We refuse to pay to protest!

Women's March on the Pentagon, October 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact: CindySheehan@MarchonPentagon.com

What: The day before Thanksgiving, Cindy Sheehan, co-coordinator of the recent Women's March on the Pentagon (WMOP) was presented with a $540.00 gill for "police escort" by the Arlington County Virginia Police Department (ACPD).

Background: Beginning in July, leadership of WMOP began taking steps to secure permits from the two jurisdictions that the WMOP would take on October 21st (51st anniversary of the March on the Pentagon during the Vietnam War): 

Arlington County (brief march) and the Pentagon. Although WMOP eventually obtained a permit from the Pentagon, WMOP was never able to obtain a permit from Arlington County and many phone messages left by DC area Co-ordinator Malachy Kilbride were never returned by the ACPD.

On the day of the March, about 1500 people gathered at the Pentagon City Metro station (for a 12pm March start) in front of the mall and at about 10:30am, to the surprise of March organizers, ACPD showed up and did stop traffic for the brief March through Arlington County.

The organizers of the WMOP are outraged and appalled by this obvious violation of our First Amendment rights to gather "peaceably" and demonstrate one of the sacrosanct rights to our Freedom of Speech. 

The DC area co-ordinator for the WMOP Malachy Kilbride had this to say upon receipt of the bill:  "As a former resident of Arlington County of over 20 years I am disturbed that the county is following in the footsteps of the Trump Administration which wants to charge people for First Amendment activity. Shame on Arlington County! The First Amendment is priceless and shouldn't be monetized."

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF)* the D.C. based non-profit legal organization that works to protect and advance the constitutional rights of protestors has issued the following letter to the ACPD on behalf of the Women's March on the Pentagon:

Chief Jay Farr

Lt. John Feden

Arlington County Police Department

1425 North Courthouse Rd
. Arlington, VA 22201
Dear Chief Farr and Lt. Feden:

We are writing on behalf of Cindy Sheehan in response to Lt. John Feden's e-mail correspondence dated November 21, 2018. 

The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) has issued an invoice to Ms. Sheehan seeking to charge her for engaging in constitutionally protected First Amendment activities. Specifically, the invoice is stated to be "for the police services we provided October 21st during the March On the Pentagon," and demands $540.00 for what is described as "police escort for The Women's March on the Pentagon." 

This attempt to tax free speech is without lawful basis and violates Ms. Sheehan's constitutional rights. We request that this invoice be immediately withdrawn.

Ms. Sheehan did not request police "services," nor was she given prior notice that the ACPD intended to send police to the demonstration and charge her for their time.  At no time did Ms. Sheehan agree to pay for any such charges. 

Indeed, the ACPD actually refused to respond to Ms. Sheehan's efforts to coordinate the First Amendment activities with them. An application for a permit was submitted for the March and thereafter, Arlington Country was nonresponsive to follow up efforts. After failing and refusing to return phone calls regarding the March, the ACDP appeared at the Pentagon City mall in front of the metro stop entrance at the starting point for the march, well before the march was scheduled to step off. At that time Ms. Sheehan expressed her surprise at their presence given their refusal to communicate with the March organizers. 

The ACPD may not charge demonstrators for First Amendment activities at its own discretion. We are requesting that the ACPD provide all policy documents, guidelines, and criteria that the department relies upon in assessing charges on demonstration activities as well as any notice it believes was given to Ms. Sheehan of such policies and procedures. 

We further request that the ACPD issue instructions to personnel consistent with constitutional obligations to ensure that organizers of demonstration activity are not improperly charged in the future.


Mara Verheyden-Hilliard (PCJF)  

The Women's March on the Pentagon adamantly refuses to pay for this appalling violation of our constitutional rights.

*The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund is a free speech and civil rights organization that has defended First Amendment rights for over 20 years in Washington, D.C. and around the country. It is currently challenging the Trump Administration's proposed anti-protest rules that would levy potentially bankrupting fees and costs on demonstrators who engage in constitutionally protected free speech on public parkland in the nation's capital. More information here.

*(Women's) March on the Pentagon is a women-led coalition of activists, professionals, military veterans, and everyday citizens of the world with one thing in common: we are anti-imperialist. More info can be found here.

  This press release can also be found on our website:

Join the Facebook group:



America has spent $5.9 trillion on wars in the Middle East and Asia since 2001, a new study says

  • The U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan have cost American taxpayers $5.9 trillion since they began in 2001.
  • The figure reflects the cost across the U.S. federal government since the price of war is not borne by the Defense Department alone.
  • The report also finds that more than 480,000 people have died from the wars and more than 244,000 civilians have been killed as a result of fighting. Additionally, another 10 million people have been displaced due to violence.
  • https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/14/us-has-spent-5point9-trillion-on-middle-east-asia-wars-since-2001-study.html






An Appreciation of Howard Keylor on the 

Occasion of His Tribute

Please join ILWU Local 10 in honoring Howard on his 

93rd birthday

Sunday, December 9, 2018 

2:00 – 4:00 P.M.

ILWU Local 10, Henry Schmidt Room
400 North Point St, San Francisco (near Fisherman's Wharf)

Howard Keylor is a hero of working-class struggle against exploitation and oppression of all kinds, across the board. His record as a labor activist and communist is exemplary, and he should be honored in this time of his twilight years by all those who seek a true liberation for humankind.
As a long time member of the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU), Howard stood out as an uncompromising leader of numerous struggles.  He led hot-cargo boycotts of goods from Chilean and El Salvadoran military regimes in 1975, 1978 and 1980. And in 1984, he was one of the leaders of 11-day ILWU strike against the South African ship Nedloyd Kimberly, which Nelson Mandela credited with aiding the South African anti-apartheid movement, and re-igniting the U.S. movement as well.
Never one to tolerate the crossing of a picket line, Howard helped lead longshore and Inlandboatmen's Union (IBU) workers who marched onto the Redwood City docks to stop scabs seeking to replace striking IBU workers in 1987. Howard also supported other ILWU allied struggles such as Local 6 warehouse in the 1974 KNC strike in which ILWU Mexican American immigrant workers battled scabs and police, and the 1974 and 2010 Boron miners' strikes. He also participated in the ILWU rank-and-file protest against the sellout contract at the grain terminal in Longview Washington in 2011-12.
Howard Keylor is a key member of the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, and was an organizer of the Coast-wide port shutdown in July 1999, and of the ILWU contingent, which led the march of 25,000 that day in San Francisco to free Mumia, an innocent political prisoner. Howard also was a key organizer of the pickets against the Zim ships, protesting the Israeli government's massacre of Palestinians in the Gaza war; and was a participant in ILWU actions protesting the police murder of Oscar Grant, and in the longshore action to stop a fascist rally in SF, inspired in part by the Trump regime.
Originally a member of the Communist Party, Howard became disgusted with the betrayals of that organization following the Stalinist betrayal of the principles of the Russian Revolution of 1917, which included the subversion of workers democracy in the party, and the theory of socialism in one country, which meant the refusal to extend the revolution internationally. This included the CP's endorsement of imperialist war in World War II. 
As a member of the U.S. armed forces, Howard's experience in the battle of Okinawa made him a lifelong opponent of imperialism who furthermore opposed the nuclear bombing of and Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which the Stalinists endorsed. He joined the Trotskyists of the Spartacist League, and later of the Bolshevik Tendency, to which he still belongs today.
Howard Keylor has stood for working-class revolution from capitalist tyranny throughout his entire adult life, and never wavered or compromised. He is a true Bolshevik.  Now is the time to honor his many contributions to working-class struggle, and to the cause of proletarian revolution world wide.
—Chris Kinder, Co-coordinator of the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.



Open letter to active duty soldiers on the border
Your Commander-in-chief is lying to you. You should refuse his orders to deploy to the southern U.S. border should you be called to do so. Despite what Trump and his administration are saying, the migrants moving North towards the U.S. are not a threat. These small numbers of people are escaping intense violence. In fact, much of the reason these men and women—with families just like yours and ours—are fleeing their homes is because of the US meddling in their country's elections. Look no further than Honduras, where the Obama administration supported the overthrow of a democratically elected president who was then replaced by a repressive dictator.
Courage to Resist has been running a strategic outreach campaign to challenge troops to refuse illegal orders while on the border, such as their Commander-in-Chief's suggestion that they murder migrants who might be throwing rocks, or that they build and help run concentration camps. In addition to social media ads, About Face, Veterans For Peace, and Courage to Resist, are also printing tens of thousands of these leaflets for distribution near the border. Please consider donating towards these expenses.

Don't turn them away

The migrants in the Central American caravan are not our enemies

Open letter to active duty soldiers
Your Commander-in-chief is lying to you. You should refuse his orders to deploy to the southern U.S. border should you be called to do so. Despite what Trump and his administration are saying, the migrants moving North towards the U.S. are not a threat. These small numbers of people are escaping intense violence. In fact, much of the reason these men and women—with families just like yours and ours—are fleeing their homes is because of the US meddling in their country's elections. Look no further than Honduras, where the Obama administration supported the overthrow of a democratically elected president who was then replaced by a repressive dictator.
"There are tens of thousands of us who will support your decision to lay your weapons down. You are better than your Commander-in-chief. Our only advice is to resist in groups. Organize with your fellow soldiers. Do not go this alone."
These extremely poor and vulnerable people are desperate for peace. Who among us would walk a thousand miles with only the clothes on our back without great cause? The odds are good that your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. lived similar experiences to these migrants. Your family members came to the U.S. to seek a better life—some fled violence. Consider this as you are asked to confront these unarmed men, women and children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. To do so would be the ultimate hypocrisy.
The U.S. is the richest country in the world, in part because it has exploited countries in Latin America for decades. If you treat people from these countries like criminals, as Trump hopes you will, you only contribute to the legacy of pillage and plunder beneath our southern border. We need to confront this history together, we need to confront the reality of America's wealth and both share and give it back with these people. Above all else, we cannot turn them away at our door. They will die if we do.
By every moral or ethical standard it is your duty to refuse orders to "defend" the U.S. from these migrants. History will look kindly upon you if you do. There are tens of thousands of us who will support your decision to lay your weapons down. You are better than your Commander-in-chief. Our only advice is to resist in groups. Organize with your fellow soldiers. Do not go this alone. It is much harder to punish the many than the few.
In solidarity,
Rory Fanning
Former U.S. Army Ranger, War-Resister
Spenser Rapone
Former U.S. Army Ranger and Infantry Officer, War-Resister
Leaflet distributed by:
  • About Face: Veterans Against the War
  • Courage to Resist
  • Veterans For Peace
Courage to Resist has been running a strategic outreach campaign to challenge troops to refuse illegal orders while on the border, such as their Commander-in-Chief's suggestion that they murder migrants who might be throwing rocks, or that they build and help run concentration camps. In addition to social media ads, About Face, Veterans For Peace, and Courage to Resist, are also printing tens of thousands of these leaflets for distribution near the border. Please consider donating towards these expenses.
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*




New "Refuse War" Shirts

We've launched a new shirt store to raise funds to support war resisters. 

In addition to the Courage to Resist logo shirts we've offered in the past, we now  have a few fun designs, including a grim reaper, a "Refuse War, Go AWOL" travel theme, and a sporty "AWOL: Support Military War Resisters" shirt.

Shirts are $25 each for small through XL, and bit more for larger sizes. Please allow 9-12 days for delivery within the United States.

50% of each shirt may qualify as a tax-deductible contribution.

