URGENT: Demand safety for South Carolina prisoners during Hurricane Florence

ANSWER Coalition

ANSWER Coalition · United States

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SFFILM Fall Season 2018

A Tribute to Spike Lee:

Tuesday, September 25 • 7:00 pm

Castro Theatre

Spike Lee in conversation

SFFILM is excited to present a special onstage tribute to acclaimed veteran filmmaker Spike Lee, on the occasion of his latest film, BlacKkKlansman. Lee will join us for an in-depth conversation about his career and creative process, followed by a screening of the film.

From visionary filmmaker Spike Lee comes the incredible true story of an American hero. It's the early 1970s, a time of great social upheaval as the struggle for civil rights rages on. Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the first African American detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department, but his arrival is greeted with skepticism and open hostility by the department's rank and file. Undaunted, Stallworth resolves to make a name for himself and a difference in his community. He bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan.







39 Mesa Street, Suite 110

The Presidio

San FranciscoCA  94129

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Transform the Justice System

Statement regarding the ongoing Nationwide Prison Strike

Issued September 11, 2018 by the Prison Strike Media Team

Amani Sawari

official outside media representative of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak


Jared Ware

Freelance journalist covering prisoner movements


@jaybeware on Twitter

Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC)

National Media Subcommittee, media@incarceratedworkers.org

@IWW_IWOC on twitter

New confirmed prison action reports

(full list & details below)

  • Missouri: at least one prisoner on a hunger strike at Leavenworth (USP).

  • New York: strike activity at Coxsackie Correctional Facility, strike activity and boycotts at Eastern Correctional Facility.

  • Ohio: at least one block engaged in a 3 day fast on first days of the strike and a commissary boycott throughout at Ohio State Penitentiary, plus a work stoppage in late July in response to preemptive repression by staff.

  • Texas: More prisoners involved in the hunger strike at Michael Unit.

Statement from prison strike media team

September 9th has passed, but it is up to the people in each prison who are participating in boycotts, hunger strikes, work strikes or sit-ins to determine the right day and time to close out their actions — from the outset, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and national organizers have endorsed local strikers to set their own end dates, or strike indefinitely.

With ongoing communication repression (including heightened censorship of mail, lockdowns, and constant searches and seizures of prisoner property), there is undoubtedly a great deal of information on strike activity that has not yet traveled outside. As organizers have said from the beginning of this process, there is a wall of silence around prisons in the US, which should itself be of great concern for the human rights of those held inside. Actions to further restrict and surveill contact with prisoners, such as Pennsylvania and Maryland's "drug elimination efforts" which curtail access to reading materials under the false pretext of guard safety, would be a huge loss for the already extremely limited freedoms of US prisoners.

Repression against strikers by prison authorities continues to be fought with phone zaps and letter-writing campaigns: reporting on these issues will directly prevent harm to inside organizers, particularly as coverage of the strike itself winds down. The next step for Jailhouse Lawyers Speak is the endorsement of a campaign to pressure politicians to enact legislative change; both JLS and IWOC will be taking stock of the strike with their members over the coming weeks to consider what other future actions will be necessary to build a movement strong enough to push for the rights of incarcerated peoples. For now, the most urgent tasks for anyone following the strike are to continue to push the demands inside and out, highlight ongoing or previously-unreported strike activity, and work to prevent or limit retaliation against strikers wherever possible.

Incarcerated organizers never believed that their demands would be met a negotiating table during the past three weeks; it has been a huge success of the 2018 prison strike that the 10 points have been pushed into the national and international consciousness. The work of spreading and fighting for these demands will continue on all fronts until they are actualized, and then beyond that onto what JLS aptly calls "the dismantling process," as we build a movement toward abolition.

Jailhouse Lawyers Speak will be releasing an official statement from inside organizers this week.

List of demands

"These are the NATIONAL DEMANDS of the men and women in federal, immigration, and state prisons:

  1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.

  2. An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.

  3. The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.

  4. The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole.

  5. An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states.

  6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.

  7. No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.

  8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.

  9. Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.

  10. The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called "ex-felons" must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices count!

Strike action round-up

Here is the list of such activity as reported to Jailhouse Lawyers Speak or the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee as of September 9, 2018:



Confirmations of work strikes & boycotts (via Jailhouse Lawyers Speak):

  • Charlotte Correctional Institution

  • Dade Correctional Institution

  • Holmes Correctional Institution

  • Appalachee Correctional Institution

  • Franklin Correctional Institution


Confirmations of work strikes & boycotts (via Jailhouse Lawyers Speak)

  • Georgia State Prison "Reidsville"

  • Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison in Jackson, GA


  • Wabash Valley Correctional Institution, prisoners in a segregation unit initiated a hunger strike on Monday August 27, demanding adequate food and an end to cold temperatures in the unit.


Boycott activity confirmed by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak:

  • FCI Manchester (Federal)


  • Jessup Correctional Institution - small group engaged in work stoppage reported by JLS and another independent source.



  • Leavenworth (USP) has at least one prisoner on a hunger strike.

New Mexico

North Carolina

New York

  • Coxsackie Correctional Facility - strike activity confirmed by JLS and NYC Books Through Bars

  • Eastern Correctional Facility - work strike activity and boycotts confirmed by JLS


South Carolina

Confirmations of work strikes & boycotts (via Jailhouse Lawyers Speak):

  • Broad River CI

  • Lee Correctional C

  • McCormick CI

  • Kershaw CI

  • Lieber CI

Boycott activity confirmed by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak:

  • FCI Edgefield (Federal)


  • IWOC was forwarded a message dated 8/23 from inside administrative segregation, (solitary) of a Texas gulf prison confirming that 2 people are on hunger strike in solidarity with the national action:  "I feel great. But very hungry! And not because I don't have food but because of our 48 hours solidarity with our brothers and sisters. It's the only way we can show support from inside of Seg. Let everyone know we got their backs."

  • IWOC has confirmed that Robert Uvalle is on hunger strike in solitary at Michael Unit, Anderson County, TX in solidarity with the nationwide strike. Robert has been in solitary for most of his 25 years inside. IWOC has subsequently confirmed that more prisoners are involved in the hunger strike.

  • IWOC has confirmed that there is a work stoppage at the McConnell Unit in Texas.


  • Sussex II a group of has released a communique related to a hunger strike


  • Northwest Detention Center - Representatives of over 200 immigrant detainees at Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington declared a hunger strike on day one of the national prison strike. Amid fears of retaliation, 70 across three blocks participated. As of this time, seven continue to refuse food into a second week.

Nova Scotia, Canada

Burnside County Jail in Halifax prisoners went on strike and issued a protest statement in solidarity with the strike and naming local demands. They went through a lockdown and extensive negotiations with authorities; those who refused to cooperate with humiliating body scans were punished by being locked in a dry cell

(no water or working toilets) for three days.







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:




URGENT:  Calling all boat and kayak owners to join the PEACE FLEET!

Please share this with all boat and kayak owners…..

Hi Peacemakers!

Image result for peace boat

The Golden Rule

Do you or someone you know own a sailboat, kayak or some other floating vehicle?

Want to join our "Peace Fleet" or "Peace Navy" on October 7, Sunday?

We are getting together as many boats as we can to create an alternative to war image during Fleet Week.

We want to sail our beautiful and colorful Peace Fleet around the S.F. bay on Sunday, October 7, the last day of the SF annual Fleet Week.

We'll be offering colorful sails and banners with beautiful messages of PEACE to bay visitors who come to admire those big, powerful, noisy, and very DEADLY war toys that our military displays during fleet week.


Help us create a big colorful response to the U.S. military's annual effort to market war and global domination to the public.

Please pass the word around: We need boats, the more the merrier!

Contact Toby Blomé if you can supply a boat:

Unfortunately the "Golden Rule" boat, pictured above, will not be able to join us, because she will be on her global journey soon to educate people on the dangers of the nuclear world that we live in.

Please contact me asap. Preferably by Sept. 15 re: the Peace Navy.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Toby Blomé





Court: Evidence To Free Mumia, To Be Continued...

Rachel Wolkenstein, lawyer for Mumia, reports on the August 30th hearing, 2018

  _  _  _  _  _  _  _

District Attorney Larry Krasner Opposes Mumia Abu-Jamal's Petition for New Rights of Appeal – Despite Clear Evidence of Ronald Castille's Bias and Conflict of Interest When He Participated As a PA Supreme Court Justice Denying Abu-Jamal's Post-Conviction Appeals from 1998-2012

Next Court Date: October 29, 2018

September 1—Additional demands for discovery made by Mumia's lawyers at the August 30 court proceeding led to Judge Tucker granting a 60-day continuance. The new date for oral argument that Mumia's appeal denial should be vacated and new appeal rights granted is now scheduled for October 29, 2018.  

Two weeks ago, Mumia's lawyers were told by the DA's office that they discovered close to 200 boxes of capital case files that had not been reviewed. A half-dozen were still not found. Last Monday, just days before the scheduled final arguments, a May 25, 1988 letter from DA Castille's office to PA State Senator Fisher (a virulent proponent of expediting executions) naming Mumia Abu-Jamal and 8 other capital defendants was turned over to the defense. 

