Malcolm X

"By any means necessary!"

May 19, 1925 - February 21, 1965





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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You can also keep up with ANSWER Coalition on Facebook.



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)  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.



        2)  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?"



        3)  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."



        4)  '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."



        5)  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.



        6)  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.



        7)  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.



        8) George Takei on 75th Anniversary of Internment of Japanese Americans and Why Trump Is "the Real Terrorist"

        By Democracy Now!

        20 February 17



        eventy-five years ago yesterday, on February 19, 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which forced more than 120,000 men, women and children of Japanese descent into internment camps. This included nearly 70,000 American citizens. Over the weekend, "Day of Remembrance" events were held across the country to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the internment of Japanese Americans and legal residents. Many people are asking if history can repeat itself. In 2015, Trump defended his proposal for a total and complete ban on Muslims entering the United States and compared it to the actions of FDR. We speak to the legendary actor and activist George Takei, who grew up in an internment camp.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Seventy-five years ago yesterday, on February 19th, 1942, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, that forced more than 120,000 men, women and children of Japanese descent into internment camps. This included nearly 70,000 who were American citizens.

        PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT: The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the empire of Japan. As commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Over the weekend, Day of Remembrance events were held across the country to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the internment of Japanese Americans. Many people are asking if history can repeat itself. On the campaign trail, Donald Trump explicitly called for a Muslim registry. And as president, he has attempted to ban refugees and travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations. In an interview with ABC in 2015, Trump defended his proposal for a total and complete ban on Muslims entering the United States and compared it to the actions of FDR.

        DONALD TRUMP: What I'm doing is no different than what FDR—FDR's solution for Germans, Italians, Japanese, you know, many years ago.

        GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're for internment camps?

        DONALD TRUMP: This is a president who was highly respected by all. He did the same thing. If you look at what he was doing, it was far worse. I mean, he was talking about the Germans because we're at war. We are now at war.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, our next guest says one of the darkest chapters in American history has begun to repeat itself. We're joined by George Takei, the legendary actor and gay rights activist, who grew up in an internment camp. He is best known for playing Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek. Takei's Broadway show Allegiance screened in cinemas across the United States on Sunday, the Day of Remembrance. It is about the internment of Japanese Americans, inspired by the true story of Takei and his family's experience.

        George Takei, welcome to Democracy Now!

        GEORGE TAKEI: Good to be here.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, we've had you on the show before, but could you talk about your own family's experience and what you went through as a young child as a result of the internment policies that FDR brought into effect?

        GEORGE TAKEI: Well, as a matter of fact, yesterday, which we, as you said, consider the Day of Remembrance, I remembered my childhood imprisonment at the home of the man who put us behind those barbed wire fences, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's home at Hyde Park. I spoke on my memories there. And I spoke about that morning, when my parents got me up very early on that morning, together with my brother, a year younger, and my baby sister, still an infant, dressed us hurriedly. And my brother and I were told to wait in the living room while they did some packing back in the bedroom. And so, the two of us were just gazing out the front living room window, and we saw two soldiers marching up our driveway carrying rifles with shiny bayonets on them. They stomped up the front porch.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And this was where? In?

        GEORGE TAKEI: This was in Los Angeles.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Los Angeles, mm-hmm.

        GEORGE TAKEI: On Gardner Street, a two-bedroom house. And they began pounding at the front door with their fists. It was a terrifying sound. My father came out, answered the door. And literally at gunpoint, we were ordered out of our home. My father gave my brother and me little packages to carry, and we followed him out onto the driveway and waited for our mother to come out. And when she came out, she had our baby sister in one arm and a huge duffel bag in the other, and tears were streaming down her face. And this I told to a packed house audience at the Roosevelt Library on the thousand-plus-acre estate of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was a strange feeling.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And your family was eventually interned where?

        GEORGE TAKEI: Well, we were first taken to the horse stables at Santa Anita race track. We were taken there in a truck with other families that had been rounded up. And there, they herded us over to the stable area, and each family was assigned a horse stall, still pungent with the stink of horse manure, to sleep in. For my parents, it was a degrading, humiliating experience to take their three children and arrange the cots for us to sleep in. I was a 5-year-old kid then, and for me, the perspective was totally different. I thought it was kind of fun to sleep where the horses sleep. So, my childhood experiences were quite different from my parents' pain and anguish and the humiliation and the degradation and enragement that they went through for over four years.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And I seem to recall it was not only the—obviously, the liberal president, Roosevelt, who backed this policy, but also wasn't Earl Warren, who was then the attorney general, the famous later Supreme Court justice—he was also very much stoking anti-Japanese phobia throughout California, wasn't he?