Courage to Resist -- Support the Troops who Refuse to Fight!
484 Lake Park Ave. #41, Oakland, CA 94610, 510-488-3559
couragetoresis.org -- facebook.com/couragetoresist







Judge to Soon Rule on Mumia's Appeal Bid
By Kyle Fraser, December 4, 2018
Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker promised a decision on whether a former prosecutor unlawfully took part as a judge in rejecting Mumia Abu Jamal's appeal of his 1981 conviction in the killing of a police officer. "We're not going to stop fighting until we see Mumia walk out of these prison walls," said Johanna Fernandez, of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. Pam Africa, of the MOVE organization, said Abu Jamal's supporters have sustained his defense for decades "no matter what kind of devious tricks this government has used to try to break this movement."
Listen to a radio report at Black Agenda Report:

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.
Write to Mumia at:
Smart Communications/PA DOC
SCI Mahanoy
Mumia Abu-Jamal #AM-8335
P.O. Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733



A Call for a Mass Mobilization to Oppose NATO, War and Racism
Protest NATO, Washington, DC, Lafayette Park (across from the White House)

1 PM Saturday, March 30, 2019.
Additional actions will take place on Thursday April 4 at the opening of the NATO meeting

April 4, 2019, will mark the 51st anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the internationally revered leader in struggles against racism, poverty and war.

And yet, in a grotesque desecration of Rev. King's lifelong dedication to peace, this is the date that the military leaders of the North American Treaty Organization have chosen to celebrate NATO's 70th anniversary by holding its annual summit meeting in Washington, D.C. This is a deliberate insult to Rev. King and a clear message that Black lives and the lives of non-European humanity really do not matter.   

It was exactly one year before he was murdered that Rev. King gave his famous speech opposing the U.S. war in Vietnam, calling the U.S. government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world" and declaring that he could not be silent.

We cannot be silent either. Since its founding, the U.S.-led NATO has been the world's deadliest military alliance, causing untold suffering and devastation throughout Northern Africa, the Middle East and beyond.

Hundreds of thousands have died in U.S./NATO wars in Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yugoslavia. Millions of refugees are now risking their lives trying to escape the carnage that these wars have brought to their homelands, while workers in the 29 NATO member-countries are told they must abandon hard-won social programs in order to meet U.S. demands for even more military spending.

Every year when NATO holds its summits, there have been massive protests: in Chicago, Wales, Warsaw, Brussels. 2019 will be no exception.

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) is calling for a mass mobilization in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 30.  Additional actions will take place on April 4 at the opening of the NATO meeting. 

We invite you to join with us in this effort. As Rev. King taught us, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

No to NATO!
End All U.S. Wars at Home and Abroad!
Bring the Troops Home Now! 
No to Racism! 
The Administrative Committee of UNAC,

To add your endorsement to this call, please go here: http://www.no2nato2019.org/endorse-the-action.html

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

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



In Defense of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson

Update on Rashid in Indiana
By Dustin McDaniel

November 9, 2018—Had a call with Rashid yesterday. He's been seen by medical, psych, and
dental. He's getting his meds and his blood pressure is being monitored,
though it is uncontrolled. The RN made recommendations for treatment
that included medication changes and further monitoring, but there's
been no follow up.

He's at the diagnostic center and he (along with everyone else I've
talked to about it) expect that he'll be sent to the solitary
confinement unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, though it could
be 30 days from now.

He's in a cell with no property. He has no extra underwear to change
into. The cell is, of course, dirty. He's in solitary confinement. He
didn't say they were denying him yard time. He didn't say there were any
problems with his meals.

They are refusing him his stationary and stamps, so he can't write out.
He gets a very limited number of phone calls per month (1 or 2), and
otherwise can only talk on the phone if a legal call is set up.

They are refusing to give him his property, or to allow him to look
through it to find records relevant to ongoing or planned litigation.
He's already past the statute of limitations on a law suit he planned to
file re abuses in Texas and other deadlines are about to pass over the
next month.

He has 35 banker boxes of property, or 2 pallets, that arrived in IDOC.
He needs to be allowed to look through these records in order to find
relevant legal documents. Moving forward, I think we need to find a
place/person for him to send these records to or they are going to be
destroyed. It would be good if we could find someone who would also take
on the task of organizing the records, getting rid of duplicates or
unnecessary paperwork, digitizing records, and making things easier to
search and access.

Although he does not appear in the inmate locator for IDOC, he does
appears in the JPay system as an Indiana prisoner (#264847). At his
request, I sent him some of his money so hopefully he can get stamps and

Hold off on sending him more money via JPay - I've been told that some
of the IDOC facilities are phasing out JPay and moving to GTL and
wouldn't want to have a bunch of money stuck and inaccessible due to
those changes. If you want to send him more money immediately, send it
to Abolitionist Law Center. You can send it via Paypal to
info@abolitionistlawcenter.org, or mail it to PO Box 8654, Pittsburgh,
PA 15221. We will hold on to it and distribute it according to Rashid's

Please write to him, if you haven't already. He's got nothing to do in
solitary with nothing to read and nothing to write with.

you can also hear a recent interview with Rashid on Final Straw podcast here: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/tag/kevin-rashid-johnson/
Write to Rashid:
Kevin Rashid Johnson's writings and artwork have been widely circulated. He is the author of a book,Panther Vision: Essential Party Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, Minister of Defense, New Afrikan Black Panther Party, (Kersplebedeb, 2010).

Kevin Johnson D.O.C. No. 264847
G-20-2C Pendleton Correctional Facility
4490 W. Reformatory Rd.
Pendleton, IN 46064-9001



Prisoners at Lieber Correctional Institution in South Carolina are demanding recognition of their human rights by the South Carolina Department of Corrections and warden Randall Williams.  Prisoners are also demanding an end to the horrific conditions they are forced to exist under at Lieber, which are exascerbating already rising tensions to a tipping point and people are dying. 
Since the tragedy that occured at Lee Correctional earlier this year, prisoners at all level 3 security prisons in SC have been on complete lockdown, forced to stay in their two-man 9x11 cells 24 hours a day (supposed to be 23 hrs/day but guards rarely let prisoners go to their one hour of rec in a slightly larger cage because it requires too much work, especially when you keep an entire prison on lockdown) without any programming whatsoever and filthy air rushing in all day, no chairs, tables, no radios, no television, no access to legal work, no access to showers, and no light!  Administration decided to cover all the tiny windows in the cells with metal plates on the outside so that no light can come in.  Thousands of people are existing in this manner, enclosed in a tiny space with another person and no materials or communication or anything to pass the time.  
Because of these horific conditions tensions are rising and people are dying. Another violent death took place at Lieber Correctional; Derrick Furtick, 31, died at approximately 9pm Monday, according to state Department of Corrections officials:
Prisoners assert that this death is a result of the kind of conditions that are being imposed and inflicted upon the incarcerated population there and the undue trauma, anxiety, and tensions these conditions create.  
We demand:
- to be let off solitary confinement
- to have our windows uncovered
- access to books, magazines, phone calls, showers and recreation
- access to the law library and our legal cases
- single person cells for any person serving over 20 years
Lieber is known for its horrendous treatment of the people it cages including its failure to evacuate prisoners during Hurricane Florence earlier this year:
Please flood the phone lines of both the governor's and warden's offices to help amplify these demands from behind bars at Lieber Correctional.
Warden Randall Williams:  (843) 875-3332   or   (803) 896-3700
Governor Henry McMaster's office:  (803) 734-2100

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Get Malik Out of Ad-Seg

Keith "Malik" Washington is an incarcerated activist who has spoken out on conditions of confinement in Texas prison and beyond:  from issues of toxic water and extreme heat, to physical and sexual abuse of imprisoned people, to religious discrimination and more.  Malik has also been a tireless leader in the movement to #EndPrisonSlavery which gained visibility during nationwide prison strikes in 2016 and 2018.  View his work at comrademalik.com or write him at:

Keith H. Washington
TDC# 1487958
McConnell Unit
3001 S. Emily Drive
Beeville, TX 78102
Friends, it's time to get Malik out of solitary confinement.

Malik has experienced intense, targeted harassment ever since he dared to start speaking against brutal conditions faced by incarcerated people in Texas and nationwide--but over the past few months, prison officials have stepped up their retaliation even more.

In Administrative Segregation (solitary confinement) at McConnell Unit, Malik has experienced frequent humiliating strip searches, medical neglect, mail tampering and censorship, confinement 23 hours a day to a cell that often reached 100+ degrees in the summer, and other daily abuses too numerous to name.  It could not be more clear that they are trying to make an example of him because he is a committed freedom fighter.  So we have to step up.

Phone zap on Tuesday, November 13

**Mark your calendars for the 11/13 call in, be on the look out for a call script, and spread the word!!**

- Convene special review of Malik's placement in Ad-Seg and immediately release him back to general population
- Explain why the State Classification Committee's decision to release Malik from Ad-Seg back in June was overturned (specifically, demand to know the nature of the "information" supposedly collected by the Fusion Center, and demand to know how this information was investigated and verified).
- Immediately cease all harassment and retaliation against Malik, especially strip searches and mail censorship!

Who to contact:
TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier
Phone: (936)295-6371

Senior Warden Philip Sinfuentes (McConnell Unit)
Phone: (361) 362-2300


Background on Malik's Situation

Malik's continued assignment to Ad-Seg (solitary confinement) in is an overt example of political repression, plain and simple.  Prison officials placed Malik in Ad-Seg two years ago for writing about and endorsing the 2016 nationwide prison strike.  They were able to do this because Texas and U.S. law permits non-violent work refusal to be classified as incitement to riot.

It gets worse.  Malik was cleared for release from Ad-Seg by the State Classification Committee in June--and then, in an unprecedented reversal, immediately re-assigned him back to Ad-Seg.  The reason?  Prison Officials site "information" collected by a shadowy intelligence gathering operation called a Fusion Center, which are known for lack of transparency and accountability, and for being blatant tools of political repression.

Malik remains in horrible conditions, vulnerable to every possible abuse, on the basis of "information" that has NEVER been disclosed or verified.  No court or other independent entity has ever confirmed the existence, let alone authenticity, of this alleged information.  In fact, as recently as October 25, a representative of the State Classification Committee told Malik that he has no clue why Malik was re-assigned to Ad-Seg.  This "information" is pure fiction.   



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

By Michael Barbaro, May 30, 2018

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

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

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



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

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

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

NO ESTÁN SOLOS (You are not alone).

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

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

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

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

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

P.O. Box 3565, New York, NY 10008. All Right Reserved. | Unsubscribe
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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:
    Security Processing Center
    Major Tillery AM 9786
    268 Bricker Road
    Bellefonte, PA 16823
    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!

    Art by Leonard Peltier
    Write to:
    Leonard Peltier 89637-132
    USP Coleman 1,  P.O. Box 1033
    Coleman, FL 33521



    Working people are helping to feed the poor hungry corporations! 
    Charity for the Wealthy!





    1)  France's 'Yellow Vests': A Populist Movement Following Its Own Playbook
    By Adam Nossiter, December 5, 2018
    The demands of the so-called Yellow Vests in France are similar to those of other populist movements, but the uprising is not tied to any political party, let alone to a right-wing one.

    PARIS — Too little, too late: That was the reaction of the so-called Yellow Vest protesters to the French government's sudden retreat this week on a gas tax increase. The Yellow Vests, who have thrown France into turmoil with violent protests in recent weeks, want more, much more, and they want it sooner rather than later — lower taxes, higher salaries, freedom from gnawing financial fear, and a better life.
    Those deeper demands, the government's inability to keep up, and fierce resentment of prosperous and successful cities run like an electrified wire connecting populist uprisings in the West, including in BritainItaly, the United States and, to a lesser extent, Central Europe.
    What ties these uprisings together, beyond the demands, is a rejection of existing parties, unions and government institutions that are seen as incapable of channeling the depth of their grievances or of offering a bulwark against economic insecurity.
    But what makes France's revolt different is that it has not followed the usual populist playbook. It is not tethered to a political party, let alone to a right-wing one. It is not focusing on race or migration, and those issues do not appear on the Yellow Vests' list of complaints. It is not led by a single fire-breathing leader. Nationalism is not on the agenda.

