The Oscar Grant Foundation is hosting the 9th Annual Oscar Grant Vigil "Speak Up and Judge Fairly" on January 1, 2018 from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. at the Fruitvale Bart Station.

The Oscar Grant Foundation (OGF) was established on August 13, 2010, as a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation.  It was organized after the criminal trial and subsequent conviction of former B.A.R.T. Police Officer Johannes Mehserle for the January 1, 2009 unlawful killing of Oscar Julius Grant III.  Oscar's mother, Rev. Wanda R. Johnson, now heads the Foundation, and its mission is to help bridge the gap of distrust between individuals in at-risk communities and law enforcement.

See flyer below for more information:




From Clifford Conner

Dear friends and relatives

Every day the scoundrels who have latched onto Trump to push through their rightwing soak-the-poor agenda inflict a new indignity on the human race.  Today they are conspiring to steal the tips we give servers in restaurants.  The New York Times editorial appended below explains what they're trying to get away with now.

People like you and me cannot compete with the Koch brothers' donors network when it comes to money power.  But at least we can try to avoid putting our pittance directly into their hands.  Here is a modest proposal:  Whenever you are in a restaurant where servers depend on tips for their livelihoods, let's try to make sure they get what we give them.

Instead of doing the easy thing and adding the tip into your credit card payment, GIVE CASH TIPS and HAND THEM DIRECTLY TO YOUR SERVER. If you want to add a creative flourish such as including a preprinted note that explains why you are doing this, by all means do so.  You could reproduce the editorial below for their edification.

If you want to do this, be sure to check your wallet before entering a restaurant to make sure you have cash in appropriate denominations.

This is a small act of solidarity with some of the most exploited members of the workforce in America.  Perhaps its symbolic value could outweigh its material impact.  But to paraphrase the familiar song: What the world needs now is solidarity, sweet solidarity.

If this idea should catch on, be prepared for news stories about restaurant owners demanding that servers empty their pockets before leaving the premises at the end of their shifts.  The fight never ends!

Yours in struggle and solidarity,


The Trump Administration to Restaurants: Take the Tips!

The New York Times editorial board, December 21, 2017

Most Americans assume that when they leave a tip for waiters and bartenders, those workers pocket the money. That could become wishful thinking under a Trump administration proposal that would give restaurants and other businesses complete control over the tips earned by their employees.

The Department of Labor recently proposed allowing employers to pool tips and use them as they see fit as long as all of their workers are paid at least the minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour nationally and higher in some states and cities. Officials argue that this will free restaurants to use some of the tip money to reward lowly dishwashers, line cooks and other workers who toil in the less glamorous quarters and presumably make less than servers who get tips. Using tips to compensate all employees sounds like a worthy cause, but a simple reading of the government's proposal makes clear that business owners would have no obligation to use the money in this way. They would be free to pocket some or all of that cash, spend it to spiff up the dining room or use it to underwrite $2 margaritas at happy hour. And that's what makes this proposal so disturbing.

The 3.2 million Americans who work as waiters, waitresses and bartenders include some of the lowest-compensated working people in the country. The median hourly wage for waiters and waitresses was $9.61 an hour last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further, there is a sordid history of restaurant owners who steal tips, and of settlements in which they have agreed to repay workers millions of dollars.

Not to worry, says the Labor Department, which argues, oddly and unconvincingly, that workers will be better off no matter how owners spend the money. Enlarging dining rooms, reducing menu prices or offering paid time off should be seen as "potential benefits to employees and the economy over all." The department also assures us that owners will funnel tip money to employees because workers would quit otherwise.

t is hard to know how much time President Trump's appointees have spent with single mothers raising two children on a salary from a workaday restaurant in suburban America, seeing how hard it is to make ends meet without tips. What we do know is that the administration has produced no empirical cost-benefit analysis to support its proposal, which is customary when the government seeks to make an important change to federal regulations.

The Trump administration appears to be rushing this rule through — it has offered the public just 30 days to comment on it — in part to pre-empt the Supreme Court from ruling on a 2011 Obama-era tipping rule. The department's new proposal would do away with the 2011 rule. The restaurant industry has filed several legal challenges to that regulation, which prohibits businesses from pooling tips and sharing them with dishwashers and other back-of-the-house workers. Different federal circuit appeals courts have issued contradictory rulings on those cases, so the industry has asked the Supreme Court to resolve those differences; the top court has not decided whether to take that case.

Mr. Trump, of course, owns restaurants as part of his hospitality empire and stands to benefit from this rule change, as do many of his friends and campaign donors. But what the restaurant business might not fully appreciate is that their stealth attempt to gain control over tips could alienate and antagonize customers. Diners who are no longer certain that their tips will end up in the hands of the server they intended to reward might leave no tip whatsoever. Others might seek to covertly slip cash to their server. More high-minded restaurateurs would be tempted to follow the lead of the New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and get rid of tipping by raising prices and bumping up salaries.

By changing the fundamental underpinnings of tipping, the government might well end up destroying this practice. But in doing so it would hurt many working-class Americans, including people who believed that Mr. Trump would fight for them.



Working people are helping to feed the poor hungry corporations! 

Charity for the Wealthy!

GOP Tax Plan Would Give 15 of America's Largest Corporations a $236B Tax Cut: Report

By Jake Johnson, December 18, 2017








The decision of the Trump administration to declare that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that the US will move its embassy to Jerusalem is a violation of the rights of the Palestinian people, of international law and a number of United Nations resolutions. It is a bipartisan action which is supported by most Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by past presidents from both parties.  It once again affirms Washington's support for the brutal Zionist regime in Israel and its genocidal policies towards the Palestinian people.

The 1947 UN resolution on Palestine took away half of the land of the Palestinian people and gave it to Zionist leaders for a Jewish state.  It proclaimed Jerusalem would have a special international administration, recognizing the fact that it held a special standing for the various religions of the people in the region and around the world.  These policies were a direct violation of the rights of the Palestinian people.  But this was not enough for the Zionist regime.  They wanted all of the land of the Palestinian people and so, through a series of military actions and discriminatory policies, much of the Palestinian population was driven from the land and multi-generations today live as refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and other countries of the Palestinian diaspora.  The land that was left for the Palestinian people within Palestine has been continually encroached upon, with illegal Jewish-only settlements, destruction and seizure of Palestinian property and land, and the setting up of walls and Jewish-only roads and check points for Palestinians, restricting their movement in their own country.  Gaza has become an open-air prison, with the densely packed population refused the right to freely leave Gaza while the Israeli government controls how much food, drinkable water, building materials, electricity and other necessities will be allowed for the beleaguered people to minimally survive.

This most recent move of the Trump administration, knowingly provoking a backlash wreaking more violence and oppression on the Palestinian people, fully exposes Washington's unqualified backing for Israel's apartheid regime.  This latest outrage must be opposed throughout the United States and the world.  We urge all to join these protests or to build actions in your communities.

Return Jerusalem to the Palestinian people!

Free Gaza!

Support Self-Determination and the Right of Return for all Palestinians!

Solidarity with Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Zionist State of Israel!

End all US aid to Israel!

Support UNAC

As we come to the end of another year with the escalation of wars at home and abroad, UNAC asks you to donate generously to keep our urgent work going and to keep the antiwar movement strong (https://www.unacpeace.org/donate.html).  UNAC is a broad coalition of peace and justice activist organizations.  We are growing, but we depend on the support of people like you to build the kind of united mass movements that can truly make a difference [read more]

Visit the UNAC Blog:


Please contribute to UNAC:  https://www.unacpeace.org/donate.html

If your organization would like to join the UNAC coalition, please click here: https://www.unacpeace.org/join.html

To unsubscribe from this list, please send an email to UNAC-unsubscribe@lists.riseup.net




Addicted to War:

And this does not include "…spending $1.25 trillion dollars to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and $566 billion to build the Navy a 308-ship fleet…"


Dear Comrades, attached is some new art, where Xinachtli really outdid himself some.

Kaepernick sports new T-shirt:

Love this guy!




Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:











Save the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper

From: SF Bay View <editor@sfbayview.com>

Date: December 19, 2017 at 6:42:58 PM PST

To: SF Bay View <sfbayview@lists.riseup.net>

Subject: [sfbayview] Bay View faces loss and challenge

Reply-To: SF Bay View <editor@sfbayview.com>

Bay View faces loss and challenge

With profound sadness, we bid farewell to Troy Williams, who we'd hoped would lead the Bay View's regeneration and build it into the New York Times of the Prison Abolition Movement he envisioned. Our challenge today is survival; we must face the fact that the fate of the Bay View is in your hands. To grow the number of hands willing to help, please share this message far and wide.

Please keep reading. There may not be a January paper without your help.

The problem: Advertising revenue is down for all newspapers still in print including the Bay View. Each monthly Bay View paper used to carry its own weight, with ads sufficient to pay the basic expenses of printing, distribution and mailing – and then some. Not any more. In 2017, total income from all sources – ads, subscriptions and donations – averaged only $8,000 per month. Those three basic expenses total almost $7,000 a month, and the Ratcliffs' social security barely covers the rent and a bit of the utilities.

People always ask, "Why not go web-only, like Black Agenda Report," an excellent and very influential source of news and analysis. The Bay View's role is different. The Bay View is the only publication in the country widely distributed both inside prison and out. Of the 20,000 papers we print every month, 3,000 are mailed to subscribers in prisons around the country (who pass them around to thousands more) and the other 17,000 are distributed in hoods around the Bay. 

