Judge grants latest appeal for Mumia Abu-Jamal, in part

By Kristen Johanson, December 27, 2018

Mumia Abu-Jamal Granted New Rights to Appeal
By Rachel Wolkenstein

On December 27, 2018, Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker granted Mumia's petition for new appeal rights, over the opposition of "progressive DA" Larry Krasner. 

This is the first Pennsylvania state court decision in Mumia's favor since he was arrested on December 9, 1981.  

In his decision Judge Tucker ruled former PA Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille, who was the District Attorney during Mumia's first appeal of his frame-up conviction and death sentence, "created the appearance of bias and impropriety" in the appeal process when he didn't recuse himself from participating in Mumia's appeals. Judge Tucker relied heavily on Ronald Castille's public statements bragging that he would be a "law and order" judge, that he was responsible for 45 men on death row, that he had the political and financial support of the Fraternal Order of Police, and new evidence of Castille's campaign for death warrants for convicted "police killers." The appearance of bias and  lack of "judicial neutrality" exhibited by Castille warranted his recusal.

Judge Tucker's order throws out the PA Supreme Court decisions from 1998-2012 that rubber-stamped Mumia's racially-biased, politically-motivated murder conviction on frame-up charges of the shooting death of police officer Daniel Faulkner . 

Judge Tucker's decision means that Mumia Abu-Jamal's post-conviction appeals of his 1982 conviction must be reheard in the PA appeals court. In those appeals Mumia's lawyers proved that Mumia was framed by police and prosecution who manufactured evidence of guilt and suppressed the proof of his innocence. And, he was tried by a racist, pro-prosecution trial judge, Albert Sabo, who declared, "I'm gonna help them fry the nigger" and denied Mumia other due process trial rights.

The new appeals ordered by Judge Tucker open the door to Mumia Abu-Jamal 's freedom. Abu-Jamal's legal claims and supporting evidence warrant a dismissal of the frame-up charges that have kept him imprisoned for 37 years, or, at the very least, a new trial. 

The international campaign for Mumia Abu-Jamal's freedom has launched a new offensive. At the top of its actions is a call for letters and phone calls to DA Larry Krasner demanding he not appeal Judge Tucker's order granting new appeal rights to Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Tell DA Larry Krasner: Do NOT Appeal Judge Tucker's Decision Granting Mumia Abu-Jamal New Appeal Rights!

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner
Three South Penn Square
Corner of Juniper and South Penn Square
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3499



Here's an online petition to sign and share widely.
Mumia Abu-Jamal has always maintained his innocence in the 1981 fatal shooting of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. His prosecution was politically-motivated because of his Black Panther Party membership, his support of the MOVE organization and as a radical journalist. His 1982 trial and subsequent 1995 PCRA appeals were racially biased: the prosecution excluded African Americans from the jury; and PCRA trial Judge Albert Sabo, the same judge in Abu-Jamal's initial trial, declared, "I'm gonna help them fry the n----r." On Dec. 27, Mumia Abu-Jamal won a significant case before Judge Leon Tucker in a decision granting him new rights of appeal. Tell Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:  We call on you to do the right thing.  Do not stand in the way of justice.  Do not appeal Judge Tucker's decision. As a progressive attorney you ran for Philadelphia District Attorney on a platform that included standing "for justice, not just for convictions."  You promoted reviewing past con





Artwork by Kevin "Rashid" Johnson

Save the date: 
January 26, 2019, 9:00 P.M. broadcast of 48 Hours on CBS
for a two-hour television interview with Kevin Cooper and others about his case.



























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







Abu-Jamal Wins New Right to Appeal

By Rachel Wolkenstein

 On December 27, Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker granted Mumia's petition for new appeal rights, over the opposition of "progressive DA" Larry Krasner. 

This is the first Pennsylvania state court decision in Mumia's favor since he was arrested on December 9, 1981.  

 In his decision Judge Tucker ruled former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille, who was the District Attorney during Mumia's first appeal of his frame-up conviction and death sentence, "created the appearance of bias and impropriety" in the appeal process when he didn't recuse himself from participating in Mumia's appeals. Judge Tucker relied heavily on Ronald Castille's public statements bragging that he would be a "law and order" judge, that he was responsible for 45 men on death row, that he had the political and financial support of the Fraternal Order of Police, and new evidence of Castille's campaign for death warrants for convicted "police killers." The appearance of bias and lack of "judicial neutrality" exhibited by Castille warranted his recusal.

Judge Tucker's order throws out the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decisions from 1998-2012 that rubber-stamped Mumia's racially-biased, politically-motivated murder conviction on frame-up charges of the shooting death of police officer Daniel Faulkner. 

Judge Tucker's decision means that Mumia Abu-Jamal's post-conviction appeals of his 1982 conviction, that he was framed by police and prosecution who manufactured evidence of guilt, suppressed the proof of his innocence and tried by racist, pro-prosecution trial Judge Albert Sabo who declared, "I'm gonna help them fry the nigger."   and denied him other due process trial rights must be reheard in the Pennsylvania appeals court. 

The new appeals ordered by Judge Tucker opens the door to Mumia Abu-Jamal's freedom. Abu-Jamal's legal claims and supporting evidence warrant an appeal decision of a new trial or dismissal of the frame-up charges that have kept him imprisoned for 37 years. 

The international campaign for Mumia Abu-Jamal's freedom has launched a new offensive. At the top of its actions is a call for letters and phone calls to DA Larry Krasner demanding he not appeal Judge Tucker's order granting new appeal rights to Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Tell DA Larry Krasner: Do NOT Appeal Judge Tucker's Decision Granting Mumia Abu-Jamal New Appeal Rights!

Email: DA_Central@phila.gov, Tweet: @philaDAO, Phone: 215-686-8000
Mail: Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner
3 S. Penn Square, Corner of Juniper and S. Penn Square
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3499

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

Listen to a radio report at Black Agenda Report:



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



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!







    December 29, 2018

    Dear Comrades and Friends Across the Globe:

     On December 27, 2018, in a historic action, Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker granted Mumia's petition for new appeal rights, over the opposition of "progressive DA" Larry Krasner. 
    This is the first Pennsylvania state court decision in Mumia's favor since he was arrested on December 9, 1981.  The new appeals ordered by Judge Tucker open the door to Mumia Abu-Jamal's freedom. The legal claims and supporting evidence, previously denied in the PA Supreme Court with Justice Ronald Castille's participation, warrant a dismissal of the frame-up charges that have kept Mumia imprisoned for 37 years, or, at the very least, a new trial. 

     It is critical that Mumia can go forward immediately with these appeals. However, DA Larry Krasner has the authority to appeal Judge Tucker's decision. Krasner's position, to the surprise of many who had described him as the "new kind" of district attorney, more bent toward justice than mere conviction, with a history of defending dissident activists, been adamant in his opposition to Mumia' petition.  His legal filings, court arguments, and his statements on public radio have all argued that there is no evidence of Justice Castille's bias or the appearance of impropriety when he refused to recuse himself in Mumia's PA Supreme Court appeals from 1998-2012 (!).

     If the prosecution appeals, there will follow years of legal proceedings on the validity of Judge Tucker's order before Mumia can begin the new appeal process challenging his conviction. .Mumia is now 64 years old. He has cirrhosis of the liver from the years of untreated hepatitis C. He still suffers from continuing itching from the skin ailment which is a secondary symptom of the hep-C. Mumia now has glaucoma and is receiving treatment. He has been imprisoned for almost four decades.  An extended appeals process coming at the age of 64 to a person whose health had already been seriously compromised is the equivalent of a death sentence by continued incarceration.    

    We are asking you to join us in demanding that Larry Krasner stop acting in league with the Fraternal Order of Police. Mumia should be freed from prison, now!  We are asking you to call, email or tweet DA Larry Krasner TODAY and tell him: DO NOT Appeal Judge Tucker's Decision Granting New Rights of Appeal to Mumia Abu-Jamal.

    In his decision, Judge Tucker ruled that former PA Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille, who was the District Attorney during Mumia's first appeal of his frame-up conviction and death sentence, had "created the appearance of bias and impropriety" in the appeal process when he didn't recuse himself from participating in Mumia's appeals. Judge Tucker relied heavily on Ronald Castille's public statements bragging that he would be a "law and order" judge, that he was responsible for putting 45 men on death row, that he had the political and financial support of the Fraternal Order of Police, and in recently discovered new evidence that Castille had particularly campaigned for immediate death warrants of convicted "police killers".  Judge Tucker states unequivocally that the appearance of bias and lack of "judicial neutrality" exhibited by Castille warranted his recusal. 

    Judge Tucker's order throws out the PA Supreme Court decisions from 1998-2012 that rubber-stamped Mumia's racially-biased, politically-motivated murder conviction on frame-up charges of the shooting death of police officer Daniel Faulkner. 

     Judge Tucker's decision means that Mumia Abu-Jamal's post-conviction appeals of his 1982 conviction must be reheard in the PA appeals court. In those appeals Mumia's lawyers proved that Mumia was framed by police and prosecution who manufactured evidence of guilt and suppressed the proof of his innocence. And, he was tried by a racist, pro-prosecution trial judge, Albert Sabo, who declared to another judge, "I'm gonna help them fry the n----r" and denied Mumia his due process trial rights.

    We can win Mumia's freedom! We have a legal opening. It is our opportunity to push forward to see Mumia walk out of prison! The international campaign for Mumia Abu-Jamal's freedom has launched a new offensive. At the top of its actions is this call for letters and phone calls to DA Larry Krasner demanding he not appeal Judge Tucker's order granting new appeal rights to Mumia Abu-Jamal.  Please take this action today.  Please send us back your name so we can compile a list of international signers.  Also, no matter how many letters for Mumia you have signed in the past year or two, please sign this one as well.  The moment is different, and the demand of Krasner is different.  We want all possible supporters included.

    CONTACT:    Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. 
                            Phone: (215) 686-8000; Email: DA_Central@phila.gov; Tweet: @philaDAO
                            Mail: Phila. DA Larry Krasner, Three South Penn Square, Phila, PA 19107

    Tell DA Krasner:     Do Not Appeal Judge Tucker's Decision Reinstating Appeal Rights 
                                     for Mumia Abu-Jamal!