        GEORGE TAKEI: Earl Warren was an ambitious man. He wanted to run for governor. And he saw that the single most popular political issue in California at that time was the "lock up the Japanese" movement. And I'm using the long word for Japanese; it was an ugly three-letter word. And he made an astonishing statement as the attorney general, the top lawyer of the state. He said, "We have no reports of spying or sabotage or fifth column activities by Japanese Americans, and that is ominous," the fact that there was no report. He said the Japanese are "inscrutable." You can't tell what they're thinking behind that placid face. And so it would be prudent to lock them up, before they do anything. So, for this attorney general, the absence of evidence was the evidence. And he fed into the hysteria, the war hysteria of that time, and reached all the way to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And so how long was your family interned?

        GEORGE TAKEI: For over four years. We were taken from the horse stables to the swamps of Arkansas, and we were imprisoned there—barbed wire fence, sentry towers, guns pointed at us—for about a year. And then, you know, initially, after Pearl Harbor, young Japanese Americans rushed to their recruitment centers to volunteer to serve in the military. This act of patriotism was answered with a slap on the face. They were denied military service and categorized as enemy aliens. We were neither. We weren't the enemy, and we weren't aliens. We were born, raised, educated in the United States, mostly on the West Coast. And so, with that outrage, we were put into these barbed wired prison camps.

        But a year after imprisonment, after they completely took everything away from us, they realized there is a wartime manpower shortage. And here are these young people that they categorized as enemy aliens. How to justify drafting them? So they came down with, of all things, a loyalty questionnaire. And it was put together in the most sloppy, ignorant way. The most egregious question was question 28. It was one sentence with two conflicting ideas. In essence, it asked, "Will you swear your loyalty to the United States of America and forswear your loyalty to the emperor of Japan?"

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, this issue of loyalty, obviously, is now front and center, in terms of some of the Trump administration policies. And I wanted—in November, a Trump PAC spokesperson defended the proposed Muslim registry by citing the Japanese internment camps.

        GEORGE TAKEI: Japanese-American, Japanese-American.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Japanese-American, yes. This is Carl Higbie of Great America PAC speaking with Fox News's Megyn Kelly.

        CARL HIGBIE: We did it during World War II with Japanese, which, you know, call it what you will—

        MEGYN KELLY: Come on. You're not—

        CARL HIGBIE: Maybe wrong, but—

        MEGYN KELLY: You're not proposing we go back to the days of internment camps, I hope.

        CARL HIGBIE: No, no, no. I'm not proposing that at all, Megyn.

        MEGYN KELLY: You know better than to suggest that.

        CARL HIGBIE: But what I am saying is that we need to protect America first.

        MEGYN KELLY: I mean, that's the kind of stuff that gets people scared, Carl.

        CARL HIGBIE: Right, but it's—I'm just saying, there is precedent for it. And I'm not saying I agree with it. But in this case, I absolutely believe that a regional-based—

        MEGYN KELLY: You can't be citing Japanese internment camps as precedent for anything the president-elect is going to do.

        CARL HIGBIE: Look, the president needs to protect America first. And if that means having people that are not protected under our Constitution have some sort of registry, so we can understand—until we can identify the true threat and where it's coming from, I support it.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was Carl Higbie of the Great America PAC, a pro-Trump PAC. The correlation between some of the—what happened then, and, as you're saying, this was against many Japanese Americans, and—but of what's happening now with Trump and the Muslim ban?

        GEORGE TAKEI: The very fact that he brought that up to justify whatever plans that they have for Muslim people is—shows that he's not learned the lesson of the internment of Japanese Americans, because if he's really learned that lesson, if he has studied that, he would know that the lesson is we must never do that again. Ronald Reagan apologized for it in 1988 and pledged a $20,000 token redress for that—$20,000, which totaled up to $1.6 billion. This man, Higbie, is totally ignorant of that. We must not do it again. And the fact that he brought it up shows his ignorance.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But there were—there were some people who were targeted for internment who resisted. Could you talk about the Korematsu case and what that meant and how the courts reacted at that time?

        GEORGE TAKEI: Well, they did challenge it after they were imprisoned, and not just Korematsu, but Gordon Hirabayashi and an attorney named Min Yasui. They challenged it all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1944, the middle of the war, they were denied justice. They failed. But after the war, in the '70s, they challenged it again, the finding of the Supreme Court. They went all the way up to the federal court, and the federal judge found that there was a fault in the original ruling. But they covered up those words by calling it by its Latin name, coram nobis, fault in the original ruling. And the government didn't appeal that to the Supreme Court, so it ended there. But it was a fault in the Supreme Court's original ruling, and it should never happen again.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And then it took an act of Congress later on, in terms of reparations for the Japanese Americans?

