The 'Day Without a Woman' general strike is set for March 8th

February 15, 2017

The Day Without a Woman strike is now set for March 8th, International Women's Day. Organizers for last month's Women's March on Washington set the date for women across supportive communities to collectively stop working that day to protest White House policies and legislation.

Women's March announced plans for a general strike last month in the wake of the mass protests that followed President Donald Trump's inauguration. The announcement for the strike comes via Instagram, calling for communities to "unite" for gender equity and against oppression:

In the spirit of women and their allies coming together for love and liberation, we offer A Day Without A Woman. We ask: do businesses support our communities, or do they drain our communities? Do they strive for gender equity or do they support the policies and leaders that perpetuate oppression? Do they align with a sustainable environment or do they profit off destruction and steal the futures of our children? We saw what happened when millions of us stood together in January, and now we know that our army of love greatly outnumbers the army of fear, greed and hatred. On March 8th, International Women's Day, let's unite again in our communities for A Day Without A Woman. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing more information on what actions on that day can look like for you. In the meantime, we are proud to support Strike4Democracy's #F17 National Day of Action to Push Back Against Assaults on Democratic Principles. This Friday, February 17th, gather your friends, families, neighbors, and start brainstorming ideas for how you can enhance your community, stand up to this administration, integrate resistance and self-care into your daily routine, and how you will channel your efforts for good on March 8th. Remember: this is a marathon, not a sprint. #DayWithoutAWoman#WomensMarch



ANSWER Coalition

palestine.jpgNational March and Rally

Support Palestine in D.C.! Protest AIPAC!

Sunday, March 26 - Gather 12 Noon

March from the White House to the Convention Center

At last year's AIPAC conference, Donald Trump made an outrageous pledge: "We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem ... The Palestinians must come to the table knowing that the bond between the United States and Israel is absolutely, totally unbreakable." Now that he is the president, Trump seems dead set on following through on his promise.

This would be an extreme provocation that tramples on the Palestinian right to self-determination. Every progressive person needs to mobilize to stop this.

In the short time since Trump took the oath of office, the Israeli government has already announced thousands of new illegal settler homes in the Palestinian territories seized in the 1967 war. The Palestinian people need our solidarity now more than ever as they resist these wanton acts of aggression.

From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go!

Just like Trump is encouraging Israel to step up its violation of Palestinian rights, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is cheer leading for Trump's extreme right agenda. On Jan. 28, Netanyahu sent this outrageous tweet:


The fight for justice for Palestine and the fight to stop the Trump Agenda are one in the same! 

Join the National Rally and March on Sunday, March 26

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition and the ANSWER Coalition will once again spearhead this National Rally to Support Palestine in DC 2017!

This rally will start at the White House with thousands of people from across the nation and around the world, and end up in front of AIPAC's annual convention! AIPAC is the primary organization lobbying to continue the brutal illegal occupation of Palestine for over 68 years.

We must protest to end this outrageous lobby that ultimately supports the oppression and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Please come out and support the Palestinian people in their noble struggle to be free.

End U.S. aid to Israel — End the occupation now!


ANSWER Coalition · United States

This email was sent to karenlee726@gmail.com.

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John T. Kaye invited you to Moms Clean Air Force's event

People's Climate March

Saturday, April 29 at 9 AM EDT

Washington, District of Columbia in Washington, District of Columbia





Not Interested

Join us April 29th in Washington, DC to let Trump know that we won't let him destroy the environment on our watch. There is no denying it: Donald Trump's election is a threat to the future of our pla...

John T. Kaye and Dave Schubert are going.




Committee to Stop FBI Repression (stopfbi.net)

Rasmea Defense Committee statement - December 21, 2016

Rasmea retrial set for May 16, 2017

Support the defense now!

This morning, Rasmea Odeh and her defense attorney Michael Deutsch were called into Judge Gershwin Drain's courtroom in Detroit, where the judge and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel were in attendance. The parties all agreed on May 16, 2017, as the new starting date for Rasmea's retrial.

The defense committee will continue to send regular updates regarding any pre-trial hearings or other appearances that Rasmea must make between now and the retrial, as well as requests to participate in regular defense organizing and activities.

In addition, we urge supporters to continue to
call U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade
 at 313-226-9100,

or tweet @USAO_MIE

and demand that she stop wasting taxpayer money, that she stop persecuting a woman who has given so much to U.S. society, and that she #DropTheChargesNow against Rasmea.

Lastly, and in the spirit of the season, please help us win #Justice4Rasmea by making your end-of-year donation to the defense fund! We thank you all for your continued support!

Background info

Statement from Tuesday, December 13

U.S. Attorney extends political attack on Rasmea, brings new indictment against the Palestinian American

Today, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade announced that a grand jury she had empaneled returned a new, superseding indictment against Rasmea Odeh for unlawful procurement of naturalization. This new indictment, just four weeks before her retrial, is a vicious attack by prosecutors desperate after a series of setbacks in their case against the Chicago-based Palestinian American community leader. From the outset, the government has attempted to exclude and discredit evidence of Rasmea's torture at the hands of Israeli authorities, but the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the prosecution, which led to the retrial; and the government's own expert affirmed that Rasmea lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Knowing that it faces the real prospect of losing a retrial before a jury, the U.S. Attorney's office has reframed its case against Rasmea, putting allegations of terrorism front and center. In the first trial in 2014, prosecutors were barred from using the word "terrorism," because Judge Gershwin Drain agreed the word would bias the jury. The new indictment adds two allegations that preclude this protection: first, that the crimes she was forced by torture to confess to are "terrorist activity"; and second, that she failed to report an alleged association with a "Designated Terrorist Organization." Despite the government's claim that this is a simple case of immigration fraud, this new indictment is written to ensure that Rasmea stands before a jury as an accused terrorist.

The Rasmea Defense Committee is urging supporters to call U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade at 313-226-9100, or tweet @USAO_MIE, and demand that she stop wasting taxpayer money, that she stop persecuting a woman who has given so much to U.S. society, and that she #DropTheChargesNow against Rasmea. In addition, the committee is calling on supporters to help win #Justice4Rasmea by donating to the defense and organizing educational events about the case.

"They [the prosecutors] are switching course because they know that a jury will believe Rasmea," says Nesreen Hasan of the Rasmea Defense Committee and its lead organization, the U.S. Palestinian Community Network. "We have always said, from day one, that this is a political case, and that the government is prosecuting Rasmea as part of a broader attack, the criminalization of the Palestine liberation movement. This new indictment is literally the same charge, with the same evidence - immigration forms. Only now, they want to paint Rasmea, and all Palestinians, as terrorists. The real criminals in this case are the Israelis who brutally tortured Rasmea 45 years ago, as well as those in the U.S. government who are trying to put her on trial for surviving the brutality committed against her."

Prosecutors will be disappointed to find that these new allegations fail to erode Rasmea's support. People have mobilized by the hundreds for countless hearings, every day of her 2014 trial, and her appeal earlier this year. "We have people ready to come from across the Midwest to stand with Rasmea in Detroit on January 10, but we are also prepared to adjust those plans to be there whenever we are needed," says Jess Sundin of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, who lives in Minneapolis and has mobilized dozens of Minnesotans and others in support of the defense. "We will redouble our organizing and fundraising work, and make certain Rasmea has the best defense possible."

According to lead defense attorney Michael Deutsch, "We also intend to challenge this indictment as vindictive and politically-motivated."

Visit www.justice4rasmea.org for more information.

### End ###

Copyright © 2016 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights reserved.

Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!

Our mailing address is:

Committee to Stop FBI Repression

PO Box 14183

MinneapolisMN  55414

Add us to your address book





100,000 protest in San Francisco, CA

Pictures From Women's
Marches on Every Continent





USLAW supports the April 29th DC People's Climate March ... but ...

The organizers of the multi-issue People's Climate March tell us they're discussing whether and how to include peace in the agenda. 

Please encourage them by adding your name to the petition below, by re-tweeting it, by sharing it on facebook, and by forwarding this email.Thanks!!

Will you stand for peace?
A petition to the organizers of the
April 29 People's Climate March

PeoplesClimate.org website calls for a march on Washington on April 29, 2017, to "unite all our movements" for "communities," "climate," "safety," "health," "the rights of people of color, workers, indigenous people, immigrants, women, LGBTQIA, young people," and a much longer list . . . but not peace

Approximately half of federal discretionary spending is going into wars and war preparation. This institution constitutes our single biggest destroyer of the environment. [One reason peace is an environmental issue - see others below.] 

Will you please add "peace" to the list of things you are marching for?


    1. War is an environmental nightmare that continues to poison people and the planet long after the fighting ends.

    2. The Pentagon is the largest consumer of fossil fuels in the world.

    3. The Pentagon is the largest emitter of CO2 gases in the world.

    4. Wars are fought for oil and other energy resources. The U.S. drive for global hegemony is intimately bound up with its aim to control energy resources.

    5. The military consumes 54% of all discretionary spending. War and preparation for war divert financial and human resources needed to meet social needs (including investment in renewable energy and a sustainable energy system).

    6. The manufacture of arms and other military gear adds considerably to the carbon burden of the world.

    7. The military-industrial complex is fully integrated with and dependent upon the fossil fuel energy complex, serving as its enforcer as well as its client.

    8. To successfully address the climate crisis requires creating a sustainable new economy, but that is impossible so long as our economy remains dominated by the military-industrial-security-energy complex.

    9. To achieve a just transition to a new sustainable economy will require the environmental movement see its connection to movements for social justice, economic justice and peace.  The quest for peace is also a social justice struggle.

    The environmental movement must stop avoiding the connection between our militarized foreign policy and the challenge of climate change. 

Your contribution will be greatly appreciated. 

This is a low-volume email list operated by US Labor Against the War

1718 M St, NW #153 | Washington DC 20036 | 202-521-5265 | Contact USLAW



Dear Friend,

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) is now in Contempt of Court

On January 3, 2017, Federal District Court Judge Robert Mariani ordered the DOC to treat Mumia with the hepatitis C cure within 21 days.

But on January 7, prison officials formally denied Mumia's grievances asking for the cure. This is after being informed twice by the court that denying treatment is unconstitutional.

John Wetzel, Secretary of the PA DOC, is refusing to implement the January 3rd Federal Court Order requiring the DOC to treat Mumia within 21 days. Their time has run out to provide Mumia with hepatitis C cure!

Mumia is just one of over 6,000 incarcerated people in the PA DOC at risk with active and chronic Hepatitis C. Left untreated, 7-9% of people infected with chronic hep C get liver cancer every year.  

We need your help to force the DOC to stop its cruel and unusual punishment of over 6,000 people in prison with chronic hepatitis C. Click here for a listing of numbers to call today!

Water Crisis in the Prison

Drinking water remains severely contaminated at the prison in which Mumia and 2,500 others are held, SCI Mahanoy in Frackville, PA. Mumia filed a grievance regarding the undrinkable water: read it here.

We are asking you to call the prison now to demand clean drinking water and hepatitis C treatment now! 

Protest Drinking Water Contamination Rally
From 4-6pm on Thursday, Feb 9
Where: Governor's Office- 200 South Broad St, Philadelphia

We're sending our mailing to you, including this brilliant poster by incarcerated artist Kevin Rashid Johnson. Keep an eye out it next week!

Cuando luchamos ganamos! When we fight, we win!

Noelle Hanrahan, Director

About the recently appealed Court victory:

On January 3rd, a federal court granted Mumia Abu-Jamal's petition for immediate and effective treatment for his Hepatitis-C infection, which has hitherto been denied him. The judge struck down Pennsylvania's protocols as "deliberate indifference to serious medical need."

This is a rare and important win for innocent political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal in a court system that has routinely subjected him to the "Mumia exception," i.e., a refusal of justice despite court precedents in his favor. Thousands of Hep-C-infected prisoners throughout Pennsylvania and the US stand to benefit from this decision, provided it is upheld. 

But, it is up to us to make sure that this decision is not over-turned on appeal--something the State of Pennsylvania will most likely seek.

Hundreds demonstrated in both Philadelphia and Oakland on December 9th to demand both this Hep-C treatment for prisoners, and "Free Mumia Now!" In Oakland, the December 9th Free Mumia Coalition rallied in downtown and then marched on the OPD headquarters. The Coalition brought over two dozen groups together to reignite the movement to free Mumia; and now we need your support to expand and build for more actions in this new, and likely very dangerous year for political prisoners. 



Protect Kevin "Rashid" Johnson from Prison Repression!