    In solidarity and toward Mumia's freedom,

    (Initiated by all the US based Mumia support organizations)
    International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; The MOVE Organization; Educators for Mumia; International Action Center; Mobilization for Mumia; Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC); Campaign to Bring Mumia Home; Committee to Save Mumia; Prison Radio, Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Oakland; Oakland Teachers for Mumia; Workers World/Mundo Obrero


    2) How Times Reporters Froze a Fatal Moment on a Protest Field in Gaza
    By Malachy Browne, December 30, 2018
    Times reporters synchronized more than 1,000 videos and photos taken by witnesses to create a minute-by-minute tick-tock of the protest in Khuzaa on June 1.

    Times Insider delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how news, features and opinion come together at The New York Times.
    On June 1, 2018, a 20-year-old medic named Rouzan al-Najjar was killed by Israeli gunfire while she was volunteering on a protest field less than a mile from her home in Khuzaa, Gaza Strip. She was the latest casualty in a wave of protests this year in Gaza that often culminated in violence near the boundary fence with Israel.
    My colleagues Yousur Al-Hlou and Neil Collier had met Rouzan during a reporting trip three weeks earlier and were struck by her charisma and her determination to help the injured. We felt duty bound to investigate her death — and, along with The Times's Jerusalem bureau chief, David M. Halbfinger, spent five months doing so. We interviewed more than 60 people (witnesses, family members, friends, teachers, acquaintances, members of the Israeli army, and medical, legal and ballistics experts).

    On the day Rouzan was killed, David went to Khuzaa to talk with her family and medics on her team, and Yousur and I began to gather video evidence, to piece together what happened. Our goal was to freeze that fatal moment in time and find out why that shot was taken.

    We discovered that most of the day was documented in pictures by journalists, protesters, medics and bystanders taking selfies. Over months of reporting from New York and Gaza, we collected more than 1,000 videos and photographs directly from the cellphones and cameras of more than 30 key witnesses. Getting the original pictures gave us file metadata — information that allowed us to verify the authenticity of the footage and to arrange clips in the order in which they were taken.

    Later, we realized that some pictures were out of sequence because the time was incorrectly set on several cameras. So we compared each device against an accurate clock to recalibrate the metadata and create a precise tick-tock of events.
    We laid out hours of footage minute by minute, and were able to triangulate moments from multiple angles, including the fatal shot: Six cameras captured that moment.

    We made several trips to Gaza. Complicating matters on the ground was the Israeli closure policy, which makes crossing in and out impossible from Thursday at 3:30 p.m. to Sunday at 7:30 a.m. On a hunch, David raced to meet a couple of Rouzan's former high school teachers at noon on a Thursday, one eye on the clock. He learned from them, for the first time, of how Rouzan had testified against her own grandmother in a homicide case in which members of her family had sought to keep quiet.
    Our next step was to map out the protest field. We circled it using high-definition drone cameras and partnered with the British research agency Forensic Architecture to create a 3D model using photogrammetry software. Nicholas Masterson, a researcher at the agency, used every frame of the photos and videos we collected to precisely sketch out where people and objects were on June 1. He positioned the Israel Defense Forces soldiers, their jeeps, a sniper's bunker and sand berms used by soldiers on the Israeli side of the fence. Mr. Masterson and our colleague in Times Video, Tim Chaffee, painstakingly plotted the positions of cameras filming on the Gaza side into the model; inserted the medics, protesters and bystanders at key moments; and reconstructed that deadly scene.

    The bullet hit two medics and sprayed a third with shrapnel and debris. Having accurately calculated their positions, we drew a line through them and retraced the bullet to sand berms where Israeli snipers had taken up position minutes before the fatal shot. One of the medics, Mohammed Shafee, was sprayed in the chest and pelvic area by debris and shrapnel from the bullet. Videos confirmed that at the moment of the shot he was facing the fence. So the bullet had to have come from the Israeli side, not from behind Mr. Shafee.

    The positions of medics and protesters plotted in a 3D model of the protest area. Top: Medics tending to an injured protester lying on the ground. Bottom: Rouzan al-Najjar, highlighted in orange, standing in the crowd one second after she was shot.

    A senior Israeli commander told David that soldiers shot four protesters in Khuzaa on June 1. He gave specific details: the minute each protester was shot, what they were wearing and that they were acting violently. We had uninterrupted footage extending over this period, and confirmed that four shots were fired at the times the commander said they were. We also identified the first, third and fourth targets. But we determined that the Israel Defense Forces' account of the second shot — fired at 6:31 p.m. — is inaccurate. Critically, this is the shot that killed Rouzan.
    The Israel Defense Forces' rules of engagement are secret, but Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, told us that its soldiers only target protesters who are posing a violent threat, like "cutting the fence, throwing grenades."
    The Israeli military maintains that the 6:31 p.m. shot targeted and hit a protester wearing a yellow shirt who was throwing stones and pulling at the coils of barbed wire laid out 40 yards from the security fence. We identified several men and boys wearing yellow shirts that day. Only one was near the direction of fire. From several videos, we could determine that he was standing around 120 yards from the fence and that he did not appear to be protesting violently in the minutes leading up to the shot. Indeed, we didn't see any violent protesting in that area in the minutes before the fatal gunshot, suggesting that the shot contravened the Israeli military's own rules about targeting protesters. What's more, behind the target was a group of bystanders and medics in white coats. Former snipers in the United States Army and the Israel Defense Forces told us that, without a backstop, it was a reckless shot to take.
    The bullet missed and hit the ground a few yards in front of the medics. Michael Knox, a forensic ballistics investigator, told us that the type of bullet used by the Israeli sniper could skim like a stone off the rocky soil. When it hits soil at a low angle, it pushes the soil ahead of it into a miniature ramp and projects itself up and out of the ground. Mohammed Shafee was hit in the torso with shrapnel. The bullet grazed Rami Abo Jazar's thigh and continued its upward trajectory to pierce Rouzan just above her chest, severing her aorta.

    Working with the research agency Forensic Architecture, The Times retraced the path of the bullet that killed Rouzan al-Najjar, from an Israeli sand berm through a group of protesters and medics.

    Traditional reporting in Gaza was critical to bolstering the forensic analysis. We reviewed the video with the witnesses whom we and our Gazan colleague, Iyad Abuheweila, identified in the footage. We studied autopsy reports and interviewed the doctors who tried to save Rouzan. We read Supreme Court petitions and judgments, and talked with international legal experts about the rules governing the use of live fire. 
    Though Israel claims Rouzan's killing was unintentional, our investigation shows that her shooting appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished. During our reporting we learned that by August, 60 to 70 Gaza protesters had been killed "unintentionally." Yet the Israeli army's rules of engagement remain unchanged, the military says. What's certain is that Rouzan's was an innocent life needlessly taken.


    3) The Exhilaration of Revolt
    By Sarah Jaffe, December 28, 2018

    As the organizer Mariame Kaba says, "Hope is a discipline." That discipline is what sustains organizers who often grind away unseen for years. This is, most of the time, what unions and working people's organizations do: make connections, and hope the sparks they light will catch and burn.
    On Dec. 15, an estimated 50,000 people marched in the streets of Los Angeles alongside the nation's second-largest local teachers' union,United Teachers Los Angeles. These teachers are fighting not just for higher wages (though as for all the teachers recently on strike, theirs are unacceptably low) but also, and unapologetically, for racial and economic justice. 
    They serve, according to the union's president, Alex Caputo-Pearl, a public school district whose student body is 95 percent minority and over 85 percent low-income. They're fighting, they say, for the schools those students deserve — with nurses and counselors, arts funding, smaller classes and ethnic studies programs. They drew parents and students beside them into the streets, and onto the stage days later when they announced they would strike on Jan. 10 if those demands were not met.

    Teachers who have taken their fights to the streets have drawn the biggest share of our attention in the past years, but it has not just been them. The words "Green New Deal," a demand that its proponents say can combine the needs of working people for decent jobs and a livable planet, are on the lips of many people — even in countries where the New Deal has little cultural resonance. But it was a sit-in in Congress, joined by a couple of insurgent new members, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, who thrust the demand onto the public stage even as the Democratic Party's establishment continues to try to water it down.

    In Britain, the new climate protesters call themselves Extinction Rebellion and clog streets through civil disobedience. The real extinction rebellion may have to look a lot more like the one going on in France, where the "Yellow Vests" have refused to accept the costs of climate adaptation being thrust onto the backs of a working class that has been hit again and again since 2008's economic collapse. They are a potent reminder of what happens when working people see the wealthy cushioned from the results of their actions, while the resources they need are sliced away and they are exhorted to just work harder.
    The strikes and sit-ins are often carefully planned, but the exhilaration of revolt can take many forms, and once learned, it's hard to forget.


    4) Son of Yemeni Mother Dies Soon After She Won Visa Battle With U.S. to See Him
    By Christine Caron, December 29, 2018
    Shaima Swileh holding her 2-year-old son, Abdullah Hassan, at the U.C.S.F. Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, Calif.

    A Yemeni mother who fought to obtain a visa waiver to travel to California to see her terminally ill 2-year-old son was finally reunitedwith her only child just over a week ago.
    On Friday night her son, Abdullah, died at the U.C.S.F. Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, where he was being treated for hypomyelination, a genetic degenerative brain condition, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group known as CAIR, said on Saturday.
    "We are heartbroken. We had to say goodbye to our baby, the light of our lives," Abdullah's father, Ali Hassan, said in a statement. "We want to thank everyone for your love and support at this difficult time."
    The family's plight received widespread attention in the news media and drew support from three members of Congress who wrote a letterto the State Department asking for an expedited decision on the visa waiver.