        GEORGE TAKEI: Well, that was when Reagan apologized. In 1988, Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act. And there was this $20,000 token redress paid. They went in the order of the age of the recipient, and I didn't get mine until 1991. And it was—the letter of apology was signed by George H.W. Bush, with "George H.W. Bush" on the $20,000 check.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And talk about your decision—I mean, you've been very much of an activist much of your life, but your stance now in terms of what's going on with the Trump administration and why you feel it's so important to speak up now?

        GEORGE TAKEI: Well, on so many issues, not just the Muslim travel ban, but issue after issue has been a failure. But this president is delusional. He just made that statement last week that his administration is operating like a finely tuned machine. He doesn't realize the disaster that his administration is, the failure of the attack in Yemen and the series of failures that he's—he is a danger. You know, the real terrorist is Donald Trump. Donald Trump is the terrorist president of the United States. And his rating is going down, down, down, and he still talks about the fantastic support that he's been getting. We are going through an incredible time in American history.

        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, I want to thank you, George Takei, legendary actor and activist. Thank you for joining us.

        And when we come back, Robert Weissman of Public Citizen on corporate Trump.


        JUAN GONZÁLEZ: "Say It Loud–I'm Black and I'm Proud," James Brown with Clyde Stubblefield on drums. Stubblefield passed away Saturday. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. I'm Juan González.



        9)  Bodies of 74 Migrants Wash Up on Libyan Coast

         FEB. 21, 2017


        CAIRO — The bodies of 74 migrants were recovered from a beach near the town of Zawiya in western Libya, rescuers said on Tuesday, an ominous sign before the high season for Mediterranean crossings.

        The bodies were believed to have come from a shipwrecked boat that was found on the same stretch of shore, said Mohammed Almosrti, a spokesman for the Libyan Red Crescent. He estimated that the bodies had been in the water for at least 24 hours.

        Red Crescent workers spent seven hours collecting the bodies on Monday afternoon, and the organization posted photographs of dozens of black-and-white body bags lined up on a beach. Three of the dead were said to be women. Given the capacity of the boat, which could hold up to 120 people, the death toll is expected to rise, Mr. Almosrti said.

        The tragedy was a stark reminder about what may lie ahead during the main migration season in Libya, the principal springboard for most African migrants seeking to make it to Europe.

        Although the illegal trade usually slows for the winter, at least 228 people died in January while trying to reach Italy, mostly in smaller boats and inflatable vessels, according to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.

        The bodies that washed up near Zawiya, a smuggling hub 30 miles west of the capital, Tripoli, appeared to be a sign that larger boats were now starting to set off.

        "Usually they wait until April or May, and it continues until October," Mr. Almosrti said. "If they are starting strong like this, it means we could see a lot of deaths this year."

        The route between Libya and Italy was the site of a record number of deaths in 2016. At least 4,579 people died while making that passage, Fabrice Leggeri, head of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, said last week. The toll for 2015 was about 3,000.

        Libya was the launching point for many of the estimated 180,000 migrants who reached Italy last year. The migrants, most of whom are trying to flee war or poverty in Africa, often arrive in Libya after arduous journeys through the desert.

        They entrust their lives to smuggling gangs that have set up along a 230-mile stretch of coast in western Libya, which is largely controlled by an array of rival militant groups.

        Italy recently trained 89 members of the Libyan Coast Guard, hoping that they would take distressed boats back to Libya instead of allowing them to continue to Italy. The initiative is part of a broader European effort to stem the flow of migrants.

        Italy will also provide money, medicine and training to set up migrant holding centers in Libya. But the plan depends largely on assistance from the United Nations-backed unity government in Libya, one of several rival administrations in the country, with only limited control in Tripoli and further along the coast.



        10)  New Trump Deportation Rules Allow Far More Expulsions

         FEB. 21, 2017




        WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday released a set of documents translating President Trump's executive orders on immigration and border security into policy, bringing a major shift in the way the agency enforces the nation's immigration laws.

        Under the Obama administration, undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes were the priority for removal. Now, immigration agents, customs officers and border patrol agents have been directed to remove anyone convicted of any criminal offense.

        That includes people convicted of fraud in any official matter before a governmental agency and people who "have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits."

        The policy also calls for an expansion of expedited removals, allowing Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to deport more people immediately. Under the Obama administration, expedited removal was used only within 100 miles of the border for people who had been in the country no more than 14 days. Now it will include those who have been in the country for up to two years, and located anywhere in the nation.

