On January 20, 2018, Women's March San Francisco will unite along with multiple other cities in California (and other states) to reaffirm our commitment to building a positive and just future for all, and to celebrate the spirit of resistance efforts over the past year. Rally at 12 PM- Civic Center and March at 2 PM

This rally is designed to engage and empower all people to support women's rights, human rights, civil rights, disability rights, LGBTQIA rights, workers rights, immigrant rights, reproductive, social and environmental justice. Our feminism must be intersectional and we must continue to organize as such. We want to encourage participation in 2018 midterm elections #HearOurVote 

Saturday, January 20th at 11:30 AM. 
Rally starts at 12PM at Civic Center Plaza and March at 2 PM down Market Street to the Embarcadero (1.7 miles )

With a focus on the importance of elections, "Hear Our Vote" is the theme for Women's March California in 2018, and centers on five levels of action:

  • Voter Registration
  • Voter Turnout
  • Organize Localy
  • Increasing women in office (especially women of color)
  • Electing progressive women and allies

Only 54 percent of women in California are registered to vote, which is in the bottom third of U.S. states) and of that group only 45 percent turned out to vote in the 2016 election.

The January 20, 2018 march in San Francisco will be one part of many worldwide weekend events honoring the movement that brought out 5 million marchers on January 21, 2017, in what is considered the largest single-day demonstration in U.S. history.

UNITY PRINCIPLES: http://womensmarchca.com/unity/ 

WHAT ARE THE LOGISTICS FOR THE DAY? https://womensmarchbayarea.org/logistics-san-francisco/

Yes. We are making every effort to ensure accessibility. We will have an accessibility area in front of the stage and ASL interpreters on the stage.

Water, snacks, sunscreen, and if it is raining, please consider bringing a poncho instead of an umbrella. Dress comfortable and in layers, check the weather!
Bring posters and signs preferably with no wooden or metal sign posts.

Everyone who believes in a positive and just future. Who stand together for human rights, civil liberties and social justice for all.
Yes. We encourage everyone who shares the same values to attend. 


Donate: https://womensmarchbayarea.org/donate 

Purchase official merchandising: https://www.zazzle.com/womensmarchbayarea

RSVP & Share: https://www.facebook.com/events/1942264432450715/

HOW TO GET CONNECTED AND GET INFORMED: The Women's March Bay Area (SF & SJ) is committed to creating transformative intersectional social change. We recognize that there is no true peace, freedom, or inclusion without equity for all. To find out more about visit www.womensmarchbayarea.org

Have questions about Women's March 2018 - San Francisco #HearOurVote? Contact Women's March Bay Area- San Francisco



ICE Serves Deportation Notice on Undocumented Leader for Organizing Detained Immigrants


The recent deportation notice filed against Washington-based immigrant rights activist and mother, Maru Mora-Villalpando, is a clear sign that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is turning into Trump's secret police and silencing immigrants who fight back.

Press Conference Tuesday, January 16 at 9 a.m. at 1000 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA -- The Seattle office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has served a "Notice to Appear," otherwise known as a deportation notice, to Washington-based community activist and mother, Maru Mora-Villalpando. On Tuesday morning, Mora Villalpando and her supporters will announce the launch of efforts to fight her deportation and bring to light ICE's threatening actions.

Mora-Villalpando, who has been called a "modern-day freedom fighter," leads Northwest Detention Center Resistance (NWDCR), an organization that was co-founded when immigrants held at the Northwest Detention Center began a series of hunger strikes in 2014 protesting their inhumane treatment. Since then, Mora-Villalpando has continued to support and amplify the organizing efforts against ICE and the GEO Group (the private contractor that operates the ICE facility, the West Coast's largest) from within the Northwest Detention Center. Buoyed by the support efforts of Mora-Villalpando and the NWDCR, people detained continue their struggle to be heard and demand justice, with  nine hunger strikes at the NWDC between April and November of last year alone.

Government officials have been forced to take notice; two of Washington State's congress people have introduced federal legislation to reform detention, and Washington State's attorney general has sued the GEO Group, the private prison corporation that owns and runs the Northwest Detention Center alongside ICE, citing the hunger strikes as inspiration. Mora-Villalpando's efforts have transformed the NWDC from an ignored facility in an out-of-the-way location to a key site of local resistance, with weekly rallies and vigils outside its gates.

Now, in an unprecedented and arbitrary act of retaliation ICE has chosen to target Mora-Villalpando directly, serving her suddenly with deportation papers. Immigrant rights organizers point to the targeting of Mora-Villalpando as a sign that ICE has gone beyond seeking to enforce the immigration laws. ICE is now purposely targeting people such as Mora-Villalpando who are organizing against the agency and the Trump administration's racially-motivated deportation agenda.  "ICE only knows about me because of my political work," explains Mora-Villalpando. "I have spoken out to defend immigrants in detention and shared my story as an undocumented mother. I have sat in meetings with immigration officials and challenged their practices. They are an agency whose actions have already been devastating to my community. But with the letter they delivered to my house, they are showing themselves to be an agency that silences any opposition to their practices," she concluded.

This is not the first time the Seattle ICE Field Office targets immigrants who speak out. Just this past December the Seattle Times reported that one of their interviewees, Baltazar Aburto Gutierrez, was detained by ICE agents who cited his recent appearance in that newspaper. Other activists across the country have also been targeted by the federal agency, including Ravi Ragbir and Jean Montrevil, two leaders in New York's immigrant rights advocacy community.  

Tuesday's press conference will also announce the filing of a series of Freedom of Information Act requests by the University of Washington's Center for Human Rights to reveal the extent of the collaboration between the Washington State Department of Licensing and ICE, which may have led to ICE obtaining Mora-Villalpando's home address and other personal information.

"We will not allow ICE to deport Maru. Not only because we value her, but because we cannot allow a government agency that is already cruel and damaging to our communities to also silence our stories and deter our organizing," explained Tania Unzueta, Mijente Policy Director, and one of the first undocumented organizers to start the "coming out of the shadows" strategy that undocumented youth became known for in 2010. "It is clear that Maru's deportation notice is part of a Trump agenda that punishes people who oppose it. We are marking the moment in time when ICE agents are becoming Trump's police force and targeting voices that counter their agenda," she concluded.

Mora-Villalpando has lived in the U.S. for over 25 years. She lives with her daughter, Josefina, who is a U.S. citizen, near Seattle, Washington. In addition to working with NWDC Resistance she is a founding member of the national Latinx organization, Mijente.


NWDC Resistance is a volunteer community group that emerged to fight deportations in 2014 at the now-infamous Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. NWDC Resistance supports people detained who organized hunger strikes asking for a halt to all deportations and better treatment and conditions.

Mijente is a digital and grassroots hub for Latinx and Chicanx movement building and organizing that seeks to increase the profile of policy issues that matter to our communities and increase the participation of Latinx and Chicanx people in the broader movements for racial, economic, climate and gender justice.


Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/

Questions and comments may be sent to claude@freedomarchives.org










Please make 3 phone calls to demand

health care for Mumia

If you're sick, you can go to a doctor or an emergency room to be examined and treated, in a hospital if necessary. If you're being held behind bars, getting sick can be a death sentence. Profits come before prisoner care for the Dept. of Correction's medical contractors.

SCI Mahanoy political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal needs your help in getting treatment for a severe skin disease so bad he told his wife Wadiya he "can't take it any more." For more than 2 years, he 

has suffered from intense itching all over his body.

The treatment for hepatitis C which we fought for and won has not cleared up his skin conditions.He is also concerned about his cirrhosis of the liver and neuropathy. People suspect tainted water may be causing problems for many prisoners.

Mumia and recent visitors report he can't sleep because the itching is so overpowering and relentless. His condition is worsening: his back, chest and arms have become rough and leathery, alligator-like. There appear to be hairline cracks in his skin that show bleeding.

Instead of a hands-on exam by an expert dermatologist, the DOC's doctor had a teleconference with Mumia, after which Ultra Violet (UVB) treatment and Dupixent were recommended.

Mumia stopped unsupervised, self-administered UVB treatment last year because his skin got burned.  Mumia's UVB treatment should be safely administered at a hospital with a Narrow Band UVB, reducing the risk of burns and is more effective than Broad Band UVB.

Mumia needs a full diagnostic work-up before he receives a new medicine like Dupixent, which can have serious side effects if administered incorrectly outside of a hospital setting.

Mumia has been unjustly imprisoned for 36 years. The DOC's continuing failure to effectively diagnose and treat this severe skin disease is nothing less than torture and is one more reason Mumia should be released from prison, now.

1.  Please call:

  •  SCI Mahanoy Superintendent Theresa DelBalso: 570-773-2158
  •  PA Secretary of Corrections John E. Wetzel:
  • PA Dept of Health Acting Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine: 717-787-9857

Demand that Mumia be taken to an independent medical facility such as Geisinger Hospital, as in 2015, which has the expertise to provide thorough hands-on diagnostic evaluation and offer supervised patient care.

2. Pack the court on Jan 17 in Philadelphia to support his legal case eventually lead to Mumia's freedom. 

International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal  International Action Center,
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (NYC),
Campaign to Bring Mumia Home
Educators for Mumia

__________________________This message was sent to info@socialistviewpoint.org



International Letter in Support of Mumia Abu-Jamal


December 9, 2017
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner From:
Concerned Members of International Community


We, the undersigned individual and organizational members of the international community concerned with issues of human rights, call your attention to an egregious example of human rights violations in your respective jurisdictions: the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Specifically, we call on you both, key officials with the power to determine Abu-Jamal's fate, to:

  1. Assure that all the District Attorney and police files relevant to Abu-Jamal's case, be released publicly as the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is reviewing the potential involvement of retired Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille in a conflict of interest when he reviewed Abu Jamal's case as a PA Supreme Court Justice.
  2. Release Abu-Jamal now from his incarceration. That given the mounds of evidence of Abu-Jamal's innocence and even more evidence of police, prosecutorial, and judicial misconduct, his unjust incarceration, including almost 30 years on death row, his twice near-executions, his prison-induced illness which brought him to the brink of death, and the lack of timely treatment for his hepatitis-C which has left him with a condition, cirrhosis of the liver, which poses a potential threat to his life ... we call for the freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal now.

Now, Abu-Jamal has a new legal challenge in the Pennsylvania courts on the grounds that PA Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille had a conflict of interest when he denied Abu-Jamal's appeals from 1998-2014. The new action is based on a precedent setting U.S. Supreme Court decision, Williams v. Pennsylvania, that a judge who had been personally involved in a critical prosecutorial decision violates the defendant's right to an impartial judicial review if he then gets to rule on the case as a State Supreme Court Justice. Castille was the Philadelphia elected District Attorney during Abu-Jamal's first appeal process, after his conviction and death sentence, from 1986-1991. He was a PA Supreme Court Justice from 1994 to 2014, during which time Abu-Jamal's case came before him multiple times.

We demand: Public disclosure of the police and DA files! Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Now!!

To sign onto this letter please email infomumia@gmail.com with the subject line "International Letter for Mumia." Submit your full name as you want it listed and your organizational or professional identification.This identification is critical in a letter of this sort, as names alone carry little leverage.

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frantzfanonfoundation@amail.com - 58. rue Daquerre, 75014 Paris. +336 86 78 39 20. frantzfanonfoundation-fondationfrantzfanon.com 




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.




We need a word

a secular word

to express the unknowability

            of what lies before us

The Muslims have Inshallah

I will pick up the laundry today


I will not die in sorrow and loneliness


We will not be killed by American drones


Behold . . . Inshullor

            a newborn word

            a perfect acronym

If Nothing

            Should Happen


                                    Like Love

                                                Or Revolution

I will pick up the laundry today


I will die in sorrow and loneliness


The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer


Cliofort Conchobair*

2018, day one

*Cliff Conner's Irish alter ego



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


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Mary Ratcliff

SF Bay View

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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:

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?




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!



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, , 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)  Activists and ICE Face Off Over Detained Immigrant Leader

 JAN. 12, 2018




The Rev. Juan Carlos Ruiz, of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC, hugs Amy Gottlieb, whose husband, Ravi Ragbir, an immigrant rights activist, was detained by ICE pending deportation.CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

An escalating legal battle played out on Friday in the case of Ravi Ragbir, an immigrant rights activist whose detention on Thursday by federal immigration authorities sparked protests that led to the arrest of 18 people, including members of the New York City Council.

Mr. Ragbir, 53, the executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, had shown up for a check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Thursday morning, at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building in Lower Manhattan. When officials told him that he was going to be detained and deported, Mr. Ragbir fainted, his wife, Amy Gottlieb, said.

That is when events turned chaotic.

His lawyer from New York University Immigrant Rights Clinic, Alina Das, said that as he was regaining consciousness she argued that she was still pursuing legal remedies for Mr. Ragbir. She said that Scott Mechkowski, the assistant field office director for ICE, dismissed her arguments and had officers handcuff Mr. Ragbir.

Ravi Ragbir, an immigrant rights leader, handcuffed in an ambulance on Thursday. He was later flown to Miami and placed in an immigration detention center pending deportation.CreditAmy Gottlieb

An ambulance called for Mr. Ragbir was met with angry protesters as it left the federal building. The protest extended onto Broadway and toward City Hall and council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane D. Williams were among the 18 arrested.

Ms. Gottlieb rode to Lower Manhattan Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian in the ambulance with Mr. Ragbir, she said. There, Ms. Gottlieb said, she was told to get out of the ambulance, which then left with Mr. Ragbir inside. Ms. Gottlieb learned later that it had taken him to a hospital devoid of protesters, Bellevue Hospital Center, for evaluation. From there, the New York Police Department provided an escort for federal immigration vehicles to the Holland Tunnel; unbeknown to his wife, lawyer and supporters, Mr. Ragbir was soon on a plane to Miami, where he was placed in a federal detention center.