Krasner's assistant DA Tracey Kavanaugh said the letter was meaningless and opposed the postponement, insisting there is no evidence that Castille had anything to do with Mumia's appeals. Mumia's lawyers argued that finding the background to this communication would likely support their central argument that DA Ronald Castille actively and personally was developing policy to speed up executions, and that he was particularly focused on convicted "police killers." Mumia Abu-Jamal was unquestionably the capital prisoner who was most zealously targeted for execution by the Fraternal Order of Police. 

Judge Tucker agreed with Mumia's lawyers that a search is needed to establish whether Castille was personally involved in this communication. Additional discovery was ordered with Judge Tucker's rhetorical question, "What else hasn't been disclosed?" But the Judge narrowed the required search to particulars around the May 25, 1988 letter.

Not brought out in court is the fact that Mumia's appeal of his trial conviction and death sentence was still pending in May 1988. The PA Supreme Court didn't issue its denial of this first appeal of Mumia until March 1989. This makes any reference of Mumia's case as a subject of an execution warrant highly suspect and extraordinary, because his death sentence was not "final" unless and until the PA Supreme Court affirmed. [The lawyers have not publicly released a copy of the May 25, 1988 letter, so analysis is limited.]

Mumia's lawyers said they would discuss discovery issues with the prosecution and might file a further amended petition with the intention of proceeding to oral argument on the next court date, October 29. 

On Judge Tucker—He is the chief administrative judge overseeing post-conviction proceedings. On August 30 and previously on April 30 opened his courtroom early to for Maureen Faulkner and the Fraternal Order of Police to occupy half of the small courtroom. Not surprising, no consideration was given to Mumia's family including his brother Keith Cook, international supporters from France and the dozens of other supporters who had lined up before 8AM to get into the courtroom. Even press reps suggested that the press be given seats in the jury box to open up space for even lawyers working with Mumia. Even that small consideration was rejected by Judge Tucker.

A more in-depth piece on DA Larry Krasner's opposition to Mumia's petition will be sent out soon. In the meantime, go to: www.RachelWolkenstein.net.

Free Mumia Now!

Mumia's freedom is at stake in a court hearing on August 30th. 

With your help, we just might free him!

Check out this video:

This video includes photo of 1996 news report refuting Judge Castille's present assertion that he had not been requested at that time to recuse himself from this case, on which he had previously worked as a Prosecutor:

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.

• 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?

Call DA Larry Krasner at (215) 686-8000

Tell him former DA Ron Castille violated Mumia's constitutional rights and 

Krasner should cease opposing Mumia's legal petition.

Tell the DA to release Mumia because he's factually innocent.



Usher in the "Age of the Healer," and Abolish the "Age of the Warrior."


September 30 - October 6, 2018

Come for all or part of the week!


Shut Down Creech 2016

This summer 2,500 peace activistsconverged at U.S. Air Base Ramstein, in Germany, in their first courageous mass civil resistance to Stopp Ramstein!Ramstein, the largest foreign U.S. military base, plays a critical role in the U.S. Drone Killing Program by acting as THE KEY RELAY STATIONin the U.S. global drone assassination program. Without a relay base like Ramstein, the U.S. could not successfully kill remotely from the other side of the planet. German activists demand an end to Germany's complicity in the illegal and immoral U.S. remote killing apparatus. As one German activist shouted out passionately and movingly in this video: "Stop the Murder!"At least 5 American citizens participated in the protest, including CODEPINK members Ann Wright, Toby Blomé and Elsa Rassbach. Dozens of us blocked two merging roads into one gate for nearly an hour, and ultimately about 15 people were arrested, including 2 Americans. It was an amazing collective stance for peace & justice, and the German police were remarkably humane and civil in how they responded. Fortunately all were released after being detained briefly.

Ramstein's "partner drone base," CREECH AFB, plays an equally important role as a CENTRAL DRONE COMMAND CENTERin the U.S. 

Learn more about Ramstein and Creech in this important Intercept investigative report.

SF Bay Area CODEPINKcalls on activists from across the country to converge this fall at Creech AFB for our 4th annual nonviolent, peaceful, mass mobilization to SHUT DOWN CREECH, and help us put an end to the barbarism of drone murder. Per a NY Times articleover 900 drone pilots/operators are actively working at Creech, remotely murdering people in foreign lands, often away from any battlefield, while victims are going about their daily lives: driving on the highway, praying at a mosque, attending schools, funerals and wedding parties, eating dinner with their family or sleeping in their beds. 


Shockingly, one recent report indicated that about 80% of all drone strikes go totally unreported.We must stand up for the right of all people around the planet to be safe from the terror of remote controlled slaughter from abroad. Drone killing is spreading like wildfirewith at least 10 countries now who have used drones to kill. The U.S is fully responsible for this uncontrolled Pandora's box, by developing and proliferating these horrendous weapons without giving concern to the long term consequences. 


Last April our protestat Creech was reported in over 20 states across the country by mainstream media, including TV, radio, print and military media, thus reaching tens of thousands of Americans about our resistance to these covert and brutal practices. It is remarkable the impact a small handful of peacemakers can have with a well planned action. We need you to help us educate the public and awaken the consciousness of U.S. military personnel. Drone operators themselvesare victims of this inhumanity by bearing deep psychic wounds within. Through our twice daily vigils, we call them over to the side of peace, and encourage them to assess the consequences and reality of having a daily job of remote-control murdering. U.S. drones are the main tool used to terrorize and dominate the planet. We must stand up to these barbaric policies and the system that gives little thought to the world our children's grandchildren will be living in, and the harm it is doing now to our young men and women in uniform. 



Check out our updated website for details on the 4TH Annual SHUT DOWN CREECH.

Let's show the Germans that we have a thriving U.S. resistance to U.S. Global Militarism and Drone Killing too!

We hope to see you there,

Eleanor, Maggie, Toby, Ann, Mary and Tim

Sponsored by S.F. Bay Area CODEPINK

Check out these inspiring videos of this summer's 2018 drone protest at Ramstein, Germany:

Great Overview of Stopp Ramstein(13.5 min - watch the first and last 2-3 minutes)

In Closing: Inspiring words

from Rafael Jesús González, Poet Laureate of Berkeley, Xochipilli Men's Circle

"We cannot say the purpose these millenniums of the Patriarchy have served, but their lopsided reign is toxic and has maimed and sickened men and women and greatly harmed the Earth. It must come to an end. Women, our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters must now take the reins for we men have made a botch of things. Women must take their power and men must step aside, follow, and support them even as we heal and liberate ourselves by freeing and honoring that which is feminine in our nature: loving, caring, nurturing. We must all free ourselves or none will. The long, long Age of the Warrior must come to an end and we must usher in the Age of the Healer.
Please lead us, our sisters. Together we must heal and heal the Earth or court the demise of all that lives."






presidio 27

Presidio 27 "Mutiny" 50 years later

Podcast with Keith Mather

During the Vietnam War era, the Presidio Stockade was a military prison notorious for its poor conditions and overcrowding with many troops imprisoned for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War. When Richard Bunch, a mentally disturbed prisoner, was shot and killed on October 11th, 1968, Presidio inmates began organizing. Three days later, 27 Stockade prisoners broke formation and walked over to a corner of the lawn, where they read a list of grievances about their prison conditions and the larger war effort and sang "We Shall Overcome." The prisoners were charged and tried for "mutiny," and several got 14 to 16 years of confinement. Meanwhile, disillusionment about the Vietnam War continued to grow inside and outside of the military.

"This was for real. We laid it down, and the response by the commanding general changed our lives," recalls Keith Mather, Presidio "mutineer" who escaped to Canada before his trial came up and lived there for 11 years, only to be arrested upon his return to the United States. Mather is currently a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Veterans for Peace. Listen to the Courage to Resist podcast with Keith.

50th anniversary events at the former Presidio Army Base

October 13th and 14th, 2018


Saturday, October 13, 7 to 9 pm

Presidio Officers' Club

50 Moraga Ave, San Francisco

Featuring panelists: David Cortright (peace scholar), Brendan Sullivan (attorney for mutineers), Randy Rowland (mutiny participant), Keith Mather (mutiny participant), and Jeff Paterson (Courage to Resist).


Sunday, October 14, 1 to 3 pm

Fort Scott Stockade

1213 Ralston (near Storey), San Francisco

The events are sponsored by the Presidio Land Trust in collaboration with Veterans For Peace Chapter 69-San Francisco with support from Courage to Resist.