Therein lies the solution:  The millions of people in prison and the hoods are our FREEDOM FIGHTERS. From the most intense oppression, like diamonds from coal, comes an unquenchable thirst for liberation – and the Bay View gives that force a voice and an organizing network. As a result, the Prison Abolition Movement is burgeoning everywhere and, to its leaders, the Bay View is essential. Similar energy in the hoods is making the Bay View fly off the stands faster than ever. 

Subscription revenue is way up, but at just $24 for a year, that income is a big help but it's not sufficient to pay the big bills. For that, we need more advertising and donations. 

Advertising – Are you or your friends or colleagues organizing an event for Martin Luther King Day in January or Black History Month in February? Email your flier or postcard and we'll quote you an affordable price for running it in the Bay View. Same for agencies and nonprofits with goods or services our readers should know about. Special low prices apply to Religious Directory ads and Black Pockets Directory ads for professionals and entrepreneurs. Call 415-671-0789 today to discuss an advertising campaign to support your project and your newspaper.

Donations – Hit the DONATE button near the top left side of the Bay View homepage to make a big donation if you're able or a smaller recurring donation. More and more readers are doing that, keeping the Bay View alive. The Bay View also has a nonprofit arm, so your donation can be tax deductible; read all about it HERE. I repeat: There may not be a January paper without your help. At the moment, we are flat broke.

The Ratcliffs are "older than dirt" and need to pass the torch to new leadership and a real newspaper staff. For that, we need a major fund drive. We hear about successful social media drives. Are you an expert on that or want to learn? Email editor@sfbayview.com to volunteer for a fundraising or development committee, and let's make it happen!

Good news: new website coming soon – An expert website designer is volunteering to build the Bay View a new website that can easily be read on your mobile device. A beautiful new website should convince potential donors, advertisers and subscribers that the Bay View will outlive the Ratcliffs!

Indulge in some recent stories and discover new ones every day at sfbayview.com ...

News & Views

Ajit Pai is a serious enemy to the masses. He heads the FCC. He led the charge to strip the internet of net neutrality protections, and you will soon see drastic changes that will disenfranchise and strip power from millions of people who depend upon on the internet. Net neutrality is what makes the Internet such a powerful platform. It's a democratizing aspect. We are all one click away for any user wishing to access our material. The million-dollar company and the poor blogger are accessible by all. The excuse to end net neutrality is that we should not have regulations. The long term impact is to keep the ability to communicate to the masses in the hands of a few who are rich, powerful and in position to afford full access.

Veteran acquitted in self-defense case – jurors speak out against injustice

A veteran accused of going overboard when fighting back against his attacker was acquitted of all charges – and jurors are choosing to speak out about the injustice of his case, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced today. A jury on Dec. 14 acquitted Darryl J'Eronn. If convicted, J'Eronn faced up to seven years in state prison. Jurors, who were outraged J'Eronn was charged, took less than 10 minutes to decide to acquit him.


The height of racial resentment: White cops

If white voters are racially resentful and if their resentments remain consequential for their selections at the ballot box, we might wish to understand who among the white population in the U.S. evinces the most racially resentful and racially conservative attitudes and why. Some recent sociological work has examined this question and found at least one primary suspect: white police officers.

Soaring thyroid cancer rates north of NYC may be caused by Indian Point nuke plant emissions

The rate of new thyroid cancer cases in the four counties just north of New York City, which was 22 percent below the U.S. rate in the late 1970s, has soared to 53 percent above the U.S. rate. This change may be a result of airborne emissions of radioactive iodine from the two Indian Point nuclear power reactors, at the crossroads of Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam counties, and operating since the mid-1970s. Large increases occurred for both men and women in each county.

Trump oblivious to Black history: An appeal for civil conversation about the civil rights legacy in Mississippi by Dr. Amos C. Brown

The backlash against President Donald Trump's recent visit to the new Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum underscores an issue far more significant than a polarizing president. It was further proof that the wounds from decades upon decades of racial injustice in our nation, and in Mississippi in particular, remain deep. The pain and the sensitivities are ever-present, as is the continued socio-economic oppression that has kept African Americans as second-class citizens.


Let Zimbabwe reflect and regroup by Obi Egbuna

Because of the rapid political transition that has recently taken place in Zimbabwe, this 37-year-old nation's most ardent supporters and defenders, along with its most hateful detractors helped make the resignation of former President and revolutionary icon Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe and the installation of the current President Comrade E.D. Mnangagwa not only Africa's top story, but the primary focus of the entire planet.


Behind Enemy Lines


They say the police said I was a snitch, but what does that make you? by Shaka Shakur

So tell your little neo-fascist friends – who have no life outside of what revolves around these prison plantations – that they're right. As long as we have sick individuals who have lost touch with their own sense of humanity, who play with and destroy our lives, who refuse to see us as human beings deserving of respect, I'm going to keep on so-called snitching! Now, go tell, gossip, chat about that!


Cold disregard: Texas prison guards and University of Texas medical staff ignore excruciatingly painful spider bite by Noah 'Comrade Kado' Coffin

South Texas is testament to the conditions and effects of a rapidly changing climate. Monstrous storms, unprecedented temperatures late into winter time – what has occurred as result of these conditions? The number of birds and bugs now present here on Eastham Unit is astounding. Thousands of roosting birds leave an inch layer of excrement on the recreation cages' concrete floor nightly. The roach, ant and spider population has grown, which brings me to the topic of this exposé.


Tell Gov. Jerry Brown, 'Drop LWOP' by California Coalition for Women Prisoners

We are writing to ask you to join with California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) in our statewide campaign to DROP LWOP and secure sentence commutations for all those serving Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP). LWOP is an inhumane sentence which denies people the possibility to rehabilitate and change. We are asking Governor Brown to use his executive powers to commute the almost 5,000 people serving LWOP sentences to parole-eligible sentences.


Crossing the electronic prison firewall by Ann Garrison

Six California prisoners wrote to me in 2015 to ask about the Hepatitis C cure, shortly after the San Francisco Bay View newspaper published my interview with activist attorney Peter Erlinder titled "US prisoners sue for constitutional right to lifesaving Hep C cure." They'd been able to read it because the Bay View sends a print edition to prisons all over the country every month. I tried and failed to answer those letters and I've felt bad about it ever since. I would have swiftly responded to all the prisoners who wrote to me about the Hep C cure if I'd been able to send electronic mail.


Thanksgiving on Death Row by Kevin Cooper

As I sit here in a 4½-by-11-foot cage on Thanksgiving Day, I first and foremost am thankful to be alive. On Feb. 10, 2004, I came within three hours and 42 minutes of being strapped down to a gurney, tortured with lethal poison and murdered by volunteer prison-guard executioners. So, yes, I am very thankful to be alive. I am also very thankful for all the people – my legal team, friends, family, supporters and activists working to end the death penalty – who have helped make my being alive possible. I have respectfully asked the governor and others to look at my case with an open mind, outside the legal box that has me close to being killed for murders of which I am innocent.


Culture Currents


Journalist, poet Frank Marshall Davis (1905-1987) fought fascism to cure the disease of American racism

Journalist and poet Frank Marshall Davis is an important voice who channeled his social convictions through the power of the pen, and proved to be an unsung hero in the struggle for human rights. "Frank Marshall Davis established his reputation as a socially minded poet employing free-verse forms." His work has been recognized by the National Poetry Foundation, stating on their website: "Davis concerned himself with portraying Black life, protesting racial inequalities, and promoting Black pride."


Planet Asia

Underground rappers don't get recognized like those who are singing hip hop music today. The underground music is usually done by independent artists who may have a separate label and are known mostly in their communities but also tour worldwide to get their name known. This description suits a particular artist who came from Fresno, California. His name was Asiatic, but he changed it to Planet Asia.

Otis Redding and Muhammad Speaks

Dec. 10, 2017, was the 50th anniversary of Redding's transition. Jay Z and Kanye West introduced the hip-hop generation to Redding in 2011 when they recorded the track, "Otis." Forty-four years before that, Redding was on top – known as the most popular male vocalist on Planet Earth. Redding was so popular in England that he ended Elvis Presley's eight-year reign as the "world's best male vocalist" on Melody Maker's annual pop poll in 1967. According to Amiri Baraka, Redding said things in Muhammad Speaks "more 'radical,' Blacker, than many of the new musicians."

Proud Boys

One of the strangest organizations in the rising "alt-right" movement, the headline-grabbing mix of white supremacism, racism and right-wing populism, has to be Proud Boys. The group takes on something of a libertarian credo similar to that of their founder, former editor and co-founder of Vice Magazine Gavin McInness, and are all-male "Western chauvinists" who "do not apologize for creating the Western world," according to their Facebook group pages.

Wanda's Picks for December 2017

Those of us in the San Francisco Bay Area reflect on the legacy and work that illustrated the life of Queen Mother Makinya Kouate. After Maulana Karenga gave the students from Merritt College a mimeographed sheet with notes about a harvest festival called Kwanzaa, the Oakland-Berkeley team started hosting community Kwanzaas in their homes. Later Sister Makinya would travel to Africa and learn more about harvest festivals


If you want folks to know about your business or service or event, Advertise in the Bay View, online or in print. Call 415-671-0789 any time. We'll make it affordable!

Support SF BayView with a donation to the Prisoners Subscription Fund. Prisoners say, "The Bay View keeps me alive," and hundreds are waiting to be placed on the Bay View mailing list.

Check the Bay View Calendar of Events daily. You're sure to find an event that beckons you to get involved – and many are free!


Find a friend among the Bay View Pen Pals, who write, "I would love to hear my name at mail call."

Looking for a job, a contract, affordable housing or a scholarship or other opportunity? Check theBayView Classifieds today.

Finally, follow the Bay View on Facebook and Twitter – and lead everyone you know to do the same. 

