On August 9th, the Saudis bombed a school bus in Yemen! Dozens of young children have been killed, and many more wounded. The local health department chief in Saada province said 43 were killed and at least 61 injured. Most are children under the age of 10. The bombs that killed these children were made in the USA. For people living in the United States, the blood is on our hands!
Call the State Department ASAP at 202-647-6575 and press 8 for the comment line. Say something like: "I want the State Department to condemn the Saudis for bombing Yemeni children and I want the US to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.”
Since the Saudis intervened militarily in an internal Yemeni conflict in 2015, they have been committing war crimes by repeatedly bombing civilians, including marketplaces, hospitals, schools and homes. According to Yemen Data Project, an independent group collecting data about the Yemen conflict, the Saudi-UAE coalition carried out 258 airstrikes on Yemen in June alone — nearly one-third of which hit residential areas.
Meanwhile, US weapons companies, particularly Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, make billions of dollars from this carnage. If you want to stop this global proliferation of weapons, join our #Divestfromwar team by contacting divest@codepink.org.
Let the US government know how disgusted you are. Call the State Department right now at 202-647-6575 and press 8. Let them know that you want them to condemn the Saudis for bombing Yemeni children and you insist that the US stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Share now on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word!

With heavy hearts,
Ann, Ariel, Brienne, Eric, Jodie, Kirsten, Mark, Medea, Nancy, Natasha, Paki, Rita, Sarah, Sophia and Tighe



The Song Of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist
by Graeme Darling
I've been working my arse off for years,
So that parasites can sit on theirs,
Counting all the money they have stolen from me.
These venal cannibals are legal criminals,
Cloaking their immorality in the joke of respectability.
It's the same story in every capitalist trap;
The most essential employees ( exploitees ) are treated like crap.
Decent folk on scrimping wages strain, scrub and mop,
While bloodsucking turds ride on their backs to the top.
You don't need to know the Communist Manifesto
To recognise injustice that's manifestly so.
This situation blights every organisation, I'm telling you true;
The higher the pay, the less work they do!
I'm sick and tired of being trod into the ground,
I'd turn this crazy pyramid the right way round.
The bosses in armchairs should clean toilets and stairs,
And experience an existence of struggling for subsistence.
Along with a decent minimum, I'd have a wage maximum.
Four to one should be the widest disparity;
Anything more is an utter obscenity.
This economic system of domination wreaks global exploitation;
Our training shoes are made by kids in sweatshops,
The Earth is ravaged for our phones and laptops.
We must side with the oppressed of every form and nation;
The universal kinship should be our motivation.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists: a literary exposure of The Great Money Trick of capitalism

By Jenny Farrell, August 3, 2018







"Give me your tired, your poor 
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 
Send these, the homeless. Tempest-tost to me, 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"















Lezley McSpadden started a petition demanding Missouri Governor, Mike Parson, appoint a special prosecutor to reopen the case of Mike Brown.

Tell Missouri Gov. Mike Parson: 
Appoint a special prosecutor for Mike Brown's case!

Four years ago, my son, Mike Brown, was fatally gunned down by Officer Darren Wilson as he surrendered with arms in the air, pleading for his life. The world erupted and nothing has been the same since that nightmarish summer. My family and community took their outrage and pain to the streets. We made public pleas for the officer who murdered my son in broad daylight to be indicted and convicted. Yet, we were denied justice. My heart was broken over and over again. It has been 4 years, but I cannot forget. I will not stop fighting until Mike gets the justice he deserves.
Newly elected Missouri Governor, Mike Parson, has the opportunity to right this terrible wrong by appointing a special prosecutor to reopen my son's case. 
Over the course of three months after Mike was murdered, my family and I waited as St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney, Bob McCulloch presented my son's case to a grand jury before the police investigation was over. McCulloch completely ignored standard protocol for a Prosecuting Attorney by enlisting the help of a grand jury to determine the charges against Officer Darren Wilson. It was a setup from the beginning. McCulloch abdicated his role as a County Prosecutor by making a politically calculated move that would shield him from criticism from the police and the media. 
Here are the facts:
  • McCulloch overwhelmed the jury with redundant and misleading information in an effort to manipulate the jury's confidence in Wilson's guilt.
  • A lawsuit was filed by one of the grand jurors detailing challenges and exposing their experiences on the grand jury.2
  • McCulloch admitted to allowing witnesses he knew were NOT telling the truth to testify before the grand jury. 3
The evidence is too significant to ignore. McCulloch thought he could avoid public scrutiny and accountability at the conclusion of this case. But he is wrong. I will not allow Bob McCulloch to get away with obstructing justice for my son. 
McCulloch cannot be allowed to get away with forgoing any and all responsibility as a high-level prosecutor. McCulloch's actions set a horrible precedent for prosecutors across the country. The primary charge for a prosecuting attorney is to fairly seek and achieve justice. McCulloch instead chose to make a political move with no regard for my family's pain. Furthermore, the relentless state-sanctioned violence against Black people has been nonstop since this nightmare began. Year after year, month after month, day after day, Black people remain targets for a bloodthirsty police force. This year alone, there have been over 600 incidents of deadly police encounters.4 Prosecutors are one of the few leverage points we have over the police. We must send a strong message to not only people in Missouri but to everyone around the country - killer cops will be held accountable.  
I am holding onto all hope that we get the justice we deserve. I believe in the resilience of our communities. And I believe that we will win. 
With love, 
Lezley McSpadden

    1. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/77984?t=12&akid=15843%2E46097%2EOtfN0y
    2. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/77985?t=14&akid=15843%2E46097%2EOtfN0y
    3. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/77735?t=16&akid=15843%2E46097%2EOtfN0y
    4. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/7854?t=18&akid=15843%2E46097%2EOtfN0y

Sign Here:



 Donate to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund using the 'Donate' button ***
The spark that lit the most recent rebellion was an announcement by the Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant that gas, diesel and kerosene prices would be raised by 38-51%.  Haitians took to the streets en-masse across the country.  After just two days, the growing grassroots mobilization forced the government to rescind the gas price increases.  But the protests escalated into a two-day general strike, barricades blocking streets and highways in cities throughout the country.  PM Jack Guy Lafontant resigned but it was too little too late.  The Haitian people are demanding the removal of the US-backed and fraudulently-elected president, Jovenel Moïse.
·        The Jovenel Moïse government's announcement of a double-digit increase in fuel prices, increasing the cost of gas by about $1.20/gallon, sparked the latest protests which began July 6th
·        Government corruption including the theft of $3.8 billion from PetroCaribe by officials - those named include two former prime ministers as well as heads of private firms in Haiti.  
·        Ongoing attacks on Haiti's grassroots majority, including the burning of public markets, targeting market women; government land theft and demolition of homes; teachers not being paid; attacks on student protesters; and the violence of poverty – 59% of Haitians live on less than $2/day, 24.7% on less than $1.25.
·        Ongoing repression.  As of July 6th, independent media on the ground Radio Timoun reported five people killed and many wounded by gunfire by police and government-sponsored paramilitary; more protestors have been killed or injured since.
·        Fourteen years of corrupt government since the 2004 US-backed coup that removed Haiti's first democratically-elected president, much loved Jean/Bertrand Aristide, and imposed a UN/US military occupation.  The massive election fraud that made Jovenel Moïse president in 2017.  Fanmi Lavalas, the party of Aristide and the poor majority, said on July 8th, 2018: "The cauldron of corruption and lies has been boiling non-stop 24 hours a day. The time has come to overturn it, for Haitians to begin to see the light of peace. Haiti is for all Haitians."
·        Independent media including Radio and Tele Timoun have been vital to spread the news of what is actually going on rather than spouting the US Embassy/Haitian government line. 
·        Independent Haitian journalists have increasingly been targeted and some killed for reporting the truth and giving a voice to the people's movement.

Donate to support independent GRASSROOTS MEDIA IN HAITI, so it can continue to share news and information among people in all parts of Haiti, and with the rest of the world.  

Make a tax-deductible donation to the 
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund using the 'Donate' button  via their fiscal sponsor Eastbay Sanctuary Covenant's Paypal

For more info: Haiti Action Committee www.haitisolidarity.net  @HaitiAction1 & on FACEBOOK

Issued by the Global Women's Strike & Women of Color GWS – please donate to HERF & circulate your networks.


sent by Haiti Action Committee



Updates from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression
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Committee to Stop FBI Repression (stopfbi.net)
CSFR is urging people to circulate this call to action from Cento CSO in Los Angeles.

Jail killer cops! Justice for Jesse Romero and other victims of LAPD.

National Day of Action on August 9 to demand an end to Black, Chicano and Latino killings at the hands of LAPD's killer police.

Thursday, August 9
8 a.m. through 8 p.m. (all time zones)
Call District Attorney Jackey Lacey: 213-974-3512

Demand that charges be filed against officer Eden Medina for killing Jesse Romero (and that charges be filed on other LAPD police for killing Blacks and Chicanos!)

On August 9, 2016, at approximately 5:30 p.m., the 14-year-old student, Jesse Romero, was shot dead by LAPD Officer Eden Medina on Breed Street in Boyle Heights. Witnesses and video indicate that Jesse was unarmed! Officer Medina also shot and killed Omar Gonzalez 12 days earlier.

On this two-year anniversary of the killing of Jesse we are holding a vigil/rally in Boyle heights and a National Day of Action to demand jail for killer cops. Medina needs to be fired from LAPD and arrested for killing Jesse, but he is still out on the streets of Los Angeles patrolling. LAPD has killed hundreds of Blacks and Chicanos in the past several years and District Attorney Jackey Lacey has not filed charges on any police officers. Police killings of Blacks and Chicanos are a systemic problem rooted in the national oppression and intensified under the current Trump racist attacks. We must fight back!

Organized by Centro CSO: Community Service Organization; based in Boyle Heights California; contact us at:

(323) 943-2030
Copyright © 2018 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights reserved.
Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!
Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
MinneapolisMN  55414

Add us to your address book



Mass Action: No Nazis, No KKK in D.C.
Sunday, August 12, 2018, 11:00 A.M.
Lafayette Park, Washington D.C.

On August 12, the same white supremacist movement which murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia (exactly one year earlier) are bringing their racist roadshow to Lafayette Park in front of the White House. They are coming to Washington because they want to fan the flames of racism throughout the country. They were thrilled when Donald Trump said that their fascist ranks included "some very fine people".

We won't stand for that, or let this disgusting event go unanswered!

The vast majority of people in the Washington, D.C., area and throughout the country reject the message of the Nazis, KKK and other white supremacists. They are coming to Washington to be deliberately provocative. They are trying to prove that the fascist right wing is now a legitimate part of the political landscape.

We won't allow Washington, D.C., to be used as a stage to promote white supremacist hatred. This is a moment that demands action, not passivity. It is critically important to show that the forces opposed to racism, anti-immigrant bigotry, Islamophobia, anti-LGBTQ hatred and anti-Semitism will not be silenced or intimidated.

We urge you to help mobilize and support this protest against racism. We know that you believe just as much as we do that the disgusting forces who make up the "unite the right" coalition must be visibly rejected by the people of this country.

Initiating organizations include: ANSWER Coalition, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Justice First, Link-UP, Justice Center en El Barrio NYC, Internationalist Students Front-George Washington University, GW Queer Radicals, Philadelphia Liberation Center.

Click here to endorse this protest against racism:



Free Mumia Now!
Mumia's freedom is at stake in a court hearing on August 30th. 
With your help, we just might free him!
Rally To Free Mumia
Tuesday August 28th
4 pm at 14th & Broadway, Oakland CA

A Philadelphia court now has before it the evidence which could lead to Mumia's freedom. The evidence shows that Ronald Castille, of the District Attorney's office in 1982, intervened in the prosecution of Mumia for a crime he did not commit. Years later, Castille was a judge on the PA Supreme Court, where he sat in judgement over Mumia's case, and ruled against Mumia in every appeal! 
According to the US Supreme Court in the Williams ruling, this corrupt behavior was illegal!
But will the court rule to overturn all of Mumia's negative appeals rulings by the PA Supreme Court? If it does, Mumia would be free to appeal once again against his unfair conviction. If it does not, Mumia could remain imprisoned for life, without the possibility for parole, for a crime he did not commit.
The Philadelphia DA's office has turned over some, but not all, evidence of Castille's complicity in this frame-up prosecution. Call DA Krasner at: (215) 686-8000 to demand full disclosure!
• Mumia Abu-Jamal is innocent and framed!
• Mumia Abu-Jamal is a journalist censored off the airwaves!
• Mumia Abu-Jamal is victimized by cops, courts and politicians!
• Mumia Abu-Jamal stands for all prisoners treated unjustly!
• Courts have never treated Mumia fairly!

Will You Help Free Mumia?