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

www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist



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





The Quakers about Jamil Al-Amin

Newark Office

89 Market St. 6th floor - Newark, NJ 07102 (973) 643 1924 - nymro@afsc.org

Re: Imam Jamil Al-Amin (formerly known as H. Rap Brown) (PDF)

July 7, 2018

Dear John Lewis:

I am addressing this to you with copies to others because this is both a professional as well as a personal letter. I spent almost eight years in the south during the civil rights era, serving in Tennessee under the leadership of Maxine and Vasco Smith of the Memphis NAACP and then at Highlander for a year and a half. Professionally, I have the privilege of directing the Prison Watch Program for the American Friends Service Committee. The AFSC is a faith based Quaker organization with a deep belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome injustice. Our Prison Watch Program has been providing witness to conditions of confinement in United States prisons for over four decades, speaking truth to power via publications, public speaking and all forms of media.

In my professional capacity as a monitor of US prisons, I am often called upon to document the treatment endured by a specific person in our criminal legal system. Imam Jamil Al-Amin has been of special interest to me because of his leadership during that important era opposing the racism with which this country has governed. Since then, he has been convicted of serious charges in Georgia, spending the last 18 years in different prisons. He has sustained a number of physical transfers away from his family in Georgia, including spending many of those years in solitary confinement in both the state and federal systems, with no explicit charges for this type of placement. The use of isolated confinement for political dissidents from the civil rights era has been well documented. It was Andrew Young who, as US representative to the United Nations, noted that the United States had what he "would consider political prisoners". In later years, any number of us noted the differential treatment borne by political dissenters who ended up in US prisons. The use of extended isolation was used on many of them, including the Imam. The impact of this extended isolation has been medically documented as extremely damaging to the human psyche.

This should serve as a letter of human rights concern about the Imam. Of specific and current concern is his medical condition, as well as his age. The Imam was diagnosed at the federal Butner Medical Center in 2014 with a pre-cursor stage of multiple myeloma, an incurable form of cancer related to leukemia. This disease causes weight loss, kidney failure, rib fractures and other skeletal abnormalities. It is a medical condition which needs regular medical monitoring. He has been moved twice since his time in a medical facility and is currently at the USP in Arizona. His family and supporters feel continuing concern about his well-being. His disease coupled with his age make the Arizona weather often difficult for him. The long physical, and therefore emotional, separation from family is wearing on the Imam and his entire family. Punishment for a verdict of guilt in the United States is removal from society. The isolation and neglect he endured at ADX, and the current isolation from his home state of Georgia is beyond acceptable. It is hard for me, as a professional witness, to fathom the rationale for this ongoing placement. It also remains difficult for me to understand why this person, or any other person in prison, would be denied access to scholars and journalists. Because of his well-documented history of activism, there are those who would like to interview the Imam as a way of authenticating and studying this history.

Because I have been an activist since the Civil Right Era, my personal awareness of the Imam's life has been ongoing during the decades I have coordinated the AFSC Prison Watch Program. I remain profoundly impacted by the treatment of the Imam and other imprisoned political dissenters from my era of activism. They have endured inappropriate torture in the form of years of solitary confinement. Many, including the Imam, have also endured what can only be described as purposeful medical neglect. It seems to me that it is time for legislators of conscience to investigate our elderly imprisoned citizens, many who have suffered severely for their political beliefs. They need to be released. Short of that, they need to be close to home and cared for medically.

On a personal level, I have always felt very attached to my brave generation - from those who served in Vietnam to those who marched in the South. My own youthful experience in the south was full of many of those people being murdered, being spit at, called a race traitor and feeling unprotected from such hatred. I remember not understanding what there was to hate so deeply and feeling as if we were in a war against black and brown people. H. Rap Brown was an integral part of that very important force to the country towards real social change.

I have been witness since that time to what has happened to so many protesters from my generation who ended up in US prisons. You cannot give me a reason for their "specialized" treatment - the poor medical care which feels purposeful; for keeping families miles apart for no understandable reason; and for the general cruelty to the elderly in our society's prisons no matter why they were convicted. The Imam is currently 75 years old and is serving a life sentence without parole. It doesn't seem logical to keep him from his family, from Georgia or from dialogue with those who seek that with him. It certainly doesn't speak well of our criminal legal system to not provide appropriate medical care.

We need legislators of integrity to consider interceding in what can only be seen as ill-chosen restrictions and neglect. I am specifically reaching out to you because I have imagined a dialogue between you and the Imam, and I wondered if even you would be allowed to see him. Aside from his conditions of confinement issues, perhaps the most disturbing thing of all is that his voice has been deliberately silenced.


Bonnie Kerness, MSW


Prison Watch Program

Cc: Ben Chavis

Bennie Thompson

# # #



[HS-Support] @GovernorVA: Don't transfer activist inmate Kevin #Rashid Johnson again

Please sign and share. 

If you are not familiar with the brilliant, compassionate, and courageous imprisoned activist, writer, artist, Kevin Rashid Johnson, check out rashidmod.com

He is not in the federal prison system, he is in the Virginia state system.  However, due to his persistence and depth in exposing the horrific conditions and treatment inside the prisons, he has been locked in solitary confinement and moved around to prisons in Florida, Virginia, and Texas! Please support Rashid with this simple petition

and make a call if you can. It looks like you can also tweet @GovernorVA!


Rashid Threatened with Transfer — Hearing on Sept 10th — BLOCK THE PHONES!

Rashid Threatened with Transfer — Hearing on Sept 10th — BLOCK THE PHONES! We have learned that the Virginia Department of Corrections is planning to hold a hearing Monday September 10th, to have R…


I just got a phone call from Rashid. He's been told that he will have a
hearing on Monday to process him for an Interstate Transfer. He's not
being told where he's going.

We need to get this news out as broadly as possible, and to state that
this is retaliation for his recent publications and interviews. Please
share the news on all your social media accounts, you might do it while
also sharing his Guardian article or other recent works.

Can anyone organize protest? Perhaps an action alert to have people
flood VADOC with complaints, and/or we could prepare to flood wherever
he goes with complaints. If we could organize a street protest of VADOC
HQ before or after the transfer, that would be amazing.

Dustin McDaniel

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

Release Kevin "Rashid" Johnson From Solitary Confinement Immediately

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?

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.






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

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



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!





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




    1)  $10 Million From FEMA Diverted to Pay for Immigration Detention Centers, Document Shows

    By Ron Nixon, September 12, 2018


    Homeland security personnel deliver supplies toWASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security transferred nearly $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to a budget document released by a Democratic senator late Tuesday night, diverting funds from the relief agency at the start of the hurricane season that began in June. The release of the document comes as a major storm barrels toward the East Coast.

    The document, which was released by the office of Senator Jeff Merkley, of Oregon, shows that the money would come from FEMA's operations and support budget and was transferred into accounts at ICE to pay for detention and removal operations. The document also shows that the Department of Homeland Security transferred money from accounts at Customs and Border Protection that pays for border fencing and technology.

    The transfer was a part of more than $200 million the Department of Homeland Security moved from the budgets of other agencies to ICE's detention and removals.

    Mr. Merkley, appearing Tuesday night on "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC, said the Trump administration was taking money from FEMA'S "response and recovery" and "working hard to find funds for additional detention camps." Mr. Merkley has been a vocal critic of the administration's immigration policies. Puerto Rico in the aftermath of a hurricane.

    The Department of Homeland Security denies that any money transferred came from FEMA's disasters relief accounts, which pay for work related to hurricanes and other natural disasters.

    "Under no circumstances was any disaster relief funding transferred from @fema to immigration enforcement efforts," Tyler Q. Houlton, an agency spokesman, said on Twitter. "This is a sorry attempt to push a false agenda at a time when the administration is focused on assisting millions on the East Coast facing a catastrophic disaster."

    Mr. Holton added that money transferred from FEMA could not have been used to pay for hurricane relief efforts because of "appropriation limitations."

    "DHS/FEMA stand fiscally and operationally ready to support current and future response and recovery needs," he said.

    In an email, the agency said funds taken from FEMA's accounts amounted to less than one percent of the agency's operational accounts and was taken from money to pay for employee travel expenses, training, basic purchase cards and office supplies, among other things. FEMA's funding for disaster response is in a separate, $25 billion account, the agency said.

    The agency said it is prepared for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to hit North and South Carolina, and Virginia on Thursday or Friday. FEMA officials said the hurricane could be the strongest storm to hit the Carolinas and Virginia region "in decades."

    The release of the budget documents showing the money transfers between FEMA and ICE came after President Trump in an interview called last year's hurricane response efforts by FEMA in Puerto Rico an "unsung success"

    "The job that FEMA and law enforcement and everybody did working along with the governor in Puerto Rico, I think was tremendous," Mr. Trump said.

    In an early Wednesday morning Twitter post, Mr. Trump doubled down on the agency's performance: "We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan). We are ready for the big one that is coming!"

    New data shows that nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the hurricane and many people continue to live without power on the island. An after-action report by FEMA released in July shows that they agency vastly underestimated how much food and fresh water it would need, and how hard it would be to get additional supplies to the island.

    The report describes the initial response as chaotic and disorganized and plagued with logistical problems as the agency tried to get food and other equipment onto the island.



    2)  The Racism Inside Fire Departments

    By Addington Stewart, a retired St. Louis firefighter, September 12, 2018


    An electrician for the New York Fire Department, Gregory Seabrook, second from left, with his lawyers at a news conference in 2011. Mr. Seabrook said he found a noose outside his work locker after he complained about discrimination.