    In October, the boy and his father journeyed from Cairo to Stockton, Calif., in search of better care. Mr. Hassan is an American citizen and a resident of Stockton.
    Abdullah's mother, Shaima Swileh, a Yemeni citizen, could not go to California because people from Yemen were barred from entering the United States under President Trump's travel ban. Seven countries are included in the ban, most of them predominantly Muslim.
    Obtaining a visa to visit the United States can be a long and arduous process.
    The couple were married in Yemen in February 2016, and the next year they traveled to Cairo to apply for an I-130 visa, or a visa for a relative who is not American. Ms. Swileh had her first interview at the United States Embassy in Cairo in November 2017.
    Ms. Swileh went to the embassy for her second interview in January, and was told that because of the travel ban, her application could not proceed unless she qualified for a waiver, according to Mr. Hassan's lawyer. In August, she had a third interview and was told that the State Department was reviewing her eligibility.
    During this time Abdullah's condition worsened, so Mr. Hassan brought his son to the United States without his wife.

    In December, the Sacramento Valley office of CAIR and a law firm specializing in immigration filed a lawsuit in federal court stating that the embassy in Cairo had purposely delayed a decision on Ms. Swileh's application before the travel ban went into effect.
    "This case is a perfect example of how the waiver process is a sham," Jennifer Nimer, one of the family's lawyers, said in a statement this month, adding that the embassy had "callously ignored over 28 desperate pleas for help from the family over the past year and even the expedite requests filed by the prior attorney, which contained medical documentation showing that the child was on the verge of death."
    The State Department granted her a visa waiver on Dec. 18.
    On Dec. 19, Ms. Swileh arrived in California and traveled to the hospital to visit her dying son, who was on life support.
    "Dearest Abdullah, you will never be forgotten," CAIR Sacramento Valley wrote on Friday on Facebook. "We belong to God and to Him we shall return."


    5) Doubletree in Portland Fires 2 Employees After Kicking Out Black Man Who Made Call From Lobby
    By Mihir Zavero. December 28, 2018
    Jermaine Massey, 34, was escorted out of a hotel in Portland, Ore., after a security guard confronted him as he talked to his mother on the phone in the lobby.

    When a black man staying in a Doubletree hotel in Portland, Ore., called his mother from the lobby, he was told by a white security guard that he was trespassing and was escorted out of the building by the police.
    The Dec. 22 encounter was captured on cellphone video by the man, Jermaine Massey, who posted it that night on Instagram, where it was shared widely. In other videos, Mr. Massey, 34, acknowledges that he has become part of the continuing documentation, through cellphone videos and social media, of black people being confronted by white authority figures or bystanders while going about their everyday lives.
    "I'm afraid to just do normal things now," Mr. Massey said in an interview Friday, calling the encounter racial profiling. "I'm cautious about what I'm doing, and how people are perceiving that, and I shouldn't have to think twice about where I take a phone call, or what part of the hotel I can visit."
    Paul Peralta, the general manager of the Portland Doubletree, said in a statement on Saturday that, after an internal review, the hotel had fired the security guard and a hotel manager who was also involved in the encounter.

    "Our hotel is a place of hospitality, and their actions were inconsistent with our standards and values," Mr. Peralta said.
    He said he reiterated the "sincere apology" to Mr. Massey that the hotel had previously issued.
    Mr. Peralta said on Friday that the hotel would ask a third party to "conduct a full investigation into the incident — reviewing our internal processes, protocols and trainings to ensure we are creating and maintaining a safe space for everyone."
    Doubletree is part of Hilton Worldwide. The Portland Doubletree is independently owned and operated, a Hilton spokeswoman said. She said Hilton had "zero tolerance" for racism and was working with the Portland hotel's management.
    The incident was one of numerous widely publicized confrontations this year in which people have called the police on black people for innocuous activities. In October, the police were called on a black manwho was babysitting two white children. A white apartment complex manager in Memphis was fired after she called the police on a black man wearing socks in the pool on the Fourth of July.
    On the afternoon of Dec. 22, Mr. Massey, who lives in Kent, Wash., said he checked into the Doubletree hotel, then went out to dinner and to a Travis Scott concert before returning around 11 p.m.

    He saw that he had missed a call from his mother and called her back from his cellphone in a secluded spot in the lobby. After a few minutes of discussing what he described as a private "family matter" with her, a security guard, who is white and has not been publicly identified beyond his name plate, which read "Earl," walked up to Mr. Massey and asked what room he was in, Mr. Massey said.
    "I said: 'I don't know, I'm having a conversation right now. Can you leave me alone right now?'" Mr. Massey recalls in the Instagram videos.
    The guard then said that Mr. Massey was trespassing and that he was going to call the police, according to Mr. Massey.
    At this point, the videos that Mr. Massey recorded of the encounter begin, showing the security guard standing over him and telling him that the police will arrive soon to escort him off the property. Mr. Massey points out that he is a guest at the hotel.
    "Not anymore," the security guard responds.
    Another hotel employee — whose position is not clear in the video — walks over, and says the guard "wouldn't ask me to call 911 without any cause."
    The second employee tells Mr. Massey to calm down and asks him what the problem is.
    Mr. Massey then shows the guard and the other employee the envelope containing his room key.
    The videos of the encounter end with a Portland Police Bureau officer telling Mr. Massey that the security guard is "in control of the property."

    Mr. Massey said that he left the hotel after collecting his things from his room so as "not to make a bad situation worse." The encounter with the police was not hostile, said Greg Kafoury, a lawyer for Mr. Massey.
    Sgt. Chris Burley, a spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau, said in a statement on Friday that the hotel had the authority to ask Mr. Massey to leave, and that the police officer had offered to help him get to a new hotel, which Mr. Massey declined.
    Mr. Massey drove himself to a nearby Sheraton.


    6) Millennials: Hit Hard And Fighting Back
    By Marty Hart-Lansberg, December 31, 2018

    A lot has been written and said critical of millennials. The business press has been tough on their spending habits.  As a recent Federal Reserve Board study of millennial economic well-being explained:
    In the fields of business and economics, the unique tastes and preferences of millennials have been cited as reasons why new-car sales were lackluster during the early years of the recovery from the 2007–09 recession, why many brick-and-mortar retail chains have run into financial trouble (through lower brand loyalty and goods spending), why the recoveries in home sales and construction have remained slow, and why the indebtedness of the working-age population has increased.
    Politicians, even some Democratic Party leaders, have tended to write them off as complainers. For example, while on a book tour, former Vice President Joe Biden told a Los Angeles Times interviewer that "The younger generation now tells me how tough things are. Give me a break. I have no empathy for it. Give me a break." Biden went on to say that things were much tougher for young people in the 1960s and 1970s.
    In fact, quite the opposite is true.  For better or worse, the authors of the Federal Reserve Board study found that there is "little evidence that millennial households have tastes and preference for consumption that are lower than those of earlier generations, once the effects of age, income, and a wide range of demographic characteristics are taken into account."  More importantly, millennials are far poorer than past generations were at a similar age, and are becoming a significant force in revitalizing the labor movement.
    Economic hard times for millennials
    The Federal Reserve Board study leaves no doubt that millennials are less well off than members of earlier generations when they were equally young. They have lower earnings, fewer assets, and less wealth.  All despite being better educated.
    The study compares the financial standing of three different cohorts: millennials (those born between 1981 and 1997), Generation Xers (those born between 1965 and 1980), and baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964).  Table 1, below, shows inflation adjusted income in three different time periods for all households with a full-time worker and for all households headed by a worker younger than 33 years.
    The median figures, which best represent the earnings of the typical member of the group, are shown in brackets.  Comparing the median annual earnings of young male heads of households and of young female heads of household across the three time periods shows the millennial earnings disadvantage.  For example, while the median boomer male head of household earned $53,400, the median millennial male head of household earned only $40,600.  Millennial female heads of household suffered a similar decline, although not nearly as steep.
    Table 4 compares the asset and wealth holdings of the three generations, and again highlights the deteriorating economic position of millennials.  As we can see, the median total assets held by millennials in 2016 is significantly lower than that held by baby boomers and only half as large as that held by Generation Xers.  Moreover, millennials suffered a decrease in asset holdings across most asset categories.
    Finally, we also see that millennials have substantially lower real net worth than earlier cohorts. In 2016, the average real net worth of millennial households was $91,700, some 20 percent less than baby boomer households and almost 40 percent less than Generation X households.
    Fighting back
    Millennials have good reason to be concerned about their economic situation.  What is encouraging is that there are signs that growing numbers see structural failings in the operation of capitalism as the cause of their problems and collective action as the best response.  A recent Gallup poll offers one sign.  It found a sharp fall in support for capitalism among those 18 to 29 years, from 68 percent positive in 2010 down to 45 percent positive in 2018.  Support for socialism remained unchanged at 51 percent.
    A recent Pew Research poll offers another, as shown below. Young people registered the strongest support for unions and the weakest support for corporations.
    Of course, what millennials do rather than say is what counts. And millennials are now boosting the ranks of unions.  Union membership grew in 2017 for the first time in years, by 262,000.  And three in four of those new members was under 35.  Figures for 2018 are not yet available, but given the strong and successful organizing work among education, health care, hotel, and restaurant workers, the positive trend is likely to continue.
    Millennials are now the largest generation in the United States, having surpassed the baby boomers in 2015.  Hopefully, self-interest will encourage them to play a leading role in building the movement necessary to transform the US political-economy, improving working and living conditions for everyone.