The rally is called by the Free Mumia Coalition of the Bay Area.
Initial sponsor/participants include: Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal,
Workers World Party, Oakland Teachers for Mumia, Alameda County Peace and Freedom Party, and the Oscar Grant Committee. 
Endorse and participate in this action! Send your info to: cskinder44@gmail.com



Right now, Californians have the opportunity to make waves not just in our state, but around the globe. Together, we can make California the first major economy in the world to stop all new fossil fuel development and embark on a racially, economically just transition to 100% clean energy.
In the past year Trump has launched unprecedented attacks on frontline communities, the Clean Power Plan, and the EPA. Meanwhile, Governor Brown would like to build his legacy around the climate - but he has yet to stand up to Big Oil and prioritize a clean energy future for all of us. Now Governor Brown is hosting the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco September 12-14 with public officials from around the world.
That's why we're planning the largest climate march the West Coast has ever seen – days before the Summit, as part of a global day of action. Sign up to march in San Francisco on September 8.
Eight weeks later, millions more will take these demands to the polls, making Climate, Jobs, and Justice deciding issues in the mid-term elections and beyond.
We won't be acting alone. Bay Resistance is working with the California Environmental Justice Alliance, Idle No More SF Bay, 350, People's Climate Movement, and hundreds of other labor, faith, environmental justice, and community groups.
Mark your calendars to Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice on September 8th. Then sign up to paint the largest street mural ever with us that day, so elected officials hear our message loud and clear!
In solidarity,
Kung, Celi, Kimi, Irene, and the Bay Resistance team



Kevin "Rashid" Johnson Self Portrait, 2013

To: Virginia Department of Corrections; Chief of VA Corrections Operations David Robinson

We call on the Virginia Department of Corrections to immediately release Kevin "Rashid" Johnson from solitary confinement and not to transfer him again out of state.
Why is this important?

Click here to sign this petition.

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson has been a Virginia prisoner (#1007485) since 1990. During his imprisonment, he became a human rights advocate and a journalist. His journalistic work in particular exposes abuses by prison administration and staff. His related steps toward litigation have resulted in his being "interstate compacted" or transferred back-and-forth between state prisons.

Currently, Rashid is being held in solitary confinement with no legitimate security justification at Sussex I State Prison in Virginia. Between 2012 and June of 2018, he has been transferred to prisons in three other states (Oregon, Texas, and Florida) before being returned to a different prison in Virginia. He was kept in solitary confinement in Texas and Florida, where he witnessed and suffered many acts of abuse by prison staff. All this, in reprisal for his political and journalistic activity.

Each state prison transfer has subjected Rashid to serious abuses -- the most recent being caged in a freezing cold cell without heat or a blanket for over a week. Over the years, Rashid has had his life threatened by corrections officers and endured explicit, violent retaliation for exercising his First Amendment right of protected free speech. 

Rashid expects to be transferred again soon and to be subjected to more serious conditions of extreme isolation.

Kevin Rashid Johnson does not advocate for violence or illegal activity and has not been charged with anything of the like during his imprisonment. He is not a threat to the Virginia Department of Corrections – he is an imprisoned journalist and human rights advocate – and should be released from solitary confinement immediately.

Help by adding your name here.

Solitary confinement has been increasingly recognized by courts and society as a torturous means of punishment. This punitive measure has been imposed on Kevin Johnson not because of any violent conduct on his part but because of his relentless exposure of abuses by prison officials, his willingness to challenge those abuses through the legal system, and his efforts to educate fellow prisoners and encourage them to challenge by peaceful means the unhealthy and humiliating conditions to which they are subjected. Using solitary confinement as a tool to silence someone who exposes prison abuses and advocates for prison reform is a human rights abuse and unconstitutional.

Click here to demand the immediate release of Kevin Johnson from solitary confinement and for the VADOC not to transfer him again out of state.

After signing the petition, please use the tools on the next webpage to share it with your friends.

This work is only possible with your financial support. Please chip in $3 now. 

-- The RootsAction.org Team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.

> Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson featuring exchanges with an Outlaw 
> Kevin "Rashid" Johnson: The Rising Tide of Hate in Amerika: A Sign of the Times


immigrant camps
US Military Ordered to Host Massive Immigrant Concentration Camps
We believe that all military personnel have a moral and legal obligation to refuse to comply with any order that involves collaboration with these camps.
Actual concentration camps are in the process of development at military bases across the Southern United States. This isn't the first time in US history that facilities are being constructed and used to imprison large numbers of a persecuted minority in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities (the definition of a concentration camp). Previous examples of this are now infamous, such as the so-called Japanese internment camps. We're now on the brink of adding a new chapter to this dark history.
Potential locations have been identified as:
  • Tornillo Port of Entry, Texas - capacity 360 teenagers CURRENTLY ACTIVE
  • Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas - capacity 45,000
  • Fort Bliss, Texas
  • Dyess Air Force Base, Texas
  • Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas - capacity 20,000
  • Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Air Station, California - capacity 47,000
  • Navy Outlying Field Wolf and Silverhill, Alabama - capacity 25,000
  • Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, Arizona
  • Concord Naval Weapons Station, California - capacity 47,000 CANCELLED
to support resistance

Military officials, in response to pressured deadlines from the White House, have stated that these camps can begin to be operational by mid-August. Estimates are that capacity for another 10,000 people can be added each month. The White House's stated timeline of 45 days out from June 27th has local base commanders scrambling and caught unaware.
In addition to providing the land, military personnel will construct the camps while private agencies will manage the operations. While this simplified explanation of operations seeks to minimize the military's role, it omits the endless capacities in which the armed forces will surely be facilitating the functioning of these camps such as with water, electricity, sewage, trash, and all of the other services to go allow with sustaining tens of thousands of immigrant detainees.
The military is strictly prohibited from domestic policing as stated in the constitution yet military personnel are being drafted into doing just that with this rising domestic enforcement of immigration policy. Just because Trump/Sessions Co. declares a war on immigrants, doesn't make it an actual war. Being quite clearly an illegal order, the question is who will refuse to aid and abet?

484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist




All Hands on Deck:  Get Malik Washington out of Ad-Seg!

Several weeks ago, friends and supporters of incarcerated freedom fighter Comrade Malik Washington were overjoyed to hear that he was getting released, finally, from Administrative Segregation (solitary confinement) at Eastham Unit in Texas--until TDCJ pulled a fast one, falsely claiming that he refused to participate in the Ad-Seg Transition Program to get him released back to general population.  
This is a complete lie:  Malik has been fighting to get out of Ad-Seg from the moment he was thrown in there two years ago on a bogus riot charge (which was, itself, retaliation for prison strike organizing and agitating against inhumane, discriminatory conditions).  
Here's what actually happened:  when Malik arrived at Ramsey Unit on June 21, he was assigned to a top bunk, which is prohibited by his medical restrictions as a seizure patient.  TDCJ had failed to transfer his medical restrictions records, or had erased them, and are now claiming no record of these restrictions, which have been on file and in place for the past ten years.  Malik wrote a detailed statement requesting to be placed on a lower bunk in order to avoid injury; later that night, he was abruptly transferred back to Ad-Seg at a new Unit (McConnell).  
Malik was told that Ramsey staff claimed he refused to participate in the Ad-Seg Transition program--this is NOT true, and he needs to be re-instated to the program immediately!  He also urgently needs his medical restrictions put back into his records!
We are extremely concerned for Malik's safety, and urgently need the help of everyone reading this. Please take one or more of the following actions, and get a couple friends to do the same!
1. Call Senior Warden Phillip Sifuentes at Malik's current facility (McConnell) and tell them Keith Washington (#1487958) must be transferred out of McConnell and re-admitted to the Ad-Seg Transition Program!
Phone #: (361) 362-2300 (**048) 00 --  ask to be connected to the senior warden's office/receptionist--try to talk to someone, but also can leave a message. 
Sample Script: "Hello, I'm calling because I'm concerned about Keith H. Washington (#1487958) who was recently transferred to your facility.  I understand he was transferred there from Ramsey Unit, because he supposedly refused to participate in the Ad-Seg transition program there, but this is not true; Malik never refused to participate, and he needs to be re-admitted to the transition program immediately!  I am also concerned that his heat restrictions seem to have been removed from his records.  He is a seizure patient and has been on heat and work restriction for years, and these restrictions must be reinstated immediately."
Please let us know how your call goes at blueridgeABC@riseup.net
2. Flood TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier with calls/emails!  You can use the above phone script as a guide for emails.  
(936) 437-2101 / (936) 437-2123

3. Flood TDCJ with emails demanding that Malik's health restrictions and work restrictions be restored: Health.services@tdcj.texas.gov

You can use the call script above as a guide; you don't need to mention the Ad-Seg situation, but just focus on the need to restore his heat and work restrictions!

4. File a complaint with the Ombudsman's Office (the office in charge of investigating departmental misconduct); you can use the above phone script as a guide for emails.

5. Write to Malik!  Every letter he receives lifts his spirit and PROTECTS him, because prison officials know he has people around him, watching for what happens to him.

Keith H. Washington
McConnell Unit
3100 South Emily Drive
Beeville, TX 78103



Listen to 'The Daily': Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder?

By Michael Barbaro, May 30, 2018

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile deviceVia Apple Podcasts | Via RadioPublic | Via Stitcher

The sole survivor of an attack in which four people were murdered identified the perpetrators as three white men. The police ignored suspects who fit the description and arrested a young black man instead. He is now awaiting execution.

On today's episode:
• Kevin Cooper, who has been on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California for three decades.



Last week I met with fellow organizers and members of Mijente to take joint action at the Tornillo Port of Entry, where detention camps have been built and where children and adults are currently being imprisoned. 

I oppose the hyper-criminalization of migrants and asylum seekers. Migration is a human right and every person is worthy of dignity and respect irrespective of whether they have "papers" or not. You shouldn't have to prove "extreme and unusual hardship" to avoid being separated from your family. We, as a country, have a moral responsibility to support and uplift those adversely affected by the US's decades-long role in the economic and military destabilization of the home countries these migrants and asylum seekers have been forced to leave.

While we expected to face resistance and potential trouble from the multiple law enforcement agencies represented at the border, we didn't expect to have a local farm hand pull a pistol on us to demand we deflate our giant balloon banner. Its message to those in detention:

NO ESTÁN SOLOS (You are not alone).

Despite the slight disruption to our plan we were able to support Mijente and United We Dream in blocking the main entrance to the detention camp and letting those locked inside know that there are people here who care for them and want to see them free and reunited with their families. 

We are continuing to stand in solidarity with Mijente as they fight back against unjust immigration practices.Yesterday they took action in San Diego, continuing to lead and escalate resistance to unjust detention, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and to ICE. 

While we were honored to offer on-the-ground support we see the potential to focus the energy of our Drop the MIC campaign into fighting against this injustice, to have an even greater impact. Here's how:
  1. Call out General Dynamics for profiteering of War, Militarization of the Border and Child and Family Detention (look for our social media toolkit this week);
  2. Create speaking forums and produce media that challenges the narrative of ICE and Jeff Sessions, encouraging troops who have served in the borderlands to speak out about that experience;
  3. Continue to show up and demand we demilitarize the border and abolish ICE.

Thank you for your vision and understanding of how militarism, racism, and capitalism are coming together in the most destructive ways. Help keep us in this fight by continuing to support our work.

In Solidarity,
Ramon Mejia
Field Organizer, About Face: Veterans Against the War

P.O. Box 3565, New York, NY 10008. All Right Reserved. | Unsubscribe
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Feds extend deadline for public comments on future draft

The feds initially provided only a few days for the public to submit comments regarding the future of the draft in the United States. This mirrored their process of announcing public hearings with only a few days notice. Due to pressure, they have extended the deadline for your online comments until September. 

They need to hear from us!

  • It's time to end draft registration once and for all.
  • Don't expand the draft to women. End it for everyone.
  • No national service linked to the military--including immigration enforcement.
  • Until the US is invaded by a foreign power, stop pretending that the draft is about anything other than empire.
  • Submit your own comments online here.
As we have been reporting to you, a federal commission has been formed to address the future of draft registration in the United States and whether the draft should end or be extended.
The press release states "The Commission wants to learn why people serve and why people don't; the barriers to participation; whether modifications to the selective service system are needed; ways to increase the number of Americans in service; and more."
Public hearings are currently scheduled for the following cities. We encourage folks to attend these hearings by checking the commission's website for the actual dates and locations of these hearings (usually annouced only days before).

  • August 16/17, 2018: Memphis, TN
  • September 19/21, 2018: Los Angeles, CA
For more background information, read our recent post "Why is the government soliciting feedback on the draft now?"

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 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."
The first real meaningful opportunity for a national debate 
about the draft in decades . . .
Courage to Resist -- Support the Troops Who Refuse to Fight!
484 Lake Park Ave. No. 41, Oakland, CA 94610



Incarceration Nation
Emergency Action Alert:
In October, 2017, the 2 year court monitoring period of the Ashker v. Governor settlement to limit solitary confinement in California expired. Since then, the four drafters of the Agreement to End Hostilities and lead hunger strike negotiators – Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, Arturo Castellanos, George Franco, and Todd Ashker, have all been removed from general population and put in solitary in Administrative Segregation Units, based on fabricated information created by staff and/or collaborating "inmate informants." In Todd Ashker's case, he is being isolated "for his own protection," although he does not ask for nor desire to be placed in isolation for this or any reason. Sitawa has since been returned to population, but can still not have visitors.
Please contact CDCr Secretary Scott Kernan and Governor Edmund G. Brown and demand CDCr:
• Immediately release back into general population any of the four lead organizers still held in solitary
• Return other Ashker class members to general population who have been placed in Ad Seg 
• Stop the retaliation against all Ashker class members and offer them meaningful rehabilitation opportunities
Contact Scott Kernan. He prefers mailed letters to 1515 S Street, Sacramento 95811. If you call 916-324-7308, press 0 for the Communications office. Email matthew.westbrook@cdcr.ca.gov and cc: scott.kernan@cdcr.ca.gov
Contact Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.,  c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814; Phone: (916) 445-2841Fax: (916) 558-3160; Email: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/
As a result of the administrative reviews established after the second prisoner hunger strike in 2011 and the Ashker settlement of 2015, California's SHU population has decreased from 3923 people in October 2012 to 537 in January 2018.  Returning these four men and many other hunger strikers back to solitary in the form of Ad Seg represents an intentional effort to undermine the Agreement to End Hostilities and the settlement, and return to the lock 'em up mentality of the 1980's.
Sitawa writes: "What many of you on the outside may not know is the long sordid history of CDCr's ISU [Institutional Services Unit]/ IGI [Institutional Gang Investigator]/Green Wall syndicate's [organized groups of guards who act with impunity] pattern and practice, here and throughout its prison system, of retaliating, reprisals, intimidating, harassing, coercing, bad-jacketing [making false entries in prisoner files], setting prisoners up, planting evidence, fabricating and falsifying reports (i.e., state documents), excessive force upon unarmed prisoners, [and] stealing their personal property . . ." 
CDCr officials are targeting the Ashker v. Governor class members to prevent them from being able to organize based on the Agreement to End Hostilities, and to obstruct their peaceful efforts to effect genuine changes - for rehabilitation, returning home, productively contributing to the improvement of their communities, and deterring recidivism.
Please help put a stop to this retaliation with impunity. Contact Kernan and Brown today:
Scott Kernan prefers mailed letters to 1515 S Street, Sacramento 95811. If you call 916-324-7308, press 0 for the Communications office. Email matthew.westbrook@cdcr.ca.gov and cc: scott.kernan@cdcr.ca.gov
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.,  c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814; Phone: (916) 445-2841Fax: (916) 558-3160; Email: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/
Read statements from the reps: 
Todd – We stand together so prisoners never have to go through the years of torture we did  (with Open Letter to Gov. Brown, CA legislators and CDCR Secretary Kernan)



"There Was a Crooked Prez"
By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

There was a crooked Prez, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked lawyer upon a crooked isle,
They bought a crooked election which caught a crooked mission,
And they both lived together in a little crooked prison.

