It is so beautiful to see young people in this country rising up to demand an end to gun violence. But what is Donald Trump's response? Instead of banning assault weapons, he wants to give guns to teachers and militarize our schools. But one of the reasons for mass school shootings is precisely because our schools are already militarized. Florida shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was trained by U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program while he was in high school.

Yesterday, Divest from the War Machine coalition member, Pat Elder, was featured on Democracy Now discussing his recent article about the JROTC in our schools. The JROTC teaches children how to shoot weapons. It is often taught by retired soldiers who have no background in teaching. They are allowed to teach classes that are given at least equal weight as classes taught by certified and trained teachers. We are pulling our children away from classes that expand their minds and putting them in classes that teach them how to be killing machines. The JROTC program costs our schools money. It sends equipment. But, the instructors and facilities must be constructed and paid for by the school.

The JROTC puts our children's futures at risk. Children who participate in JROTC shooting programs are exposed to lead bullets from guns. They are at an increased risk when the shooting ranges are inside. The JROTC program is designed to "put a jump start on your military career." Children are funneled into JROTC to make them compliant and to feed the military with young bodies which are prepared to be assimilated into the war machine. Instead of funneling children into the military, we should be channeling them into jobs that support peace and sustainable development. 

Tell Senator McCain and Representative Thornberry to take the war machine out of our schools! The JROTC program must end immediately. The money should be directed back into classrooms that educate our children.

The Divest from the War Machine campaign is working to remove our money from the hands of companies that make a killing on killing. We must take on the systems that keep fueling war, death, and destruction around the globe. AND, we must take on the systems that are creating an endless cycle of children who are being indoctrinated at vulnerable ages to become the next killing machine.  Don't forget to post this message on Facebook and Twitter.

Onward in divestment,

Ann, Ariel, Brienne, Jodie, Kelly, Kirsten, Mark, Medea, Nancy, Natasha, Paki, Sarah, Sophia and Tighe

P.S. Do you want to do more? Start a campaign to get the JROTC out of your school district or state. Email divest@codepink.org and we'll get you started!



October 20-21, 2018

Cindy Sheehan and the Women's March on the Pentagon

A movement not just a protest

By Whitney Webb

WASHINGTON—In the last few years, arguably the most visible and well-publicized march on the U.S. capital has been the "Women's March," a movement aimed at advocating for legislation and policies promoting women's rights as well as a protest against the misogynistic actions and statements of high-profile U.S. politicians. The second Women's March, which took place this past year, attracted over a million protesters nationwide, with 500,000 estimated to have participated in Los Angeles alone.

However, absent from this women's movement has been a public antiwar voice, as its stated goal of "ending violence" does not include violence produced by the state. The absence of this voice seemed both odd and troubling to legendary peace activist Cindy Sheehan, whose iconic protest against the invasion and occupation of Iraq made her a household name for many.

Sheehan was taken aback by how some prominent organizers of this year's Women's March were unwilling to express antiwar positions and argued for excluding the issue of peace entirely from the event and movement as a whole. In an interview with MintPress, Sheehan recounted how a prominent leader of the march had told her, "I appreciate that war is your issue Cindy, but the Women's March will never address the war issue as long as women aren't free."

War is indeed Sheehan's issue and she has been fighting against the U.S.' penchant for war for nearly 13 years. After her son Casey was killed in action while serving in Iraq in 2004, Sheehan drew international media attention for her extended protest in front of the Bush residence in Crawford, Texas, which later served as the launching point for many protests against U.S. military action in Iraq.

Sheehan rejected the notion that women could be "free" without addressing war and empire. She countered the dismissive comment of the march organizer by stating that divorcing peace activism from women's issues "ignored the voices of the women of the world who are being bombed and oppressed by U.S. military occupation."

Indeed, women are directly impacted by war—whether through displacement, the destruction of their homes, kidnapping, or torture. Women also suffer uniquely and differently from men in war as armed conflicts often result in an increase in sexual violence against women.

For example, of the estimated half-a-million civilians killed in the U.S. invasion of Iraq, many of them were women and children. In the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, the number of female casualties has been rising on average over 20 percent every year since 2015. In 2014 alone when Israel attacked Gaza in "Operation Protective Edge," Israeli forces, which receives $10 million in U.S. military aid every day, killed over two thousand Palestinians—half of them were women and children. Many of the casualties were pregnant women, who had been deliberately targeted.

Given the Women's March's apparent rejection of peace activism in its official platform, Sheehan was inspired to organize another Women's March that would address what many women's rights advocates, including Sheehan, believe to be an issue central to promoting women's rights.

Dubbed the "Women's March on the Pentagon," the event is scheduled to take place on October 21—the same date as an iconic antiwar march of the Vietnam era—with a mission aimed at countering the "bipartisan war machine." Though men, women and children are encouraged to attend, the march seeks to highlight women's issues as they relate to the disastrous consequences of war.

The effort of women in confronting the "war machine" will be highlighted at the event, as Sheehan remarked that "women have always tried to confront the war-makers," as the mothers, daughters, sisters and wives of the men and women in the military, as well as those innocent civilians killed in the U.S.' foreign wars. As a result, the push for change needs to come from women, according to Sheehan, because "we [women] are the only ones that can affect [the situation] in a positive way." All that's missing is an organized, antiwar women's movement.

Sheehan noted the march will seek to highlight the direct relationship between peace activism and women's rights, since "no woman is free until all women are free" and such "freedom also includes the freedom from U.S. imperial plunder, murder and aggression"that is part of the daily lives of women living both within and beyond the United States. Raising awareness of how the military-industrial complex negatively affects women everywhere is key, says Sheehan, as "unless there is a sense of international solidarity and a broader base for feminism, then there aren't going to be any solutions to any problems, [certainly not] if we don't stop giving trillions of dollars to the Pentagon."

Sheehan also urged that, even though U.S. military adventurism has long been an issue and the subject of protests, a march to confront the military-industrial complex is more important now than ever: "I'm not alarmist by nature but I feel like the threat of nuclear annihilation is much closer than it has been for a long time," adding that, despite the assertion of some in the current administration and U.S. military, "there is no such thing as 'limited' nuclear war." This makes "the need to get out in massive numbers" and march against this more imperative than ever.

Sheehan also noted that Trump's presidency has helped to make the Pentagon's influence on U.S. politics more obvious by bringing it to the forefront: "Even though militarism had been under wraps [under previous presidents], Trump has made very obvious the fact that he has given control of foreign policy to the 'generals.'"

Indeed, as MintPress has reported on several occasions, the Pentagon—beginning in March of last year—has been given the freedom to "engage the enemy" at will, without the oversight of the executive branch or Congress. As a result, the deaths of innocent civilians abroad as a consequence of U.S. military action has spiked. While opposing Trump is not the focus of the march, Sheehan opined that Trump's war-powers giveaway to the Pentagon, as well as his unpopularity, have helped to spark widespread interest in the event.

Different wings of the same warbird

Sheehan has rejected accusations that the march is partisan, as it is, by nature, focused on confronting the bipartisan nature of the military-industrial complex. She told MintPress that she has recently come under pressure owing to the march's proximity to the 2018 midterm elections—as some have ironically accused the march's bipartisan focus as "trying to harm the chances of the Democrats" in the ensuing electoral contest.

In response, Sheehan stated that: 

"Democrats and Republicans are different wings of the same warbird. We are protesting militarism and imperialism. The march is nonpartisan in nature because both parties are equally complicit. We have to end wars for the planet and for the future. I could really care less who wins in November."

She also noted that even when the Democrats were in power under Obama, nothing was done to change the government's militarism nor to address the host of issues that events like the Women's March have claimed to champion.

"We just got finished with eight years of a Democratic regime," Sheehan told MintPress. "For two of those years, they had complete control of Congress and the presidency and a [filibuster-proof] majority in the Senate and they did nothing" productive except to help "expand the war machine." She also emphasized that this march is in no way a "get out the vote" march for any political party.

Even though planning began less than a month ago, support has been pouring in for the march since it was first announced on Sheehan's website, Cindy Sheehan Soapbox. Encouraged by the amount of interest already received, Sheehan is busy working with activists to organize the events and will be taking her first organizing trip to the east coast in April of this year. 

In addition, those who are unable to travel to Washington are encouraged to participate in any number of solidarity protests that will be planned to take place around the world or to plan and attend rallies in front of U.S. embassies, military installations, and the corporate headquarters of war profiteers.

Early endorsers of the event include journalists Abby Martin, Mnar Muhawesh and Margaret Kimberley; Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly; FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley; and U.S. politicians like former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Activist groups that have pledged their support include CodePink, United National Antiwar Coalition, Answer Coalition, Women's EcoPeace and World Beyond War.

Though October is eight months away, Sheehan has high hopes for the march. More than anything else, though, she hopes that the event will give birth to a "real revolutionary women's movement that recognizes the emancipation and liberation of all peoples—and that means [freeing] all people from war and empire, which is the biggest crime against humanity and against this planet." By building "a movement and not just a protest," the event's impact will not only be long-lasting, but grow into a force that could meaningfully challenge the U.S. military-industrial complex that threatens us all. God knows the world needs it.

For those eager to help the march, you can help spread the word through social media by joining the march's Facebook page or following the march'sTwitter account, as well as by word of mouth. In addition, supporting independent media outlets—such as MintPress, which will be reporting on the march—can help keep you and others informed as October approaches.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer forMintPress News who has written for several news organizations in both English and Spanish; her stories have been featured on ZeroHedge, theAnti-Media, and21st Century Wire among others. She currently lives in Southern Chile.

MPN News, February 20, 2018






Support Herman Bell

Last week the New York State Board of Parole granted Herman Bell release. Since the Board's decision, there has been significant backlash from the Police Benevolent Association, other unions, Mayor De Blasio and Governor Cuomo. They are demanding that Herman be held indefinitely, the Parole Commissioners who voted for his release be fired, and that people convicted of killing police be left to die in prison.

We want the Governor, policymakers, and public to know that we strongly support the Parole Board's lawful, just and merciful decision. We also want to show support for the recent changes to the Board, including the appointment of new Commissioners and the direction of the new parole regulations, which base release decisions more on who a person is today and their accomplishments while in prison than on the nature of their crime.

Herman has a community of friends, family and loved ones eagerly awaiting his return. At 70 years old and after 45 years inside, it is time for Herman to come home.

Here are four things you can do RIGHT NOW to support Herman Bell:

1- CALL New York State Governor Cuomo's Office NOW

2-EMAIL New York State Governor Cuomo's Office

3- TWEET at Governor Cuomo: use the following sample tweet:

"@NYGovCuomo: stand by the Parole Board's lawful & just decision to release Herman Bell. At 70 years old and after more than 40 years of incarceration, his release is overdue. #BringHermanHome."

4- Participate in a CBS poll and vote YES on the Parole Board's decision
The poll ends on March 21st. Please do this ASAP!

Script for phone calls and emails:
"Governor Cuomo, my name is __________and I am a resident of . I support the Parole Board's decision to release Herman Bell and urge you and the Board to stand by the decision. I also support the recent appointment of new Parole Board Commissioners, and the direction of the new parole regulations, which base release decisions more on who a person is today than on the nature of their crime committed years ago. Returning Herman to his friends and family will help the heal the many harms caused by crime and decades of incarceration. The Board's decision was just, merciful and lawful, and it will benefit our communities and New York State as a whole."

Thank you for your support and contributions.

With gratitude,
Supporters of Herman Bell and Parole Justice New York



After almost 14 years of tireless work, we are changing our name to About Face: Veterans Against the War! This has been a long time coming, and we want to celebrate this member-led decision to grow our identity and our work with you.

Member vote at Convention in favor of changing the name

Why change our name? It's a different world since our founding in 2004 by 8 veterans returning from the invasion of Iraq. The Bush Administration's decision to start two wars significantly altered the political landscape in the US, and even more so in the Middle East and Central Asia. For all of us, that decision changed our lives. Our membership has grown to reflect the diversity of experiences of service members and vets serving in the so-called "Global War on Terror," whether it be deploying to Afghanistan, special operations in Africa, or drone operations on US soil. We will continue to be a home for post-9/11 veterans, and we've seen more members join us since the name-change process began.

