Save the date! Wed., Feb. 6, 7:30 pm March 30 Spring Action Antiwar Coalition Meeting

Neibyl Proctor Library

6501 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA



Six Boxes of Mumia Abu-Jamal's Files Found Hidden in DA Storage Room

Mumia Abu-Jamal


On January 3, 2019 the office of District Attorney Larry Krasner filed a letter memorandum to Judge Leon Tucker.  "DA [Larry Krasner], and members of his staff went to a remote and largely inaccessible of the DA's office marked "Storage" looking for office furniture." And found six boxes of files on Mumia Abu-Jamal's case that were not produced duringthe recent court proceedings.

The District Attorney Krasner's remarkable and suspicious discovery of six boxes of files marked Mumia or Mumia Abu-Jamal hidden in a storage room on December 28 was one day after Judge Tucker's historic decision granting Mumia Abu-Jamal new rights of appeal.

This is confirmation of what we've known for decades--the prosecution has hidden exculpatory evidence in Mumia's case.  Evidence that is likely proof that Mumia's guilt was intentionally manufactured by the police and prosecution and the truth of his innocence suppressed.

These files should be released to the public. DA Krasner should take this as evidence of the total corruptness of this prosecution against an innocent man. The remedy for this is nothing less than dismissal of the charges against Mumia and his freedom from prison!

It took DA Krasner six days to report this find to Judge Tucker. Why? And who has gone through those six boxes of files on Mumia's case? What assurance can DA Krasner give that there hasn't been further tampering with and covering up of the evidence, which led to an innocent man being framed for murder and sentenced to death?

The DA's letter was not publicly available, nor was the January 3 docket filing shown on the court's public access web pages of docket filing, until January 9.

Rachel Wolkenstein, January 10, 2019
WHYY (an affiliate of NPR)
Philly prosecutors discover mysterious 'six boxes' connected to Mumia Abu-Jamal in storage room
By Bobby AllynJanuary 9, 2019
A group of two dozen activists briefly block traffic during a rally outside the Philadelphia District Attorney's office on Friday. The group called on DA Larry Krasner to not challenge a Common Pleas court ruling that allows Mumia Abu-Jamal to file an appeal. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

Days after Christmas, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and some of his assistants went rummaging around an out-of-the-way storage room in the office looking for some pieces of furniture. What they stumbled upon was a surprising find: six boxes stuffed of files connected to the case of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Five of the six boxes were marked "McCann," a reference to the former head of the office's homicide unit, Ed McCann. Some of the boxes were also marked "Mumia," or the former Black Panther's full name, "Mumia Abu-Jamal."

It is unknown what exactly the files say and whether or not the box's contents will shed new light on a case that for decades has garnered worldwide attention.

But in a letter to the judge presiding over Abu-Jamal's case, Assistant District Attorney Tracey Kavanagh wrote "nothing in the Commonwealth's database showed the existence of these six boxes," she said. "We are in the process of reviewing these boxes."

The surprise discovery comes just weeks after a Philadelphia judge reinstated appeals rightsto Abu-Jamal, saying the former radio journalist and activist should get another chance to reargue his case in front of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court due to a conflict-of-interest one of the justices had at the time Abu-Jamal's petition was denied.

Abu-Jamal's supportersare seizing on the mysterious six boxes as proof that his innocence has been systematically suppressed by authorities.

"There's no question in my mind that the only reason they could've been hidden like this is that this is the evidence of the frame-up of Mumia," said Rachel Wolkenstein, who has been a legal advocate and activist for Abu-Jamal for more than 30 years.

"What these missing boxes represent is confirmation of what we've known for decades: there's hidden, exculpatory evidence in Mumia's case, and that is evidence that Mumia's guilt was intentionally manufactured by the police and prosecution and the truth of his innocence was suppressed," Wolkenstein said.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office did not say anything at all about what is in the boxes, or whether there is evidence that the files are exculpatory, or capable of demonstrating that Abu-Jamal did not commit a crime. During his original trial three separate eyewitnesses testified Mumia did commit the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

Wolkenstein's assessment is wild speculation, according to Ed McCann, the former homicide unit chief whose name was scrawled across the six boxes. McCann left the office in 2015 after 26 years there as a prosecutor. He was never directly involved in Abu-Jamal's case.

"I can't tell you 100% what is in these boxes," McCann said Wednesday night. "But I doubt there is anything in them that is not already in the public eye."