April 28, 2018

"Trumpty Dumpty"
By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

Trumpty Dumpty sat on his wall,
Trumpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the kingpin's forces and all the KKKlansmem
Couldn't put Trumpty together again.

July 25, 2018

Dr. Gordon is a California Family Physician who has written many articles on health and politics.



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




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

    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



    Whistleblower Reality Winner Accepts Responsibility for Helping Expose Attacks on Election Systems
    After more than a year jailed without bail, NSA whistleblower Reality Winner has changed her plea to guilty. In a hearing this past Tuesday, June 26th, she stated - "all of these actions I did willfully." If this new plea deal is approved by the judge, she will have a maximum prison sentence of five years as opposed to the ten years she faced under the Espionage Act.
    Speaking to the family's relief due to this plea deal, Reality's mother Billie sharedthat "At least she knows it's coming to an end." "Her plea agreement reflects the conclusion of Winner and her lawyers," stated Betsy Reed, "that the terms of this deal represent the best outcome possible for her in the current environment."
    In a recent campaign status update Jeff Paterson, Project Director of Courage to Resist, reiterated the importance of continuing to support Reality and her truth-telling motives. "We cannot forget this Trump Administration political prisoner. Reality needs us each to do what we can to resist." Although Courage to Resist is no longer hosting Reality's defense fund, online monetary support can be contributed to the Winner family directly at standwithreality.org. Reality's inspiring artwork also available for purchase at realitywinnerart.com.
    "It's so important to me as her mom to know just all the people that are writing her, who are touching her, who are reaching out to her giving her that strength and that support . . . Please don't stop that" said Billie Winner-Davis. "And we'll always make sure that everybody knows where she's at, where you can write to her, how you can help her. You know, we'll continue to do that. Just follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter. We will continue to do that for her."
    Reality will remain at the Lincoln County jail near Augusta, Georgia, for the next few months pending the sentencing hearing and hopefully will then be transferred to a facility closer to her family.

    484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
    www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist



    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




    1) Hiroshima Survivor Speaks Out
    Instead of helping nuclear bomb survivors, U.S. studied us like guinea pigs, says Satsuko Thurlow, Hiroshima survivor.
    By Sophie Shevardnadze, RT, August 3, 2018
    Nuclear weapons disarmament activist, Hiroshima bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow

    The world looked total destruction in the eye 73 years ago, when American nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Today, can humanity come together and prevent the catastrophe from ever happening again? We ask nuclear weapons disarmament activist, Hiroshima bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow.
    Sophie Shevardnadze:Setsuko Thurlow, survivor of nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, welcome. It's really great to have you with us. 
    Setsuko Thurlow: Thank you.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: You were in Hiroshima in August 1945, when the nuclear bomb was dropped on the city. We now know that a nuclear bomb kills not only at the moment of explosion, but for many years after. You weren't far from the epicenter of the explosion—were you exposed to radiation, did it make itself known later?
    Setsuko Thurlow: Everybody in the city was exposed to radiation. We were all contaminated to a different degree of seriousness. Some people were killed immediately, some people survived but they started developing symptoms like loss of hair, internal bleedings, bleeding from the gum, diarrhea, fever—those things. Practically all the people who were in the city or who entered the city to rescue the dying people got contaminated too. So we all shared the common symptoms for some time. I lost my hair, had internal bleeding, bleeding from the gum, diarrhea, those things.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: I read that someone pointed you out of the burning building and you crawled out…
    Setsuko Thurlow: That's correct.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: What happened then? How did you find your family, how many of them survived?
    Setsuko Thurlow: On the next day, August 7th, in the morning hundreds, thousands of people were just sitting on the nearby hills. We hardly slept; we kept watching the entire city burn all night. And then, the Japanese soldier came around with a megaphone and said: "Is there Setsuko Nakamura?" I said: "Here I am!" "Your parents are here looking for you!" And I was surprised. I saw my parents and learnt what happened to them. My father left town early that morning on the 6th of August, he was out in the fishing boat in the Inland Sea. He loved fishing and that was his day-off. And suddenly he heard something and saw a mushroom cloud rising. He knew something terrible happened so he came back. My mother was doing dishes after breakfast and she too was buried under the collapsed building. She had to be helped. She was helped and was able to escape outside of the city. How they came together I don't know. But they told me that my married sister and her four-year-old child who had been evacuated, moved out from the city of Hiroshima in order to protect themselves from air raids. But they came home the night before to visit us. That morning they were on their way to the hospital, they were walking over the bridge—the mother and her four-year-old child—and they had no chance. By the time I saw them that morning they were just blackened and swollen. You just couldn't recognize them. They were simply blackened melted chunk of flesh. They survived for about four days, they kept begging for water, but there were no doctors or nurses, no food, all we could give them was some water. In my very close family eight people perished. My sister-in-law was a high school teacher; she was in the center of the city, supervising about seven or eight thousand students who were mobilized to do the task for the army in the city to establish the fire lane. So they were doing the physical labor at eight o'clock on August 6. It was so hot, many boys took off shirts, and then detonation took place right above them—500-600 meters above them. They were the ones who simply vaporized, melted or carbonized. From my school 321 girls simply disappeared.    
    Sophie Shevardnadze: Setsuko, what were the days, months after the bombing like? How did you survive in a burnt-out city? Did you even know what had happened? I mean, it was the first time something like that ever took place…
    Setsuko Thurlow: I thought Americans finally caught us because they had been air-raiding most of the cities especially since March 1,1945. So we, people in Hiroshima were beginning to feel very anxious. Hiroshima was supposed to be tenth largest city in Japan at that time. But even smaller cities had been bombed, most of the cities had been bombed. How come we hadn't been attacked? Every day and every night B-29s flew around but they didn't drop any bomb. Little did we know, that the Americans had already selected Hiroshima as a target for the new type of bomb, which they already had.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: The American government's position has been that bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were needed to save American soldiers' lives from being lost in a potential war on the ground. How do you feel when you hear that? Does this explanation sound logical to you? 
    Setsuko Thurlow: That's an American myth, just a myth, because Japan had been exhausted, finished by that time. I can verify that, we were practically starving at home. The soldiers in the Pacific or any other battlefield didn't have any food, munitions. We were finished. The war ended and the Japanese were considering surrendering. There's much historical evidence that the use of nuclear weapons wasn't necessary, and most of historians acknowledge that.  
    Sophie Shevardnadze: I read you saying that the U.S. occupation forces brought you a sense of relief and liberation from the oppression of Japan's militaristic government. But those were the people who, like you were describing so vividly, brought total destruction to your city, killed hundreds-of-thousands of people, eight people from your immediate family died. Did you not connect the U.S. soldiers with the atom bomb? Was there any hatred in you towards the Americans, or you were grateful they have brought the end of the war with them?
    Setsuko Thurlow: At that time, I would say, most of the people in Hiroshima who experienced the atomic bombing, we were in the numbed condition. All the experience was so massive and grotesque, and our psyche wouldn't accept that. That meant the cessation of emotions, we were not responding to all the horrible scenes inside. If we had responded normally we wouldn't have survived. So in that condition people's emotional response to many things that we happening around us wasn't as sharp and normal and powerful as you would expect. You have to remember this very point.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: Setsuko, I know that the U.S. occupational forces also imposed their sort of oppression—on the bombings survivors. What was it like?
    Setsuko Thurlow: Let me give you a couple of examples. United States established an institution called ABCC (Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission) and people were very happy that finally we got some medication, medical experts who knew what this was all about, who would help Japanese doctors who were at a loss. But the sole purpose of the ABCC was to study the effects of radiation on human bodies, not to help the people sick because of the radiation. The survivors felt they were used as guinea pigs twice: first time as a target, second as a subject for research. You can imagine that. Occupational forces didn't want the media, newspapers to write anything that could be seen as disadvantageous to occupational forces. And if a newspaper writes something about the destruction and especially human suffering in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this would be considered disadvantageous. This would have to stop. So they censored and forced some media companies to close up shop. This is not exactly a democratic thing to do. And the survivors wrote diaries. They had correspondence. Some people wrote haiku—a Japanese literary form—when they had pains. They had to express that by writing haiku. They had photographs, films, even medical information. All these things were confiscated, and 32 thousand items were shipped back to the United States because the scientific triumph of the United States of producing the atomic bombs was OK, the world could find out. But the human suffering these bombs caused—this was not to be found out by the world. That was the reason why.     
    Sophie Shevardnadze: So I want to talk a little about the American reaction towards what happened 73 years ago. President Obama was the first American president to come to Hiroshima in 2016. He delivered a very emotional speech, but never said sorry for America's decision to drop the bomb. I know that the American public went nuts over the suggestion that he could apologize, with the pundits relentlessly mocking that idea. My question is—why in your opinion is it so hard for the Americans, why are the Americans so uneasy about owning up to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings?
    Setsuko Thurlow: I suppose even today, 73 years later, they must believe what they did was justifiable. It was justified to end the war quickly, to rescue American G.I.'s lives. That was OK. I think, that mentality still continues unfortunately. Not thinking people though, many Americans woke up, it was such an atrocity; an unacceptable, immoral, illegal act that the United States took. And many Americans are sorry about that. But as a state, as a nation, I guess they are too proud to apologize. I know, apology was a very contentious and controversial issue. I feel that if he had offered it we should have accepted it. We deserve to accept it. But he chose not to. And he couldn't, I suppose, because of the political milieu in the States especially during the presidential election time. But it's not totally inappropriate if he did offer that apology. You know, in the war everybody did horrible things that were against the international humanitarian law. The Germans did, the British did, the U.S. did, the Japanese did too.   
    Sophie Shevardnadze: But in most cases nations do apologize. The Germans made sure that their life after World War II was one big apology. British people apologized many times as well.
    Setsuko Thurlow: And remember, both Germany and Japan were tried by the Tribunal.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: Yes.
    Setsuko Thurlow: And the Japanese military leaders—six or seven of them—were hung. So the losers were tried, but the victors—no matter what they'd done—were not to be tried. It's a very unfair world—I understood that even as a child.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: The memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been kept alive thanks to people like you—and governments remember those lessons as well. There has not been a single combat use of a nuclear bomb since 1945. To me, it seems that humanity has learned its lesson, has seen enough to not ever use nukes again. Do you have less faith in humanity than I do?
    Setsuko Thurlow: No, I do have faith. They are going to find the army. If they don't have it now, they will. Certainly, I have faith in humanity. This humanity must continue to live and this civilization must be preserved. I think, it's ridiculous that some goofy people are threatening each other by saying their bombs are bigger than others' and "we have more of them." Imagine, such childish impulsive statements are being exchanged by those people. Anyway, it's hard to believe those things are still happening. But I think people are gradually learning. More than anything, I'm grateful that hundreds-of-thousands and millions of people around the world came to realize, NGOs and 122 nations signed to adopt a United Nations treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: You said over and over again that you're doing this so that the deaths of your loved ones won't be in vain. Do you really have to make amends for what happened in 1945? It wasn't your fault, you didn't drop the bomb; it wasn't you who started or fought that war. Why do you feel that you're responsible in some way? Why do you burden yourself with it?
    Setsuko Thurlow: Look, I experienced this, I witnessed the massive death and destruction. Anybody with the conscience and moral sense can't just remain silent about that horror. Something is wrong. Somebody did it. Somebody created such destruction and massive death of humanity. An entire city just disappeared with one bomb—that was caused by human beings. Then we have to stand up and stop that kind of behavior by the human beings who are responsible. The United States was responsible. They never said sorry about that, unfortunately. More important is to make sure that something like that will never happen again to any human beings. To us that's the highest priority. We have to stop that. And this is why we have been speaking out about our painful experiences for the past seven decades. Believe me, it's not easy. Each time I talk about it, I try to embrace but still I don't succeed, it pains me. But I keep doing it because there's no other way I can live. This is my moral imperative. I guess, that would be my answer to your question.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: Setsuko, thank you so much for being with us. I have no words actually to express my gratitude. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    Setsuko Thurlow: I wish I could speak more. I really would. This is the first time that I speak to the Russian people.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: I promise you we're going to have another lengthy interview in the near future. I promise you that much.
    Setsuko Thurlow: I hope so. I really want the Russian people to think about life and death. It's the life of every citizen I'm concerned about, not the national or international security and all these military joggings. Yes, it's important for us to know such things, but the most important thing for us is to remember our humanity. That's the most important thing.
    Sophie Shevardnadze: I hope your message gets across and people will hear it, understand it and take it close to heart. Thank you so much. We were talking to Setsuko Thurlow, Hiroshima bombing survivor and disarmament campaigner, discussing how her grave experience should help us address the nuclear danger today.  
    RT, August 3, 2018


    2) Venezuelan President Targeted by Drone Attack, Officials Say
    By Ana Vanessa Herrero and Nicholas Casey, August 4, 2018

    Mr. Maduro in an image taken from state television on Saturday. His wife, Cilia Flores, appeared to flinch as the blast went off.