        The change in enforcement priorities will require a considerable increase in resources. With an estimated 11 million people in the country illegally, the government has long had to set narrower priorities, given the constraints on staffing and money.

        In the so-called guidance documents released on Tuesday, the department is directed to begin the process of hiring 10,000 new immigration and customs agents, expanding the number of detention facilities and creating an office within Immigration and Customs Enforcement to help families of those killed by undocumented immigrants. Mr. Trump had some of those relatives address his rallies in the campaign, and several were present when he signed an executive order on immigration last month at the Department of Homeland Security.

        The directives would also instruct Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency of the Border Patrol, to begin reviving a program that recruits local police officers and sheriff's deputies to help with deportation, effectively making them de facto immigration agents. The effort, called the 287(g) program, was scaled back during the Obama administration.

        The program faces resistance from many states and dozens of so-called sanctuary cities, which have refused to allow their law enforcement workers to help round up undocumented individuals.

        Senior Homeland Security officials told reporters Tuesday morning that the directives were intended to more fully make use of the enforcement tools that Congress has already given to the department to crack down on illegal immigration. The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity during a morning conference call, emphasized that some of the proposals for increased enforcement would roll out slowly as the department finalizes the logistics and legal rules for more aggressive action.

        In particular, the officials said that returning Central American refugees to Mexico to await hearings would be done only in a limited fashion, and only after discussions with the government of Mexico, which would most likely have to agree to accept the refugees.

        The officials also made clear that nothing in the directives would change the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which provides work permits and deportation protection for the young people commonly referred to as Dreamers.

        But the officials also made clear that the department intended to aggressively follow Mr. Trump's promise that immigration laws be enforced to the maximum extent possible, marking a significant departure from the procedures in place under President Barack Obama.

        That promise has generated fear and anger in the immigrant community, and advocates for immigrants have warned that the new approach is a threat to many undocumented immigrants who had previously been in little danger of being deported.



        11)  Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students

        FEB. 22, 2017




        WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday rescinded protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, overruling his own education secretary and placing his administration firmly in the middle of the culture wars that many Republicans have tried to leave behind.

        In a joint letter, the top civil rights officials from the Justice Department and the Education Department rejected the Obama administration's position that nondiscrimination laws require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice.

        That directive, they said, was improperly and arbitrarily devised, "without due regard for the primary role of the states and local school districts in establishing educational policy."

        The question of how to address the "bathroom debate," as it has become known, opened a rift inside the Trump administration, pitting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos against Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Sessions, who had been expected to move quickly to roll back the civil rights expansions put in place under his Democratic predecessors, wanted to act decisively because of two pending court cases that could have upheld the protections and pushed the government into further litigation.

        But Ms. DeVos initially resisted signing off and told Mr. Trump that she was uncomfortable because of the potential harm that rescinding the protections could cause transgender students, according to three Republicans with direct knowledge of the internal discussions.

        Mr. Sessions, who has opposed expanding gay, lesbian and transgender rights, pushed Ms. DeVos to relent. After getting nowhere, he took his objections to the White House because he could not go forward without her consent. Mr. Trump sided with his attorney general, the Republicans said, and told Ms. DeVos in a meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday that he wanted her to drop her opposition. And Ms. DeVos, faced with the alternative of resigning or defying the president, agreed to go along.

        Ms. DeVos's unease was evident in a strongly worded statement she released on Wednesday night, in which she said she considered it a "moral obligation" for every school in America to protect all students from discrimination, bullying and harassment.

        She said she had directed the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights to investigate all claims of such treatment "against those who are most vulnerable in our schools," but also argued that bathroom access was not a federal matter.

        Gay rights supporters made their displeasure clear. Outside the White House, several hundred people protested the decision, chanting, "No hate, no fear, trans students are welcome here."

        Individual schools will remain free to let transgender students use the bathrooms with which they are most comfortable. And the effect of the administration's decision will not be immediate because a federal court had already issued a nationwide injunction barring enforcement of the Obama order.

        The dispute highlighted the degree to which transgender rights issues, which Mr. Trump expressed sympathy for during the campaign, continue to split Republicans, even as many in the party argue that it is time to move away from social issues and focus more on bread-and-butter pocketbook concerns.

        Within the administration, it also threatened to become another distraction for Mr. Trump after a tumultuous first month in office. And it showed how Mr. Trump, who has taken a more permissive stance on gay rights and same-sex marriage than many of his fellow Republicans, is bowing to pressure from the religious right and contradicting his own personal views.

        Social conservatives, one of Mr. Trump's most loyal constituencies, applauded him for honoring a pledge he had made to them during the campaign. They had argued that former President Barack Obama's policy would allow potential sexual predators access to bathrooms and create an unsafe environment for children.