Over the past 15 years, our political understanding has also grown and changed. As a community, we have learned how militarism is not only the root cause of conflicts overseas, but how its technology, tactics, and values have landed directly on communities of color, indigenous people, and poor people here at home.

So why this name? About Face is a drill command all of us were taught in the military. It signifies an abrupt 180 degree turn. A turn away. That drill movement represents the transformation that has led us to where we find ourselves today: working to dismantle the militarism we took part in and building solidarity with people who bear the weight of militarism in its many forms.

We are keeping Veterans Against the War as our tag line because it describes our members, our continued cause, and because we are proud to be a part of the anti-war veteran legacy. Our name has changed and our work has deepened, but our vision -- building a world free of militarism -- is stronger than ever. 

As we make this shift, we deeply appreciate your commitment to us over the years and your ongoing support as we build this new phase together. We know that dismantling militarism is long haul work, and we are dedicated to being a part of it with you for as long as it takes.

Until we celebrate the last veteran,

Matt Howard
About Face: Veterans Against the War
(formerly IVAW)

P.O. Box 3565, New York, NY 10008. All Right Reserved. | Unsubscribe

To ensure delivery of About Face emails please add webmaster@ivaw.org to your address book.



Tell the Feds: End Draft Registration

Courage to Resist Podcast: The Future of Draft Registration in the United States

We had draft registration resister Edward Hasbrouck on the Courage to Resistpodcast this week to explain what's going on. Edward talks about his own history of going to prison for refusing to register for the draft in 1983, the background on this new federal commission, and he addresses liberal arguments in favor of involuntary service. Edward explains: 

When you say, "I'm not willing to be drafted", you're saying, "I'm going to make my own choices about which wars we should be fighting", and when you say, "You should submit to the draft", you're saying, "You should let the politicians decide for you."

What's happening right now is that a National Commission … has been appointed to study the question of whether draft registration should be continued, whether it should be expanded to make women, as well as men register for the draft, whether a draft itself should be started, whether there should be some other kind of Compulsory National Service enacted.

The Pentagon would say, and it's true, they don't want a draft. It's not plan A, but it's always been plan B, and it's always been the assumption that if we can't get enough volunteers, if we get in over our head, if we pick a larger fight than we can pursue, we always have that option in our back pocket that, "If not enough people volunteer, we're just going to go go to the draft, go to the benches, and dragoon enough people to fight these wars."

[This] is the first real meaningful opportunity for a national debate about the draft in decades.


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


















Major George Tillery




April 25, 2018-- The arrest of two young men in Starbucks for the crime of "sitting while black," and the four years prison sentence to rapper Meek Mill for a minor parole violation are racist outrages in Philadelphia, PA that made national news in the past weeks. Yesterday Meek Mills was released on bail after a high profile defense campaign and a Pa Supreme Court decision citing evidence his conviction was based solely on a cop's false testimony.

These events underscore the racism, frame-up, corruption and brutality at the core of the criminal injustice system. Pennsylvania "lifer" Major Tillery's fight for freedom puts a spotlight on the conviction of innocent men with no evidence except the lying testimony of jailhouse snitches who have been coerced and given favors by cops and prosecutors.

Sex for Lies and Manufactured Testimony

For thirty-five years Major Tillery has fought against his 1983 arrest, then conviction and sentence of life imprisonment without parole for an unsolved 1976 pool hall murder and assault. Major Tillery's defense has always been his innocence. The police and prosecution knew Tillery did not commit these crimes. Jailhouse informant Emanuel Claitt gave lying testimony that Tillery was one of the shooters.

Homicide detectives and prosecutors threatened Claitt with a false unrelated murder charge, and induced him to lie with promises of little or no jail time on over twenty pending felonies, and being released from jail despite a parole violation. In addition, homicide detectives arranged for Claitt, while in custody, to have private sexual liaisons with his girlfriends in police interview rooms.

In May and June 2016, Emanuel Claitt gave sworn statements that his testimony was a total lie, and that the homicide cops and the prosecutors told him what to say and coached him before trial. Not only was he coerced to lie that Major Tillery was a shooter, but to lie and claim there were no plea deals made in exchange for his testimony. He provided the information about the specific homicide detectives and prosecutors involved in manufacturing his testimony and details about being allowed "sex for lies". In August 2016, Claitt reaffirmed his sworn statements in a videotape, posted on YouTube and on JusticeforMajorTillery.org.

Without the coerced and false testimony of Claitt there was no evidence against Major Tillery. There were no ballistics or any other physical evidence linking him to the shootings. The surviving victim's statement naming others as the shooters was not allowed into evidence.

The trial took place in May 1985 during the last days of the siege and firebombing of the MOVE family Osage Avenue home in Philadelphia that killed 13 Black people, including 5 children. The prosecution claimed that Major Tillery was part of an organized crime group, and falsely described it as run by the Nation of Islam. This prejudiced and inflamed the majority white jury against Tillery, to make up for the absence of any evidence that Tillery was involved in the shootings.

This was a frame-up conviction from top to bottom. Claitt was the sole or primary witness in five other murder cases in the early 1980s. Coercing and inducing jailhouse informants to falsely testify is a standard routine in criminal prosecutions. It goes hand in hand with prosecutors suppressing favorable evidence from the defense.

Major Tillery has filed a petition based on his actual innocence to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Larry Krasner's Conviction Review Unit. A full review and investigation should lead to reversal of Major Tillery's conviction. He also asks that the DA's office to release the full police and prosecution files on his case under the new  "open files" policy. In the meantime, Major Tillery continues his own investigation. He needs your support.

Major Tillery has Fought his Conviction and Advocated for Other Prisoners for over 30 Years

The Pennsylvania courts have rejected three rounds of appeals challenging Major Tillery's conviction based on his innocence, the prosecution's intentional presentation of false evidence against him and his trial attorney's conflict of interest. On June 15, 2016 Major Tillery filed a new post-conviction petition based on the same evidence now in the petition to the District Attorney's Conviction Review Unit. Despite the written and video-taped statements from Emanuel Claitt that that his testimony against Major Tillery was a lie and the result of police and prosecutorial misconduct, Judge Leon Tucker dismissed Major Tillery's petition as "untimely" without even holding a hearing. Major Tillery appealed that dismissal and the appeal is pending in the Superior Court.

During the decades of imprisonment Tillery has advocated for other prisoners challenging solitary confinement, lack of medical and mental health care and the inhumane conditions of imprisonment. In 1990, he won the lawsuit, Tillery v. Owens, that forced the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) to end double celling (4 men to a small cell) at SCI Pittsburgh, which later resulted in the closing and then "renovation" of that prison.

Three years ago Major Tillery stood up for political prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and demanded prison Superintendent John Kerestes get Mumia to a hospital because "Mumia is dying."  For defending Mumia and advocating for medical treatment for himself and others, prison officials retaliated. Tillery was shipped out of SCI Mahanoy, where Mumia was also held, to maximum security SCI Frackville and then set-up for a prison violation and a disciplinary penalty of months in solitary confinement. See, Messing with Major by Mumia Abu-Jamal. Major Tillery's federal lawsuit against the DOC for that retaliation is being litigated. Major Tillery continues as an advocate for all prisoners. He is fighting to get the DOC to establish a program for elderly prisoners.

Major Tillery Needs Your Help:

Well-known criminal defense attorney Stephen Patrizio represents Major pro bonoin challenging his conviction. More investigation is underway. We can't count on the district attorney's office to make the findings of misconduct against the police detectives and prosecutors who framed Major without continuing to dig up the evidence.

Major Tillery is now 67 years old. He's done hard time, imprisoned for almost 35 years, some 20 years in solitary confinement in max prisons for a crime he did not commit. He recently won hepatitis C treatment, denied to him for a decade by the DOC. He has severe liver problems as well as arthritis and rheumatism, back problems, and a continuing itchy skin rash. Within the past couple of weeks he was diagnosed with an extremely high heartbeat and is getting treatment.

Major Tillery does not want to die in prison. He and his family, daughters, sons and grandchildren are fighting to get him home. The newly filed petition for Conviction Review to the Philadelphia District Attorney's office lays out the evidence Major Tillery has uncovered, evidence suppressed by the prosecution through all these years he has been imprisoned and brought legal challenges into court. It is time for the District Attorney's to act on the fact that Major Tillery is innocent and was framed by police detectives and prosecutors who manufactured the evidence to convict him. Major Tillery's conviction should be vacated and he should be freed.

Major Tillery and family


    Financial Support—Tillery's investigation is ongoing. He badly needs funds to fight for his freedom.

    Go to JPay.com;

    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC

    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:

    The Conviction Review Unit should investigate Major Tillery's case. He is innocent. The only evidence at trial was from lying jail house informants who now admit it was false.

    Call: 215-686-8000 or

    Write to:

    Major Tillery AM 9786

    SCI Frackville

    1111 Altamont Blvd.

    Frackville, PA 17931

    For More Information, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery.org


    Kamilah Iddeen (717) 379-9009, Kamilah29@yahoo.com

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



    Free Leonard Peltier!

    On my 43rd year in prison I yearn to hug my grandchildren.

    By Leonard Peltier

    Art by Leonard Peltier

    I am overwhelmed that today, February 6, is the start of my 43rd year in prison. I have had such high hopes over the years that I might be getting out and returning to my family in North Dakota. And yet here I am in 2018 still struggling for my FREEDOM at 73.

    I don't want to sound ungrateful to all my supporters who have stood by me through all these years. I dearly love and respect you and thank you for the love and respect you have given me.

    But the truth is I am tired, and often my ailments cause me pain with little relief for days at a time. I just had heart surgery and I have other medical issues that need to be addressed: my aortic aneurysm that could burst at any time, my prostate, and arthritis in my hip and knees.

    I do not think I have another ten years, and what I do have I would like to spend with my family. Nothing would bring me more happiness than being able to hug my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    I did not come to prison to become a political prisoner. I've been part of Native resistance since I was nine years of age. My sister, cousin and I were kidnapped and taken to boarding school. This incident and how it affected my cousin Pauline, had an enormous effect on me.

    This same feeling haunts me as I reflect upon my past 42 years of false imprisonment. This false imprisonment has the same feeling as when I heard the false affidavit the FBI manufactured about Myrtle Poor Bear being at Oglala on the day of the fire-fight—a fabricated document used to extradite me illegally from Canada in 1976.

    I know you know that the FBI files are full of information that proves my innocence. Yet many of those files are still withheld from my legal team. During my appeal before the 8th Circuit, former Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Crooks said to Judge Heaney: "Your honor, we do not know who killed those agents. Further, we don't know what participation, if any, Mr. Peltier had in it."

    That statement exonerates me, and I should have been released. But here I sit, 43 years later still struggling for my freedom. I have pleaded my innocence for so long now, in so many courts of law, in so many public statements issued through the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, that I will not argue it here. But I will say again, I DID NOT KILL THOSE AGENTS!

    Right now, I need my supporters here in the U.S. and throughout the world helping me. We need donations large or small to help pay my legal team to do the research that will get me back into court or get me moved closer to home or a compassionate release based on my poor health and age. Please help me to go home, help me win my freedom!

    There is a new petition my Canadian brothers and sisters are circulating internationally that will be attached to my letter. Please sign it and download it so you can take it to your work, school or place of worship. Get as many signatures as you can, a MILLION would be great!

    I have been a warrior since age nine. At 73, I remain a warrior. I have been here too long. The beginning of my 43rd year plus over 20 years of good time credit, that makes 60-plus years behind bars.

    I need your help. I need your help today! A day in prison for me is a lifetime for those outside because I am isolated from the world.

    I remain strong only because of your support, prayers, activism and your donations that keep my legal hope alive.

    In the Spirit of Crazy Horse


    Leonard Peltier

    If you would like a paper petition, please email contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info.

    —San Francisco Bay View, February 6, 2018

    Write to:

    Leonard Peltier 89637-132 

    USP Coleman I 

    P.O. Box 1033 

    Coleman, FL 33521

    Donations can be made on Leonard's behalf to the ILPD national office, 116 W. Osborne Ave, Tampa, FL 33603



    Artwork by Kevin Cooper



    Reality's trial
    is postponed 

    until October 15th.