WHEN: Anytime
WHAT: Protect imprisoned activist-journalist Kevin "Rashid" Johnson
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1794902884117144/

On December 21, 2016, Kevin "Rashid" Johnson was the victim of an
assault by guards at the Clements Unit where he is currently being held,
just outside Amarillo, Texas. Rashid was sprayed with OC pepper gas
while handcuffed in his cell, and then left in the contaminated cell for
hours with no possibility to shower and no access to fresh air. It was
in fact days before he was supplied with new sheets or clothes (his bed
was covered with the toxic OC residue), and to this day his cell has not
been properly decontaminated.

This assault came on the heels of another serious move against Rashid,
as guards followed up on threats to confiscate all of his property – not
only files required for legal matters, but also art supplies, cups to
drink water out of, and food he had recently purchased from the
commissary. The guards in question were working under the direction of
Captain Patricia Flowers, who had previously told Rashid that she
intended to seize all of his personal belongings as retaliation for his
writings about mistreatment of prisoners, up to and including assaults
and purposeful medical negligence that have led to numerous deaths in
custody. Specifically, Rashid's writings have called attention to the
deaths of Christopher Woolverton, Joseph Comeaux, and Alton Rodgers, and
he has been contacted by lawyers litigating on behalf of the families of
at least two of these men.

As a journalist and activist literally embedded within the bowels of the
world's largest prison system, Rashid relies on his files and notes for
correspondence, legal matters, and his various news reports.
Furthermore, Rashid is a self-taught artist of considerable talent (his
work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and books);
needless to say, the guards were also instructed to seize his art
materials and the drawings he was working on.

(For a more complete description of Rashid's ordeal on and following
December 21, see his recent article "Bound and Gassed: My Reward for
Exposing Abuses and Killings of Texas Prisoners" at

Particularly worrisome, is the fact that the abuse currently directed
against Rashid is almost a carbon-copy of what was directed against
Joseph Comeaux in 2013, who was eventually even denied urgently needed
medical care. Comeaux died shortly thereafter.

This is the time to step up and take action to protect Rashid; and the
only protection we can provide, from the outside, is to make sure prison
authorities know that we are watching. Whether you have read his
articles about prison conditions, his political or philosophical
polemics (and whether you agreed with him or not!), or just appreciate
his artwork – even if this is the first you are hearing about Rashid –
we need you to step up and make a few phone calls and send some emails.
When doing so, let officials know you are contacting them about Kevin
Johnson, ID #1859887, and the incident in which he was gassed and his
property confiscated on December 21, 2016. The officials to contact are:

Warden Kevin Foley
Clements Unit
telephone: (806) 381-7080 (you will reach the general switchboard; ask
to speak to the warden's office)

Tell Warden Foley that you have heard of the gas attack on Rashid.
Specific demands you can make:

* That Kevin Johnson's property be returned to him

* That Kevin Johnson's cell be thoroughly decontaminated

* That Captain Patricia Flowers, Lieutenant Crystal Turner, Lieutenant
Arleen Waak, and Corrections Officer Andrew Leonard be sanctioned for
targeting Kevin Johnson for retaliation for his writings

* That measures be taken to ensure that whistleblowers amongst staff and
the prisoner population not be targeted for any reprisals from guards or
other authorities. (This is important because at least one guard and
several prisoners have signed statements asserting that Rashid was left
in his gassed cell for hours, and that his property should not have been

Try to be polite, while expressing how concerned you are for Kevin
Johnson's safety. You will almost certainly be told that because other
people have already called and there is an ongoing investigation – or
else, because you are not a member of his family -- that you cannot be
given any information. Say that you understand, but that you still wish
to have your concerns noted, and that you want the prison to know that
you will be keeping track of what happens to Mr Johnson.

The following other authorities should also be contacted. These bodies
may claim they are unable to directly intervene, however we know that by
creating a situation where they are receiving complaints, they will
eventually contact other authorities who can intervene to see what the
fuss is all about. So it's important to get on their cases too:

TDCJ Ombudsman: ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov

The Inspector General:  512-671-2480

Let these "watchdogs" know you are concerned that Kevin Johnson #1859887
was the victim of a gas attack in Clements Unit on December 21, 2016.
Numerous witnesses have signed statements confirming that he was
handcuffed, in his cell, and not threatening anyone at the time he was
gassed. Furthermore, he was not allowed to shower for hours, and his
cell was never properly decontaminated, so that he was still suffering
the effects of the gas days later. It is also essential to mention that
his property was improperly confiscated, and that he had previously been
threatened with having this happen as retaliation for his writing about
prison conditions. Kevin Johnson's property must be returned!

Finally, complaints should also be directed to the director of the VA
DOC Harold Clarke and the VA DOC's Interstate Compact Supervisor, Terry
Glenn. This is because Rashid is in fact a Virginia prisoner, who has
been exiled from Virginia under something called the Interstate Compact,
which is used by some states as a way to be rid of activist prisoners,
while at the same time separating them from their families and
supporters. Please contact:

VADOC Director, Harold Clarke

Interstate Compact director, Terry Glenn

Let them know that you are phoning about Kevin Johnson, a Virginia
prisoner who has been sent to Texas under the Interstate Compact. His
Texas ID # is 1859887 however his Virginia ID # is 1007485. Inform them
that Mr Johnson has been gassed by guards and has had his property
seized as retaliation for his writing about prison conditions. These are
serious legal and human rights violations, and even though they occurred
in Texas, the Virginia Department of Corrections is responsible as Mr
Johnson is a Virginia prisoner. Despite the fact that they may ask you
who you are, and how you know about this, and for your contact
information, they will likely simply conclude by saying that they will
not be getting back to you. Nonetheless, it is worth urging them to
contact Texas officials about this matter.

It is good to call whenever you are able. However, in order to maximize
our impact, for those who can, we are suggesting that people make their
phone calls on Thursday, January 5.

And at the same time, please take a moment to sign the online petition
to support Rashid, up at the Roots Action website:

Rashid has taken considerable risks in reporting on the abuse he
witnesses at the Clements Unit, just as he has at other prisons. Indeed,
he has continued to report on the violence and medical neglect to which
prisoners are subjected, despite threats from prison staff. If we, as a
movement, are serious about working to resist and eventually abolish the
U.S. prison system, we must do all we can to assist and protect those
like Rashid who take it upon themselves to stand up and speak out. As
Ojore Lutalo once put it, "Any movement that does not support their
political internees ... is a sham movement."


To learn more about Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, the abuses in the Texas
prison system, as well as his work in founding and leading the New
Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter, see his website



As Robert Boyle, Esq. said, "The struggle is far from over: the DOC will no doubt appeal this ruling. But a victory! Thanks Pam Africa and all the Mumia supporters and all of you."

"Everyone has to get on board to keep the pressure on. We have an opportunity here that we have never had before. We are going to do it as a unified community, everyone together." - Pam Africa  

Let me be honest. We fundraise like we breathe. We have to. We are going to win-- with your key help. We've got until midnight tomorrow to raise just $2,021! We're 97% there. Please pitch in today to help us reach $60K!

Tomorrow your phone will ring with a special message from Mumia. In it, he says, "This is indeed a serious time for me, and for us all. It is not easy to take on the state and prevail; however, it is right to do so. With your help, we may be able to prevail. This is Mumia Abu-Jamal, thanking you for supporting Prison Radio."

John, the clock's running out- but it's not too late to chip in and help us reach our goal! You can open the airwaves for prisoners to speak out in this urgent time of massive incarceration.

Will you pitch in with a gift of $103, $35 or even $250 to bring us to our goal by midnight and amplify the voices of prisoners?


Thank you for being a part of this struggle.

Cuando luchamos ganamos! When we fight we win!

Noelle Hanrahan, Director




To give by check: 

PO Box 411074

San Francisco, CA


Stock or legacy gifts:

Noelle Hanrahan

(415) 706 - 5222






Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:


















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

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.



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!




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)   Workers at Boeing's South Carolina Plant Reject Union

         FEB. 15, 2017


        SEATTLE/NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Boeing Co handily defeated a union drive by workers at the company's aircraft factory in South Carolina on Wednesday, as almost three-quarters of workers at the plant who voted rejected union representation.

        The secret ballot vote, conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) at polling locations throughout the North Charleston plant, was the first for Boeing and a high-profile test for organized labor in the nation's most strongly anti-union state.

        The NLRB said 74 percent of the 2,828 workers who cast ballots voted against joining the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

        "We will continue to move forward as one team," Joan Robinson-Berry, vice president in charge of Boeing South Carolina, said in the post.

        In a statement, IAM lead organizer Mike Evans said: "We're disappointed the workers at Boeing South Carolina will not yet have the opportunity to see all the benefits that come with union representation."

        The results come just before U.S. President Donald Trump is due to visit Boeing's South Carolina plant on Friday, as the world's largest planemaker rolls out the first completed 787-10, the largest version of its Dreamliner.

        Any remarks Trump makes at the factory could bring into sharper focus his views on organized labor before he chooses appointees to fill vacant seats on the five-member NLRB.

        "I think he will cheer the 'no' vote," said Harley Shaiken, a professor at the University of California Berkeley specializing in labor and the global economy.

        "I think he's going to make the case that he wants to see the plant succeed and do everything to create a more competitive environment."


        The loss was not seen as a surprise in a state with a strongly anti-union culture. South Carolina is one of 28 states that bar unions from requiring workers to join up as a condition of employment, and has the lowest proportion of union workers, at 1.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. New York is highest with 23.6 percent.

        "It's a blow, but largely to morale more than anything practical," said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst at the Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia.

        The vote preserves the status quo on the factory floor at Boeing in South Carolina and is unlikely to alter relations with the 30,000 IAM members at Boeing's factories near Seattle, Shaiken said.

        Boeing ran a hardball campaign against the IAM in South Carolina, which has been trying to organize about 3,000 workers at one of two plants where Boeing makes 787 Dreamliners. The other, in Washington state, has long been unionized by the IAM.

        The IAM canceled a vote at the Boeing plant in April 2015, claiming political interference from state officials. Former Governor Nikki Haley, who is now U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was among those who voiced strong opposition to the union in 2015.

        "Haley said South Carolina doesn't want or need unions," said Shaiken. "That creates an atmosphere where to vote 'yes' - in the minds of many workers - puts them at risk."

        The 26 percent of workers who supported the union showed the IAM had established a foothold, he added. "Can they build on it? That will be their challenge going forward."

        Under NLRB rules, the union must wait a minimum of 12 months before petitioning for another election.

        Boeing said the union was not needed because it is divisive, picks fights with management, makes promises it cannot keep and leads workers out on costly strikes.

        President of the Seattle-area IAM local, Jon Holden, said Boeing's anti-union campaign was not a surprise and followed a strategy they had seen before.

        The Chicago-based company produced videos that aired heavily on local TV stations and were also shown in break rooms at the plant, mechanic Elliott Slater, 57, who supports the union, told Reuters in an interview.

        Boeing invested $750 million to build the South Carolina factory after a costly machinists strike in 2008 that shut down production in Washington. It spent $1 billion more to expand aircraft engine casing and interiors production. Its employment in the state peaked at 8,400 in 2014 and has since fallen by 10 percent.

        (Reporting by Harriet McLeod in Charleston and Alwyn Scott in Seattle; Editing by Bill Rigby)



        2)  Steven Mnuchin Is Confirmed as Treasury Secretary

         FEB. 13, 2017


        WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Steven T. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker and Hollywood film financier, to be Treasurysecretary on Monday, putting in place a key lieutenant to President Trump who will help drive the administration's plans to overhaul the tax code, renegotiate trade deals around the world and remake financial regulations.

        By a vote of 53 to 47, the Senate confirmed Mr. Mnuchin, who was Mr. Trump's top campaign fund-raiser. During a long debate over Mr. Mnuchin's credentials, Democrats argued that his experience on Wall Street exemplified corporate malpractice that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

        The new Treasury secretary will have little time to celebrate. He will be under pressure to help finalize the Trump administration's tax plan, accelerate the rollback regulations and raise the government's borrowing limit. The administration has said it will release a comprehensive plan to rewrite the tax code in the coming weeks, and it will have to deal with the debt ceiling next month.

        While Mr. Mnuchin's financial acumen has been praised by Mr. Trump and Republicans in Congress, Democrats have argued forcefully that he is not up to the job. They have painted him as a symbol of everything that is wrong with corporate America.

        "He was part of the cadre of corporate raiders that brought our economy to its knees," Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, said on the Senate floor on Monday.

        There was also no shortage of name-calling. Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, referred to Mr. Mnuchin at the "foreclosure king." Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, described him as "greedy" and "unethical" while arguing the case against him.