Late Thursday night, in response to a lawsuit brought by Mr. Ragbir's lawyers, a Federal District Court judge in Manhattan granted him a temporary stay of removal and a hearing on Jan. 29 to determine whether the agents were right to detain him.

The judge, Katherine B. Forrest, ordered Mr. Ragbir to be detained in the New York area so that he could be near his lawyer and family. On Friday, the government contested the order. A hearing that will deal with whether he can be brought back from Miami will be held in the District Court of the Southern District of New York on Tuesday.

Mr. Ragbir became an immigrant rights activist because of his own case. He came to the United States in 1991 from Trinidad and Tobago. He had been a lawful permanent resident when he was convicted of wire fraud in 2000. After he served his sentence, Mr. Ragbir was ordered deported in 2006 and detained by immigration officials.

In 2011, the New York field office of ICE granted him a stay of removal. Last April, he was granted an extension of that stay, but only until Jan. 19, eight days after his check-in.

Mr. Ragbir was not the only high-profile immigrant rights leader arrested in a one-week span. On Thursday night, immigration authorities detained Eliseo Jurado, the husband of Ingrid Latorre, who is fighting deportation as she takes sanctuary in a Colorado church.

Last week, a co-founder of New Sanctuary in New York was detained; Jean Montrevil, a native of Haiti, was picked up near his home in Far Rockaway, Queens, two weeks before a scheduled check-in.

"It seems really clear to us that this is an escalation of retaliation, not just against individual rights leaders, but against the right of the movement to exist," said Mary Small, the policy director for Detention Watch Network, an immigrant rights group.

Rachael Yong Yow, a spokeswoman for the New York field office of ICE, said in a statement on Thursday that in the last 12 years Mr. Ragbir's immigration case has undergone extensive judicial review at multiple levels.

"In each review, the courts have uniformly held that Mr. Ragbir does not have a legal basis to remain in the U.S.," she said. "He has since exhausted his petitions and appeals through the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the U.S. District Court. He will remain in custody pending removal to Trinidad."

Ms. Gottlieb said she understood the legal disagreements over the case, but questioned the government's lack of transparency in its operations.

"Basic human decency requires that his wife and lawyers know where he is, so that we don't live in a country where people are whisked away to secret facilities," Ms. Gottlieb said.

Ms. Yong Yow declined to comment on the pending hearing.



2) Philippines Shuts Down News Site Critical of Rodrigo Duterte

 JAN. 15, 2018




The Philippine news website Rappler on Monday. A regulator ruled that it had breached ownership rules, a decision the site called "pure and simple harassment."CreditTed Aljibe/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

MANILA — The Philippines ordered the closing on Monday of an independent online news site that has been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration, prompting protests from industry groups who called the move an attack on press freedom.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippines said the news site, Rappler, had violated a constitutional rule that restricts ownership of media entities to Filipinos.

The commission said that Rappler had employed a "deceptive scheme to circumvent" the rules, an allegation that the online publication denied and vowed to fight in court.

In a note to its readers, Rappler said that it had been warned last month that a ruling was being prepared but added that it had been confident the regulator would decide in its favor.

"The S.E.C.'s kill order revoking Rappler's license to operate is the first of its kind in history — both for the commission and for Philippine media," the note said.

"What this means for you, and for us, is that the commission is ordering us to close shop, to cease telling you stories, to stop speaking truth to power, and to let go of everything that we have built — and created — with you since 2012," it added.

The Philippines has one of the region's most freewheeling news industries. More than 30 newspapers have sprung up across the country since democracy was restored 32 years ago.

Rappler said that it had been consistently transparent and that it had told corporate regulators about its company structure when it started operating in 2012.

"Transparency, we believe, is the best proof of good faith and good conduct," said Rappler, which has won local and international awards for its reporting of impunity in Mr. Duterte's deadly war on drugs.

"This is pure and simple harassment, the seeming coup de grâce to the relentless and malicious attacks against us since 2016," Rappler said.

The president's office sought to distance itself from the order, saying it was the commission's job to determine corporate legality.

"We respect the S.E.C. decision that Rappler contravenes the strict requirements of the law that the ownership and management of mass media entities must be wholly owned by Filipinos," a presidential spokesman, Harry Roque, said.

The Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, formed in the 1970s to work for press freedom at the height of former President Ferdinand Marcos's regime, expressed "deep regret" over the move.

"The decision, which is tantamount to killing the online news site, sends a chilling effect to media organizations in the country," the group said.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines also denounced the government, calling the move a vendetta by Mr. Duterte and urging media workers in the country to protest.

Francis Pangilinan, leader of the opposition in the Senate, said the revocation of Rappler's license was a blow against "truth-telling and journalistic integrity."

"In a time of fear, of relentless attacks on our institutions, the abuse of power, and the feeling of helplessness that this breeds, we seek solidarity," Mr. Pangilinan said.

The strongman Mr. Marcos closed down television networks and newspapers during his two-decade regime, and he jailed many opposition figures and journalists.

Mr. Marcos was ousted in 1986, and his successor Corazon Aquino helped introduce a Constitution that guaranteed press freedom, arguing that such a right was central to democracy.

Her son, Benigno Aquino III, Mr. Duterte's predecessor, was often criticized by the news media, and he complained about being unfairly treated. He never made a move to restrict press freedom, however.

The last time a sitting president took aim at the news media was in 1999, when President Joseph Estrada sued the Manila Times over a report about corruption. The newspaper apologized, and Mr. Estrada dropped the suit, but the publication was eventually forced to sell.



3)  Workplace Raids Signal Shifting Tactics in Immigration Fight

 JAN. 15, 2018




Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at a 7-Eleven store in Los Angeles last week, part of a coordinated set of raids across the country. CreditChris Carlson/Associated Press

The Trump administration is taking its campaign against illegal immigration to the workplace.

The raids by federal agents on dozens of 7-Eleven convenience stores last week were the administration's first big show of force meant to convey the consequences of employing undocumented people.

"We are taking work-site enforcement very hard," said Thomas D. Homan, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in a speech in October. "Not only are we going to prosecute the employers who knowingly hire the illegal aliens, we are going to detain and remove the illegal alien workers."

When agents raid workplaces, they often demand to see employees' immigration documents and make arrests. But after the agents leave, it is difficult for the government to meaningfully penalize businesses that hire unauthorized immigrants.

Instead, according to law enforcement officials and experts with differing views of the immigration debate, a primary goal of such raids is to dissuade those working illegally from showing up for their jobs — and to warn prospective migrants that even if they make it across the border, they may end up being captured at work.

Targeting 7-Eleven, a mainstay in working-class communities from North Carolina to California, seems to have conveyed the intended message.

"It's causing a lot of panic," said Oscar Renteria, the owner of Renteria Vineyard Management, which employs about 180 farmworkers who are now pruning grapevines in the Napa Valley.

When word of the raids spread, he received a frenzy of emails from his supervisors asking him what to do if immigration officers showed up at the fields. One sent a notice to farmhands warning them to stay away from 7-Eleven stores in the area.