    That's 500 Days in Jail,
    Without Bail!


    Whistleblower Reality Winner's trial has (again) been postponed.
    Her new trial date is October 15, 2018, based on the new official proceedings schedule (fifth version). She will have spent 500 days jailed without bail by then. Today is day #301.
    And her trial may likely be pushed back even further into the Spring of 2019.

    We urge you to remain informed and engaged with our campaign until she is free! 

    One supporter's excellent report

    on the details of Winner's imprisonment

    ~Check out these highlights & then go read the full article here~

    "*Guilty Until Proven Innocent*

    Winner is also not allowed to change from her orange jumpsuit for her court dates, even though she is "innocent until proven guilty."  Not only that, but during any court proceedings, only her wrists are unshackled, her ankles stay.  And a US Marshal sits in front of her, face to face, during the proceedings.  Winner is not allowed to turn around and look into the courtroom at all . . .

    Upon checking the inmate registry, it starts to become clear how hush hush the government wants this case against Winner to be.  Whether pre-whistleblowing, or in her orange jumpsuit, photos of Winner have surfaced on the web.  That's why it was so interesting that there's no photo of her next to her name on the inmate registry . . .

    For the past hundred years, the Espionage Act has been debated and amended, and used to charge whistleblowers that are seeking to help the country they love, not harm it.  Sometimes we have to learn when past amendments no longer do anything to justify the treatment of an American truth teller as a political prisoner. The act is outdated and amending it needs to be seriously looked at, or else we need to develop laws that protect our whistleblowers.

    The Espionage Act is widely agreed by many experts to be unconstitutionally vague and a violation of the First Amendment of Free Speech.  Even though a Supreme Court had ruled that the Espionage Act does not infringe upon the 1st Amendment back in 1919, it's constitutionality has been back and forth in court ever sense.

    Because of being charged under the Espionage Act, Winner's defense's hands are tied.  No one is allowed to mention the classified document, even though the public already knows that the information in it is true, that Russia hacked into our election support companies." 

     Want to take action in support of Reality?

    Step up to defend our whistleblower of conscience ► DONATE NOW

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


    @standbyreality (Twitter)

     Friends of Reality Winner (Facebook)




    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,


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





    Working people are helping to feed the poor hungry corporations! 

    Charity for the Wealthy!

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

    By Jake Johnson, December 18, 2017











    Puerto Rico Still Without Power

















    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…"









    Kaepernick sports new T-shirt:

    Love this guy!









    1)  More Black Officials in Power in Cuba as Leadership Changes

    By Frances Robles and Azam Ahmed, April 22, 2018

    "Alejandro de la Fuente, a Harvard University Cuba studies professor who has written extensively on Afro-Cubans, said inequality diminished in several ways. His research showed, for example, that in the 1980s, the life expectancy gap between black and white people was better in Cuba than in Brazil or the United States.

    Also, the proportion of black Cubans with college degrees was close to the proportion of white Cubans, he found, whereas in the United States, the proportion of white college degree holders was twice as large as among African-Americans."


    Paying homage to Fidel Castro at Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana in 2016.CreditTomas Munita for The New York Times

    As the departing Cuban president, Raúl Castro, tells it, even too many of the radio and television newscasters in Cuba are white.

    It "was not easy" getting the few black broadcasters now on the air hired, Mr. Castro said in his retirement speech Thursday, a remarkable admission considering the state controls all the stations.

    So it was all the more extraordinary to see last week how many women and Afro-Cubans were chosen for positions in the highest echelon of Cuban politics in the new government: Half of the six vice presidents of the ruling Council of State are black, including the first vice president, and three are also women.

    The new council will serve under the new president, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, who took over on Thursday.

    That the first administration in 60 years without a single Castro would include so many women and black officials was notable in Cuba, where increasing business opportunities have only swelled economic racial disparities. The move also signaled the growing significance of the Afro-Cuban movement, marked in the past 20 years by artists, hip-hop musicians and intellectuals who are more willing to speak out about the problems affecting black people on the island, experts said.

    While official statistics reflect that less than 10 percent of the population is black, in reality, most estimates put the number far higher.

    The Cuban government under the Castros has historically been viewed as one made up mainly of white men, especially those of advanced age. Although it has generally had at least one Afro-Cuban in a high-ranking position, cynics dismissed them as symbolic figures.

    Although skeptics doubt that too much will change to address the disparities faced by many black people in Cuba, even some of the government's harshest critics acknowledged that the diversity shift was an important development.

    "Yes, it has great significance," said Ramón Colas, a black anti-Castro activist who sought political asylum in 2001 and now lives in Mississippi. "The Cuban revolution has historically been white, and seen from the outside as a revolution by white men, where black people were part of the crowd, spectators who were silent or applauded, but never participated."

    Mr. Colas said the election, a process in which Mr. Castro and the Communist Party had full control, showed that the former Cuban leader has "big ears" and was willing to listen to the outcry from black civic and arts organizations. But he noted it would be even more noteworthy if the three black people on the council used their positions to push for racial equality.

    "Wouldn't it be great if they used those positions to say, 'As a black Cuban, I am against injustice against black people in Cuba?' " he said. "I doubt that they can do that. They are not allowed. Fidel declared that racism is a problem that ended."

    If anything, Raúl Castro's move to shift high-ranking positions to black leaders was an acknowledgment that racism and discrimination had not, in fact, been solved by the revolution.

    In his remarks on Thursday, Mr. Castro said the struggle to move beyond percentages continued.

    "We still have the battle of proportions, not just in numerical aspects, but qualitative — in decision-making slots," he said. "Three women were elected vice president of the Council of State, two of them black — not only for being black, but for their virtues and qualities."

    While inequality persists in the country, the Castro revolution did make important strides for black people.

    Before the revolution, social stratification was profound, with black Cubans open to far less opportunity and enduring far more discrimination than their lighter-skinned fellow citizens. When Fidel Castro came to power after the revolution, one of his early edicts essentially sought an end to racism.

    The result was that systemic racism as it exists in the Americas is far less present in Cuba, and social and educational opportunities generally more present for black Cubans — even those living far from the capital. For many of the revolution's proponents, it was one of the major achievements at a time when some parts of the United States were still requiring black people to drink from separate water fountains.

    Alejandro de la Fuente, a Harvard University Cuba studies professor who has written extensively on Afro-Cubans, said inequality diminished in several ways. His research showed, for example, that in the 1980s, the life expectancy gap between black and white people was better in Cuba than in Brazil or the United States.

    Also, the proportion of black Cubans with college degrees was close to the proportion of white Cubans, he found, whereas in the United States, the proportion of white college degree holders was twice as large as among African-Americans.

    But the improvements, brought on by socialized education, were offset by the economic nose-dive Afro-Cubans faced after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. More Cubans started living on cash remittances sent from the United States. And almost all the Cubans sending money from the United States were white.

    Mr. de la Fuente noted that both of the black women named to the council, Inés María Chapman Waugh and Beatriz Jhonson Urrutia, are engineers from eastern Cuba, which makes them an example of the kind of educational mobility possible for black women in the country. Mr. de la Fuente said their promotions were largely symbolic, but still important.

    "Even if this was window-dressing, it would mean they feel the need to dress the window in a certain color, and that is something one would not have said 30 years ago," Mr. de la Fuente said.

    Only 9 percent of Cubans identified themselves as black in the 2012 census, a sign that most Cubans don't see benefits to self-identifying as Afro-Cuban, he said. Most estimates have the number of black people in Cuba much higher.

    "If you go by the one-drop rule, like you have in the United States, Cuba is like 90 percent black," Mr. Colas said with a laugh.

    Katrin Hansing, a professor at Baruch College in New York who is studying racial inequality in Cuba, said the presence of more black people on the council was likely to be met with a collective shrug on the island. The economic disparities have grown so stark, she said, that more shantytowns are popping up on the outskirts of big cities, and people of color largely populate them.

    "It won't change their socioeconomically difficult lives," Ms. Hansing said. "The Communist Party will not change because there are three more black people at the top."

    In Cuba, many people interviewed agreed, and some did not even know the changes had been made.

    In the neighborhood of La Corea, marooned on the outskirts of Havana, most people had more pressing concerns to ponder than the racial balance of the nation's top officials. Heaps of trash were piled on street corners, covered in thick swarms of flies. A water leak from a pipe beneath the sidewalk flowed unchecked, leaving pools and summoning mosquitoes.

    The neighborhood contrasts sharply with the proud, if battered, colonial structures of Old Havana or the resplendent mansions of Vedado or Miramar. Homes are slapped together with rusty shards of corrugated metal or raw cinder block and cement. The streets are so worn in parts they are simply dirt.

    In the largely black neighborhood, residents were somewhat divided on the meaning of the new racial composition of the government. Manuel Garro Gómez, 65, seemed to take the official line on the matter. "Cuba says there is no discrimination and that's largely how it is," he said. "Before the revolution, there was absolutely no relation between black people and whites. Today we mix easily."

    Down the street, Yasmani Santo, 30, once informed about the change, said it was a decent move.

    "This reflects the population a bit more, which I appreciate," he said. "But I'm not sure it will change anything." Referring to the neighborhood's dilapidation, he said: "People come and make promises to fix these things and nothing happens. Let's see if this new president does anything."

    Abraham Jiménez Enoa, a writer and director at El Estornudo magazine in Havana, said racism was a part of daily life for black Cubans, no matter what the state says. When he has dated white women, his friends offered snide remarks that he was "trying to get ahead."

    He said the police were more likely to stop a black person, especially one who is carrying things like towels or sheets, which are items often pilfered from hotels by Cubans without money to buy their own.

    In Old Havana on Thursday, Josué Soto del Sol, 10, smiled and then shrugged when he heard about the appointments of the three black leaders. "It's good," he said. "We are all black in Cuba."

    Ed Agustin contributed reporting from Havana. Azam Ahmed reported from Havana, and Frances Robles from Miami.



    2) Do Taxpayers Know They Are Handing Out Billions to Corporations?

    By Nathan M. Jensen, April 24, 2018


    A rendering of Eightfold Development's proposed Amazon HQ2 in Austin, Tex.CreditEightfold Developement

    Every year, states and local governments give economic-development incentives to companies to the tune of between $45 billion and $80 billion. Why such a wide range? It's not sloppy research; it's because many of these subsidies are not public.

    For the known subsidies, such as Maryland's recent $8.5 billion incentive bid for Amazon's second headquarters, the support includes cash grants for company relocations, subsidized land, forgiving company taxes on everything from property taxes to sales taxes and investments in infrastructure for the company. Maryland is even offering to give 5.75 percent of each worker's salary back to the company, which is the maximum state income tax rate for individuals. Employees will pay taxes that will be routed back to Amazon.

    To be clear, Maryland isn't a model of transparency. Its offer is known not because the state made its bid public, but because these extreme incentives required special legislation. The legislature didn't call it the Amazon Bill. They called it the Prime Act, which is a tortured acronym from "Promoting ext-Raordinary Innovation in Maryland's Economy Program." The bill was revealed only after an initial offer was made to the company.

    Economic development all across the country is getting less open — and both Democrats and Republicans are doing it. In fact, in many cases, the politicians themselves aren't even the ones negotiating for the public.

    How do communities balance the tremendous opportunity of attracting a world-class company against the taxpayer costs, the pressures on our infrastructure and our struggles of providing affordable housing?

    My city — Austin, Tex. — is a well-governed place that has taken a sensible path with tax abatement offers or other business subsidies. But its Amazon bid wasn't even submitted by the local government; the Chamber of Commerce did it instead. That happened in several states, including Wisconsin. That means it isn't subject to public-record laws. The offer was so secret that the members of our City Council — i.e., the people elected to govern the city — have complained that they don't know what is being offered on our city's behalf.

    Yet this is bigger than a single Amazon headquarters investment. In Texas, we are notorious for our exceptions to public-record requests when we talk about economic development. Governments can be exempted from requestsif they put companies or governments at a competitive disadvantage (with other states, for example).