        "Whether illegally foreclosing on thousands of families, skirting the law with offshore tax havens or helping design tactics that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, Steve Mnuchin made a career — and millions of dollars — pioneering increasingly deceptive and predatory ways to rob hardworking Americans of their savings and homes," Ms. Duckworth said.

        At a prickly confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee last month, Mr. Mnuchin was scolded by Democrats for failing to disclose nearly $100 million in assets and for not revealing his role as a director of an investment fund based in the Cayman Islands, a well-known tax haven.

        After the hearing, Democrats on the committee accused Mr. Mnuchin of lying for saying that OneWest Bank had not engaged in the controversial foreclosure practice of "robo-signing" when he was its chief executive. The Democrats on the committee twice boycotted a vote on his confirmation, leading Republicans to breach protocol and push Mr. Mnuchin's vote to the full Senate on their own.

        Just one Democrat, Senator of Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, broke with his party and supported Mr. Mnuchin. In a sign of the backlash that Democrats will face for siding with any part of Mr. Trump's agenda, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee warned that Mr. Manchin's vote would not go unnoticed.

        "We will ensure that Joe Manchin hears from his West Virginia constituents who disapprove of his voting with Wall Street against working families," the group said in a statement after the vote.

        For Republicans, the resistance was chalked up to political theater.

        On Monday, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, accused Democrats of making Mr. Mnuchin a political pawn and described their concerns as a stall tactic.

        "Under any objective standard, Mr. Mnuchin has ample experience, credentials and qualifications for this important position," Mr. Hatch said. "My colleagues have done all they can under the rules — even to the point of casting aside some longstanding customs and traditions of the Senate — in order to delay his confirmation."

        While Mr. Mnuchin struggled to show fluency with some aspects of the job during his confirmation hearing, Republicans and Democrats generally agreed that he was well versed on economic issues. He also struck a more moderate tone than Mr. Trump on issues such as trade and dealing with China. And Mr. Mnuchin left some experts dumbfounded after suggesting that "there would be no absolute tax cut for the upper class" — a promise that appears to be at odds with plans presented by Mr. Trump and House Republicans.

        Mr. Mnuchin was not the only member of Mr. Trump's cabinet to be confirmed on Monday night. The Senate also voted in favor of David Shulkin to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. A holdover from the Obama administration, Dr. Shulkin is currently the department's under secretary of health and was approved by a unanimous vote.

        Mr. Mnuchin was the latest member of Mr. Trump's cabinet to edge through the confirmation process on a largely party-line vote. Last week, Tom Price was approved as secretary of health and human services and Betsy DeVos narrowly won confirmation to lead the Education Department.

        Things could become more complicated on Thursday, however, when Andrew Puzder, Mr. Trump's choice for labor secretary, faces a committee hearing. Several Republicans on the committee have declined to support Mr. Puzder, a fast-food chain executive who critics say promotes policies that are harmful to workers.



        3)  An Immigrant Mother in Denver Weighs Options as Deportation Looms

         FEB. 15, 2017


        Jeanette Vizguerra on Tuesday with her children, from left, Zury, Luna and Roberto.CreditRyan David Brown for The New York Times

        DENVER — In the basement of a white stone church here on Tuesday night, Jeanette Vizguerra gathered up her three youngest children, slipped them into pajamas and asked herself perhaps the hardest question of her life.

        Should she present herself to the immigration authorities on Wednesday morning for a scheduled check-in, risking deportation?

        Or should she stay in the church, one of the few places federal agents do not go, almost surely resigning herself to months or years trapped inside?

        "Tonight I have to think," Ms. Vizguerra said. "Because I promised my children — and it was a promise — that it was going to be very difficult to remove me from this country. I have already fought so long to be here, now is not the time to give up."

        It's been a difficult week for Ms. Vizguerra, 45, one of millions of undocumented immigrants contending with an uncertain future in the Trump administration. After she was convicted several years ago of using fake documents, Ms. Vizguerra, who has spent 20 years working in the United States, was ordered out of the country. But she was granted three postponements of deportation, and in December, her lawyer, Hans Meyer, asked for a fourth.

        Nothing happened. She was due for a regular check-in at the local office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday, and as the day crept closer, Ms. Vizguerra realized she would have to present herself without legal protection, leaving open the possibility of being whisked onto a plane and separated from her three American-born children: Zury, 6, Roberto, 10, and Luna, 12.

        Their care would fall to her husband, Salvador, 45, who works long hours as a driver for a tile company, and an older daughter, Tania, 26, a preschool teacher with three children of her own.

        The last week or so has thrust the family into a state of extended emergency. On Feb. 5, Ms. Vizguerra called a family meeting over dinner, banning electronics from the table to convey the seriousness of the matter. The family cats, Miranda and Zayra, meowed as she explained the plan.

        If officials were to come to the home in the days before the meeting at the I.C.E. office, no one should answer the door, she said. If they gained entry, Luna, a reedy middle schooler with braces, should use her phone to film the events. Roberto should open the emergency contact list in his phone and begin to call family friends and advocates. And Zury, the youngest, should go straight to her parents' bedroom, close the door and stay there. "I told them, 'I know it's going to be difficult for you,' " Ms. Vizguerra said. "'I want you to be brave.'"

        Three days later, the packing began, with the children stuffing their mother's leggings, sweaters and shampoos into suitcases and boxes. Terrified by the prospect of familial separation, Ms. Vizguerra began to seriously contemplate taking refuge at the First Unitarian Society church in Denver, whose congregants previously gave sanctuary to another immigrant.

        She reminded Luna which drawers belonged to which child, and told her it would be her job to make sure her siblings dressed properly. She showed her where the extra soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste were kept.

        Then Ms. Vizguerra stocked the refrigerator with microwave dinners, something even a 6-year-old could make.

        Tania, the oldest daughter, has began contemplating caring for three more children. "I completely understand his side," she said of President Trump. "But he grew up entitled. He's never lived in poverty. He's never lived in fear."

        "I just think if he walked an immigrant's life," she added, "he'd change his mind."

        Ms. Vizguerra came to the United States from Mexico in 1997. She worked as a janitor and a union organizer, and later owned a moving and cleaning business. In 2009, she was caught with fake identification that her lawyer said she had acquired in order to work. She pleaded guilty to a third-degree misdemeanor, setting off a chain of events that led to the deportation order. In the Denver area, she is a well-known advocate for immigration reform.

        On Tuesday night, she planned to sleep in the church basement with her three youngest children, to avoid the risk of arrest at home.

        Near midnight, Ms. Vizguerra said that she still had not decided whether she would present herself to I.C.E. on Wednesday morning — her meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. local time — or stay at First Unitarian, but that she was leaning toward staying in the church. Many of her allies have pledged to show up the I.C.E. office in a Denver suburb, to show support.

        "My intuition," Ms. Vizguerra said, "tells me that if I go in, I'm not coming out."



        4)  Bookstores Stoke Trump Resistance With Action, Not Just Words

         FEB. 15, 2017




        A hundred people packed a bookstore in Brooklyn to write postcards to elected officials and, as the invitation urged, "plot next steps." In St. Louis, bookstore owners began planning a writer-studded event to benefit area refugees. At a bookshop in Massachusetts, a manager privately asked his senior staff members how the store should respond to the Trump presidency.

        "Go hard," they told him.

        In the diffuse and suddenly fierce protest movement that has sprung up on the left since President Trump took office, bookstores have entered the fray, taking on roles ranging from meeting place to political war room.

        Many stores have distributed information for customers who are mobilizing against Mr. Trump's actions: his cabinet choices, his threat to cut off funding for sanctuary cities and his immigration bans on refugees and many Muslims. At City Stacks, a bookstore in Denver, employees printed out forms with elected officials' contact information in a gentle nudge to customers. On Inauguration Day, Broadway Books in Portland, Ore., handed out free copies of "We Should All Be Feminists," a book-length call to arms by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the novelist.

        All over the country, independent bookstores have filled their windows and displays with "1984," by George Orwell; "It Can't Happen Here," by Sinclair Lewis; and other books on politics, fascism, totalitarianism and social justice. Booksellers have begun calling the front table devoted to those titles the #Resist table.

        "A lot of people are saying, 'We've turned our store over to the revolution,'" said Hannah Oliver Depp, the operations manager for Word, which has bookstores in New Jersey and New York. "I do think that it is going to fundamentally change bookstores and book selling."

        Now, she said, "people are just trying to figure out: 'How far can we push it? How high can we turn up the heat?'"

        Some stores, including large chains like Barnes & Noble, with customers from across the spectrum, have steered away from the political realm. Some stores say they have worked to keep the latest book displays balanced — with titles from the left and the right.

        "My taste comes into play," said Cathy Langer, the director of buying for the Tattered Cover in Denver, "but my politics do not, ever."

        But many places have become buzzing hubs of protest, like Women & Children First in Chicago, which last month hosted a forum on "Art and Resistance," a craft circle to knit pink "pussyhats", and a gathering with customers for coffee and doughnuts on the morning after the inauguration, before they all rode the "L" to join in the downtown Women's March.

        "Let's raise our voices together and let the incoming administration know that they do not speak for us," the store wrote to customers in an email before the rally.

        Political organizing is perhaps a natural extension of what bookstores have done for centuries: foster discussion, provide access to history and literature, host writers and intellectuals.

        "All bookstores are mission-driven to some degree — their mission is to inspire and inform, and educate if possible," said Elaine Katzenberger, publisher and executive director of City Lights in San Francisco, a store with a long history of left-wing activism.

        "When Trump was elected, everyone was just walking around saying: 'What do I do. What do we do?'" she added. "One of the places you might find some answers is in books, in histories, in current events, even poetry."

        For many booksellers, the urge to join a protest movement is new. Several who were interviewed said they had never before tried to mobilize their customers politically; many are, for the first time, making their own political views crystal clear.

        "In the past, we hadn't really been like, 'O.K., here's where we stand,'" said Lacy Simons, the owner of Hello Hello Books in the seaside town of Rockland, Me. Ms. Simons said she was jolted into action the day after the election, when customers began drifting into the store, not to buy books, exactly, but in search of solace.

        "This is just one of the places where people went," she said. "If they were gutted from the election, people just came in to pet the books."

        Her plans to push back against Mr. Trump's policies are just beginning: Later this month, the store's new social justice reading and action group will meet for the first time (suggested reading: "What We Do Now: Standing Up for Your Values in Trump's America"). She also intends to distribute political leaflets and other materials to customers, on the model of bookstores that handed out mimeographed resistance newspapers during the Vietnam War.

        Stephanie Valdez, an owner of Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, has already hosted a postcard-writing event, and lately she has paged through books on political organizing, looking for guidance for getting her store more involved.

        "I think bookstores are a place where people go to understand the world," she said. "And I think we're just one of many places that will become a center of activism."

        Gayle Shanks, a co-owner of Changing Hands in Phoenix, said her store's Facebook page had gone political, as staff members filled it with articles about national politics and First Amendment issues. At the suggestion of one of her young employees, staff members began piecing together a display of books written by authors from the seven majority-Muslim countries from which Mr. Trump suspended immigration.

        Ms. Shanks took her regular email newsletter in December, usually a chatty vehicle for suggesting new books or sharing publishing-industry news, to write about her sorrow over Mr. Trump's election and the "cronies" he had selected to serve in his cabinet.

        More than 50 recipients wrote back with praise, thanking her for airing her views. One man did not. "Shut up and sell books," he wrote.

        And some stores have been more muted, conscious of alienating more conservative customers.

        "A lot of bookstores kind of want to be everything to all people," said Josh Christie, an owner of Print, a bookstore in Portland, Me. "They want to be apolitical and carry everything from every viewpoint. People are worried about losing that sale." (Print announced that in light of Mr. Trump's immigration ban, it was donating all profits from sales on the first Saturday this month to the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine.)

        Ann Patchett, a novelist and an owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, said she had simply embraced the notion of her bookstore as a place where anyone could come, get information and exchange ideas.

        "I have written on the bookstore website about the election and the importance of reading and community and how more than ever we need to," Ms. Patchett said. "That is outwardly as political as we've gotten."

        She echoed one of the biggest blows of Mr. Trump's election for people in the literary world: the realization that the new president is not much of a reader. That is a stark contrast to former President Barack Obama, a devoted reader, writer and frequent visitor of independent bookstores while he was in office.

        "Now more than ever, books are so important," Ms. Patchett said. "The only way we're going to get out of this in the larger sense is through education."



        5)  Who Will Watch the Agents Watching Our Borders?