        "The federal government has absolutely no right to strip parents and local schools of their rights to provide a safe learning environment for children," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

        But supporters of transgender rights said the Trump administration was acting recklessly and cruelly. "The consequences of this decision will no doubt be heartbreaking," said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "This isn't a states' rights issue; it's a civil rights issue."

        Bathroom access emerged as a major and divisive issue last March when North Carolina passed a bill barring transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match the sex on their birth certificate. It was part of a broader bill eliminating anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people.

        Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues became a point of attack for opponents of Ms. DeVos's nomination last month, as Democrats questioned her about the extensive financial support that some of her relatives — part of her wealthy and politically active Michigan family — had provided to anti-gay causes. Ms. DeVos distanced herself from her relatives on the issue, saying their political activities did not represent her views.

        While Wednesday's order significantly rolls back transgender protections, it does include language stating that schools must protect transgender students from bullying, a provision Ms. DeVos asked for, one person with direct knowledge of the process said.

        "All schools must ensure that students, including L.G.B.T. students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment," the letter said, echoing Ms. DeVos's comments at her confirmation hearing but not expressly using the word transgender. Ms. DeVos, who has been quietly supportive of gay rights for years, was said to have voiced her concern about the high rates of suicide among transgender students. In one 2016 study by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, for instance, 30 percent reported a history of at least one suicide attempt.

        Mr. Trump appears to have been swayed by conservatives in his administration who reminded him that he had promised during the campaign to leave the question of bathroom use to the states.

        But he had given conflicting signals on the issue, and on gay rights more broadly. He said last April, for instance, that he supported the right of transgender people to "use the bathroom they feel is appropriate," and added that Caitlyn Jenner, perhaps the most famous transgender person in the country, could use whichever bathroom at Trump Tower she wanted. He has also called the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage settled law. "And I'm fine with that," he told CBS News after the November election.

        Despite his personal views, Mr. Trump's decisions in office have been consistently conservative on social issues. And he has shown considerable deference to the religious right, naming many religious conservatives to top cabinet posts and pledging to fight for religious freedom protections and restrictions on abortion.

        The Justice Department is eager to move quickly in laying out its legal position on transgender policy, to avoid confusion in cases moving through the courts.

        The dispute has underscored the influence that Mr. Sessions, an early and ardent supporter of Mr. Trump, is likely to exercise over domestic policy. As someone who has a long record of opposing efforts to broaden federal protections on a range of matters under his purview — immigration, voting rights and gay rights, for example — he has moved quickly to set the Justice Department on a strikingly different course than his predecessors in the Obama administration.



        12)  Immigrants Hide, Fearing Capture on 'Any Corner'

        FEB. 22, 2017




        No going to church, no going to the store. No doctor's appointments for some, no school for others. No driving, period — not when a broken taillight could deliver the driver to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

        It is happening in the Central Valley of California, where undocumented immigrants pick the fields for survival wages but are keeping their children home from school; on Staten Island, where fewer day laborers haunt street corners in search of work; in West Phoenix's Isaac School District, where 13 Latino students have dropped out in the past two weeks; and in the horse country of northern New Jersey, where one of the many undocumented grooms who muck out the stables is thinking of moving back to Honduras.

        If deportation has always been a threat on paper for the 11 million people living in the country illegally, it rarely imperiled those who did not commit serious crimes. But with the Trump administration intent on curbing illegal immigration — two memos outlining the federal government's plans to accelerate deportations were released Tuesday, another step toward making good on one of President Trump's signature campaign pledges — that threat, for many people, has now begun to distort every movement.

        It has driven one family from the local park where they used to play baseball in the evenings, and young men from a soccer field in Brooklyn where pickup games were once common.

        It has kept Meli, 37, who arrived in Los Angeles from El Salvador more than 12 years ago, in a state of self-imposed house arrest, refusing to drive, fearing to leave her home, wondering how she will take her younger son, who is autistic, to doctor's appointments.

        "I don't want to go to the store, to church — they are looking everywhere, and they know where to find us," said Meli, who asked that her last name not be used out of fear of getting caught. "They could be waiting for us anywhere. Any corner, any block."

        It has washed ever-larger tides of immigrants in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles and beyond to the doors of nonprofit advocacy and legal services groups, which report hearing the same questions: What should I do if I am stopped by an officer from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE? How quickly can I apply for citizenship if I am already a legal permanent resident? How can I designate someone with legal status as my children's guardian if I am deported?

        "There's a real fear that their kids will get put into the foster care system," said Mary Clark, the executive director of Esperanza Immigrant Legal Services in Philadelphia. "People are asking us because they don't know where to turn."