How and why did six boxes tied to one of the most legendary and racially-charged cases the office has ever handled get relegated to a dusty storage room?

McCann is not sure. But he said when the office moved locations in 2006, hundreds of boxes with his name written them were moved into the current headquarters on South Penn Square, just across the street from Philadelphia City Hall.

"I don't remember these six boxes. But nobody over there discussed this with me before filing this letter," McCann said. "I would think if they were really interested in what happened, they would have reached out to me."

In the two-page letter to the court, assistant district attorney Kavanagh wrote that if Judge Leon Tucker would like to review the boxes, prosecutors will turn them over.

Tucker, who is the same judge who ordered that Abu-Jamal should be given a new appeals argument, has not weighed in on the newly-discovered boxes.

But in his opinion last month, Tucker said former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille should have recused himself from hearing Abu-Jamal's petitions, since Castille himself was Philadelphia's District Attorney when the case was actively on appeal. "True justice must be completely just without even a hint of partiality, lack of integrity or impropriety," wrote Tucker, saying a new hearing in front of the state's high court is warranted.

Prosecutors have not taken a position yet on Tucker's opinion. The files unearthed in the six boxes could influence whether Krasner's office supports or opposes a new hearing for Abu-Jamal.

Wolkenstein said the thousands of people who have joined the "Free Mumia" movement around the globe should be able to review the documents themselves.

"These files should be released publicly," Wolkenstein said. "The remedy for this is nothing less than dismissal of Mumia's charges and his release from prison."

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



Statement: Academic Institutions Must Defend Free Speech

The International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity issued the following statement on 23 December, signed by 155 distinguished academics and human rights advocates.

Petition Text

Statement issued by the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity:
We, the undersigned, oppose the coordinated campaign to deny academics their free speech rights due to their defense of Palestinian rights and criticism of the policies and practices of the state of Israel. Temple University in Philadelphia, USA and the University of Sydney, Australia have been under great pressure to fire, respectively, Marc Lamont Hill and Tim Anderson, both senior academics at their institutions, for these reasons. Steven Salaita and Norman Finkelstein have already had their careers destroyed by such attacks. Hatem Bazian, Ahlam Muhtaseb, William Robinson, Rabab Abdulhadi and others have also been threatened.
The ostensible justification for such action is commonly known as the "Palestinian exception" to the principle of free speech. One may freely criticize and disrespect governments – including one's own – religions, political beliefs, personal appearance and nearly everything else except the actions and policies of the state of Israel. Those who dare to do so will become the focus of well-financed and professionally run campaigns to silence and/or destroy them and their careers.
We recognize that much of the free speech that occurs in academic and other environments will offend some individuals and groups. However, as has been said many times before, the answer to free speech that some may find objectionable is more free speech, not less. We therefore call upon all academic institutions, their faculty and students, as well as the public at large, to resist such bullying tactics and defend the free speech principles upon which they and all free societies and their institutions are founded.


























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:



Save the date! Wed., Feb. 6, 7:30 pm March 30 Spring Action Antiwar Coalition Meeting

Neibyl Proctor Library
6501 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA

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



To: Indiana Department of Corrections

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson Should Have Access to His Personal Property

Petition Text

1. IDOC regulation 02-01-101-VIII must be respected! Kevin Johnson (IDOC# 264847) must be allowed to select from his property the items that he most immediately needs. He has been left without any of the material he requires for contacting his loved ones, his writing (this includes books), his pending litigation, and for his artwork. 
2. Kevin Johnson (IDOC# 264847) should be released into General Population. Prolonged solitary confinement is internationally recognized as a form of torture. Moreover, he has not committed any infractions.

Why is this important?

