducting clandestine reconnaissance missions in Libya to identify militant leaders and map out their networks.

          Separate teams of American Special Operations forces have also been trying to court allies from a patchwork of Libyan militias that remain unreliable, unaccountable, poorly managed and divided by region and tribe.

          In March, American military planners had concluded that airstrikes against up to 40 targets in four different areas of the country would have crippled the group's Libya affiliate, opening the door for Western-backed Libyan militias to fight Islamic State fighters on the ground. That same month, the Pentagon presented the White House with a detailed set of military options for attacking what was then a growing Islamic State threat in Libya, including a range of strikes against training camps, command centers, munitions depots and other militant targets. The plans were centered around Surt.

          But the plan was abandoned because administration officials concluded that the political process in Libya, particularly regarding the talks surrounding the establishment of the government of national accord, was too fragile. Administration officials feared that the strikes would undercut the political process that had produced the government.

          The American intervention poses significant political risks for Mr. Serraj, who is already fending off accusations from Islamist critics that his unity government is little more than a proxy for Western interests.

          Those sensitivities were revived last month after three French Special Forces soldiers died in a helicopter crash near the eastern city of Benghazi. The French government attributed the crash to an accident. A local militia, not aligned with Mr. Serraj, claimed to have shot down the aircraft.

          Jonathan Winer, the American special envoy for Libya, said on his Twitter account that the airstrikes on Monday reinforced "our call for all parties in Libya to work through the GNA" referring to the Government of National Accord, the official title for unity government.

          Peter Cook, the Pentagon press secretary, said the legal authorization for the Surt strikes — like the legal authorization for strikes against other militant Islamic groups like the Shabab in East Africa — came from the Authorization for Use of Military Force against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks enacted by Congress.

          By linking the Libya action to the authorization for force, the administration will not have to officially notify Congress. That means that the campaign in Libya can continue indefinitely, or until the administration concludes that the airstrikes have accomplished their objective.



          3)  Illegal in Massachusetts: Asking Your Salary in a Job Interview

          AUG. 2, 2016


          In a groundbreaking effort to close the wage gap between men and women, Massachusetts has become the first state to bar employers from asking about applicants' salaries before offering them a job.

          The new law will require hiring managers to state a compensation figure upfront — based on what an applicant's worth is to the company, rather than on what he or she made in a previous position.

          The bipartisan legislation, signed into law on Monday by Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, is being pushed as a model for other states, as the issue of men historically outearning women who do the same job has leapt onto the national political scene.

          Nationally, there have been repeated efforts to strengthen equal pay laws — which are already on the books but tend to lack teeth — but none have succeeded so far. Hillary Clinton has tried to make equal pay a signature issue of her campaign, while Donald J. Trump's daughter Ivanka praised her father for his actions on this issue when she spoke at the Republican National Convention.

          By barring companies from asking prospective employees how much they earned at their last jobs, Massachusetts will ensure that the historically lower wages and salaries assigned to women and minorities do not follow them for their entire careers. Companies tend to set salaries for new hires using their previous pay as a base line.

          "I think very few businesses consciously discriminate, but they need to become aware of it," said State Senator Pat Jehlen, a Democrat and one of the bill's co-sponsors. "These are things that don't just affect one job; it keeps women's wages down over their entire lifetime."

          Federal law already prohibits gender-based pay discrimination, but violations are hard to prove and wage gaps persist in nearly every industry.

          Nationally, women are paid 79 cents for every dollar that men earn, according to the United States Census Bureau. A number of factors affect that statistic, including the career fields women choose, but economists consistently find evidence of pay disparities not offset by other variables.

          The Massachusetts law, which will go into effect in July 2018, takes other steps as well to combat pay discrimination. Companies will not be allowed to prohibit workers from telling others how much they are paid, a move that proponents say can increase salary transparency and help employees discover disparities.

          And the law will require equal pay not just for workers whose jobs are alike, but also for those whose work is of "comparable character" or who work in "comparable operations." Workers with more seniority will still be permitted to earn higher pay, but the law effectively broadens the definition of what is equal work.