To reach the Bay View, email editor@sfbayview.com

To subscribe to this list, email sfbayview-subscribe@lists.riseup.net.

Mary Ratcliff

SF Bay View

(415) 671-0789



Standing Rock raised the stakes for the global environmental and indigenous rights movements. Now, another victory. A North Dakota judge has ruled that my legal team is entitled to substantially more evidence from the North Dakota State Prosecutor's office than has been forthcoming in other water protector cases. We will be able to take sworn testimony and demand documents from Energy Transfer Partners and their private, militarized security firm, TigerSwan.

The timing on this ruling is important for all environmental protectors. 84 members of Congress—nearly all Republicans—recently sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions encouraging him to invoke the domestic terrorism statute to prosecute fossil fuel protesters. These attacks on our fundamental constitutional rights, spearheaded by Donald Trump and parroted by congressional shills of Big Oil, should deeply concern all citizens who value our right to speak freely and demonstrate.

Our team has produced a new video that explains how I was singled out and targeted—and the justification for our bold legal strategy to expose the illegal and immoral wedding of the fossil fuel industry, law enforcement, and militarized private security forces. You'll see why I took action on behalf of my people, millions of others downstream, and Unci Maka—Grandmother Earth. Please watch it, and share it widely.

Share on Facebook

Don't lose sight of what Standing Rock means. My tribe—one of the poorest communities in the nation—won't stop leading the struggles to protect the earth and freedom of expression. Continue to stand with me, my courageous fellow defendant HolyElk Lafferty, and hundreds of others being represented by our ally organization, the Water Protector Legal Collective. Our fight is your fight—and it is nothing less than the movement to protect freedom and the earth for future generations.

Wopila—I thank you.

Chase Iron Eyes

Lakota People's Law Project Lead Counsel

Lakota People's Law Project

547 South 7th Street #149

Bismarck, ND 58504-5859

United States









Labor Studies and Radical History

4444 Geary Blvd., Suite 207, San Francisco, CA 94118




(call 415.387.5700 to be sure the library is open for the hours you are interested in. We close the library sometimes to go on errands or have close early) suggested)

7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed on all major holidays and May Day 

We can arrange, by request, to keep the library open longer during the day or open it on weekends. Just ask.


  • Reference Librarian On-site
  • Email and Telephone Reference
  • Interlibrary Loan
  • Online Public Access Catalog 
  • Microfilm Reader/Printer
  • DVD and VCR players
  • Photocopier
  • Quiet well-lighted place for study and research 

For an appointment or further information, please email: david [at] holtlaborlibrary.org 



Prison Radio UPDATE:

Please sign this petition:

Release all the records and files regarding Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal case!


A ruling to implement Judge Leon Tucker's recent order to release Mumia's court documents could be made as soon as May 30, 2017. Please call or e-mail the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office now to pressure them to follow the court's order to release all the records and files regarding Mumia Abu-Jamal's legal case.

Phone: 215-686-8000

Judge Orders DA to Produce Complete File for Mumia's Case

Dear Friend,

This just in! Judge Leon Tucker of the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia has ordered the District Attorney of Philadelphia to produce the entire case file for Cook v. the Commonwealth- the case file in Mumia Abu-Jamal's criminal conviction, by September 21st.

The DA's office has to produce the entire file for "in camera" review in Judge Tucker's chambers. This mean Judge Tucker thinks that a thorough review of all the relevant files is in order! Or in other words, what has been produced under court order from the DA'a office has been woefully deficient.

Judge Tucker worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the late 90's, so he knows what is in -and not in- files. Cook v. the Commonwealth comprises at least 31 boxes of material held by the DA. Will they turn over "all information and the complete file" for Mumia's case, as Judge Tucker has ordered?

This in camera review by Judge Tucker himself means that an independent jurist will personally inspect the documents the DA produces. See the order here.  Stay tuned for more information following September 21. This is just one step in a long walk to freedom. It is a step that has never been taken before.

OPEN the files. Justice Now!



Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? (City Lights Open Media)

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

A Book Review by Robert Fantina

With the recent acquittal of two more police officers in the deaths of unarmed Black men, the question posed by the title of this book is as relevant as it ever was. Through a series of concise, clear essays, Mumia Abu-Jamal details the racism against Blacks, comparing today's behaviors with the lynchings that were common in the south prior to the decade of the sixties. He points out the obvious: The passage of Civil Rights legislation hasn't changed much; it simply changed the way racism operates.

The ways in which the white establishment has worked to oppress Blacks is astounding. After the Civil War, when slavery was no longer legal, "whites realized that the combination of trumped-up legal charges and forced labor as punishment created both a desirable business proposition and an incredibly effective tool for intimidating rank-and-file emancipated African Americans and doing away with their most effective leaders."

Abu-Jamal states that, today, "where once whites killed and terrorized from beneath a KKK hood, now they now did so openly from behind a little badge." He details the killing of Black men and women in the U.S. with almost complete impunity.

There are two related issues Abu-Jamal discusses. The first is the rampant racism that enables the police to kill unarmed Blacks, as young as 12 years old, for no reason, and the second is the "justice" system that allows them to get away with it.

One shocking crime, amid countless others, occurred in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2012; a police officer was acquitted in the deaths of two, unarmed Blacks, after leaping onto the hood of their car and firing 15 rounds from his semi-automatic rifle into the car's occupants. That is 137 shots, at point blank range, into the bodies of two unarmed people.

If this were an anomaly, it would be barbaric, but it is not: it is common practice for the police to kill unarmed Blacks, and, on the rare occasions that they are charged with a crime, for the judges and juries to acquit them.

In the U.S., Black citizens are disproportionally imprisoned. With for-profit prisons on the rise, this injustice will only increase.

Abu-Jamal relates story after story with the same plot, and only the names are different. An unarmed Black man is stopped by the police for any of a variety of reasons ranging from trivial (broken tail light), to more significant (suspect in a robbery). But too often, the outcome is the same: the Black man is dead and the police officer who killed him, more often than not white, is either not charged, or acquitted after being charged.

The Black Lives Matter movement formed to combat this blatant injustice, but it will be an uphill battle. As Abu-Jamal says, "Police serve the ownership and wealth classes of their societies, not the middling or impoverished people. For the latter, it is quite the reverse." As a result, people of color suffer disproportionately, too often winding up on the wrong side of a gun.

What is to be done? Abu-Jamal refers to the writings of Dr. Huey P. Newton, who calls not for community policing, but for community control of the police. Abu-Jamal argues forcefully for a new movement, "driven by commitment, ethics, intelligence, solidarity, and passions; for without passion, the embers may dim and die."

 is powerful, disturbing, well-written, and an important book for our day.

Empire, Racism and Genocide: A History of U.S. Foreign PolicyCounterpunch WarIsaCrime.org

—, July 2017




Campaign to Stop Modern Day Slavery in Colorado, Demanding Equal Rights to the Under Represented


Petitioning Denver FBI & US Department of Justice

Stop Slavery in Colorado

On May 29, 2008 at approximately 10:00 p.m. Omar Gent was driving in his car headed to the gas station; however was pulled over by local police for what was stated to be a "traffic violation". Omar was then arrested on scene and taken to be identified as the suspect of a local robbery. The victim was shown a photo of Omar Gent (which is illegal) and then was taken to the traffic stop where Omar was already handcuffed in the back of the police car and a one-on-one show up was held at a distance of approximately 20-30 feet; the victim  was unable to identify Omar as the suspect during the first show up.  After given a second show up the victim believed he was 90% sure Omar was the suspect.

Coworkers #1 and #2  were not present at the time of the robbery but were used as witnesses to help identify the suspect. Coworker #1 was also taken to the one-on-one show up and was asked to identify Omar as the suspect and he could not as he stated "I have astigmatism" and was not 100% sure Omar was the man.  Coworker #2 positively identified Omar Gent as the suspect because he stated, "there aren't that many black men in Parker Colorado." At the pretrial suppression of ID/photo line up the victim picked three other black men all with different builds and heights; although prior the victim was "90% sure" he had identified the right man. In addition, Coworker #1 stated during the trial that he was angry when he made the ID because he was ready to go home and coworker #2  told him that it was Omar.

Omar's car was illegally searched without consent or warrant. After his arrest and enduring many hours of integration, Omar asked for an attorney, yet all he received were more questions and did not receive the legal representation requested.  During interrogation, the police tried to coerce Omar to confess to the robbery or else they would throw his family out of their home.  Omar maintained his innocence and did not confess to the crime and as a result the police kept their word. Four Colorado Police Officers forcefully entered Omar's home  and began to search his home without a warrant or consent; Omar's family was present and told police that they were not given permission to enter. The police forced Omar's family out of their home into the Colorado winter night. The police took what they wanted during the illegal search of Omar's home. Omar's family filed a complaint against the city because of the illegal search of their home.  In efforts to conceal the police officers' wrongdoing, the presiding Judge sealed the legit complaint. In addition, the video interrogation showing Omar requesting to have legal representation and police threats to throw his family out of their home unless he confessed was deemed inadmissible in court.

Omar has written proof that he requested a preliminary hearing to challenge the charges of probable cause but he was illegally denied the right--without Omar's knowledge and approval the public defender waived his rights to a preliminary hearing.  Omar was then charged with an infamous felony yet never received a grand jury indictment (which is required by Colorado Bill of Rights for felony charges). Due to the fact that Omar was never indicted, he was subsequently denied his sixth Amendment right (to confront and cross examine witnesses). Omar has been fighting his case by seeking justice for the violation of his civil rights. Help us stop illegal imprisonment in Colorado.