    CARACAS, Venezuela — A drone attack caused pandemonium at a military ceremony where President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela was speaking on Saturday, making the first lady flinch and sending National Guard troops scurrying in what administration officials called an assassination attempt.
    The president, who was unharmed, later told the nation, "To all of our friends in the world, I am fine, I am alive." He blamed right-wing elements and said, "The Bolivarian revolution keeps its path."
    Mr. Maduro has presided over a spectacular economic collapse in Venezuela, where inflation is expected to reach one million percent this year despite the country's large oil reserves. Economists blame decades of mismanagement under Mr. Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez.
    The drone attack was the latest in a string of attempts in recent years to end the tenure of Mr. Maduro, who was declared the victor of an election in May that carries his term until 2025. No previous assaults have been as bold, though, and this appeared to have been the first assassination attempt on a head of state using drones.
    It was an attack that seemed scripted for Hollywood: Off-camera explosions. Low-flying drones exploding midair. The president and first lady ducking for cover. Thousands of soldiers in a military parade suddenly fleeing in a stampede that was broadcast to the country, live.

    Jorge Rodríguez, the communications minister, said the attackers had used "several flying devices" that were detonated near where the president was standing.
    The attack came shortly after 5:30 p.m. during an event the government said was meant to celebrate the 81st anniversary of the country's National Guard.
    During the president's speech, which was broadcast live on state television, the camera began to shake. Mr. Maduro then looked into the air as his wife, Cilia Flores, flinched and reached for another official to brace herself.
    The video feed was interrupted, but Mr. Maduro could be heard continuing to talk as voices in the background yelled for people to flee.
    The video feed then showed figures dressed in black breaking through a barrier from the sidelines of a wide street where hundreds of uniformed guardsmen were arrayed in formation. The figures in black ran toward the guardsmen, who abruptly fled in panic.

    A wounded officer was led away in Caracas on Saturday.

    The transmission then cut off.
    Mr. Maduro, addressing the nation just before 9 p.m., blamed right-wing elements in Venezuela and Colombia for the attack, and said that President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia was also responsible.
    "All the investigations point to Bogotá," he said, accompanied by his ministers and military high command. "They have tried to kill me today." Mr. Maduro also suggested involvement by unidentified Americans, and said some arrests had been made of those responsible.
    On Saturday, the Colombian government dismissed the claims. A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said its Caracas embassy had issued a security alert, but did not respond to Mr. Maduro's allegation of a plot, which he has made repeatedly in the past.
    Carlos Julio Rojas, an activist in Caracas, said that he had just arrived to protest water shortages when he felt the first explosion.
    "We thought it was a bolt of lightning, but with the second explosion we could see the wall vibrating," he said. "We saw the soldiers running."

    Mr. Rojas said neighbors told him they had seen drones approach and explode midair.
    Figures aligned with the opposition condemned the attack.
    "This is not the way out of the Venezuelan crisis," said Nicmer Evans, a political scientist who has campaigned with the opposition. "No one wants the exit to be the death of someone to resolve this country's situation."
    It was not the first time that the government, which has presided over years of food shortages and rules with an authoritarian fist, has suffered a spectacular attack in its capital.
    In June 2017, Óscar Pérez, a rogue police officer, commandeered a helicopterand used it in a brazen midday assault to drop grenades on the Supreme Court building and to fire on the Interior Ministry.
    Mr. Pérez took to Instagram to call for others to join his cause and wage attacks against military bases, but he was killed by the government during an assault in January.

    In another attack last year, a group of soldiers struck a military barrackswest of Caracas. Like Mr. Pérez, they released videos calling for others to join their cause, but no rebellion materialized.
    And in 2016, Mr. Maduro himself was attacked by a mob who chased him down the street banging pots and pans and screaming that they had no food.
    Despite widespread discontent, Mr. Maduro continues to hold power. His most popular rivals were banned from running in elections this spring, and opposition parties boycotted and said the vote was rigged.
    Analysts said Saturday that while the attack might be used to drum up support for the president, it was a deep embarrassment for Mr. Maduro.
    "It will boost his rhetoric and give some substance to his conspiracy theories," said David Smilde, an analyst at the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights group. "But the optics of this weaken him. The images of him being interrupted in mid-speech and the armed forces running away make him look vulnerable."
    Mr. Smilde dismissed theories on Saturday that the government had organized a failed attack to build support for Mr. Maduro. He said the attack appeared "amateurish."
    Leaders friendly to Mr. Maduro offered their support and cast suspicion on foreign powers.
    "We energetically repudiate this new aggression and cowardly attack," said Evo Morales, Bolivia's president and a fellow leftist. "After failed attempts to topple him democratically, economically, politically and militarily, now the empire and its servants try to take his life."
    That wasn't the reaction of some residents who stood nearby as officials fled.
    "Running like rats," said a woman who filmed a video of the soldiers and officials fleeing on Saturday. "All of those fancy cars of the plugged-in elites trying to get away at the same time."

    Ana Vanessa Herrero reported from Caracas, and Nicholas Casey from Popayán, Colombia.


    3) Video Shows Sergeant Shooting Man and Dropping Knife, Spurring Inquiry
    By Benjamin Mueller, August 3, 2018

    The scene in East New York, Brooklyn, where the police and the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office are investigating the shooting of Thavone Santana by Sgt. Ritchard Blake.

    Moments after Sgt. Ritchard Blake shot and wounded a man who had confronted him amid a dispute over a woman they both knew, the sergeant patted down the man's pockets as if looking for a weapon, surveillance footage shows.
    There was nothing there: The man was unarmed.
    But then Sergeant Blake, who was off-duty, pulled a sheath knife out of his back pocket and dropped it out of its covering beside the man, Thavone Santana, as he lay on a Brooklyn sidewalk, the video shows. After briefly pacing, Sergeant Blake picked it back up.
    Those images of Sergeant Blake seemingly trying to plant a knife on Mr. Santana before thinking better of it are at the center of an intense investigation that has also focused attention on red flags that Sergeant Blake's off-duty conduct had already raised.
    Sergeant Blake, 40, had been arrested and charged with assaulting a woman in 2016 and was still on a form of administrative probation when he shot Mr. Santana, 21, early Thursday morning. Later on Thursday, the Police Department stripped Sergeant Blake of his gun and badge and placed him on modified duty.

    Mr. Santana remained hospitalized on Friday in stable condition after being operated on for a gunshot wound to the mouth. Chris Banks, a community activist in East New York, said Mr. Santana's eyes were open and he was communicating with people at his bedside through hand signals.
    As investigators scrutinized the surveillance video, which was described by two law enforcement officials and later published online by NBC New York, some questions persisted about the aftermath of the shooting.
    The Police Department initially told reporters on Thursday morning that the off-duty sergeant fired his weapon because a man pretending to have a gun tried to rob him.
    It was not clear where that account came from. A law enforcement official said on Friday that Sergeant Blake told responding officers at the scene that Mr. Santana told him he had a gun, but not that Mr. Santana had been trying to rob him.
    Sergeant Blake also told the officers he was concerned about the safety of his girlfriend, the woman whose relationship with the two men had been the source of a simmering dispute between them.

    Investigators on Friday were trying to piece together a rolling skirmish that had ended in Sergeant Blake firing two shots at Mr. Santana on the sidewalk near the corner of Livonia Avenue and New Jersey Avenue in the neighborhood of East New York.
    A neighbor of Sergeant Blake's girlfriend, who declined to give his name, said a number of people had arrived at her apartment in the hours before the shooting and tried to break down the door, though it was not clear why they were there or how the standoff ended. Mr. Banks, the community activist, said both Mr. Santana and Sergeant Blake had been at the woman's apartment. He said they had been quarreling over her.
    Around 5 a.m., Sergeant Blake was walking away from her home to head to work at the 109th Precinct in Queens, where he was to report for a 7 a.m. tour, two law enforcement officials said. Mr. Santana, following behind him, caught up and got his attention.
    The rest of the encounter is visible on the surveillance footage. Sergeant Blake holds his arms out at his sides as he talks. Mr. Santana keeps one hand in his shorts pocket as he creeps closer to Sergeant Blake.
    Sergeant Blake said Mr. Santana told him he was armed, the two law enforcement officials said.
    Sergeant Blake fired his gun twice, hitting Mr. Santana once in the face, and then called 911 to report an off-duty shooting.
    The Police Department said in a statement on Friday, "The video captures actions that raise serious questions, and require further investigation."
    The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office said in a statement that investigators from the office went to the shooting scene and were doing "an independent and thorough" review.

    "We will follow the facts and evidence wherever they lead us," the statement said.
    Attempts to reach Sergeant Blake on Friday were unsuccessful.
    The shooting quickly drew criticism from local elected officials and community leaders, who on Friday afternoon accompanied Mr. Santana's mother, Arrie Spencer, to meet with officials at the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office. They urged prosecutors to charge Sergeant Blake with attempted murder.
    "We've been down this road before," said the Rev. Kevin McCall, a representative of the National Action Network, at a news conference outside the district attorney's office on Jay Street. "Meeting is good, but we want to make sure they investigate fairly, not sweep it under a rug."
    Mr. McCall called attention to Sergeant Blake's disciplinary history. After being charged with assaulting a woman, he was suspended for 36 days and placed on dismissal probation, according to a New York Daily News story on police discipline published in March. That designation allows officers who have been disciplined to continue to work but gives the police commissioner the power to fire them without a trial during a yearlong probation.
    The speakers also protested that Mr. Santana had been handcuffed in the hospital.
    "We're telling the police department, the commissioner, they owe this family an apology for handcuffing her son," said Assemblyman Charles Barron, a Brooklyn Democrat. "While he was heavily sedated and committed no crime, they handcuffed him in the hospital."
    Ms. Spencer said just a few words: "I want justice for my son and my family."

    Sean Piccoli contributed reporting, and Susan C. Beachy contributed research.


    4)  The Stock Market Is Shrinking. That's a Problem for Everyone.
    By Jeff Sommer, August 4, 2018
    "Profits are increasingly concentrated in the cluster of giants — with Apple at the forefront — that dominate the market. For a far larger assortment of smaller companies, though, profit is often out of reach. In 2015, for example, the top 200 companies by earnings accounted for all of the profits in the stock market, according to calculations by Kathleen Kahle, a professor of finance at the University of Arizona, and Professor Stulz. In aggregate, the remaining 3,281 publicly listed companies lost money."

    The American stock market has been shrinking. It's been happening in slow motion — so slow you may not even have noticed. But by now the change is unmistakable: The market is half the size of its mid-1990s peak, and 25 percent smaller than it was in 1976.
    "This is troubling for the economy, for innovation and for transparence," said René Stulz, an Ohio State finance professor who has written a new report on these issues for the National Bureau of Economic Research.
    When I say "shrinking," I'm using a specific definition: the reduction in the number of publicly traded companies on exchanges in the United States. In the mid-1990s, there were more than 8,000 of them. By 2016, there were only 3,627, according to data from the Center for Research in Security Prices at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
    Because the population of the United States has grown nearly 50 percent since 1976, the drop is even starker on a per-capita basis: There were 23 publicly listed companies for every million people in 1975, but only 11 in 2016, according to Professor Stulz.

    This puts the United States "in bad company in terms of the percentage decrease in listings — just ahead of Venezuela," he said. "Given the size of the United States, its economic development, financial development and its respect for shareholder rights," he added, one might expect that tally to be climbing, not falling.
    In his new paper, "The Shrinking Universe of Public Firms: Facts, Causes, and Consequences," Professor Stulz surveyed the body of academic research on the topic. In an interview, he said that the casual observer may not entirely grasp the implications of the changes that have taken place.
    "The headline is that the number of public firms is shrinking, but it's not just that," he said. Profits in the overall market are now divided among fewer winners. And as capital-intensive companies have been supplanted by those whose value is largely found in their intellectual property, the marketplace is less transparent — with troubling consequences.
    Consider these big shifts:
    ■ The companies on the market today are, on average, much larger than the public corporations of decades ago. Fast-rising upstarts are harder to find.
    In 1975, 61.5 percent of publicly traded firms had assets worth less than $100 million, using inflation-adjusted 2015 dollars. But by 2015, that proportion had dropped to only 22.6 percent.