        The new policies call for speedier deportations and the hiring of 10,000 ICE agents, and direct them to treat any offense, no matter how small, as grounds for deportation. For Mr. Trump's supporters and longtime advocates of stricter immigration enforcement, they are a welcome move toward restoring law and order to a system that they say offered no deterrent to entering the country illegally. Undocumented immigrants, in their view, have filled jobs that belong to Americans, drained public resources and skipped the line for visas on which others waited for years.

        But for the undocumented, the atmosphere in Washington is a signal to prepare for the worst.

        In the parking lot of a Latino shopping strip in Austin, Tex., one couple who were walking with their two children out of a pediatrician appointment said they had picked a friend with documentation to serve as their children's guardian if they were sent back to Mexico.

        "And we're getting our kids U.S. passports so they can come visit us in Mexico," said the man, a stocky restaurant worker in a gray baseball cap, who has lived in Texas for 15 years and declined to give his name.

        He said he was not afraid to leave, but wanted to be prepared. "If they're going to take me," he said, "they're going to take me."

        Two Roman Catholic nuns with the Sisters of Loretto, who did not want to be identified because they did not want to put the people they serve in jeopardy, said they were already seeing the undocumented people they knew change their habits out of fear.

        They know a woman who has stopped going out to buy medication. They know a couple, restaurant workers, who have lived in the country for 25 years and are now taking turns going shopping. That way, they figure, their children will still have one parent if the other is picked up.

        Some low-income families in New York with children who are citizens have declined to re-enroll in a program offering food assistance worth several thousand dollars, said Betsy Plum, director of special projects for the New York Immigration Coalition, an advocacy group.

        "There's a real isolationist reflex that's happening now," Ms. Plum said.

        On a good Sunday, the Staten Island tamale restaurant run by Cesar Rodriguez and his mother makes $3,000. Since the start of the year, it has averaged only $1,500, and this past Sunday only $700.

        Mr. Rodriguez, who was brought to New York when he was 13 and has temporary protection from deportation under an Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, said he thought undocumented residents were saving their money in case they were detained. They may also be reluctant to leave the house for fear of immigration agents stalking outside.

        "They are listening to fake news," he said. "Even if it's not true, they are afraid."

        Empty chairs inside classrooms have become increasingly common in Ceres, Calif., a Central Valley city where 75 percent of students are Hispanic, according to school administrators.

        The schools there are surrounded by dairies and almond orchards, which are predominantly staffed by undocumented workers. School administrators attributed the absences to parents who were worried they could be identified through the school records of their citizen children.

        In response, school officials have asked teachers to reassure students that the district does not collect data on immigration status.

        In some cases, fear has lapped fact.

        For Graciela Nuñez Pargas, 22, who came here when she was 7 and is protected under DACA — which covers immigrants brought to the United States by their parents as children — the prospect of taking her driver's test has become daunting. Minor driving infractions are unlikely to lead to deportation proceedings, but Ms. Nuñez, who lives in Seattle, was nonetheless anxious.

        "They're expanding what it is to be criminal," she said. "Things that a normal person would do by accident could land me back home in Venezuela."

        The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, a nonprofit legal services group in Seattle, has issued thousands of business cards in recent days, advising undocumented immigrants what they should do, or not do, if a law enforcement agent knocks.

        "Do not answer questions about where you were born or about your immigration status," the cards advise.

        The group is also telling immigrants that if a knock does come, sliding a card under the door is acceptable.

        One side of the card reads, "To whom it may concern: Before answering any questions, I want to talk to an attorney."

        Correction: February 22, 2017 

        Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the location for two Roman Catholic nuns with the Sisters of Loretto. The nuns, who did not want to be identified or their location revealed because they did not want to put the people they serve in jeopardy, are not in Austin, Tex.



        13)  North Dakota Arrests 10 as Pipeline Protest Camp Empties

        FEB. 22, 2017




        CANNON BALL, N.D. — The fires burned for hours on the flat, muddy landscape, their thick smoke rising through snowflakes that tumbled to the ground. Someone rode a snowmobile across the dirt, and others moved their belongings to the side of a rural highway. The police gathered, prepared to follow the governor's order to clear people from this rural part of the state.

        But the Wednesday afternoon deadline for protesters of the Dakota Access oil pipeline to empty their largest encampment passed with far more uncertainty than unrest. In the hours after the deadline, the authorities made 10 arrests but said they would not fully empty the camp on Wednesday night.

        Roughly 25 to 50 demonstrators were believed to remain in the mandatory evacuation zone, said Gov. Doug Burgum, who said cleaning crews planned to enter the camp Thursday morning. "Anyone who obstructs our ability to do cleanup will be subject to arrest," Mr. Burgum said.