"Our work force frequently visits 7-Elevens," said Mr. Renteria. "They're very nervous. It's another form of reminding them that they're not welcome."

The Obama administration largely took a lower-profile approach to enforcement, auditing employers' compliance in documenting their workers' status without conducting many on-site investigations. A handful of employers faced prominent criminal cases in recent years, but most companies employing workers illegally avoid serious charges, because it is often impossible to prove that they knew someone had handed in fake documents.

"The consequences are not that harsh, and the effect of the enforcement is less than it should be," said Jessica M. Vaughan, the director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates tighter restrictions on immigration.

The law requires employers only to ensure that documents appear to be valid, and federal law prohibits them from requiring specific types of identification from workers.

Employers negotiate reduced administrative fines and sometimes put political pressure on local officials when they become targets, making the punishment for companies "weaker than it should be," Ms. Vaughan said. "There are employers for whom the penalties are just the cost of doing business."

The more lasting effect of raids is to spread fear among undocumented workers, who often end up bearing the brunt of enforcement action at the workplace.

"Having some semblance of a fear of workers' being arrested will have a behavioral shift," said William Riley, who spent 20 years as an ICE special agent, under both Bush presidencies and the Clinton and Obama administrations, and is now a consultant at Guidepost Solutions, working on corporate compliance. Mr. Riley said that under the last administration, people were more lax about working illegally, assuming they wouldn't be arrested.

"There was slightly more complacency when it was pretty well known that there wasn't a fear of being arrested in your workplace," Mr. Riley said, nor much of a deterrent to "using fake documents to get a job."

Mr. Renteria said he expected raids on farms soon, because the industry is a big employer of "people with complicated immigration status." More than half of California's agriculture workers lack documents, according to a federal survey. Mr. Renteria worries that if agents home in on the Napa area, no one will stay to harvest the grapes.

"They will start calling their cousins, aunts and uncles and finding the safest place where the work is," he said.

The last flurry of public, on-site investigations happened under President George W. Bush, who sent immigration agents to several meatpacking plants and other workplaces. Those raids led to hundreds of arrests of workers and prompted many other employees to stop reporting to work, according to local news reports. But they also enraged advocates for immigrants and drew complaints from business owners.

The Obama administration changed tack and pursued employers mainly by inspecting their paperwork. Such audits doubled from fiscal years 2009 to 2013, reaching 3,127, then declined sharply.

Law enforcement may welcome a more aggressive approach under the new administration. But sending armed agents to the doorsteps of American companies could prove politically uncomfortable for Mr. Trump, who has portrayed himself as an ally to business.

Doris Meissner learned how quickly local politicians can spring into action when their hometown industries feel threatened. As head of the agency that preceded ICE, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, from 1993 to 2000, Ms. Meissner tried to focus on holding employers accountable.

She approved the start of Operation Vanguard in the 1990s, in which the agency asked for employee records in several Nebraska meatpacking plants. When it came time to pursue charges against some employers, Ms. Meissner said, she started receiving frantic calls from Nebraskans on Capitol Hill.

"The politics gets hot and heavy," Ms. Meissner said. "These are communities that are heavily reliant on these industries. This is the major employer. These are the major consumers at the stores and the bowling alleys."

Ms. Meissner says work-site raids don't work in the long term because they fail to address the real magnet drawing people into the country: a need for laborers.

Cracking down on employers who violate the law is crucial, she said, and it isn't right to employ people who are here illegally. But without a visa system allowing unmet labor needs to be addressed with foreigners, she said, ICE shouldn't expect patchwork enforcement stings to persuade farms, hotels or meatpackers to stop employing unauthorized workers.

"When your laws don't align with the market, then the market is always going to win," Ms. Meissner said.

Advocates for immigrant workers said the raids were just the most recent source of a quiet terror reverberating across factory floors since Mr. Trump took office.

"When you have such a public thing happening close to home, folks feel the presence of ICE constantly," said Mariela Martinez, the organizing director of the Garment Worker Center in Los Angeles. But her clients have families and children here, Ms. Martinez said, so they can't just pack their bags and go.

"It's not motivating people to self-deport," she said. "It's motivating people to not use their labor rights. It's causing people to distrust government agencies."

Ms. Martinez helps people in the garment industry file claims for back pay with the state when their employers pay them less than they're owed. She said far fewer workers asked for restitution last year compared with 2016, partly because of concern that their bosses would call ICE if they spoke up.

That was the punishment one manufacturer meted out to Pablo, a 36-year-old sewing worker in Los Angeles who would not give his last name because he lacks papers and fears being identified by ICE. When he received a check for $92 after working three 11-hour days at a garment factory last month, Pablo insisted that he deserved more.

His boss responded by offering to pay him what he was owed, but only if Pablo offered up his home address. After signing another check, Pablo said, the factory owner said that he would call immigration officials and direct them to Pablo's door.

"You feel terrible. You feel uncomfortable," Pablo said. "I was so scared." He called Ms. Martinez and they returned together the next day to tell the employer that the threat constituted illegal retaliation under California law. The employer backed down.

The 7-Eleven raids will give garment bosses even more control over their workers, Pablo said.

"Now they know the president is on their side," he said, "so they feel like they can intimidate people and treat them badly and they will never talk."

Still, Pablo has been here since he was 17, and has no plans to leave yet. He has bills to pay.



4)  Banks are Big Winners from Tax Cut

 JAN. 16, 2018




Big banks like J.P. Morgan are reporting short-term losses as a result of the tax bill but see long-term benefits, including stronger profits, from the overhaul. CreditJohn Moore/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The nation's banks are finding a lot to love about the Trump administration's tax cuts.

The $1.5 trillion tax overhaul signed into law late last year provided deep and lasting tax cuts to all types of businesses, but financial institutions are among the biggest winners so far, reaping benefits from a lower corporate rate and more preferable tax treatment for so-called pass-through companies, which includes many small banks.

While some of the biggest banks are reporting fourth-quarter earnings hits stemming from the new tax law, they see rich benefits over the long-term, including effective tax rates that are even lower than the new 21 percent corporate rate.

Citigroup said on Tuesday that it would take a one-time $22 billion hit from the tax law, largely related to the bank's tax-deferred assets, which now must be recalibrated to reflect the lower corporate rate. In a news release, Citigroup chief executive Michael Corbat said the law nevertheless "not only leads to higher net income and increased returns, but also serves to strengthen our capital generation capabilities going forward."

J.P. Morgan, the nation's largest bank, and Wells Fargo both said on Friday that they expect the new law to reduce their effective tax rates next year to 19 percent, a cut of nearly one-third from what they paid in 2016. The reduction will give the banks a combined boost of more than $7 billion in 2018 alone. PNC Financial said on Friday that it expected its effective tax rate to fall even further next year, to 17 percent.

"The good news is that tax reform has produced both current and future benefits for our shareholders," PNC's president and chief executive Bill Demchak told analysts on Friday. He said the bank's preference would be to divert the tax savings "toward dividend" — which is to say, to return a higher dividend to shareholders.