    Because of this, Professor Stulz said, "It's not possible for the general public to invest in a diversified portfolio of really small, publicly traded companies in the way they could a few decades ago."
    ■ Profits are increasingly concentrated in the cluster of giants — with Apple at the forefront — that dominate the market. For a far larger assortment of smaller companies, though, profit is often out of reach. In 2015, for example, the top 200 companies by earnings accounted for all of the profits in the stock market, according to calculations by Kathleen Kahle, a professor of finance at the University of Arizona, and Professor Stulz. In aggregate, the remaining 3,281 publicly listed companies lost money.
    In theory, as a shareholder, you are entitled to a piece of a company's future earnings. That's one of the main arguments for buying stock in the first place. But the reality is that you often are buying a piece of a money-losing proposition. Aside from the top 200 companies, the rest of the market, as a whole, is burning, not earning, money.
    ■ A quirk of accounting is at the root of some of that profit deficit, especially for smaller and younger companies. Increasingly, value resides in intellectual property — "intangibles" like software and data and biological design — rather than in the production of physical objects like cars.
    But under generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, which American companies must follow, research and development must be deducted from corporate income — and those charges can reduce or eliminate profits. (Capital expenditures — in physical things like factories — appear on corporate balance sheets, not income statements, and don't reduce profits.)
    Without deep knowledge of a company's critical research — which businesses may be reluctant to share, for competitive reasons — it's difficult for outsiders to evaluate a start-up's worth. That makes it harder to obtain funding, and it may be partly responsible for certain trends: why there are fewer initial public offerings these days, why smaller companies are being swallowed by the giants, and why so many companies remain private for longer.
    That creates opportunities for private equity firms, which have insider access to innovative start-ups that may never go directly to the public markets. Meanwhile, Main Street investors are consigned to a less diverse universe than they may realize.

    There's a broader problem. Our visibility into the inner workings of public companies isn't great, but we know far more about them than we do private companies, which aren't required to disclose nearly as much information.
    And these changing dynamics mean we know far less about many of the creators of American profits and jobs than would otherwise be the case.
    In a democracy in which corporations already have enormous clout, that is worth worrying about.


    5)  'Too Little Too Late': Bankruptcy Booms Among Older Americans
    By Tara Siegel Bernard, August 5, 2018

    Lawrence Sedita, a 74-year-old former carpenter, said he lost his health insurance about two years ago after his union changed the eligibility requirements. He and his wife filed for bankruptcy after living off of their credit cards for a time. Their financial difficulty "has drained everything out of me," 

    For a rapidly growing share of older Americans, traditional ideas about life in retirement are being upended by a dismal reality: bankruptcy.
    The signs of potential trouble — vanishing pensions, soaring medical expenses, inadequate savings — have been building for years. Now, new research sheds light on the scope of the problem: The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991, the study found, and the same group accounts for a far greater share of all filers.
    Driving the surge, the study suggests, is a three-decade shift of financial risk from government and employers to individuals, who are bearing an ever-greater responsibility for their own financial well-being as the social safety net shrinks.
    The transfer has come in the form of, among other things, longer waits for full Social Security benefits, the replacement of employer-provided pensions with 401(k) savings plans and more out-of-pocket spending on health care. Declining incomes, whether in retirement or leading up to it, compound the challenge.

    Cheryl Mcleod of Las Vegas filed for bankruptcy in January after struggling to keep up with her mortgage payments and other expenses. "I am 70, and I am working for less money than I ever did in my life," she said. "This life stuff happens."
    As the study, from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, explains, older people whose finances are precarious have few places to turn. "When the costs of aging are off-loaded onto a population that simply does not have access to adequate resources, something has to give," the study says, "and older Americans turn to what little is left of the social safety net — bankruptcy court."
    "You can manage O.K. until there is a little stumble," said Deborah Thorne, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Idaho and an author of the study. "It doesn't even take a big thing."
    The forces at work affect many Americans, but older people are often less able to weather them, according to Professor Thorne and her colleagues in the study. Finding, and keeping, one job is hard enough for an older person. Taking on another to pay unexpected bills is almost unfathomable.

    Bankruptcy can offer a fresh start for people who need one, but for older Americans it "is too little too late," the study says. "By the time they file, their wealth has vanished and they simply do not have enough years to get back on their feet."

    The data gathered by the researchers is stark. From February 2013 to November 2016, there were 3.6 bankruptcy filers per 1,000 people 65 to 74; in 1991, there were 1.2.
    Not only are more older people seeking relief through bankruptcy, but they also represent a widening slice of all filers: 12.2 percent of filers are now 65 or older, up from 2.1 percent in 1991.
    The jump is so pronounced, the study says, that the aging of the baby boom generation cannot explain it.
    Although the actual number of older people filing for bankruptcy was relatively small — about 100,000 a year during the period in question — the researchers said it signaled that there were many more people in financial distress.
    "The people who show up in bankruptcy are always the tip of the iceberg," said Robert M. Lawless, a law professor at the University of Illinois and another author of the study.
    The next generation nearing retirement age is also filing for bankruptcy in greater numbers, and the average age of filers is rising, the study found.

    Given the rate of increase, Professor Thorne said, "the only explanation that makes any sense are structural shifts."
    Ms. Mcleod said she had managed to get by for a while after separating from her husband several years ago. Eventually, though, she struggled to make ends meet on her income alone, and she fell behind on her mortgage payments.
    She collects a small Social Security check and works at an adult day care center for people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems. For $8.75 an hour, she makes sure clients participate in daily activities, calms them when they are irritated and tries to understand what they need when they have trouble expressing themselves.
    "When I moved here from Los Angeles, I was wondering why all of these older people were working in convenience stores and fast-food restaurants," she said. "It's because they don't make enough in retirement to support themselves."

    Ms. Mcleod said she hoped that filing for bankruptcy would help her catch up on her mortgage so she could stay in her home. "I am too old to move out of here," she said. "I am trying to stay stable."
    The bankruptcy project is a long-running effort now led by Professor Thorne; Professor Lawless; Pamela Foohey, a law professor at Indiana University; and Katherine Porter, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine. The project — which is financed by their universities — collects and analyzes court records on a continuing basis and follows up with written questionnaires.

    Their latest study —which was posted online on Sunday and has been submitted to an academic journal for peer review — is based on a sample of personal bankruptcy cases and questionnaires completed by 895 filers ages 19 to 92.
    The questionnaire asked filers what led them to seek bankruptcy protection. Much like the broader population, people 65 and older usually cited multiple factors. About three in five said unmanageable medical expenses played a role. A little more than two-thirds cited a drop in income. Nearly three-quarters put some blame on hounding by debt collectors.
    The study does not delve into those underlying factors, but separate data provides some insight. The median household led by someone 65 or older had liquid savings of $60,600 in 2016, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, whereas the bottom 25 percent of households had saved at most $3,260.
    That doesn't provide much of a financial cushion for a catastrophic health problem. Older Americans typically turn to Medicare to pay their medical bills. But gaps in coverage, high premiums and requirements that patients shoulder some costs force many lower-income beneficiaries to spend more of their own income on those bills, the Kaiser Family Foundation found.
    By 2013, the average Medicare beneficiary's out-of-pocket spending on health care consumed 41 percent of the average Social Security check, according to Kaiser, which also estimated that the figure would rise.
    More people are also entering their later years carrying debt. For many of them, at least some of the debt is a mortgage — roughly 41 percent in 2016, compared with 21 percent in 1989, according to an Urban Institute analysis.
    And those who are carrying debt into retirement are carrying more than members of earlier generations, an analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found.

    Perhaps not surprisingly, the lowest-income households led by individuals 55 or older carry the highest debt loads relative to their income. More than 13 percent of such households face debt payments that equal more than 40 percent of their income, nearly double the percentage of such families in 1991, the employee benefit institute found.

    Older Americans' finances are also being strained by the needs of those around them.
    A little more than a third of the older filers who answered the researchers' questionnaire said that helping others, like children or older parents, had contributed to their seeking bankruptcy protection. Marc Stern, a bankruptcy lawyer in Seattle, said he had seen the phenomenon again and again.
    Some parents, Mr. Stern said, had co-signed loans for $10,000 or $20,000 for adult children and suddenly could no longer afford them. "When you are living on $2,000 a month and that includes Social Security — and you have rent and savings are minuscule — it is extremely difficult to recover from something like that," he said.
    Others had co-signed their children's student loans. "I never saw parents with student loans 20 or 30 years ago," Mr. Stern said.
    "It is not uncommon to see student loans of $100,000," he added. "Then, you see parents who have guaranteed some of these loans. They are no longer working, and they have these student loans that are difficult if not impossible to pay or discharge in bankruptcy, and these are the kids' loans."
    Keith Morris, chief executive of Elder Law of Michigan, which runs a legal hotline for older adults, said the prospect of bankruptcy was a regular topic for his callers.

    "They worked all of their lives, and did what they were supposed to do," he said, "and through circumstances like a late-life divorce or a death of a spouse or having to raise grandkids, have put them in a situation where they are not able to make the bills."
    For Lawrence Sedita, a 74-year-old former carpenter now living in Las Vegas, the problems began when he lost his health insurance about two years ago. He said he had been on disability since 1991, when a double pack of 12-foot drywall fell on his head at work.
    After his union, the New York City District Council of Carpenters, changed the eligibility requirements for his medical, dental and prescription drug insurance, he lost his coverage.
    Mr. Sedita, who has Parkinson's disease, said his medical expenses had risen exponentially. (A spokesman for the union declined to comment.)
    A medication that helps reduce the shaking — a Parkinson's symptom — rose to $1,100 every three months from $70, Mr. Sedita said. "I haven't taken my medicine in three months since I can't afford it," he added.
    He said he and his wife, who has cancer, filed for bankruptcy in June after living off their credit cards for a time. Their financial difficulty, he said, "has drained everything out of me."

    Doris Burke and Alain Delaquérière contributed research.


    6) Power of Neil Young's "Ohio" in 2018
    Why the Kent State protest anthem remains so relevant
    By Annie Zaleski
    Reader Supported News, August 6, 2018
    Neil Young

    Artists from Jason Isbell to Gary Clark Jr. keep song about 1970 state-sponsored violence rooted in the present
    August 6, 2018—At last weekend's Newport Folk Festival, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit's Friday set featured a marquee special guest: David Crosby, who performed Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's "Ohio" with the band. Isbell has covered the song before in concert multiple times, but this version unsurprisingly had extra grit and exuded a grimmer tone that was mesmerizing. Isbell and Crosby's harmonies were weary but wise, and the performance's multiple-electric guitar approach added tenacity. It didn't feel like a song nearing 50 years old; it was vital contemporary commentary.
    Later in the weekend, Leon Bridges, Gary Clark, Jr. and Jon Batiste gathered to do their own live cover of "Ohio." In contrast to the version performed by Isbell and Crosby, the trio's take on the song was sparse, driven by hypnotic vocal harmonies, ominous percussion and sinewy guitar. This "Ohio" was closer in tone to the studio version of the song they released in 2017 as part of a Spotify playlist called "Echoes of Vietnam"—and it was just as moving and meaningful as Isbell and Crosby's take, as it amplified the song's mournful underpinnings and smoldering grief.
    "This is something I've always dreamed of, coming together with these guys," The New Yorkerquoted Clark, Jr. discussing the song. "It's powerful. Three young Black men coming together and making good music and making a statement."
    That both groups of musicians chose the Newport Folk Festival to reprise "Ohio" was perfect, as activism has been an intrinsic part of the event's DNA since its inception. In fact, you might say that Newport has strived to amplify those pushing for social change since day one. In 1963, a performance of "We Shall Overcome" featured every musician at the fest, including the Freedom Singers, a quartet whose music anchored the civil rights movement, while in 2017, a "Speak Out" set highlighted modern activism and political protest in a post-Trump world.
    But the very act of covering "Ohio"—which the headline of a 2010 Guardianarticle dubbed the "greatest protest record"—feels especially poignant in 2018. Written by Neil Young after seeing a Lifemagazine story about the May 4, 1970, massacre of four students at Kent State University by members of the Ohio National Guard, "Ohio" retains its power.
    Besides grappling with the implications of the horrific event, the song expresses anger, disbelief, shock—and an irrevocable sense of betrayal, that those in power are now officially an enemy, actively working against the will of the people and resorting to violence to quash dissent. The simple, dateline-like lyric "Four dead in Ohio," which repeats throughout, cements the song's inspiration, ensuring that those killed are never forgotten.
    The specificity of that line also ensures the Kent State massacre isn't forgotten. "A large part of the reason many people know about Kent State as they do is because the song 'Ohio' brings it to people who are not necessarily researching the Nixon era," journalist Dorian Lynskey told The Atlantic in early 2018. But unlike many protest songs, which feel inextricably tied to their time, "Ohio" transcends eras. While originally written about one particular incident, the song eventually came to reflect much greater truths about violence, power dynamics and oppression.
    Its themes especially feel resonant in a post-2016 election world, with a news cycle dominated by stories of an administration hostile to historically marginalized communities—including (but not limited to) immigrants, the LGBT community, Black Americans, the disability community and women. "Ohio" also has deep ire for senseless violence and expresses feeling helplessness while watching someone innocent become collateral damage—sentiments that are certainly familiar to the current movement against gun violence.
    Of course, "Ohio" wasn't always embraced for its message or foresight. The song was famously banned from some radio stations, while Devo's Gerald Casale, who was at Kent State on May 4, is quoted in Shakey: Neil Young's Biography, as saying, "We just thought rich hippies were making money off of something horrible and political that they didn't get."
    Casale didn't mention "Ohio" in a recent Washington Post article, which went in-depth about the impact the Kent State shootings had on members of Devo and the musician Chris Butler, who later found success with the Waitresses. But Casale did detail how that May day affected him: "I don't think I would have started Devo had that not happened. It's that simple."
    He wasn't the only musician changed. In her memoir, Reckless: My Life as a Pretender, the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde wrote about how being on campus that day shaped her worldview, while in the biography Divided Soul: The Life Of Marvin Gaye, the soul/R and B icon also connects the Kent State shootings to his thought process prior to recording the landmark album "What's Going On."
    "My phone would ring, and it'd be Motown wanting me to start working and I'd say, 'Have you seen the paper today? Have you read about these kids who were killed at Kent State?'" he said. "The murders at Kent State made me sick. I couldn't sleep, couldn't stop crying. The notion of singing three-minute songs about the moon and June didn't interest me. Neither did instant-message songs."
    The urgency of social commentary also underlines the protest music that's alive and well in 2018. Interestingly enough, "Ohio" also remains a live staple today, across multiple genres and generations. Although it's an imperfect source, setlist.fm shows a noticeable uptick in reported performances of "Ohio" from 2016 through the present day. These include covers by artists such as Isbell, Phil Lesh and Friends, Whitehorse, and Blackfoot, as well as versions done by Young, Crosby and Graham Nash during their respective solo shows.
    You can chalk this increase up to more solo shows by CSNY's principal members, of course. But "Ohio" is an enduring reminder of both a dark time in U.S. history—and why it's important that these times are never forgotten.
    "For years I couldn't sing it," Young said of the song in 2006, "because I felt I was kinda taking advantage of something that happened and we were trading on somebody's misfortunes…to give the audience a kind of rush of nostalgia…In this period of time, that doesn't apply. What it is now is, it's a history. We're bringing history back. That's what folk music does."
    Reader Supported News, August 6, 2018


    7)  U.S. Airstrike Kills Afghan Forces Amid Battle With Taliban
    by Mujib Mashal and Farooq Jan Mangal, August 7, 2018
    "In the first six months of this year, United States forces dropped nearly 3,000 bombs across Afghanistan, nearly double the number for the same period last year and more than five times the number for the first half of 2016."