    The uprising is instead mostly organic, spontaneous and self-determined. It is mostly about economic class. It is about the inability to pay the bills.
    In that regard, it is more Occupy than Orban — more akin to the protests against Wall Street driven by the working poor in the United States than the race-based, flag-waving of Hungary's increasingly authoritarian leader, Viktor Orban.
    In Paris, it was the luxury shopping streets, the Avenue Kleber and the Rue de Rivoli — insolent symbols of urban privilege compared with the drab provinces from which the Yellow Vests emerged — where windows were smashed on Saturday.
    But it is also about a deep distrust of societal institutions that are perceived as working against the interests of the citizens, and that will make this crisis particularly hard for the government to resolve. The Yellow Vests push politicians away and reject Socialists, the far right, President Emmanuel Macron's political movement, and everybody else in between.

    The movement was "totally unanticipated by the parties,'' said the political scientist Dominique Reynié. ''The system is in crisis."

    In fact, so far at least, France's movement remains relatively unstructured. It has yet to be hijacked by either the far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen, or the far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, try as they might to claim ownership.
    And that is what makes France's movement unique, compared with, say, the Five Star Movement in Italy, which grew up out of a similar disgust with political parties and a distrust of elites, and which has held itself out as the authentic expression of the popular will.
    But Five Star was always less movement than new-age political party. While organized over the internet, it was led by prominent figures (Beppe Grillo, for one) as well as more obscure ones (the Casaleggios) who stoked, channeled and harnessed the popular discontent from the start.
    Much the same can be said of the now-floundering U.K. Independence Party in Britain, which gave voice to Brexit and the public's rejection of European Union structures, as well as its class divides with London. Or for that matter, of President Trump, who demonstrates contempt for institutions. His rural and exurban supporters agree with him.
    "It is the same fear, anger and anxiety in France, Italy and the United Kingdom," said Enrico Letta, a former prime minister of Italy who now teaches at Sciences Po university in Paris. "These three countries have the highest level of class slippage," he said.
    For the 30 years after World War II, "they were at the top of the world," Mr. Letta said, "at the very center." These countries "used to live with a very high level of average well-being," he said. "Now, there is a great fear of seeing it all slip away."

    That fear transcends all others. Thus, in Italy, Five-Star's proposal for a "citizens' income," or guaranteed income like an unemployment benefit, helped the movement conquer the impoverished south. In Britain, Brexit was sold partly as an escape from the perceived crippling of financial constraints from the European Union.

    "There's this social distress that exists more or less everywhere," said Marc Lazar, a specialist in Italian history at Sciences Po. "Of people who are very worried about the future, not only are they suffering, but they have profound distrust of institutions and political parties. This is what we are seeing everywhere in Europe."
    Comparing the four countries — Britain, France, Italy and the United States — Christophe Guilluy, a French geographer who has studied the demographics of the "left-behinds," said "the sociology of the people in revolt is the same."
    "These are the people who feel endangered by the current economic model," which doesn't "integrate the greatest number," he said.
    In France, fury at the perceived distance of the executive has not helped the government.
    "The president has not once spoken to the French,'' the Yellow Vest spokesman Éric Drouet said on French TV on Tuesday, referring to Mr. Macron's relative silence over the last week. ''There's a total denial by our president."
    There is a paradox in the current French standoff, as Mr. Macron's rise was itself predicated on sweeping away existing political parties, and on a rejection of traditional intermediaries like labor unions.

    His campaign book was called Revolution, and it expressed a kind of contempt for the parties that had handed off power to each other for 50 years. Mr. Macron, by personalizing power and rejecting what had come before, helped create the world of institutional weakness in which the Yellow Vests are now flourishing.
    But his base, then and now, was exceedingly small, presaging his current wide rejection by the French, not just by the Yellow Vests. He won only 24 percent of the vote in the first round of voting last year — while his opponents on the far right and far left together won over 40 percent of the vote. Those numbers have now come home to haunt Mr. Macron in a political landscape where nearly eight out of 10 French citizens no longer support him, according to a recent poll.
    Mr. Macron, it turns out, is also a change agent out of step with the times, just as France's long delay in biting off structural economic overhauls has left it out of sync with its Western cohort. He is now trying to push through reforms to make France more business-friendly and competitive, as Britain did in the 1980s and Germany in the 1990s. Meanwhile, the global backlash is already cresting, fueled by the income disparities those changes ushered in.

    The partial sacking of Paris's rich, tourism-dominated districts last weekend was merely the physical expression of what all these movements feel deeply, in the view of analysts: hatred of the "winners" in the global system, symbolized by urban elites.
    "It's the provinces against Paris, the proud and contemptuous capital," Mr. Reynié said. "And Paris has never been so dissimilar to the rest of France. The fracture is very, very sharp."
    The combination of discontent and distrust has made the Yellow Vests an expanding force that almost certainly has yet to reach its limits. The protest has already changed from a revolt over a small gas tax increase to demands for higher salaries, and more.

    "Right now, give us more purchasing power," Jean-François Barnaba, a Yellow Vest spokesman in the Indre administrative department, told BFM TV on Tuesday.
    "The gas tax was only the beginning," said Tony Roussel, a spokesman for the movement in Marseille. "Now there are all the other taxes. There are salaries. There is the minimum wage."
    The government's response is especially fraught. On the one hand, top officials express sympathy, not daring otherwise as polls show wide support for the movement; on the other, the same officials are angry and exasperated over the violent challenge to France's institutional structure.
    The result is a kind of paralysis, halting adjustments that are only likely to invite more challenges.
    "They still haven't understood our demands," Mr. Roussel said by telephone this week. "This was like a firecracker in the water," he said of the government's six-month suspension of the gas tax increase.
    The protests will go on, he vowed — until deeper concessions are made.


    2) Digital Divide Is Wider Than We Think, Study Says
    By Steve Lohr, December 4, 2018
    Jena Louise working on her company website at Sparky's Coffeehouse in Republic, Wash. With internet access spotty in the area, she relies on the Wi-Fi there to do work.

    Ferry County in northeastern Washington spans more than 2,200 square miles of mostly forestland, rivers and lakes. And according to the Federal Communications Commission, everyone in the sprawling county has access to broadband internet.
    But that is not the reality experienced by the roughly 7,500 residents of this county, which is rich in natural beauty but internet-poor.
    The county seat, Republic, has basic broadband service, supplied by a community cable TV company owned by residents. But go beyond the cluster of blocks in the small town, and the high-speed service drops off quickly. People routinely drive into town to use Wi-Fi in the public library and other spots for software updates, online shopping or schoolwork, said Elbert Koontz, Republic's mayor.
    "We don't really have broadband coverage across the county," Mr. Koontz said. "We're out in the woods."

    A new study by Microsoft researchers casts a light on the actual use of high-speed internet across the country, and the picture it presents is very different from the F.C.C. numbers. Their analysis, presented at a Microsoft event on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., suggests that the speedy access is much more limited than the F.C.C. data shows.
    Over all, Microsoft concluded that 162.8 million people do not use the internet at broadband speeds, while the F.C.C. says broadband is not available to 24.7 million Americans. The discrepancy is particularly stark in rural areas. In Ferry County, for example, Microsoft estimates that only 2 percent of people use broadband service, versus the 100 percent the federal government says have access to the service.
    Fast internet service is crucial to the modern economy, and closing the digital divide is seen as a step toward shrinking the persistent gaps in economic opportunity, educational achievement and health outcomes in America. In some areas with spotty or no service, children do their homework in Wi-Fi-equipped buses or fast-food restaurants, small businesses drive to internet hot spots to send sales pitches and medical records are transported by hand on thumb-drive memory sticks.
    Accurate measurements on the reach of broadband matter because the government's statistics are used to guide policy and channel federal funding for underserved areas.

    "It's a huge problem," said Phillip Berenbroick, a telecommunications expert at Public Knowledge, a nonprofit technology policy group. "The result is that we're not getting broadband coverage and funding to areas that really need it."

    Telecommunications experts and some politicians have pointed to the shortcomings of the official F.C.C. statistics for years. Last year, the agency began a formal review, still in progress, of how to improve its broadband measurements.
    "Maintaining updated and accurate data about broadband deployment is critical to bridging the digital divide," Ajit Pai, the commission chairman, said at the time. "So we're teeing up ideas for collecting more granular and standardized data."
    The Microsoft researchers shared their analysis with F.C.C. officials. The agency declined to comment on the findings.
    The issue with the current F.C.C. statistics, experts say, is that they rely on simplistic surveys of internet service providers that inherently overstate coverage. For example, if one business in an area has broadband service, then the entire area is typically considered to have broadband service available.
    The Microsoft researchers instead looked at the internet speeds of people using the company's software and services, like Office software, Windows updates, Bing searches and maps, and Xbox game play. The Microsoft data is much more detailed than the official government statistics, said John Kahan, Microsoft's chief data analytics officer for external affairs.
    Microsoft plans to put the national comparisons, as well as state and county data, on a website this month.

    The Microsoft analysis also includes county unemployment data, which points to the strong correlation between joblessness and low rates of broadband use. The unemployment rate in Ferry County, for example, is 11 percent, more than twice the statewide rate.
    "The worst place to be is in a place where there is no access to the technology everyone else is benefiting from," said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft.
    Expanding broadband also benefits Microsoft and other tech companies because it enlarges the market for their products and services. And like others, Microsoft is promoting a potential solution.

    Microsoft's plan is a mix of old and new technology that involves harnessing the unused channels between television broadcasts, known as white spaces. The technology is sometimes called "super Wi-Fi" because it behaves like regular Wi-Fi but uses low-powered television channels to cover greater distances than wireless hot spots. It is a less expensive alternative to wiring homes, particularly in less-populated and remote regions.
    The technology is promising, experts say, but one tool among a handful needed to bring broadband connectivity to rural America. Other tools include fiber networks, satellite coverage and high-speed mobile service.
    A key challenge is bringing down the cost of devices that use white-space technology. In mid-2017, they cost $800, but are now just $300, Microsoft says. The goal is to get the price to $100.

    Last year, Microsoft announced plans to work with internet providers and hardware firms to propel the adoption of white-space technology. To date, the company says, it has deals in 13 states to bring broadband to over a million people in rural areas.
    Microsoft on Tuesday said its Airband initiative planned to reach three million rural residents by July 2022, a million more than its target announced last year.
    Microsoft is urging the government to keep the white-space broadcast spectrum open for public use. It is also pushing to get a larger portion of the more than $4 billion a year that the F.C.C. and the Agriculture Department spend in grants and subsidies to bring broadband to rural areas.
    Microsoft competitors and critics say one of the wealthiest companies in the world is lobbying for an advantage and government money. Broadcasters also worry the white-space technology could interfere with local television service.
    "Broadcasters have always supported rural broadband deployment," said Dennis Wharton, executive vice president for communications at the National Association of Broadcasters. "But we're skeptical whether Microsoft can deliver that service without significant interference and disruption to local television signals in smaller markets."
    In Ferry County, a white-space broadband effort will begin next year. Declaration Networks, a company that focuses on bringing broadband to rural areas, has just received a commitment for money from the F.C.C. for the project.
    "Ferry County has a lot of needs, and we're going to try address that," said Bob Nichols, chief executive of Declaration Networks, which is based in Vienna, Va.


    3) These 5 Numbers Explain Why the French Are in the Streets
    By Liz Alderman, December 4, 2018
    Graffiti equating President Emmanuel Macron to the king during the French Revolution, on the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris this week.

    PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron of France is facing the toughest crisis of his leadership after three weeks of violent protests across the country. "Yellow Vest" demonstrators have demanded that the government give financial relief to large parts of the population that are struggling to make ends meet.
    Prime Minister Edouard Philippe sought to calm the furor on Tuesday by suspending a planned fuel tax increase for six months, reversing a policy that had set off the revolt.
    But it's not apparent that this single concession can clear the streets.
    The Yellow Vest movement — whose followers wear or display high-visibility vests used in emergencies — has morphed into a collective outcry over deeper problems that have plagued France for years: declining living standards and eroding purchasing power. Both of which have worsened in the aftermath of Europe's long-running financial crisis.

    Here are some numbers that explain why France has erupted.

    France, like other Western countries, has seen a deep gap grow between its richest and poorest citizens. The top 20 percent of the population earns nearly five times as much as the bottom 20 percent.
    France's richest 1 percent represent over 20 percent of the economy's wealth. Yet the median monthly disposable income is about 1,700 euros, or $1,930, meaning that half of French workers are paid less than that.
    Many of the Yellow Vest demonstrators are protesting how difficult it is to pay rent, feed their families and simply scrape by as living costs — most notably fuel prices — keep rising while their household incomes barely budge.
    It wasn't always this way.
    Living standards and wages rose in France after World War II during a 30-year growth stretch known as "Les Trente Glorieuses." Pay gains for low- and middle-income earners continued through the early 1980s, thanks to labor union collective bargaining agreements.
    But those dynamics unraveled as successive left-leaning French governments sought to improve competitiveness in part by compressing wage gains, according to the French economist Thomas Piketty. Average incomes for low- and middle-income earners stagnated, growing by around 1 percent a year or less.

    The rich got richer, as top earners saw income gains of around 3 percent a year. Increasingly generous executive pay for very high earners has helped tip the scale.
    French workers are still better off than those in Italy, where real wage growth has been negative since 2016. Real wages there fell 1.1 percent between the fourth quarters of 2016 and 2017, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
    But while real hourly wages are rising in France, that growth has come slowly, even more so since the end of the eurozone debt crisis in 2012.

    France is the third biggest economy in Europe after Britain and Germany, and the world's sixth largest before adjusting for inflation. Visitors to Paris can come away with the impression that the glitz of the French capital means the rest of the nation is just as well off.
    But French economic growth was stagnant for nearly a decade during Europe's long-running debt crisis and had only recently begun to improve.
    The quality of the recovery has been uneven. Large numbers of permanent jobs were wiped out, especially in rural and former industrial areas. And many of the new jobs being created are precarious temporary contracts.
    Growth is key to improving working conditions for those who have been protesting. But while a nascent economic recovery before Mr. Macron took office has helped generate jobs, growth has cooled to a 1.8 percent annual pace, in tandem with a slowdown in the rest of the eurozone.

    The growth slowdown makes it harder to resolve another French problem: the large numbers of people out of work.
    Unemployment in France has been stuck between 9 percent and 11 percent since 2009, when the debt crisis hit Europe. Joblessness has drifted back down to 9.1 percent today from 10.1 percent when Mr. Macron was elected. But it is still more than double the level in Germany.
    Mr. Macron promised to lower unemployment to 7 percent by the next presidential election in 2022, and has acknowledged that a failure to do so could fan the flames of populism.
    But to achieve that, the economy would have to grow by at least 1.7 percent in each of the next four years, which is by no means certain, according to the French Economic Observatory, an independent research group.
    Mr. Macron has tried to re-energize the French economy.
    This year, he demanded an aggressive overhaul of the nation's rigid labor code to help employers set the rules on hiring and firing, and bypass longstanding restraints that discourage employers from hiring new workers. The provisions also limit unions' ability to delay change, by allowing individual agreements to be negotiated at the company or industry level between bosses and workers.
    Those reforms have helped draw companies like Facebook and Google to France. But they could take years to show results for average workers. And the reforms have angered workers who see a plot to strip them of hard-won labor rights in favor of big business.

    As part of his plan to stimulate the economy, Mr. Macron cut taxes for France's wealthiest taxpayers during his first year in office, including by creating a flat tax for capital income.
    But the centerpiece of the tax package, and the one that has drawn the most ire from protesters, did away with a wealth tax that applied to many assets of France's richest households, replacing it with one that applied only to their real estate holdings.
    That lowered by €3.2 billion, or $3.6 billion, the amount of revenue the state received this year.
    There has been little evidence of a stimulus effect. Instead, Mr. Macron has earned a reputation for favoring the rich — one of the biggest sources of anger among the Yellow Vest protesters.
    While high earners have enjoyed tax breaks under Mr. Macron's fiscal plan, purchasing power fell last year for the bottom 5 percent of households. The majority in the middle, about 70 percent, saw no gain or pain either way, according to the French Economic Observatory.
    Even before the Yellow Vests took to the streets, Mr. Macron realized that support was withering, and his government tried to pivot toward those left behind in the previous round of tax cuts.
    His 2019 budget, unveiled in October, will grant breaks next year worth €6 billion for middle- and low-income earners. It also includes an €18.8 billion reduction in payroll and other business taxes to encourage hiring and investment.

    While polls show that the Yellow Vests have the backing of three-quarters of the population, questions have swirled about how much pain the protesters are really experiencing — or how much of the outpouring can be chalked up to a centuries-old culture of demonstrating against change.

    France protects citizens with one of the most generous social safety nets in the world, with over one-third of its economic output spent on welfare protection, more than any other country in Europe.
    In 2016, France spent around €715 billion on health care, family benefits and unemployment, among other support.
    To get that help, French workers pay some of the highest taxes in Europe.
    While taxes are greatest on upper-income earners, France also has a value added tax of 20 percent on most goods and services. Together with the fuel tax that Mr. Macron's government just vowed to suppress temporarily, such measures tend to hurt the poor, while the wealthy barely notice them.

    My NYT Comment: 
    Working people of every color, religion, ethnicity in every country on the planet are experiencing exactly what the Yellow Vest protesters are experiencing in France, i.e., austerity for the working class and huge tax breaks for the wealthy—tax breaks that the working class is paying for out of pocket! What's missing is the profound sense among working people that indeed, this is what we share with our brothers and sisters across the world. We are the working class. The wealthy are the capitalist class—the CEOs and owners of the means of production, the banks, the mass media, etc. And the foundation of the vast sums of wealth owned by the "one percent" have been built upon hundreds of years of white-supremists' continent grabs based on the enslavement of people of color that has its roots in Manifest Destiny—the right of the white man of property to rule the world. Only when the working class of the world wakes up to this truth will we be able to reverse our plight and create a new world based upon production for want not profit; from each according to talent and ability and to each according to want. Capitalism is slavery. Workers have nothing to loose but our chains and a world to gain. —Bonnie Weinstein

    Note:  On December 5, 2018 Yellow Vest protesters met up with the Red Vest protesters—members of General Confederation of Labor (CGT)—to march in unity against Macron's government of the rich. They greeted each other in warm embrace. Watch the encounter at:


    4) The Murder Case Seemed Solid. Here's Why Jurors Would Not Convict.
    By Jan Ransom, December 5, 2018
    Chanel Lewis was arrested in February 2017 for the murder of Karina Vetrano.

    The Queens district attorney's office believed its case against Chanel Lewis was airtight. Prosecutors had a videotape of Mr. Lewis confessing to the murder of 30-year-old Karina Vetrano two years ago as she jogged through a Queens park. Police had also found his DNA on her body.
    But after a two-week trial last month, the unexpected happened: The jury remained hopelessly deadlocked after only two days of deliberations. The judge quickly declared a mistrial. Prosecutors did not object.
    Usually, a videotaped admission of guilt coupled with DNA evidence almost guarantees a conviction. But the Vetrano case demonstrated that jurors are starting to doubt such evidence.
    Over the last 20 years, several cases involving false confessions have surfaced, and DNA evidence, while seemingly convincing, has not always persuaded jurors who have concerns about police integrity. The skepticism is higher in minority communities where relationships with law enforcement have been strained, legal experts said.

    "There is a sophistication now among a lot of jurors that we haven't seen before in understanding confessions can be false and that the DNA evidence needs to be examined," said Lauren-Brooke Eisen, a senior fellow with New York University's Brennan Center for Justice and a former Staten Island prosecutor. "Jurors are much more aware of the complexity of the criminal justice system — and of racial disparities."
    Several jurors agreed with the defense's argument that Mr. Lewis's confession might have been coerced and that DNA evidence could have been contaminated, according to one juror, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of harassment.
    The juror's account could not be independently confirmed, but it meshed with what transpired in court and with evidence the jury reviewed during deliberations. Two other jurors declined to comment, while several more did not respond to requests for an interview.
    The juror said all panel members agreed early on that prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Lewis, 22, had sexually assaulted Ms. Vetrano, but the jury remained split about whether Mr. Lewis was guilty of murder.
    Seven members wanted to convict him, according to the juror, including all four white members of the panel, a Hispanic woman, an Asian man and a black man.

    The five people who had doubts about his guilt were of black, Hispanic and Indian descent.
    Some jurors were troubled by how Mr. Lewis, who is black, became a suspect in the first place, the juror said. He was arrested on what amounted to a hunch from a police lieutenant, who, months before the murder, had seen him "acting suspiciously" as he wandered through Howard Beach, a mostly white neighborhood where the murder happened.
    The members who were leaning toward acquittal thought the police had pressured Mr. Lewis into a false confession, the juror said. Some wanted more information about what happened in the hours before his videotaped statement when he had first denied any involvement in the murder.
    One of those jurors also questioned why DNA evidence had been handled by several officers before being turned over to a lab, and why Mr. Lewis's DNA was found on Ms. Vetrano's neck but not on her necklace.
    Jurors spent at least three hours discussing the DNA evidence, the juror said. Deliberations in general were civil at first, the juror said, but at certain moments it turned hostile. "You could feel the tension in the room," the juror said.
    As talks dragged into the night of the second day, the jurors tired. They were still divided seven to five in favor of a conviction. But two jurors told the group their minds were firmly made up: Mr. Lewis was not guilty.
    The panel decided to write a letter to the judge, Michael B. Aloise of State Supreme Court, hoping that he could somehow help with the impasse, the juror said.
    "We were at a loss regarding what would be the next step, that's why we wrote a note to the judge," the juror said. "We wanted to go home, but we didn't want to stop deliberating."
    The jurors were surprised when Justice Aloise promptly declared a mistrial and let them go after only 13 hours of deliberations. The decision to do so without first instructing them to return and try to reach a decision — a judicial practice commonly referred to as an Allen charge — stunned many in the courtroom.
    "Everybody was a bit surprised by the alacrity at which he granted a mistrial," said one court official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. "It is not usual."
    Justice Aloise did not respond to requests for comment. The Queens district attorney's office has promised to retry the case in January.
    Ms. Vetrano's murder was one of the most high-profile cases in recent years in New York City.
    Her badly beaten body was found near a weeded trail in Spring Creek Park in the Howard Beach section of Queens on Aug. 2, 2016. Prosecutors said she was partially clothed, had been strangled and her remains indicated she had been sexually abused. (They argued at trial Mr. Lewis had penetrated her with his finger.)
    Six months later, police arrested Mr. Lewis, based on the suspicions of John Russo, a police lieutenant.
    Mr. Lewis had attracted Lieutenant Russo's attention three months before the murder, because he had been walking slowly through Howard Beach, wearing a hoodie on a sweltering day, stopping to look at houses and "acting suspiciously." The next day, the lieutenant spotted Mr. Lewis again and asked some patrol officers to stop and frisk him.