    This idea of economic development secrecy can be stretched to any end. The city of McAllen, Tex., shielded the amount it paid Enrique Iglesias for a concert using the argument that this would put the city at a competitive disadvantage. According to The Texas Observer, the legal precedent for this competitiveness argument has been cited in over 1,850 public records cases in Texas.

    I recently made a request for details on companies that applied to the Texas Enterprise Fund, a program that provides corporate cash incentives. It was not only sent to the attorney general's office, but it was also forwarded to the companies participating in the program. Forty-five companies challenged my request for their applications through in-house lawyers as well as law firms with expertise in challenging public records requests.

    Many of these companies want to hide their proposed jobs and wages on the initial application — it's an extremely effective way of making it impossible to evaluate if these companies kept their promises to create high-paying jobs in exchange for taxpayer dollars.

    Other states are also secretive about economic development. Amazon's brazen public call for proposals for its second headquarters reveals how far governments will go to keep these secrets. Some cities and states revealed their bids, including New Jersey's $7 billion taxpayer-funded incentive. But the majority didn't. In January, when Amazon cut down this list down to 20 locations, the finalists signed nondisclosure agreements to keep the rest of the process secret.

    Even the cities that were eliminated by Amazon have refused to make their bids public. Minnesota and Washington both have reputations for transparency and received "leading" rankings from the Pew Charitable Trusts in their evaluation of economic incentives. But Minneapolis and Tacoma, Wash., submitted their bids through nongovernment entities and claim they don't even have access to the cities' pitches to Amazon.

    Another strategy to avoid transparency in a competition like this is through complexity. The idea is to make economic development so twisted that it's nearly impossible to figure out who is responsible for it. If governments aren't submitting these bids, with taxpayers' money, who is responsible for economic development?

    In many states, companies are wooed by getting a break on paying local taxes. In some of these cases, local interests get overlooked — in particular, schools. There are school districts where economic developers were empowered to give away the tax revenues without the input of educators. The California Teachers' Association supported a law to help stop giving away their tax dollars. Louisiana just allowed school districts to modify or decline these incentives.

    In Texas, rather than cutting school districts out of the process, the rules were written to make sure districts always say yes to company incentive requests. Our program, called Chapter 313, allows a school district to forgive a company's taxes, but the state pays the taxes to the school district. Even better, schools can request "supplemental payments" from companies, which in some cases exceed 40 percent of the company's incentive benefits. Ironically, school districts make more money from companies that accept a tax incentive than a company that comes with no government support. As you can guess, in these cases, school districts say yes to every request, companies receive tax incentives, and Texas taxpayers are on the hook for billions of dollars.

    Many activists hoped that the true costs of these programs would be revealed this year. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board, a private-sector group that sets generally accepted standards for governments, issued a rule that state and local governments must now reveal how much communities lose in tax revenues through business tax abatements. Unfortunately, half of local governments are simply not complying with this rule. In complex programs — like the Chapter 313 Texas tax limitation that is authorized by the school districts but paid for by the state — nobody seems to be reporting it.

    The recent bidding war for Amazon and failure of communities to live up to the Standards Board reporting rule reveals that weak transparency laws can be further thwarted by using the complexity of these programs.

    Maybe people are getting fed up with hypercompetitive incentives. In a new Elon University poll, only 14 percent of respondents felt that cities should offer as much as possible to lure HQ2 to their city. Rather than revealing the relationship between business and politics, elected officials have used the participation of private interests to shield economic development from their own citizens.

    Nathan M. Jensen is a professor of government at the University of Texas, Austin, and a co-author of "Incentives to Pander: How Politicians Use Corporate Welfare for Political Gain."



    3) A Lynching Memorial Is Opening. The Country Has Never Seen Anything Like It.

    By Campbell Robertson, April 25, 2018


    The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, opening Thursday in Montgomery, Ala., remembers the thousands of victims of lynchings.CreditAudra Melton for The New York Times

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — In a plain brown building sits an office run by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, a place for people who have been held accountable for their crimes and duly expressed remorse.

    Just a few yards up the street lies a different kind of rehabilitation center, for a country that has not been held to nearly the same standard.

    The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opens Thursday on a six-acre site overlooking the Alabama state capital, is dedicated to the victims of American white supremacy. And it demands a reckoning with one of the nation's least recognized atrocities: the lynching of thousands of black people in a decades-long campaign of racist terror.

    At the center is a grim cloister, a walkway with 800 weathered steel columns, all hanging from a roof. Etched on each column is the name of an American county and the people who were lynched there, most listed by name, many simply as "unknown." The columns meet you first at eye level, like the headstones that lynching victims were rarely given. But as you walk, the floor steadily descends; by the end, the columns are all dangling above, leaving you in the position of the callous spectators in old photographs of public lynchings.

    The magnitude of the killing is harrowing, all the more so when paired with the circumstances of individual lynchings, some described in brief summaries along the walk: Parks Banks, lynched in Mississippi in 1922 for carrying a photograph of a white woman; Caleb Gadly, hanged in Kentucky in 1894 for "walking behind the wife of his white employer"; Mary Turner, who after denouncing her husband's lynching by a rampaging white mob, was hung upside down, burned and then sliced open so that her unborn child fell to the ground.

    There is nothing like it in the country. Which is the point.

    "Just seeing the names of all these people," said Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, the nonprofit organization behind the memorial. Many of them, he said, "have never been named in public."

    Mr. Stevenson and a small group of lawyers spent years immersing themselves in archives and county libraries to document the thousands of racial terror lynchings across the South. They have cataloged nearly 4,400 in total.

    Inspired by the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, Mr. Stevenson decided that a single memorial was the most powerful way to give a sense of the scale of the bloodshed. But also at the site are duplicates of each steel column, lined up in rows like coffins, intended to be disseminated around the country to the counties where lynchings were carried out. People in these counties can request them — dozens of such requests have already been made — but they must show that they have made efforts locally to "address racial and economic injustice."

    For Mr. Stevenson, the plans for the memorial and an accompanying museum were rooted in decades spent in Alabama courtrooms, witnessing a criminal justice system that treats African-Americans with particular cruelty, or indifference.

    Since 1989, the Equal Justice Initiative has offered legal services to poor people in prison, toiling away in a city awash in Confederate commemorations (Monday was Confederate Memorial Day in Alabama), in a state with the nation's highest per capita death sentencing rate. Nearly every staff member is a lawyer with clients in the prison system, and they have continued to work a full schedule of legal defense work even as they painstakingly compiled the names of the lynched and planned the memorial.

    Mr. Stevenson, whose great-grandparents were slaves in Virginia, has written about "just mercy," the belief that those who have committed serious wrongs should be allowed a chance at redemption. It is a conviction he has spent a career arguing for on behalf of clients, and he believes it is true even for the white America whose brutality is chronicled by the memorial.

    "If I believe that each of us is more than the worst thing he's ever done," he said, "I have to believe that for everybody."

    But the history has to be acknowledged and its destructive legacy faced, he said. And this is particularly hard in "the most punitive society on the planet."

    People do not want to admit wrongdoing in America, Mr. Stevenson said, because they expect only punishment.

    "I'm not interested in talking about America's history because I want to punish America," Mr. Stevenson continued. "I want to liberate America. And I think it's important for us to do this as an organization that has created an identity that is as disassociated from punishment as possible."

    The initiative's headquarters are a few blocks away in a building that was once a warehouse in Montgomery's sprawling slave market. It is now the site of the Legacy Museum, a companion piece to the memorial.

    It is not a conventional museum, heavy on artifacts and detached commentary. It is perhaps better described as the presentation of an argument, supported by firsthand accounts and contemporary documents, that the slavery system did not end but evolved: from the family-shattering domestic slave trade to the decades of lynching terror, to the suffocating segregation of Jim Crow to the age of mass incarceration in which we now live.

    The museum ends with a nod toward the future. By the exit is a section with a voter registration kiosk, information on volunteer opportunities and suggestions on how to discuss all of this with students. Given what has come before, it seems a jarring expression of confidence in the possibility of change. But there are good reasons for it.

    Among the accounts given at the museum is that of Anthony Ray Hinton, who spent 28 years on Alabama's death row after being wrongly convictedof two murders by an all-white jury. The case for his innocence seemed straightforward, but lawyers at the Equal Justice Initiative spent 16 years working for his freedom, appealing the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Hinton knows firsthand how stubborn injustice can be, but he is blunt: If people just gave up in despair, he would be dead.

    "I refuse to believe that it's hopeless because I am a product of what can happen when you fight," he said. "If we don't fight, who's going to fight?"

    A grassy hillock rises in the middle of the memorial. From here you can see the Montgomery skyline through the thicket of hanging columns, the river where the enslaved were sold and the State Capitol building that once housed the Confederacy, whose monuments the current Alabama governor has vowed to protect. It is a striking view. But Mr. Stevenson pointed out that when standing here, you are on view as well, faced on all sides by the names of the thousands who were run down, instantly judged and viciously put to death.

    "You might feel judged yourself," he said. "What are you going to do?"



    4) Five Black Women Were Told to Golf Faster. Then the Club Called the Police.

    By Christina Caron, April 25, 2018


    From left, Carolyn Dow, Sandra Harrison, Karen Crosby, Sandra Thompson and Myneca Ojo. The five women were golfing at Grandview Golf Club in York County, Pa., when they were asked to leave.CreditMyneca Ojo, via Facebook

    What started out as a relaxing day at a Pennsylvania golf course turned into an ugly confrontation between the white men who run the club and five black women who were playing there.

    It had echoes of other recent incidents, at a Starbucks in Philadelphia and a Waffle House in Alabama, in which black customers found themselves in racially charged disputes. Once again, the police were summoned. Once again, a video spread widely on social media and drew national attention.

    On Saturday in a largely white suburban community in Dover Township, York County, the women began playing at Grandview Golf Club before being told that they were moving too slowly, said one of the women, Sandra Thompson, 50, a lawyer and the president of the York chapter of the N.A.A.C.P.

    "Many of us were having great drive days. We were slamming that ball," she said on Tuesday. "So when they were trying to say 'too slow of a pace,' that was just false."

    Their day started out with a hiccup: Frost on the course delayed their tee time by an hour, Ms. Thompson said, so they weren't able to start playing until 11 a.m. Though a foursome is the norm, the club permitted a group of five, she said.

    Then, as they teed off on the second hole, she explained, they were approached by a former county commissioner who, according to The York Daily Record, serves in an advisory role for the golf course. He asked them twice to leave and threatened to cancel their memberships over their pace of play, she said.

    Later, after the group finished playing nine holes, three of the women left. The remaining two, Myneca Ojo, 56, and Ms. Thompson, had just finished a break and were going to start the second nine holes, when they were approached by one of the club's owners and other employees, who said that their break took too long and that they had called the police.

    Ms. Ojo, a director of diversity and inclusion at a state agency, on Tuesday described their interactions with the club officials as "demeaning" and "hostile." Ms. Thompson recorded video showing part of the confrontation and later posted it on YouTube and Facebook.

    Officers arrived and "quickly determined that this was not a police issue," Mark L. Bentzel, chief of the Northern York County Regional Police Department, said. After speaking with both of the parties involved, he said, "there was no need for us to be there and we left."

    No charges were filed, Chief Bentzel added.

    Everyone disbanded, and the women left the golf course. 

    "The police were respectful, so it is not about the police," Ms. Thompson said in her Facebook post.

    That contrasted with other episodes involving black customers that have fueled fury online this month. At the Starbucks in Philadelphia and the Waffle House in Alabama, the police made arrests.

    The former county commissioner, Steve Chronister, and the club's co-owner, his son, Jordan Chronister, could not be reached for comment. Calls to the Grandview Golf Club went to voice mail, and the recorder was too full to accept messages.

    Jordan and J.J. Chronister, co-owners of the golf club, said in a statement to the television station Fox 43, "While our intention was to ensure all teams on the course were moving through in a timely manner, the interaction between our members and our ownership progressed in a manner that was not reflective of our company's values or expectations for our own professionalism."

    Ms. Thompson said that it was the first time the women had used their memberships at the golf club, which recently came under new ownership, but that they had played at the course multiple times.