  • This petition will be delivered to:
    • Denver FBI and US Department of Justice 

"Please help us by stopping the mass incarceration in Colorado! Basic civil rights are being violated and we need your help to shed light on this issue." 

Sign then share this petition at: 




Pack the Court for Mumia on January 17!

8-11am, Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center- 1301 Filbert St.

On January 17, Mumia Abu-Jamal's criminal case goes back to court! In a court case that could eventually lead to Mumia Abu-Jamal's freedom, Judge Leon Tucker has ordered the District Attorney's office to present new testimony in reference to Ronald Castille, the former Philadelphia DA and Supreme Court Judge's role in Mumia's criminal conviction.

We need to fill the court room and increase pressure on the DA's office, the court, the DOC and the Governor to release the files in addition to diagnosing and treating Mumia's skin problems.

Friend- we have until December 31st to reach our year-end campaign goal to keep prisoners' voices on the airwaves, and we're just $18,250 away from getting there!

With less than two weeks remaining, now is the time to stand up to corporate media and the U.S. prison system by turning up the volume on prisoners' journalism.

Please show your love and solidarity for people in prison by making a tax-deductible gift to amplify their voices today.

Contribute Now >

In less than 30 days, 142 supporters have stepped up to defend prisoner journalism by raising $17,000 to keep prisoners' voices on the air! Now we need your help to raise the remaining $18,250 to further our reach with recording and distributing uncensored commentaries, journalism and testimony from people in prison. 

Friend, please click here to amplify prisoners' voices with a tax-deductible gift of $35, $100 or even $250 today!

Give $150 or more today, and you'll get a beautiful hand-made messenger bag or yoga mat bag (your pick) made by Sweet Dreams!

Thank you.

Noelle Hanrahan, P.I.

Contribute Now >

PS- Give $150 or more today to defend prisoners' voices, and you'll get a beautiful hand-made messenger bag or yoga mat bag (your pick) made by Sweet Dreams!

To give by check: 

PO Box 411074

San Francisco, CA


Stock or legacy gifts:

Noelle Hanrahan

(415) 706 - 5222



MEDIA ADVISORYMedia contact: Morgan McLeod, (202) 628-0871




Washington, D.C.— Despite recent political support for criminal justice reform in most states, the number of people serving life sentences has nearly quintupled since 1984. 

A new report by The Sentencing Project finds a record number of people serving life with parole, life without parole, and virtual life sentences of 50 years or more, equaling one of every seven people behind bars. 

Eight states  Alabama, California, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, and Utah  have at least one of every five prisoners serving a life or de facto life sentence in prison. 

The Sentencing Project will host an online press conference to discuss its report Still Life: America's Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences, on Wednesday, May 3rd at 11:00 a.m. EDT.   

Press Conference Details

WHAT: Online press conference hosted by The Sentencing Project regarding the release of its new report examining life and long-term sentences in the United States. REGISTER HERE to participate. The call-in information and conference link will be sent via email.  


Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. EDT 


  • Ashley Nellis, The Sentencing Project's senior research analyst and author of Still Life: America's Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences
  • Evans Ray, whose life without parole sentence was commuted in 2016 by President Obama
  • Steve Zeidman, City University of New York law professor and counsel for Judith Clark—a New York prisoner who received a 75 year to life sentence in 1983

The full report will be available to press on Wednesday morning via email.

Founded in 1986, The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.




December 2017 Courage to Resist podcast

Reality Winner's family talk about what it's like trying to support their loved one during her Orwellian incarceration. Our podcast features Reality's sister Brittney Winner, mom Billie Winner-Davis, and friend Matthew Boyle.

New York Magazine: Reality Winner Unlikeliest Leaker

"Not every leaker is an ideological combatant like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Reality Winner may be the unlikeliest of all."

New York Magazine published an article on Reality Winner this week. For folks that are still wondering who is this person with a quirky name, please do take the time to read Kerry Howley's in-depth article. Here is an excerpt:

In November, the man Reality referred to as "orange fascist" became president of the United States.... In those first months on [Reality's new job as a NSA contractor], the country was still adjusting to Trump, and it seemed possible to some people that he would be quickly impeached. 

Reality listened to a podcast called Intercepted, hosted by the left-wing anti-security-state website the Intercept's Jeremy Scahill and featuring its public face, Glenn Greenwald, and listened intensely enough to email the Intercept and ask for a transcript of an episode. Scahill and Greenwald had been, and continue to be, cautious about accusations of Russian election meddling, which they foresee being used as a pretext for justifying U.S. militarism. "There is a tremendous amount of hysterics, a lot of theories, a lot of premature conclusions being drawn around all of this Russia stuff," Scahill said on the podcast in March. "And there's not a lot of hard evidence to back it up. There may be evidence, but it's not here yet."

There was evidence available to Reality.

The document was marked top secret, which is supposed to mean that its disclosure could "reasonably be expected" to cause "exceptionally grave damage" to the U.S. Sometimes, this is true. Reality would have known that, in releasing the document, she ran the risk of alerting the Russians to what the intelligence community knew, but it seemed to her that this specific account ought to be a matter of public discourse. Why isn't this getting out there? she thought. Why can't this be public? It was surprising to her that someone hadn't already done it. 

New York Magazine published an article on Reality Winner this week. For folks that are still wondering who is this person with a quirky name, please do take the time to read Kerry Howley's in-depth article. Here is an excerpt:

In November, the man Reality referred to as "orange fascist" became president of the United States.... In those first months on [Reality's new job as a NSA contractor], the country was still adjusting to Trump, and it seemed possible to some people that he would be quickly impeached.

Reality listened to a podcast called Intercepted, hosted by the left-wing anti-security-state website the Intercept's Jeremy Scahill and featuring its public face, Glenn Greenwald, and listened intensely enough to email the Intercept and ask for a transcript of an episode. Scahill and Greenwald had been, and continue to be, cautious about accusations of Russian election meddling, which they foresee being used as a pretext for justifying U.S. militarism. "There is a tremendous amount of hysterics, a lot of theories, a lot of premature conclusions being drawn around all of this Russia stuff," Scahill said on the podcast in March. "And there's not a lot of hard evidence to back it up. There may be evidence, but it's not here yet."

There was evidence available to Reality.

The document was marked top secret, which is supposed to mean that its disclosure could "reasonably be expected" to cause "exceptionally grave damage" to the U.S. Sometimes, this is true. Reality would have known that, in releasing the document, she ran the risk of alerting the Russians to what the intelligence community knew, but it seemed to her that this specific account ought to be a matter of public discourse. Why isn't this getting out there? she thought. Why can't this be public? It was surprising to her that someone hadn't already done it.

Read the Article at NYMag.com

Donate to Reality's defense fund

Learn more at standwithreality.org


484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559

www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist

Since our last legal update, there have been two important developments in Reality's case, giving us some insight into the arguments both sides intend to use in the trial.

The defense continues to build a case against the government's abuse of the Espionage Act, a strategy Reality's lawyers started laying out in their recent bail appeal. Taking that strategy further in a court brief on October 26th, they laid out a strong First Amendment challenge to the government's interpretation of the Espionage Act in cases involving whistleblowers.

If the defense's challenge succeeds, it would strengthen whistleblower protections significantly, and deny the government one of the main tools it uses to silence dissent.

Meanwhile, the government is doubling down on its strategy to put Reality's personality and politics on trial. A court filing, also on October 26th, repeated the same handful of sentence fragments obtained from eavesdropping on Reality's private conversations which the government claims is proof that she "hates America."They go on to make absurd claims about Reality's ability to flee the country while under total surveillance and without a passport, in their ongoing attempt to force her to serve time before she's been convicted of any crime.

Read the rest of the article at Stand With Reality.

TLEBLOWERc/o Courage to Resist, 484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610 ~ 510-488-3559

standwithreality.org ~ facebook.com/standwithreality

STAND WITH REALITY WINNER ~ PATRIOT & ALLEGED WHISTLEBLOWERc/o Courage to Resist, 484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610 ~ 510-488-3559

standwithreality.org ~ facebook.com/standwithreality



Major Tillery — Still Rumbling

October 22— Major Tillery's challenge to his 1985 conviction for a 1976 murder and assault goes to a Pennsylvania Superior Court appeals panel on October 31. Tillery's case is about actual innocence. It highlights Philadelphia's infamous culture of police and prosecutorial misconduct.  The only so-called evidence against him was from lying jailhouse informants who were threatened with false murder prosecutions, and plea and bail deals on pending cases. A favorite inducement for jailhouse informants in the early 1980's was "sex for lies." Homicide detectives brought the informants and their girlfriends to police headquarters for private time in interview rooms for sex.

This is Major Tillery's 34th year in prison on a sentence of life without parole. Over twenty of those years were spent in solitary confinement in some of the harshest federal and state "control units."

"Major Tillery, for many years known as the jailhouse lawyer who led the 1990 Tillery v. Owens prisoners' rights civil case, spawned from unconstitutional conditions at the state prison in Pittsburg, is still rumbling these days, this time for his life as well as his freedom."

- Mumia Abu-Jamal, Major: Battling On 2 Fronts, 9/17/17

This past year the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) acknowledged that Major Tillery has hepatitis C, which has progressed to cirrhosis of the liver. The DOC nonetheless refused to provide treatment, ignoring the federal court ruling in Abu-Jamal v. Wetzel that the DOC's hep-C protocols violate the constitutional requirement to provide prisoners adequate medical care. With the help of the Abolitionist Law Center, Major Tillery is now receiving the anti-viral treatment.