          Other states have also been stepping up their protections. In May, Maryland passed a law that requires equal pay for "comparable" work, and California last year enacted a law that is one of the nation's strictest, requiring employers to be able to prove that they pay workers of both genders equally for "substantially similar" jobs. It, too, had the backing of important local trade groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce.

          And Massachusetts joins at least 12 other states that already require companies to let employees compare notes about how much they are paid.

          The distinguishing feature in the Massachusetts law is that job seekers will no longer be compelled to disclose their salary or wages at their current or previous jobs — which often leaves applicants with the nagging suspicion that they might have been offered more money if the earlier figure had been higher. People will still be allowed to volunteer their salary information.

          "This is a sea change, and we hope it will be used as a model in other states," said Victoria A. Budson, executive director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and chairwoman of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. The law in her state, she said, "will help every single individual who applies for a job, not just women."

          Efforts to pass a national anti-secrecy law, the Paycheck Fairness Act, have been repeatedly blocked by congressional Republicans. Opponents, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a powerful business lobbying group, say that such laws would increase litigation and unfairly restrict employers' compensation decisions.

          But proponents of equal pay laws say that attitudes are shifting among businesses. In Massachusetts, for instance, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce was an early and enthusiastic backer.

          "That really set the tone," said State Representative Ellen Story, a Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill. "Now it wasn't just members of the women's caucus, it was business leaders, too, asking for this."

          The Massachusetts attorney general will be in charge of enforcing the law, which also gives workers the right to sue companies directly for violations.

          In June, 28 businesses nationwide, including large employers like Gap, Pepsi and American Airlines, signed an Equal Pay Pledge promoted by the White House in which they committed to conducting annual audits of their pay by gender across all job categories.

          "Companies that want to do the right thing are seeing that these new laws really pose no threat," said Vicki Shabo, vice president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, which tracks the fair pay bills introduced in state legislatures. "It's absolutely started to pick up. These laws are not just passing in completely blue places," she added," they're passing with bipartisan votes."

          Businesses are also beginning to talk more openly about the often uncomfortable things those audits find. PricewaterhouseCoopers published the results of a pay analysis it did of its British staff. It found a 15.1 percent pay disparity between men and women, and changed its promotion practices to bring more women into senior leadership roles. Salesforce, a cloud software company, says it spent $3 million last year to raise the salaries of female employees to match their male counterparts.

          Academic research has illustrated the negative effect pay disparity has not just on individuals, but also on the broader economy. Closing the gender wage gap would lower the poverty rates in every state, according to an analysis by the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

          Just as important, according to advocates of equal pay, are the changing demographics in boardrooms and statehouses.

          Ms. Jehlen, one of the Massachusetts bill's co-sponsors, recalled the first time she testified about equal pay issues before the legislature's labor committee: All the members were men.

          She and others had taken up the cause on behalf of a group of female cafeteria workers who filed a lawsuit in 1991 seeking parity with male janitors, who did comparable work, the cafeteria workers said, but were paid significantly more. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled against the women, saying that the state's equal pay law was not clear in its definition of comparable work.

          This week, one of those cafeteria workers attended the ceremony at which Governor Baker signed the new law.

          "For me," Ms. Jehlen said, "that was the most emotionally powerful thing."



          4)  A.N.C. Suffers Major Election Setback in South Africa

          AUG. 5, 2016


          JOHANNESBURG — The African National Congress, the party that helped liberate black South Africans from white-minority rule but that has become mired in corruption, endured its worst election since taking power after the end of apartheid, according to results released on Friday.

          The A.N.C. lost a large black-majority city, Nelson Mandela Bay, for the first time and suffered heavy losses in urban areas, where a growing number of black, middle-class voters turned against the party and the politics of patronage personified by President Jacob Zuma.

          The two most highly contested of the races — in Johannesburg, the commercial capital, and Pretoria, the political capital — were too close to call on Friday afternoon.

          But nationwide, with 95 percent of ballots counted, the A.N.C. garnered 54 percent of the vote — its lowest level in an election since in 1994, when Nelson Mandela became president and the party became South Africa's dominant political force.

          The showing in this week's municipal elections fell well below the threshold of 60 percent that the party's secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, identified in a report in October as "a psychological and political turning point that would be interpreted as an indication of the demise of the movement."