More than 70 financial institutions have announced they will raise wages or offer bonuses to employees in the wake of the tax law's passage, including big firms such as Bank of America and community banks such as Bank of the Ozarks. All told, those institutions account for about half of the companies that have promised raises or bonuses since President Trump signed the bill into law, according to a running list tallied by Americans for Tax Reform, a low-tax advocacy group.

The payouts to workers reflect a small slice of the windfall that banks large and small are in line to receive. The law includes a reduction in the corporate rate to 21 percent from a high of 35 percent last year, as well as a 20 percent deduction for income from pass-through companies. One-third of all community banks are organized as pass-throughs, according to the Independent Community Bankers of America, which represents those firms and was among the groups pushing for a lower pass-through rate.

Analysts projected the financial industry would reap some of the largest benefits from that reduction given that banks typically paid much higher effective tax rates in the past than many other industries, like manufacturing.

The boon for banks comes as the industry begins to regain some of its swagger in the wake of the financial crisis and as it seeks to roll back some of the post-crisis regulations put in place by the Obama administration under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.

Officials at top banks have mostly showered Mr. Trump with praise for his economic policy agenda, which they say is boosting growth. Jamie Dimon, the chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan, called the new tax law a "significant positive outcome for the country" in a news release accompanying the bank's earnings on Friday.

The gains come in spite of a one-time hit of $2.4 billion that J.P. Morgan reported in the fourth quarter, the result of a provision in the law that forces companies to pay a one-time tax on profits that are held overseas.

Other large banks will report earnings on Tuesday and are expected to similarly reveal large savings from the tax overhaul.

American Express, in a financial filing earlier this month, said the lower corporate rate "is expected to be a significant ongoing benefit to us. Beginning in 2018, we anticipate an effective tax rate in the low twenties before discrete tax items."

It remains to be seen whether the tax cuts' benefits create lasting benefits for workers. Mr. Dimon said on Friday that J.P. Morgan would be "increasing and accelerating" investments in "employees, customers and communities," though he did not specify what that would mean for individual workers. On a call with analysts, Marianne Lake, the bank's chief financial officer, suggested some of the benefits would be used to increase dividends and stock buybacks.

Other banks have announced additional share buybacks in recent weeks, including Bank of America and Fifth Third Bank. Both of those banks also said they would provide bonuses to some workers as a result of the tax overhaul.

Wells Fargo, which has been under a cloud of regulatory and legal challenges, said last month that it would raise its minimum pay to $15 an hour. A spokesman initially said the move was not related to the tax bill, but reversed course a day later and said that, in fact, the tax cuts did prompt the move.



5) Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyberattacks With Nuclear Arms

JAN. 16, 2018


The Nuclear Posture Review was written at the Pentagon and is being reviewed by the White House.CreditCharles Dharapak/Associated Press 

WASHINGTON — A newly drafted United States nuclear strategy that has been sent to President Trump for approval would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on American infrastructure, including what current and former government officials described as the most crippling kind of cyberattacks.

For decades, American presidents have threatened "first use" of nuclear weapons against enemies in only very narrow and limited circumstances, such as in response to the use of biological weapons against the United States. But the new document is the first to expand that to include attempts to destroy wide-reaching infrastructure, like a country's power grid or communications, that would be most vulnerable to cyberweapons.

The draft document, called the Nuclear Posture Review, was written at the Pentagon and is being reviewed by the White House. Its final release is expected in the coming weeks and represents a new look at the United States' nuclear strategy. The draft was first published last week by HuffPost.

It called the strategic picture facing the United States quite bleak, citing not only Russian and Chinese nuclear advances but advances made by North Korea and, potentially, Iran.

"We must look reality in the eye and see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be," the draft document said. The Trump administration's new initiative, it continued, "realigns our nuclear policy with a realistic assessment of the threats we face today and the uncertainties regarding the future security environment."

The Pentagon declined to comment on the draft assessment because Mr. Trump has not yet approved it. The White House also declined to comment.

But three current and former senior government officials said large cyberattacks against the United States and its interests would be included in the kinds of foreign aggression that could justify a nuclear response — though they stressed there would be other, more conventional options for retaliation. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the proposed policy.

Gary Samore, who was a top nuclear adviser to President Barack Obama, said much of the draft strategy "repeats the essential elements of Obama declaratory policy word for word" — including its declaration that the United States would "only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners."

But the biggest difference lies in new wording about what constitutes "extreme circumstances."

In the Trump administration's draft, those "circumstances could include significant non-nuclear strategic attacks." It said that could include "attacks on the U.S., allied, or partner civilian population or infrastructure, and attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities."

The draft does not explicitly say that a crippling cyberattack against the United States would be among the extreme circumstances. But experts called a cyberattack one of the most efficient ways to paralyze systems like the power grid, cellphone networks and the backbone of the internet without using nuclear weapons.

"In 2001, we struggled with how to establish deterrence for terrorism because terrorists don't have populations or territory to hold at risk. Cyber poses a similar quandary," said Kori Schake, a senior National Security Council and State Department official during President George W. Bush's administration, who is now the deputy director general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

"So if cyber can cause physical malfunction of major infrastructure resulting in deaths," Ms. Schake said, the Pentagon has now found a way "to establish a deterrent dynamic."

The draft review also cites "particular concern" about "expanding threats in space and cyberspace" to the command-and-control systems of the American nuclear arsenal that the review identifies as a "legacy of the Cold War." It was the latest warning in a growing chorus that the nuclear response networks could themselves be disabled or fed false data in a cyberattack.

So far, all of the United States' leading adversaries — including Russia, China, North Korea and Iran — have stopped well short of the kind of cyberattacks that could prompt a larger, and more violent response.

The Russians have placed malware called "Black Energy" in American utility systems, but never tried to cause a major blackout. They have sent cable-cutting submarines along the path of undersea fiber optic lines that connect the continents, but not cut them. North Korea has attacked companies like Sony, and used cyberweapons to cause chaos in the British health care system, but never directly taken on the United States.

Still, the document recognizes that American, Russian and Chinese strategies have all been updated in recent years to reflect the reality that any conflict would begin with a lightning strike on space and communications systems. During the Obama administration, for example, a secret program, code-named "Nitro Zeus," called for a blinding cyberattack on Iran in the event negotiations over its nuclear program failed and Washington found itself going to war with Tehran.

There are other differences with the Obama administration policy.

The draft strategy embraces the American production of a new generation of small, low-yield nuclear weapons — some of which were under development during the Obama administration. Some experts warn that such smaller weapons can blur the distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons, and, as a result, be more tempting to use.

And it states outright that Russia is testing its first autonomous nuclear torpedo, one that American officials believe would be guided largely by artificial intelligence to strike the United States even if communications with Moscow were terminated. It was Washington's first public acknowledgment of such an undersea weapon, a prototype of which was first envisioned in the 1960s by Andrei Sakharov, the physicist who later ranked among the Soviet Union's most famous dissidents.

The torpedo's development was detected by the Obama administration and has been widely discussed in defense circles, but never publicly referred to by the Pentagon as a significant future threat.