        By Linda Greenhouse


        Whom do federal immigration agents despise more: former President Barack Obama, or the immigrants whose lives are in their hands?

        That uncomfortable question came to mind as I read articles over the past week of the growing numbers of raids, roundups, the knocks on the door, the flooding of "target-rich environments," a phrase an anonymous immigration official used in speaking to The Washington Post. What's a target-rich environment? "Big cities," the official explained, "tend to have a lot of illegal immigrants."

        Clearly, with President Trump's executive orders having expanded the category of immigrants deemed worth pursuing and deporting, the gloves are off. There's been plenty of news coverage of this development, but few reminders of the context in which the pursuers have been freed from previous restraints.

        So it's worth noting that the union representing some 5,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents actually endorsed Mr. Trump in September, the first time the union endorsed a candidate for president.In an inflammatory statement posted on the Trump campaign's website, Chris Crane, president of the union, the National ICE Council, complained that under President Obama, "our officers are prevented from enforcing the most basic immigration laws." The statement went on to say that while Mr. Trump had pledged in a meeting to "support ICE officers, our nation's laws and our members," Hillary Clinton's immigration plan was "total amnesty plus open borders."

        That everything in that statement except for the reference to Mr. Trump was untrue is not the point. (Far from failing to enforce the law, the Obama administration deported more than 400,000 unauthorized immigrants a year, and Mr. Trump's Democratic rival endorsed neither total amnesty nor open borders.) Rather, the statement is evidence of how openly these law enforcement officers have been chafing at the bit to do their jobs as they please.

        And chafing for a long time: back in 2012, Mr. Crane was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Obama administration's deferral of deportation for immigrants brought to the United States as children. The claim was that the program put agents in a position of either failing to enforce immigration law as written or suffering reprisals at work for not adhering to the new policy. The plaintiffs were represented by Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state. An anti-immigration activist who joined the Trump transition team as an adviser on immigration, Mr. Kobach is an originator of the false "massive voter fraud" rationale for voter ID requirements and has exported anti-immigrant legislation to states around the country, most notably Arizona.

        A federal district judge in Dallas dismissed Mr. Crane's lawsuit against the deferral program. Mr. Crane also showed his disdain for President Obama by refusing to allow members to participate in a course aimed at training immigration agents in carrying out the Obama administration's policy that gave priority to deporting high-risk offenders rather than immigrants with clean records and deep roots in the country. Last month, after President Trump issued his immigration orders, Mr. Crane's union and the union representing Border Patrol officers issued a joint statement declaring that, in case anyone asked, "morale among our agents and officers has increased exponentially" as a result of the president's promised actions.

        Why does any of this matter — aside from the irony of these public employee unions having achieved pride of place in the conservative firmament, while Republican governors and legislatures are moving quickly to disable public employee unions they find troublesome?

        It matters because along with entrusting our immigration enforcers to keep us safe, in the president's often-tweeted phrase, we also entrust them with the responsibility of treating unauthorized immigrants not as prey but as human beings entitled to dignity, even if only minimally to due process.

        Not everyone shares that view. I get that, and I'm reminded of it every time I write about immigration. Reader comments on articles about immigration, including the gripping one last week about Guadalupe García de Rayos, the Phoenix woman and mother of two American children who was abruptly deported when she dutifully showed up for her routine check-in at the local ICE office, run to "if she wasn't illegal in the first place, she wouldn't have been deported."

        Right. I'd like to think we're better than that. A month ago, we were.

        In what may be an early warning of what's to come, last Friday immigration agents in Seattle took a 23-year-old Mexican into custody despite his paperwork proving that he had been granted work authorization under the deferred-deportation program, which for now remains in effect.

        "It doesn't matter, because you weren't born in this country," one of the immigration enforcement agents told the man, Daniel Ramírez Medina, according to a petition for habeas corpus filed on his behalf in Federal District Court in Seattle. Mr. Ramírez was brought to this country at age 7 and twice qualified for the deferral program, most recently with a renewal last May. On Tuesday, a federal magistrate judge gave the federal government until Thursday to explain the basis for the detention.

        This column is usually about the Supreme Court, and this one is, too. Next Tuesday, the justices' first day back from a monthlong recess, the court will hear an important case on whether a Border Patrol officer can be required to pay damages to the family of a Mexican boy he killed with a bullet fired across the dry bed of the Rio Grande, the international border that separated the two by only yards. The facts of the case, Hernández v. Mesa, sound highly unusual, but they aren't; there have been 10 cross-border shootings in recent years in addition to several dozen others along the border.

        This case raises important questions about the extraterritorial reach both of the Constitution and the damages remedy that is available to United States citizens whose constitutional rights are violated on American soil by a federal official. Sergio Hernández, the unarmed 15-year-old killed seven years ago by the Border Patrol agent, Jesus Mesa Jr., was not an American citizen, and the bullet reached him in Mexico. He and his friends had been playing in a dry culvert, daring each other to run up the opposite bank and touch the barbed-wire fence on the American side. The F.B.I. report initially claimed that the boys were throwing rocks at the agent, but cellphone videos showed Sergio hiding under a railroad trestle in the last minutes of his life. He was shot when he stuck his head out from his hiding place.

        The Justice Department investigated but declined to prosecute Mr. Mesa. Mexico charged the agent with murder, but the United States refused to extradite him. Sergio's parents sued for damages, but lost when the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that even if Sergio had constitutional rights that were violated by the shooting, the existence of any right was sufficiently unclear as to entitle Mr. Mesa to "qualified immunity," a legal shield extended to official defendants when the relevant law is deemed uncertain. Because the case has never gone to trial, the eventual Supreme Court decision won't resolve the conflicting accounts or establish the motive for the agent's fatal shot. But presumably the law will be clear, one way or another, the next time such an incident occurs.

        On the chaotic night last month when Mr. Trump fired the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, for refusing to defend his immigration order, he made another personnel change that got less attention. Without explanation, he replaced the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Daniel Ragsdale, with Thomas Homan, a career employee who had been serving in the agency's top enforcement position. Last April, when Mr. Homan received the government's highest Civil Service award, a profile in The Washington Post began: "Thomas Homan deports people. And he's really good at it."

        In the Post profile, Mr. Homan declined to answer questions about policy, or whether he might be supporting Donald Trump's presidential candidacy. "Sorry, I can't say what I think," he told the reporter.

        The Roman poet Juvenal asked: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guardians? We need to ask that question now, urgently. I fear the answer.



        6)  Day Without Immigrants to Hit Washington in the Stomach

         FEB. 15, 2017




        WASHINGTON — In a city where expense account meals are a central part of power players' lives, some of Washington's best-known restaurants will close their doors on Thursday in solidarity with a national campaign to draw attention to the power and plight of immigrants.

        The campaign, spread on social media and messaging apps, has called for a "day without immigrants." It asks foreign-born people nationwide, regardless of legal status, not to go to work or go shopping in a demonstration of the importance of their labor and consumer spending to the United States' economy.

        Activists and groups in cities across the country have picked up the call, reposting fliers found online, and in some cases organizing demonstrations to coincide with the event. Several activists said that they did not know how the campaign began or how many people would heed it, and that as far as they knew, there was no national organization behind it.

        But the dining scene in Washington, where the new Trump administration is taking a hard line on immigration and deportation, took notice. At least a few dozen restaurants in and around the Beltway have committed to staying closed on Thursday. Others have said they would offer limited service in the expectation that many of their employees would be out for the day. Some restaurants in other cities, including several of the Blue Ribbon restaurants in New York, have joined in.

        José Andrés, the famed Spanish-born chef who has tangled publicly with President Trump before, said his restaurants Zaytinya and Oyamel, and three Jaleo restaurants, all in the Washington area, would be closed for the day. In 2015, after Mr. Trump made disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants, Mr. Andrés pulled out of an agreement to open a restaurant in Mr. Trump's new hotel near the White House, and they have since sued each other over the dispute.

        Andy Shallal, a native of Iraq, said his popular Busboys and Poets chain of six restaurants in the Washington area would also close on Thursday, and he noted that he is among the more than 40 million people in the United States who came from other countries. "As an immigrant I am proud to stand in solidarity w/ my brothers & sisters," he wrote on Twitter.

        His daughter, Laela Shallal, who manages finance and marketing for the company, said employees could choose between using some of their paid leave on Thursday, or going to work to clean or organize the restaurants and offices.

        "We think that this is really something that a lot of our staff feels really passionate about," she said. "We're taking their side, so that they feel the company they work for is living up to their values."

        Amaya Sales, a kitchen manager at the Busboys and Poets restaurant in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, said workers first approached management early this week about taking part. "It's just to, like, show most of America how much important we are to do the hard work in the United States," Mr. Sales said.

        In a city with more than 2,000 restaurants, the day of closures and absences may not be enough to prevent anyone from getting a table. But given the upscale, popular businesses involved, it will be noticed.

        An immigrant advocacy group, Cosecha (the Spanish word for harvest), has been planning a day without immigrants on May 1. Maria Fernanda Cabello, a Cosecha organizer, said it was not behind Thursday's campaign, but viewed it as something of a dry run, and was working with some local groups that were promoting it.

        "We don't know where this started, and as far as we know, there isn't anyone putting it all together," Ms. Cabello said. "We started seeing messages about it in different cities a few weeks ago, and it's really picked up in the last couple of days."

        Adding to the uncertainty, a variety of fliers and Facebook pages were used online to promote the campaign, some announcing demonstrations or urging people to patronize immigrant-owned businesses, while others did not.

        Owners of some smaller businesses said that they supported the idea but that the campaign was too hastily organized to justify closing. Josh Phillips, a co-owner of Espita Mezcaleria in Washington, said that rather than close, he wanted to donate a portion of his restaurant's proceeds on Thursday to the organizers of the campaign. But, he said, "we still don't know who's organizing it."

        Each dinner receipt, Mr. Phillips said, will be inscribed with the phrase, "This meal was made possible by immigrants."

        Ivan Iricanin, who owns Ambar, a Balkan restaurant with locations in Washington and Arlington, Va., said that after meeting with his staff on Monday, he decided to keep the restaurants open. But, he said, about seven of his 100 employees chose not to work on Thursday.

        "It's kind of a lot of questions that were unanswered," Mr. Iricanin, 39, said, "and that's why I think that some people are all for it and some are in between."



        7)  On a 'Day Without Immigrants,' Workers Show Their Presence by Staying Home

         FEB. 16, 2017




        It first spread on social media, rippling through immigrant communities like the opposite of fear and rumor: a call to boycott. In the New York region, many carpenters, plumbers, cooks, cleaners and grocery store owners decided to answer it and not work on Thursday as part of a national "day without immigrants" in protest of the Trump administration's policies toward them.

        The protest called for immigrants to stay home from work or school, close their businesses and abstain from shopping. People talked about it in restaurant staff meetings and on commuter buses, but the movement spread mostly on Facebook and via text message.

        "It's like the Arab Spring," said Manuel Castro, the executive director of NICE, the New Immigrant Community Empowerment, which works primarily with Hispanic immigrant day laborers in Jackson Heights, Queens. "Our members were coming to us, asking what the plan was. Frankly, it kind of came out of nowhere."

        But the action was not limited to Hispanic immigrants: In Midwood, Brooklyn, Pakistani store owners said they would close on Thursday.

        The driver of a discount shuttle bus outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Sam Ahmad, originally from Egypt, said on Wednesday night that he was not going to work on Thursday and many members of his mosque in New Jersey would not, either. Asked why, Mr. Ahmad, 57, said, "Because that crazy guy," he said, referring to President Trump. "Because I'm Muslim and I got a lot of family here. They can get separated, and it's not right. Our children are born here and grow up here."

        In Queens, construction workers gathered at the end of the workday on Wednesday at a large job site in Astoria.

        "The supervisor asked us if we were going to work," a 28-year-old carpenter from Cuenca, Ecuador, said in Spanish, giving only his first name, Santiago.

        He said about 500 people from several companies were working at the site, including carpenters, electricians and plumbers.

        "From Mexico, El Salvador, Brazil. Some wanted to work, others didn't. They talked among themselves," he said. "We decided we wouldn't, we'd support the cause. The supervisor said, 'That's fine, no one works tomorrow.'"

        Santiago, who has lived in the country for 13 years, said he felt it was an important cause.

        "If we don't do something, they're going to send us back."

        Angel, 44, an electrician from Quito, Ecuador, who also gave only his first name, said the 30 or so people at his job site in Astoria had also decided not to go to work, either.

        "We've talked among us and we say, 'Yes, there are some people who have made mistakes and committed crimes,' but just because of a few, we're all going to pay?"