          The main beneficiary was the Democratic Alliance, an organization that was long led by white South Africans and that the A.N.C. had attacked as a Trojan horse for white interests.

          The alliance won Nelson Mandela Bay and was slightly ahead of the A.N.C. in the contest for Pretoria.

          Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president of the A.N.C. and of the nation, said at a news conference on Friday afternoon that the organization would "do an introspective look at ourselves."

          "We are a party that's not going away from the body politic of this country," he said. "Where we have shown areas of weakness, we are going to get better and improve. That's who we are. We learn from our mistakes."

          The A.N.C.'s enduring grip on rural areas dependent on the party's deeply rooted patronage network will most likely ensure its dominance on the national stage for at least another decade, according to experts and even to officials in the opposition.

          But pressure could mount on party leaders to replace Mr. Zuma, whose seven years in office have been marked by a series of scandals, before the end of his second and final term, in 2019.

          The A.N.C.'s national tally was about eight percentage points lower than the 62 percent it received in the most recent local elections, in 2011.

          But in the country's eight largest cities, home to about 40 percent of the population, it suffered double-digit declines in many areas.

          With 73 percent of the votes counted, the A.N.C.'s share of the vote in Johannesburg dropped to 42 percent from 59 percent in 2011.

          Voters in Nelson Mandela Bay — South Africa's fifth-biggest city, whose population is 60 percent black — chose as its new mayor Athol Trollip, a 52-year-old white South African from the Democratic Alliance with a long career in progressive politics.

          For the party, which was traditionally led by white South Africans who opposed apartheid but now has many young black leaders, the election results are the first significant victories outside its stronghold in the western part of the country.

          Whites and South Africans of mixed race make up the party's core supporters in that area, and blacks make up only about one-third of the population.

          The Democratic Alliance retained Cape Town, the nation's second-biggest city, with a landslide victory.

          Under its first black party leader, Mmusi Maimane, since last year, the Democratic Alliance appears to have made inroads even in A.N.C. strongholds, especially among young voters whose image of the A.N.C. has less to do with Nelson Mandela than with Mr. Zuma.

          "I wanted change," said Tebogo Malatjie, an unemployed 22-year-old man who voted for the Democratic Alliance in Soweto on Wednesday morning.

          Mr. Malatjie backed the A.N.C. in national elections in 2014, but he said he felt that the party had done little to improve the stagnant national economy or to help his family, which has been waiting for public housing for nearly 12 years.

          "You cannot vote for the A.N.C. if you want change," he said.



          5)  Black Lives Matter Activists Stage Protests Across Britain

          "So far this year, the police in Britain have shot and killed two people, compared with 564 in the United States."

          AUG. 5, 2016


          LONDON — Black activists, responding to calls for a nationwide protest against racial injustice, staged demonstrations in London and several other cities across Britain on Friday, in their boldest show of support to date for the emerging Black Lives Matter movement here.

          Black Lives Matter U.K. had called for a nationwide "shutdown" to protest an array of injustices, including police brutality; racial disparities in arrests, convictions and sentencing; the treatment of immigrants in detention; inadequate mental health services; and a reported increase in hate crimes since Britain's decision, in a June 23 referendum, to leave the European Union.

          "We are here because we have no choice," Wail Qasim, an activist and journalist who took part in a protest near Heathrow Airport, which serves London, wrote on Twitter. "We are here because fthis is a crisis."

          The Black Lives Matter movement, which emerged in the United States in 2013, has spread to several countries, including BritainCanada and France.

          On Friday morning, activists unfurled a giant banner and lay down on an access road near Heathrow, bringing traffic to a standstill for several hours. The police arrested 10 people.

          Five more people were arrested in Birmingham, Britain's second-most populous city, after blocking traffic leading to the airport. Four activists were arrested in Nottingham, a city of more than 300,000 in the Midlands, after protesters blocked trams and buses by lying down in front of the Theatre Royal.

          The demonstrations were peaceful but powerful; in several cases, the authorities had to use special equipment to cut through the tubes the protesters had used to link their arms.

          The demonstrations were timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary, on Thursday, of the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old unarmed black man, in the Tottenham section of London. His death touched off riots in poorer sections of the capital, as well as in cities including Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool.