    7)  German leftwing movement 'will take to streets like gilets jaunes in 2019'
    By Kate Connolly in Berlin, January 2, 2019
    Die Linke's Sahra Wagenknecht at Aufstehen's first press conference in September. Photograph: Michael Sohn/AP

    The founder of a movement to unite Germany's left wing has said it will take to the streets in 2019, inspired by the gilet jaunes protests in France.
    Sahra Wagenknecht, who set up Aufstehen (Get Up) in September, said the French demonstrations encouraged her to believe it was possible to effect change without being a political party. She cited growing inequality in Germany and frustration over the government's failure to adequately tackle it as a powerful motivating force for a protest movement.
    The public face of Aufstehen, which has almost 170,000 signed-up members, Wagenknecht said she admired Jean-Luc Mélenchon's La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) and the Jeremy Corbyn-supporting Momentum in the UK and that she was effectively modelling the movement on them.
    "We have big plans for next year, not least because we recognise when people go on to the streets to protest – especially those who have not had a political voice for many years who rediscover their voice by protesting – then political change can happen," Wagenknecht said, speaking to the foreign press association in Berlin. "This is what we're seeing in Franceright now."
    Wagenknecht was quick to stress that she did not support violence, but said she was sympathetic to those who felt the need to use it to express their anger. "I think it's completely wrong to reduce the yellow vest movement in France to violence," she said. "Of course there are those ready for violence amongst the protesters, but the movement is much broader than that.
    "I'm clear that we don't want any violence, but at the same time you have to recognise that it is a clear expression of pent-up anger. It doesn't just come out of nowhere."
    The Marxist politician, who has risen to prominence through the Die Linke (Left) party, did not say what form Aufstehen's protests would take, but said: "We will be visible on the street and in the public eye in 2019."
    Wagenknecht said Aufstehen, whose supporters include prominent German writers, political scientists, historians and actors, hoped to galvanise support from ordinary voters across the political spectrum and unite leftwing parties – particularly Die Linke and the Social Democrats (SPD), who are struggling in the polls, as well as the Green party – in a common front against the social problems dogging the whole of Europe.
    "We don't intend to compete with these parties. We want a movement that contributes to bringing these parties on the left together and instigates a new social revival," she said.
    She said the examples of France and the UK proved that initiating change outside the strictures of political parties had a better chance of success.
    "It is of importance to us to remain above party politics and I believe that for many people who are becoming involved with us, this is part of our charm, as well as of the movements in France and the UK – that they don't have to fall in line within a rigid party structure."
    Criticism of her initiative has been most vehement from within her own party, with many accusing her of risking its destruction. Die Linke was formed in 2007 after the merger of two parties, including the descendant party of the rulers of communist East Germany. Meanwhile, the SPD, amid fears for its own political survival, has accused Wagenknecht of being "on an ego trip". Many have voiced suspicions that Wagenknecht wants to set up her own party, a claim she has repeatedly denied.
    Wagenknecht said it was harder in Germany than in France to persuade ordinary people to take their protests on to the streets. "France has a completely different protest culture to that of Germany," she said.
    "Repeatedly, from the storming of the Bastille to farmer protests, there are examples of the French rising up against a fatal form of politics. But quite honestly, people in Germany, in particular those who do not feel represented by German politics, will realise that they are far more able to put pressure on the government if they go out and protest."
    She said Aufstehen was being advised by activists at the heart of Momentum.
    Wagenknecht blamed "wage dumping" – keeping wages low using cheap labour – for triggering the most dissatisfaction with the EU and said it would lead to the bloc's "further disintegration" if not tackled. She said the British economy was one that had arguably benefited most from cheap labour from eastern Europe, as well as from low corporation tax. That had led to a low-wage economy, which in turn encouraged Brexit.
    "Some of those who voted for Brexit did it out of a sense of social frustration … people working in former industrial areas where the already low wages have not risen, because unlike in Germany the companies have been able to depend on east European workers." That experience had made it hard to "sell" the EU to many of its citizens, she said.
    "The poorer half simply doesn't have access to the positive things in Europe. The freedom of movement, Erasmus, the possibility to find work in other countries – these are advantages that are only enjoyed by a small proportion of society."
    Adding that she was watching developments in Britain closely, she said Brexit could be viewed as an opportunity for the country if whoever was in power used it as a chance to address the growing inequalities.
    "How Britain continues to develop will not be just to do with Brexit, but with who the decision-makers are," she said. "I could imagine a Britain after Brexit under a Labour government as something very different in which the poor are not the losers. But that's a question of organisation and where the priorities lie.
    "The question will be whether Britain continues as the Tories under Theresa May would like it, becoming once outside the EU a special tax oasis for companies, leading to yet more inequality and more poverty, or will advantage be taken of the freedom to really introduce a new, more social [caring] policy. I like to think that's what Corbyn and Labour will do if they win an election."


    8) Hiding and abusing the mentally ill and physically disabled inside Texas prisons
    By Keith "Malik" Washington, Deputy Chairman, New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter, January 1, 2019
    Artwork by Kevin "Rashid" Johnson #264847, Pendleton Correctional Facility, G-20-2C, 4490 W. Reformatory Road, Pendleton, IN 46064

    We have little sense of our own power. The power is in the masses; we comrades are the masses. The actions we take from this day forward will dictate our future. You know just as I do what needs to be done in order for those 10 demands to be met with regard. It's going to take mass solidarity amongst the prison communists (and Anarchists). Individualism isn't the key to rectifying these harsh, inhumane conditions applied by the oppressor. It's going to take both outside support and inside demonstrations. Malcolm X made it clear, comrades! If you ain't willing to die for your freedom, then you need to remove the word from your vocabulary." – Joseph "Shinewhite" Stewart, Deputy Minister of Defense, White Panther Organization North Carolina Branch

    Revolutionary greetings, comrades! It is 2019 and the battle cry will be "knockin' doors down!" You didn't know we had White Panthers on our "team," did you? Well, now you know! Chad Butler aka "Pimp-C" laid down the blueprint, y'all, and I'm here to take it to another level. End prison slavery is real, the state of Texas is full of all stars and it is time for us to wake up from our sleep and lead the league. Allow me to get to bizness.

    Back to the future

    On Oct. 4, 2015, at the McConnell Ad-Seg Unit located in Beeville, Texas, prisoner Jarvis Dugas, No. 1386881, was preparing for a visit with his mother. Dugas, who is known to his friends as "Homestead," is a Black man who is mentally handicapped and physically dis abled. He walks with a pronounced limp.
    Dugas' mother, Regina Strange, is a former employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She is all too familiar with the overt tactics of mistreatment, abuse and degradation associated with the corrupt prison agency and because she knows that, she regularly visits her son Jarvis. Jarvis is Ms. Strange's only child and she is especia lly protective of her son.
    Now, I would like to provide some background to this story so you can really grasp the esoteric details that will help you understand the unethical and immoral actions of the oppressors in Texas.
    In 1996 on a cool February day in the city of Houston, Texas, Jarvis was riding in the passenger seat of his grandmother's car. His cousin Demond was driving and his female cousin Juwan-shette was in the back seat relaxing. They had just come from the beauty salon to pick up some hair so Juwan-shette could do someone's hair at grandma's house. It had just finished raining, the streets were slick, and that is when tragedy struck!
    The car began to hydro-plane, Demond tried to pull out of it by slowing down but the car began to spin out of control. They hit a concrete bridge support and then the car flipped!
    The car landed on its side. Demond, the driver, was OK; the pass enger in the backseat, Juwan-shette, was in shock. Her nose and jaw were broken and she was bleeding. Jarvis, who was not wearing a seatbelt, lay across the driver's side window with half of his brain hang ing out of his cracked skull.
    The paramedics arrived and transported Jarvis to the Ben Taub Hospital Trauma Center in Houston. Juwan-shette would be just fine, but the prognosis for Jarvis wasn't good. Doctors pre dicted that Jarvis would not walk nor speak ever again. He would live his life as a paraplegic, but God had another plan.
    Jarvis was taken to a top trauma rehabilitation center in Houston known as TIRR, and there a slow but miraculous recovery process took place. So remarkable was Jarvis' recovery that doctors came from Europe in order to meet and interview Jarvis Dugas.
    However, all was not perfect. Jarvis suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the car accident. This left him with permanent cognitive, behavioral and physical problems. He suffers from a paralysis on the left side of his body but he is able to walk, talk and function. Nevertheless, Jarvis does have mental and physical disabilities stemming from his near death experience and these handi caps are well documented in hospital records that TDCJ and the Uni versity of Texas Medical Branch have access to.

    Back to the scene of the crime 

    So now we will fast forward again to Oct. 4, 2015. Jarvis has just been told to get ready for a visit, his "T-Lady" has arrived.
    Sgt. Juan Quintenero comes to escort Jarvis to his visit. Quintenero is accompanied by Correctional Officer Jockoway. The first thing that Jarvis requests is that he be taken to medical so he can retrieve his "psych-meds."
    Jarvis knows that he has behavioral issues as a result of his head trauma years ago. He always strives to be in a pleasant and receptive mood for his visit. Jarvis loves his Momma and she loves him.
    At first, Sgt. Quintenero gave Jarvis the impression that a quick stop to medical to pick up his meds wouldn't be any problem at all. The Medical Department at the McConnell Unit is only a few feet away from the exit door of what is known as 12 Building. 12 Building houses McConnell's Ad-Seg Unit, which is now called the Restrictive Housing Unit.
    Please allow me to inform you that nothing about this solitary confinement unit has changed but the name. TDCJ still uses it to HIDE the mentally ill, and it is a place of political repression, censorship, retaliation and tor ture. Know that and understand that.

    TDCJ still uses it to HIDE the mentally ill, and it is a place of political repression, censorship, retaliation and tor­ture. Know that and understand that.

    As Jarvis comes out of the door from 12 Building, he veers left slightly, anticipating a stop at medical to pick up his meds, but something goes wrong. Sgt. Quintenero and CO Jockoway begin to pull Jarvis to the right. Jarvis is shackled and chained; he immediately becomes agitated and stops walking.
    Jarvis says: "What are y'all doing? I need my meds before I go to visit." Sgt. Qunitenero responds: "Well, there has been a change of plans. Just keep walking, Dugas." Jarvis doesn't budge.
    Sgt. Quintenero begins to push Jarvis' left arm, he pushes Jarvis forward, then he entangles his foot with Jarvis' foot in order to trip Jarvis and while Jarvis is off-balance Sgt. Quintenero SLAMS Jarvis viciously to the concrete.
    Jarvis screams in pain: "You broke my hands! You broke my hands!" Sgt. Quintenero yells at Jarvis: "Shut the fuck up!" Quintenero then requests a USE OF FORCE VIDEO CAMERA. While the camera is taping Jarvis can be seen and heard saying "Ow! Ow! Ow!" while Quintenero and Jockoway "help" Jarvis to his feet.
    Jarvis is then escorted to Medical. Ironically that is where he was trying to go in the first place. A use of force physi cal is conducted by University of Texas Medical Branch employee Nurse Donna Pfannstiel. Pfannstiel asks Jarvis if he has any injuries. Jarvis tells her: "I hurt my chin, and my hands are broke."
    Pfannstiel can be seen on camera poking fun at Jarvis and making light of his injuries. When Pfannstiel touches Jarvis' left hand, he immediately reacts: "Ow, ow, right there it hurts!"
    Now I want all of you to have a clear understanding of the situ ation here and the level of deliberate indifference and wanton neglect on the part of UTMB employee Nurse Pfannstiel.