    They all belong to a golfing club, Sisters in the Fairway, and have played at courses "all over the world," Ms. Ojo said, so they knew how to keep pace. Even so, the women said, they skipped the third hole after Steve Chronister approached them.

    "The only other difference between us and the other players was our race and our gender," Ms. Thompson said.

    York, a county of small towns, suburbs and farmland in southern Pennsylvania about 50 miles north of Baltimore, is predominantly white, said Ms. Ojo, who lives there. Black and latino people are concentrated in the largest municipality, the city of York.

    "This ain't Baltimore," she added. Throughout the episode, Ms. Ojo said, she and her fellow golfers "were treated less than human beings."

    In Ms. Thompson's video, Jordan Chronister can be seen saying, "Congratulations, you're a real winner," adding, "Remove yourself from our premises within the next five minutes, please."

    "The authorities have been called," another man said.

    "Back off," Steve Chronister told his son on camera. "This is what she wants. This is what she does for a living."

    Ms. Thompson said that the group had completed nine holes in two hours. Not only were they playing on pace, the sole group playing behind them had also not been impeded, she said. That group can be seen on the video, taking a break before teeing off.

    "They were not rushing," she said. "They were out, just like we were, out having a good day. They were leisurely."

    Both Ms. Thompson and Ms. Ojo said that the group behind them had not complained. In fact, Ms. Thompson added, one of the men from that group "came to us and told us how outraged he was at our treatment."

    Ms. Thompson said that after her Facebook post, J.J. Chronister, who identified herself as Jordan Chronister's wife, called and apologized. But, Ms. Thompson said, none of the women have heard directly from the two men.

    "We're going to pursue all remedies that are available" to change how the golf club treats women of color, Ms. Thompson said, though no formal complaint has been filed. "Whatever needs to be done for them to take this seriously," she said.

    The altercation continues to draw anger from around the country, some of it misdirected. The similarly named but unrelated Grand View Golf Club near Pittsburgh had to put a notice on its website after being inundated with complaints. "We pride ourselves on treating all our golfers with kindness, respect, and courtesy," that club wrote. "Please do not attack us on Facebook, Twitter, Google, or any other platform as we are NOT that course."



    5)  Lawsuit Challenges Police Use of Sealed Arrest Records

    By Ashley Southall, April 25, 2018


    A class-action suit charges that the New York Police Department routinely uses the contents of sealed arrest records without necessary court approval.CreditDrew Angerer/Getty Images

    When criminal charges against an adult who has been arrested in New York are dismissed, state law generally requires the case to be sealed, strictly limiting access, use and disclosure of its details.

    The state sealing statutes — which also apply when a person is acquitted, prosecutors decline to bring charges or charges are downgraded to an infraction or violation — are intended to protect people who have not been convicted of a crime from the stigma of an arrest.

    But a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan accuses the police in New York City of routinely violating the statutes by keeping and sharing the contents of sealed arrest records — including charges, fingerprints, photos, Social Security numbers and who people called while in custody.

    The lawsuit, brought by the Bronx Defenders, a criminal-defense nonprofit, and the firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, seeks class-action status to challenge practices in the Police Department that the complaint says infringe on the due-process rights of mostly black and Latino people with unproven, mostly low-level accusations.

    Its main plaintiffs, three black men identified in the complaint by their initials, are seeking a declaration that it is illegal for the Police Department, without court approval, to access data from sealed arrest records, use them in investigations or share them with other law enforcement agencies and the media.

    Jenn Rolnick Borchetta, the deputy director of impact litigation for the Bronx Defenders, said that allowing the police to handle sealed records unchecked undermines efforts in New York City to promote fairness and limit unnecessary harm in the criminal justice system. A court ruling, she said, is needed to remind the Police Department of its obligation under state law.

    "There's such a push in New York to get people disentangled from the criminal justice system for crimes of poverty like jumping a turnstile," she said, "and the N.Y.P.D. is overriding it based on sealed arrests that, under longstanding privacy rules, are supposed to not be used in any way, particularly in ways that continue to harm people when they've already had their cases dismissed."

    The sealing statutes curtail access to official records of sealed cases — except for published court decisions or opinions, or records and briefs on appeal — for people other than the accused and for public and private agencies. The laws also require fingerprints and photos in the files to be destroyed or returned to the accused.

    But the statutes do not conceal the records completely and forever: Lawmakers carved out several exceptions for access, including for law enforcement agencies to get permission from a court.

    Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for the city Law Department, said the agency would "review the lawsuit and respond in the litigation." The city has 60 days to do so.

    The Police Department declined to comment. But the case cites a memorandum from a federal lawsuit over dismissed summonses that the city settled for $75 million last year. In it, city lawyers said the Police Department uses sealed arrest data for a variety of reasons, including to solve crimes and apprehend suspects.

    Jeffrey A. Fagan, a professor at Columbia Law School who testified against the city in litigation over its stop-and-frisk tactics, said that claim appears to never have been challenged. "Absent some showing of some statutory authorization to contravene the statute, then the plaintiffs seem to have a pretty strong claim," he said.

    The outcome of the lawsuit could affect millions of case files. Just between 2014 and 2016, as the police scaled back stop-and-frisk, over 400,000 cases were supposed to be sealed, according to the complaint. Almost 83 percent, or 330,000 cases, involved black and Latino defendants, who are more likely to live in communities where police activity is highest and for whom being arrested can have a detrimental impact on their employment, housing, immigration status and eligibility for public benefits.

    Most of the sealed cases involved minor offenses — such as fare evasion — which made up 750,000 of the 1.1 million arrests effected by the Police Department between 2014 and 2017.

    A court ruling could resonate across the country at a time when police departments are increasingly amassing data and using it to drive investigations and to make enforcement and policy decisions. Most states have laws requiring some criminal cases to be expunged or sealed, but compliance varies, observers say.

    "They're sharing data across their networks, and this introduces just a more vast and fast dissemination of personal information than existed 10 years ago or before that," Ms. Borchetta said. "These technologies represent great advancements in law enforcement but they also create new privacy concerns."

    Eugene O'Donnell, a former city police officer who now teaches at John Jay College, said the information contained in arrest reports is indispensable to investigators because it can help them track patterns, determine affiliations and examine particular crime spikes.

    "It's a treasure trove of information for investigators, whether you're talking about street crime, terrorism or more sophisticated investigations," said Professor O'Donnell, who was also a prosecutor in Brooklyn and Queens. "It's not something you want to put out of your reach."

    Even though a sealed case did not result in a conviction, he said, that does not always mean a person did not commit a crime or other egregious act.

    "If you want to hire someone for a position of trust, do you want to be blind to that or see what was on file?" he said. "There are very clear cases where someone got away with a very serious crime for whatever reason."

    Narrow exceptions in the sealing statutes allow access to someone's sealed case records for prosecutors, parole and corrections agencies, gun licensing authorities, and employers that hire peace officers and police officers. For instance, prosecutors may see the sealed records of someone to whom they are considering offering a deal to dismiss a subsequent case if the person stays out of trouble for a certain period of time. In another example, police departments are permitted to access the sealed arrest records of people who apply to become officers.

    But the process for the police to obtain a court order for individuals' records can be burdensome, Professor O'Donnell said, and the lawsuit could spur the Legislature to amend the statutes, which lawmakers expanded last year to include nonviolent criminal convictions more than 10 years old. Or, he said, it might prompt a streamlining of the process to obtain court approval for sealed records, much as the process for getting warrants has been simplified.

    The Police Department's use of sealed records has attracted a legal challenge before, and it agreed to scrub that kind of information from a database of street stops as part of a settlement with the New York Civil Liberties Union in 2013.

    The Police Department handbook for detectives details how to request a court order to unseal photos and court records, but it also outlines a process for investigators to obtain an authorization code to access sealed arrest records without court approval. And, according to the lawsuit, the sealed arrests also appear on the rap sheets that patrol officers consult during street stops to decide whether to make an arrest or issue a violation for minor infractions.

    Police officials often anonymously reveal information about sealed arrests to the media in big cases like fatal police shootings. But defense lawyers say the practice is also common in everyday cases that do not capture the spotlight.

    In interviews, public defenders said they often found sealed records in police documents turned over by prosecutors, or evidence suggesting they have been used, such as a phone number from a sealed file or video of detectives interrogating their clients about sealed cases.

    One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, identified as R.C., was living and working in Wappinger Falls, N.Y., when he was arrested in connection with an April 2015 robbery in the Bronx. R.C.'s picture had been used in three photo arrays shown to the victim, who finally chose it two weeks after the incident. But the image the police used was from a 2011 arrest that was sealed, and therefore required to be destroyed or returned to R.C., according to the complaint.

    Friends told investigators that R.C. had stayed in Danbury, Conn., on the night of the robbery, and prosecutors ultimately dropped the case in November 2016. But, the complaint said, commuting for his 10 court appearances cost R.C. his job and the experience left him scarred.



    6)  Nine Rights Every Patient Should Demand

    We need a Financial Bill of Rights to protect consumers of healthcare from unfair


    [What we need is Free, Universal Healthcare for All Now! ...Bonnie Weinstein]

    By Elisabeth Rosenthal, April 27, 2018


    Ever since the American Hospital Association created its first Patient Bill of Rights in the early 1970s, medical centers, professional associations and states have been adapting it or creating their own. They are featured on websites and included in admissions packets, and adorn hospital walls.

    But most of these documents are relics, responding to the concerns of a bygone era, like the right to "understandable information concerning diagnosis, treatment and prognosis" and to "a smoke-free environment." (Smoking has been forbidden in accredited hospitals for more than 25 years.)

    If the cost of treatment is mentioned at all, it often squeaks in at the bottom. Consider how Johns Hopkins puts it: The patient has the right to "ask for an estimate of hospital charges before care is provided." Note: Not to receiveone.

    Today patients' worries are financial as much as medical. Twenty percent of people with insurance say they have trouble paying their medical bills, a figure that rises to above 50 percent for the uninsured. In an era when patients are told to be better consumers of health care, they need a Financial Bill of Rights, too.

    Here are some suggestions for what it should include:

    1. The right to an itemized bill in plain English. 

    Patients can't detect and dispute improper charges if their bills involve dozens of pages of medical abbreviations. Studies have found that 30 percent to over 50 percent of hospital bills contain errors. I interviewed a parent whose bill included thousands for his newborn's circumcision — even though his son was never circumcised. If a contractor charged you for a kitchen when he only renovated the bathroom, it would be fraud. When hospitals do the same it's regarded as an honest mistake. I have seen the bill a patient got for a hip replacement in Belgium. It is easier to understand than an American bill even though it's in Flemish.

    2. The right to never receive a surprise out-of-network bill. 

    One New Jersey couple went to a hospital, a doctor and an anesthesiologist within their insurance network for the birth of their daughter. But when their newborn had trouble breathing, requiring a stint in intensive care, they discovered that the pediatricians there were not in any network, resulting in a surprise bill for $10,000. A number of states are passing laws to shield individuals from surprise charges. But the laws put the onus on the patient to dispute the bill. The providers can still attempt to collect, and they do so aggressively.

    3. The right to accurate information about the provider network in my insurance plan. 

    Doctors must be clearly in-network or not. I had one gastroenterologist's office tell me that she is in-network for a polyp removal but not for a routine colonoscopy, generally a far less lucrative procedure under current insurance rules. Doctors shouldn't be able to cherry pick — they must be in-network for all the procedures they normally perform and on all days of the week they practice. If a provider is listed as in-network but is not, the insurer should take care of the charge.

    4. The right to a stable network. 

    I buy my insurance policy for a year. If my doctor or insurer stops participating in my network within that year or in the midst of treating me for an acute disease, I should still be billed as an in-network patient. This would prevent a bait-and-switch: A patient goes to a physical therapy practice for a knee injury, for instance. The first sessions are in-network. Then that therapist leaves the network or the patient is scheduled with a different therapist who doesn't participate, resulting in a $450 bill.

    5. The right to be informed of conflicts of interest. 

    Patients should know if their doctors own a financial stake in a testing or procedure facility before a test or procedure is ordered or scheduled. They should know if a hospital is paying its doctors according to how much revenue they generate or how much they bill, and be informed of any other mutually beneficial financial relationships.