Mr. Trump has rarely publicly criticized President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia for Russia's aggressions around the world. But the Pentagon document describes Moscow's actions as so destabilizing that the United States may be forced to reverse Mr. Obama's commitment to reduce the role and size of the American nuclear arsenal.

Russia is adopting "military strategies and capabilities that rely on nuclear escalation for their success," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote in an introduction to the report. "These developments, coupled with Russia's invasion of Crimea and nuclear threats against our allies, mark Moscow's unabashed return to Great Power competition."

In most cases, the Trump administration plan would simply move forward nuclear weapons that Mr. Obama had endorsed, such as a new generation of nuclear cruise missiles — low-flying weapons with stubby wings that, when dropped from a bomber, hug the ground to avoid enemy radars and air defenses.

But the strategy envisions other new nuclear weapons. The draft policy calls for "the rapid development" of a cruise missile to be fired from submarines. Mr. Obama had retired that class. It also calls for the development of a low-yield warhead for ballistic missiles fired from submarines.

It is relatively easy for presidents to change the country's declaratory policy on the use of nuclear arms and quite difficult for them to reshape its nuclear arsenal, which takes not only vast sums of money but many years and sometimes decades of planning and implementation.

The price tag for a 30-year makeover of the United States' nuclear arsenal was put last year at $1.2 trillion. Analysts said the expanded Trump administration plan would push the bill much higher, noting that firm estimates will have to wait until the proposed federal budget for the 2019 fiscal year is made public.

"Almost everything about this radical new policy will blur the line between nuclear and conventional," said Andrew C. Weber, an assistant defense secretary during the Obama administration who directed an interagency panel that oversaw the country's nuclear arsenal.

If adopted, he added, the new policy "will make nuclear war a lot more likely."

One of the document's edgiest conclusions involves the existence of a deadly new class of Russian nuclear torpedo — a cigar-shaped underwater missile meant to be fired from a submarine.

Torpedoes tipped with nuclear arms were common during the Cold War, with the Soviet Union pioneering the weapons and developing them most vigorously. One Soviet model had a range of miles and a large warhead.

Mr. Sakharov, a famous Russian dissident in the 1970s and 1980s, envisioned a giant torpedo able to travel several hundred miles and incur heavy casualties with a warhead thousands of times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. Though his vision was rejected at the time, the new review discloses that Moscow has resurrected a weapon along the same lines.

The document calls it "a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed undersea autonomous torpedo." In a diagram labeled "New Nuclear Delivery Vehicles over the Past Decade," it identifies the torpedo by its code name, Status-6.

News stories have reported the possible existence of such a weapon since at least 2015, but the document's reference appears to be the first time the federal government has confirmed its existence. The long-range torpedo with a monster warhead is apparently meant to shower coastal regions with deadly radioactivity, leaving cities uninhabitable.



6) He Leaked a Photo of Rick Perry Hugging a Coal Executive. Then He Lost His Job.

JAN. 17, 2018




Simon Edelman leaked photographs of Energy Secretary Rick Perry meeting privately with a major energy industry donor to President Trump. CreditLexey Swall for The New York Times

As a photographer for the Department of Energy, Simon Edelman regularly attended meetings with Secretary Rick Perry and snapped pictures for official purposes.

Now he is out of a job after leaking photographs of Mr. Perry meeting with a major energy industry donor to President Trump.

Late last year, Mr. Edelman said, he shared with journalists photos he shot at the private meeting between Mr. Perry and the campaign contributor, Robert E. Murray, the head of one of the country's largest coal mining companies, Murray Energy.

One photo showed the two men embracing; another captured the cover sheet of a confidential "action plan" that Mr. Murray brought to the meeting last March calling for policy and regulatory changes friendly to the coal industry.

Mr. Perry hugs Robert E. Murray, the head of one of the country's largest coal mining companies, Murray Energy, on March 29, 2017, at the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, D.C.CreditSimon Edelman/Department of Energy: 

Democrats and some environmental groups seized on the photos as evidence of the energy industry's direct line to Mr. Perry, who had been in the job less than a month when the meeting occurred.

Mr. Edelman, who has not previously disclosed his identity as the source of the photographs, said in an interview that he wanted to expose the close relationship between the two men. Based on the "action plan" and conversations he overheard, Mr. Edelman said, Mr. Perry had tilted the administration's energy policy to favor Murray Energy and other coal companies.

"It seemed like that was the right thing to do — exercising my First Amendment rights to get the information out there," said Mr. Edelman, who had worked at the agency since 2015 and whose job included photographing events that the agency promoted in press releases, on the web and elsewhere.

The day after the photos were published by In These Times, a liberal magazine, the Energy Department put Mr. Edelman on administrative leave, seized his personal laptop and escorted him out of its headquarters in Washington, he said. He was later told, without explanation, that his employment agreement had not been renewed, internal agency emails show.

Mr. Edelman has now filed a complaint with the Energy Department's inspector general and, according to his lawyer, is seeking protections provided to federal whistle-blowers. In the complaint, Mr. Edelman accuses the agency of retaliation and asks for his job back or at least to recover his laptop and other personal belongings. In addition, Mr. Edelman accused a former colleague of encouraging him to delete the photos of Mr. Perry and Mr. Murray, which Mr. Edelman and his lawyer argue are public records.

The Energy Department declined to discuss the circumstances surrounding Mr. Edelman's employment, the status of the photos, or the details of his complaint, but a spokeswoman characterized his accusations as "ridiculous." Mr. Edelman supported his complaint with emails and other documents, but some claims were based on his statements alone.

"They are based on his own subjective opinions and personal agenda," the spokeswoman, Shaylyn Hynes, said in an email. "Industry and other stakeholders visit the Department of Energy on a daily basis. The secretary welcomes their input and feedback to strengthen the American energy sector. This meeting was no different."

A spokesman for Mr. Murray said the coal executive "does not have a recollection as to the exact statements allegedly made nearly a year ago." The spokesman, Gary Broadbent, added that "Mr. Murray has frequently said that the Trump administration must advance reliable and low-cost electricity for all Americans and protect coal mining jobs."

The confidential documents Mr. Murray brought to his meeting with Mr. Perry called for "rescinding anti-coal regulations of the Obama administration" and cutting the staff of the Environmental Protection Agency "in at least half," according to portions visible in Mr. Edelman's photographs.

Last week, The New York Times obtained a copy of a separate memo written by Mr. Murray, and reported that the Trump administration had completed or was on track to fulfill most of the 16 policy and regulatory requests contained in it. Mr. Murray told The Times the two memos essentially covered the same material.

Mr. Edelman, a Democrat, came to the Energy Department under President Barack Obama two years ago after producing videos at a consulting firm in Chicago and serving as creative director for the electoral campaign of former Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois. After Mr. Trump's election, Mr. Edelman said, he received greater responsibility, including photographing Mr. Perry's meetings.