        Angel said that he would not only sit out the workday but also avoid spending any money. "If we're going to participate, we're going to participate — no shopping."

        Around the country, restaurants, which often employ many immigrants, were planning to close in support of the action, including the Washington restaurants owned by José Andrés, the famed Spanish-born chef who has tangled publicly with Mr. Trump before. In Phoenix, the chef Silvana Salcido Esparza, a James Beard Award semifinalist, was planning to close three of her restaurants for the day.

        In New York City, the high-end Blue Ribbon restaurant group posted a statement on Facebook and its web site that it would be closing the majority of its restaurants. "We stand 100 percent behind our employees — whether they are immigrants or born in America, back of house or front of house," the group said.

        Mr. Castro, of the day laborers' center in Queens, said that he and his members planned to attend City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's State of the City speech in Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon.

        "We're at a stage where we're like, what else is there to do except organize and boycott?" he said.



        8)  When Lies Overruled Rights

        FEB. 17, 2017





        A charcoal drawing by Miné Okubo, who was incarcerated in the Topaz internment camp in Utah at the same time as Fred Korematsu. Okubo studied fine art at Berkeley and in Europe, and worked on government art projects (including a W.P.A. mural with Diego Rivera) before the government interned her and other Japanese-Americans on the West Coast. In 1946 she included hundreds of her drawings in a memoir, "Citizen 13660." CreditMiné Okubo; Topaz Museum, Delta, Utah

        When President Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning travel from seven majority Muslim countries, he hurled us back to one of the darkest and most shameful chapters of American history. Executive orders that go after specific groups under the guise of protecting the American people are not only unconstitutional, but morally wrong. My father, and so many other Americans of Japanese descent, were targets of just such an order during World War II.

        Seventy-five years ago on Sunday, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066, all people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast were forced to leave their homes and report to incarceration camps. Two-thirds were American citizens. Fred Korematsu, my father, then 23, refused to go. A proud and loyal citizen, he had tried to enlist in the National Guard but was rejected and was wrongly fired from his job as a welder in an Oakland, Calif., shipyard He was arrested and tried for defying the executive order. Upon conviction, he was held in a horse stall at a hastily converted racetrack until he and his family were moved to a desolate camp in Topaz, Utah. My father told me later that jail was better than the camp.

        He appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court. In his case, and in cases brought by Minoru Yasui and Gordon Hirabayashi — among the most infamous cases in American legal history — the court in 1944 upheld the executive order. Justice Frank Murphy vehemently opposed the majority decision, writing in a dissenting opinion, "Racial discrimination in any form and in any degree has no justifiable part whatever in our democratic way of life." In the hysteria of war and racialized propaganda, my father's citizenship did not protect him. For him and the 120,000 other Japanese-Americans incarcerated during World War II, there was no attempt to sort the loyal from the disloyal.

        In 1982, almost 40 years after my father's conviction, evidence was discovered proving that the wartime government suppressed, altered and destroyed material evidence while arguing my father's, Yasui's and Hirabayashi's cases before the Supreme Court. The government's claims that people of Japanese descent had engaged in espionage and that mass incarceration was necessary to protect the country were not only false, but had even been refuted by the government's own agencies, including the Office of Naval Intelligence, the F.B.I. and the Federal Communications Commission.

        With that evidence, my father reopened his case. In November 1983, he stood before a Federal District Court judge, Marilyn Hall Patel, and said, "As long as my record stands in federal court, any American citizen can be held in prison or concentration camps without a trial or a hearing." Judge Patel overturned my father's conviction, declaring that his case "stands as a caution that in times of distress the shield of military necessity and national security must not be used to protect governmental actions from close scrutiny and accountability."

        Around that time, the federal Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians declared that the Korematsu case had been "overruled in the court of history" and found that my father's incarceration was based on "race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership."

        Although his conviction was vacated, my father was keenly aware that his case was never formally overturned, even though it was widely discredited by scholars and even the courts. He was a quiet, soft-spoken man, but he spent the rest of his life speaking around the country about the government misconduct that led to incarceration, in hopes of preventing it from occurring again. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for the brave stand he took against an unjust government action.

        In 1991, President George H. W. Bush declared, "The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a great injustice, and it will never be repeated." But it can happen again. Since my father's death in 2005, I have taken on his work to remind Americans what happens when our Constitution is ignored in the name of national security. We need to scrutinize Mr. Trump's executive orders and any other attempts to single out groups for repression. Let us come together to reject discrimination based on religion, race or national origin, and to oppose the mass deportation of people who look or pray differently from the majority of Americans.

        "Stand up for what is right," my father said. "Protest, but not with violence. Don't be afraid to speak up. One person can make a difference, even if it takes 40 years."



        9)  Two N.Y.P.D. Officers Are Charged With Lying About a Suspect

        FEB. 16, 2017





        The two police officers returned from an arrest describing the kind of encounter that officers fear most, prosecutors said. A man had threatened someone with a gun, and when the officers confronted him, they later told prosecutors, the weapon was loaded and resting in the waistband of his pants.

        But more than two years after the episode, the case against the man has been dismissed after an investigation by the Police Department and prosecutors concluded that the officers had fabricated details about the circumstances of the arrest in 2014.

        The officers, Detectives Sasha Cordoba and Kevin Desormeau, were arrested on Thursday and appeared in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Both were charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, and Detective Cordoba was also charged with first-degree perjury and making a punishable false written statement. The two detectives, both 33, pleaded not guilty to the charges and were released without bail.

        Prosecutors said the detectives had made the false claims to prosecutors and in official paperwork. Detective Cordoba is also accused of repeating the account in a Criminal Court complaint, a search warrant application that was signed by a judge, and before a grand jury, which led to the indictment of a man in connection with the arrest in question.

        The man, who was 38 at the time, was not identified in documents filed on Thursday.

        Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said the charges against the detectives were a "gross violation of their training, N.Y.P.D. protocol and the law."

        "When members of law enforcement commit misconduct," he added, "they threaten the credibility of our work and the safety of the citizens whom we are sworn to protect."

        In a statement on Thursday, the Police Department said the detectives, who were assigned to the gang squad in southern Queens, had been suspended. Detective Cordoba has been with the department since 2007; Detective Desormeau joined in 2006.

        James M. Moschella, a lawyer for the Detectives Endowment Association, said the detectives maintained their innocence, and that the charges were "just allegations at this point — nothing more."

        "They're going to fight the charges," he added. "They're going to go to court every time. And ultimately, we expect them to be vindicated in the case."

        Prosecutors said the false statements stemmed from the arrest on Nov. 6, 2014 of a man on suspicion of gun possession in an apartment building on West 175th Street in the Washington Heights neighborhood.

        The detectives told a sergeant in the 33rd Precinct that they had encountered a man standing in a hallway holding a gun, according to court records. Detective Cordoba told an assistant district attorney that she then pulled a gun from the man's waistband and handed it to Detective Desormeau, who removed several bullets.

        Detective Cordoba later told a grand jury that the man had opened an apartment door with the gun visible in the waistband of his pants.

        "I kind of grabbed his hand to cuff him cause he had a gun," she said, according to a transcript of the testimony included in the criminal complaint. "I didn't know what state of mind he was in. I cuffed him. I took the gun. I gave it to my partner."

        But prosecutors said that the gun had been found in another room in the apartment, not in the man's waistband. An investigation by the Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau found witness interviews, surveillance camera footage and text messages from Detective Desormeau that conflicted with the detectives' account.

        There have been similar cases in recent years of members of the Police Department being prosecuted for making false statements.

        In 2012, a former police officer was convicted of lying under oath and filing false information to obtain a search warrant in an apparent effort to hide illegal vehicle searches, and a former sergeant pleaded guilty to lying in court about why he performed illegal searches of cars and an apartment, according to prosecutors.

        In 2010, another former officer was found guilty of lying about a confrontation with a bicyclist. The officer said in a criminal complaint that a man had knocked him down by intentionally steering his bicycle into him, but a video shared widely online showed that the officer had not fallen.



        10)  Breaking the Anti-Immigrant Fever

        FEB. 18, 2017





        Americans have been watching the Trump administration unfold for almost a month now, in all its malevolent incompetence. From morning tweets to daytime news to late-night comedy, many watch and fret and mock, and then sleep, sometimes fitfully.

        Others, a large minority, lie awake, thinking about losing their families, jobs and homes. They have been vilified by the president as criminals, though they are not. They have tried to build honest lives here and suddenly are as fearful as fugitives. They await the fists pounding on the door, the agents in black, the cuffs, the van ride, the cell. They are terrified that the United States government will find them, or their parents or their children, demand their papers, and take them away.

        About 11 million people are living in this country outside the law. Suddenly, by presidential decree, all are deportation priorities, all are supposed criminals, all are threatened with broken lives, along with members of their families. The end could come for them any time.

        This is not an abstract or fanciful depiction. It is not fake news. It's the United States of today, this month, this morning.

        In El Paso, a woman is picked up at a courthouse where she had been seeking an order of protection; immigration agents were apparently tipped off by the man she said abused her. Near Seattle, a 23-year-old man who was protected from deportation and allowed to work lawfully under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is picked up anyway, accused of being a gang member. He furiously denies this, and his lawyer presents paperwork suggesting that agents altered his words to falsely implicate him.

        Another DACA recipient, Daniela Vargas of Jackson, Miss., barricades herself in her home after agents detain her father and brother. A mother of four, Jeanette Vizguerra, seeks refuge, alone, in a Denver church basement. A group of Latino men leaving a church-run homeless shelter in Alexandria, Va., are surrounded by a dozen immigration agents who question them, scan their fingerprints and arrest at least two of them.

        President Trump's defenders say the arrest numbers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement are comparable to those under President Barack Obama, an energetic deporter-in-chief. That may be true, for the moment, but the context is vastly different. Mr. Trump's campaign pledges, his flurry of immigration-related executive orders, including his ban on certain travelers from Muslim countries, have a common thread. They reflect his abandonment of discretion, of common sense, his rejection of sound law-enforcement priorities that stress public safety and respect for the Constitution.

        They prioritize fear instead.

        ICE and the Border Patrol under Mr. Obama were ordered to focus on arresting serious criminals and national-security risks. Mr. Trump has removed those restraints in the name of bolstering his "deportation force." He wants to triple the number of ICE agents. He wants to revive federal agreements to deputize state and local police officers as immigration officers. He wants to increase the number of detention beds and spur the boom in private prisons.

        This vision is the one Donald Trump began outlining at the start of his campaign, when he slandered an entire country, Mexico, as an exporter of rapists and drug criminals, and an entire faith, Islam, as a global nest of murderers. This is the currency of the Trump aides Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, who have brought the world of the alt-right, with its white nationalist strain, into the White House.

        Where could the demonizing and dehumanizing of the foreign born lead but to a whiter America? You have heard the lies from Mr. Trump: that immigrants pose a threat, when they are a boon. That murders are up, when they are down. That refugees flow unimpeded into the country, when they are the most meticulously vetted people to cross our borders. That immigrants and refugees are terrorists, when they are the ones being terrorized.

        For those who would resist the administration, there is much to do, and not a lot of time. Congress is not a check. Democrats there are outnumbered, speaking out but waging symbolic resistance for now. Republicans are mostly split between avoiding the subject and cheering on Mr. Trump.

        States and cities are freer to act. Many recognize the dangerously anti-American mood and are striving to protect their immigrant populations. They are refusing to allow their police officers to join deportation dragnets, and are readying legal representation and other aid for immigrants. The Trump administration falsely calls these places "sanctuary city" lawbreakers and threatens to withhold federal funding as punishment. It's not yet clear what actions the administration can take, or who will win the legal battles that are bound to ensue.

        And anti-sanctuary, anti-immigrant, anti-refugee sentiment is hardly confined to the federal executive branch. Governors and legislatures in red states will be blocking money to blue, pro-immigrant cities, rolling back in-state tuition and other immigrant-friendly policies, and jumping onto Mr. Trump's all-out-enforcement bandwagon. This battle has many fronts.

        The other best lever available, besides the courts and the Constitution, is people power. Protesting and public actions will embolden others to join in, and hearten the vulnerable. If senators and representatives can't show courage, then churches, universities, schools, philanthropies, health systems, corporations, farmers and artists can.

        The days of protests at airports over the Muslim ban were a magnificent surprise, a spontaneous uprising of Americans who said: This is not who we are. Think of the power in that. Think of the message sent if the "day without immigrants," in which foreign-born workers stayed home, became a week or a month.