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson (IDOC# 264847) – a Virginia prisoner – was transferred to Indiana on November 4. His transfer was authorized under the Interstate Corrections Compact, commonly used to ship prisoners out of state. Virginia is one of several states that make use of this practice as a tool to repress and isolate prisoners who speak up for their rights.
These transfers are extremely disruptive, and serve as an opportunity for prison officials to violate prisoners' rights, especially regarding their property. This is exactly what has been done to Rashid.
Rashid has 24 boxes of personal property. These are all of his possessions in the world. Much of these 24 boxes consist of legal documents and research materials, including materials directly related to pending or anticipated court cases, and his list of addresses and phone numbers of media contacts, human rights advocates, outside supporters, and friends.
At Pendleton Correctional Facility, where Rashid is now being kept prisoner and in solitary confinement, only one guard is in charge of the property room. This is very unusual, as the property room is where all of the prisoners' belongings that are not in their cells are kept. The guard in charge, Dale Davis, has a dubious reputation. Prisoners complain that property goes missing, and their requests to access their belongings – that by law are supposed to be met within 7 days, or if there are court deadlines within 24 hours – are often ignored, answered improperly, or what they receive does not correspond to what they have asked for.
Despite having a need for legal and research documents for pending and anticipated court cases, his requests to receive his property have not been properly answered. The property officer, Dale Davis, is supposed to inventory the prisoners' property with them (and a witness) present, according to IDOC regulation 02-01-101-VIII; this was never done. When Rashid did receive some property, it was a random selection of items unrelated to what he asked for, brought to the segregation unit in a box and a footlocker and left in an insecure area where things could be stolen or tampered with.
On December 19th, Rashid received notice that Davis had confiscated various documents deemed to be "security threat group" or "gang" related from his property. Rashid has no idea what these might be, as (contrary to the prison regulations) he was not present when his property was gone through. Rashid does not know how much or how little was confiscated, or what the rationale was for its being described as "gang" related. None of Rashid's property should be confiscated or thrown out under any circumstances, but it is worth noting that the way in which this has been done contravenes the prison's own regulations and policies!
Dale Davis has been an IDOC property officer for 8 years. He has boasted about how he does not need any oversight or anyone else working with him, even though it is very unusual for just one person to have this responsibility. Prisoners' property goes "missing" or is tampered with, and prisoners' rights – as laid out by the Indiana Department of Corrections – are not being respected.
Rashid is not asking to have all of his property made available to him in his cell. He is willing to accept only having access to some of it at a time, for instance as he needs it to prepare court documents or for his research and writing. 
After two months in Indiana, he has still not been supplied with his documents containing the phone numbers and addresses of his loved ones and supporters, effectively sabotaging his relationships on the outside. Rashid is not asking for any kind of special treatment, he is only asking for the prison property room to follow the prison's own rules.
We ask that you look into this, and make sure that Mr. Johnson's right to access his property is being respected, and that something be done about the irregularities in the Pendleton property room. We ask that the rules of the Indiana Department of Corrections be respected.

Sign the petition here:

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

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Major George Tillery
April 25, 2018-- The arrest of two young men in Starbucks for the crime of "sitting while black," and the four years prison sentence to rapper Meek Mill for a minor parole violation are racist outrages in Philadelphia, PA that made national news in the past weeks. Yesterday Meek Mills was released on bail after a high profile defense campaign and a Pa Supreme Court decision citing evidence his conviction was based solely on a cop's false testimony.
These events underscore the racism, frame-up, corruption and brutality at the core of the criminal injustice system. Pennsylvania "lifer" Major Tillery's fight for freedom puts a spotlight on the conviction of innocent men with no evidence except the lying testimony of jailhouse snitches who have been coerced and given favors by cops and prosecutors.