    6. The right to be informed in advance about any facility fees. 

    A procedure can come with different price tags depending on where it is performed. A Stanford faculty member I interviewed scheduled some minor hand surgery for a time that was convenient for her and her surgeon. On different days, he operated at different locations. She chose a day he worked at a hospital, so the facility fee was $11,000, and her co-pay was $2,200. If she'd chosen one of the days he worked at a surgery center, it would have cost her $2,000.

    7. The right to see a price list for elective procedures. 

    These prices are often just a starting point for negotiations, after which insurers end up paying much less. But they still matter. About 40 percent of Americans have high-deductible plans that require them to pay more than $1,000 before insurers step in. And of course patients without insurance pay the full fare. "Informed consent" is a bedrock principle of health care. That should include financial liability as well as medical risk.

    8. The right to be informed of cheaper options. 

    Many doctors recommend the most expensive course of care and don't tell patients that there are other options. One example: Instead of ordering months of thrice-a-week physical therapy after a hip replacement, hospitals should tell patients they can also do a few instructional sessions and then do the exercises at a gym. That is the norm in many countries, and researchers have found it works just as well.

    9. The right to know that a disputed bill will not be sent to a collection agency. 

    The threat of dealing with bill collectors and a damaged credit rating is used to intimidate patients into paying up without asking questions. A retired physician recently wrote a check for $5,000 to settle a $17,850 bill for his young adult daughter's overpriced urine test, for fear that not settling would harm her credit rating. In any other business this would be regarded as extortion.

    I know these rights might seem like a fantasy in our current system, with its overwhelming complexity and cost. But they are actually quite similar to the rights we expect in any other sector of our economy. A month after I've paid for and taken a flight, I can't be told that the pilot's fee was not included. When I pick up bread and yogurt at the supermarket, I don't have to guess what they might cost. Bill collectors don't start harassing me when I'm disputing a charge on my Visa bill.

    When the product is our health and the bills are potentially bankrupting, don't we deserve as much? Maybe, at the very least, it's time to replace that "right to a smoke-free environment" with some of the above



    7)  Gaza Protesters Charge Fence; 3 Killed, 100s Wounded

    By Iyad Abuheweila and David M. Halbfinger, April 27, 2018


    A wounded protester is evacuated on Friday near Khan Younis, Gaza.CreditAdel Hana/Associated Press

    GAZA CITY — Urged on by a Hamas leader who told them not to fear death but to welcome martyrdom, hundreds of Palestinian protesters stormed the Gaza security barrier and tried to cross into Israel on Friday.

    Israeli troops responded with lethal force, killing at least several people and wounding hundreds, according to Gaza health officials.

    The protest was the fifth in a series of weekly demonstrations billed as the Great Return March, meant to highlight the decade-old Israeli blockade of the impoverished coastal enclave as well as to rekindle international sympathy for Palestinian refugees' claim of a right to return to what is now Israel. At least 40 demonstrators were killed in the first four weekly protests.

    As of Friday evening, the Gaza health ministry said three people had been killed, all of them shot in the head. About 350 others had been wounded, 75 of them by live ammunition, the ministry said.

    At least some of the casualties occurred when two Palestinians approached the fence with handguns, according to four witnesses, and one fired at least seven rounds at Israeli soldiers before the two fled.

    The soldiers threw a hand grenade in response, the witnesses said, but the armed men were long gone. A number of unarmed protesters were wounded, the witnesses said, two of them critically.

    Two other witnesses disputed that account, saying the men did not fire at the Israelis.

    Demonstrators used wire cutters, hooks and winches to try to pull down the barriers that Israeli forces have relied upon to hold back the protesters. The demonstrators have increasingly vowed to rush into Israel and reclaim the lands their forefathers left behind.

    A 21-year-old man who gave his name only as Ahmed said he had seen five men shot as they pulled away a barbed-wire barrier which demarcates a buffer zone just inside Gaza territory and amounts to the Israelis' first line of defense.

    But for the first time since these protests began on March 30, witnesses and Israeli officials confirmed, at least some of the Palestinians trying to cross into Israel made it as far as the second barrier about 30 yards away — anelectrified, sensor-laden fence that runs along the 1949 armistice line separating Gaza from Israel.

    [300 meters in Gaza: A look at the security fence dividing Israel and Gaza.]

    Ibrahim Shahid, 26, said he was among a group of about 12 men who cut through the barbed wire and then began climbing the electrified fence. He said he saw an Israeli soldier firing "randomly" at the group and added that three men were shot in the head. Another, he said, was shot in the abdomen and wounded.

    "One of them, his last breath was on my shoulder," Mr. Shahid said, his T-shirt soaked in blood.

    One Israeli soldier threw a grenade at the group, he said. Asked how he had avoided injury, he added, "I was lucky."

    Hamas has called the protests peaceful, though participants have thrown Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers and are routinely attaching firebombs to kites that they sail over the fence, setting fires to Israeli farmland. Israel, defending its use of deadly force, has described the protests as riots that could turn into an invasion at any time.

    An Israeli military spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, said soldiers used live fire on Friday in response to what he called "a serious attempt to tear down the fence" involving at least 20 or 30 Palestinians who tried to attach a hook to it to pull it down with a winch.

    "It again shows exactly what we are talking about," he said. "This is not a peaceful demonstration. There's nothing serene about this. They're trying to infiltrate into Israel, damage our infrastructure and kill Israelis."

    Reminded that Israel's critics have denounced the country for attacking unarmed demonstrators with deadly force, Colonel Conricus said: "They aren't the ones defending Israeli citizens from a hateful mob of thousands of Palestinians. It doesn't matter if someone is carrying flowers if he's tearing down the fence. That's a violent threat."

    The protests are building toward what is meant to be a climax on May 15, when Palestinians will mark the 70th anniversary of what they call the Nakba, or catastrophe — the establishment of Israel and the war surrounding its creation. During this time, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were expelled from their villages.

    Friday's demonstration at the eastern edge of Gaza City — adjacent to the old Karni Crossing, a cargo terminal that allowed goods to cross between Israel and Gaza until it was shut down in 2011 — started relatively late in the day. But thousands began rushing toward the barrier fence after a rousing speech by the senior Hamas leader Ismail Radwan, setting off a tremendous barrage of tear gas from the Israeli side that did not deter many.

    "When we are brave, we are getting closer toward martyrdom, martyrdom, martyrdom," he said.

    "We say to Nikki Haley, to Netanyahu, to the criminal Lieberman" — referring to the United States ambassador to the United Nations, the Israeli prime minister and Israel's defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman — "we are afraid neither of death nor of martyrdom," Mr. Radwan said.

    Iyad Abuheweila reported from Gaza City, and David M. Halbfinger from Jerusalem. Ibrahim El-Mughraby contributed reporting from Gaza City.



    8)  Ida B. Wells and the Lynching of Black Women

    By Crystal N. Feimster, April 28, 2018


    Ida B. WellsCreditCihak and Zima/University of Chicago Photographic Archive

    "A Woman Lynched" read a headline in The New York Times on Aug. 20, 1886. A mob had taken "Eliza Woods, colored" from a jail in Jackson, Tenn., and hanged her for supposedly poisoning her employer.

    The journalist Ida B. Wells protested the lynching in an editorial for The Gate City Press, a black newspaper in Kansas City, Mo. Eliza Woods "was taken from the county jail and stripped naked and hung up in the courthouse yard and her body riddled with bullets and left exposed to view!" Wells later wrote in her diary. "Oh, my God! Can such things be and no justice for it?"

    At least 130 black women were murdered by lynch mobs from 1880 to 1930. This violence against black women has long been ignored or forgotten. Not anymore. Eliza Woods's name is now engraved on one of the 800 weathered steel columns hanging from the ceiling of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opened Thursday in Montgomery, Ala.

    The inclusion of black women who were lynched is an important step in the long struggle to acknowledge the violent history of racial and gender inequality.

    When most Americans imagine lynching, they envision the tortured and mutilated body of a black man accused of raping a white woman. They rarely think of a black woman "stripped naked and hung." Wells, however, was well aware that black women were victims of Southern mob violence and also targets of rape by white men.

    In 1892, when mobs across the South murdered more than 200 African-American men and women, including one of Wells's closest friends, she began to systematically investigate lynchings. As I've noted in my academic work, she soon discovered that few victims had even been accused of rape. In an editorial, she wrote that "nobody in this section of the country believes the old threadbare lie that Negro men rape white women." In retaliation, a white mob destroyed her press and warned Wells, who was in New York at the time, not to come back or risk death.

    Wells was not intimidated. Instead, she crossed the country lecturing on the evils of mob violence. She traveled to Britain, where she started an international crusade against lynching. She initiated one of the first public hearings to address both racial and sexual violence. Wells also sought to protect black women against rape by white men.

    From the start, she relied on the support of a network of black women. At a fund-raiser at Lyric Hall in New York, Wells described the group as "the greatest demonstration ever attempted by race women for one of their own number." The proceeds from the event allowed her to publish "Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases," the first anti-lynching pamphlet.

    In "Southern Horrors," Wells made clear that white men perpetrated sexual violence against black women, while black men were brutalized by white mobs for having consensual sex with white women. And by showing that only about 30 percent of the black victims of lynch mobs had actually been accused of rape, Wells challenged the idea that lynchings resulted from it.

    She argued that the portrayal of black men as rapists put them "beyond the pale of human sympathy." And she suggested that such a focus concealed the rape of black women. And it gave cover to whites' violent efforts to rob African-Americans of their rights.

    Drawing attention to the sexual crimes of white men, she noted that chivalry "can hope for little respect from the civilized world when it confines itself entirely to the women who happen to be white." Wells uncovered the long history of white men raping black women. "Not one who reads the record as it is written in the faces of the million mulattos in the South," she wrote, "will for a minute conceive that the Southern white man had a very chivalrous regard for the honor due the women of his own race or respect for the womanhood which circumstance placed in his power."

    Wells's genius lay in her ability to flip the script, casting white Southern men as the lustful rapists of black women and the hypocritical murderers of innocent black men. Alone, she was not able to stop lynching. But with the help of other black women, she did put mob violence on the reform agenda and brought to light the rape of black women.

    Yet when most Americans remember Wells, they remember her solely as a campaigner against lynching. We hear little of the woman who linked economic exploitation, lynching and sexual violence. Erased is the person who believed that lynching was a way to control white women's sexuality, especially those who had sexual relationships with black men. Gone is the radical feminist who insisted on women's rights to sexual justice and equal protection.

    A history of lynching must remember black women like Eliza Woods. It should recognize that the rape of black women devastated communities. And it ought to highlight how black women organized against rape and lynching. Anything less prevents one of the most radical movements for racial and sexual justice from speaking to the many challenges of our time.

    The memorial and museum in Montgomery are long overdue. And they represent a call to action that begins with an acknowledgment of hidden truths.

    Crystal N. Feimster is an associate professor of African-American studies and American studies at Yale and the author of "Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching."



    9) How a South Carolina Prison Riot Really Went Down

    By Heather Ann Thompson, April 28, 2018


    The Lee Correctional Institution, in Bishopville, S.C.CreditLogan Cyrus/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    At a news conference on April 16, Bryan Stirling, the director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, tried to explain why seven men had been stabbed to death and many more had been severely injured by their fellow prisoners at the Lee Correctional Institution. A fight had broken out the night before between rival gangs over "territory, contraband and cellphones," Mr. Stirling said, and the priority now was to jam all illegal cellphones in the state's prison system.

    According to the many emails, calls and texts I have received this week from inside South Carolina's prisons, however, this account is misleading, and to clamp down even harder on the men inside would be a terrible mistake.

    Yes, it was a gang fight, prisoners tell me, but it was corrections officials who had decided to house rival gangs in the same dormitory, and it was the officials' increasingly punitive policies that exacerbated tensions on the inside. The fact that the rioting went on for seven hours, and that so many died and were injured — 22 were taken to the hospital — was, they say, in no small part because corrections officers were AWOL.

    Notably, it is contraband cellphones that make it possible for these prisoners to get their own accounts of the riot to the public, as well as to document their claim that corrections officials could have prevented the high death toll.