Tillery has been doubly punished in prison for his activism in support of fellow prisoners. His 1990 lawsuit, Tillery v. Owens resulted in federal court orders to the PA Department of Corrections to provide medical and mental health treatment and end double-celling. He challenged the extreme conditions of solitary confinement in the NJ State prison in Trenton, Tillery v. Hayman (2007). His advocacy for Mumia Abu-Jamal in February 2015 helped save Mumia's life. Major Tillery filed grievances for himself and other prisoners suffering from painful and debilitating skin rashes. For these acts of solitary with other prisoners, just months after he re-entered general population from a decade in solitary confinement, Tillery was set up with false prison misconduct charges and given four months back in "the hole." Major Tillery filed a federal retaliation lawsuit against the DOC. Recently, Major succeeded in getting a program for elderly prisoners established at SCI Frackville.

Major Tillery filed a pro se Pennsylvania state post-conviction petition in June 2016 to overturn his 1985 conviction. Just three months later Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker dismissed the petition without even allowing a hearing, stating that it was "untimely."

For his appeals and continuing investigation, Major Tillery now has the pro bono representation of Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Stephen Patrizio:

"I took on Major Tillery's defense, which exposes prosecutorial misconduct in convicting Major Tillery of a nine-year old murder based solely on the testimony of jailhouse informants. This testimony was recanted in the informants' sworn statements that detail the coercion and favors by homicide detectives and prosecutors to manufacture false trial testimony.

"Now the DA's office wants to uphold the unconstitutional application of 'timeliness' restrictions applied to post-conviction petitions to dismiss Major Tillery's petition, arguing he is too late in uncovering that the DA's office knowingly put a lying witness on the stand."

Major Tillery's appeal is to win his "day in court" on his petition based on his innocence and misconduct by the police and prosecution. At the same time, the investigation continues to further uncover the evidence of this misconduct.

Financial help is needed to cover the expenses of the appeal process and continuing investigation.



When they knock on your front door: Preparing for Repression


When they knock on your front door: Preparing for Repression


Mothers Message to the NY/NJ Activist Community 

In order to effectively combat the existing opportunism, hidden agendas and to better provide ALL genuinely good willed social justice organizations and individuals who work inside of the New York and New Jersey metropolitan areas... with more concrete guidelines; 

The following "10 Point Platform and Justice Wish List" was adopted on Saturday, May 13, 2017    during the "Motherhood: Standing Strong 4 Justice" pre-mothers day gathering which was held     at Hostos Community College - Bronx, New York.......

"What We Want, What We Need" 

May, 2017 - NY/NJ Parents 10 Point Justice Platform and Wish List 

Point #1 - Lawyers and Legal Assistance:  Due to both the overwhelming case loads and impersonal nature of most public defenders, the Mothers believe that their families are receiving limited options, inadequate legal advise and therefore; WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us in gaining access to experienced "pro-bono" and/or activist attorneys as well as the free resources provided by non-profit social justice and legal advocacy groups.


Point #2 - First Response Teams: The Mothers felt that when their loved ones were either killed or captured by the police that they were left in the hands of the enemy and without any support, information or direction on how to best move forward and therefore; WE WANT and NEED community activists to help us develop independently community controlled and; trained first response teams in every borough or county that can confirm and be on the ground within 24 hours of any future incident.


Point #3 - Security and Support At Court Appearances: The Mothers all feel that because community activist support eventually becomes selective and minimal, that they are disrespected by both the courthouse authorities, mainstream media and therefore;   WE WANT and NEED community activists to collectively promote and make a strong presence felt at all court appearances and; To always provide trained security and; legal observers... when the families are traveling to, inside and from the court house.


Point #4 - Emotional/Spiritual Healing and Grief and Loss Counseling: After the protest rallies, demonstrations, justice marches and television cameras are gone the Mothers all feel alone and abandoned and therefore;                                                                             WE WANT and NEED for community activists to refer/help provide the families with clergy, professional therapy and; cultural outlets needed in order to gain strength to move forward. 


Point #5 -  Parents Internal Communication Network: The Mothers agreed as actual victims, that they are the very best qualified in regards to providing the needed empathy and trust for an independent hotline & contact resource for all of the parents and families who want to reach out to someone they can mutually trust that is able understand what they are going through and therefore;           WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us in providing a Parents Internal Communication Network to reach that objective.


Point #6 -  Community Offices and Meeting Spaces: The Mothers agreed that there is an extreme need for safe office spaces where community members and family victims are able to go to for both confidential crisis intervention and holding organizing meetings and therefore;                                                                                                                                                                                                 WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us in securing those safe spaces inside of our own neighborhoods.   


Point #7 - Political Education Classes and Workshop Training: The Mothers agreed in implementing the "each one, teach one"   strategy and therefore;                                                                                                                                                                                         WE WANT and NEEDfor community activists to help us in being trained as educators and organizers in Know Your Rights, Cop Watch, First Response, Emergency Preparedness & Community Control over all areas of public safety and; the police in their respective neighborhoods.


Point #8 - Support From Politicians and Elected Officials: The Mothers believe that most political candidates and incumbent elected officials selectively & unfairly represent only those cases which they think to be politically advantageous to their own selfish personal success on election day and therefore;                                                                                                                                WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us in either publicly exposing or endorsing these aforementioned political candidates and/or elected officials to their constituents solely based upon the uncompromising principles of serving the people.


Point #9 - Research and Documentation: The Mothers believe that research/case studies, surveys, petitions, historical archives, investigative news reporting and events should be documented and made readily available in order to counter the self-serving  police misinformation promoted by the system and therefore;                                                                                                                          WE WANT and NEED for community activists to help us by securing college/university students, law firms, film makers, authors, journalists and professional research firms to find, document and; tell the people the truth about police terror and; the pipeline to prison.


Point #10 - Grassroots Community Outreach and Information: The Mothers believe that far too much attention is being geared towards TV camera sensationalism with the constant organizing of marches and; rallies "downtown"  and therefore; WE WANT and NEED for community activists to provide a fair balance by helping us to build in the schools, projects, churches and inside of the subway trains and stations of our Black, brown and oppressed communities where the majority of the police terror is actually taking place. 








1)  Parts of Puerto Rico Won't Have Power for 8 Months. What's the Holdup?

 DEC. 23, 2017




San Isidro, P.R., this week. Some areas of Puerto Rico will not have power for as long as eight months, the Army Corps of Engineers said. CreditMario Tama/Getty Image

Some mountainous areas of Puerto Rico are going to be without electricity for as long as eight months, the United States Army Corps of Engineers said this week. It has been three months since Hurricane Maria swept through the island, knocking down tens of thousands of power poles and turning off virtually everyone's lights. The amount of power being generated there is at about 65 percent of capacity — and it has been stuck around that level since late November.

We went to the Army Corps and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to find out why.

How long is it going to take to get the lights on?

Most of the island will have power by the end of February, said Gen. Diana M. Holland, commander of the South Atlantic Division of the Army Corps of Engineers. But the last stretch, the hard-to-reach rural areas, will not get power until the end of May, just in time for the 2018 hurricane season.

"Our power grid has never seen anything like this," said Justo González, the interim director of the power authority, known as Prepa.

The Army Corps said the areas that were expected to take the longest were the central towns of Lares, Utuado and Adjuntas — together home to about 80,000 people.

What's taking so long?

"The sheer amount of work," said José E. Sánchez, an engineer at the corps who leads the power restoration task force. "The first time I saw it, I thought: 'This is going to take a long time.'"

The damage to an already outdated and poorly maintained grid was comprehensive. Lines went down, poles snapped, towers fell and substations flooded. There are 30,000 miles of electrical line in Puerto Rico, and about 63 percent of it was affected.

To underscore the scope of the work: Almost 50,000 power poles need to be repaired or replaced. Add 500 towers to that. And the towers are so heavy that helicopters cannot carry them, so they have to be installed in stages. It can take up to 10 days just to finish one.

And some of the supplies, such as the 30,000 power poles that were ordered on Oct. 6 — 16 days after the storm — are beginning to arrive only now. Some 400 miles of cable are expected to reach the island in the next two weeks, Mr. González said.

Why is there a delay in sending supplies?

Many of the items simply take a long time to manufacture, ship and offload, General Holland explained.

"The thing that challenges every mission that we're doing here has been the logistics, the materials, just the physics of getting here," she said.

Puerto Rico has struggled to obtain enough transformers, electrical fittings and electrical insulators, according to Prepa — to the point that crews have been assigned to recycle existing materials while they wait for new ones to arrive. That means uninstalling equipment from one place, certifying that it works and installing it somewhere else, without taking power away from the first location to light up the second. That process is inefficient, according to Mr. González.

"We have crews," Mr. González said. "What we really need are materials."

How many people have power and how many don't?

Prepa would not venture a guess.

The apparatus that allows the agency to know which customers have power, known as the outage management system, has been giving readings that are so out of whack nobody trusts them to be true, Mr. Sánchez said. So the government instead has been reporting how much power is being generated.

That number has fluctuated around 65 percent for weeks now. But because critical areas like hospitals and water treatment plants that consume lots of power were energized first, this does not mean 65 percent of households have power.

The generation amount has stalled, Mr. González said, because people are using less power as temperatures cool down and businesses and schools close for the holidays.

On Friday, Mr. González said that 73 of the island's 78 municipalities have some sort of power, even if it comes from generators installed by the Army Corps of Engineers to create temporary power micro-grids. (Mr. Sánchez put the number of cities with electricity at about 55.)

The lights are mostly back on in Ponce. Culebra is running entirely on a generator the Army Corps installed at the local plant. The five municipalities that remain completely dark are Ciales and Morovis, in mountainous central Puerto Rico, and Maunabo, Naguabo and Yabucoa, in the southeast, where Hurricane Maria's eye made landfall. The Army Corps is planning to put generators there to light at least the town squares of those cities.