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

Homicide detectives and prosecutors threatened Claitt with a false unrelated murder charge, and induced him to lie with promises of little or no jail time on over twenty pending felonies, and being released from jail despite a parole violation. In addition, homicide detectives arranged for Claitt, while in custody, to have private sexual liaisons with his girlfriends in police interview rooms.
In May and June 2016, Emanuel Claitt gave sworn statements that his testimony was a total lie, and that the homicide cops and the prosecutors told him what to say and coached him before trial. Not only was he coerced to lie that Major Tillery was a shooter, but to lie and claim there were no plea deals made in exchange for his testimony. He provided the information about the specific homicide detectives and prosecutors involved in manufacturing his testimony and details about being allowed "sex for lies". In August 2016, Claitt reaffirmed his sworn statements in a videotape, posted on YouTube and on JusticeforMajorTillery.org.
Without the coerced and false testimony of Claitt there was no evidence against Major Tillery. There were no ballistics or any other physical evidence linking him to the shootings. The surviving victim's statement naming others as the shooters was not allowed into evidence.
The trial took place in May 1985 during the last days of the siege and firebombing of the MOVE family Osage Avenue home in Philadelphia that killed 13 Black people, including 5 children. The prosecution claimed that Major Tillery was part of an organized crime group, and falsely described it as run by the Nation of Islam. This prejudiced and inflamed the majority white jury against Tillery, to make up for the absence of any evidence that Tillery was involved in the shootings.
This was a frame-up conviction from top to bottom. Claitt was the sole or primary witness in five other murder cases in the early 1980s. Coercing and inducing jailhouse informants to falsely testify is a standard routine in criminal prosecutions. It goes hand in hand with prosecutors suppressing favorable evidence from the defense.
Major Tillery has filed a petition based on his actual innocence to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Larry Krasner's Conviction Review Unit. A full review and investigation should lead to reversal of Major Tillery's conviction. He also asks that the DA's office to release the full police and prosecution files on his case under the new  "open files" policy. In the meantime, Major Tillery continues his own investigation. He needs your support.
Major Tillery has Fought his Conviction and Advocated for Other Prisoners for over 30 Years
The Pennsylvania courts have rejected three rounds of appeals challenging Major Tillery's conviction based on his innocence, the prosecution's intentional presentation of false evidence against him and his trial attorney's conflict of interest. On June 15, 2016 Major Tillery filed a new post-conviction petition based on the same evidence now in the petition to the District Attorney's Conviction Review Unit. Despite the written and video-taped statements from Emanuel Claitt that that his testimony against Major Tillery was a lie and the result of police and prosecutorial misconduct, Judge Leon Tucker dismissed Major Tillery's petition as "untimely" without even holding a hearing. Major Tillery appealed that dismissal and the appeal is pending in the Superior Court.
During the decades of imprisonment Tillery has advocated for other prisoners challenging solitary confinement, lack of medical and mental health care and the inhumane conditions of imprisonment. In 1990, he won the lawsuit, Tillery v. Owens, that forced the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) to end double celling (4 men to a small cell) at SCI Pittsburgh, which later resulted in the closing and then "renovation" of that prison.
Three years ago Major Tillery stood up for political prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and demanded prison Superintendent John Kerestes get Mumia to a hospital because "Mumia is dying."  For defending Mumia and advocating for medical treatment for himself and others, prison officials retaliated. Tillery was shipped out of SCI Mahanoy, where Mumia was also held, to maximum security SCI Frackville and then set-up for a prison violation and a disciplinary penalty of months in solitary confinement. See, Messing with Major by Mumia Abu-Jamal. Major Tillery's federal lawsuit against the DOC for that retaliation is being litigated. Major Tillery continues as an advocate for all prisoners. He is fighting to get the DOC to establish a program for elderly prisoners.
Major Tillery Needs Your Help:
Well-known criminal defense attorney Stephen Patrizio represents Major pro bonoin challenging his conviction. More investigation is underway. We can't count on the district attorney's office to make the findings of misconduct against the police detectives and prosecutors who framed Major without continuing to dig up the evidence.
Major Tillery is now 67 years old. He's done hard time, imprisoned for almost 35 years, some 20 years in solitary confinement in max prisons for a crime he did not commit. He recently won hepatitis C treatment, denied to him for a decade by the DOC. He has severe liver problems as well as arthritis and rheumatism, back problems, and a continuing itchy skin rash. Within the past couple of weeks he was diagnosed with an extremely high heartbeat and is getting treatment.
Major Tillery does not want to die in prison. He and his family, daughters, sons and grandchildren are fighting to get him home. The newly filed petition for Conviction Review to the Philadelphia District Attorney's office lays out the evidence Major Tillery has uncovered, evidence suppressed by the prosecution through all these years he has been imprisoned and brought legal challenges into court. It is time for the District Attorney's to act on the fact that Major Tillery is innocent and was framed by police detectives and prosecutors who manufactured the evidence to convict him. Major Tillery's conviction should be vacated and he should be freed.

Major Tillery and family

    Financial Support—Tillery's investigation is ongoing. He badly needs funds to fight for his freedom.
    Go to JPay.com;
    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC

    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:
    The Conviction Review Unit should investigate Major Tillery's case. He is innocent. The only evidence at trial was from lying jail house informants who now admit it was false.
    Call: 215-686-8000 or

    Write to:
    Security Processing Center
    Major Tillery AM 9786
    268 Bricker Road
    Bellefonte, PA 16823
    For More Information, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery.org
    Kamilah Iddeen (717) 379-9009, Kamilah29@yahoo.com
    Rachel Wolkenstein (917) 689-4009, RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com



    Free Leonard Peltier!