    Pfannstiel can be seen on camera poking fun at Jarvis and making light of his injuries. 

    Jarvis' hands are cuffed behind his back. Nurse Pfannstiel re fused to request that his hands be brought to the front so she could have a closer look at his injured hands. She does not order an emer gency X-ray. All she does is tell Jarvis to wash his hands and face with soap and water! All this is part of the video-recorded evidence on the date of Oct. 4, 2015.
    After the so-called use of force physical, Jarvis is escorted to the visitation booth where his mother Regina Strange has been wait ing. She immediately notices that her son has been hurt and is in emotional distress. Jarvis shows his face and his hands to his mother which are swelling and red. Sister Regina hits the roof!
    Ms. Strange demands to see the duty warden. Assistant Warden Cory Furr arrives with a lame excuse to explain Jarvis' injuries.

    Lawsuit time

    The Medical Department at McConnell Unit basically ignored Jarvis' pleas for help. It is not until Oct. 23, 2015, that Jarvis receives an X-ray, which confirms a fracture to his left hand. Can you imagine going to the doctor's office after a traumatic accident or fall and they tell you to wash the area with some soap and water?
    It is noteworthy that Jarvis submitted a Step 1 griev ance on Oct. 5, 2015, one day after the incident. He alleged pain on his left side and a broken LEFT HAND!
    I cannot stress enough the importance of EXHAUSTING ALL ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO YOU in the event prison employees hurt you or your constitutional rights are violated. Jarvis is not versed in the law, but he had enough sense to file both his Step 1 and Step 2 grievances, and don't let anyone tell you different.
    Jarvis had never filed a civil lawsuit in federal court or in any court for that matter and he was intimidated by the process. He de cided to purchase one of those prison litigation self-help manuals like the ones advertised in my FAVORITE legal publication, The Prison Legal News. Jarvis followed the steps in the manual the best he could and was able to successfully initiate his §1983 civil complaint.
    Jarvis admitted to me when I interviewed him for this article that he didn't have a clue what he was doing. From the beginning, he asked for $2 million in compensatory damages.
    The Texas Attorney General's Office, formerly headed by the cri minal, racist bigot Ken Paxton, assigned not one but TWO young and intelligent assistant attorneys general to represent the defendants from TDCJ and the University of Texas Medical Branch. Jarvis didn't stand a chance.
    This is one of the major flaws in regard to the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary were very intent on hurting prisoners and locking up minorities that Hillary infamously referred to as superpredators. Clinton and his aids never figured into the equation that there would be mentally and physically disabled prisoners in Amerika who would not have the intel lectual capacity to navigate the often complicated and difficult liti gation process.

    Jarvis didn't stand a chance. This is one of the major flaws in regard to the Prison Litigation Reform Act.

    This is one of the main reasons that our comrades from Jailhouse Lawyers Speak included rescinding the Prison Liti gation Reform Act among our demands during our historic Nationwide Prison Strike which began on Aug. 21, 2018.
    Can you imagine how many mentally handicapped, blind, deaf, or even quadraplegic and paraplegic prisoners are abused daily inside of Amerikan prisons and detention facilities who don't have the skills nor the ability to litigate nor do they have a voice to pro test? This is why I encourage people to get involved with and join organizations and groups such as Crip Solidarity and the Harriet Tub man Collective. They not only amplify the voices of the disabled; they are made up of disabled folks whose voices have been marginalized and ignored.

    Can you imagine how many mentally handicapped, blind, deaf, or even quadraplegic and paraplegic prisoners are abused daily inside of Amerikan prisons and detention facilities who don't have the skills nor the ability to litigate nor do they have a voice to pro­test?

    I believe it is important for me to take this opportunity to point out that the Democratic Party in the United States falsely represents itself as a change or an alternative to the Republican Party in Amerika. However, if we continue to apply historical dia lectical materialism to their actions and block out their words, we will clearly see that there is no difference in the two parties at all.
    They are not our saviors; they are our class enemies! Just look at the Jamal Khashoggi tragedy. Trump told us straight up that he was not going to sacrifice hundreds of billions of dollars in contract deals with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in order to seek justice for Khashoggi or hold Prince Salman and his tribe of assassins accountable. The CIA told Trump that Salman ordered that hit. But don't forget that Hillary Clinton paved the way for Saudi Arabia to exterminate the people of Yemen! Yes, she did that and there are many facts to substantiate my claims. Just read the Bay View!!

    Wickedness in high places

    In 2012 thru 2013, I was housed at the W.J. Estelle Unit located in Huntsville, Texas. At the time, correctional officers there were beating and abusing the elderly, disabled and the terminally ill. TDCJ employee Tracey Bailey was one of the senior wardens along with Cody Ginsel who closed their eyes and ears to the complaints from prisoners who found themselves victim to the ongoing abuse.
    Both Ginsel and Bailey have been promoted to much higher positions within the TDCJ hierarchy. Tracey Bailey and TDCJ-CID Director Lorie Davis have had a hand in my placement here on the McConnell Unit. Both of them remember how passionately I fought to expose the abuse of the elderly and infirm human beings at the Estelle Unit.
    In 2015 prisoner rights advocate Erica Gammill and civil rights attorney Brian McGiverin released a detailed report which shed a discerning light on the abuse at the Estelle Unit.
    This is one stellar example why an Independent Oversight Commi ttee is needed RIGHT NOW in order to monitor this morally bankrupt prison agency.
    On July 24, 2018, at 2 a.m. I was moved next door to Jarvis Dugas. Just a couple days later, Assistant Attorney General Jason Bramow and his colleague, Amber McKeon Mueller, "tag-teamed" Jarvis and hit him with not one but TWO summary judgment motions in order to dismiss the claims he had against the defendants.
    Jarvis was flabbergasted and distraught. He did not know how to respond to the summary judgment motions and he figured that this was the end of the road in regard to his lawsuit. But like I said before, "GOD HAD A PLAN!"
    At the time of my arrival on the McConnell Unit in June 2018, I surely could not understand why Allah (SWT) brought me here to this horrible place. But as I studied what TDCJ and UTMB had been doing to this mentally handicapped human being, I saw an opportunity to let my light shine! Although I know TDCJ sure would not like it, Jarvis was definitely thrilled.
    I reviewed Jarvis' lawsuit and immediately went to work. I crafted both of the opposition responses to the attorney general's summary judgment motions and we sent them in to the court.
    The first sign of movement on the case after we had submitted these opposition motions was on Aug. 15, 2018. Assistant Attorney General Amber McKeon Mueller was being "removed" as counsel for the defendants. That was a good sign for us that meant that the defen dants were in trouble and their summary judgment motion in all likelihood would be denied.
    The attorney general then tried to place under seal all of the defendant's motions for summary judgment to include exhibits! This was very strange. Counsel was trying to cover up and hide this very incriminating video which showed not just Jarvis screaming in pain when Quintenero and Jockoway tried to get him up off the concrete, but it showed clearly how UTMB Nurse Donna Pfannstiel attempted to "clown" Jarvis at the use of force physical!
    Needless to say, U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington denied these attempts by the attorney general to seal this evidence, therefore now making it available for the PUBLIC RECORD FOR ALL TO SEE!
    You must understand that the TDCJ and the University of Texas Medical Branch does not want the public or the media to know that they are down here mistreating and abusing the most vulnerable prisoners! While Ken Paxton was at the helm, the Texas Attorney General's Office regularly exploited and took advantage of disabled prisoners. We are hoping that new Attorney General Justin Nelson will restore some type of integrity to the office of the so-called chief law enforcement office of Texas, as well as implement some form of accountability and transparency within the renegade prison agency known as TDCJ.

    No happy endings yet

    After these positive developments in Jarvis' case, I noticed an up-tick of harassment. He was having problems getting to medical. I literally saw officers trying to taunt him into acting out and many times Jarvis took the bait. I told him what was happening and I explained to him how the TDCJ and the attorney general along with UTMB work together in order to retaliate against any prisoner who has filed a meaningful civil lawsuit that has the potential of shattering the fake facade created by TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier and the head of UTMB, Dr. David Callender.

    After these positive developments in Jarvis' case, I noticed an up-tick of harassment.

    On Sept. 21, 2018, things kind of reached their breaking point. Jarvis attempted suicide and was gassed with chemical agents over four times in one day! Remember, I was right next door and I felt the effects of this abusive use of chemical agents.
    I was moved that evening of Sept. 21, 2018. Jarvis was eventually transferred to a psychiatric facility in Richmond, Texas, known as Jester 4. I studied Jarvis' pleadings up to the point that I got involved and it was clear to me that not only was he not a skilled litigator, he made some really bad mistakes that almost got his case dismissed on a couple occasions. U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington, who was presiding over the case, knew that Jarvis was mentally and physically disabled, yet she refused to appoint counsel.
    I learned some harsh lessons about the criminal justice system and the courts this past year. I think legendary prisoner rights advocate and freedom fighter Ed Mead summed it up perfectly in his contribution to Mumia Abu-Jamal's wonderful book, "Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A."
    Ed Mead explains:
    "The courts are a part of the state's apparatus of repression … and the state is the means by which one class suppresses the interests of another class. And since the police and the prisons are a part of that and the courts as well, none of these enforcement mechanisms are going to abolish themselves. Once you get beyond the point of litigating over 'we want more peanut butter on the main line,' if you're looking for substantial issues, then the courts aren't the place to go."
    I have contacted journalist Keri Blakinger of the Houston Chron icle with the hope that she would interview Jarvis and his mother, Sister Regina Strange. I told her to be on the lookout for this article. For those of you in the free world who may be inter ested in following this case the cite is: 2:17-cv-0048 Jarvis Dugas v. Juan Quintenero et al. The case is being heard in the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division, U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington presiding.
    As for me, I continue on using the gifts that God gave me to serve the people. And if you want some insight as to what motivates me, I leave you with some words from my brother in faith and superb rap artist Mos Def:
    "It's about speaking out against oppression wherever you can. If that's gonna be in Bosnia or Kosovo or Chechnya or places where Muslims are being persecuted; or if it's gonna be in Sierra Leone or Colombia – you know, if people's basic human rights are being abused and violated," then Islam has an in terest in speaking out against it, because we're charged to be the leaders of humanity." – Mos Def, from an interview on Belief.net.
    Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!
    Send our brother some love and light: Keith "Malik" Washington, 1487958, McConnell Unit, 3100 S. Emily Dr., Beeville TX 78103.