    As the investigation into Ms. Vetrano's murder dragged on without an arrest, Lieutenant Russo suggested to detectives they talk to Mr. Lewis. Police went to his home in East New York, Brooklyn, about three miles away from Howard Beach, and asked him for a DNA sample. Mr. Lewis agreed to give the sample, which matched DNA found on Ms. Vetrano's neck and cellphone, as well as a mixture sample taken from her fingernails, prosecutors said.
    At trial, Mr. Lewis's defense lawyer, Jenny Cheung, raised the possibility of "transference." Mr. Lewis's DNA could have ended up on Ms. Vetrano's cellphone or neck if they had both touched the same surface at some point, she said.
    Mr. Lewis after his arrest repeatedly denied any involvement in Ms. Vetrano's death. But after a four-hour interrogation, he told a Queens assistant district attorney in a videotaped interview that he "was beating her and was mad at her." He also told detectives that he attacked Ms. Vetrano because he was angry that his neighbors had been playing loud music. He denied sexually assaulting her, and maintained she had drowned in a puddle, though an autopsy showed she was strangled.
    Defense lawyers stressed that Mr. Lewis was kept in a "windowless" interrogation room, and then a jail cell, for several hours before admitting to the crime.
    Mr. Lewis, who attended a school for students with learning disabilities, appeared at times confused on the videotape. He initially mistook a prosecutor for his own lawyer, and mumbled through some of his responses. The video shows him often pacing around and fidgeting when left alone. His lawyers said he had never spent a night away from home.
    But, Brad A. Leventhal, the lead prosecutor on the case, noted that Mr. Lewis's cellphone contained downloaded images of the crime scene and that he had searched online for information related to "second chances." He also had a hand injury the day after the murder that a doctor said was consistent with punching someone.
    "The evidence in this case, ladies and gentlemen, is overwhelming," Mr. Leventhal said in his opening statement.
    For some jurors, however, it was not.

    John Surico contributed reporting and Doris Burke contributed research.


    5) Irish Lawmakers Vote to Allow Abortion, Part of Landmark Liberal Shift
    By Ed O'Loughlin, December 6, 2018
    A celebration in Dublin after a referendum overturned Ireland's ban on abortion in May.

    DUBLIN — Fighting off last-ditch resistance, Irish lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a bill introducing free and legal abortion to a nation that was long a bastion of staunchly conservative Catholicism, seven months after voters repealed a constitutional ban on abortion.
    An often heated session of the Parliament's lower house on Wednesday had to be extended several times, as a small number of members — mainly independent conservatives — talked at length on dozens of amendments, almost all of which were voted down by large majorities. The bill's opponents attempted to prolong the debate even further, which could have derailed the government's plan to make abortion available in January.
    Ultimately, the house approved the bill just before midnight Wednesday by a vote of 90 to 15, with 12 abstentions, and it moved on Thursday to the upper house. Ivana Bacik, a Labour Party lawmaker in the upper house, said she thought it very likely that the bill would pass and become law before the holiday recess the week after next.
    The bill would allow a woman to seek abortion for any reason up to the 12th week of pregnancy, and later in a case of fatal fetal abnormality or serious risk to a woman's life or health. It includes a mandatory three-day waiting period after first consulting a doctor.

    In May, 66 percent of voters supported a referendum to remove a near-total ban on abortion from Ireland's constitution. The ban had been enshrined in the constitution's Eighth Amendment, approved by 67 percent of the electorate in 1983, when the Roman Catholic Church was still a dominant social and political force in Ireland.
    Denied legal abortions at home, several thousand Irish women have sought them abroad each year, mainly in Britain.
    This year's abortion referendum was one of several milestones in a striking liberal shift in Irish society. Voters overwhelmingly approved same-sex marriage in 2015, the country has a gay prime minister, Leo Varadkar, and the government has taken steps to loosen the church's still-firm grip on most grade school education.
    In recent years a number of scandals, including clerical sexual abuseand the institutional neglect and mistreatment of women and children, have gravely damaged the church's moral stature in Ireland. Several legal and medical controversies also shook support for the abortion ban, notably the 2012 death of Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old dentist who died of sepsis after being denied an abortion to remove a nonviable fetus she was already miscarrying.
    Speaking as the parliamentary debate came to a close on Wednesday, the health minister, Simon Harris, said that the people had voted "no more" to such cases.

    "I look forward to a time, not far away now, when we will be able to assure women experiencing crisis pregnancies that they will be looked after here at home, where they need not fear that they will be stigmatized for their choices or lack the support they and their families need from our health service," he said.
    In a statement released on Thursday, Ireland's Catholic bishops said: "Women's lives, and the lives of their unborn children, are precious, valued and always deserving of protection. Any law which suggests otherwise would have no moral force. In good conscience it cannot be supported and would have to be resisted."
    Seeking to honor its pledge to make abortion available by Jan. 1, the government had opposed almost all amendments to the bill, from both anti-abortion lawmakers and those who considered the legislation too restrictive.
    The key defeat for the anti-abortion caucus came when the house defeated an amendment that would have permitted health care providers with conscientious objections to refuse to refer women to others who would perform the procedure.
    The bill recognizes the right of clinicians to refuse to perform abortions on moral grounds, but requires them to refer patients to others who are willing.
    In their statement, the bishops protested that providers "cannot be forced either to participate in abortion or to refer patients to others for abortion."
    "Even what many people would have deemed to have been very reasonable legislative amendments seeking to provide women with information and to prohibit abortion on the grounds of sex, race or disability, have been rejected," they said.

    Under the proposed law, most abortions up to nine weeks of pregnancy would be conducted with pills prescribed and monitored by general practitioners. Beyond that time, women would have to go to hospital obstetrics departments.
    Brendan Crowley, an anti-abortion doctor, said that many of his colleagues, including some who disagree with him on abortion, shared the view that a general practice was not the appropriate place to provide abortions. Many primary care doctors lack the necessary training, he said, and already operate with too few resources and too many patients.
    "We accept the democratic vote in May," Dr. Crowley said. "We accept this is happening and we are not trying to be obstructive. But the large proportion of G. P.s would prefer an external clinic setting for abortions."
    But Mike Thompson, a leader of Start, a doctors' group that favors abortion rights, said he believed that anti-abortion doctors had a political reason for wanting to limit abortion to specialized clinics.
    "Our practices are generalist, people go there for everything, so you can't really protest at them," he said. "They would like abortions to be limited to big silos in places like Dublin because they can be blockaded and protested."
    While the government and medical organizations have no plans to publish lists of primary care doctors and obstetricians who have conscientious objections to abortion, Dr. Crowley said that he believed such lists would quickly emerge on social media.
    "People will say, `I went to the doctor and he refused to refer me,' and someone else will say, `I went to another doctor and he did refer me,' and it will very quickly become known who is willing to provide services and who is not," he said. "How that will play out in the long term, with patients maybe trying to change doctors because of their positions, we do not know."

    The bill also drew opposition from some supporters of abortion rights. . Lawyers for Choice, a legal advocacy group, voiced concern about what it called vague or restrictive language in cases of risk to women's lives or health, and campaigned unsuccessfully to eliminate the compulsory three-day waiting period.
    "For women in the remote countryside, or in violent and coercive relationships, for teenage girls living under the control of their parents or women who have difficulty traveling, it is very hard for them to see a doctor once, let alone have to come back again at least three days later," said Mairead Enright of Lawyers for Choice
    Ailbhe Smyth, a veteran women's rights activist and a leader of the referendum campaign, said there would be stumbles, but she believed that most providers were committed to making the new law work.
    "I think it's very much about Ireland saying that a past that was very dark and very difficult, particularly for women, that that is behind us," she said.


    6) She Ran Away From Foster Care. She Ended Up in Handcuffs and Leg Irons.
    By Ali Watkins, December 6, 2018

    Nevayah, 17, was arrested after she left her foster placement and went to her mom's house in Ohio. During the return trip, she was walked through the airport in handcuffs and leg irons.

    Nevayah still remembers the feel of the handcuffs. They were foreign to her; she had never been in trouble.

    A latecomer to New York City's foster care system, Nevayah had been signed over to the Administration for Children's Services when she was 16. Rather than enter a group home, she told her caseworker she would prefer to live with her mother in Ohio. Eager to start school, she bought a bus ticket, made it to Cleveland and phoned the agency to let them know that she was safe.

    Per protocol, A.C.S. said, they would send the authorities to make sure the home was suitable.

    But when the police arrived that night, they told Nevayah that New York Family Court had issued a warrant for her arrest. Graciously, she said, officers waited to handcuff her until she was in the back of their patrol car. By midnight, she was in a cell.

    In Family Court hearings every month, the A.C.S. is quietly being granted arrest warrants to detain foster children like Nevayah, whose only transgression is leaving the agency's care. The unusually draconian strategy has little precedent in any state's foster care system, and it is unclear if the A.C.S. even has the authority to use such warrants under New York State law.

    It is the A.C.S.'s controversial solution to a complicated problem: how to find and keep runaway minors in foster homes they do not want to stay in. To not search for runaways is a dereliction of the agency's duty. But to use law enforcement over less adversarial approaches, like casework, puts some of the city's most vulnerable wards into volatile situations.

    The full names of foster children who spoke with The New York Times are being withheld at their request because they are both minors.

    "Warrants can be helpful in locating children because they engage law enforcement resources," said Chanel Caraway, a spokeswoman for A.C.S. "That said, we've taken a number of steps to ensure that we only seek warrants in cases where they're necessary."

    The agency itself has acknowledged that the practice — sometimes resulting in the arrest of children as young as 14 — can be problematic. In an industry newsletter in 2015, it announced it intended to adopt more stringent guidelines to govern its use of warrants.

    "In practice, the execution of a warrant can have unintended negative consequences to the child or youth that is absent from care," the newsletter, which is still available online, stated.

    In the months immediately following that announcement, the number of warrants issued to A.C.S. dropped steeply — to 81, down from 125 the year before. In 2016, the number of approved warrants dipped even further, to 48.

    But last year, the numbers crept back up as A.C.S. was granted 69 arrest warrants for children, according to statistics provided by the agency.

    Despite fluctuations in their frequency, the warrants create a tension that can undermine A.C.S.'s goals, straining an already fragile relationship between wary foster children and the agency they are supposed to trust.

    "It's disturbing that New York does this. These are kids that have committed no crime, and it's particularly disturbing because they're the most vulnerable kids," said Betsy Kramer, director of special litigation at the Manhattan-based Lawyers for Children, which represents several foster children who have been the subject of arrest warrants.

    The warrants are different from juvenile delinquency warrants, which are used to arrest minors who are wanted for breaking the law. Though runaway arrest warrants come by way of A.C.S., they are standard civil arrest warrants and are entered into the state's warrant database.

    The warrants for runaways are often executed like traditional arrest warrants, with handcuffs and lockups. While the fine print states that handcuffs should not be used — except in extreme circumstances — advocates and foster children have said almost every warrant case involves the use of handcuffs.

    A.C.S. officials said the arrest warrants are handled through the Police Department's warrant squad, but would not comment on the use of handcuffs.

    A review of foster care policies across the country shows no other similar practice of using arrest warrants to detain runaways. Many other states use court orders or court-ordered requests to pick up a child, often deploying protective officers or caseworkers who are not in uniform, but are sometimes accompanied by law enforcement. Some states use "child protective warrants" that allow the agency to take the child into custody.

    In 2017, New York City had 8,945 children in 24-hour foster care. Of those, 354 children were considered by A.C.S. to be Absent Without Leave, or A.W.O.L., for a week or more.

    "In most cases, they are going home to their home communities to spend time with their families and friends," Ms. Kramer said of missing youth. "To subject them to arrest for that is just really particularly egregious."

    Across the city, lawyers described a system in which the police are frequently directed by caseworkers to a child's location in order to have them detained.

    "Half the time, maybe even more, A.C.S. knows exactly where the child is when they ask for a warrant," said Dodd Terry, an attorney with The Legal Aid Society.

    Jasmine, one of The Legal Aid Society's clients, was 16 when the agency was granted a warrant for her arrest. She had left her foster home, but was still showing up daily to her internship — with A.C.S.

    "It was kind of weird because A.C.S. called my phone and told me, 'Oh, you have an arrest warrant,'" she said. "They see me every Monday through Thursday from 1 to 4."