    Punitive sentencing laws have taken away prisoners' hope for the future. One in 10 prisoners in South Carolina are serving a life sentence, and inmates are required to serve 85 percent of their time, no matter how well they have done on the inside.

    Daily degradations grind away at men's souls. As one prisoner explained, the Corrections Department has reduced visits from family members, limited their ability to send food and there are now only "two meals a day on weekends."

    "These men and women are incarcerated for a reason," the man conceded, "but they are still human."

    The pictures that have been sent to me from prison cellphones make it abundantly clear, however, that the department does not see these men as human beings. One man in McCormick Correctional Institution sent pictures of the metal plates that prison officials put over the windows, meaning too little light and fresh air gets into this sweltering and filthy prison. Others have sent photos of the food they are served, which in contrast to the menu that the Department of Corrections posts publicly, looks barely nutritional. The men say it is sometimes moldy, and for those on lockdown, it is served erratically and cold.

    Then there was the video a prisoner sent me of the putrid water coming out of the sink of his cell — water, another man told me, that it "smells like feces."

    "We used have so much more to do in the penal system but slowly and surely they have taken it from us," one young man explained. He said the riot could have been avoided if there was "incentive to do better." But, he continued, with no rehabilitation programs or relief, inmates "get fed up about it and lash out after a while."

    And just as happened at Attica in 1971 and Kinross, a Michigan prison, in 2016 the desperate men at Lee did indeed lash out — in their case, at each other. As cellphone footage sent to me from that night makes clear, however, correction officers neither prevented that violence nor protected the victims.

    In one video, a wounded man lies on the floor of a brightly lit, eerily quiet dorm. It is hardly the chaotic and dangerous scene state officials evoked to explain the hours it took them to get enough officers there to bring the facility under control.

    Another video shows that the only ones helping the victims were their fellow prisoners. "You got a man laying over there on the floor, blood everywhere," a man says as his phone's camera captures the horrific scene. He goes on: "The inmates had to come, and they had to wrap him up. And we're waiting for the police to come to the back door. And they ain't showed up in an hour. They refuse to come. And if he dies, this is sure delinquence on the officers' part to help this man."

    Today, seven young men — men who were someone's child, father, sibling or partner — are dead because we allow our nation's correctional facilities to be run brutally. But, thanks to their cellphone keyboards and cameras, those who live in this terrible place can tell us what really goes on, and how we might change it.

    They are desperate for state senators to pass new laws so that South Carolina prisoners have "an incentive to get out in society and live life again." They argue that officials could eliminate the contraband problem simply by allowing cigarettes and cellphones to be sold in the canteen (instead of sold to them by guards, who can get upward of $1,700 for a phone). They would be less hungry if state officials would simply allow their families "to send inmates packages of food" and they'd be more productive and better able to re-enter society, they tell us, if prisons simply reinstated classes in "life skills and trades."

    And they want us all to know that cellphones don't just help them to tell the public about abuses in the system; cellphones also tether them to family, which should matter to all of us. (Prisons have phones inmates can use, but they are controlled by private companies that charge usurious rates.) As one man explained to me, every night he calls his daughter to help her with her homework. He is trying hard to be a good father even though he is locked up. The state is telling us that the inmates fight over cellphones, but this man told me he willingly shares his phone so others can reach out to their families, and that this practice is common.

    This "isn't about society versus inmate," another man wrote to me. "It's about humanity." Listening carefully to the incarcerated and protecting their right to speak freely to the public is a moral imperative. And, right now, as the mother of a young man locked away in one of South Carolina's brutal prisons made clear to me, "They are crying out for help."

    Heather Ann Thompson is a professor of history at the University of Michigan and the author of "Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy."



    10) Officers' Names Remain Secret Weeks After Fatal Shooting of a Black Man in California

    By Jacey Fortin, April 28, 2018


    Mourners preparing to release balloons shaped like doves for Diante Yarber at the Barstow Church of God in Christ in Barstow, Calif., on Friday.

    CreditJames Tensuan for The New York Times

    On Friday morning, mourners filled the Barstow Church of God in Christ, a big sand-colored building on the outskirts of a desert city between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

    The church was holding a funeral for Diante Yarber, 26, who died in a police shooting on April 5. He was behind the wheel of a black Mustang in the parking lot of a Walmart in Barstow, Calif., with three passengers when officers arrived and told him to get out of the car.

    Instead, the police said, Mr. Yarber accelerated in reverse, then forward and then in reverse again, striking patrol cars before four officers opened fire.

    Protests erupted in Barstow after Mr. Yarber's death, and video footage of the shooting was shared online by the activist Shaun King and has been viewed more than 200,000 times. The episode occurred just weeks after the police in Sacramento fatally shot another black man, Stephon Clark, whose death set off marches across that city.

    While many now know the name of Mr. Yarber, the names of the officers who fired at him have yet to be released by officials.

    "More than I've ever seen before, law enforcement is being really, really closelipped about this investigation," said S. Lee Merritt, the lawyer representing Mr. Yarber's estate.

    He said the church was filled on Friday with friends and family members who said their final goodbyes to Mr. Yarber — a father of three whose friends called him Butchie — and Barstow residents who called for justice.

    "A lot of people talked about the need for ongoing protests and marches — a lot more than I would expect at a funeral," Mr. Merritt said.

    In a statement on Monday, the Police Department said officers responded to a report of a reckless driver on March 18 and Mr. Yarber fled when officers tried unsuccessfully to stop him. The statement said that further investigation showed that the car, a blue Hyundai, was stolen.

    So when someone called to report a "suspicious vehicle" — the black Mustang — in a Walmart parking lot on April 5 and provided a license plate number, officers saw that it was registered to someone whose last name was Yarber and, once on the scene, recognized the driver, the statement said.

    Officers told Mr. Yarber to get out but he did not, the statement said, adding that he "continued to accelerate his vehicle forward and in reverse toward the officers, almost hitting one officer" before striking the rear of another patrol car occupied by an officer.

    The statement added, "The officers feared for their safety and the safety of others and an officer-involved shooting occurred."

    The car was riddled with bullets. Mr. Yarber was killed and one of his three passengers was shot and hospitalized. She has since been released.

    It all happened very quickly, said Marlon Hawkins, 41, who was in the front seat of the car at the time of the shooting.

    He said they had just pulled in when several police cars arrived, boxing them in. There was a lot of yelling and then a lot of gunfire.

    Mr. Hawkins said he jumped out of the car and onto the ground. He suffered injuries and was taken to the hospital for a few hours. He got a phone call and learned that Mr. Yarber was dead.

    "I was just devastated," Mr. Hawkins said. "It was just surreal. It was happening so fast, I couldn't believe it. I was sick."

    Mr. Merritt has repeatedly called on the authorities to release the officers' names.

    In its statement, the Barstow police said they were "precluded by state law from providing or sharing any information related to the personnel records of the involved officers."

    The department said in its statement that the officers were wearing body cameras and that the footage was turned over to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. It has not been released publicly.

    "This case is important because it really begins to explore the idea that law enforcement is above the law," Mr. Merritt said.

    Citing a California Supreme Court decision, Mr. Merritt argued that in the case of an officer-involved shooting, police departments that want to withhold names must show clear evidence that there would be a particular threat to officers involved if their names were made public.

    "They've decided that they would go into a black box. It's almost as if they're hiding, waiting for everybody to go away," he said. "We're not going to go away."



    11) Man Who Killed 2 Officers in '71 Is Released From Prison

    By Al Baker, April 27, 2018


    Herman Bell

    Herman Bell, who spent four decades in prison for the murders of two New York City police officers, was freed on Friday, after having been granted parole in March, officials said.

    The release of Mr. Bell, 70, ends a weekslong effort to keep him behind bars, including protests by the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and a letter from Mayor Bill de Blasio urging the state parole board to reconsider its "tragic and incomprehensible" decision.

    "Murdering a police officer in cold blood is a crime beyond the frontiers of rehabilitation or redemption," Mr. de Blasio wrote in March to the board's chairwoman.

    In the end, the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said it would comply with an order a judge issued last week to free Mr. Bell, and on Friday evening, state officials said that he had been released. They said he would be supervised, for life, in Brooklyn.

    The two officers, Joseph A. Piagentini and Waverly M. Jones, were ambushed and fatally shot in the back outside a housing project in Harlem on May 21, 1971, a time when the city was rife with racial tension.

    The Black Liberation Army, an offshoot of the Black Panther Party, took credit for the killings. Three men were charged — Mr. Bell, Anthony Bottom and Albert Washington. All claimed at trial that the violence was part of their war against the United States, and all were convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Mr. Bell entered state prison in 1979, state officials said.

    After Mr. Bell was granted parole on March 13, in his eighth attempt, Officer Piagentini's widow, Diane, said the parole board had "betrayed the trust" of police families, and she filed court papers opposing the decision. But an acting State Supreme Court judge, Richard M. Koweek, determined that she did not have standing to make her challenge and ruled that judicial intervention was unnecessary in the board's 2-to-1 vote to free Mr. Bell.

    "It was not irrational," the judge wrote of the board's decision. "Nor did it border on impropriety. Therefore, it must be upheld."

    In a letter to Mr. Bell, the parole board wrote that he had matured and expressed remorse. The board reviewed several factors, including Mr. Bell's age, scant disciplinary history and network of supporters, and said the state had prepared him well for release.

    Justice Koweek wrote that recourse for opponents of Mr. Bell's parole may lie in legislation, and on Friday, Patrick J. Lynch, the head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, called on lawmakers to "fix the broken" state parole system, close "loopholes" and "prevent other cop-killers from stepping foot outside prison walls."

    At an event on Puerto Rico on April 19, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, when asked if he supported the parole board's decision to release Mr. Bell, said the board was independent, but that if he were on it, "I would not have made that decision."



    12) Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!

    By Jason Barker, April 30, 2018


    Ralf Hirschberger/European Pressphoto Agency

    SEOUL, South Korea — On May 5, 1818, in the southern German town of Trier, in the picturesque wine-growing region of the Moselle Valley, Karl Marx was born. At the time Trier was one-tenth the size it is today, with a population of around 12,000. According to one of Marx's recent biographers, Jürgen Neffe, Trier is one of those towns where "although everyone doesn't know everyone, many know a lot about many."

    Such provincial constraints were no match for Marx's boundless intellectual enthusiasm. Rare were the radical thinkers of the major European capitals of his day that he either failed to meet or would fail to break with on theoretical grounds, including his German contemporaries Wilhelm Weitling and Bruno Bauer; the French "bourgeois socialist" Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, as Marx and Friedrich Engels would label him in their "Communist Manifesto"; and the Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin.

    In 1837 Marx reneged on the legal career that his father, himself a lawyer, had mapped out for him and immersed himself instead in the speculative philosophy of G.W.F. Hegel at the University of Berlin. One might say that it was all downhill from there. The deeply conservative Prussian government didn't take kindly to such revolutionary thinking (Hegel's philosophy advocated a rational liberal state), and by the start of the next decade Marx's chosen career path as a university professor had been blocked.

    If ever there were a convincing case to be made for the dangers of philosophy, then surely it's Marx's discovery of Hegel, whose "grotesque craggy melody" repelled him at first but which soon had him dancing deliriously through the streets of Berlin. As Marx confessed to his father in an equally delirious letter in November 1837, "I wanted to embrace every person standing on the street-corner."

    As we reach the bicentennial of Marx's birth, what lessons might we draw from his dangerous and delirious philosophical legacy? What precisely is Marx's lasting contribution?

    Today the legacy would appear to be alive and well. Since the turn of the millennium countless books have appeared, from scholarly works to popular biographies, broadly endorsing Marx's reading of capitalism and its enduring relevance to our neoliberal age.

    In 2002, the French philosopher Alain Badiou declared at a conference I attended in London that Marx had become the philosopher of the middle class. What did he mean? I believe he meant that educated liberal opinion is today more or less unanimous in its agreement that Marx's basic thesis — that capitalism is driven by a deeply divisive class struggle in which the ruling-class minority appropriates the surplus labor of the working-class majority as profit — is correct. Even liberal economists such as Nouriel Roubini agree that Marx's conviction that capitalism has an inbuilt tendency to destroy itself remains as prescient as ever.