          In January 2014, an inquest jury found that the killing of Mr. Duggan had been justified, finding it more likely than not that he had tossed a firearm from a taxi shortly before he was shot. But in October, a judge granted Mr. Duggan's family the right to appeal those findings.

          The 2011 riots echoed disturbances that shook the Brixton neighborhood of London no fewer than three times — in 19811985 and 1995 — in response to anger at police treatment of black residents.

          The activists have been upset by three recent deaths of black Britons: Mzee Mohammed, 18, who died last month after he was arrested in Liverpool; Sarah Reed, a 32-year-old with a history of mental illness, who died in a jail in North London in January and had previously been the victim of police brutality; and Jermaine Baker, 28, who was fatally shot by the police in North London in December, after he tried to free a convict from a police van.

          "In the U.K., we have exactly the same problems as in America, but in America they're far worse," Kehinde Andrews, an associate professor of sociology and head of the black studies program at Birmingham City University, said in a phone interview. "You're three times more likely to be killed by the police if you're black, but the police don't kill that many people in Britain in general."

          So far this year, the police in Britain have shot and killed two people, compared with 564 in the United States.

          Britain has the largest prison population in Western Europe, and blacks are overrepresented. But even so, the incarceration rate is far lower than in the United States. Gun violence is also relatively rare in Britain; handguns were effectively prohibited after a 1996 massacre at a school in Scotland. Most police officers in the country do not carry guns.

          Because deadly encounters with the police are fairly rare, activists in Britain have tended to focus more on the treatment of black people in custody, like Sean Rigg, a 40-year-old musician who had schizophrenia and who died in a police station in Brixton in 2008; and Kingsley Burrell, a 29-year-old student who died in police custody in Birmingham in 2011.

          Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters demonstrated in London last month after the police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

          When she took office as Britain's prime minister on July 13, Theresa May pledged to fight "burning injustice" and to "make Britain a country that works for everyone," noting that "if you're black, you're treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you're white."

          In her previous position, as home secretary, Ms. May reduced the prevalence of "stop and search" (what Americans call "stop and frisk"), a policing practice that she denounced as ineffective and unjust, saying that people were often subject to scrutiny on no other basis than their skin color.

          But Gus John, a black educator and activist who immigrated to Britain from Grenada as a young man, described Ms. May's speech as "a bit rich," noting that she was in charge of domestic security and policing when Mr. Duggan died.

          "If society tacitly endorses racial injustice, and doesn't see the matter as one that faces the country as a whole but simply as episodes that the black community has got to deal with, it is not just legitimate but necessary to take the struggle to them," Mr. John said, adding that he "absolutely" supported the protests.

          Blacks account for about 3 percent of Britain's population, compared with nearly 13 percent in the United States.

          While people of African origin have lived in Britain for centuries, large-scale black migration began with people from the Caribbean after World War II, followed by an influx from former British colonies in Africa, especially Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.



          6) Must demand that the nuclear-armed states disarm

          By Jacqueline Cabasso, Marylia Kelley and Tom Webb

          Friday, August 5, 2016 • Page A10 • Op-ed



          Many Americans are not aware that about 15,000 nuclear weapons, most orders of magnitude more powerful that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, more than 90 percent held by the U.S. and Russia, continue to pose an intolerable threat to humanity.____

          In August 1945, the United States ushered in the nuclear age with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, incinerating tens of thousands of children, women and men in an instant. By the end of 1945, more than 210,000 people were dead. More than 90 percent of the doctors and nurses in Hiroshima were killed or injured. The survivors, their children and grandchildren continue to suffer physical, psychological and sociological effects of the bombings. Health effects caused by genetic damage to future generations are still unfolding 

          In July 1946, the United States began a series of 67 nuclear test explosions over the Marshall Islands, detonating the equivalent of 1.7 Hiroshima-sized bombs daily for 12 years. The largest, the 15-megaton Bravo shot, turned the sky blood red for hundreds of miles. Birth defects never seen before and other radiation-related health effects continue to plague the Marshallese people 

          In 1951, the U.S. also opened a nuclear testing range on Western Shoshone ancestral land 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, spreading fallout across cities like St. George, Utah, and tracked as far as New York. The U.S. government has linked testing in Nevada to domestic cancers and other health problems 