    For Jasmine, the warrant did the opposite of what the agency said it intends: It drove her farther away. At 16, she was caught in a prostitution ring and had left her foster home to live with her pimp. Though she was attending high school in the Bronx and continued to show up for her internship, she said she feared seeking help from her caseworker.

    "I don't get that. You don't come to me like I'm an actual person. You come to me like I'm a criminal. I'm not a criminal," said Jasmine. "If they really talked to me how I actually needed to be talked to, listen, I would work with them. I really would've."

    The warrant was vacated by a Family Court judge after Jasmine's lawyers challenged its validity. She has since returned to her foster home and has stopped prostituting herself, she said; she is on track to graduate early from high school.

    The agency said it adheres to a "limited use policy" that considers factors like age and special needs when it seeks warrants, but it would not provide the specific policy. It is unclear what differentiates situations when warrants are issued from scenarios when a softer outreach is employed — for example, when a caseworker or a child protective specialist is deployed to try to return the child to their placement.

    "What is troubling about this is that for communities of color that are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system, you have law enforcement getting involved in basic life situations that should be social services matter," said Mr. Terry. "Do your casework before you seek law enforcement."

    In a system where the majority of children are black and Hispanic — including 89 percent of the foster children who were considered A.W.O.L. in 2017, according to agency statistics — the psychological impact of these police interactions can be devastating.

    "I still have nightmares to this day," said Nevayah, who is now 17.

    She passed the time in her detention cell reading the Harry Potter series, and said she marked each day by scratching a mark on her wall. The A.C.S. had ordered her to come back to New York but Nevayah, who identifies as transgender and is currently transitioning, wanted to stay in Ohio. The A.C.S., she said, would not guarantee her L.G.B.T.Q.-friendly housing in New York.

    After three weeks, when she finally agreed to fly back, the police walked her through the airport in handcuffs and leg irons. It was an experience that Nevayah described as humiliating.

    "I felt stereotyped. I'm a minority. I'm Puerto Rican, Latino, and I'm being put through the justice system," she said. "The statistics don't care how I ended up in jail."

    Nevayah has since found an accepting group home in the city and attends an L.G.B.T.Q.-friendly high school in Manhattan. She plans to go to college, where she wants to study to become a software engineer.

    The Legal Aid Society has filed an appeal with the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court that challenges whether the court and the A.C.S. have the authority to even issue arrest warrants. That case is expected to be argued this month. In the meantime, Family Court judges have delayed decisions on two of the warrants for unnamed children involved in the case, bolstering advocates' confidence that the agency is on dubious legal footing.

    Even undecided, the appeal is having an impact in courtrooms, where judges have started voicing more skepticism over the use of warrants.

    At Nevayah's court hearing in October, Jessica Brenes, a Family Court referee, was distraught when she discovered that the A.C.S. had known Nevayah was with her mother in Ohio when the court granted the warrant for the teenager's arrest.

    The agency had not told Ms. Brenes it was aware of Nevayah's whereabouts. Had she known, Ms. Brenes said, the warrant likely would not have been granted.

    "It is not a mechanism to make it easier to retrieve the youth," she said, frustrated. "I need to make sure something like this doesn't happen again."


    Police Forced Bronx Woman to Give Birth While Handcuffed, Lawsuit Says
    By Ashley Southall and Benjamin Weiser, December 6, 2018

    In a lawsuit, a woman identified only as Jane Doe in court documents alleges the police shackled her to a hospital bed while she gave birth.

    When a woman who was 40 weeks pregnant went into labor last February inside a police holding cell in the Bronx, officers took her to a hospital. Once inside, they handcuffed her wrists to the bed and shackled her ankles.

    Doctors at Montefiore Medical Center warned that the restraints were illegal in New York and posed serious risks for a woman in labor, but the officers said the department's Patrol Guide required them to restrain her, superseding state law, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday.

    The woman, then 27, struggled for nearly an hour in excruciating labor on Feb. 8 before the officers yielded and removed some of the restraints, according to the complaint filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan. She delivered the baby with her right hand still cuffed to the hospital bed.

    The woman, who asked the court for anonymity, saying the experience had humiliated and traumatized her and had left her unable to tell her family, was identified only as Jane Doe in court papers.

    "I haven't made sense of it myself and I'm not ready to explain it to my child," she said in an affidavit.

    The lawsuit, filed Thursday afternoon, seeks damages for a violation of the woman's civil rights and asks that the Police Department change its policies to ensure that its officers never shackle a pregnant woman in custody again. "Shackling is a dehumanizing, cruel and pointless practice that has no place in New York City in 2018," the suit said.

    The Police Department did not immediately respond to the allegations. Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesman for the Law Department, said the agency was "examining these allegations very carefully."

    The woman's complaint, which names several officers and the Police Department itself, said the shackling of Ms. Doe violated a 2015 state law that bars the use of restraints on a woman during pregnancy or delivery and during the eight-week postpartum recovery period.

    Her treatment by the officers defied a consensus among professional groups like the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that using restraints like handcuffs, shackles and belly chains on pregnant women can cause complications and may interfere with doctors' efforts to treat them, according to the complaint.

    The National Commission on Correctional Health Care, which accredits correctional facilities, strongly opposes the use of restraints during labor and delivery and discourages their use during the prepartum and postpartum periods, except when there is an imminent risk that the woman will flee or cause harm.

    Following the 6:14 a.m. delivery, a doctor wrote in hospital notes that officers, when informed that state law prevented shackling, said "the N.Y.P.D. Patrol Guide supersedes this law and that patient would need to remain restrained during remainder of hospitalization."

    The guide, which is the official manual of police protocol, requires officers to handcuff and shackle arrestees who require medical or psychiatric attention, but it permits officers to remove the restraints when doctors request it and after consulting with a patrol supervisor. The officers at the hospital did consult a sergeant after the woman and her doctors asked them to remove the shackles, but the sergeant said the restraints were required, the complaint states.

    The number of women in the nation's jails and prisons has grown considerably since the 1980s, which has forced law enforcement and correctional authorities, as well as policymakers, to grapple with the impact of incarceration on women, including those who are pregnant and give birth in custody.

    Dr. Carolyn Sufrin, an assistant professor in gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said a lack of comprehensive data about pregnant women in jails and prisons makes it difficult to study their experiences. "The people who don't count, don't get counted," she said.

    New York is one of 26 states that prohibit shackling women in labor, Dr. Sufrin said, and some go as far as banning restraints for all pregnant women in custody. In the other 24 states, no state or federal law limits the practice, she said.

    The Federal Bureau of Prisons and the United States Marshals Service limit the use of restraints on pregnant women as a matter of policy. A number of groups have called on Congress to pass the First Step Act, bipartisan legislation in the Senate that, among other things, would ban the handcuffing of pregnant women in federal prison.

    New York banned the use of physical restraints on pregnant women during labor and delivery in 2009, and the law was expanded in 2015 to include in-custody transportation and the eight-week postpartum recovery period. But the New York Correctional Association said the practice persists.

    Eight months before Ms. Doe was arrested, the city settled a similar lawsuit to the one that was filed on Thursday, according to the Jane Doe complaint. In that case, a Bronx woman said she was eight months pregnant when officers from the 43rd Precinct shackled her to a bed at Montefiore for three days after an arrest in July 2015. The charges against her were ultimately dismissed.

    "The fact that pregnant women and women in labor would be subject to the most draconian treatment imaginable, particularly when they stand accused of a misdemeanor, speaks volumes about the macho culture of police departments and corrections," Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said.

    Jane Doe was finally freed from the restraints nine hours after giving birth, after a judge arraigned her in her hospital bed on a charge of violating a protective order, her lawyer, Katherine Rosenfeld, said. The case stemmed from an ongoing child-custody dispute with her former partner. Jane Doe spent nearly 30 hours in police custody, according to the complaint.

    "The fact that they disregarded the medical advice of doctors suggests that they didn't use any humanity and sort of blindly followed what they perceived to be the policy in the Patrol Guide," Ms. Rosenfeld said.


    8) Your Tax Dollars Help Starve Children
    By Nicholas Kristof, December 7, 2018

    Fawaz Abdullah, 18 months old and suffering from severe malnutrition, carried by his mother.

    ADEN, Yemen

    He is an eight-year-old boy who is starving and has limbs like sticks, but Yaqoob Walid doesn't cry or complain. He gazes stolidly ahead, tuning out everything, for in late stages of starvation the human body focuses every calorie simply on keeping the organs functioning.

    Yaqoob arrived unconscious at Al Sadaqa Hospital here, weighing just over 30 pounds. He has suffered complications, and doctors say that it is unclear he will survive and that if he does he may suffer permanent brain damage.

    Some 85,000 children may have already died here in Yemen, and 12 million more people may be on the brink of starvation, casualties in part of the three-year-old American-backed Saudi war in Yemen. United Nations officials and aid experts warn that this could become the worst famine the world has seen in a generation.

    "The risk of a major catastrophe is very high," Mark Lowcock, the United Nations humanitarian chief, told me. "In the worst case, what we have in Yemen now has the potential to be worse than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives."

    Both the Obama and Trump administrations have supported the Saudi war in Yemen with a military partnership, arms sales, intelligence sharing and until recently air-to-air refueling. The United States is thus complicit in what some human rights experts believe are war crimes.

    The bottom line: Our tax dollars are going to starve children.

    I fell in love with Yemen's beauty and friendliness on my first visit, in 2002, but this enchanting country is now in convulsions. When people hear an airplane today in much of Yemen, they flinch and wonder if they are about to be bombed, and I had interviews interrupted by automatic weapons fire overhead.

    After witnessing the human toll and interviewing officials on both sides, including the president of the Houthi rebels who control much of Yemen, I find the American and Saudi role in this conflict to be unconscionable. The Houthis are repressive and untrustworthy, but this is not a reason to bomb and starve Yemeni children.

    What is most infuriating is that the hunger is caused not by drought or extreme weather, but by cynical and failed policies in Riyadh and Washington. The starvation does not seem to be an accidental byproduct of war, but rather a weapon in it. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, backed by the United States, are trying to inflict pain to gain leverage over and destabilize the Houthi rebels. The reason: The Houthis are allied with Iran.

    The governments of Saudi Arabia and the United States don't want you to see pictures like Yaqoob's or reflect on the suffering in Yemen. The Saudis impose a partial blockade on Houthi areas, banning commercial flights and barring journalists from special United Nations planes there. I've been trying for more than two years to get through the Saudi blockade, and I finally was able to by tagging onto Lowcock's United Nations delegation.

    A block in the area known as Kraytar, in the Yemeni city of Aden, was destroyed by coalition airstrikes in mid-2015.

    After a major famine, there is always soul-searching about how the world could have allowed this to happen. What's needed this time is not soul-searching a few years from now, but action today to end the war and prevent a cataclysm.

    The problem in Yemen is not so much a shortage of food as it is an economic collapse — GDP has fallen in half since the war started — that has left people unable to afford food.

    Yaqoob was especially vulnerable. He is the second of eight children in a poor household with a father who has mental health problems and can't work steadily. Moreover, the father, like many Yemenis, chews qat — a narcotic leaf that is very widely used in Yemen and offers an easy high. This consumes about $1 a day, reducing the budget available for food. The family sold some land to pay for Yaqoob's care, so its situation is now even more precarious.

    A few rooms down from Yaqoob was Fawaz Abdullah, 18 months old, his skin mottled and discolored with sores. Fawaz is so malnourished that he has never been able to walk or say more than "Ma" or "Ba."

    [For readers wondering how they can help, aid groups doing excellent work in Yemen include the International Rescue CommitteeCARE and Save the Children.