    But this is where the unanimity abruptly ends. While most are in agreement about Marx's diagnosis of capitalism, opinion on how to treat its "disorder" is thoroughly divided. And this is where Marx's originality and profound importance as a philosopher lies.

    First, let's be clear: Marx arrives at no magic formula for exiting the enormous social and economic contradictions that global capitalism entails (according to Oxfam, 82 percent of the global wealth generated in 2017 went to the world's richest 1 percent). What Marx did achieve, however, through his self-styled materialist thought, were the critical weapons for undermining capitalism's ideological claim to be the only game in town.

    In the "Communist Manifesto," Marx and Engels wrote: "The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers."

    Marx was convinced that capitalism would soon make relics of them. The inroads that artificial intelligence is currently making into medical diagnosis and surgery, for instance, bears out the argument in the "Manifesto" that technology would greatly accelerate the "division of labor," or the deskilling of such professions.

    To better understand how Marx achieved his lasting global impact — an impact arguably greater and wider than any other philosopher's before or after him — we can begin with his relationship to Hegel. What was it about Hegel's work that so captivated Marx? As he informed his father, early encounters with Hegel's "system," which builds itself upon layer after layer of negations and contradictions, hadn't entirely won him over.

    Marx found that the late-18th-century idealisms of Immanuel Kant and Johann Gottlieb Fichte that so dominated philosophical thinking in the early 19th century prioritized thinking itself — so much so that reality could be inferred through intellectual reasoning. But Marx refused to endorse their reality. In an ironic Hegelian twist, it was the complete opposite: It was the material world that determined all thinking. As Marx puts it in his letter, "If previously the gods had dwelt above the earth, now they became its center."

    The idea that God — or "gods"— dwelt among the masses, or was "in" them, was of course nothing philosophically new. But Marx's innovation was to stand idealistic deference — not just to God but to any divine authority — on its head. Whereas Hegel had stopped at advocating a rational liberal state, Marx would go one stage further: Since the gods were no longer divine, there was no need for a state at all.

    The idea of the classless and stateless society would come to define both Marx's and Engels's idea of communism, and of course the subsequent and troubled history of the Communist "states" (ironically enough!) that materialized during the 20th century. There is still a great deal to be learned from their disasters, but their philosophical relevance remains doubtful, to say the least.

    The key factor in Marx's intellectual legacy in our present-day society is not "philosophy" but "critique," or what he described in 1843 as "the ruthless criticism of all that exists: ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be." "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it," he wrote in 1845.

    Racial and sexual oppression have been added to the dynamic of class exploitation. Social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, owe something of an unspoken debt to Marx through their unapologetic targeting of the "eternal truths" of our age. Such movements recognize, as did Marx, that the ideas that rule every society are those of its ruling class and that overturning those ideas is fundamental to true revolutionary progress.

    We have become used to the go-getting mantra that to effect social change we first have to change ourselves. But enlightened or rational thinking is not enough, since the norms of thinking are already skewed by the structures of male privilege and social hierarchy, even down to the language we use. Changing those norms entails changing the very foundations of society.

    To cite Marx, "No social order is ever destroyed before all the productive forces for which it is sufficient have been developed, and new superior relations of production never replace older ones before the material conditions for their existence have matured within the framework of the old society."

    The transition to a new society where relations among people, rather than capital relations, finally determine an individual's worth is arguably proving to be quite a task. Marx, as I have said, does not offer a one-size-fits-all formula for enacting social change. But he does offer a powerful intellectual acid test for that change. On that basis, we are destined to keep citing him and testing his ideas until the kind of society that he struggled to bring about, and that increasing numbers of us now desire, is finally realized.

    Jason Barker is an associate professor of philosophy at Kyung Hee University in South Korea and author of the novel "Marx Returns."

    Now in print: "Modern Ethics in 77 Arguments" and "The Stone Reader: Modern Philosophy in 133 Arguments," with essays from the series, edited by Peter Catapano and Simon Critchley, published by Liveright Books.



    13) For Gaza Protester, Living or Dying Is the 'Same Thing'

    By Iyad Abuheweila and David M. Halbfinger, April 29, 2018


    Palestinians gathered for a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel on Friday.CreditWissam Nassar for The New York Times

    GAZA CITY — No one would ever pick out Saber al-Gerim from the crowds of Palestinians demonstrating against Israel along the heavily guarded fence that has helped turn the Gaza Strip into an open-air prison.

    Not for his youthful appearance. At 22, he wears ripped jeans and white sneakers, has a modish haircut and carries a few extra pounds from too many months without work.

    Not for his anger. Screaming "Allahu akbar!" and hurling stones with a sling, or straining to pull a cable hooked onto Israel's barbed-wire barrier in hopes of tearing it apart, he is just one in a fevered multitude, a protagonist in nobody's drama but his own.

    Not even for his willingness to risk death, or his dream of going home to a patch of land he has never seen and cannot really visualize.

    But zoom in on this man: A beggar's son, just a few yards from Israel, and squarely in the line of fire. Soldiers, the only Israelis Mr. Gerim has ever seen this close, can be spotted through the smoke of burning tires, moving about in their foxholes atop tall sand berms, occasionally launching tear-gas barrages, sometimes using live fire. Over a loudspeaker, one warns Palestinians to retreat or risk death.

    Mr. Gerim, well within range, and resting between slinging stones, shouts back: "We want to return!"

    Say what you will about root causes and immediate ones — about incitement and militancy, about siege and control, about who did what first to whom — one thing is clear. More than a decade of deprivation and desperation, with little hope of relief, has led thousands of young Gazans to throw themselves into a protest that few, if any, think can actually achieve its stated goal: a return to the homes in what is now Israel that their forebears left behind in 1948.

    In five weeks of protests, 46 people have been killed, and hundreds more have been badly wounded, according to the Gaza health ministry.

    With its 64 percent unemployment rate among the young, Gaza, under a blockade maintained by Israel and Egypt for years, presents countless men like Mr. Gerim with the grimmest of options.

    They can seek an education in preparation for lives and careers that now seem out of reach, and hope for a chance to eventually emigrate. They can join groups like Hamas or Islamic Jihad, devoting themselves to armed conflict with Israel in return for a livelihood and a sense of purpose and belonging. Or they can stay home, staving off boredom by smoking shisha, a tobacco-molasses mix, or stronger stuff, and wait for things to change.

    Mr. Gerim considers himself neither a terrorist nor a freedom fighter. He is not much for prayer or for politics; he says he does not belong to Hamas or Fatah or any other faction. He is a young man with nothing to do, for whom the protests have offered a chance to barbecue with friends late into the night, sleep late most mornings, make himself useful while singing songs of love or martyrdom or an end to suffering, and lash out at a hated enemy all afternoon.

    "It doesn't matter to me if they shoot me or not," he said in a quiet moment inside his family's tent. "Death or life — it's the same thing."

    The protests, with an outdoor festival's schedule of fun and games, performances and creative programming — and carnage every Friday — is meant to build to a climax on May 15, the day Palestinians mark the Nakba, or catastrophe, of their flight and expulsion when Israel was established 70 years ago.

    The protest, which grew out of a young activist's Facebook page and was a grass-roots initiative before being embraced, organized and publicized by Hamas, the militant Islamist group that rules Gaza, has hardly scared the Israelis into altering their basic policy. Israel continues to treat the tiny coastal enclave like a deadly virus to be quarantined and, other than that, more or less tunes it out.

    But it has been a success in one important respect: It has cast a light onto the unsolved problem that is Gaza, and reminded a world that had seemed to move on to more urgent crises that its two million people, deprived of clean water, freedom of movement and a steady supply of electricity, are sliding steadily into despair.

    Mr. Gerim is typical in another way: He does not think of Gaza as his home, but he has no idea what home is.

    His grandmother, Haniya al-Kurdi, 80, was a little girl when her family left what is now Ashdod, Israel, in 1948. She has never been back, but has heard that there is a coffee shop next to where her home was. The closest anyone else in the family has gotten was in 2013, when Mr. Gerim's sister, Sabreen, now 26, contracted cancer and was allowed to spend a year in Tel Aviv getting treatment. On the way there, her mother, Iktimal al-Gerim, asked their driver to point out Ashdod to them from the highway.

    For Mr. Gerim, the family's old property is an idea more than a place he can actually picture.

    Israelis themselves he has had more experience with. When he was about 10, before the Israelis evacuated their Gaza settlements in 2005, Mr. Gerim climbed a tree outside his grandfather's house to get a better look at the soldiers a few hundred yards away. Then he fell to the ground and broke his right hand.

    He has been as enterprising, and as ill-starred, ever since.

    He used to raise pigeons and chickens on his family's roof, for fun and for food — until an Israeli airstrike hit a neighbor's house and it collapsed on the coop, killing all of his birds.

    He sometimes dreams of working in an automobile-manufacturing plant, of traveling overseas to learn how to build cars, then coming back to Gaza to make them. But the closest he has ever gotten is loading tuk-tuks — motorcycles with cargo beds — or handling a pushcart to distribute sacks of donated flour, sugar and other staples to his fellow refugees.

    In the autumn, Mr. Gerim sometimes harvests olives. When there is construction work, he looks for chances to lay bricks or pour concrete. He has never had a regular job.

    He is stoic for a 22-year-old, though this may be an acquired response to adversity: His father is mentally ill, Mr. Gerim says, given to flying into destructive rages over the slightest disappointments. His family — two younger brothers, their sister and their parents — all share a single room with a tile floor and blankets but no beds. The kitchen floor is sand. The family's debts are choking them, he says.

    Mr. Gerim's industriousness shows at the protests, as does his stoicism.

    On Thursday, he arrived early at his family's tent, a roomy contraption that was provided to them by the protest's organizers, and set about sweeping the tarpaulin floor for the first of several times, before building a fire and cooking eggplants and tomatoes that city workers were distributing to the needy.

    At lunch, a charity handed out meals of chicken and rice, and then Mr. Gerim swept the floor of crumbs and bones, singing a love song as he did.

    He has no girlfriend, and no hopes of marrying. "There is no money, no work," he explained. "Marriage is not free."

    After lunch, he walked up to the fence for a quick look across at the Israeli soldiers, then foraged for firewood. He dragged a six-foot log more than a quarter-mile back to the tent, and broke it apart with his hands and feet.

    Later, he assembled kites from sticks, clear plastic and paper — and talked about attaching soda cans to them stuffed with gasoline-soaked rags, to sail over the fence and maybe set something or someone on fire.

    At 10 p.m., he and his friends began barbecuing a feast for 12. It didn't end until 2:30 a.m. It takes a long time to cook 22 pounds of chicken wings on a grill about 18 inches across.

    Sitting around the fire, a friend named Abu Moaz, 25, said he wanted to use a kite to drop leaflets in Hebrew and Arabic warning Israeli soldiers to "evacuate your houses and return to the countries from which you came."

    Everyone liked the sound of that.

    Mr. Gerim went home to sleep, but was back at the tent at 8 a.m. on Friday, sweeping again, building the wood fire, drinking tea with his neighbors.

    He went to Friday Prayer, then ate a falafel sandwich.

    At 2:30, he was crouching behind the barbed-wire barrier, whirling his slingshot like a helicopter rotor, aiming in vain at Israeli soldiers again and again.

    Around 5 p.m., he saw a group of men a few hundred yards to the south, and ran to see what they were doing. They had breached the barbed wire, and were trying to get to the main fence marking Israeli territory. Mr. Gerim hung back, and did not try to join them.

    Near him, a man fell, hit in the stomach by what seemed like a grenade fragment, Mr. Gerim said.

    He was not shocked by this, he said afterward.

    "I could be shot or killed anytime," he said. "It doesn't matter."

    Night had fallen now; the protesters were headed home. And soon Mr. Gerim was singing again — this time a Lebanese tune of weariness with conflict.

    "Enough is enough," he crooned softly in Arabic. "Enough for miseries, promises and words. School students, church bells, a soldier, a knight and the calls of prayer — all pray for prevailing peace."

    Iyad Abuheweila reported from Gaza, and David M. Halbfinger from Jerusalem.






































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