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



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







    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


    1) Scientists Single Out a Suspect in Starfish Carnage: Warming OceansBy Kendra Pierre-Louis, January 30, 2019

    A sunflower star off Alaska. Their limbs can number between 16 and 24 and can span four feet across.CreditCreditJennifer Idol/Stocktrek Images, via Science Source

    In 2013, starfish — including the morning sun star, the richly hued ochre star and the sunflower star, whose limbs can span four feet across — started dying by the millions along the Pacific Coast from Mexico to Alaska.
    They were succumbing to a wasting disease. It began with white lesions on their limbs, the dissolution of the surrounding flesh, a loss of limbs and finally death. Understanding, let alone solving, the problem would take research.
    One day, shortly after the epidemic began, Drew Harvell, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University who had been sounding the alarm about the disease, received a curious letter.

    "I received a $400 check in the mail from a group of schoolchildren from Arkansas," Dr. Harvell said. "These kids were so upset about the idea of starfish disappearing from the oceans that they went out and they did this fund-raiser and raised 400 bucks for us to help in our research. I never asked them to do this. They just did it."

    Dr. Harvell matched it with her own money, and a donor kicked in quite a bit more. "That was what funded some of our early surveys," she said. "These kids, who none of them had been to the Pacific Ocean, but they just needed to know those stars were there." 
    One of the ultimate results of the children's donation, a paper that sheds some light on the decline of the starfish, also known as sea stars, was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. The main suspect: our warming oceans.
    In 2013, parts of the Pacific Ocean became unusually warm as part of a broader marine heat wave, nicknamed the Blob, that would last through 2015 and that was very likely exacerbated by human-caused global warming. But while the ocean warmed, it didn't warm evenly, making it hard to tell if the heat wave was contributing to the starfish deaths.
    In the study, which was led jointly by Cornell and the University of California, Davis, Dr. Harvell and her colleagues compiled data from citizen-scientists and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Then, they compared changes in the sunflower star population with changes in ocean temperature during the outbreak.
    While the disease affected 20 species of starfish, the researchers focused on the sunflower star because it was especially hard hit and because there was good historical data on its population before the epidemic.

    The researchers found that the die-off of the sunflower star matched the pattern of heat spreading through the ocean.

    According to Rebecca Vega Thurber, an associate professor of environmental microbiology at Oregon State University, who was not involved in the study, "What's really exciting about this paper is the really strong correspondence between this temperature anomaly that occurred during that year when the sea stars started dying."
    Everywhere the warming went, the sunflower stars sickened and died.
    The study showed a correlation between warming temperatures and the spread of the disease, not a direct cause. But it corroborates a hypothesis that was initially questioned because the virus that researchers think is responsible also shows up in healthy sea stars. 
    "That trigger, in the case of this paper, seems to be temperature," Dr. Vega Thurber said.
    Dr. Vega Thurber pointed out that the presence of a particular pathogen does not necessarily mean a disease will develop.
    For example, if you've had chickenpox you are carrying the virus that causes shingles. Roughly a third of carriers will develop the disease, but two-thirds won't. It takes something to prompt its emergence.
    Heat has also been implicated as a trigger in the spread of a fungus that is wiping out frog and toad populations around the globe, as well as in coral diseases. In fact, when corals bleach or lose their symbiotic algae because of warming oceans, it's typically disease that ultimately kills them.
    There are things we can do to help marine life, Dr. Harvell said. We can replant seagrass beds and protect mangroves, for instance. But, ultimately, we need to stop climate change, she said. The world's oceans have absorbed more than 90 percent of the atmospheric heat humans have caused by releasing greenhouse gases.