    KABUL, Afghanistan — An American airstrike killed at least a dozen Afghan security forces during intense fighting with the Taliban near the Afghan capital, officials said Tuesday.
    Hundreds of armed Taliban militants made a run for the Azra district center in Logar Province, about 50 miles south of Kabul, late on Monday, and the fighting continued overnight, officials said. Shamshad Larawi, a spokesman for the governor, said that American airstrikes had been called in for support, but that because of a misunderstanding, the planes mistakenly targeted an Afghan police outpost.
    Mr. Larawi played down the number of casualties, which remained unclear. Members of the provincial council said the strike had killed 12 security personnel, a mix of Afghan police officers and pro-government militia members. Haji Abdul Satar, a tribal elder from Azra, said he counted 19 dead, among them 17 Afghan police officers and pro-government militia members and two civilians.
    Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for United States forces in Afghanistan, confirmed that the strike had been carried out and said reports that it had killed Afghan forces were being investigated.

    As security has deteriorated across Afghanistan, with Afghan forces continuing to face Taliban attacks in their defensive positions, airstrikes by both American and Afghan forces have increased.
    In the first six months of this year, United States forces dropped nearly 3,000 bombs across Afghanistan, nearly double the number for the same period last year and more than five times the number for the first half of 2016.
    Civilian casualties from aerial bombardments have increased considerably as a result, the United Nations says.
    The United Nations mission in Afghanistan has documented 149 civilians killed and 204 injured by airstrikes in the first six months of this year, a 52 percent increase from the same period last year.
    The Taliban's push for Azra began around midnight, and the fighting lasted for nearly five hours before they were pushed back, said Mr. Satar, the tribal elder. Some sources suggested that a large number of Afghan forces had also been killed before the airstrike, making it a deadly night.
    The district governor of Azra, Hamidullah Hamid, said there had also been civilian casualties in the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan forces before the airstrike. A Taliban rocket killed two girls ages 12 and 14, he said, while 18 other civilians were wounded.

    Zer Gul, a commander of the local police whose forces came under fire, said the Taliban managed to overrun five outposts before Afghan forces retook them. The militants suffered heavy losses as well, he said, despite the United States' mistake.
    "Instead of the Taliban, the Americans bombed the Afghan police," Mr. Gul said.

    Mujib Mashal reported from Kabul, and Farooq Jan Mangal from Khost. Jawad Sukhanyar contributed reporting from Kabul.


    8)  Violence Intensifies as Student Protests Spread in Bangladesh
    By Maria Abi-Habib, August 6, 2018

    Students demonstrating in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Sunday. What began as a road-safety protest by schoolchildren after a deadly bus accident has now lasted nine days, and the police are responding with force.

    DELHI — Students at several university campuses in Bangladesh clashed with police officers in riot gear on Monday, as the government met what began as a students' road-safety protest with escalating force and panic.
    Dhaka, the capital, was in its ninth day of widespread protests, and rights advocates said they feared an increasingly violent response from the government, led by the Awami League, which is due to face elections in December.
    A prominent photojournalist, Shahidul Alam, was arrested on Sunday night, his wife said, and rights groups including Amnesty International said they were looking into reports of four more arrests of activists that they called unjustified.
    In a text message on Monday, a student protester at the East West University described seeking refuge inside a classroom after being attacked by police officers with tear gas and rubber bullets. He added that supporters of the government had assaulted them in tandem with the police, throwing rocks and wielding makeshift clubs.

    A professor at a second university said he was barricaded with students inside a classroom on Monday afternoon, with the smell of tear gas hanging in the air. The professor and student both requested anonymity, fearing arrest.

    Police officers fired tear gas during a protest on Sunday.

    But there was less sign on Monday of the middle school and high school students who along with their parents had previously formed the backbone of the protests. Several students said their teachers had warned them that those missing school would be reported to the authorities, leading to a knock on the door of their family home and possible arrest.
    "Repression has been a trademark of this government over the past five years," said Omar Waraich, the deputy director for South Asia at Amnesty International. "Whether it is journalists, the opposition or peaceful protesters, dissent has never been tolerated."
    Asaduzzaman Khan, Bangladesh's minister for home affairs, denied that the police or Awami League members had used violence to quell dissent. He accused opposition parties of infiltrating the protests and "trying to create a violent situation."

    "We have repeatedly accepted the demands of the school and college students for better road safety conditions, and we have asked them to go back to their homes as we have started to implement their demands," he said.
    Bangladeshi government officials have pointed to a recording released over the weekend that they say shows an opposition politician ordering an activist to rally more people to the streets to piggyback off the student movement. But a diplomat in Dhaka, who asked for anonymity to speak on a politically sensitive question, said the student movement appeared organic and genuine, and the opposition's role limited.
    The catalyst was the death of two teenagers on July 29, when a bus racing a rival to a stop plowed into a crowd of waiting would-be passengers.

    Students, some accompanied by their parents, responded by erecting checkpoints across the city, forcing motorists — including police officers and government ministers — to produce valid drivers licenses and car registrations. Those who could not do so, or who they said they had seen violating other traffic laws, they handed over to the police.
    The government's response to the protests was initially cautious, but the police began to use force against protesters on Saturday.
    For many, the bus crash has come to symbolize larger problems of poor governance, nepotism and corruption. Bangladesh's transportation sector has long operated above the law, with powerful officials either owning private bus companies or relying on bus and rickshaw drivers for political support. Transportation companies are accused of bribing the police to avoid investigation even of deadly accidents.

    Over 7,000 people died in traffic accidents in the country last year, according to Bangladesh Passengers Welfare Association. The World Health Organization estimates that the country's road-traffic death rate in 2013 was 13.6 deaths per 100,000 people, lower than in India or Pakistan but far higher than in America or Europe.
    On Monday, in an effort to contain the protests, the government endorsed a draft law to increase the maximum sentence for fatal road accidents to five years from three. But protesters say the problem is largely about poor implementation of existing laws.
    Clashes intensified as Monday evening approached.
    University students largely sat out last week's protests, but have been protesting for months about a quota system for government jobs and university spots that they claim is plagued by nepotism and corruption. When the police began to use force, the university students decided to link their cause to those of their peers in middle and high schools.

    Mr. Waraich of Amnesty International suggested that the government's sudden use of force reflected anxiety about the Awami League's electoral prospects.
    "I think they are worried that any protests against the government could bring the opposition out on the street," he said. "They want to crush these protests immediately — they see them for not just what they are but what they could be. As elections loom, they are nervous about people coming out into the streets."
    Mr. Alam, the photojournalist, was detained on Sunday night after posting a Facebook video about the protest and giving an interview to the television news network Al Jazeera criticizing the violence of the government's response.

    His wife, Rahnuma Ahmed, said at a news conference on Monday that about 35 men in civilian clothes had forced him into an unmarked car, which then drove away. She said he had been taken by the Detective Branch, part of the police force, which she accused of confiscating nearby CCTV cameras that recorded the arrest.
    The police confirmed on Monday that they had detained Mr. Alam.
    The Associated Press said at least five journalists had been attacked at the protests on Sunday, including one of its photographers, who was briefly hospitalized with a head injury.
    "Bangladesh authorities must immediately release Shahidul Alam without charge," said Steven Butler, the Asia program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "Authorities should also ensure that Alam and all journalists covering unrest in Dhaka are able to work without fear of attack or arrest."

    Julfikar Ali Manik contributed reporting from Dhaka.


    9)  Why You Should Care About Unions (Even if you're not in one.)
    By Meagan Day and Bhaskar Sunkara, August 8, 2018

    Pro-union organizers in New York City protested the Supreme Court's decision on union financing in June.

    First of all: We should all be celebrating that last night voters in Missouri rejected a right-to-work law by a 2-to-1 margin.
    Why? The average person in the United States has essentially zero power in society. That's why millions have organized into unions over the years. But the slow decline of unionism in the United States should concern you even if you're not in one.
    Unions improve wagesbenefits and working conditions for their members. But it's not just to members' advantage. Collective bargaining affects pay standards across entire industries, meaning even nonunion workers benefit. Unions also secure legislation that protects all workers, from workplace safety guidelines to a guaranteed weekend. And they reduce gender and racial wage gaps across industries, which contributes to broader equality in society.
    Owing largely to a sustained political assault on unions, their memberships have been declining since the mid-20th century — a trend that, not coincidentally, maps neatly onto rising economic inequality and falling wages. The Supreme Court's recent decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is the latest blow to unions, effectively instituting a nationwide "right-to-work" regime for public-sector unions. Right to work forces unions to represent even those who don't pay dues or claim membership, discouraging workers from joining and contributing. In short, it kills unions by attrition.

    And that's the goal. A web of right-wing corporate elites, think tanks and foundations bankrolls union-busting campaigns like the one that led to Janus. The mission of the Bradley Foundation, which has pumped millions of dollars into right-to-work advocacy for 15 years, includes supporting"organizations and projects that reduce the size and power of public sector unions." Internal documents obtained by The Guardian show that one foundation supported by the anti-union Koch brothers expressly endeavors to "cause public-sector unions to experience 5 to 20% declines in membership, costing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in dues money."
    In the wake of Janus, the labor movement faces a choice: It can passively watch members drift away, or it can return to its roots, renewing a commitment to internal democracy, face-to-face organizing and bold strike action — in other words, do the things to win concessions and actually give people a sense of belonging and purpose in the movement. And American workers should cheer labor on when they take this course — for example, by supporting the ongoing wave of teachers' strikes — knowing that the fates of union and nonunion workers are inextricable.
    This article is part of the Opinion Today newsletter. David Leonhardt, the newsletter's author, is on a break until Aug. 27. While he's gone, several outside writers are taking his place. This week's authors are Meagan Day, a writer for the socialist magazine Jacobin, and Bhaskar Sunkara, the magazine's editor. You can sign up here to receive the newsletter each weekday.


    10) The Wind at Labor's Back
    By The Editorial Board
    "A 2015 analysis by the Economic Policy Institute found that annual wages in right-to-work states were about 3 percent, or nearly $1,600, lower than in states that didn't have such laws."

    In recent decades, conservative activists and lawmakers have turned labor unions into convenient punching bags. In Missouri on Tuesday, however, unions seemed to figure out at least one way to punch back: Voters there resoundingly defeated an anti-union law via ballot proposal.
    There's always a danger in over-interpreting the results of a single election, but the two-to-one margin by which Missouri voters overturned the so-called right-to-work law appears to be the latest sign of resurgent and effective labor activism. The vote comes months after teacher strikes around the country forced Republican-controlled legislatures in states like West Virginia and Oklahoma to hand out big raises to overworked and underpaid workers for the first time in many years. 
    The Missouri law, which passed in early 2017 but never went into effect, was designed to weaken private-sector unions. It would have allowed workers to claim the benefits of union-negotiated contracts and representation in disputes with management without having to pay dues and fees to cover the cost of those benefits.
    Missouri is hardly a bastion of liberalism — President Trump won it by nearly 20 points in 2016. But voters there, as in much of the country, seem to be waking up to the concerted, yearslong conservative campaigns to exacerbate income inequality and impoverish working-class families. The A.F.L.-C.I.O. noted that Tuesday was the first time a right-to-work law had been overturned through a ballot measure. With that success, expect unions to use this tactic again in the near future.

    Right-to-work laws, which are now in place in 27 states, have been brandedas such because Republicans have successfully framed this issue as one of giving workers the right to not belong to a union. Backers of these laws also argue that they help states attract businesses and create jobs. In practice, the measures undercut labor power and have done little to create good-paying jobs. They have contributed to the steady, decades-long decline in union membership — less than 11 percent of workers were union members in 2017, down from about a third of workers in 1945. That decline has played a big part in depressing wages, even in industries and companies that had never had a significant union presence. That's because union contracts often serve as a benchmark for pay and working conditions. A 2015 analysis by the Economic Policy Institute found that annual wages in right-to-work states were about 3 percent, or nearly $1,600, lower than in states that didn't have such laws.