    Imagine how you would feel if you showed up at work and found a noose waiting for you. It happened just last year to a young black firefighter in Miami. In our profession, that garish expression of racism was unfortunately not an anomaly. In the aftermath of California's summer wildfires and the well-deserved praise of the heroism of the people who risked their lives to extinguish them, it's also important to confront the bigotry that puts individual firefighters and the people we serve at risk.

    I've served 35 years as a firefighter, and the racism today is as bad as I can remember. My organization, the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters, is monitoring or pursuing legal or administrative action on a dozen major cases of discrimination.

    Though the noose incident took place in Florida, this is not just a Southern problem. Complaints come from liberal bastions including New York City, where just last year seven African-American employees of the Fire Department filed a lawsuit over "a broad pattern of racial discrimination." In Ohio, a volunteer firefighter announced on Facebook that he'd rather save a dog than an African-American. Beyond the obvious implications for citizens who might need help, this statement is representative of the kind of attitude many black firefighters confront at work each day.

    I believe incidents like those I've described here are underreported. In my experience, repercussions for reporting discrimination or harassment can be as career-damaging as the despicable actions that prompted an appeal for justice. Black firefighters who have taken a stand against unfair treatment report having been punished with increased harassment, social exclusion, reduced pay, transfers and demotions.

    Despite a rich history of black firefighting heroes that goes back to the beginnings of a professionalized service in the early 19th century, firefighting in this country is stained by a tradition of exclusion. Post-segregation, discrimination was reinforced through deep-rooted nepotism and cronyism. For those whose great-grandfather, grandfather and father weren't firefighters — and especially for applicants with the wrong color, gender or sexuality — training and testing became an impermeable barrier. Notoriously, white male recruits received special mentoring and reduced scrutiny by those in charge of hiring. 

    So-called bad apples can't be blamed for all the racial problems in fire departments today. The problems are system-deep. To begin to solve them, local fire department leaders must step up their efforts to support and enforce inclusivity. We should prioritize hiring fire chiefs who are fully committed to dismantling nepotism and tackling those professional traditions that degrade opportunity. We need an impartial, standardized and professional process for testing at entry level and on promotional exams to inoculate against the effects of bias and favoritism. Fire departments must enforce workplace rules already in place.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fewer than 8 percent of our nation's firefighters are African-Americans, and an even smaller percentage hold leadership positions. In that way, our nation's fire service is like many other industries that are still battling hate and bias, both subtle and in-your-face.

    What makes firefighting unusual is that as we're rolling out of the firehouse with sirens on — whether responding to a fire, drug overdose or car crash — we know that what we encounter may be the worst moment in someone's life. Our hearts are pounding, and we're aware that any call could be a one-way trip for us. Smoke inhalation, building collapse and backdraft are known risks and we accept them.

    But the hazards of bigotry within our ranks are an unacceptable burden. When we step into a life-threatening situation, we need to work as a team and know each one of us has the others' back.

    Unchecked hate and discrimination obliterate that essential trust. They put us in greater danger, and they can put you in greater danger, too.

    Addington Stewart is president of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters.



    3)  Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever

    By Caitlin Dickerson, September 12. 2018

    "Facilities like the one in Tornillo are also more expensive to operate...such facilities cost about $750 per child per day, or three times the amount of a typical shelter."


    Even though hundreds of children separated from their families after crossing the border have been released under court order, the overall number of detained migrant children has exploded to the highest ever recorded — a significant counternarrative to the Trump administration's efforts to reduce the number of undocumented families coming to the United States.

    Population levels at federally contracted shelters for migrant children have quietly shot up more than fivefold since last summer, according to data obtained by The New York Times, reaching a total of 12,800 this month. There were 2,400 such children in custody in May 2017.

    The huge increases, which have placed the federal shelter system near capacity, are due not to an influx of children entering the country, but a reduction in the number being released to live with families and other sponsors, the data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services suggests. Some of those who work in the migrant shelter network say the bottleneck is straining both the children and the system that cares for them.

    Most of the children crossed the border alone, without their parents. Many are teenagers from Central America, and they are housed in a system of more than 100 shelters across the United States, with the highest concentration near the southwest border.

    The new data was reported to members of Congress, who shared it with The Times. It shows that despite the Trump administration's efforts to discourage Central American migrants, roughly the same number of children are crossing the border as in years past. The big difference, said those familiar with the shelter system, is that red tape and fear brought on by stricter immigration enforcement have discouraged relatives and family friends from coming forward to sponsor children.

    Shelter capacities have hovered close to 90 percent since at least May, compared to about 30 percent a year ago. Any new surge in border crossings, which could happen at any time, could quickly overwhelm the system, operators say.

    "The closer they get to 100 percent, the less ability they will have to address anything unforeseen," said Mark Greenberg, who oversaw the care of migrant children for the Health and Human Services Department under President Barack Obama. "Even if there's not a sudden influx, they will be running out of capacity soon unless something changes."

    The administration appeared to move to address that on Tuesday, when it announced that it will triple the size of a temporary "tent city" in Tornillo, Tex., to house up to 3,800 children through the end of the year. Immigrant advocates and members of Congress reacted to the news with distress, because conditions are comparatively harsh in such large overflow facilities, compared with traditional shelters.

    Facilities like the one in Tornillo are also more expensive to operate, according to Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the shelter program. She said such facilities cost about $750 per child per day, or three times the amount of a typical shelter.

    "You are flying in the face of child welfare, and we're doing it by design," Ms. DeLauro said. "You drive up the cost and you prolong the trauma on these children."

    Federal authorities said they were dealing with high levels of illegal border crossings and requests for asylum. "The number of unaccompanied alien children apprehended are a symptom of the larger issue of a broken immigration system," Evelyn Stauffer, press secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. "That is why H.H.S. joins the president in calling on Congress to address this broken system and the pull factors that have led to increasing numbers at the U.S. border."

    The system for sheltering migrant children came under scrutiny this summer, when more than 2,500 children who were separated from their parents were housed in federally contracted shelters under the Trump administration's zero tolerance border enforcement policy. But those children were only a fraction of the total number of children who are currently detained.

    Historically, children categorized as "unaccompanied" have been placed with sponsors, such as parents already in the United States, extended family members or family friends, as soon as the sponsors can be vetted by federal authorities. But the new data shows that the placement process has slowed significantly. Monthly releases have plummeted by about two-thirds since last year.

    The delays in vetting sponsors relate, in part, to changes the Trump administration has made in how the process works. In June, the authorities announced that potential sponsors and other adult members of their households would have to submit fingerprints, and that the data would be shared with immigration authorities.

    Traditionally, most sponsors have been undocumented themselves, and therefore are wary of risking deportation by stepping forward to claim sponsorship of a child. Even those who are willing to become sponsors have had to wait months to be fingerprinted and otherwise reviewed.

    Federal officials say their vetting procedures are designed to safeguard the children in their care.

    "Children who enter the country illegally are at high risk for exploitation by traffickers and smugglers," Ms. Stauffer said in her statement.

    But the longer children are detained, the more anxious and depressed they are likely to become, according to Mr. Greenberg, who oversaw the program under Mr. Obama. When that happens, children may try to harm themselves or escape, and can become violent with the staff and with one another, he said.

    Stories of such behavior have emerged through reporting in recent months as the shelter system has faced intense criticism by members of Congress and the public.

    "Being in congregate care for an extended period of time is not a good thing. It increases the likelihood of things going wrong," Mr. Greenberg said.

    The administration funneled children who were separated from their parents into the shelter system this summer under the earlier policy, without any apparent collaboration with the officials who oversee the shelter program.

    The separated children injected a new degree of chaos into the facilities, according to several shelter operators, who spoke anonymously because they are barred by the government from speaking to the news media. The children were younger and more traumatized than those the shelters were used to dealing with, and they arrived without a plan for when they could be released or to whom.

    But the system had already been overwhelmed for months, operators said, as children continued to flow in while fewer were being discharged.

    The shelter system has overflowed before. In 2014, when unaccompanied children flooded across the border in unprecedented numbers, a lack of shelter space led to a backup of children at the border in what authorities referred to at the time as a humanitarian crisis.

    Since then, new facilities have been constructed or arranged by contract — and they are now nearing capacity.



    4) In German Catholic Churches, Child Sex Abuse Victims Top 3,600, Study Finds

    By Katrin Bennhold and Melissa Eddy, September 12, 2018


    Bishops attending Ascension Day Mass in Muenster, Germany, in May.

    BERLIN — More than 3,600 children, most age 13 or younger, were sexually abused by Catholic clergy members over the past seven decades, a wide-ranging report has found.

    The study, which was commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church bishops' conference in Germany, found that at least 1,670 church workers had been involved in the abuse of 3,677 children. That is 4.4 percent of the clergy.

    The study, conducted by researchers from three universities over more than four years, was an ambitious effort to understand the scale of the abuse — and how it could have been systematically covered up for so many decades.