Who is responsible for restoring power and how much is this work costing?

Power restoration is a joint responsibility of Prepa and the Army Corps, Mr. González said. Prepa establishes priorities for which parts of the grid to tackle first. The Army Corps is charged with buying the materials.

Some 3,500 people — from Prepa, the Army Corps and private contractors — are working on restoration, with about 1,000 more expected to arrive in mid-January from mainland utilities that signed mutual-aid agreements with Puerto Rico, Mr. González said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has allocated $1.8 billion to the Army Corps.

Prepa has also spent about $75 million so far: About $40 million went to an Oklahoma company, Cobra, that Prepa hired to do repair work. More than $35 million went to Whitefish Energy Holdings, the Montana company Prepa hired as part of a widely criticized $300 million contract. FEMA has said it would not reimburse Puerto Rico for the Whitefish contract, but Mr. González said they were hoping the agency would reconsider.

How will the electricity be delivered?

Mr. González said his goal was to restore power by whatever means possible, even if it is with temporary generators or battery systems. Some homes were left in such bad shape that they might not be able to connect to the grid.

"What we want to do is bring electricity," he said, no matter what form it takes. "Power is power."



2)  A Teenager Said She Had Been Raped in Her Home Country. The U.S. Opposed Her Abortion.

 DEC. 22, 2017




Abortion-rights activists in October supporting a 17-year-old who was seeking an abortion while in immigration custody. Another 17-year-old in similar circumstances won a court decision this week.CreditJ. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

The 17-year-old migrant was pregnant. She said she had been raped in her home county, and she knew from the timing that she was carrying her attacker's child.

She wanted to terminate her pregnancy. But she was underage and undocumented, and, after she was caught crossing the border illegally, living in a government shelter.

The Trump administration official in charge of her care decided not to grant her access to an abortion — because, he said, abortion was itself a form of "violence."

A woman's desire to end a pregnancy springing from rape might be "understandable," wrote Scott Lloyd, the director of the federal agency that oversees the shelter, in his denial memo on Sunday. But, he wrote, it was not possible to "cure violence with further violence."

He went on: "We cannot be a place of refuge while we are at the same time a place of violence. We have to choose, and we ought to choose protect life rather than to destroy it."

It took a lawsuit, a federal court order and an unexpected reversal this week for Jane Poe, as the teenager is known in court papers, to secure access to an abortion. Yet Mr. Lloyd's memo, released by government lawyers in court on Thursday, spells out a fervently uncompromising opposition to abortion that all but guarantees further clashes at the charged intersection of abortion and immigration.

The agency Mr. Lloyd leads, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, announced in March that it would prohibit federally funded shelters from taking "any action that facilitates" an abortion for an unaccompanied minor without his approval. The Trump administration has said that there is "no constitutional right" for young women in the office's custody to obtain an abortion.

The director has personally gone to meet with pregnant teenagers in immigration custody to persuade them not to have abortions, drawing accusations from abortion rights advocates that he is forcing his beliefs onto the young women.

"This latest revelation exposes the Trump administration's extreme anti-abortion ideology: It seeks to force women to continue pregnancies against their will," said Brigitte Amiri, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who represented Jane Poe and two other teenagers who also won the rights to get abortions. "We will continue to fight to strike down this cruel and heartless policy."

On Friday, a spokesman for Mr. Lloyd's agency declined to comment on his views on abortion. In October, a spokesman told The Washington Post: "When there's a child in the program who is pregnant, he has been reaching out to her and trying to help as much as possible with life-affirming options."

"He by law has custody of these children," the spokesman continued, "and just like a foster parent, he knows that that's a lot of responsibility, and he is going to make choices that he thinks are best for both the mother and the child."

The Trump administration had originally opposed a federal judge's order on Monday to allow Jane's abortion. Then, for reasons it has not explained, it dropped its legal appeal, clearing Jane's path. (She still faces the possibility of deportation.)

Government lawyers had pushed to keep Mr. Lloyd's memo sealed in court, but agreed to release part of it on Thursday after the A.C.L.U. argued for its unsealing. The group has filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the agency's policy.

Though Jane's lawyers have disclosed almost no information about her out of concerns for her safety and privacy, Mr. Lloyd's memo sketches the outlines of her situation. She told shelter workers that she had been raped in her home country, and though she had a boyfriend with whom she had had sex, both she and federal officials came to believe, based on the timing of her assault, that her pregnancy resulted from the rape. She arrived at the border several weeks after the attack.

When the shelter confirmed that she was pregnant, she asked for an abortion, only to change her mind after she said her mother had threatened to beat her if she got one. A few days later, however, she decided that she wanted it, and later threatened to hurt herself if she did not receive it. She was nearly 22 weeks pregnant when Mr. Lloyd said no.

Mr. Lloyd's memo describes the abortion procedure, known as dilation and evacuation, that she would have to undergo at that stage of pregnancy as "one that even many abortionists find troublesome." He cites anecdotal evidence, "impossible to ignore," that abortions can be a "devastating trauma" for women, even as he concedes that "formal research on this matter appears to be sparse." An abortion would not only fail to erase her trauma, he wrote, but also might "further traumatize her."

Because many immigrants are sexually assaulted in their home countries or on the journey through Central America and Mexico to the southern border, cases like Jane's are likely to recur.

A Gallup poll this year showed that 18 percent of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal under any circumstance, a share that has not changed significantly for many years. Half of Americans said abortion should be legal in certain circumstances and 29 percent said it should always be legal, according to the poll.

The House recently passed a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, a measure the White House supports, but it contains an exception for cases of rape. It is unlikely to pass the Senate, where most Democrats and some Republicans generally oppose new laws restricting abortions.



3) Lorde cancels Tel Aviv show, calls it "the right decision"

Nora Barrows-Friedman Activism and BDS Beat 25 December 2017


Lorde has canceled her Tel Aviv gig. (Krists Luhaers/Flickr)

Chart-topping singer Lorde has called off her Tel Aviv show, just days after fans urged her to respect the international picket line.

According to Israeli news reports, concert organizers confirmed on Sunday that the show was canceled and tickets would be refunded.

"I've received an overwhelming number of messages and letters and have had a lot of discussions with people holding many views, and I think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show," Lorde said in a statement provided via Israeli promoters and posted on Twitter by a Jerusalem Post journalist.

The New Zealander added that she prides herself "on being an informed young citizen, and I had done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions before deciding to book a show in Tel Aviv, but I'm not too proud to admit I didn't make the right call on this one."

Lorde had yet to say anything on her own Twitter or Facebook accounts about the cancellation, though by Sunday afternoon, her Tel Aviv show had already been deleted from the tour schedule on her official website.

But just days before she canceled her Tel Aviv gig, Lorde acknowledged that she had read an open letter to her, posted in New Zealand's The Spinoff, which urged her to cancel her show and respect the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign due to Israel's rampant violations of Palestinian human rights and international law.

Thanking the authors of the letter on Wednesday, Lorde tweeted that said she was "considering all options," noting "I am learning all the time too."

Israel's culture minister Miri Regev belittled Lorde's motivations and the boycott campaign, imploring the pop star to be a "pure heroine" – referring to Lorde's first album – "free from any foreign – and ridiculous – political considerations."

Several years ago, Regev notoriously called African migrants in Israel "a cancer" and later apologized for likening them to human beings.

"Principled stance"

While Israeli politicians bristled at the news of Lorde's cancellation, fans and activists celebrated the news on Sunday.

PACBI, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, thanked Lorde for listening to her fans.

"Your unwavering commitment to progressive values inspires us and gives us hope," the campaign group tweeted.

The group Dayenu: New Zealand Jews Against the Occupation, which had campaigned for Lorde to cancel, called her decision to do so "a holiday miracle."

Israeli author and artist Yuval Ben-Ami told Newsweek that Lorde's decision to pull out of the Tel Aviv show "is paramount to the BDS movement's influence on a new generation of performers."

"Several other great artists have canceled, [but Lorde] appears to be the first of her generation, and that's meaningful," he added.

Ben-Ami suggested that in other countries where human rights violations are a concern, "similar movements to BDS" should spring forth. He called Lorde's move "the right choice" so long as "people here live without rights."

A spurned Israeli concert producer, however, dismissed Lorde's decision while slandering activists with the BDS movement. The producer, Eran Arieli, claimed the 21-year-old pop star canceled her show due to pressure by an "army of globalist anti-Semites weighing down on her head."

Conceding the strength of the cultural boycott campaign, Arieli said in a Facebook post that Lorde's decision "is not the first cancellation we've experienced and it won't be the last."

Lorde joins a growing number of high-profile artists and performers who have respected the international picket line and called off or declined shows in Israel.

They include Elvis Costello, the late Gil Scott-Heron, Lauryn Hill, Faithless, Marianah, U2, Bjork, Zakir Hussain, Jean-Luc Godard, Snoop Dogg, Cat Power and Vanessa Paradis.

Watch Lorde singing "Homemade Dynamite," a track from her new album Melodrama, below.



4)  To the Chicago Police, Any Black Kid Is in a Gang

 DEC. 25, 2017




Chicago police at the scene of a shooting on the South Side. CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

CHICAGO — On his first day of kindergarten, my son came home and told me that his classmates should be punished because all they did was run around and play instead of listen to the teacher. As he grew up, he played basketball at the Jewish Community Center, was a farmer in the musical "Oklahoma!" and celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at age 13. In the summer, he can be found at a grill, making hot dogs and hamburgers for kids in the neighborhood.