    9) Prosecutors Mull 'Assault' Charges After Videos Show Children Being Dragged and Hit at Arizona Immigration Detention Center
    By Julia Conley, January 1, 2019
    Videos publicized by the Arizona Republic appeared to show children at a migrant detention center run by Southwest Key being shoved and dragged by staff members. (Photo: Ashton Pittman/Twitter)

    Maricopa County prosecutors in Arizona are considering potential criminal chargesafter reviewing footage of children being dragged, hit, and shoved by staff members at a detention center near Phoenix.
    On Monday, the prosecutors received a report documenting an investigation into the alleged abuse after videos, first published by the Arizona Republic, provoked outrage.
    Released to the public over the weekend, the footage showed at least three children being dragged and shoved by staff members at Hacienda del Sol in Youngtown in mid-September, a month before the detention center was closed.
    One video showed a staff member pulling a child into a room and then shoving and hitting the child, while other videos showed staffers dragging two other children. County officials said Monday that the footage was being examined as evidence of potential "child abuse and assault."

    Hacienda del Sol was one of several detention facilities run by Southwest Key, an organization that has won $1.7 billion in federal grants in the past decade, including more than $600 million in 2018 for detaining minors who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border without parents or guardians, as well as children who have been forcibly separated from their parents by the Trump administration.
    The Maricopa County Sheriff's Department previously said last week that the videos did not raise alarm over possible criminal violations, but Sheriff Paul Penzone saidMonday that prosecutors were now determining "if all aspects of the potential allegations were thoroughly investigated."


    10) Shutdown Leaves Food, Medicine and Pay in Doubt in Indian Country
    By Mitch Smith and Julie Turkewitz, January 1, 2019
    Dr. Lowell Styler treated Ashley Gravelle for a shoulder injury at the Sault Tribe Health and Human Services in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., on Monday. If the shutdown continues, health services may be pared back.

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — For one tribe of Chippewa Indians in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the government shutdown comes with a price tag: about $100,000, every day, of federal money that does not arrive to keep health clinics staffed, food pantry shelves full and employees paid.
    The tribe is using its own funds to cover the shortfalls for now. But if the standoff in Washington continues much longer, that stopgap money will be depleted. Later this month, workers could be furloughed and health services could be pared back. "Everything," said Aaron Payment, the chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe, "is on the table."
    For many Americans who are not federal workers or contractors, a shutdown is a minor inconvenience. A trip to a national park may be canceled. A call to a government office may go unanswered. But for Native American tribes, which rely heavily on federal money to operate, a shutdown can cripple their most basic functions.
    All across Indian Country, the federal shutdown slices deep. Generations ago, tribes negotiated treaties with the United States government guaranteeing funds for services like health care and education in exchange for huge swaths of territory.

    "The federal government owes us this: We prepaid with millions of acres of land," said Mr. Payment, who also criticized the shutdown on Monday from the stage at his tribe's New Year's powwow. "We don't have the right to take back that land, so we expect the federal government to fulfill its treaty and trust responsibility."
    On the Navajo Nation, a mostly rural reservation of red rock canyon that spans parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, the government shutdown has already been difficult, said Russell Begaye, the Navajo Nation's president.
    A blanket of snow has covered the region, but roads are unplowed because federal maintenance has stopped. Many people are now trapped in their homes, unable to make the 20- or 50-mile journey to buy water, groceries and medicine, said Mr. Begaye.
    The Interior Department's Indian Affairs bureau provides basic services to about 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives, often by funneling funds to the tribes to administer the services themselves or by employing federal workers to run the programs. This means that services from law enforcement to tribal courts, disaster relief and road maintenance are often completed by tribal employees whose salaries rely on federal funding — or by federal workers, some of whom are tribal citizens.

    The Bureau of Indian Affairs was set to furlough 2,662 of 4,490 employees during a shutdown, meaning at least some of those services and salaries will be slowed or stopped.

    Because the federal government contributes to the salaries of many members of the Navajo Nation, Mr. Begaye said the lack of pay would hurt families on the reservation, where a single salary can support a family of six, 10 or even 12 people. Mr. Begaye said loan sharks have started circling, leaving fliers on cars and doorsteps.
    "It just kind of snowballs into our people doing things that they know they shouldn't do and further financially obligating themselves," Mr. Begaye said. "They have to keep their heater going. They have to keep their water on."
    On the Bois Forte Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota, tribal officials have instituted a hiring freeze and are planning to meet later this week to discuss budget cuts. Cathy Chavers, the tribe's chairwoman, said tribal functions were continuing for now, but "it will probably come down to minimal, minimal basic services" if the shutdown lasts another month.
    Already, police officers on her reservation, who are employees of the federal government and not the tribe, were being forced to work without pay.
    "These officers are putting their lives on the line," Ms. Chavers said, "and they don't know if they're going to get a paycheck or not."
    Tribes are making plans for how much longer they can operate, while not knowing whether they will be reimbursed for shutdown-related expenses. Officials with the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin said that they had made contingency plans but that they could manage at least another month without any cuts. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in Idaho posted on Facebook that they had enough money to operate at full strength through Saturday, but would then have to re-evaluate.
    "Things do grind to a halt," said Kevin Washburn, who served as the assistant secretary for Indian Affairs under President Barack Obama. "Indian Country stops moving forward" during a shutdown, Mr. Washburn said, "and starts moving backward."

    A spokesman for the Interior Department, reached on New Year's Eve, said so many people were out of the office for the holiday, or furloughed, that he had no information about the way the shutdown was playing out in Indian Country.

    "Literally, there's a handful of people that are currently excepted and able to work," said the spokesman, John Bockmier, about his office. "I just don't have any details from around the country to give you," he went on, "because there is no one out there that is currently able to provide that information for me."
    For tribes, this has become a familiar, painful scenario. In 2013, during Mr. Obama's presidency, a lengthy shutdown forced a California tribe to close its child care program. In Minnesota, a tribe postponed nonemergency medical procedures. And the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa in Michigan lost several employees to layoffs, including hard-to-replace medical staff who did not return after that shutdown ended.
    With those bad memories in mind, the Sault Chippewa tribal council approved a resolution last month (on the same day President Trump sparred with Democratic leaders about a border wall on television) that allowed leaders to shuffle funds if federal money stopped flowing. That step has delayed the worst of the pain, but it can help only for so long. Already, tribal officials have sent a memo encouraging frugality and canceled the purchase of a new computer server.
    "We're not going to collapse. We may have to decide, 'What we can do with our own funding?'" said Christine McPherson, the Sault Chippewa Tribe's executive director. "But we'll never close."
    There have been some efforts to limit the impact. Representative Markwayne Mullin, Republican of Oklahoma, introduced a bill last month that would have maintained funding for the Indian Health Service during a shutdown. His proposal did not make it to a vote, but Mr. Mullin, who said "I have no read on how long" the shutdown would last, said he hoped his idea would gain bipartisan traction if the broader impasse stretches on.
    "This is a true federal obligation to treaties to Native Americans," said Mr. Mullin, who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and who received health care at an Indian Health Service facility while growing up. "This is different than really any other government agency."

    The shutdown also curtailed a Department of Agriculture food program that helped feed about 90,000 Native American people in fiscal year 2017. Chairman Joseph Rupnick of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, headquartered in northeast Kansas, said he feared the impact that this would have on his members.
    "Those stores will be depleted," Mr. Rupnick said of the tribe's food distribution center. "When they're going through a shutdown, they're thinking: 'I need five billion for a wall. I need dollars for this or that.' The bottom line is it always impacts the neediest people in the country."
    The shutdown has further eroded many Native Americans' confidence in the federal government, which they said has never lived up to lofty promises made in long-ago treaties. "I believe very strongly that it adversely affects a population that is already adversely affected by the United States government," said Harry Barnes, a former chairman of Montana's 17,000-member Blackfeet Nation.

    Mitch Smith reported from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and Julie Turkewitz from Denver.


    11) The Army, in Need of Recruits, Turns Focus to Liberal-Leaning Cities
    By Dave Phillips, January 2, 2019
    Army recruiters Sgt. Dira An, left, and Sgt. Julio Diaz, manned a table at a job fair in Seattle. Enlistment rates in liberal-leaning cities have tended to be low, especially when jobs are plentiful.

    SEATTLE — Army recruiters in Seattle can earn a Friday off for each new soldier they enlist. But in a city with a thriving tech industry and a long history of antiwar protests, the recruiters haven't gotten many long weekends.
    "It's no secret we're a little behind," Sgt. First Class Jeremiah Vargas, who heads the city's recruiting station, told four recruiters at a recent morning pep talk. With a week left in the month, he wrote the station's goal — five recruits — on a white board, and then the current tally: two.
    "What do we need to make mission?" he asked.
    One recruiter responded with a shrug, "A miracle."
    The Army is not quite counting on miracles, but after falling 6,500 soldiers short of its goal nationwide in 2018, it is trying a new strategy that might seem almost as unlikely.
    Rather than focus on more conservative regions of the country that traditionally fill the ranks, the Army plans a big push in 22 left-leaning cities, like Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle, where relatively few recruits have signed up.