    "We are aware of the extent of the sexual abuse that is supported by the results of the study," said Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier. "It is depressing and shameful."

    The findings have not yet been made public officially, but they were outlined in an eight-page summary obtained by The New York Times on Wednesday. They chronicle abuse cases from 1946 to 2014. Every sixth case of abuse involved rape, researchers found, and most of the victims were boys.

    The German report was scheduled to be released on Sept. 25, but it leaked out and was first reported in the German newspaper Die Zeit on Wednesday.

    As shocking as the findings are in a country that to date has learned mostly of individual cases of abuse, they are likely to underestimate the true extent of the problem, said Christian Pfeiffer, a criminologist.

    Mr. Pfeiffer said he had initially been asked to take part in the research. In the end, he said, he refused because the church wanted to reserve its right to control the resulting research papers — and under certain circumstances even ban their publication.

    "The report does not give the full picture, and is not fully independent," he said.

    Researchers had no direct access to church files, relying instead on church personnel to fill in questionnaires for them, he said. And in several cases, the report found evidence that files regarding the abuse of minors had been manipulated or destroyed.

    "The degree of the cover up is stunning and beyond anything I had expected," Mr. Pfeiffer said.

    The report emphasized that many of the victims who contacted the researchers anonymously expressed the feeling that "while the Catholic Church regrets the sexual abuse by clergymen, they have yet to see a sign of true remorse and an authentic admission of guilt."

    "This perception should be taken seriously," they warned, adding that offering easy, transparent and equitable compensation to all victims would help. So far, the church in Germany has left it up to each individual diocese to handle the issue of compensation, leaving wide gaps.

    The German report comes in the wake of recent attempts to count the toll of abuse by Catholic priests elsewhere in the world, though investigators there were afforded more independence.

    In Pennsylvania, a grand jury report released in August found that more than 300 priests had sexually abused 1,000 minors over 70 years. The report provoked widespread outrage not simply because of the numbers, but also because of the depravity of the abuse and what many saw as the bishops' callousness toward the victims.

    The grand jury's report covered only six of the state's eight dioceses — and did not include the populous archdiocese of Philadelphia.

    In 2004, bishops in the United States commissioned researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to survey the scope and nature of the abuse scandal amid a nationwide scandal that began in Boston. Their report found 4,392 priests with allegations of abuse, and 10,667 alleged victims from 1950 to 2002. The researchers based their report on files provided by the American bishops.

    But many abuse victims and their advocates say they do not trust that the church is being transparent, and have called for government investigators to step in.

    That is what happened in Australia, where a royal commission looked at child abuse in many religious institutions, including the Catholic Church. From 1980 to 2015, the report found, there were 1,880 church employees — mostly priests — suspected of abuse, and 4,444 alleged victims.

    Laurie Goodstein contributed reporting from New York.



    5) Yemen Civilians Keep Dying, but Pompeo Says Saudis Are Doing Enough

    By Ben Hubbard, September 12, 2018

    "The intervention has been a dilemma to officials in both the Obama and Trump administrations, who had to choose between supporting close Gulf allies who have spent many billions of dollars on American weapons and holding them accountable for waging war in a way that rights groups and others say has caused egregious harm to civilians."


    Houthi demonstrators denouncing an offer by the Saudi-led coalition to pay compensation for victims of an airstrike in Yemen in early September.

    BEIRUT, Lebanon — Despite attacks that have killed dozens of civilians at a time, the Trump administration on Wednesday certified that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are doing enough to minimize the deadly impact of their military campaign in Yemen.

    The certification, announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was legally required to allow American military aircraft to continue refueling warplanes belonging to the two Gulf nations, the dominant members of an Arab coalition fighting a brutal war in Yemen that has helped create the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

    Mr. Pompeo's move came amid rising concern in Washington about the coalition's prosecution of the war and worries among some lawmakers that American weapons were being used to commit war crimes and that American officials could be held liable.

    In its efforts to oust Yemen's Houthi rebels from the capital, Sana, the coalition has bombed weddings, funerals, factories and other civilian infrastructure, often with munitions acquired from the United States. The aerial assaults have elicited harsh criticisms from United Nations investigators and human rights groups, who have also accused the Houthis of violating the laws of war.

    Last month, the coalition launched an airstrike near a bus full of students on a religious outing, killing dozens in an attack that Human Rights Watch called "an apparent war crime."

    In response to similar assaults, Congress included in a defense bill signed by Mr. Trump last month a clause that required Mr. Pompeo to certify that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were doing enough to avoid harming civilians. Without that certification, they would lose the aerial refueling services provided by the United States.

    In his statement on Wednesday, Mr. Pompeo said they were doing enough.

    "The governments of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations of these governments," Mr. Pompeo said.

    He also said that ending the war in Yemen was "a national security priority" and that the United States would continue working with Gulf allies to pursue peace talks and ensure delivery of humanitarian aid.

    The charity Oxfam, a longtime provider of assistance to Yemeni civilians, denounced the decision as having enabled the continuation of a horrific war.

    "The State Department demonstrated that it is blindly supporting military operations in Yemen without any allegiance to facts, moral code or humanitarian law," Scott Paul, a policy advocate for the group, said in a statement. "This administration is doubling down on its failed policy of literally fueling the world's largest humanitarian crisis."

    The war in Yemen began in 2014, when the Houthis, who are aligned with Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional rival, seized control of the country's northwest, including the capital, sending the government into exile.

    In March 2015, a military coalition of Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia launched a bombing campaign aimed at ousting the Houthis and restoring the government. It has so far failed to achieve either objective, and the war has led to widespread hunger and the spread of dangerous diseases, like cholera.

    The intervention has been a dilemma to officials in both the Obama and Trump administrations, who had to choose between supporting close Gulf allies who have spent many billions of dollars on American weapons and holding them accountable for waging war in a way that rights groups and others say has caused egregious harm to civilians.

    The United States has offered some assistance in the campaign, sharing intelligence, helping Saudi Arabia protect its southern border and refueling coalition jets in midair, but United States officials say they play no role in target selection.

    Much of the debate has revolved around the best way for the United States to influence the coalition's actions. Some have argued for punitive steps, like curtailing military aid. Others have counter-argued that American disengagement could worsen matters.

    It was the counterargument that prevailed on Wednesday, at least in part because of the strong relationships between the White House and the Gulf countries.

    In Washington, some Trump administration officials tracking the war in Yemen have increasingly expressed anxieties over the civilian deaths in internal conversations, said Andrew Miller, deputy director for policy at the Project on Middle East Democracy. Those include officials working on the issue at the State Department and Defense Department, he said.

    Damage to a cholera treatment center in Yemen supported by Doctors Without Borders after an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition airstrike last June.

    "I do think there is growing concern, although it hasn't reached the point that has translated to a change in policy," said Mr. Miller, who worked on Middle East policy on the National Security Council in the Obama administration and was a State Department official.

    Mr. Miller said there is "reticence" among some policymakers, including among political appointees, on strengthening ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates "because of the question of whether war crimes are being committed."

    However, those officials have little or no direct access to the White House and Cabinet members. And Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-in-law and the top White House adviser on the Middle East, is in close touch with Saudi and Emirati officials.

    "Gulf relations are impaired by the sense among Saudis and Emiratis that all they need is Trump and Kushner, and they don't need anyone else," Mr. Miller said.

    Saudi officials say the coalition exerts great efforts to minimize harm to civilians and has established an internal body to investigate reported violations of the laws of war. Early this month, the coalition admitted "mistakes" in the bombing of the school bus and said those responsible would be held accountable.

    The certification signed by Mr. Pompeo said the Trump administration had recognized that "civilian casualties have occurred at rates that are far too high." But it said the coalition had taken steps to improve, including developing a no-strike list of sensitive targets and putting Saudi pilots through American training on avoiding civilian deaths.

    Rights groups have said similar efforts have been going on for years and appeared to have had little effect. Some openly dismiss the coalition's professed interest in investigating itself.

    recent report by Human Rights Watch about the coalition's investigative body said it had failed "to provide credible, impartial and transparent investigations into alleged coalition laws-of-war violations."

    Others, too, accuse the coalition of doing too little.

    Larry L. Lewis, a former State Department official who visited Saudi Arabia five times in 2015 and 2016 to help the country's air force improve its targeting and investigations, said the certification showed that the administration either lacked the will to push the coalition to improve or did not know what it meant to do "everything possible" to reduce civilian casualties.

    "There's more that can be done," Mr. Lewis wrote in an email. "Whether the U.S. government is willing to do more is another matter."

    Edward Wong contributed reporting from Washington.



    6) U.S. Recovery Eludes Many Living Below Poverty Level, Census Suggests

    By Glenn Thrush, September 13, 2018

    "And the poor are getting poorer. The poverty threshold in 2017 was $24,858 for a family of four. The percentage of families of living on half that income, in constant dollars, has nearly doubled since 1975to 5.7 percent from 3.5 percent, the report showed."


    A soup kitchen in Williamsport, Pa. Economists and advocates for poor people say the relatively modest gains over the last few years are fragile.