    Fawaz's mother, Ruqaya Saleh, explained that life fell apart after her home in the port city of Hodeidah was destroyed by a bomb (probably an American one, as many are). Her family fled to Aden, and her husband is struggling to find occasional work as a day laborer.

    "I used to be able to buy whatever I wanted, including meat and fish," she told me. Since fleeing, she said, war-induced poverty has meant that she hasn't been able to buy a single fish or egg — and that is why Fawaz suffers severe protein deficiency.

    "They asked me to buy milk for Fawaz, but we can't afford it now," she said.

    We think of war casualties as men with their legs blown off. But in Yemen the most common war casualties are children like Fawaz who suffer malnutrition.

    Some will die. Even the survivors may suffer lifelong brain damage. A majority of Yemen children are now believed to be physically stunted from malnutrition (46 percent were stunted even before the war), and physical stunting is frequently accompanied by diminished brain development.

    "These children are the future of Yemen," Dr. Aida Hussein, a nutrition specialist, told me, looking at Fawaz. "He will be stunted. How will he do in school?"

    The war and lack of health care facilities have also led to outbreaks of deadly diseases like diphtheria and cholera. Half of the country's clinics and hospitals are closed.

    In the capital, Sana, I met a child who was suffering both malnutrition and cholera. The boy was Saddam Hussein (he was named for the Iraqi leader), eight years old, and the parents repeat the mantra I hear from everyone: Life is much worse now because of the war.

    "We don't know what we will eat tomorrow," Saddam's mother told me.

    Yemen began to disintegrate in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and then the Houthis, a traditional clan in the north, swept down on Sana and seized much of the country. The Houthis follow Zaydi Islam, which is related to the Shiite branch dominant in Iran, and the Saudis and some Americans see them as Iranian stooges.

    In some ways, the Houthis have been successful. They have imposed order and crushed Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in the parts of Yemen they control, and in Sana I felt secure and didn't fear kidnapping.

    However, the Houthis operate a police state and are hostile to uncovered women, gays and anyone bold enough to criticize them. They recruit child soldiers from the age of about 12 (the Saudi- and American-backed forces wait until boys are about 15), interfere with food aid, and have engaged in torture and attacks on civilians.

    Still, the civilian loss of life has overwhelmingly been caused not by the Houthis but by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and America, through both bombings and starvation. It's ridiculous for the Trump administration to be exploring naming the Houthis a terrorist organization. And while the Houthis are allies of Iran, I think the Saudis exaggerate when they suggest that the Houthis are Iranian pawns.

    The foreign minister on the Houthi side is Hisham Sharaf Abdalla, a congenial American-educated official.

    "I love the U.S.," Mr. Sharaf told me. "We look to the U.S. as the only force that can stop this war."

    Peace talks are now beginning in Sweden — few people expect them to solve the crisis soon — and he insisted that his side was eager to reach a peace deal and improve relations with America.

    After our conversation, he brought me over to his desk and showed me his assault rifle and two handguns. "When I was in the U.S., I was a member of the N.R.A.," he told me. "I would like to have an N.R.A. chapter in Yemen."

    Mr. Sharaf talks a good game but is not himself a Houthi, just an ally, so I wondered if he was a figurehead trotted out to impress foreigners. Later I interviewed a man whose power is unquestioned: Muhammad Ali al-Houthi, the president of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee. As his name signifies, he is a member of the Houthi clan.

    An aide picked me up and ferried me to him, for President Houthi changes locations daily to avoid being bombed by the Saudis. During the interview, I prayed that American and Saudi intelligence hadn't figured out that day's spot, for I didn't want my conversation ended by a United States-made bomb.

    President Houthi, a large, confident man with a traditional dagger at his belly, was friendly to me but also suspicious of the United States and full of conspiracy theories. He suggested that Washington was secretly arming Al Qaeda and that the United States was calling the shots for Saudi Arabia in Yemen, at the behest of Israel.

    Still, he said that he wanted peace and that although the Houthis have fired missiles at Saudi Arabia, his side would pose no threat to Saudi Arabia if the Saudis would only end their assault on Yemen.

    "There's no need for enmity with the United States," he told me in Arabic, and that seemed a message he wanted me to convey to Washington and the American people.

    I asked President Houthi about the sarkha, the group's slogan: "God is Great! Death to America! Death to Israel! Curses on the Jews! Victory to Islam!" That didn't seem so friendly, I said.

    "It's nothing against the American people," he replied. "It's directed toward the system."

    When I asked about Saudi and American suggestions that the Houthis are Iranian pawns, he laughed.

    "That's just propaganda," he said. "I ask you: Have you ever seen one Iranian in Yemen? Do we speak Farsi?" This was all a trick, he said, analogous to the allegations of weapons of mass destruction used to justify war with Iraq.

    While the Houthis are called "rebels," they clearly rule their territory. In contrast, the Saudi- and American-backed "internationally recognized government" of Yemen is a shell that controls almost no territory — hence it is based in Riyadh. The "president" of this exile government, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, is said to be gravely ill, and when he is gone it will be even more difficult to sustain the fiction that this is a real government.

    More broadly, I don't see any hint of a Saudi or American strategy. There's little sign that bombing and starvation will actually dislodge the Houthis, while the Saudi military action and resulting chaos has benefited the Yemeni branches of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. In that sense, America's conduct in Yemeni has hurt our own national security.

    In one sign of the ineffectiveness of the Western-backed government, the hunger is as now as severe in its areas as in the rebel-held north. I saw worse starvation in Aden, the lovely seaside city in the south that is nominally run by the internationally recognized government, than in Houthi-controlled Sana.

    And while I felt reasonably secure in Houthi-controlled areas, I was perpetually nervous in Aden. Abductions and murders occur regularly there, and my guesthouse offered not a mint on the pillow, but a bulletproof vest; at night, sleep was interrupted by nearby fighting among unknown gunmen.

    What limited order exists in Aden is provided by soldiers from the United Arab Emirates and allied militias, and I worry that the U.A.E. is getting fed up with the war and may pull them out without alternative arrangements for security. If that happens, Aden may soon plunge into Somalia-like chaos.

    Mohamed Zemam, the governor of the central bank, believes that there are ways to shore up the economy and prevent starvation. But he cautions that the risk of another Somalia is real, and he estimates that there may be 2 million Yemenis in one fighting force or another.

    "What they have is the way of the gun," he said. "If we don't solve that, we will have problems for 100 years."

    Another danger is that the Saudi coalition will press ahead so that fighting closes the port of Hudaydah, through which most food and fuel come.

    I stopped in Saudi Arabia to speak to senior officials there about Yemen, and we had some tough exchanges. I showed them photos on my phone of starving children, and they said that this was unfortunate and undesired. "We are not devils," one said indignantly. They insisted that they would welcome peace — but that they must confront the Houthis.

    "The most important thing for us is national security," the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al-Jabir, told me. Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, an adviser to the royal court and director of a fund that provides aid to Yemen, told me that Saudis don't want to see hunger in Yemen but added: "We will continue to do what it takes to fight terrorism. It's not an easy decision."

    Saudi and U.A.E. officials note that they provide an enormous amount of humanitarian aid to Yemen. This is true, and it mitigates the suffering there. But it's difficult to give the Saudis much credit for relieving the suffering of a country that they are bombing and starving.

    To avert a catastrophe in Yemen, the world needs to provide more humanitarian aid. But above all, the war has to end.

    "You're not going to solve this long-term until the war is ended," said David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Program. "It's a man-made problem, and it needs a man-made solution."

    One step to a solution: Congress should suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia so long as the Saudis continue the war.

    In conference rooms in Riyadh and Washington, officials simply don't fathom the human toll of their policies.

    In a makeshift camp for displaced people in Aden, I met a couple who lost two daughters — Bayan, 11, and Bonyan, 8 — in a bombing in a crowded market.

    "I heard the bomb and I went running after them," the dad, Ahmed Abdullah, told me with an ache in his voice. "They were dead. One had her skull burst open, and the other had no arms or legs left."

    He told me that the family then fled, and he married off a 15-year-old daughter so that someone else would be responsible for feeding her. This is common: The share of girls married by age 18 has increased from 50 percent before the war to two-thirds today, according to Unicef.

    A Yemeni child suffering from malnutrition being treated at a hospital in the capital, Sana, in late November.Credit

    Another son died of fever when the family could not afford to take the boy to a hospital. There are several other children, and none of them are going to school any more; a 10-year-old daughter, Baraa, who is next in line to be married, couldn't tell me what seven plus eight equals.

    A bit hesitantly, I told Ahmed that I thought that my country, America, had probably provided the bomb that had killed his daughters. He was not angry, just resigned.

    "I am not an educated person," he told me earnestly. "I am a simple parent." And then he offered more wisdom than I heard from the sophisticated policy architects in America and Saudi Arabia: "My message is that I want the war to stop."


    9)  Anti-Zionism Isn't the Same as Anti-Semitism
    By Michelle Goldberg, December 7, 2018

    Rashida Tlaib, an incoming Democratic House member from Michigan. She and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota have said they support efforts to pressure Israel economically.

    On Monday, in an interview with The Intercept, Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat who in November became the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress, went public with her support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to use economic pressure on Israel to secure Palestinian rights. That made her the second incoming member of Congress to publicly back B.D.S., after Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar, who revealed her support last month.

    No current member of Congress supports B.D.S., a movement that is deeply taboo in American politics for several reasons. Opponents argue that singling out Israel for economic punishment is unfair and discriminatory, since the country is far from the world's worst violator of human rights. Further, the movement calls for the right of Palestinian refugees and millions of their descendants to return to Israel, which could end Israel as a majority-Jewish state. (Many B.D.S. supporters champion a single, binational state for both peoples.) Naturally, conservatives in the United States — though not only conservatives — have denounced Tlaib and Omar's stance as anti-Semitic.

    It is not. The conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is a bit of rhetorical sleight-of-hand that depends on treating Israel as the embodiment of the Jewish people everywhere. Certainly, some criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, but it's entirely possible to oppose Jewish ethno-nationalism without being a bigot. Indeed, it's increasingly absurd to treat the Israeli state as a stand-in for Jews writ large, given the way the current Israeli government has aligned itself with far-right European movements that have anti-Semitic roots.

    The interests of the State of Israel and of Jews in the diaspora may at times coincide, but they've never been identical. Right-wing anti-Semites have sometimes supported Zionism because they don't want Jews in their own countries — a notable example is the Polish government in the 1930s.

    Conversely, there's a long history of Jewish anti-Zionism or non-Zionism, both secular and religious. In 1950 Jacob Blaustein, the president of the American Jewish Committee, one of the country's most important Jewish organizations, reached an agreement with Israel's prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, in which Ben-Gurion essentially promised not to claim to speak for American Jews. "Jews of the United States, as a community and as individuals, have no political attachment to Israel," said Blaustein at the time.

    Decades later, such a statement from the committee — or any major, mainstream Jewish organization — would be unthinkable. A consensus set in "that Jewish identity can be reduced to Israelism," Eliyahu Stern, an associate professor of modern Jewish history at Yale, told me. "That's something that takes place over the second half of the 20th century in America."

    The centrality of Israel to American Jewish identity has at times put liberal American Jews in an awkward position, defending multiethnic pluralism here, where they're in the minority, while treating it as unspeakable in Israel, where Jews are the majority. (American white nationalists, some of whom liken their project to Zionism, love to poke at this contradiction.)

    Until fairly recently, it was easy enough for many liberals to dismiss consistency on Israel as a hobgoblin of little minds. A binational state might sound nice in theory, but in practice is probably a recipe for civil war. (Even the Belgians have trouble managing it.) The two-state solution appeared to offer a route to both satisfying Palestinian national aspirations and preserving Israel's Jewish, democratic character.