Mr. Edelman's complaint offers a behind-the-scenes look at the meeting on March 29 between Mr. Perry and Mr. Murray, who have been friendly for many years. In addition to his company contributing $300,000 to the president's inauguration — and personally holding a fund-raiser for Mr. Trump during the campaign — Mr. Murray has been a financial backer of Mr. Perry, a former governor of Texas who has also run for president.

In a statement, Mr. Murray's spokesman said the company had supported Republicans "who have been staunch defenders of the United States coal industry, and the jobs and family livelihoods that depend on it, and low-cost, reliable, fuel secure electricity for all Americans."

The meeting started, the complaint said, with Mr. Perry giving Mr. Murray "a deep bear hug." Once they got down to business, Mr. Murray presented the memo. "This needs to be done," the complaint says Mr. Murray insisted.

Mr. Perry replied, "I think we can help you with this," according to the complaint.

Rattled by the exchange, Mr. Edelman said he stayed for about 15 minutes to keep listening, until he drew the attention of an agency official. "How much does a photographer need of us just sitting around?" the complaint quotes the agency official as asking.

The photos sat for months without much attention.

Then, in September, Mr. Perry proposed that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission adopt a rule that would increase financial returns for power plants capable of stockpiling at least 90 days' worth of fuel on-site — a plan that would effectively subsidize struggling coal and nuclear power plants, particularly in areas where Mr. Murray operates.

Without the change, Mr. Perry warned, the plants could shut down, which would threaten the "reliability and resiliency of our nation's grid."

That phrase rang a bell with Mr. Edelman. The cover page of Mr. Murray's memo described a plan "to assist in the survival of our country's coal industry, which is essential to power grid reliability."

Mr. Edelman said he decided to share the photos with the news media — The Washington Post published the images after In These Times — hoping to derail Mr. Perry's proposed rule. The rule faced opposition from a cross section of environmental groups, energy companies, free-market advocates and former regulators, and last week, the energy commission rejected it.

Mr. Murray has said that the meeting with Mr. Perry was primarily about the need to study the resilience of the power grid, not to ask for specific actions by the energy commission or other arms of the federal government. Mr. Broadbent, his spokesman, said that "a word-for-word comparison" of the proposed rule and Mr. Murray's action plan "reveals that they have only two words in common."

On Dec. 7, the day after In These Times posted the photographs, and a day before they appeared online at The Washington Post, Mr. Edelman said he was summoned by his boss and told he was being placed on administrative leave with pay.

The agency later declined to extend his two-year employment agreement, which ended late last year, effectively dismissing him despite previously agreeing to extend him for two more years, Mr. Edelman said.

A security officer for the agency also refused to allow him to pack up certain personal belongings, Mr. Edelman said, including his laptop and camera equipment. The next day, a supervisor instructed Mr. Edelman in an email to provide the agency the administrative rights to the Google Drive folder where he stored the photos, according to a copy of the email reviewed by The Times.

Separately, another colleague warned him over the phone that "we can come to your home and have someone watch you delete it," Mr. Edelman said. Mr. Edelman did not record the call.

In a phone call a few days later, which was recorded, the colleague reiterated that Mr. Edelman needed to transfer ownership of the folder. "I would suggest that doing it sooner rather than later would probably be a good thing for you," the colleague said, according to the recording, which was heard by The Times.

"You can get access to a computer," the colleague added, "even if you need to go to a freaking library to do it."

Mr. Edelman said the department had still not returned his laptop. Among the other items he said he left behind because of the hurried exit: a cake from his colleagues celebrating his 35th birthday.

Mr. Edelman hired a lawyer, John Tye, a former whistle-blower from the State Department who works at Whistleblower Aid, a nonprofit firm. Mr. Tye defended Mr. Edelman's decision to keep the photos, arguing that they were "in the public domain" and were not classified, and that they had been stored on Mr. Edelman's private drive at the Energy Department's instruction.

By filing his complaint with the inspector general, Mr. Tye said, Mr. Edelman was seeking protections provided to federal whistle-blowers, including prohibition from "adverse employment actions and dismissal."

After Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, heard about the incident, his office contacted Mr. Edelman, who also shared the complaint with Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, who is a neighbor in Washington. It was Mr. Whitehouse who shared the separate memo by Murray Energy with The Times.

"Federal employees should not be fired for doing their jobs," Mr. Sanders said in a statement. "The Department of Energy must investigate as to why Mr. Edelman was fired."



7) Comptroller Calls for Removing Profit From City's Bail Equation

JAN. 16, 2018





When Belkis Batista was arrested, a judge set her cash bail at $50,000. Unable to afford that, her family got a commercial bond that wound up costing them more than $10,000.CreditAlex Flynn for The New York Times

By the time a Bronx jury acquitted Belkis Batista of attempted murder last August, her family had paid more than $16,000 to a bail bond company to help her stay out of jail while fighting the charge, which stemmed from a fight with her brother. A few weeks after the verdict, the bondsman returned about $5,740 and kept the rest.

Ms. Batista, a school bus aide who was making $250 a week, and her family could hardly afford the difference, but it had been the only option. At her arraignment 16 months earlier, a judge had given Ms. Batista the same two options courts give most defendants facing jail: pay cash bail up front, or hire a bondsman to post bail at a fraction of the upfront cost.

Judges' reliance on commercial bail bonds, a routine practice in the United States that is uncommon or illegal in most other countries, is a significant reason that New York City spends $10 million each year to jail thousands of defendants who post bail within a few days and are released, according to Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, the city's chief financial officer. Mr. Stringer is set to release a report calling for commercial bail to be eliminated in the city.

For the accused in New York City, who are mostly poor African-American and Hispanic people, the financial burden is acute: about $28 million in lost wages, and between $16 million and $27 million in nonrefundable fees paid to bail bond companies, according to the report. The report says the fees, which are likely higher because bond companies do not always adhere to legal limits, represent a "significant transfer of wealth from low-income communities."

"The commercial bail process is egregious to me, and we have to push the judiciary," Mr. Stringer said in an interview. "Part of doing this report is to put the marker down and say 'You're costing the city money, you're further putting poor families into poverty. Bail is not supposed to be punitive, and there are alternatives that the judicial system should be looking at.'"

Calls to end commercial bail are part of a broader movement to fix a pretrial release system that many believe is broken. The city is experimenting with ways to reduce its jail population with a goal of closing the Rikers Island jail complex. And as state lawmakers consider eliminating cash bail, an idea boosted by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in his State of the State address, some prosecutors have stopped requesting itfor most misdemeanor offenses.

But for now, Mr. Stringer and others are pushing for meaningful changes under the existing law, which gives judges options to set bail with bonds that can be paid in court with little to no money. Unlike commercial bail bonds, payments are returned when the case is resolved.

While current bail reform efforts mainly target people charged with misdemeanor offenses and nonviolent felony crimes that do not involve domestic violence, Mr. Stringer's proposal could aid any defendant eligible for bail.

Emerging evidence suggests that alternative bail forms are just as effective in making sure people return to court. In one analysis released in September, the Vera Institute of Justice tracked 99 cases where judges set alternative bail options. Sixty-eight defendants were released on bail and five were freed on their word, and they returned to court at roughly the same rate as people who are released without bail conditions or freed after paying cash or posting a bond.