        Then there is the secretary of homeland security, John Kelly, who — based on his testimony in confirmation hearings — understands Latin America and recognizes the folly of militarized, indiscriminate immigration enforcement. It is not yet clear where he is on the Trump-Bannon-Miller axis. But Mr. Kelly could use his power for good.

        An alliance of those who recognize the threat Mr. Trump poses to the American identity can push against him, to hasten the day that the fever breaks.



        11)  Where the World's Wealthiest Invest Their Billions

        FEB. 19, 2017





        Being part of the global billionaire class is beyond the imagination of most people. At the threshold of $1 billion, a 5 percent return would yield an annual interest payment of $50 million — without ever touching the principal. But how billionaires, from those in the single digits to near the top, invest shows a range of options for the very wealthiest in the world. One thing they all have in common is a large amount of money in cash or equivalently liquid securities. Here's a look at how 10 billionaires have made and invested their money, according to public filings gathered by the financial research firm Wealth-X. 


        CreditEd Alcock for The New York Times 

        Bernard Arnault

        Chairman of LVMH

        Estimated net worth: $38.1 billion

        Bernard Arnault, 67, is the richest man in France. Trained as a civil engineer, he got his start in business from his father, who had a successful construction company. He shifted the focus of his father's company to real estate and then turned his eye to luxury goods. Through his Groupe Arnault, the silver-haired Parisian sits at the helm of the luxury goods companies Christian Dior and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. He is also a major art collector, having acquired works by Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.

        His vast wealth sits predominantly in companies he controls. He has $34.8 billion held among Christian Dior, LVMH and Carrefour, a French retail chain. The next largest distribution is in cash at $2.9 billion; this is money from salaries, dividends and holdings that give him liquidity when he needs it. Then come the homes. He has a mansion in Paris worth $55 million and a home in the Bahamas worth $30 million, as well as yachts and art. His wealth shows how a single concentrated position in a company can increase your worth tremendously.


        CreditBritta Pedersen/DPA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 

        Steven A. Ballmer

        Former chief executive of Microsoft

        Estimated net worth: $30.8 billion

        Steven A. Ballmer, 60, scored a perfect 800 on the mathematics portion of the SAT and punched his ticket from an elite private school in Detroit to Harvard University. In his sophomore year, he lived in the same dorm as Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft. In 1980, he dropped out of Stanford University's business school to start working for Mr. Gates. He was paid $50,000 but given a stake in the nascent company. He rose to become chief executive in 2000 — a post he held for nearly 14 years. Shortly after stepping down, he bought the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team for a record $2 billion. The team had been mired in controversy with a previous owner, Donald Sterling.

        Even though Mr. Ballmer left Microsoft, the vast bulk of his wealth remains in company stock — $21.4 billion. He has $7.3 billion more in cash. It makes his stake in the Clippers seems paltry. He also has $450 million in Twitter shares. He owns a $14 million home in Huntsville, Wash., and properties on Whidbey Island worth about $4 million.


        CreditBernd von Jutrczenka/Picture-alliance, via DPA, via Associated Press 

        Susanne Klatten

        Deputy chairwoman of Altana

        Estimated net worth: $20 billion

        Susanne Klatten, 54, the richest woman in Germany, can trace the source of her wealth to "the ultimate driving machine," BMW. Her grandfather founded an industrial conglomerate that owned the German automotive company — and had a stake in its more staid rival, Daimler-Benz. The company also owned the chemical giant Altana. Her father, Herbert Quandt, took over the family businesses when his father died in 1954. When he died in 1982, Ms. Klatten received stakes in BMW and Altana, of which she is now the sole owner. As her father was credited with saving BMW from bankruptcy, she is credited with making Altana a top company in Germany. She is also chairwoman of the SGL Group, which produces graphite and carbon-fiber products.

        Her wealth is tied up in her companies, with over half, or $12.1 billion, in the BMW Group. An additional 16 percent is in Altana, and 1 percent is in the SGL Group. She has 22.5 percent in cash. She has a family office that creates privacy around the breakdown of her wealth.


        CreditAniruddha Chowdhury/Mint, via Getty Images 

        Azim Premji

        Chairman of Wipro

        Estimated net worth: $10 billion

        Azim Premji, 71, was born into the family that started Western India Vegetable Products, which produced hydrogenated oils. When Mr. Premji was at Stanford University, his father, who started the company, died, and he left college to take it over. At 23, he became chief executive. He diversified the Mumbai-based company's offerings into soap and baby care products. In 1981, he ventured into information technology. The company boomed through the 1980s and '90s, and in 2000 the renamed Wipro went public in New York. In 2009, Mr. Premji handed over the day-to-day running of the company. He devotes time to philanthropy, having given half his Wipro shares to a charity that supports education and health causes in India.

        His wealth appears to remain fairly concentrated, with 64 percent of it in Wipro shares. An additional 13 percent is in a related company, Wipro Enterprises, and 20 percent is shielded by his family office. Public records show that he has a $20 million stake in JM Financial (about 0.2 percent of his wealth), $180 million in cash and $1 million in property in Mumbai. Given his total worth, his properties and holdings are probably much greater, but he has structured his wealth to protect his privacy.


        CreditEdilson Rodrigues/Agência Senado 

        Carlos Alberto Sicupira

        Director of 3G Capital 

        Estimated net worth: $8.6 billion

        Carlos Alberto Sicupira, who turns 69 this year, hails from São Paulo, Brazil, which ranks just behind New York City (where he keeps a residence) for the most billionaires in the Americas. He began his career in finance at Banco de Investimentos Garantia. He later served as chief executive of Lojas Americanas, a Brazilian shopping chain. He is a founder of 3G Capital, a private equity firm that has become known in recent years for partnering with Warren E. Buffett, the second-wealthiest man in the world, on deals like the acquisition of Heinz in 2013 and, two years later, its merger with Kraft.

        Much of Mr. Sicupira's wealth rests in a series of deals 3G did with breweries starting in 1999. He has a $5.8 billion stake in the combined Anheuser-Busch InBev, which accounts for nearly 67 percent of his wealth. He has nearly $1 billion more in 3G itself. He still holds a $220 million stake in Lojas Americanas, where he remains chairman. He has an additional $1.6 billion in cash and a $2.5 million apartment on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.


        CreditJack Guez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 

        Shari Arison

        Owner of the Arison Group

        Estimated net worth: $5.6 billion

        Shari Arison, 59, was born in New York but splits her time now between Tel Aviv and Miami. Her father, Ted Arison, started Carnival Cruise Line in 1972. In 1990, he moved back to Tel Aviv, where he was born, and established Arison Investments. It later acquired Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest bank, and renamed itself the Arison Group. It has investments in finance, real estate, infrastructure, renewable energy and water. When her father died in 1999, Ms. Arison inherited 35 percent of his wealth. (She has a brother, Micky, who owns the Miami Heat basketball team.) As owner of the Arison Group and a philanthropist, she promotes good deeds. The investment group's motto is "Doing good is good for business," and through her charity she has sponsored Good Deeds Day, which encourages people to volunteer.

        Ms. Arison's wealth is divided fairly evenly among different investments. She owns $1.6 billion of stock in Carnival Cruise Line, $1.6 billion of stock in Bank Hapoalim, $1.1 billion in the Arison Group itself and holds $1 billion in cash. She has a stake in an Israeli housing and infrastructure company and homes in the Bal Harbour section of Miami and in Tel Aviv.



        Ma Jianrong

        Executive chairman of Shenzhou International Group HoldingsEstimated net worth: $4.3 billion

        Ever worn Nike, Adidas, Puma or Uniqlo? Those items may have come from one of Ma Jianrong's factories. His company is the leading textile manufacturer in China. Mr. Ma, 52, began working in the textile industry as a teenager and later earned a master's degree from Zhejiang University of Technology. His father, Ma Baoxing, was chairman of the weaving company that became Shenzhou International Group Holdings. In the late 1990s, the younger Mr. Ma took over the company and increased its revenue and net profit by 23 times in seven years. A member of the Chinese Communist Party, he is an official in the Zhejiang Provincial People's Congress.

        The exact composition of his wealth is hard to determine. He seems to have about $340 million in cash, with the rest in Shenzhou International Group Holdings.


        CreditSimon Dawson/Bloomberg 

        Patrice Motsepe

        Executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals

        Estimated net worth: $2.1 billion

        Patrice Motsepe, 55, was born in Johannesburg and began his career as a lawyer with American firms in South Africa. He attended university and law school during the apartheid era and practiced law for six years, becoming the first black partner in a South African law firm. In 1994, after Nelson Mandela became the country's first black president, Mr. Motsepe quit law to start Future Mining, a mining services company. With that as his start, he began acquiring mines and other mining companies. By 2004, the accumulated entities became African Rainbow Minerals. He owns the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club, a soccer team in South Africa's premier league, and last year he started a private equity firm and financial services company.

        His wealth, which places him among South Africa's richest people, is well diversified. The largest portion of his wealth, 36 percent, is in cash and its equivalents. He has nearly 30 percent in Africa Rainbow Minerals, and a similar amount in Sanlam, a financial services firm of which he is deputy chairman. Some 5 percent of his wealth is in the Harmony Gold Mining Company. Two homes are worth $7 million, or one-third of 1 percent of his wealth.


        CreditCheryl A. Guerrero/Los Angeles Times 

        Peggy Cherng

        Co-founder of the Panda Restaurant Group
        Estimated net worth: $1.5 billion

        In search of quick Chinese food? Panda Express, with its 1,900 locations around the United States, is there to serve some up. Peggy Cherng, 69, founded the chain with her husband, Andrew. When the restaurant began expanding from Glendale, Calif., into the full-fledged chain it is today, she used her science background to make the business tech-savvy early on and then applied her knowledge of logistics to streamline the process. Ms. Cherng, who was born in Myanmar (then Burma), was raised in Hong Kong and met her husband at Baker University in Kansas. She holds a master's degree in computer science and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, and began her career at the defense contractor McDonnell Douglas. She and her husband live in California.

        Her largest holding is in the Panda Restaurant Group, which also owns Panda Inn. It is worth $1.2 billion, or 77 percent of her wealth. Nearly 19 percent of her wealth is in cash. She also has a large position, some $60 million, in the Golden Eagle Retail Group, a real estate development company. The rest of her wealth is in three homes in California.


        CreditMatt Edge for The New York Times 

        Kevin Systrom

        Chief executive of InstagramEstimated net worth: $1.2 billion

        Smile, you're a billionaire. Kevin Systrom, 33, is a founder of the photo-sharing site Instagram, on which Beyoncé announced her latest pregnancy and set a record for most shares. Mr. Systrom went to Stanford University and, after graduating in 2006, put in time at Google before venturing out on his own. In 2010, he and a friend got the idea for Instagram. Two years later, the company was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in cash and stock. He owned 40 percent of the company. He remains the chief executive.

        Mr. Systrom's wealth is tied to Facebook — at 88 percent. But he has about $160 million in cash. He also has $600,000 in Walmart stock from his role as a director of the company and the chairman of its technology and e-commerce committee.



        12)  Border Wall Would Cleave Tribe, and Its Connection to Ancestral Land

        "'There is no O'odham word for wall,' Mr. Serapo said. (There is also no word for 'citizenship.')"

        FEB. 20, 2017



        SAN MIGUEL, Ariz. — The phone calls started almost as soon as President Trump signed his executive order, making official his pledge to build a wall to separate the United States from Mexico.

        Verlon M. Jose, vice chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation, whose reservation extends along 62 miles of the border, heard from people he knew and those he had never heard of. All of them were outraged and offered to throw their bodies, Standing Rock-style, in the way of any construction that would separate the tribe's people on the north side of the border and the south side, where they live in six villages within the boundaries of the group's ancestral lands.

        "If someone came into your house and built a wall in your living room, tell me, how would you feel about that?" Mr. Jose asked in an interview last week. He spread his arms, as if embracing the ground that stretched before him, a rugged expanse of crackled dirt speckled in saguaro trees, and said, "This is our home."

        Mr. Trump's plan to build a 1,954-mile wall from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico will have to overcome the fury of political opponents and numerous financial, logistical and physical obstacles, like towering mountain ranges.

        Then there are the 62 miles belonging to the Tohono O'odham, a tribe that has survived the cleaving of its land for more than 150 years and views the president's wall as a final indignity.

        A wall would not just split the tribe's traditional lands in the United States and Mexico, members say. It would threaten an ancestral connection that has endured even as barriers, gates, cameras and Border Patrol agents have become a part of the landscape.

        "Our roots are here," Richard Saunders said, standing by a border gate in San Miguel, which he and his wife pass through — when it is open — to visit her grandparents' graves, 500 yards into Mexico. "Our roots are there, too, on the south side of this gate."