    The attack on unions has been broad-based, with even activist conservative judges getting into the act. This summer, by a 5-to-4 vote, the Supreme Court overturned a unanimous 40-year-old ruling when it decided that states could not require government employees to pay fees that covered the cost of collective bargaining.
    The immediate impact of the union victory in Missouri will be limited. Only 8.7 percent of workers in the state are union members, and the vote will merely preserve the legal status quo. It may also be hard for unions to replicate the conditions under which they won — labor groups spent about three times as much on campaigning against the right-to-work law as proponents of the law spent defending it. The labor activists also benefited from the law's being closely associated with the state's disgraced former Republican governor, Eric Greitens, who resigned in May amid scandal. Conservative groups will surely regroup and put up more of a fight in the future, and labor will still face an uphill fight in federal courts that Mr. Trump and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, are busily packing with far-right, anti-labor ideologues. 
    Still, Tuesday's vote and the popular support for teacher strikes in red states show that unions have the wind at their backs for the first time in a long while. That is welcome news for long-suffering American workers.


    11) Puerto Rican Government Acknowledges Hurricane Death Toll of 1,427
    By Frances Robles, August 9, 2018

    Hundreds of pairs of shoes in San Juan, P.R., paid tribute to the victims of Hurricane Maria. The storm's official death toll of 64 has not yet been changed.

    SAN JUAN, P.R. — The government of Puerto Rico has quietly acknowledged in a report posted online that in all likelihood more than 1,400 people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria — a figure that is more than 20 times the official death toll.
    Hurricane Maria cut through the island on Sept. 20, knocking out power and initially killing about a dozen people. The government's official count eventually swelled to 64, as more people died from suicide, lack of access to health care and other factors. The number has not changed despite several academic assessments that official death certificates did not come close to tallying the storm's fatal toll.
    But in a draft of a report to Congress requesting $139 billion in recovery funds, scheduled for official release on Thursday, the Puerto Rican government admits that 1,427 more people died in the last four months of 2017 compared with the same time frame in the previous year. The figures came from death registry statistics that were released in June, but which were never publicly acknowledged by officials on the island.
    "Although the official death count from the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety was initially 64, the toll appears to be much higher," said the report, titled "Transformation and Innovation in the Wake of Devastation."

    In another section, it said: "According to initial reports, 64 lives were lost. That estimate was later revised to 1,427."
    The government was widely criticized for undercounting the number of people who died on the island as the power outage stretched for months, causing deaths from diabetes and sepsis to soar. Many people died from lack of access to hospitals, or because there was no power to run the machines they used to breathe.

    After a New York Times analysis in December showed that even the preliminary data from the Demographic Registry of Puerto Rico indicated that hurricane-related deaths may have risen to 1,052, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló commissioned a study from George Washington University's school of public health. The report is expected to be released this month.
    "We definitely acknowledge this is a realistic estimate," Pedro Cerame, a spokesman for the Puerto Rican government's Federal Affairs Administration, said of the numbers in the upcoming report to Congress. "We don't want to say it out loud or publicize it as an official number. The official number will come, and it could be close. But until we see the study, and have the accuracy, we won't be able to recognize the number as official."

    Mr. Cerame acknowledged that the final version of the report hedges the language to say that the additional deaths "may or may not be attributable" to the storm; the 1,427 figure was also deleted from a chart.
    "I want to emphasize, though, that we have always expected the number to be higher," he said in an email. "The estimate provided was done using data from the Demographic Registry which was made available to the members of the media."
    The official death toll has not been updated, he said, because officials are awaiting the outcome of the George Washington University study to provide certainty: "Once GW's study is out, the number will be updated."
    Researchers at Penn State University had reached an estimate very similar to The Times' assessment. A much-publicized study from Harvard University showed the deaths could have ranged from 800 to 8,500.
    The final version of the recovery plan being submitted to Congress outlines ambitious projects for Puerto Rico that include major highway renovations, $15 billion for the Department of Education and $26 billion for the energy grid. The government has asked for $6 billion for repair and replacement of public buildings and $3.9 billion for environmental use, according to an announcement from the governor's office.
    "Puerto Rico has a unique opportunity to innovate and rebuild the Puerto Rico that we all want," Governor Rosselló said in a statement.


    12)  Argentina's Senate Narrowly Rejects Legalizing Abortion
    By Daniel Politi and Ernesto Londoño, August 9, 2018

    The Senate vote to legalize abortion brought thousands of demonstrators to a main avenue in Buenos Aires on Wednesday night, with supporters on the left and opponents on the right
    BUENOS AIRES — Argentina's Senate on Thursday narrowly rejected a bill to legalize abortion, dealing a stinging defeat to a grass-roots movement that pushed reproductive rights to the top of the country's legislative agenda and galvanized activist groups throughout Latin America.
    The vote gripped the nation as opposing camps fought to sway undecided senators until the final hours. As legislators debated the bill into the early hours of Thursday, thousands of advocates on both sides waited outside Congress in the winter cold, and the Roman Catholic Church held a "Mass for Life" at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral.
    Proponents of the bill — which would have allowed abortions during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy — had hoped Argentina would begin a sea change in reproductive rights in a largely Catholic region where 97 percent of women live in countries that ban abortion or allow it only in rare instances.
    In the end, thirty-eight lawmakers voted against the bill, 31 voted in favor of it and two abstained.

    Just weeks ago, the abortion-rights campaigners appeared to have a good chance of success, stunning opponents and thrilling women's rights advocates in nearby countries who were inspired by the Argentine battle. But opposition in Argentina hardened as Catholic Church leaders spoke out forcefully against abortion from the pulpit and senators from conservative provinces came under intense pressure to stand against the bill.

    While the proposal's defeat was considered a major setback for the grass-roots activists who backed it, analysts said the movement's improbable rise had already begun to change the region in ways that would have been impossible just years ago.
    "Abortion rights was a priority and it will be deeply discouraging to have come this far and fail," said Benjamin Gedan, an Argentina expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. But he said women's rights advocates had already had successes.
    The Argentine campaign is credited with inspiring debate on a variety of women's issues — including domestic violence — in a socially conservative region where such subjects have long been taboo.

    Yesterday, demonstrators rallied in support of the Argentine bill in Uruguay, Mexico, Peru, and neighboring Chile, where they gathered in front of the Argentine embassy in Santiago, chanting and wearing the green handkerchiefs that became the symbol of that country's abortion rights movement.
    And in Argentina, activists have already scored a victory with the passage of a law that seeks to have an equal number of male and female lawmakers.

    "If we make a list of the things we've gained and the things we've lost, the list of things we've gained is much bigger," said Edurne Cárdenas, a lawyer at the Center for Legal and Social Studies, a human rights group in Argentina that favors legalized abortion. "Sooner or later, this will be law."
    In the region, only Uruguay, Cuba, Guyana and Mexico City allow any woman to have an early-term abortion.
    On Thursday, emotions in Argentina were raw after weeks of suspense when it seemed possible the bill might become law.
    "We will no longer be silent and we won't let them win," said Jimena Del Potro, a 33-year-old designer who fought back tears as she spoke. Abortion will be legal soon. Very soon."

    Opponents expressed relief.
    María Curutchet, a 34-year-old lawyer, was smiling despite spending almost eight hours in the bitter cold to make her feelings clear.

    "It was a very emotional day," she said. "We were out in huge numbers and showed that we will defend the two lives, no matter the cost."
    For Argentina, the debate over abortion has tugged at the country's sense of self.
    It is the birthplace of Pope Francis, the leader of the world's Catholics, who recently denounced abortion as the "white glove" equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program.
    But the country in recent years has inched away from a close church-state relationship.
    In 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to allow gay couples to wed — a move the church fought with a vigor similar to its battle against abortion, organizing protests involving thousands of people. Francis, then the archbishop of Buenos Aires, called that bill a "destructive attack on God's plan."
    The fight over abortion divided the political class and forced leaders to grapple with their personal and political convictions. President Mauricio Macri, a center-right leader who opposes legalized abortion, told allied lawmakers to vote their conscience and said he would sign the law if it was approved by Congress.

    Some prominent female political leaders came out publicly against the measure, including Vice President Gabriela Michetti.

    But Mr. Macri's health minister, Adolfo Rubinstein, testified in Congress in favor of legalization and has estimated that some 354,000 clandestine abortions are carried out every year in the country. Complications as a result of those abortions are the single leading cause of maternal deaths in the country, according to Mariana Romero, a researcher at the Center for the Study of the State and Society, a nonprofit organization.
    The grass-roots movement that pushed the bill started in 2015 with the brutal murder of a pregnant 14-year-old girl by her teenage boyfriend. Her mother claimed the boyfriend's family didn't want her to have the baby.
    As debates about violence against women on social media grew into wider conversations about women's rights, young female lawmakers gave a fresh push to an abortion bill that had been presented repeatedly in the past without going anywhere.
    In June, the activists scored an unexpected victory when the lower house of Congress narrowly approved a bill allowing women to terminate pregnancy in the first 14 weeks. Current law allows abortions only in cases of rape or when a mother's life is in danger.
    While the measure failed in the Senate, it made some inroads. Among the senators who voted for it was Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who as president had opposed legalizing abortion.

    "The ones who made me change my mind were the thousands and thousands of girls who took to the streets," she said before the vote early Thursday.
    Despite the loss, the close vote — and how closely it was watched in neighboring countries — was an indication that the ground on women's rights had shifted somewhat not only in Argentina, but the region.
    In neighboring Brazil, activists this month urged the Supreme Court to rule that the country's abortion restrictions, which are similar to Argentina's, are unconstitutional.
    Advocates in Chile, meanwhile, have been fighting to expand abortion rights, building on last year's partial legalization, as have those in El Salvador.
    "Society as a whole has moved forward on this issue," said Claudia Piñeiro, a writer and abortion-rights activist in Argentina.
    "Church and state are supposed to be separate, but we're coming to realize that is far from the case," Ms. Piñeiro said as it became clearer that the push for legalization would lose. "That will be the next battle."

    Daniel Politi reported from Buenos Aires, and Ernesto Londoño from New York.


    13)  Renewed Clashes Between Israel and Gaza Interrupt Talk of Cease-Fire
    By Isabel Kershner, August 8, 2018

    An Israeli airstrike in Gaza late Wednesday.

    JERUSALEM — Talk of a long-term cease-fire between Israel and the Hamas rulers of Gaza was abruptly interrupted by cross-border fire late Wednesday and early Thursday as the Israeli military traded blows with Palestinian militants, the latest in a series of recent sharp clashes.
    Hours into the exchange, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said that a pregnant woman, Inas Khammash, and her 18-month-old daughter had been killed in an airstrike that hit their home in Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. An Israeli military spokeswoman could not immediately comment on the report of civilian casualties.
    Palestinian militant groups fired about 70 rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel by midnight, according to the Israeli military. Most landed in open ground, but at least four slammed into the Israeli border town of Sderot, causing several injuries and property damage.
    At least 11 rockets headed for developed areas were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome aerial defense system.

    The Israeli Air Force carried out waves of attacks against targets across Gaza, including what the military described as a factory producing tunnel parts and a tunnel shaft. The military also distributed video of a missile strike on a vehicle that it said was carrying a squad that had just launched a rocket at Israeli territory.
    The Gaza Health Ministry said a 30-year-old man was killed in that strike. At least nine Palestinians, including Ms. Khammash's husband, were reported to have been injured in the series of airstrikes.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel met with his defense minister and military chiefs for an emergency session after midnight.
    The Israeli airstrikes did not immediately appear as intense as some previous rounds over the past few weeks, and the Palestinian fire was mostly calibrated to hit border areas rather than population centers. There were reports of hurried efforts by Egyptian mediators to restore the shaky cease-fire.
    But there was also a danger the hostilities could turn into a broader conflict. Israel is seeking to end the rocket fire and the flaming kites and balloons flown by Gaza militants across the border fence. Hamas, the Islamic militant group that has ruled Gaza for 11 years, has been trying to change the balance of deterrence in the area, responding to every Israeli strike against Gaza.

    "The Qassam Brigades are ready and well prepared to confront the aggression and defend their people," Issam Daalees, a Hamas leader, said in a statement, referring to Hamas's armed wing. "The enemy must understand that it cannot unilaterally impose the rules of confrontation and it must bear the consequences of its stupidity."
    In Sderot, a piece of a rocket penetrated the roof of a house and crashed into the living room.
    Albert Hofi, the owner of the house, told an Israeli television reporter that moments before it was hit he had moved his disabled wife, Shula, to the safety of the basement. The rocket shard left a round hole in the ceiling and broke floor tiles, but the rest of the living room was intact.
    "Unfortunately we have gotten used to the situation," Mr. Hofi told the reporter, explaining his calm demeanor. A rocket alert sounded as they spoke, and Mr. Hofi and the television crew headed to the basement.
    The week began with a rare sense of possible progress. A high-level delegation of Hamas officials, including some living in exile, convened in Gaza to discuss Egyptian and United Nations proposals to stabilize the cease-fire with Israel in return for an easing of the Israeli and Egyptian-imposed blockade of Gaza.
    Mr. Netanyahu postponed a visit to Colombia and met with his security cabinet last Sunday for a strategic discussion about the situation.
    Yet there were no signs that a broad deal was imminent. At the end of the hourslong cabinet meeting, Israel released a terse statement saying the military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, had "updated the security cabinet on the situation regarding Gaza" and that the military was "prepared for any scenario."
    A senior Hamas official, Khalil al-Hayya, suggested earlier Wednesday that Hamas was open to a deal, but he accused Israel of violating the cease-fire agreement and added that Hamas would not allow Israel "to impose new equations or rules of engagement on the ground."