"The problem is old," Insha Rahman, the author of the analysis, said. But in the state bail law, she added, "the solutions have been there since 1971."

Not everyone is thrilled with the idea. Michelle Esquenazi, the owner of Empire Bail Bonds, one of the largest bail bond companies in the state, says her industry keeps people out of jail, while sparing taxpayers the cost of apprehending those who miss court appearances.

"The bail bondsman is vilified," said Ms. Esquenazi, chairwoman of the New York State Bail Bondsman Association. "We're an integral part of any successful criminal justice system."

The use of commercial bail bonds in the city has risen even as crime and arrests have fallen, and they now make up more than half of all bail payments. In 2017, there were 12,345 private bail bonds executed in the city — a 12 percent increase from 2015 — with a cumulative value of $268 million, according to the report.

The commercial bonds are attractive because paying the full cash bail is impossible for many defendants. Contracting with bail bondsmen allows them to stay out of jail for a smaller upfront cost.

Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the state's unified court system, said judges made decisions about which types of bail to assign based on what prosecutors and defense attorneys request in court.

"We encourage judges to consider the use of all types of bail," he said. "We have done training outlining the various types and simplified the forms, but ultimately the decision comes down to judicial discretion."

Ms. Batista was arrested after she intervened when her brother attacked her sister in their family's ninth-floor apartment in the Webster Houses, a public housing complex in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, she and her lawyer said. Frightened, she approached her brother with a kitchen knife, then tried to retreat. But he lunged at her and was stabbed near his heart, requiring surgery. Her bail was set at $50,000 cash, or $100,000 bond.

Her family paid $12,000 to Marvin Morgan Bail Bonds, which required her to wear a $300-per-month ankle monitor for 16 months. The bondsman gave them one receipt showing the $5,740 in "returnable collateral," while another, for $6,260, did not specify what it covered.

"That amount of money for you to be found not guilty," said Ms. Batista, now 31, who spent two weeks in jail and was suspended from her job while the case was pending. "That's crazy."

Vague laws and lax regulation also leave people vulnerable to the whimsof bail bondsmen. Their regulator, the state Department of Financial Services, received 111 complaints over the last three years alleging a range of misconduct, including unauthorized fees and unreturned collateral.

Since 2013, the office of the New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, has investigated 25 complaints against bail bond companies, including Marvin Morgan Bail Bonds. The company could not be reached for this article because phone numbers listed for it were disconnected.

Belva Service, a home attendant, filed a complaint against the company in 2016 after it refused to return the collateral she paid for her son, who was arrested barefoot and disoriented in Brooklyn on felony charges. Her son, who is schizophrenic, needed medical attention, she said.

Marvin Morgan Bail Bonds charged her a $1,760 premium, a $1,000 courier fee, which was illegal, and took $1,500 for collateral, according to Nick Encalada-Malinowski of the nonprofit group Vocal-NY, who was then a social worker for the Brooklyn Defender Services. The company returned the collateral after her son's case was resolved in the mental health court, but refused to refund the illegal fee until Mr. Schneiderman's office intervened in a letter.

"You become very vulnerable in this position," Ms. Service said, "and this is where they come in and make their money, because you need them."



8)  Flurry of Lawsuits Filed to Fight Repeal of Net Neutrality

JAN. 16, 2018





Eric Schneiderman, New York State's attorney general, is leading a lawsuit to block the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality regulations. CreditSasha Maslov for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The legal fight against the Federal Communications Commission's recent repeal of so-called net neutrality regulations began on Tuesday, with a flurry of lawsuits filed to block the agency's action.

One suit, filed by 21 state attorneys general, said the agency's actions broke federal law. The commission's rollback of net neutrality rules were "arbitrary and capricious," the attorneys general said, and a reversal of the agency's longstanding policy to prevent internet service providers from blocking or charging websites for faster delivery of content to consumers.

Mozilla, the nonprofit organization behind the Firefox web browser, said the new F.C.C. rules would harm internet entrepreneurs who could be forced to pay fees for faster delivery of their content and services to consumers. A similar argument was made by another group that filed a suit, the Open Technology Institute, a part of a liberal think tank, the New America Foundation.

Suits were also filed on Tuesday by Free Press and Public Knowledge, two public interest groups. Four of the suits were filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Free Press suit was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

"The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers — allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online," said Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, who led the suit by the state officials.

The lawsuits have long been expected. The filings on Tuesday, petitions to begin the suits, kick off what is expected to be an extended legal and political debate about the future of internet policy.

Democrats have rallied to fight the F.C.C.'s repeal of net neutrality, which was passed in a 3-to-2 party line vote in December. The agency is led by Ajit Pai, a Republican nominated by President Trump. All of the attorneys general involved in the suit filed on Tuesday are Democrats.

The lawsuits have the support of the Internet Association, a trade group representing big tech firms including Google and Netflix, giving the various legal challenges financial support and the clout of companies. The companies say internet service providers have the incentive to block and throttle their sites in order to garner extra fees.

The F.C.C. declined to comment on the suits. But it did point to a part of its order that prohibits legal challenges until the new rules are submitted into the federal registry. The F.C.C. is expected to enter the new rules into the federal registry in the coming days or weeks.

The states said they could file a petition to the United States Court of Appeals, starting the process to determine which court would hear the case. That is the action the attorneys general, as well as Mozilla and the Open Technology Institute, took on Tuesday.

The states that signed onto the lawsuit include California, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts and Oregon, as well as the District of Columbia. Xavier Becerra, the California attorney general, said the decision to roll back the agency's declaration of broadband as a utility-like service will harm consumers.

"Internet access is a utility — just like water and electricity," Mr. Becerra said in a statement. "And every consumer has a right to access online content without interference or manipulation by their internet service provider."

In a release, Mr. Schneiderman said the agency's roll back disregarded a record of evidence that internet service providers' could harm consumers without rules. A similar argument was made by Mozilla.

"Ending net neutrality could end the internet as we know it," said Denelle Dixon, Mozilla's chief business and legal officer in a blog post. "That's why we are committed to fighting the order. In particular, we filed our petition today because we believe the recent F.C.C. decision violates both federal law as well as harms internet users and innovators."

The issue of net neutrality has been fought in court challenges twice before in the past decade. The rules adopted in 2015, which set rules that sites could not be blocked or throttled, were upheld by the United States Court of Appeals in 2016 after legal challenges by telecom companies. The F.C.C. vote in December was to roll back those 2015 rules.

The new lawsuits are among several efforts to restore net neutrality rules. On Tuesday, Senate Democrats announced they were one supporter away from winning a vote to restore net neutrality rules. All 49 members of their caucus, as well as one Republican, have signed on to a resolution to overturn the rules. A similar effort initiated in the House has the support of 80 members.

Success by members of Congress is unlikely, particularly in the House, where Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, would have to agree to bring the resolution to a vote. The president will also have to agree to the resolutions, if they were passed, but the White House has expressed its support of the rollback of net neutrality rules.













































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