    WASHINGTON — In July, President Trump's Council of Economic Advisers declared that the country's five-decade war on poverty was largely over and called it a success.

    On Wednesday, the Census Bureau released its 2017 annual report on the poor that offered a stark counterpoint, suggesting that the national recovery has bypassed many of the 40 million to 45 million Americans estimated to be living below the federal poverty level.

    While median household income rose 1.8 percent last year, the national poverty rate remained stubbornly high at 12.3 percent. That was just a slight decrease from the previous year's level of 12.7 percent, according to the federal government's most comprehensive annual gauge of economic hardship.

    The supplemental poverty measure for 2017, widely regarded by economists as more accurate, was even higher, 13.9 percent in 2017, essentially unchanged from the year before. That is an improvement from the recent high of 16 percent recorded in 2013. But economists and advocates for poor people say the relatively modest gains over the last few years are fragile, endangered by the Trump administration's policies and vulnerable to a long-overdue economic downturn.

    "If this is the best we can do, it isn't good," said Timothy Smeeding, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies poverty and economic mobility.

    "Things really tapered off this year, after a serious drop in previous years," he said. "In terms of the boom, the party has lasted a long time, a lot longer than we thought, but not everybody is getting invited — people who are working several jobs, taking jobs without benefits, kids who are growing up in poverty. The fruits of the recovery are not being spread around evenly."

    The report comes as the Trump administration seeks to curtail safety net programs, in part by playing down the severity of poverty in the country. The White House, bolstering its case for program cuts and new work requirements for recipients of federal aid, has gone so far as to question the validity of the government's traditional calculations for poverty.

    Mr. Trump has pressed Congress and his cabinet to impose strict new work requirements on recipients of Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, moves that could strip some beneficiaries of their benefits, and has supported new work rules in Republican-controlled states, like Arkansas and Kentucky.

    In both of his budget blueprints, Mr. Trump has trimmed domestic spending on housing, education and food assistance. Such cuts have been restored by the Senate, but advocates say there is an overall bias in Washington against helping those in need that is hampering the recovery among low-income Americans.

    "There's a precariousness to the recovery and a fragility in the lives of poor people right now," said Olivia Golden, the executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy, an advocacy organization based in Washington that opposed budget cuts.

    While Wednesday's report showed no statistically significant reduction in poverty during Mr. Trump's first year in office, the strengthening economy could usher in bigger improvements next year. The economy grew at an annual rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018, according to the Commerce Department, and average hourly wages in August increased 2.9 percent.

    Unemployment, now at 3.9 percent, has decreased significantly for all age, gender, racial and ethnic groups, and 1.7 million workers saw wage increases last year, according to the Census Bureau.

    But warning signs persist. Poverty rates among African-Americans and Hispanics have declined in recent years, but both remain above 20 percent, far outpacing the poverty rate of 9.8 percent for the white, non-Hispanic population.

    And the poor are getting poorer. The poverty threshold in 2017 was $24,858 for a family of four. The percentage of families of living on half that income, in constant dollars, has nearly doubled since 1975, to 5.7 percent from 3.5 percent, the report showed.

    "The level of poverty for people with the lowest incomes seems to be on the uptick," said Jennifer Jones Austin, the chief executive of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, an anti-poverty advocacy group that represents 170 agencies operating in New York City. "The Trump administration says the war on poverty is over. That's not reality."

    The Census Bureau's official poverty measure, calculated at 12.3 percent last year, is widely viewed as an outdated formula.

    Most economists consider the poverty number published concurrently in the supplemental report, which is 1.6 percentage points higher, to be a more precise measure because it factors in the cost of expenses like housing, child care and transportation, while estimating the positive effect of government benefits like Social Security, Medicaid and the earned-income tax credit.

    But Mr. Trump's economic team, led by Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, has questioned both of the Census Bureau's poverty calculations. The real poverty rate is much lower, the team has argued, citing a 2017 paper by two conservative economists that used a statistical analysis based on spending patterns by the poor that pegged the rate at closer to 3 percent.

    "There are problems, especially in the supplemental report, where a lot of income is underreported," said Bruce D. Meyer, a public policy professor at the University of Chicago who wrote the alternative study with James X. Sullivan, an economics professor at the University of Notre Dame.

    "It misses a lot of income," he said, including food stamps and tax credits, "and doesn't capture things like the improvement in the quality of housing."

    "We've made a lot of progress and it's not reflected in those numbers," he added.

    In July, Mr. Hassett's team, using those alternative calculations, claimed that between 1960 and 2016, the real poverty rate had declined to 3 percent from 30 percent. "Based on historical standards of material well-being and the terms of engagement, our war on poverty is largely over and a success," members of the economic council wrote in a report intended to bolster the case for stiffening work requirements.

    David Brady, who runs a poverty research center at the University of California, Riverside, said the report on Wednesday undermined a chief contention of conservatives: that the wide availability of work would, by itself, eradicate poverty.

    Wages for low-income workers have not kept pace with the cost of living in high-expense states, including California, where rising housing costs have contributed to a 20 percent poverty rate that ranks the highest in the nation, Mr. Brody said. That has increased the need for safety net programs, especially housing assistance.

    The report illustrated the role of government support in keeping the rate from rising higher, citing income data showing that 27 million people "were taken out of poverty" by Social Security benefits, with another 3.4 million Americans pushed above the threshold by federal food aid.

    "The stagnation in the poverty rate is bad news," Mr. Brady said. "It means that a low unemployment rate alone hasn't solved the problem."



    7) Australian Politicians Threaten Schoolgirl Over National Anthem Protest

    By Isabella Kwai, September 13, 2018


    Harper Nielsen, 9, was sent to detention for refusing to stand for the Australian national anthem during school. Her parents, Mark Nielsen and Yvette Miller, stood by her decision

    SYDNEY, Australia — A 9-year-old Australian schoolgirl whose refusal to stand for the singing of the national anthem has stirred a nationwide debate said Thursday that she would continue to protest the song she said was racist even if it meant being kicked out of school.

    The girl, Harper Nielsen, was sent to detention and threatened with suspension from her Brisbane primary school last week after sitting through a schoolwide rendition of "Advance Australia Fair," the national anthem, she said.

    News of her protest quickly went viral, leading to condemnations by conservative politicians and a national conversation about race and free speech.

    The girl's protest, which echoed those of American football players who have knelt at games during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner," made headlines in the same week that a national newspaper printed a cartoon depicting the tennis player Serena Williams with exaggerated lips.

    That cartoon, like Harper's protest, further revealed a historic and racially tinged battle line in the country's culture wars.

    "I think that everyone should be able to express their opinion," Harper said in an interview. "Even if you're small, you can do big things."

    Harper said she was protesting one word in the anthem's second line: "young."

    "Australians all let us rejoice," goes the song, "for we are young and free."

    Many Indigenous Australians say the depiction of the country as new, or a young nation, diminishes the history of their ancestors, who inhabited the continent for tens of thousands of years. Australia's Aboriginal and Straits Islander communities have routinely argued that many aspects of national civic life erase their history, including the anthem and Australia Day, which celebrates the arrival of the first British settlers.

    "I thought about what it would be like to be an Aboriginal person in that situation and I guess that helped me," Harper, who is white, said of her refusal to stand. "They might feel left out. They might feel upset. Sad."

    Her father, Mark Nielsen, said that a family conversation this year about the treatment of Indigenous Australians first got Harper, a fourth grader at Kenmore South State School in Brisbane, thinking about the anthem.

    "Anyone who knows Harper know she's not a kid who can be brainwashed. She's a very strong-minded and strong-willed young person," said Mr. Nielsen, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Queensland.

    Some conservative politicians condemned Harper's parents; others threatened the child with physical violence or resorted to calling her names.

    "What the hell is going on? I'm angry about this," Pauline Hanson, the founder of a right-wing political party, said in a video posted to Twitter. "Here we have a kid is being brainwashed. And I tell you what, I'd give her a kick up the backside."

    Jarrod Bleijie, a state politician from the Liberal National Party, said on Twitter that Harper's parents were using their child as a political pawn.

    "Refusing to stand disrespects our country and our veterans," he wrote. "Suspension should follow if she continues to act like a brat."

    Members of the Indigenous community, however, applauded the girl and praised her parents.

    "Her parents should be congratulated for raising a brilliant, thinking young student who won't be forced to do something that is against her deeply held beliefs," Sam Watson, an Aboriginal elder, told The Courier Mail.

    The Queensland Department of Education rebutted Harper's claim that she had been threatened with suspension and said the school allowed for peaceful demonstrations.

    "The school has been respectful of the student's wishes and has provided other alternatives, including remaining outside the hall or not singing during the national anthem," the department said in a statement. "At no time did the school suggest that the student would be suspended or excluded for refusing to take part in the national anthem."