But my son is a teenager and he is black. So he must be in a gang. At least that's what a white woman wrote in the comment section of a newspaper article that mentioned him. And unfortunately, that's how Chicago police officers see my son and so many other children like him.

It doesn't matter that he's from a good home, with loving parents; all that matters to the white world is his complexion. They don't see him as my baby boy. They see him as a thug.

He and I constantly fear that one day the Chicago Police Department is going to put him in its gang database, which contains names of 130,000 people suspected of being gang members. If they put your name in it, they aren't required to notify you. And then if you get stopped by a police officer, there's a good chance you're going to end up in jail because it's so easy for the police to come up with a reason to arrest you. Being in the database can even make it hard to get jobs or professional licenses because employers might find out when they run background checks.

Chicago's gang database has become one of the few issues that community activists and a growing number of elected officials agree is flawed and needs to be reformed. It sweeps in young people who are "likely offenders." In reality, anyone can get on the list, and for reasons like dressing a certain way, having tattoos or just sitting on their porch at the wrong moment. It's depressing but unsurprising that more than 90 percent of people in the database are black or Latino, a majority of whom have never been arrested for a violent offense or for a drug or weapons charge.

How is it that the police get to decide who is or isn't in a gang? Trying to survive just being poor and living in a dangerous neighborhood is hard enough without an arbitrary system that marks you for punishment by virtue of your existence.

Even though Chicago is supposed to be a "sanctuary city," our police department shares its gang database with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This year, I.C.E. officers raided the home of Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez, an undocumented immigrant. They threw him on the ground, fracturing his shoulder, and arrested him. His name was in the database, but the police department admitted Mr. Catalan-Ramirez wasn't in a gang. The city settled his civil lawsuit this month.

To most of us this would be a nightmare, but in Chicago this is actually a good outcome. He could have been like so many other people who can't afford a decent lawyer and are left to navigate the legal system without much help.

The saddest part is that many of us feel defeated. A mother in my neighborhood told me that her son was arrested after his name was wrongly included in the database. She wasn't even angry, just resigned to the reality in which too many of us are living. She's poor. What is she going to do? Hire a lawyer to get her son's name out of a database? Or save her pennies to bail him out of jail when the inevitable occurs? An impossible choice because the police oppose bail for anyone in the gang database.

When violence and crime are the norm, it's no wonder that a shell-shocked and struggling community will give the police carte blanche to hunt down the "bad guys," civil rights be damned. If the police say they are "documented gang members," fine, just get them off our streets.

But what if not all of these children — yes, we're often talking about kids in their early teens — are engaging in criminal activity? If the police say that you're in a gang, you must be, right?

Chicago's police department has long trampled on the civil rights of innocent children. The truth is, no one wants to hear this when another one of their nephews, neighbors or children has been murdered. They just want someone to pay, and the Chicago Police Department has a ready-made database of potential candidates.

My city's police department also uses a practice called "trolling" to increase arrests. The department gives overtime bonuses to officers who make arrests after their shifts are over. To the outside world, this may look heroic: The police are going above and beyond the call of duty by putting in extra hours to fight crime. In reality, however, it's just another way to incarcerate more people while lining the pockets of the arresting officers. Our tax dollars at work.

For so long the problems in our neighborhoods have been allowed to fester. The people get poorer and violence increases. Desperate for safety and peace, we allow terrible practices like the gang database to continue. But there is a human cost to these policies, and I don't want my son, or anyone else's, to suffer. Racial profiling has never and will never keep Chicago safe. Real investments in our communities will.



5)  Incomes Grew After Past Tax Cuts, but Guess Whose

By Eduardo Porter, December 26, 2017


President Ronald Reagan signing a tax cut into law in 1981. The average income for the bottom half of the population fell during his two terms. CreditCharles Tasnadi/Associated Press

Home for the holidays after passing the eighth-largest tax cut in United States history, Republicans could be forgiven for reveling in the warm embrace of nostalgia.

Who among them won't raise a glass to Ronald Reagan, a welcome ghost of administrations past, the revered Republican president whose first State of the Union address promised the biggest tax cut ever to "expand our national prosperity, enlarge national incomes and increase opportunities for all Americans"?

Speaker Paul D. Ryan might chuckle fondly at Reagan's tale of woe from a worker in the Midwest — a precursor to Mr. Ryan's "Cindy"— who made the everyman's case for a tax cut by complaining, "I'm bringing home more dollars than I ever believed I could possibly earn, but I seem to be getting worse off."

For all the backslapping over a job well done, however, Republicans are proving notably more reluctant to acknowledge the true impact of the tax changes that Reagan wrought.

That's because Reagan's cuts didn't quite work as advertised.

Gross domestic product grew quickly during his two terms, averaging about 3.5 percent a year, pretty decent compared with the current measly pace. For one in two Americans, though — those in the bottom half of the income pile — income actually shrank on Reagan's watch. In 1980, the year he was elected, they earned $16,371 a year on average, in today's dollars, according to the World Wealth and Income Database. By 1988, Reagan's last year in office, they had to make do with $16,268.

Reagan promised to "continue to fulfill the obligations that spring from our national conscience," to help those who legitimately could not help themselves. But even throwing in the impact of taxes and transfers from all government programs, Americans on the bottom half of the income scale did not fare much better. By 1988, they were taking in $21,614, on average, $8 more than in 1980, after inflation.

The sliver of America that did get ahead was, you guessed it, the one at the tippy top: the richest Americans, those in the highest 1 percent of the income distribution. Their earnings grew by about 6 percent a year.

Whatever gains that Republican tax cuts have bestowed on the economy in the years since Reagan promised voters a city on a hill, they have all shared the same distributional peculiarities. President George W. Bush passed two rounds of tax cuts, in 2001 and 2003, arguing that the United States had a budget surplus "because taxes are too high and government is charging more than it needs."

To make his case, in 2001 Mr. Bush deployed the Ramos family of Pennsylvania, which he said would save $2,000 from his first round of cuts. "If we had the money," Steven Ramos, a school administrator, told somebody on the president's staff, "it would help us reach our goal of paying off our personal debt in two years' time."

And yet, during Mr. Bush's two terms, the average income of the bottom half of Americans slid from $17,827 to $17,473, accounting for inflation. After factoring in taxes and transfers, that sum did increase — 3.5 percent, or about 0.4 percent a year.

The bottom half of Americans fared better under President Bill Clinton, who actually raised taxes. On average, their incomes rose by a fifth over his two terms, after taxes and transfers, a gain of over 2 percent per year, after accounting for inflation. Their lot also improved during President Barack Obama's administration, census data shows. (The series from the World Wealth and Income Database ends in 2014.)

Over a 34-year stretch starting in 1980, a period during which the nation's top income tax rate plunged from 70 percent to as low as 28 percent, settling at just under 40 percent today, the grand Republican promise of faster growth has proved to be, if not necessarily false, at least irrelevant for the very segment of the electorate for which it was directed.

In 2014, the economy was 2.5 times larger than it was in 1980, but the bottom half of the population made only 21 percent more, on average, even after including government benefits. America's middle — families earning more than the bottom 30 percent but less than the top 30 percent — gained only 50 percent in those 34 years. By contrast, the after-tax incomes of Americans in the top 1 percent — families like President Trump's or Senator Bob Corker's — tripled.

That is less surprising when one realizes that for all the stories about harried workers in the Midwest shouldering an unbearable tax burden, tax relief since Reagan's fateful State of the Union speech has mostly been aimed at benefiting the well-to-do: The average tax rate for Americans in the bottom half of the income pile was higher in 2014 than it was in 1980. The rate at the top declined.

After multiple repetitions, the Republican promise that the road to paradise is paved with tax cuts may have finally lost its power. Only about a third of voters seem to support the current Republican strategy — a much smaller proportion than the one that favored the tax cuts passed in 1981, under Reagan, and 2001, under Mr. Bush.

Still, Republicans are having a hard time letting go of Reagan's message. Mr. Trump's Council of Economic Advisers claimed that the corporate tax cuts proposed by the president would give households in the middle of the income scale a boost of $3,000 to $7,000 a year.

Mr. Ryan offered a single mother named Cindy, an assistant manager at a local restaurant who was created by Republican staff members of the House Ways and Means Committee. She makes $30,000 a year, according to Mr. Ryan, and will be mighty pleased with the extra $700 a year she will get from the Republican tax cuts.

The question now is whether the actual harried working-class voters who helped deliver Mr. Trump to office buy the story. The president they voted into power did not campaign on a platform of tax cuts for the rich. His latter-day embrace of Reagan's tax-cutting agenda might strike them as a betrayal. It has been going on for a very long time.



6) Sessions Says to Courts: Go Ahead, Jail People Because They're Poor

 DEC. 28, 2017




Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week abandoned the Justice Department's effort to end debtors' prisons. CreditAl Drago for The New York Times


Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions retracted an Obama-era guidance to state courts that was meant to end debtors' prisons, where people who are too poor to pay fines are sent. This practice is blatantly unconstitutional, and the guidance had helped jump-start reform around the country. Its withdrawal is the latest sign that the federal government is retreating from protecting civil rights for the most vulnerable among us.

The Justice Department helped shine a light on the harms of fine and fees when it investigated Ferguson, Mo., three years ago after the killing of the teenager Michael Brown by a police officer. As one of the lawyers on that case, I saw firsthand the damage that the city had wrought on its black community.

Ferguson used its criminal justice system as a for-profit enterprise, extracting millions from its poorest citizens. Internal emails revealed the head of finance directing policing strategy to maximize revenue rather than ensure public safety. Officers told us they were pressured to issue as many tickets as possible.