        The Tohono O'odham — they call themselves "desert people" — have been around since "time immemorial," Mr. Jose likes to say; they and their predecessors were nomads in the region for thousands of years, roaming for water and food on mountains and lowlands.

        After the Mexican-American War and then the Gadsden Purchase in 1854 delineated the border for good, most of the tribe's land was left in present-day Arizona, where it still controls 2.8 million acres — a territory about the size of Connecticut — while a smaller piece became part of what is now the Mexican state of Sonora.

        The tribe has 34,000 enrolled members, according to its chairman, Edward D. Manuel. Half live on the reservation in Arizona, 2,000 are in Mexico and the rest left for places where job prospects were better. Those who have stayed might work for the tribal government, its Desert Diamond Casino, the schools or businesses like the Desert Rain Cafe, which serves chicken glazed in prickly pear and smoothies made from saguaro fruit, on Main Street in Sells, the reservation's largest community.

        The Tohono O'odham (pronounced Toh-HO-noh AW-tham) reservation has been a popular crossing point for unauthorized migrants and one of the busiest drug-smuggling corridors along the southern border, in part because the federal government strengthened the security at other spots. While a 20-foot-tall steel fence lines the border in San Luis, Ariz., to the west, and Nogales, Ariz., to the east, here the border is a lot more permeable, guarded by bollards and Normandy barriers measuring eight feet, maybe, and, in some areas, sinking in the eroding ground.

        Erosion is one of the challenges to any wall. The border here is also sliced by mountains and carved by dry creek beds that turn into rushing rivers during the summer's monsoon rains.

        Tohono O'odham leaders acknowledged that they were straddling a bona fide national security concern. The tribe reluctantly complied when the federal government moved to replace an old barbed-wire fence with sturdier barriers that were designed to stop vehicles ferrying drugs from Mexico. It ceded five acres so the Border Patrol could build a base with dormitories for its agents and space to temporarily detain migrants. It has worked with the Border Patrol; hardly a day goes by without a resident or tribal police officer calling in a smuggler spotted going by or a migrant in distress, said Mr. Saunders, the director of public safety.

        The tribe regularly treats sick migrants at its hospital and paid $2,500 on average for the autopsies of bodies of migrants found dead on its land, mostly from dehydration. (There were 85 last year, Mr. Saunders said.)

        The number of apprehensions on the reservation has also dropped — to 14,000 last year from 85,000 in 2003, according to the tribe's public safety department. Still, the vehicle barriers, installed in 2006, created new headaches. One rancher, Jacob Serapo, used to fetch water for his family and cattle from a well 100 yards from his home, but the barriers left the well on the other side, in Mexico. Now he must drive four miles a few times each week to the nearest water source on the United States side.

        "There is no O'odham word for wall," Mr. Serapo said. (There is also no word for "citizenship.")

        The current border barriers have three gates that open regularly for family reunions and ceremonies like the Vikita (pronounced WHI-kih-tha), celebrated every summer to mark the tribal new year, and religious pilgrimages 60 miles into Mexico. Those who live on the Mexican side have border-crossing cards authorizing them to visit the tribe's American side, but not to stay or work in the United States, or leave the reservation.

        The Border Patrol has checkpoints on each of the roads leading out of the reservation, where a tribal member who is a Mexican citizen could be detained and deported, Mr. Saunders said.

        Because of tribal rights, building a wall across the lands of the Tohono O'odham Nation would most likely require an act of Congress, according to Monte Mills, co-director of the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic at the University of Montana.

        But the Supreme Court has held that, in considering whether to act in ways that have an impact on Native Americans, Congress must partake in a "detailed consideration of tribal interests," Mr. Mills said. Last week, Mr. Manuel and Mr. Jose met with Homeland Security officials in Washington to ask for a seat at the table.

        When asked about the tribe's concerns, Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for Homeland Security, said the agency "is working to implement the guidance given in the president's executive order."

        "When we have more info to share on plans," Ms. Christensen said, "we will."

        If Mr. Trump sought to build the wall without the approval of Congress, the project could be more vulnerable to legal action, said Mr. Mills. Still, many Native Americans saw the president's swift decision to resume work on the Dakota Access oil pipeline — which President Barack Obama had halted after protests at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota — as a sign that the new administration would be less deferential to their sovereignty.

        As the sun set on Friday, dozens of Tohono O'odham members filled the Legislative Council chambers at the White House, the building in Sells that is home to the tribal government, for a community meeting about the border wall. Inside, volunteers registered people to vote and instructed them on how to write letters to the state's congressional delegation.

        "If we have a wall, it will separate our people," said the meeting's main organizer, April Ignacio, 34, in an interview outside the building.

        She then brought up another possibility that filled her with dread. "If we don't have a wall and other parts of the border have, the cartels will funnel everything through here," she said. "What will that do to us?"



        13)  Ex-Officer in Philippines Says He Led Death Squad at Duterte's Behest

        FEB. 20, 2017



        MANILA — A retired police officer racked with guilt over the murders of two of his own brothers has reversed himself and confessed to leading the Philippine death squad that killed them, saying that he was acting on the direct orders of Rodrigo Duterte before he became president.

        The former officer, Arthur Lascañas, said at a news conference on Monday that Mr. Duterte had sponsored the killings of drug and crime suspects while he was mayor of the southern city of Davao. Mr. Lascañas has now become the second professed hit man to level such accusations against Mr. Duterte.

        At least 3,600 people, and possibly thousands more, have been killed by the police or vigilantes since Mr. Duterte became president in June. Rights groups have said that the police may have ordered the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers and users, a charge that officials have denied. Mr. Duterte's spokesman, Martin Andanar, on Monday dismissed Mr. Lascañas's allegations as "part of a protracted political drama" intended to undermine the president's leadership.

        Mr. Lascañas, 56, said that he was the leader of the Davao Death Squad, a group that he said Mr. Duterte had formed to go after small-time drug dealers and petty criminals but that later evolved into a force to eliminate political opponents.

        He is the second person claiming membership in the squad to speak out against Mr. Duterte, bolstering the explosive testimony of another professed hit man, Edgar Matobato, who has been in hiding since last year, when he linked the president to the killings. On Monday, Mr. Lascañas broke down in tears and said Mr. Matobato's accusations were true.

        "We started the salvaging of people when Mayor Duterte first sat down as mayor in Davao City," he said. "The people we targeted are criminals and were into illegal drugs. We were implementing the personal orders of Duterte."

        "Salvaging" is a euphemism in the Philippines for summary executions.

        Mr. Lascañas said members of the squad were usually paid $400 to $1,000 for the killings "depending on the status" of the target.

        "All the killings that we committed in Davao City, whether they were buried or thrown in the sea, were paid for by Mayor Duterte," he said.

        Mr. Lascañas said that he received an allowance directly from Mr. Duterte's office and that he had led the group for a long time. He said his earlier testimony, made before the Senate last year, was "all lies."

        He said that two of his brothers — whom he identified as Cecilio and Fernando — were among the group's victims and that he had concealed the details surrounding their deaths from the family until Monday.

        "They were involved in illegal drugs," Mr. Lascañas said. "Now my nephews know that I was instrumental to the murders. In my belief about the campaign, I had committed this."

        He also confirmed Mr. Matobato's earlier statement linking Mr. Duterte to the murder of Jun Pala, a radio commentator critical of the former mayor and a known supporter of a vigilante group in Davao guarding against Communist guerrillas. Mr. Lascañas said he was paid about $60,000 to get rid of him.

        "We planned and carried out the assassination of Jun Pala," he said. After Mr. Pala survived an ambush, Mr. Lascañas said, he met with Mr. Duterte, who told him to take his time in killing the broadcaster.

        Mr. Pala was shot by gunmen near his home in 2003, in a killing that the police attributed to a Communist rebel hit squad.

        "This is the real truth in the Pala murder case," Mr. Lascañas said. "I am one of those who murdered him."

        Mr. Lascañas also said that he and other members of the squad killed a kidnapping suspect, his pregnant wife, his father-in-law and two servants. He said the victims were seized and taken to a quarry, where they were gunned down.

        He did not say how the bodies were disposed of, but last year Mr. Matobato testified that victims were chopped up and then their parts taken to sea to be scattered.

        It was not immediately clear what Mr. Lascañas would do next, but he has been under the protection of the Free Legal Assistance Group, an organization of rights advocates and lawyers who have criticized Mr. Duterte's deadly campaign against drugs.

        The group said that Mr. Lascañas had drawn up a sworn affidavit and was ready to testify before any government body, including the Senate.

        Mr. Lascañas's statements on Monday were in line with Mr. Matobato's testimony last year. At the time, he said he was one of the first civilians Mr. Lascañas had recruited into the death squad, originally known as the Lambada Boys, that was responsible for kidnappings, killings and the bombing of a mosque in Davao. He said the squad answered to Mr. Duterte and his longtime lieutenant, Ronald dela Rosa, now director general of the Philippine National Police.

        Mr. Andanar, the president's spokesman, said in his statement on Monday: "Our people are aware that this character assassination is nothing but vicious politics orchestrated by sectors affected by the reforms initiated by the Duterte administration."

        "Bringing change is not an easy task," he added. "The Duterte administration has disturbed, disrupted the establishment. However, we remain undistracted in delivering goods and services to serve the people, not just the interest of the few."

        Senator Antonio Trillanes, who has been feuding with Mr. Duterte and who supported Mr. Matobato when he made his accusations last year, said that Mr. Andanar's statement was intended to divert attention away from "the issue of the president's complicity" in multiple murders.

        Senator Risa Hontiveros called Mr. Lascañas's allegations a "direct stab at the credibility" of the president that undermined his "moral capacity to lead."

        "They strengthen suspicions that the death squads responsible for thousands of unsolved extrajudicial killings are state-sanctioned," Ms. Hontiveros said. She called on the Senate to investigate Mr. Lascañas's accusations and respond to what she called the "public's clamor for truth and accountability."



        14)  'Last Night in Sweden'? Trump's Remark Baffles a Nation

        FEB. 19, 2017





        LONDON — Swedes reacted with confusion, anger and ridicule on Sunday to a vague remark by President Trump that suggested that something terrible had occurred in their country.

        During a campaign-style rally on Saturday in Florida, Mr. Trump issued a sharp if discursive attack on refugee policies in Europe, ticking off a list of places that have been hit by terrorists.

        "You look at what's happening," he told his supporters. "We've got to keep our country safe. You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?"

        Not the Swedes.

        Nothing particularly nefarious happened in Sweden on Friday — or Saturday, for that matter — and Swedes were left baffled.

        "Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound," Carl Bildt, a former prime minister and foreign minister, wrote on Twitter.

        As the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet noted, Twitter users were quick to ridicule Mr. Trump's remark, with joking references to the Swedish Chef, the "Muppets" character; Swedish meatballs; and Ikea, the furniture giant.

        Mr. Trump did not state, per se, that a terrorist attack had taken place in Sweden. But the context of his remarks — he mentioned Sweden right after he chastised Germany, a destination for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing war and deprivation — suggested that he thought it might have.

        "Sweden," Mr. Trump said. "They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible."

        He then invoked the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris in 2015 and in Brussels and Nice, France, last year, to make an argument for tightening scrutiny of travelers and asylum seekers. "We've allowed thousands and thousands of people into our country, and there was no way to vet those people," he said. "There was no documentation. There was no nothing. So we're going to keep our country safe."

        Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, tried to clarify the president's remarks Sunday, saying Mr. Trump did not mean to suggest that a particular attack had happened the night before, but rather was talking about crime in general in Sweden.

        On Sunday, Mr. Trump offered his own clarification, writing on Twitter, "My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden."

        In that story, the Fox News host Tucker Carlson interviewed Ami Horowitz, a filmmaker who asserts that migrants in Sweden have been associated with a crime wave. "They oftentimes try to cover up some of these crimes," Mr. Horowitz said, arguing that those who try to tell the truth about the situation are shouted down as racists and xenophobes.

        (Mr. Carlson interjected, "The masochism of the West knows no bounds at all.")

        Mr. Horowitz said, "Sweden had its first terrorist Islamic attack not that long ago, so they're now getting a taste of what we've been seeing across Europe already."

        It was not clear what he was referring to. In 2010, a suicide bomber struck central Stockholm, injuring two people. The bomber, Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, 28, was an Iraqi-born Swede who had developed an affinity for Al Qaeda. But that attack occurred long before the current wave of migrants.