    8) Massachusetts Gas Explosions: Dozens of Homes Burn in Andover and Lawrence

    By Kathrine Q. Seelye, farah Stockman, Jacey Fortin and Monica Davey, September 13, 2018


    Flames consuming the roof of a home in Lawrence, Mass., a suburb of Boston. One person was killed and more than 20 were injured after explosions at dozens of homes in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

    LAWRENCE, Mass. — Violent explosions and billowing fires tore through three towns north of Boston late Thursday afternoon, damaging dozens of houses, forcing thousands of stunned residents to evacuate and plunging much of the region into an eerie darkness.

    One person was killed and more than 20 were injured in the sudden string of explosions caused by gas leaks in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover as blackish-gray clouds of smoke rolled across rooftops and flames shot into the sky.

    Leonel Rondon, 18, was killed while he sat in a car in the driveway of a home in Lawrence, the authorities said. A chimney fell onto the car, they said, when the home, on Chickering Road, exploded.

    Across the region, residents returned from work to find their homes burning and neighbors standing outside with no clear sense of what to do. Firefighters and other emergency workers raced from block to block, urging residents to evacuate to shelters that were hastily being opened. Along some blocks, the smell of gas hung in the air, and cellphones buzzed with evacuation warnings.

    "It looked like Armageddon, it really did," Michael Mansfield, the fire chief of Andover, who has worked as a firefighter for almost four decades, told a CBS station in Boston. "There were billows of smoke coming from Lawrence behind me. I could see plumes of smoke in front of me from the town of Andover. It looked like an absolute war zone."

    The string of explosions, fires and reports of gas odor — at least 70 of them, although officials were still trying to account for all of the damage late Thursday — came suddenly, beginning shortly before 5 p.m., without warning and without an immediate explanation from officials. But natural gas, and the possibility that gas had become overpressurized in a main, was the focus of many local authorities.

    Earlier in the day, a local gas company, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, had announced that it was "upgrading natural gas lines in neighborhoods across the state." On Friday morning, the company said in a statement that workers would need to visit each of the 8,600 affected customers to inspect the gas meter.

    "We expect this will be an extended restoration effort," the statement said.

    With three communities that are home to more than 100,000 people involved, the aftermath was chaotic, confusing and shifting by the minute. In some neighborhoods, firefighters found themselves putting out one fire, only to find another breaking out next door or down the block. Images from Lawrence showed several housing complexes bursting with flames and thick smoke billowing as firefighters rushed to the scenes.

    Annie Wilson, 73, was home alone in her third-floor apartment in south Lawrence when she smelled smoke. She opened her back door and smoke poured into the house. She ran out the front, and her parakeets flew away as she tried to rescue them.

    Fire quickly consumed the building. Ms. Wilson said she lost everything, including her husband's ashes, which were in an urn, all her family photographs and all her clothes.

    "It was just crazy," said Jessica Wilson, 43, Ms. Wilson's daughter-in-law. "People were walking in the street with bags, kids were crying, there were sirens all over the place."

    In the long hours after the fires, sections of the communities turned dark and silent, with power turned off and people told to leave. More than 18,000 customers were without electricity at one point on Thursday night. Long lines of traffic jammed the roads out of some towns. Traffic was crammed, too, near roads to shelters that were opened to those left homeless. Some exits off the major interstate highways were closed, and officials said the area's schools would be shuttered on Friday.

    Thousands of people were left to sort out what to do. Some people said they were told to leave only if they smelled gas; others said they were told to leave regardless. Residents said they were uncertain whether to stay or go, and when they might return. "What we need folks to do is that if it's happening in your home, you have a funny smell, just evacuate, come out to the street," Mayor Dan Rivera of Lawrence told WBZ-TV.

    The worst part, said Maria Santana, who was at home in Lawrence when she smelled gas, was that the explosions came without warning and that no one in authority seemed to have any idea of what was happening. A school not far from her home that her children and grandchildren had attended was damaged, she said.

    "We didn't know anything then and we still don't know anything," she said. "We don't even know how we're standing up right now."

    Maureen Taylor, 55, had been putting a roast in the oven at her Andover home when something seemed strange: The gas stove made the usual clicking noises, but it would not light.

    "I wasn't getting any gas," she said. "It was very bizarre."

    A minute or so later, her phone buzzed with an alarm telling her to evacuate.

    "I'm very lucky that the stove didn't go off," she said.

    On her way to a senior center for shelter, Ms. Taylor saw two homes in her neighborhood burning. Officers were gathered on the streets. At the senior center, Ms. Taylor said she was surrounded by dozens of other people who wondered what would come next.

    "They're worried about getting home," she said. "They're worried about their animals. Because really we were just given a few minutes to evacuate, and we keep hearing new information about whether we're going to go back tonight or not."

    As the night wore on, leaders of the three towns suggested that residents who had been evacuated needed to stay away — at least for now. No timeline for cleanup and safety checks was set, they said, and no one had a real sense of how much damage had been done.

    Mr. Rivera said the affected properties in Lawrence were south of the Merrimack River. He warned people not to return to their homes on Thursday evening, and that it may take days to ensure that homes are safe to enter.

    "If you are out of the house, stay away from your properties until we have made it safe for everyone," Mr. Rivera said. "If you have not evacuated, you have just got to go. Trust us when we tell you that if you stay in your home, you will be at risk."

    Gov. Charlie Baker said public safety officers and government officials are focused on trying to make sure that people are safe and that communities make it through the night safely, despite the loss of power and lingering fears over gas. Later, he said, he will turn his attention to what caused the explosion.

    "We'll get to the question about what happened," he said.

    Katharine Q. Seelye reported from Lawrence, Mass.; Farah Stockman from Cambridge, Mass.; Jacey Fortin from New York; and Monica Davey from Chicago. Andrew R. Chow and Julia Jacobs contributed reporting from New York.



    9) Many Ways to Be a Girl, but One Way to Be a Boy: The New Gender Rules 

    In a new poll, girls say they feel empowered, except when it comes to being judged on how they look. Boys still feel they have to be strong, athletic and stoic.

    By Claire Cain Miller, September 14, 2018


    "For me, it's important to be intelligent and confident. For women in society, I think people just want you to be attractive." Hiree Felema, 13

    Girls have been told they can be anything they want to be, and it shows. They are seizing opportunities closed to previous generations — in science, math, sports and leadership. 

    But they're also getting another message: What they look like matters more than any of that. 

    Boys seem to have been largely left out of the conversation about gender equality. Even as girls' options have opened up, boys' lives are still constricted by traditional gender norms: being strong, athletic and stoic. 

    These are findings from a new nationally representative poll of 1,000 children and adolescents 10 to 19, along with other research on this age group, which is not surveyed often. They show gender attitudes of a generation on the verge of adulthood.

    "Nowadays, if you're a girl and you act like a boy, it's considered cool, it's normal. But if you're a guy and you act like a girl, it's different, it's not as tolerated." Muyang Yan, 12

    In the survey, conducted by PerryUndem, a research and polling firm, a majority of girls said sexism was still a problem — yet in many ways, they felt empowered. Girls were slightly more likely than boys to say being a leader was a very important life goal, evidence of a significant shift in gender expectations.

    "I'm all in for leadership," said Isabelle Reksopuro, 13, one of eight eighth graders at Happy Valley Middle School in Happy Valley, Ore., we interviewed this week. She is captain of the debate team and a member of the student council, and wants to become a scientist. "In this school, girls and boys have equal opportunities; it just depends on your talent."

    "A lot of Asian culture is like, 'You've got to do all this stuff so you can be the perfect wife.' I'm just worried about what college I'll get into and how to go into the sciences or politics." Isabelle Reksopuro, 13

    When boys and girls were asked about their goals and aspirations, the responses were similar. Three-quarters said having a successful career was very important. A third of respondents or less, of either gender, said marrying or having children was a very important goal. 

    Girls were as likely as boys to say math or science was their favorite subject, and to have considered running for office. They said they were mostly treated fairly compared with boys.

    Yet when it came to their bodies, girls said they did not feel equal. About three-quarters of girls 14 to 19 in the survey said they felt judged as a sexual object or unsafe as a girl. By far, they said society considered physical attractiveness to be the most important female trait — a view that adult women share, surveys have found. Girls were also more likely than boys to say they felt a lot of pressure to put others' feelings before their own. 

    About half said they hear boys making sexual comments or jokes about girls daily, including a quarter of girls 10 to 13. One-third of teenage girls have heard these comments from men in their families. 

    Black and Latino adolescents, the survey found, are more likely to have progressive attitudes about gender equality, but they're also more likely to hear sexual comments from peers, and to feel pressure to be attractive or strong. 

    The eighth graders (who were not part of the survey) in Happy Valley, a middle-class suburb east of Portland, described equal opportunities at school for boys and girls: Girls far outnumbered boys on the student council, and a few even played on the football team.

    "If you're upset, you try to get your mind off it and forget about it. I kinda wish I could express it more." Jamel Pichon, 13

    The middle-school girls were unanimous in what they valued most in themselves: intelligence and confidence. But they also agreed that society placed the most value on their looks, and mentioned pressure to look attractive online and the risk of predators on social media. 

    "As long as I'm confident in myself, I can put myself out there and other people can take it or leave it," said Sally Ayach, 13, a gymnast who excels at math and wants to be a lawyer.