Even the local judge was in on it, imposing penalties of $302 for jaywalking and $531 for allowing weeds to grow in one's yard. He issued arrest warrants for residents who fell behind on payments — including a 67-year-old woman who had been fined for a trash-removal violation — without inquiring whether they even had the ability to pay the exorbitant amounts. The arrests resulted in new charges, more fees and the suspension of driver's licenses. These burdens fell disproportionately on African-Americans.

At the time of our investigation, over 16,000 people had outstanding arrest warrants from Ferguson, a city of 21,000. Untold numbers found themselves perpetually in debt to the city and periodically confined to its jail.

These problems were not unique to Ferguson. A Georgia woman served eight months in custody past her sentence because she couldn't pay a $705 fine. A veteran battling homelessness in Michigan lost his job when a judge jailed him for bringing only $25 rather than the required $50 first payment to court. A judge in Alabama told people too poor to pay that they could either give blood or go to jail.

In 2015, the Justice Department convened judges, legislators, advocates and affected people to discuss this problem and devise solutions. Participants repeatedly asked the Justice Department to clarify the legal rules that govern the enforcement of financial penalties and to support widespread reform.

And so we did. Relying on Supreme Court precedent from over 30 years ago, the 2016 guidance set out basic constitutional requirements: Do not imprison a person for nonpayment without first asking whether he or she can pay. Consider alternatives like community service. Do not condition access to a court hearing on payment of all outstanding debt.

The Justice Department also provided financial resources to the field. It invested in the efforts of a national task force of judges and court administrators to develop best practices. And it created a $3 million grant program to support innovative, homegrown reforms in five states.

Along with private litigation and advocacy, these efforts have helped drive change around the country. Missouri limited the percent of city revenue that can come from fines and fees and announced court rules to guard against unlawful incarceration. California abolished fees for juveniles and stopped suspending the driver's licenses of people with court debt. Louisiana passed a law requiring that judges consider a person's financial circumstances before imposing fines and fees. Texas, where the court system's administrative director said the guidance "was very helpful and very well received by the judges across the state," issued new rules to prevent people from being jailed for their poverty. The American Bar Association endorsed the Justice Department's guidance, and the Conference of State Court Administrators cited it in a policy paper on ending debtors' prisons.

To justify reversing guidance that has had so much positive impact, Mr. Sessions asserts that such documents circumvent the executive branch's rule-making process and impose novel legal obligations by fiat. Nonsense. The fines and fees guidance created no new legal rules. It discussed existing law and cited model approaches from local jurisdictions. The document also put state-level actors on notice that the department would take action to protect individual rights, whether by partnership or litigation.

Viewed in that light, the true intent of Mr. Sessions's decision comes into focus. Sessions pulled 25 guidance documents last week. Sixteen of those involved civil rights protections — including 10 related to the Americans With Disabilities Act and one on the special harms that unlawful fine and fee practices can have for young people. Withdrawing these documents is consistent with the Trump administration's hostility to civil rights in a host of other areas: abandoning oversight of police departments, reinterpreting anti-discrimination statutes to deny protection to L.G.B.T. individuals and switching sides in key voting rights cases.

The push to abolish debtors' prisons will continue, as community advocates and local officials press on. It would be preferable, of course, for the federal government to fulfill its role as a leading protector of basic constitutional rights. Unfortunately, Mr. Sessions has made clear that under his leadership it will not.



7)  Airstrikes in Yemen Kill 68 Civilians in a Single Day

 DEC. 28, 2017




A funeral in Sana, Yemen, on Tuesday for people killed in airstrikes. The civilian death toll over the past two weeks is at least 109. CreditYahya Arhab/European Pressphoto Agency

CAIRO — Airstrikes on a market and a farm in Yemen killed at least 68 civilians in a single day, including eight children, the United Nations said on Thursday.

The two attacks occurred on Tuesday, making it one of the bloodiest days for civilians so far in Yemen's civil war. At least 109 civilians have been killed nationwide over the past two weeks, in a conflict that has intensified since the death of the country's former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, this month.

Local Yemeni officials blamed the Saudi-led coalition for the airstrikes.

More than three years of fighting have turned Yemen, which was already the poorest Arab country, into the world's largest humanitarian crisis.

On one side are the Houthis, Shiite rebels aligned with Iran who took over the capital, Sana, in September 2014 and forced the internationally recognized government into exile. Those on the other side include an Arab coalition led by the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has waged a devastating air campaign since March 2015 to restore the government. So far, the conflict has only cemented a political deadlock.

One of the airstrikes on Tuesday hit a busy marketplace in Attazziah, a district in the southwestern province of Taizz. That attack, the United Nations said, killed 54 civilians, including the eight children, and wounded 32 more.

The market was used to sell vegetables and khat, the narcotic leaves widely consumed in Yemen and the Horn of Africa. It was hit during its busiest time, around 8 a.m., said Tawfeeq Al Sufi, a relative of one of the victims.

Mr. Sufi said that shrapnel struck his cousin in the abdomen. "Right before he bled out," he said, " he gave someone his cellphone and said, 'Call my family and tell them I died.' " The man had a wife and four children, Mr. Sufi said.

The other attack struck a farm in Al Hudaydah, a province further west, and killed 14 members of one family. The Saudis believe Iran is smuggling weapons to the rebels through Hudaydah — a claim that remains largely unsubstantiated.

"These incidents prove the complete disregard for human life that all parties, including the Saudi-led coalition, continue to show in this absurd war," Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations aid coordinator in Yemen, said in a written statement, adding that he was "deeply disturbed" by these attacks.

"There can only be a political solution," he said, urging both sides in the war to abandon their "futile military campaign."

Mr. McGoldrick's statement did not confirm the Yemeni account that the airstrikes had been carried out by the Saudi-led coalition, but it did remind all sides, including the coalition, to "always distinguish between civilian and military objects."

The market was not near any permanent rebel military installations, but it was close to the site of recent clashes between Houthis and pro-government forces. It remains unclear whether the farm was near any military targets. The United Nations and international aid groups have accused the Saudi-led coalition of repeatedly attacking civil gatherings and residential areas.

Saudi officials vehemently deny this, and the United States supports their campaign in Yemen.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday.

The civil war in Yemen has killed an estimated 10,000 people and displaced at least three million. Much of the country's infrastructure and health system has been destroyed by coalition airstrikes and rebel shelling.

Yemenis suffer from dire shortages of electricity, food and medicine. The collapse has led to the world's worst contemporary outbreak of cholera, which has killed over 2,200 and affected about a million people since April.

The death of Mr. Saleh — who became a strong ally of the Houthis, but was killed after publicly breaking with them — has further exacerbated the humanitarian crisis, local and United Nations officials said.

The Saudi-led coalition has attempted to capitalize on his death by increasing its airstrikes to roughly 120 a day nationwide from about 80. The Houthis, meanwhile, have responded with a crackdown in the areas they control, arresting hundreds for real or imagined ties to Mr. Saleh, blocking the entry of humanitarian aid and shutting off access to the internet.



8)  Erica Garner, Activist and Daughter of Eric Garner, Dies at 27

DEC. 30, 2017




Erica Garner in 2016. She rose to prominence as an activist after the death of her father, Eric Garner, became a flashpoint in the national debate over police brutality. CreditEvan Vucci/Associated Press 

Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner who became an outspoken activist against police brutality after her father's death at the hands of a New York police officer, died on Saturday, according to her mother. She was 27.

Ms. Garner had been placed in a medically induced coma last week after an asthma episode precipitated a major heart attack. She was being treated at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in Brooklyn, and died there. No official cause of death has been given.

"The only thing I can say is that she was a warrior," Ms. Garner's mother, Esaw Snipes, said on Saturday. "She fought the good fight. This is just the first fight in 27 years she lost."

Ms. Garner became a central figure in the charged conversation about race and the use of force by the police after a New York Police Department officer placed her father into an unauthorized chokehold on Staten Island in 2014 while responding to complaints he was selling untaxed cigarettes.

As Mr. Garner, who also suffered from asthma, was being choked by the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, he repeated the words "I can't breathe" 11 times — a phrase that became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement and other activists.

An autopsy by the city's medical examiner ruled Mr. Garner's death a homicide. No charges were brought against Officer Pantaleo.

Ms. Garner was initially apprehensive about becoming a face of the movement for police accountability, according to her website. But she became outspoken, organizing a "die-in" on the same corner where her father was placed in the chokehold, and accusing Mayor Bill de Blasio of not caring about African-Americans.

In a tweet on Saturday, Mr. de Blasio praised Ms. Garner's "unshakable sense of justice and passion for humanity."

In an interview this monthwith Benjamin Dixon, the host of a progressive podcast and YouTube show, Ms. Garner described the frustrations and physical toll of her activism.

"I'm struggling right now with the stress and everything," she said. "This thing, it beats you down. The system beats you down to where you can't win."

Ms. Garner had an 8-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son, whom she named after her father.

DeRay Mckesson, a national voice for the Black Lives Matter movement, said in an interview on Saturday that Ms. Garner had inspired other activists.

"Erica took the truth with her everywhere she went, even if that truth made people uncomfortable," he said, recalling her willingness to confront President Barack Obama and demand that he take a stand against racially charged policing tactics.

Civil rights activists and celebrities flooded social media with tributes to Ms. Garner.

Even as Ms. Garner pressed politicians and law enforcement officials to hold the police accountable for her father's death, she was emphatic that her personal tragedy was also a public one.

"Even with my own heartbreak, when I demand justice, it's never just for Eric Garner," she wrote in The Washington Post in 2016. "It's for my daughter; it's for the next generation of African-Americans."

In addition to her children and mother, she is also survived by two sisters, two brothers and her grandmother, Ms. Snipes said.












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