          Lasting health and genetic effects are not the only nuclear dangers that remain today. Many Americans are not aware that about 15,000 nuclear weapons, most orders of magnitude more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, more than 90 percent held by the U.S. and Russia, continue to pose an intolerable threat to humanity. And the dangers of wars among nuclear-armed nations are growing 

          Nuclear weapons have again taken center stage in confrontations between the U.S., its NATO allies and Russia. Tensions have been intensified -- potentially catastrophically -- by the brandishing of nuclear arms by both sides 

          The conflict in Europe is only one of several potential nuclear flashpoints, with new tensions and arms-racing from the Western Pacific to South Asia. In Syria, the U.S., Russia and France -- three nuclear-armed nations -- are bombing side-by-side and on different sides. An accidental or intentional military incident could send the world spiraling into nuclear confrontation 

          Further, the U.S. plans to spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years to modernize its nuclear bombs and warheads, the submarines, missiles and bombers needed to deliver them, and the infrastructure to sustain the nuclear enterprise indefinitely.

          At the nearby Livermore Lab, scientists are modifying a new warhead for a new long-range standoff weapon capable of launching a nuclear sneak attack.

          Recognizing these growing dangers, the Republic of the Marshall Islands stepped forward to challenge the nuclear-armed states in the International Court of Justice and U.S. federal court for their failure to disarm as required by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and customary international law.

          Other international initiatives to achieve nuclear weapons abolition are gaining momentum. Locally, a growing number of peace and justice advocates and their allies are opposing new weapons activities in Livermore and globally.

          On Tuesday, the 71st anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, people will gather at Livermore Lab to call on the nuclear-armed states to disarm now. Nagasaki A-bomb survivor Nobuaki Hanaoka will share his experience and insights. International lawyer John Burroughs will discuss the Marshall Islands' lawsuits. The 8 a.m. rally will be followed by a procession to the gates and nonviolent direct action.

          Jacqueline Cabasso is executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation in Oakland.

          Marylia Kelley is executive director of Tri-Valley CAREs in Livermore.

          Tom Webb is regional coordinator Pax Christi Northern California.



          7)  Chicago Releases Videos From Police Officers' Killing of 18-Year-Old

          AUG. 5, 2016




          CHICAGO — An agency that investigates Chicago police conduct released dramatic videos on Friday showing two officers firing their guns at a fleeing stolen car in a fast-paced, chaotic clash last week that led to another officer fatally shooting an unarmed 18-year-old black man in the back.

          The videos were taken on July 28 from police body cameras and dashboard cameras, with some of the images jumbled as the officers ran, and the sound punctuated by gunfire and the officers' own shouting and labored breathing. They show two officers firing at least 10 rounds in the span of three or four seconds at a stolen Jaguar after it narrowly missed hitting one of the officers.

          Seconds later, the Jaguar crashed head-on into a police S.U.V. and an occupant of the stolen car, Paul O'Neal, fled on foot. He disappeared from view behind a house as officers gave chase, and then several more shots rang out. Shortly afterward, officers are seen gathering around Mr. O'Neal, handcuffing him as he lay on the ground, and talking to each other about what had just happened.

          What the videos do not show is the fatal shooting itself. The officer who shot Mr. O'Neal was wearing a body camera, but officials have said it was not recording; the Police Department said it was investigating whether the device was not turned on or if it had malfunctioned, and why. The medical examiner's office reported that he was shot in the back.

          After watching the videos with Mr. O'Neal's mother and sister, their lawyer, Michael Oppenheimer, called his death a murder.

          "We just came from watching Chicago police officers execute Paul O'Neal," he told reporters. "It is one of the most horrific things I have seen, aside from being in a movie. These police officers decided to play judge, jury and executioner."

          At a news conference later, Mr. O'Neal's sister, Briana Adams, 22, broke down repeatedly as she tried to talk about a brother she described as "everybody's best friend," who would cajole her out of a bad mood and had plans to go to a trade school. With tears streaming down her face, she said, "We just want answers, the truth, that's it."

          What the videos show is "shocking and disturbing," said Sharon Fairley, the chief administrator of the Independent Police Review Authority, the city agency that investigates reports of misconduct, and that released the videos.