    By nightfall even the prospect of a limited deal — involving emergency humanitarian assistance for Gaza in return for quiet along the border — seemed uncertain.
    "For months I have been warning that the humanitarian, security and political crisis in Gaza risks a devastating conflict that nobody wants," Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special envoy to the region, said in a sharply worded statement early Thursday.
    Tensions have mounted since late March when Hamas began orchestrating mass, often-violent protests along the fence dividing Israel and Gaza. Israeli snipers have killed more than 150 mostly unarmed Palestinians, according to Gaza health officials, while the Israeli military says it has been acting to prevent breaches of the fence and to fend off attacks by Gaza militants against its soldiers or civilians in border communities.
    That friction has morphed into escalating exchanges of Palestinian mortar and rocket fire and waves of Israeli airstrikes.
    An apparent miscalculation played a role in this latest round of violence.
    On Tuesday, the Israeli military said shots had been fired from a Hamas post toward soldiers across the border fence. The military fired a tank shell at the post, killing two Hamas militants.
    But Hamas said its snipers had fired as part of a military exercise and were not aiming at the Israeli forces — an assertion later confirmed by the Israeli military.
    Hamas vowed to respond. On Wednesday afternoon, shots were fired from Gaza at civilians constructing a new barrier along the border. An engineering vehicle was hit, but the driver escaped injury. Israeli tank fire hit a Hamas post that had already been evacuated. Hours later, Hamas responded with rocket fire.

    Ibrahim El-Mughraby and Iyad Abuheweila contributed reporting from Gaza City.


    14)  Airstrike Hits School Bus in Yemen, Killing Dozens
    By Shuaib Almosawa and Ben Hubbard, August 9, 2018
    "The attack, in a busy market area, hit a bus carrying students on a recreational trip with a Quran memorization program. It killed at least 43 people and wounded 63, according to Muhammad Hajar, an official in charge of emergency services for the Health Ministry. He said the final toll could be higher because rescue operations were ongoing."

    Medical staff tending to a boy injured by an airstrike in Sada, Yemen, on Thursday.Credit

    IBB, Yemen — An airstrike from the Saudi-led coalition struck a school bus in northern Yemen on Thursday and killed dozens of people, many of them children, local medical officials and international aid groups said.
    The attack sent a flood of victims to overwhelmed hospitals struggling to cope in what the United Nations considers one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.
    The coalition said it had hit missile launchers and called the attack a "legitimate military operation," but the attack and the justification for it were condemned and drew new attention to the tremendous human toll of the war in Yemen, especially on children.

    "No excuses anymore!" Geert Cappelaere, Unicef's regional director in the Middle East and North Africa, said on Twitter. "Does the world really need more innocent children's lives to stop the cruel war on children in Yemen?"

    The attack, in a busy market area, hit a bus carrying students on a recreational trip with a Quran memorization program. It killed at least 43 people and wounded 63, according to Muhammad Hajar, an official in charge of emergency services for the Health Ministry. He said the final toll could be higher because rescue operations were ongoing.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross said at least 29 of those killed were children under the age of 15, and that 48 people were wounded, including 30 children.
    Yemen's conflict began in 2014, when rebels from the north of the country known as the Houthis seized control of much of the northwest, including the capital, Sana.
    Saudi Arabia, which considers the Houthis a proxy force for Iran, and its allies responded with a military intervention intended to push back the Houthis and restore Yemen's internationally recognized government.
    Three years later, the war continues to grind on, and much of Yemen, which was already the Arab world's poorest country, has been plunged into crisis, with poverty, malnutrition and diseases like cholera spreading.

    The attack on Thursday took place in Sada Province, the Houthis' ancestral homeland, which the Saudi-led coalition has bombed heavily since the start of the war, reducing much of it to rubble. It is also the area from which Houthi fighters frequently launch attacks on Saudi Arabia.
    "Under international humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict," the Red Cross said on Twitter.

    The head of the group's delegation in Yemen, Johannes Bruwer, said it had sent supplies to the area to help hospitals "cope with the influx" of patients.

    Saleh Jarban, the head of the Jumhouri Hospital in the provincial capital of Sada Province, also called Sada, said that 14 dead and 29 wounded had been brought to his hospital. Ten of the dead and at least 20 of the wounded were children, he said.
    The rest of the victims had been taken to other facilities in the area, he said.
    In a statement released by the Saudi state news agency, the coalition said it had launched airstrikes on missile launchers that had been used to attack the city of Jizan in southern Saudi Arabia, recently killing a Yemeni civilian there.

    It called the attack "a legitimate military operation" and accused the Houthis of using children as human shields.
    The strikes were "carried out in accordance with international humanitarian law," the statement said.

    Shuaib Almosawa reported from Ibb, and Ben Hubbard from Beirut, Lebanon


    15)  5 Indigenous Australian Films (and One TV Series) Everyone Should See
    By Damien Cave, August 8, 2018

    A scene from "Toomelah."Credit

    The Indigenous Department at Screen Australia, the government agency charged with supporting Australian film and television production, is celebrating its 25th year and rather than send a cake, we figured we'd seek out some guidance on what to watch.
    Penny Smallacombe heads up the department. A member of the Maramanindji people from the Northern Territory, she sent us her five top movies, plus her favorite television series — all of which are must-see creations from Australia's Indigenous communities.

    "This is the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we've been funding over the years but these were game changers," she said in an interview. "They broke through with audiences and had a strong Indigenous point of view."

    I asked her to choose productions that we could all access one way or another. That meant leaving out her favorite film, "Samson and Delilah," which she raved about, and which she hopes will become more widely available soon.
    In the meantime, here are her picks and why she chose them.
    "Sweet Country" (2018)
    Directed by Warwick Thornton
    A period western set in 1929 on the Northern Territory frontier where justice itself is put on trial. It won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and the Platform award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
    The cast includes Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, Hamilton Morris, Ewen Leslie and Thomas M. Wright.
    Penny's Take: "'Sweet Country' is one of the most important and exquisite films to come out of this country, from acclaimed director Warwick Thornton, who is recognised around the world. It offers a vital and rich Indigenous perspective of how Aboriginal people have been treated historically."
    Watch on iTunes, Google Play, FetchTV.
    "Mystery Road" (2013)
    Directed by Ivan Sen

    An Indigenous cowboy detective, Jay Swan, returns to his outback hometown, to solve the murder of a teenage girl. Alienated from both the white-dominated police force and his own community, Jay stands alone in his determination to fight back for his town and his people.
    The cast includes Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving and Jack Thompson.
    Penny's Take: "Director Ivan Sen is one of Australia's most talented filmmakers. All of his films raise important questions of identity, race and belonging. The strong characters in this film and the intrigue built around them, combined with the incredible West Australian landscape, has allowed for this story to continue beyond this first feature film. The follow-up feature "Goldstone" also received critical acclaim.
    Watch on iTunes, Google Play, FetchTV for free on ABC iview until 30 August.
    "Spear" (2016)
    Directed by Stephen Page
    "Spear" is a contemporary Aboriginal story, told through movement and dance, of a young man, Djali, as he journeys through his community to understand what it means to be a man with ancient traditions in a modern world. Spanning from the outback of Australia to the gritty city streets of Sydney, it is a poignant reflection of the continuing cultural connection of Indigenous people.
    The cast includes Hunter Page-Lochard (the director's son) and Aaron Pedersen.
    Penny's Take: "Spear" provided an opportunity for the first-time film director and current artistic director of the Bangarra Dance Theatre, Stephen Page, to cross art forms from dance and into film. This film is stunning cinematically, but also significant because of its ability to bring ancient and contemporary stories about Indigenous life in Australia to the screen. Hunter Page-Lochard, director Stephen Page's son, and Aaron Pedersen deliver exceptional performances."
    Watch on iTunes, Google Play, FetchTV
    "The Sapphires" (2012)
    Directed by Wayne Blair
    Gail, Cynthia, Julie and Kay are sexy, black, young and talented — and they've never set foot outside Australia. Until, in the chaos of 1968, they're plucked from the obscurity of a remote Aboriginal mission, promoted as Australia's answer to The Supremes and — grasping the chance of a lifetime — dropped into the jungles of Vietnam to entertain the troops.
    The cast includes Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell and Chris O'Dowd.
    Penny's Take: "Director Wayne Blair is an incredibly talented filmmaker and the Indigenous Department is proud to have played a key role in supporting his career development. 'The Sapphires' told a uniquely Australian story and helped launch the screen careers of some of Australia's most accomplished Indigenous actors, including Miranda Tapsell, Shari Sebbens and Jessica Mauboy. This feel-good film also has great music!

    Watch on Google Play, FetchTV, iTunes, Netflix.
    "Toomelah" (2011)
    Directed by Ivan Sen
    In a remote Aboriginal community, 10-year-old Daniel yearns to be a "gangster" like the male role models in his life. Skipping school and running drugs for Linden, who runs the main gang in town, Daniel is well on his way, when a rival drug dealer, Bruce, returns from prison and a violent showdown ensues. Daniel is suddenly alone and forced to make a choice for a better future.
    Penny's Take: "'Toomelah' is a powerful film that provides a raw insight into a young boys' life on an mission as he is exposed to the violence, drugs, and alcoholism taking place around him. Selected to play at the Cannes International Film Festival in Un Certain Regard, it showed a side of Indigenous Australia that had rarely been seen.
    Watch on iTunes
    "Redfern Now" (TV Series, 2012 — 2014)
    Directed by Rachel Perkins, Wayne Blair, Leah Purcell, and Catriona McKenzie
    "Redfern Now" explores contemporary inner-city Indigenous life. These powerful, moving, funny, bittersweet stories focus on a diverse group of individuals exploring their strength, flaws and resilience. It is a series about extraordinary events in ordinary lives.
    Penny's Take: "'Redfern Now' was a pivotal moment in Australian television. Written and directed by both emerging and established Indigenous filmmakers, the series enriched Australian television screens with authentic contemporary Indigenous stories being told by a collection of our nation's best storytellers. The string of awards the series won is testament to its well-crafted development."
    Watch on Google Play, iTunes and Netflix.


    16) Attacker With Bike Lock Used Racial Slurs, Victim Says
    By Melissa Gomez, August 8, 2018

    Ketchazo Paho, 34, took a picture of himself after he was treated. Mr. Paho said he was assaulted with a bicycle lock Monday morning by a bicyclist who yelled racial slurs at him repeatedly.

    As Washington braces for a "white civil rights" rally and counter-protests, the police are investigating an attack in which the victim says a cyclist hurledracial slurs and hit him with a bike lock.
    The victim, Ketchazo Paho, 34, of Maryland, said he was driving through Georgetown on his way home early Monday when he was assaulted by the bicyclist who struck him in the head with the metal lock.
    Mr. Paho said he fears similar attacks could happen this weekend amid plans for a "Unite the Right" rally and counter-protests this weekend.
    The Metropolitan Police Department arrested a white suspect, Maxim Smith, and charged him with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. The police said they were investigating to determine if the crime was motivated by hate or bias.

    Mr. Smith, 24, was being held in jail pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday morning. It was unclear who would be representing him.
    Mr. Paho, who is black, said that racial slurs had been slung at him before.
    "What happened to me Monday is not foreign," he said, though he added that slurs had never escalated to an attack before. With the "Unite the Right" rally coming up this weekend, Mr. Paho said he wanted members of minority groups to be aware of the dangers the protest could bring.
    Last August in Charlottesville, Va., hundreds of white nationalists gathered to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. The rally became violent: One woman died and more than a dozen people were injured after a man plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters. An organizer of last year's event has planned a "white civil rights" rally in Lafayette Park this weekend.
    A National Park Service spokesman said on Wednesday that no permit for the organizers had been issued, but that one had been granted to a group called D.C. Unite Against Hate, which is planning to protest the rally.
    A Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman said it was preparing for the rally with help from the United States Park Police.

    About 1:40 a.m. on Monday, Mr. Paho had honked at the bicyclist, who was stopped in the middle of the road, according to a statement from S. Lee Merritt, Mr. Paho's lawyer. The man turned and shouted "What do you want?" and Mr. Paho, who wanted to avoid a confrontation, decided to go around the bicyclist, Mr. Merritt said.
    As he drove by, Mr. Paho said, Mr. Smith struck his black Ford Fusion with the metal bicycle lock. Mr. Paho turned the corner and pulled over to inspect his car. He called 911 to report the damage. That was when he said Mr. Smith confronted him and began yelling racial slurs at him, including calling him the N-word, Mr. Merritt said.
    When Mr. Paho told Mr. Smith he would be paying for the damage to the car, he recalled, Mr. Smith became aggressive. Mr. Paho said he called 911 again during the argument, and he grabbed onto Mr. Smith's bicycle to keep him there until the police arrived.
    Mr. Smith then bashed him in the head with the bicycle lock, causing a two-inch cut, according to a police report. Blood poured onto his gray shirt, and Mr. Paho said he had to restrain himself from hitting back.
    Mr. Paho was taken to a hospital, where he received 18 staples in his head, Mr. Merritt said.
    Mr. Paho said it was scary that Mr. Smith had felt comfortable using the N-word so freely.
    "They feel entitled," he said, suggesting Mr. Smith was motivated by racism. "That's something I think needs to be addressed."
    Mr. Merritt said he wanted the city and law enforcement officials to be prepared for what could happen during the rally. Mr. Merritt said he also represents DeAndre Harris, who was injured during the 2017 rally after he was attacked by a group. Mr. Harris was later acquitted of an assault chargerelated to an incident that happened moments before he was attacked.
    "These kind of attacks are likely to occur during the second coming of the 'Unite the Right' rally," Mr. Merritt said, "and it's going to be important for law enforcement to take measures."



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