        Sweden has a long history of welcoming refugees — Jews, Iranians, Eritreans, Somalis, Kurds and people from the former Yugoslavia, among others — but even some of the most tolerant and idealistic Swedes have raised questions about whether the country can absorb so many newcomers so quickly.

        Henrik Selin, a political scientist and deputy director of the Swedish Institute, a state agency dedicated to promoting Sweden globally, said he was puzzled by Mr. Trump's remarks.

        "I do not have a clue what he was referring to," he said in a telephone interview. "Obviously, this could be connected to the fact that there has been a lot of negative reporting about Sweden, since Sweden has taken in a lot of refugees."

        The country processed 81,000 asylum seekers in 2014, 163,000 in 2015 and 29,000 last year, with another 25,000 to 45,000 expected this year, according to the Swedish Migration Agency.

        Mr. Selin completed a study recently focusing on negative news reports about Sweden's acceptance of refugees. It found numerous exaggerations and distortions, including false reports that Shariah lawwas predominant in parts of the country and that some immigrant-heavy neighborhoods were considered "no-go zones" by the police.

        Breitbart News, the right-wing website once led by Stephen K. Bannon, now Mr. Trump's senior strategist, has published numerous stories alleging that migrants have been responsible for a surge in crime and for a wave of sexual assaults. Swedish officials have said that their statistics do not justify such sweeping assertions, and that the country has a high number of sexual assault reports relative to other European countries because more victims come forward, not because there is more violence.

        Mr. Selin said the news reports "were highly exaggerated and not based in facts," adding, "Some of the stories were very popular to spread in social media by people who have the same kind of agenda — that countries should not receive so many refugees."

        As for the cover-up alleged by Mr. Horowitz, Mr. Selin said: "That kind of claim has been in the political debate for 15 years now. But nobody has been able to prove there is a cover-up. On the contrary, the fact is that crime rates are going down."

        He added: "Swedish authorities have nothing to gain from hiding the truth. We are quite keen to ensure that the debate and the story about our country is fact-based and nuanced. We are more than happy to talk about the challenges our country faces as well as the things that are going well."

        Asked about Mr. Trump's comment, Anna Kinberg Batra, the leader of the opposition Moderate Party, said in a statement, "President Trump has to answer himself for his statements, why he makes them and based on what facts."

        Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom declined to comment because, her press secretary, Erik Wirkensjo, said, "it's hard to say what Trump is talking about."

        In an essay in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the journalist Martin Gelin speculated that "Trump might have gotten his news from the countless right-wing media in the United States that have long been reporting that Sweden is heading for total collapse."

        He added, "Among Trump supporters, there are common myths that Sweden is in a state of chaos after taking in refugees from the Middle East."



        15)  Hear This: Class Pay Gap in Britain Shows Snobbery Persists

        FEB. 19, 2017




        LONDON — For a relatively small country, Britain is blessed with a multitude of regional and even neighborhood accents.

        While all these varied pronunciations add flavor to the language, they also have their pitfalls: Whenever British people speak, their fellow citizens immediately hear the unmistakable twang of class.

        Snobbery still lives in Britain, a class-conscious democracy with carefully calibrated levels of social standing.

        The latest evidence of the persistence — and perniciousness — of the class system comes from an official government report from the Social Mobility Commission, which found what it called a "class pay gap."

        Professionals with working-class backgrounds make, on average, 6,800 pounds, or about $8,400, less a year than their colleagues from more privileged families.

        The study attributed some of that difference to education and other factors, but it also found that those from working-class families who have exactly the same occupational role, education and experience as their colleagues from more advantaged backgrounds are still paid, on average, 2,242 pounds, or about $2,800, less a year. The study found the gap was especially wide in the financial and medical professions.

        The class pay gap is worse for women and people from minority-ethnic backgrounds, according to the research, which was carried out for the commission by the London School of Economics and University College London. The study looked at data from nearly 65,000 people drawn from the U.K. Labor Force Survey.

        One reason for the pay disparity, the study suggested, is that children of professional families are more likely to work for larger companies and in London, where salaries are higher. Another is what it called "cultural matching," whereby those making the hiring decisions extend job offers to those with whom they feel comfortable based on social and cultural traits.

        That, of course, is another form of what the study calls "outright discrimination or snobbery."

        Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrat party, said the report "exposes the gaping class divide at the heart of our society that we all already knew existed."

        Alan Milburn, the former Labour minister who heads the Social Mobility Commission, said that he would send details of the findings to employers and that he expected them to "take action to end the shocking class earnings penalty."

        Mr. Milburn concluded that "this unprecedented research provides powerful new evidence that Britain remains a deeply elitist society."

        And the quickest and often clearest signpost for snobs is the sound of people's voices.



        16)  Omar Abdel Rahman's Death Stirs Memories of 1993 Attack

        "Although Mr. Abdel Rahman's name has over time become linked in many minds to the 1993 attack, it has not for Lynne F. Stewart, his defense lawyer in his 1995 trial. She believes he is innocent. Ms. Stewart was convicted in 2005 of smuggling messages on behalf of the imprisoned sheikh and sentenced to a decade in prison, which she began serving about seven years ago. She was released in 2014 when a judge reduced her sentence after a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Speaking from her hospital bed in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan a few days after the sheikh's death, Ms. Stewart expressed the view that Mr. Abdel Rahman's fiery rhetoric was a matter of free speech, a belief shared by many in the Arab world. 'We can name a lot of names in American history where people were convicted of not doing anything, and he is just the latest in a long line of American heroes who were convicted wrongfully,' she said."

        FEB. 19, 2017





        It was a stunning act of terror, an assault on the World Trade Center that shook New York City. The long wake of its memory still slices through those who were there and the families of those who died.

        That was 1993.

        Roughly eight years before the twin towers were destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, the buildings were badly damaged on a snowy afternoon by a truck bomb in a basement garage that killed six people.

        On Saturday, Omar Abdel Rahman — a blind cleric whose fiery speech exhorted anti-American violence and galvanized those who executed the attack, according to prosecutors — died at 78 in a federal prison in North Carolina. He was serving a life sentence for plotting a series of assaults never carried out: bombs to be set in tunnels and buildings in an attack designed to bring New York to its knees.

        In the city, news of his death, from complications of diabetes and coronary artery disease, has caused many who experienced the bombing, whether as rescuers, government officials or witnesses, to recall the smoke and the gaping crater. They have also been led to consider something more existential: a February afternoon when, in an instant, the city experienced a sensation now all too familiar but then quite new — vulnerability.

        "Those who went through the '93 experience remember it as the beginning of the loss of innocence," said Anthony E. Shorris, then the first deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

        After the blast, Mr. Shorris spent a month inside the six-story crater in the garage beneath the World Trade Center plaza as teams shored it up and the police dug for bodies.

        "Remembering a time when we didn't think things like this could happen, and now we think about it all the time," Mr. Shorris, now the deputy mayor of New York City, said.

        He paused. "All the time."

        The explosion, on Feb. 26, 1993, injured about 1,000 people and could be heard on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The percussion was felt, some said, even farther north than Harlem. But New Yorkers thought of vehicle bombings as something that happened elsewhere. At first, the city sought more innocent explanations.

        Stanley Brezenoff, then the executive director of the Port Authority, which owned the World Trade Center property and had offices on the 65th floor, said: "People walked out of their offices and looked at each other. 'Did something happen? Did a generator go out? Was there some kind of a storm that we weren't aware of?'" He made the call to evacuate, and staff members carried a colleague in a wheelchair down more than 20 flights.

        "I don't think we stopped to reflect on the enormity of what happened," said Mr. Brezenoff, now the interim head of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. The Port Authority launched an all-out effort to repair the stricken tower, reopening it in a month.

        "A lot of the response was, 'They can't do that to us,'" Mr. Brezenoff said. "It sounds almost quaint now."

        Raymond W. Kelly, who was then at the start of the first of his two stints as police commissioner, said, "In terms of modern terrorism, the threat was there, but I don't think it was seen as a threat to this country."

        The sense was, he said, "it was going on in other places."

        It took about a day to definitively determine the blast was terrorism, and even then, the city was unsure who its enemies were, Mr. Kelly said. Speculation about their origin included the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East.

        The office of the governor at the time, Mario M. Cuomo, was on the 57th floor of 2 World Trade Center. After the boom, no one there panicked, mostly because it "never occurred to us that it would be a bomb," said Deborah Sale, who was chief of staff to Stan Lundine, then the lieutenant governor.

        Using their limited knowledge from infrequent fire drills and holding on to handrails, employees gingerly crept down the stairs, Ms. Sale said. "There was no power at all, and it was pitch black," she said, recalling that she had used a scarf to cover her nose and mouth in the smoky stairwell.

        The new reality of terrorism led to changes in the towers themselves. Afterward, emergency lights were installed, and screenings were added for people entering the building.

        Norman Steisel, who was first deputy mayor at the time, said the safety improvements saved lives on Sept. 11. "Those buildings were evacuated pretty quickly," he said, referring to the floors below where the planes had hit. "Just imagine if more and more people were trapped downstairs."

        In 1995, Mr. Abdel Rahman was convicted, along with nine others, on charges of seditious conspiracy in Federal District Court in Manhattan for a plot to bomb landmarks and infrastructure hubs, although the plans were never carried out. While prosecutors asserted he had been involved in the 1993 attack, six other men were convicted after the vehicle identification number from a rental van linked to the perpetrators was found in the rubble.

        Mr. Kelly said he believed the conspirators' web of connections to groups like Al Qaeda had not been fully mined, even though data was discovered linking some to a somewhat obscure leader. His name was Osama bin Laden.

        "It should have been a huge wake-up call for the federal government and the city, and it wasn't," he said. "And we paid the price on Sept. 11."

        Although Mr. Abdel Rahman's name has over time become linked in many minds to the 1993 attack, it has not for Lynne F. Stewart, his defense lawyer in his 1995 trial. She believes he is innocent. Ms. Stewart was convicted in 2005 of smuggling messages on behalf of the imprisoned sheikh and sentenced to a decade in prison, which she began serving about seven years ago. She was released in 2014 when a judge reduced her sentence after a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

        Speaking from her hospital bed in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan a few days after the sheikh's death, Ms. Stewart expressed the view that Mr. Abdel Rahman's fiery rhetoric was a matter of free speech, a belief shared by many in the Arab world.

        "We can name a lot of names in American history where people were convicted of not doing anything, and he is just the latest in a long line of American heroes who were convicted wrongfully," she said.



        17)  The Legacy of Zero Tolerance Policing

        FEB. 20, 2017





        New York City is wisely backing away from an abusive "zero tolerance" policing strategy that led officers to blanket minority communities with criminal summonses for minor infractions — like drinking beer in public or sitting in a park after dark — and was based on the discredited premise that petty misconduct leads to serious crime.

        As part of its unfolding reform effort, the city has significantly cut the number of summonses issued by the police and encouraged police officers to shift the most common minor violations into civil court, which spares people from getting a permanent criminal record and lets them atone for some violations with community service. But that has done nothing for the hundreds of thousands of people who have arrest warrants for failing to appear in summons court.

        That changed last week, when the City Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, announced that four of the city's five district attorneys — all but Staten Island's — have agreed to seek dismissal of arrest warrantsthat are at least 10 years old. The move could vacate as much as a third of the 1.5 million arrest warrants pending, but more needs to be done.

        The City Council and the district attorneys argue that people who have stayed out of trouble for a decade after committing minor violations deserve to have their warrants expunged — particularly since many of the summonses were issued unjustly or unnecessarily.

        At the height of zero tolerance policing in 2009, the city issued 520,000 summonses — compared with about 294,000 in 2015, the latest available figure. Only about one in five summonses results in a finding of guilt — a clear indication that many summonses are being issued without legitimate cause. Nevertheless, people who forget their court dates — even for a minor offense like littering — are hit with arrest warrants that turn a nuisance offense that might have been dismissed into a serious problem. (To its credit, the de Blasio administration rolled out a new form that clearly states the appearance date and sends reminders by phone or text.)

        Once the warrant is recorded in a database, the defendant runs the risk of being arrested during a routine traffic stop and jailed, sometimes for days before seeing a judge. An open warrant can lead to deportation, denial of a citizenship application and a number of other problems.

        These hardships have hit minorities hardest. Just last month, the city agreed to pay up to $75 million to settle a class-action lawsuit claiming that hundreds of thousands of summonses were issued by the police without legal justification and disproportionately singled out minority citizens.

        The problem with the 10-year argument is that it does not include the tail end of the "zero tolerance" period, from 2008 to 2013, when the Police Department issued 426,000 to 520,000 summonses a year. The city and the district attorneys will need to conduct a review of this period as well.




















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