          The city's police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, praised the agency for releasing the video and pledged the department's cooperation in the investigation. "My promise to the people of Chicago is that we will be guided by the facts and, should wrongdoing be discovered, individuals will be held accountable for their actions," he said in a statement.

          Mr. Oppenheimer charged that the absence of a recording from the officer who shot Mr. O'Neal was intentional, part of a cover-up by the officers, and he called for a special prosecutor to take over the investigation immediately.

          The shooting is another blow to a city already suffering from high crime and mistrust between the police and black residents, and a setback for a department that is trying to shed a reputation for excessive force and secrecy. Still, the release of the video eight days after a shooting marks a striking turn for a department and a watchdog agency that have long been accused of withholding information about police misconduct.

          The three officers who fired their guns were stripped of police authority pending an investigation — an unusually swift response, and harsher than ones the department has taken in the past. Mr. Johnson said the videos indicated the officers may have violated departmental policy.

          Dean C. Angelo, Sr., president of the local police union, called for a careful, impartial review of what occurred. "While there are multiple aspects to consider pertaining to the released videos, it is important to be mindful of how rapidly this event unfolded," he said in a written statement. "While this case remains fluid in nature, it is of critical importance to every Chicagoan to not rush to judgment and to allow the systems in place to play out."

          Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Police Department, said department officials would not specify what the officers might have done wrong because it is the police review agency's job to make such determinations.

          But in 2015, a department policy was revised to restrict circumstances in which officers may fire their guns into a moving car. The new rule bars officers from shooting into a vehicle when the vehicle is the only threat against them; in this case, the officers kept firing after the car had passed them.

          In firing at the car, the officers were also firing in the direction of the police S.U.V. the Jaguar collided with moments later. That raises the possibility that the officers in the S.U.V. thought they were being shot at.

          The officers' own recorded conversations after the shooting hint at how unclear the picture might have been. "Who was that shooting in the alley?" one asks.

          "They shot at us, too, right?" an officer asks.

          At one point, an officer laments, "I'm going to be on the desk for 30 goddamn days now."

          "I shot him," the officer says. Pointing at another officer, he says, "He almost hit him."

          For more than a year, the city refused to make public video of an officer shooting Laquan McDonald, 17, releasing it in November only after being ordered to by a judge. Officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot Mr. McDonald 16 times, has been charged with murder.

          That video caused an uproar in Chicago and around the country, as Mr. McDonald joined a long list of black people whose deaths at the hands of the police have prompted a national debate about law enforcement and race relations. The angry reaction to his death, and the Chicago Police Department's handling of it, became a political crisis for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, spurred promises of reforms, and prompted the mayor to fire the previous police superintendent, Garry McCarthy.

          The city later adopted a policy that video of police shootings should be made public within 60 days, and even by that standard, the release in the O'Neal case was remarkably quick.

          In a statement, Mr. Emanuel noted a shift. "I support Superintendent Johnson's quick and decisive action over the past eight days, which I believe underscores the fundamental change in how the city handles police shootings," he said. "I know Sharon Fairley is already investigating this case, and I have faith that she will reach a conclusion and issue recommendations with all deliberate speed."

          As video recording has become ubiquitous, it has come to be seen as the ultimate evidence when there are charges of police misconduct. But many cases have shown that the evidence can be murky and subject to differing interpretations, and even when police critics think the evidence is clear, it often does not lead to prosecution of the officers.

          Ms. Fairley, in a statement, urged people to remember that the video is just one among many pieces of evidence "to be gathered and analyzed when conducting a fair and thorough assessment of the conduct of police officers in performing their duties."

          On the evening he was killed, Mr. O'Neal was riding in a Jaguar convertible that had been reported stolen, driving through the city's South Side about 7:30 p.m. It was still daylight. The car was chased by the police through a neighborhood of well-kept houses.

          Two officers in an S.U.V. who joined the chase turned a corner and found themselves headed straight toward the stolen car.

          They fired at the car as it passed and sped away, just before it hit the other S.U.V. They then joined the chase through backyards to the back entrance of a home where Mr. O'Neal, his back soaked in blood beneath a backpack, lay dead or dying.





















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