    "We want to go into Boston, Pittsburgh, Kansas City," Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, the head of Army Recruiting Command, said. "These are places with a large number of youth who just don't know what the military is about."
    The approach may seem like hunting for snow in Miami. But Army leaders say that all they need to attract enlistees in those cities are a surge of recruiters and the right sales pitch.
    The pitch they have used for years, playing down combat and emphasizing job training and education benefits, can work well when civilian opportunities are scarce. But it is a tough sell these days in a place like Seattle, where jobs are plentiful and the local minimum wage of $15 an hour beats the base pay for privates, corporals or specialists.

    Instead, General Muth said, the Army wants to frame enlistment as a patriotic detour for motivated young adults who might otherwise be bound for a corporate cubicle — a detour that promises a chance for public service, travel and adventure.
    "You want to do a gap year?" the general said. "Come do your gap year in the Army." (Figuratively speaking, of course: Enlistees commit to serve for two to six years.)

    For decades, Army recruiting has relied disproportionately on a crescent-shaped swath of the country stretching from Virginia through the South to Texas, where many military bases are found and many families have traditions of service. Young people there enlist at two to three times the rate of other regions.
    By contrast, in the big metropolitan areas of the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast, young people are less likely to have a parent, teacher or coach who served in the military, which can be a major factor in deciding to enlist. And in those regions, many high schools openly discourage recruiters from interacting with students.
    When the Seattle recruiters visit schools, they are sometimes met by antiwar "counter-recruiting action teams" who call attention to civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan and the high rate of sexual assault in the military.
    "Legally, the high schools have to let us in, but a lot of times, they'll just ignore our calls," Sergeant Vargas said. "A lot of schools don't want us to talk to their kids. They want them to go to college, and see the military as a last resort."
    Parents can be just as leery. "They say 'Thank you for your service, but stay away from my kid,'" said Capt. Carlos Semidey, the Seattle recruiters' company commander.

    Those cold shoulders were easy to ignore when the jobless rate was above 6 percent and the Army's most dependable recruiter, Sgt. Hard Times, was driving high school graduates to enlist. But now, unemployment has fallen to 50-year lows.
    "Whenever that happens, the Army faces recruiting challenges," said David R. Segal, a sociologist who advises the military on recruiting. "But they have always doubled down on areas where they know they can get results. This is a 180-degree turn."

    The Army has begun redirecting its marketing toward digital-native urbanites and suburbanites who are eager for excitement. Out went the Army's sponsorship of a drag-racing team; in are teams of soldiers who compete in mixed martial arts, CrossFit, and competitive video gaming, or e-sports.
    Ads on network sports broadcasts are being scaled back in favor of targeted ads on Facebook and Twitch, Amazon's live-streaming gaming platform. Recruiters will soon be required, not just encouraged, to post on Instagram.
    "Kids aren't watching network TV any more," General Muth said. "They are not at the mall. And they don't answer calls from numbers they don't know. But we know they want to serve their community, so we have to start that conversation with them."
    Unlike the Army, the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy were able to meet 2018 recruiting goals — in part because each requires less than half the Army's numbers.
    But squeezed by the same forces, all military branches must sweeten their enlistment deals, adding sign-up and retention bonuses and loosening medical standards on childhood conditions like asthma and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The Navy is even offering a "golden ticket" that allows some enlisted personnel to take a year off and return with the same job and rank.

    The Army has had to change tactics before to fill its ranks, and it has sometimes stumbled. Toward the end of the draft in the early 1970s, the Army updated its slogan to say "The Army wants to join you," and dispatched recruiters on motorcycles to hold "rap sessions" with prospects, talking about how the Army was loosening up on haircuts and early-morning formations, putting beer machines in barracks and teaching sergeants to not to be so square. The Marine Corps quickly made fun of the attempt at cool, and the campaign came to be reviled in the Army as well.
    This time, the Army plans to focus on blue cities with traveling interactive exhibits that showcase Army careers in health care, engineering and computing. Its sky-diving team and its touring rock band will work to draw crowds, and top brass will speak at events promoting leadership and patriotism. The Army is also putting hundreds of additional recruiters in the field and increasing enlistment bonuses.

    But some experts question whether the plans will make much of an impression on the target audience.
    "They need to see that the Army is made up of people like them," said Emma Moore, who studies Army recruiting at the Center for a New American Security, a research institute in Washington. She added, "Coders, engineers, women — there are a lot of people out there that the Army could use that don't see themselves as having a place."
    The Seattle recruiters often feel as if they are getting nowhere. Two of them stood for hours at a recent job fair in the shadow of the Space Needle without getting a single prospect. An ultimate Frisbee coach with an engineering degree stopped to talk, but he said later that he did it mostly because they "looked a little lonely."
    At a high school event later in the day, students were happy to sign up to for a skateboard raffle, but none made an appointment to meet with a recruiter.
    Even those who walk in to the recruiting station are not a sure bet. Myles Pankey, 19, fit the profile of a blue-city adventure seeker, showing up in jeans and a plaid flannel shirt. A year after graduating from one of the city's top high schools, he was working construction, which paid well but bored him. Following in his accountant father's footsteps held no appeal, he said; he wanted a challenge.
    "If I were you, I'd go infantry," Sergeant Vargas told him. "There's an $11,000 bonus right now if you can ship in a few weeks."
    They talked for more than an hour about opportunities in the Army, but Mr. Pankey said he felt pulled in many directions. His mother and father weren't crazy about him enlisting, he said. His boss, a former Special Forces soldier, had talked up the experience, but another friend who had served in Vietnam called it a terrible idea. None of his high school friends had joined, so he'd be going on his own. He finally told the sergeant he would wait a week before making up his mind.
    "I can get a good job here, but I want to serve my country," Mr. Pankey said on his way out. "I guess I have some thinking to do."



    12)  Historic Moment for Equality in India as Millions Link Arms to Form 400-Mile "Women's Wall"
    By Andrea Germanos, January 2, 2019

    Some of the women taking part in the "Women's Wall" New Year's Day event in the state of Kerala in southern India. (Photo: Twitter/@ShubhaShamim )

    A day after millions of women stood together in the Indian state to form a nearly 400-mile-long human chain to call for equality, two women made history—and sparked protests and a call for a state-wide shutdown—when they entered the Sabarimala temple in the state of Kerala in the early hours Wednesday.

    They were the first women to enter the holy Hindu site since a ban on women of menstrual age was lifted just over three months ago, as protests have blocked others from entering previously.

    The women were identified as 42-year-old Kanaka Durga and 44-year-old Bindu Ammini, who told India Today TV that the two represented "the society fighting for gender justice." Durga added, "We are not scared at all. We followed our legal right as women. We are 100 percent sure that we didn't hurt people."

    Their 3:30am, police-accompanied entrance to the temple follows the New Year's Day action called the "Women's Wall"—a 385-mile (620-kilometer ) human chain. Reuters reports that thousands took part, while other local news outlets put the number at hundreds of thousands, and other local outlets estimated the figure was in the millions.

    Organizers had expected as many as five million to take part in the government-sponsored event, which was motivated by ongoing protests carried out by the two opposition parties in the state, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress Party, who are opposed to the high court's ruling from September striking down the ban on 10- to 50-year-old girls and women from entering the temple.

    According to India's News Minute, "In what is being seen as a defining moment for feminist politics in Kerala, leaders and members from political parties, socio-political organizations, and progressive Hindu organizations, too, joined the event. There were men, too, who stood up in support and solidarity, affirming their commitment to gender equality."

    Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, for his part, called the Women's Wall a "movement for equality, gender sensitivity, and social awakening," while The Times of India framed the event as a "historic moment for gender equality."



    13) US Border Patrol Unleashes Tear Gas Against Children in Mexico

    By Jake Johnson, January 2, 2019

    An activist helps a couple of Central American migrants who were affected by the tear gas that the border police threw into Mexican territory to prevent them from crossing into the United States on January 1, 2019, in Tijuana, Mexico.

    In what human rights groups condemned as a "cruel and inhumane" act that must be independently investigated, agents with President Donald Trump's Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Tuesday reportedly hit women, children, and journalists near the U.S.-Mexico border with tear gas, smoke, and pepper spray.
    According to an Associated Press photographer present at the scene, CBP agents fired "at least three volleys of gas" into Mexico at around 150 asylum-seekers who approached the border in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
    Contradicting CBP's claim that the tear gas was used to deter migrants who were throwing rocks over the border fence, the AP photographer said rocks were thrown "only after U.S. agents fired the tear gas."
    In a statement Tuesday night, Justin Mazzola, deputy director of research at Amnesty International, said CBP's actions should be viewed as part of the Trump administration's sweeping anti-immigrant agenda.
    "Using tear gas against men, women, and children seeking protection is cruel and inhumane," Mazzola declared. "There needs to be a thorough and independent investigation into the reported use of tear gas and other agents in this incident. However, this incident needs to be examined within the broader context of US policies at the border."
    "The Trump administration is defying international law and orchestrating a crisis by deliberately turning asylum-seekers away from ports of entry, endangering families who see no choice but to take desperate measures in their search for protection," he continued. "These dangerous policies must end immediately. The U.S. must welcome people safely into the country while their asylum claims are reviewed."
    CBP's use of tear gas against asylum-seekers on Tuesday marked the second time the agency has fired the chemical into Mexico over the past several weeks alone. As Common Dreams reported, CBP agents fired tear gas across the U.S.-Mexico border in late November, forcing women and children to flee "screaming and coughing."
    The Trump administration's use of chemical agents against asylum-seekers comes amid a government shutdown over the president's demand for $5 billion in border wall funding.
    While Democratic leaders have thus far rejected Trump's demand for wall money, progressive advocacy groups raised alarm in a letter last weekthat the Democrats' plan to reopen the government would still provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—which oversees CBP—with substantial funding to carry out the president's anti-immigrant agenda.
    "As much as we all desire an end to the shutdown," the groups wrote, "rewarding Trump's DHS with border barrier money is the wrong course of action, especially at a time when its personnel are tear gassing toddlers, separating and detaining families, and presiding over custodial deaths, including those of a seven-year-old girl named Jakelin and an eight-year-old boy named Felipe in Border Patrol custody just this month."
    Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter: @johnsonjakep.