    Boys, however, don't always see it that way, she said. "If they see a girl with a nice body, they're going to go after seeing that body," she said. "It's like who can get the most girls."

    "Right now, if you put your mind to it, you can do it. You want to be an astronaut? You can do it. As long as you work hard enough, no one's going to stop you." Sally Ayach, 13

    In the survey, 81 percent of girls 14 to 19 said they had at least one friend who had been asked by a boy for a sexy or naked photo. "They ask all the time," Sally said. "But I'm like, no thanks, I'm not like that."

    Deborah Tolman, a psychology professor at the City University of New York who researches adolescent sexuality, said: "This is the contradiction we put in front of girls: You should be confident and do well in school and do athletics, but you're supposed to also be a good sex object at the same time." 

    Isabelle said romance was the exception to the equality she felt at school and in life. Recently, she rejected a boy who had been flirting with her on text and social media. 

    "He got ridiculously mad; he called me names, used slurs," she said. "When we get rejected, we don't explode just because they don't like us back. Guys just feel more privileged." 

    Adolescents feel these pressures worldwide, found the Global Early Adolescent Study by Johns Hopkins and the World Health Organization. "We were stunned — and I'm not easily stunned, as a clinician working 40 years with adolescents — at the hyper-sexualization of young kids," said Robert Blum, the study's principal investigator and a public health professor at Johns Hopkins.

    The continuing study is of children 10 to 14 in poor urban areas in 15 countries, and gender norms were remarkably similar. "Whether you're in Hanoi or Shanghai or Baltimore, you understand the script," Mr. Blum said. "You get the messages of girl vulnerability and girl weakness and boy strength and boy independence."

    "Boys typically aren't supposed to be emotional, so real men shouldn't cry." Reid Gray, 13

    Traditional ideas about boys still run strong in the United States, found the new survey, which was commissioned by Plan International USA, an organization for children's rights and girls' equality. It polled teenagers and children of adults who participate in the University of Chicago's NORC AmeriSpeak panel

    Boys said strength and toughness were the male character traits most valued by society. Three-quarters said they felt pressure to be physically strong, and a majority felt pressure to play sports. 

    Asked what society expects boys to do when they feel angry, the largest shares said they were supposed to be aggressive or be quiet and suck it up. When they felt sad or scared, they felt pressure to hide those feelings or to be tough and strong instead. Girls were more able to express themselves by crying, screaming or talking about their feelings, respondents said. 

    Half of boys said they'd heard men in their family make sexual jokes or comments about women; those boys were more likely to feel pressure to be tough and play along with sexism. An even bigger share, 82 percent, said they had heard someone criticize a boy for "acting like a girl."

    "If you post something on social media about LGBTQ people or your sexuality, you're eventually going to be told to kill yourself." Bemmy Daniels, 13

    This contributes to the feeling among girls that they're undervalued and objectified by boys, researchers said. Pressures on boys can also leave them with low self-esteem and more likely to be victims of violence or accidents. 

    "It's not just girls who get hurt," said Barbara Risman, a sociology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who studies young people's gender attitudes. "I call it boys policing each other to be boyish, particularly when showing emotions or wanting to do something considered feminine, like volleyball or ballet. They have the sense that they can't stray a bit." 

    In Happy Valley, boys said the qualities they valued most in themselves were ambition and intelligence — but they were deeply aware that society valued male strength. 

    "There are a lot of things that 'real men' would do that I wouldn't, like anything particularly dangerous physically, and sports," said Muyang Yan, 12, who started a school coding club and wants to be a computer scientist. 

    Sullivan McDaniel, 13, who's on the student council and the lacrosse and football teams, has played sports since age 3. "I don't really show a lot of emotion, but I get emotional like in sports; I get fired up," he said. "If I'm angry, I go to the gym or I go to the high school and lift."

    "In school, the girls definitely seem more interested than the boys. I feel like they pay attention more than we do and I'm pretty sure they work harder than we do." Sullivan McDaniel, 13

    There are some signs that recent movements to end sexual harassment might be influencing teenagers' attitudes.

    In the survey, three-quarters of adolescents had heard of MeToo. A majority of girls, and one-third of boys, say it has made them feel able to tell someone if they were harassed or assaulted. 

    "I have more of an ability that if that did happen to me," said Hiree Felema, 13. "There's not a chance of me being quiet about it."

    Claire Cain Miller writes about gender, families and the future of work for The Upshot. She joined The Times in 2008 and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for public service for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues. 



    10) Kushner Says Punishing Palestinians Won't Hurt Chance for Peace Deal

    By Mark Landler, September 13, 2018


    Palestinians protested the United States' decision to stop funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

    WASHINGTON — Three days after the Trump administration evicted the Palestine Liberation Organization from its offices in Washington, Jared Kushner defended the latest in a string of punitive actions against the Palestinians and insisted that none of them had diminished the chances of a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Speaking on Thursday, 25 years to the day after the Oslo peace accords were signed on the White House lawn not far from his West Wing office, Mr. Kushner said President Trump had actually improved the chances for peace by stripping away the "false realities" that surround Middle East peacemaking.

    "There were too many false realities that were created — that people worship — that I think needed to be changed," he said in an interview. "All we're doing is dealing with things as we see them and not being scared out of doing the right thing. I think, as a result, you have a much higher chance of actually achieving a real peace."

    Mr. Kushner said he did not want to be too critical of the Oslo accords, which created the framework for peace negotiations over the last three decades. But he cast his own efforts as a radical break with the past, evincing little nostalgia for the historic images of Bill Clinton drawing together Yasir Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin in September 1993.

    His confidence came at a bleak moment in his own 19-month-old quest for an accord. The order to shut down the P.L.O. office followed a series of cuts in American funding to Palestinian groups, as well as the decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, all of which have profoundly alienated the Palestinians from the administration.

    Mr. Kushner said the Jerusalem decision burnished Mr. Trump's credibility by delivering on a campaign promise. Palestinian leaders, he said, deserved to lose aid after vilifying the administration. And much of the money that the United States poured into the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees and other Palestinian causes had been misspent anyway.

    "Nobody is entitled to America's foreign aid," he said.

    Aid should be used to further national interests and help those in need, he said. In the case of the Palestinians, he argued that the funding had evolved into a decades-long entitlement program with no plan to make them self-reliant.

    Still, Mr. Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, also insisted that the rift between the Palestinians and Washington was not unbridgeable, despite statements by top Palestinian officials that they will never again engage with Mr. Trump.

    "In every negotiation I've ever been in," he said, "before somebody gets to 'yes,' their answer is 'no.'"

    Citing his experience as a dealmaker, Mr. Kushner said he was not thrown by the posturing of the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, which he attributed in part to Mr. Abbas's own domestic politics. If Mr. Abbas is a serious leader, Mr. Kushner said, he will study the administration's peace plan carefully after it is released.

    Mr. Kushner and his partner on the Middle East, Jason D. Greenblatt, continue to tinker with the language in the plan, which is all but finished. They have expanded the team working on the project, in part to focus on fortifying the economic component — a particular focus of Mr. Kushner's.

    With the Palestinians dismissing the plan as "dead on arrival," some analysts question whether it will ever see the light of day. Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt reject that, saying they are busy consulting with officials in the region. They are not giving a timetable, though it seems unlikely they would roll it out before the midterm elections.

    The White House once hoped that Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, with whom Mr. Kushner has cultivated a relationship, would be an influential advocate for the plan. But with Prince Mohammed struggling with his reform efforts at home, the administration is no longer counting on him to play that role.

    For now, the administration's focus has been on punishing the Palestinians. On Monday, the State Department said it had agreed late last year to allow the P.L.O.'s representative office to stay open only if it helped advance peace negotiations.

    "However, the P.L.O. has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel," it said in a statement. "To the contrary, P.L.O. leadership has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise."

    The administration also linked its decision to what it said were efforts by the Palestinians to get the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel for its military operations in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as the construction of Jewish settlements in Israel-occupied territory.

    "While the court welcomes the membership of the so-called State of Palestine, it has threatened Israel — a liberal, democratic nation," John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump's national security adviser, said in a speech on Monday castigating the court.

    Some analysts warn that stripping funds from the United Nations organization that takes care of Palestinian refugees will only contribute to the extremism of future generations of Palestinians, since it is the main supplier of secular education to children there.

    Cutting $25 million in aid to six hospitals in East Jerusalem that serve Palestinians could prompt a health crisis, according to experts. The Palestinian Authority condemned the move as an "act of political blackmail." And it could boomerang on Israel, since it could be forced to step into the breach and provide more services in the West Bank.

    "By punishing the Palestinians, the administration unwittingly is liberating them from former restraints under which they had operated since Oslo in order to placate U.S. and Israel," said Robert Malley, who took part in Israeli-Palestinian talks at Camp David under Mr. Clinton.

    "What gradually removing those shackles from Palestinians will mean in terms of the future is unclear," Mr. Malley added. "What is clear is that future will be different."



























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