        The scene here, about an hour's drive south of Bismarck, the state capital, seemed to represent a muffled end to a specific and passionate protest that drew thousands of demonstrators and became central to the national debate about energy, the environment and the rights of Native Americans. Protesters argued that the nearly completed pipeline, now moving ahead with the support of President Trump's administration, could imperil the drinking water supply on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

        "We won," said Vanessa Red Bull, 54, who has spent months here. "We slowed that pipeline down months and months and months. We cost them who knows how much money. And we slowed them down."

        She added, "This has been a multilayered event that has brought attention to glaring issues."

        Ms. Red Bull and her allies won a brief victory last year, when the Army Corps of Engineers said in the waning days of the Obama administration that it would conduct an environmental impact study before allowing the 1,172-mile pipeline to cross Lake Oahe, the Missouri River reservoir near the encampment. But the beginning of the Trump administration brought a swift and substantial defeat: an instruction that the Army abort its study, a decision that allowed construction to resume.

        Barring court intervention, oil from the Bakken fields in western North Dakota could flow through the pipeline this spring. But on Wednesday, the matter at hand was what to do with the encampment, which had become an abiding and, for some, spiritual symbol of activism. State officials cited fears of flooding for the governor's decision last week to order a mandatory evacuation of the site.

        "It's time for protesters to either go home, or move to a legal site where they can peaceably continue their activities without risk of further harm to the environment," the North Dakota attorney general, Wayne Stenehjem, said in a statement. Officials said that trash at the protest camps would pose an ecological risk if it were washed downstream by flooding, and that urgent cleanup was necessary.

        Both sides have accused the other of escalating tension and engaging in violence since the protest started last year as a decidedly local affair. The camps ultimately swelled to thousands in the summer and fall, with Native Americans and supporters from across the country gathering in spirited opposition and setting up a makeshift society in the camps, complete with cooking tents and supply areas.

        But on Wednesday, months of tension mostly gave way to a somber calm as demonstrators left and a cold rain turned to snow. Some protesters set fire to semipermanent structures before the 2 p.m. deadline.

        "It's an act of defiance," Nick Cowan, 25, said as he watched a fire burn on Wednesday after living here for more than two months. "It's saying: 'If you are going to make us leave our home, you cannot take our space. We'll burn it to the ground and let the earth take it back before you take it from us.'"

        Two youths were injured at the camp Wednesday, apparently from the fires, officials said, including a teenage girl who was hospitalized with severe burns.

        North Dakota officials offered meals, lodging, a medical exam and a bus ticket to anywhere in the 48 contiguous states for protesters who left by Wednesday afternoon but needed help getting home.

        That approach was at odds with events of recent months, when the demonstrators sporadically clashed with the police, leading to the activation of the North Dakota National Guard and hundreds of arrests. The police sometimes used tear gas and rubber bullets. The North Dakota Guard said on Wednesday that it had spent more than $8 million responding to the protest since August.

        Despite the lingering frustrations, tensions seemed to have eased in recent weeks as the ranks of demonstrators declined during the harsh winter. Dave Archambault II, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has sued seeking to block the pipeline construction, urged protesters to go home.

        On Wednesday, many of them did.

        "I think people are saying goodbye," said Ms. Red Bull, who spent about six months here. "I think that's why people are setting things on fire: as a way of a last homage to what had become many people's homes. A community was here."



        14)  An Anti-Black Slur on an Interracial Couple's Garage Stirs Tension in Connecticut

        "On Feb. 7, after the slur had been up three weeks, the city issued the couple a citation for blight and a warning: Remove it, or face a $100-a-day fine." [MAKING THE VICTIM INTO THE CRIMINAL! OUTRAGEOUS!...BW]

        FEB. 22, 2017




        STAMFORD, Conn. — When Lexene Charles got into his car here on the Saturday before Martin Luther King's Birthday, he was stunned by what he saw outside his home. He called for his longtime partner, Heather Lindsay, to come outside.

        Someone had spray-painted an anti-black slur across it, Mr. Charles, who is black, said. But instead of scrubbing it off, he and Ms. Lindsay, who is white, decided to leave it up to make a very public point about intolerance.

        Six weeks later, the graffiti, which faces High Clear Drive, remains. Residents have started to complain, and officials in Stamford, a diverse coastal city about 30 miles northeast of New York City, recently directed the couple to remove it. Leaving it up only brings satisfaction to the vandal, the city said.