    14)  14-Year-Old Is Charged With Murder After Egg Prank and Fatal Crash

    By Matt Stevens, January 2, 2019

    A 14-year-old boy driving a sport utility vehicle crashed into a truck and killed a woman in Houston on Tuesday, the authorities said.

    A 14-year-old Texas boy who was said to have been throwing eggs at cars was charged with murder after he crashed into a pickup truck and killed a woman while being chased by another driver, the authorities said on Wednesday.
    Around 2:20 p.m. Tuesday, the boy was driving a tan GMC Acadia westbound with two juvenile passengers "at a high rate of speed," the Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. They were being chased by a man driving a tan Lincoln after the teenagers were reportedly seen throwing eggs at other cars, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. The driver of the Lincoln displayed a semiautomatic handgun while giving chase, the statement said.
    When the teenagers in the Acadia reached the intersection of Aldine Mail Route and Aldine Westfield Road in Houston, the 14-year-older driver, whose name was not released, ran the red light and struck a Ford F-150 as the Ford was traveling southbound through the intersection, the authorities said. In video of the crash obtained by The Houston Chronicle, two vehicles come spinning into the frame; one becomes momentarily airborne before both come to rest in a crumpled, smoky heap.

    The driver of the F-150, Silvia Zavala, 45, was declared dead at the scene by paramedics, the sheriff's office said. Ms. Zavala, a single mother of two, had been visiting family for the holiday and had been out running an errand when her vehicle was struck, ABC13 Houston reported in a tweet shared by the sheriff.

    The 14-year-old driver was subsequently charged with murder and booked in the county juvenile detention center, Sheriff Gonzalez said, adding that the boy's ankle was broken as a result of the crash.
    In the meantime, the driver of the Lincoln was located by investigators and was cooperating with the authorities, the statement from the sheriff's office said.
    It was not immediately clear whether the driver of the Lincoln or anyone else connected to the episode would be charged with a crime, and it was also not known if the 14-year-old would be tried as a juvenile or as an adult. A spokesman for the Harris County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to phone and email messages. The authorities said the case remained under investigation.
    Asked whether the 14-year-old had been charged as a minor or an adult, a woman who picked up the phone at the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center said she could not release that information.


    15) American Jews and Israeli Jews Are Headed for a Messy Breakup
    By Jonathan Weisman, January 4, 2019

    The events of past year brought American and Israeli Jews ever closer to a breaking point. President Trump, beloved in Israel and decidedly unloved by a majority of American Jews, moved the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May, with the fiery evangelical pastors John Hagee and Robert Jeffress consecrating the ceremony. 
    In October, after the murder of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, President Trump went to that city to pay his respects. Members of the Jewish community there, in near silent mourning, came out to protest Mr. Trump’s arrival, declaring that he was not welcome until he gave a national address to renounce the rise of white nationalism and its attendant bigotry.
    The only public official to greet the president at the Tree of Life was Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer.
    At a Hanukkah celebration at the White House last month, the president raised eyebrows and age-old insinuations of dual loyalties when he told American Jews at the gathering that his vice president had great affection for “your country,” Israel.

    Yossi Klein Halevi, the American-born Israeli author, has framed this moment starkly: Israeli Jews believe deeply that President Trump recognizes their existential threats. In scuttling the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, which many Israelis saw as imperiling their security, in moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in basically doing whatever the government of Benjamin Netanyahu asks, they see a president of the United States acting to save their lives.
    American Jews, in contrast, see President Trump as their existential threat, a leader who they believe has stoked nationalist bigotry, stirred anti-Semitism and, time again, failed to renounce the violent hatred swirling around his political movement. The F.B.I. reports that hate crimes in the United States jumped 17 percent in 2017, with a 37 percent spike in crimes against Jews and Jewish institutions. 
    When neither side sees the other as caring for its basic well-being, “that is a gulf that cannot be bridged,” Michael Siegel, the head rabbi at Chicago’s conservative Anshe Emet Synagogue, told me recently. He is an ardent Zionist.
    To be sure, a vocal minority of Jews in Israel remain queasy about the American president, just as a vocal minority of Jews in the United States strongly support him. But more than 75 percent of American Jews voted for the Democrats in the midterm elections; 69 percent of Israelis have a positive view of the United States under Mr. Trump, up from 49 percent in 2015, according to the Pew Research Center. Israel is one of the few developed countries where opinion about the United States has improved since Mr. Trump took office.
    Part of the distance between Jews in the United States and Israeli Jews may come from the stance that Israel’s leader is taking on the world stage. Mr. Netanyahu has embraced the increasingly authoritarian Hungarian leader Victor Orban, who ran a blatantly anti-Semitic re-election campaign. He has aligned himself with ultranationalists like Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and a Polish government that passed a law making it a crime to suggest the Poles had any responsibility for the Holocaust.

    The Israeli prime minister was one of the very few world leaders who reportedly ran interference for the Trump administration after the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and urged President Trump to maintain his alliance with the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Mr. Netanyahu’s son Yair was temporarily kicked off Facebook for writing that he would “prefer” that “all the Muslims leave the land of Israel.”
    Last month, with multiple corruption investigations closing in on him and his conservative coalition fracturing, Mr. Netanyahu called for a snap election in April, hoping to fortify his political standing. 
    If past is prologue, his election campaign will again challenge American Jewry’s values. As his 2015 campaign came to a close, Mr. Netanyahu darkly warned his supporters that “the right-wing government is in danger — Arab voters are heading to the polling stations in droves,” adding with a Trumpian flourish that left-wing organizations “are bringing them in buses.”
    Israeli politicians — and citizens — are increasingly dismissive of the views of American Jews anyway. Evangelical Christians, ardently pro-Israel, give Jerusalem a power base in Washington that is larger and stronger than the American Jewish population. And with Orthodox American Jews aligned with evangelicals, that coalition has at least an interfaith veneer — even without Conservative and Reform Jews, the bulk of American Jewry.
    The divide between American Jews and Israeli Jews goes beyond politics. A recent law tried to reinstate the Chief Rabbinate as the only authority that can legally convert non-Orthodox Jews in Israel. Israel’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi, after the slaughter in Pittsburgh, refused to refer to the Conservative Tree of Life as a synagogue at all, calling it “a place with a profound Jewish flavor.”
    Already only Orthodox Jewish weddings are legal in Israel. Reform Jews have been roughed up when praying at the Western Wall. Promises to Jewish women that the Israeli rabbinate would become more inclusive have largely led to disappointment. Last summer, the group Women of the Wall was warned that if it did not remain confined to the small, barricaded area within the “women’s section,” its members would be barred from praying there altogether.
    And the stalemate over Palestinian rights and autonomy has become nearly impossible to dismiss as some temporary roadblock, awaiting perhaps a new government in Jerusalem or a new leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

    The two-state solution is increasingly feeling like a cruel joke. American Jews’ rabbis and lay leaders counsel them to be vigilant against any other solution, such as granting Palestinians full rights in a greater Israel, because those solutions would dilute or destroy Israel’s identity as a Jewish state. Be patient, American Jews are told. Peace talks are coming. The Palestinians will have their state.
    In the meantime, the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel grows stronger on American campuses, and new voices are emerging in the Democratic Party, such as Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who are willing to speak openly about Palestinian rights and autonomy where other lawmakers have declined to do so.
    Of course, American Jews, like Israeli Jews, are not a monolith. Within the American Jewish population, there is a significant generational split on Israel that goes beyond ideology. Older American Jews, more viscerally aware of the Holocaust and connected to the living history of the Jewish state, are generally willing to look past Israeli government actions that challenge their values. Or they embrace those actions. Younger American Jews do not typically remember Israel as the David against regional Goliaths. They see a bully, armed and indifferent, 45 years past the Yom Kippur War, the last conflict that threatened Israel’s existence.
    American Jewry has been going its own way for 150 years, a drift that has created something of a new religion, or at least a new branch of one of the world’s most ancient faiths.
    In a historical stroke with resonance today, American Jewish leaders gathered in Pittsburgh in 1885 to produce what is known as the Pittsburgh Platform, a new theology for an American Judaism, less focused on a Messianic return to the land of Israel and more on fixing a broken world, the concept of Tikkun Olam. Jews, the rabbi behind the platform urged, must achieve God’s purpose by “living and working in and with the world.”
    For a faith that for thousands of years was insular and self-contained, its people often in mandated ghettos, praying for the Messiah to return them to the Promised Land, this was a radical notion. But for most American Jews, it is now accepted as a tenet of their religion: building a better, more equal, more tolerant world now, where they live.
    Last summer, when a Conservative rabbi in Haifa was hauled in for questioning by the Israeli police after he officiated at a non-Orthodox wedding, it was too much for Rabbi Steven Wernick, chief executive of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the umbrella organization of the Conservative movement in North America.

    “I do not believe we can talk about a ‘gap’ between Israel and the Diaspora,” Rabbi Wernick wrote in a letter to the Israeli government. “It is now a ‘canyon.’”
    My rabbi in Washington, Daniel Zemel, said in despair during Kol Nidre, the Yom Kippur evening service, this fall: “For the first time in my life, I feel a genuine threat to my life in Israel. This is not an external threat. It is an internal threat from nationalists and racists.”
    He implored his congregation to act before it is too late, to save Israel from itself.
    But Israelis want nothing of the sort. American Jews don’t serve in the Israeli military, don’t pay Israeli taxes and don’t live under the threat of Hamas rocket bombardments. And many American Jews would not heed Rabbi Zemel’s call. 
    Zionism divided American Jewry for much of the latter 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. Those divisions remained in the early decades of the Jewish state, fading only with the triumph of the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 and the peril of the Yom Kippur War.
    Now many American Jews, especially young American Jews, would say, Israel is Israel’s problem. We have our own.
    There are roughly 6.5 million Jews in Israel. There are roughly 5.7 million Jews in America. Increasingly, they see the world in starkly different ways.
    The Great Schism is upon us.
    Jonathan Weisman is a veteran Washington journalist, deputy Washington editor at The Times and author of the novel "No. 4 Imperial Lane" and the nonfiction book "(((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump."












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