    Now, however, Israel has foreclosed the possibility of two states, relentlessly expanding into the West Bank and signaling to the world that the Palestinians will never have a capital in East Jerusalem. As long as the de facto policy of the Israeli government is that there should be only one state in historic Palestine, it's unreasonable to regard Palestinian demands for equal rights in that state as anti-Semitic. If the Israeli government is going to treat a Palestinian state as a ridiculous pipe dream, the rest of us can't act as if such a state is the only legitimate goal of Palestinian activism.

    At times, I've agreed with those who see something disproportionate in the left's fixation on Israel. But the oft-heard argument that other peoples are suffering more than the Palestinians can be a form of weaponized whataboutism, meant to elide the unique role America plays as Israel's protector.

    In an op-ed essay in The Wall Street Journal last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed Saudi Arabia's growing ties to Israel as a reason not to downgrade America's relationship with the kingdom, despite the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. If the Trump administration is going to use our alliance with Israel as an excuse for abandoning fundamental values, surely Americans are justified in subjecting that alliance to special scrutiny.


    10)  How the Cashless Economy Shuts Out the Poor
    By Ginia Bellafante, December 6, 2018

    There are various arguments to be made against cashless businesses — the inconvenience falling to people too scattered to leave the house with a wallet being merely one of them.

    Late last month, Ritchie J. Torres, a popular city councilman from the Bronx, introduced a bill that would forbid certain businesses in New York from refusing to accept cash. During the past few years, these businesses, most of them in the same vein — fast-food restaurants with an elevated sense of themselves — have multiplied in cities around the country. Like so many ideas born of Silicon Valley philosophy, they traffic in the dueling vibes of earthiness and automation, emphasizing food that is supposed to suggest a time predating the invasions of technology — root vegetables, seeds, raw food, leafy food, local food — but then demanding that it all be paid for via the preferred methods of Apple and the international banking conglomerates.

    I first encountered the imposition of cashless dining a few years ago at a branch of Sweetgreen on Wall Street, which, on the face of it, seems like a strange place to dismiss the significance of actual money. I had been reading a magazine all through the long, long line full of young hustlers, all of us eager to get to the curried cauliflower and uncooked corn. Thus, I did not realize until my salad full of cholesterol's fiercest enemies had already been assembled that the cashier was totally uninterested in the $20 bill in my pocket. Without a credit card or a debit card in my possession, I would be forced, apparently, into a lunch elsewhere that could be measured only by its toxicity.

    There are various arguments to be made against cashless businesses — the inconvenience falling to people too scattered to leave the house with a wallet being merely one of them. The strongest objection relates to the ways in which rejecting physical currency plays out as a bias toward the poor, advancing segregation in retail environments.

    According to government data, close to 7 percent of American households have no one in them with a checking or savings account, while an additional 19 percent are considered "underbanked," meaning that they rely on products or services outside the conventional financial system. These include money orders and payday and pawnshop loans. The majority of people who fall into these categories are nonwhite.

    "It is bad enough that the poor are already so stigmatized, and now we are stigmatizing them even further for the way they consume goods and services," Mr. Torres told me. "I talk a lot about effective discrimination. But this amounts to intentional discrimination, because these businesses that don't accept cash know exactly who they are keeping out."

    Prospect Street in Brooklyn, the heart of a recently manufactured neighborhood known as Dumbo Heights, is as good a place as any to observe the pretenses and contradictions of contemporary capitalism. A stretch of formerly industrial buildings, owned in part by the Kushner Companies, houses the corporate offices of Etsy, the tech-enabled craft empire, and an outpost of WeWork, where the kegs are flowing and the toil of office life has been reimagined as a party.

    WorkOf, a store absorbing the surrounding mood and showcasing handmade furniture and vases and key chains and lighting fixtures, all from independent designers does not, it turns out, extend its branding in intimacy to accepting cash.

    Neither does Bluestone Lane, with its live performances and hygge feel and turmeric sweet-potato-hummus toast, or the place next door, Mulberry & Vine, another health-food franchise. Here the motto is "Live Dirty, Eat Clean,'' which seems to sum up rather efficiently the prevailing ethics of the current moment: "Plunder and pillage all you want, just stay away from trans fats and farm-raised salmon."

    When I visited the outpost in Brooklyn the other day, everyone behind the counter was black and everyone in front of it was white. But presumably, eating there would help make the world a better place because my fork would be recycled and the charred avocado I had eaten was dressed with non-GMO canola oil.

    A bill similar to Mr. Torres's was introduced at the state level in New Jersey this week; it has been opposed by the business community, which sees the gesture as a threat to "innovation.'' In Chicago, similar legislation failed to become law. Last year, Visa announced that it was "declaring a war on cash,'' and it said it would give small-business owners around the country as much as $10,000 as part of plan to push forward digital payment technology. Visa, as it happens, receives a fee for every payment processed on its network.

    The increasing movement away from cash, which businesses often justify as a defense against crime, even if urban crime rates in many cities are at historic lows, comes with other consequences, many of them negative.

    It is easier to spend more than you intend when you are paying for your lunch with a credit card, to get the fizzy grapefruit drink when, really, you'd be fine with water. When cash is renounced you carry less of it, or maybe even none of it. And so you are not as prone to certain spontaneous acts of generosity — to put a few dollars in a tip jar where workers are underpaid or give money to a homeless person on a cold night on your way home from work.

    Forcing people to use credit cards also forces them into compromising their privacy while paradoxically making everyday exchanges feel more impersonal. Businesses see this as efficiency, and efficiency is profit. And as the recent revelations from Facebook suggest, what else matters?


    Victorina Morales Spoke Out Against President Trump. 
    By Miriam Jordan, December 7, 2018

    Victorina Morales, an undocumented immigrant who spoke about working on the housekeeping staff for the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

    Victorina Morales, a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., disclosed in an interview with The New York Times this week that she had been working illegally at the facility for more than five years.

    Ms. Morales, 45, a Guatemalan immigrant, entered the United States at the California border without inspection in 1999 and settled in Bound Brook, N.J., a community that is about a 20-minute drive from Mr. Trump's flagship golf club.

    [Read: Making President Trump's Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers]

    Before working there, she packed Huggies disposable diapers, Dove soap and Neutrogena products at a warehouse and cleaned bathrooms at a hotel.

    At the Trump golf course, Ms. Morales was often called on to clean Mr. Trump's private residence. She said he was demanding in terms of cleanliness, but also friendly, sometimes handing out tips of $50 or $100. But she said a supervisor often taunted her about her undocumented status, and she was deeply disturbed when Mr. Trump began publicly railing against undocumented immigrants from Latin America, often characterizing them as criminals.

    She described how supervisors at the golf club were not only aware of her undocumented status, but took steps to help keep her and others at work. A manager, she said, helped her procure a phony green card and Social Security card.

    On Friday, Ms. Morales, who has now appeared on nearly every major television network, said she was uncertain what the future would bring. "The truth is I'm sad, I feel bad," she said. "Many people are pointing their finger at me. But I don't regret what I did."

    Ms. Morales has said she thinks it best that she not return to the club, where she would most likely be immediately fired. The Trump Organization, which owns the golf club, said in a statement Thursday that any employee found to be working without legal authorization would be "immediately terminated."

    Sandra Diaz, a former member of the housekeeping staff at the Trump National Golf Club. She was undocumented when she worked there from 2010 to 2013.

    She and a second woman who came forward, Sandra Diaz, who was undocumented at the time she worked at the golf club between 2010 and 2013, have been in New York with their lawyer, Anibal Romero, who is trying to make sure they suffer no reprisals. Ms. Diaz is now a legal resident of the United States, but Ms. Morales is more vulnerable.

    Any undocumented person can be deported if they are encountered by federal immigration authorities. If a full state and federal investigation is conducted, there are protections that should kick in for Ms. Morales because she came forward with information that raises credible questions of civil and criminal violations by the Trump Organization, according to lawyers.

    She and other undocumented workers at Bedminster could be granted visas that protect victims of crime and trafficking as well as witnesses. This means they would not be viewed as perpetrators of illegal activity at the club; their employer would be.

    "There are serious questions that need to be fully investigated by federal and state authorities," said David Leopold, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, who practices in Cleveland.

    "The allegations that someone inside the organization procured false documents for its workers suggest a level of coercion over these workers, which is precisely what federal law protects them from," Mr. Leopold said. "You can't hire someone and coerce them to continue working for you."

    Mr. Romero has filed a petition seeking asylum for Ms. Morales and her family. About five years ago, she said, her father-in-law was hacked with a machete by a group of men who invaded his home in Guatemala to extort money they assumed he possessed because he had family members in the United States. They then dragged him to a field and fatally shot him. The assault happened in front of her son, Marvin Gonzalez, when he was a child.

    That could give her family some basis for protection under asylum laws, though it is by no means guaranteed.

    Ms. Morales has an interview on her asylum petition scheduled for Dec. 17 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. But Mr. Romero said that he plans to request a postponement because the attention generated by her revelations has changed her profile and hampered their ability to prepare appropriately.

    "We need more time," Mr. Romero said. "Experts, psychologists will be required for the case. She is now a public figure in the United States. That puts her more at risk of returning to Guatemala than before."

    Even if Ms. Morales is placed in removal proceedings, the asylum application buys her time. If asylum is denied, Mr. Romero said that he would appeal to an immigration judge. "I can go all the way to the Supreme Court," he said.

    Ms. Morales and Ms. Diaz insist they were not the only undocumented employees at the golf club, but the women said Friday that three co-workers have told them that work there had been continuing as usual.

    Ms. Morales received a call from the housekeeping supervisor but did not take the call.

    She said she was not certain what she would do next. She has a second job cleaning offices at night, and hopes to continue working there.

    A large number of people have spoken out on her behalf on social media; one started a GoFundMe campaign.

    "This is a five-foot Guatemalan woman who stood up to the most powerful man in the world," said Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice, a national immigration advocacy group. "She exposed the hypocrisy of a president who rails against undocumented workers and then has what appears to be a criminal operation to do that at Bedminster."

    There are nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. About 8 million of them, the overwhelming majority, have jobs. They are vital to industries such as agriculture, hospitality and construction.

    Companies in several sectors have been calling for years for Congress to pass immigration reform legislation that would offer some form of legalization to longtime undocumented residents.


    12)  N.Y. Today: Officer Who Choked Eric Garner Faces Police Charges
    By Azi Paybarah, December 7, 2018

    "I felt sort of numb being in the same room as my son's murderer," Gwen Carr, Eric Garner's mother, said after a disciplinary hearing for Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

    Four years after placing Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold, Officer Daniel Pantaleo appeared at Police Headquarters on Thursday.

    So did Mr. Garner's mother, sister and supporters.

    People packed a fourth-floor trial room at One Police Plaza for the first hearing of Officer Pantaleo's disciplinary case. He is accused of violating Police Department policy by using excessive force against the 43-year-old Mr. Garner.

    Mr. Garner's final words became a rallying cry for a national movement after he gasped "I can't breathe" while Officer Pantaleo restrained him in a chokehold on a sidewalk in Staten Island.

    The New York Times's Ali Winston was at Police Headquarters. Here's his report:

    Officer Pantaleo, wearing a dark suit, was escorted into the room by police union officials.

    Deputy Commissioner Rosemarie Maldonado set a trial date for May.

    Officer Pantaleo's attorney, Stuart London, argued for a trial date in July, after the statute of limitations expires for potential federal civil rights charges that the Department of Justice may still bring against his client. (In 2014 in state court, a grand jury declined to indict Officer Pantaleo.)

    Proceedings are expected to last 10 days, with testimony from about a dozen witnesses . The evidence is voluminous: More than 40,000 pages of documents were turned over in discovery.

    After the hearing, Mr. Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, said, "I felt sort of numb being in the same room as my son's murderer."

    Patrick Lynch, the head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, yelled over protesters outside that the trial was a "kangaroo court."

    He said the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the independent agency prosecuting Officer Pantaleo, was rushing the case.





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