        On Feb. 7, after the slur had been up three weeks, the city issued the couple a citation for blight and a warning: Remove it, or face a $100-a-day fine. The police chief visited the home and offered to clean the garage door. The mayor said he would help. The couple refused their offers and ignored the citation.

        It is not the first showdown between Stamford and the couple over the property, which was first cited for blight in 2012 for debris. The city sued Ms. Lindsay the following year for disregarding that citation, and the fees, which continue to accumulate, exceed $130,000. The city is now trying to acquire the property in a foreclosure lawsuit scheduled to go to trial on March 7.

        The couple said the graffiti was the latest in a string of racially motivated insults directed at them, especially Mr. Charles, a Haitian immigrant. Ms. Lindsay said that since the couple had moved into the house in 1999, several people in the area had repeatedly yelled racial obscenities at him and told them they hurt property values.

        "I don't sleep good," Mr. Charles, 57, a school bus driver in Greenwich, Conn., said in an interview on Wednesday, adding that he now slept near the front door with a hammer. "I'm always looking out the window. I've never done that before."

        The couple, along with supporters and members of the local and state N.A.A.C.P., held a news conference on Monday in their driveway, the slur behind them, and demanded that the police solve the crime. The Stamford Police Department said it had been investigating the episode but had been hindered by a lack of witnesses and evidence. Officers have interviewed neighbors and searched the area. The police said that security cameras revealed nothing and that they had no leads.

        "We are doing everything we can because obviously it's very offensive," said Ted Jankowski, the director of public safety, who oversees the Police Department. "We offered to remedy the situation, to take care of removing the graffiti."

        Andre Cayo, a lawyer representing Ms. Lindsay, 59, a former respiratory therapist now on disability, said he had advised her to keep the racial slur on the garage door as a way to keep pressure on the Police Department. He said that news media attention to the case had helped him and Ms. Lindsay arrange a meeting with Stamford detectives on Tuesday. There, Ms. Lindsay said, she provided the police with names of several people she suspected might have written the slur. Mr. Jankowski said officers had then talked with those people, who had also been interviewed last month, but gained no new leads.

        The vandalism came at a time when federal authorities have recorded an uptick in hate crimes across the country. On Tuesday, President Trump denounced a wave of anti-Semitism, including threats made against dozens of Jewish community centers.

        Jack Bryant, the president of the Stamford N.A.A.C.P., who joined the couple at the news conference, said he had been watching for other signs of racism in the city after the election of Mr. Trump and the vandalism. Slightly more than half of the city's 126,000 residents are white, according to the latest census estimates.

        "To say that Stamford has no racism, I cannot say that," Mr. Bryant said. "People who had those feelings inside of them feel more comfortable with getting them out in public now because of the new administration."

        Mr. Bryant said he and board members with the N.A.A.C.P. chapter are scheduled to meet with the Stamford mayor and the police chief at City Hall on Monday to discuss the vandalism.

        In Stamford, hate crimes are rare, Mr. Jankowski said. A man was charged with a hate crime in October after an immigrant was beaten with a broomstick. Last summer, the F.B.I. and the Stamford police disrupted a potential attack on a synagogue. Mr. Jankowski said that a case of racist graffiti was so uncommon in Stamford that "no one can remember in the past 20 to 30 years of anything like this."

        The conflicts between the couple and the city started in October 2012. Ms. Lindsay, who owns the property, had debris in her yard and a Dumpster for repairs after the house had flooded. The city told her to clear the property. She said she later cleaned up her yard, but Mr. Cayo said the blight citation remains. In November 2012, a $90 daily fine started. The city sued Ms. Lindsay in 2013 for nonpayment of the fines.

        After a hearing last fall, Mr. Cayo said, Ms. Lindsay was cited for more blight — an unstable wooden deck in the backyard and house panels in disrepair. (Both matters were taken care of, including the installation of a pressure-treated wooden deck, and she is not being fined, Mr. Cayo said.)

        But she still faces a total of $190 in fines a day for the 2012 case and the vandalism.

        The city will try to acquire the one-story, light blue house in the foreclosure trial next month.

        Mr. Cayo said the fines were not worth negotiating now because the city has the upper hand in the coming trial. "I don't see how I can win the case," Mr. Cayo said.

        Ms. Lindsay's strongest defense, he said, was a long-shot — the possible testimony of a former Stamford mayor, Michael Pavia. According to Ms. Lindsay, Mr. Pavia promised her as mayor that the city would not try to take her home from her, Mr. Cayo said. Mr. Pavia, who left office in 2013, did not return messages seeking comment.

        Ms. Lindsay said she had no plans to change her position on removing the slur. "The thing stays up until they take us seriously and possibly allow us to have some sort of lifestyle in this neighborhood," she said.
























































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