    While some affected sea stars have begun to return to American waters on the West Coast, the sunflower star has not returned off the lower 48 states.
    But last summer, on the south coast of Alaska, researchers saw a glimmer of hope: the reappearance of sunflower stars, which had disappeared from Prince William Sound during the outbreak.
    "We don't know where exactly they came from," said Brenda Konar, a professor of marine biology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, who was not involved in the Science Advances study. "They were pretty small and we don't know if they're going to survive. So we're really curious about what we'll see next summer."
    If they make a comeback, the Arkansas students, who are now teenagers, will likely be delighted.
    Kendra Pierre-Louis is a reporter on the climate team. Before joining The Times in 2017, she covered science and the environment for Popular Science. @kendrawrites

    2) The Truth Behind a Vietnam War Airstrike Uncovered
    In this week's At War newsletter: An investigative report obtained by The Times reveals new details about one of the Vietnam War's worst friendly-fire incidents.
    By John Ismay, February 1, 2019

    Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade filing past bodies of fellow soldiers killed in the Battle of Dak To.CreditCreditAl Chang/Associated Press

    In the desperate fight for Hill 875 in South Vietnam's Central Highlands, at least 20 soldiers from the United States Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade were killed in one of the deadliest friendly-fire incidents of the entire Vietnam War. Just past dusk on Nov. 19, 1967, a Marine Corps A-4 attack jet dropped two 250-pound Mk-81 Snakeye bombs, which landed inside the 173rd's hastily formed defensive perimeter. One of the bombs was a dud; the other exploded as it hit a tree, under which was the American command post as well as the collection point for the unit's most seriously wounded soldiers.
    The story is based on an unredacted Air Force investigation, whose details have not previously been made public, into the incident and first-person accounts from service members who were there, including Jon Wambi Cook, a soldier who survived the battle. Cook vividly remembers what happened on the ground in the moments after the blast, as the investigative report recounts what happened in the air above him. The combined narratives point to the sorrow and doubt that endure for a lifetime after a battlefield mistake.

    In reporting this story, I consulted with two people who have written extensively on what became known as the Battle of Dak To. One, Edward F. Murphy, scoured the National Archives for records related to the battle before publishing a book about the fight in 1993. The second was a retired Army infantry colonel named Leonard B. Scott, who wrote his graduate thesis about the battle while a student at the Army War College in 1988, and searched through the school library's hoard of primary-source documents related to Dak To. Both men told me that they had never seen the report before.

    Scott's research helped him piece together what he heard as a young lieutenant when he reported as a platoon leader in the 173rd, arriving in Vietnam about a year after the Battle of Dak To. Back then, he said, the consensus was that the South Vietnamese were responsible for the errant strike, not the Americans. But the investigation, which was kept from view by the Defense Department, shows that though there were two A-1 Skyraider airplanes above Hill 875 during the battle, they were flown by the United States Air Force and not by the South Vietnamese.
    Scott heard more or less the same story throughout the 1970s and 1980s in professional settings and officers clubs alike, and Scott didn't question it. "It kind of explained away everything for me," Scott said. "It's just easier to point to someone else, especially when there's the option to point at someone else." It wasn't until I spoke to him earlier this month about the report's findings did he finally learn that the South Vietnamese were not to blame for the short round. The investigation makes it clear exactly who dropped that bomb: a United States Marine lieutenant colonel who commanded an A-4 Skyhawk squadron at Chu Lai. Now living in an assisted-care facility, I spoke with the former pilot at length about Dak To. He still prays it was someone else who was responsible.


    3) Teenagers Emerge as a Force in Climate Protests Across Europe
    By Milan Schreuer, Ellan Peltier and Christopher F. Schuetze, January 31, 2019

    Thousands of students skipped school on Thursday and swamped the center of Brussels to demand better protection of the world's climate.CreditCreditFrancisco Seco/Associated Press

    BRUSSELS — Tens of thousands of children skipped school in Belgium on Thursday to join demonstrations for action against climate change, part of a broader environmental protest movement across Europe that has gathered force over the past several weeks.
    In Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland and elsewhere, activists have come together on social media to gather in large numbers and without much apparent preparation, the protests taking a different shape in each country.
    In Germany, students have protested on Fridays, communicating mainly through the messaging app WhatsApp; in Belgium, they organize on Facebook and have skipped school by the thousands on four consecutive Thursdays.

    Last Sunday, climate protests in Brussels swelled to an estimated 100,000 people of all ages. That same day, an estimated 80,000 took part in cities across France — more than turned out for the "Yellow Vest"protests the day before.

    BRUSSELS — Tens of thousands of children skipped school in Belgium on Thursday to join demonstrations for action against climate change, part of a broader environmental protest movement across Europe that has gathered force over the past several weeks.
    In Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland and elsewhere, activists have come together on social media to gather in large numbers and without much apparent preparation, the protests taking a different shape in each country.
    In Germany, students have protested on Fridays, communicating mainly through the messaging app WhatsApp; in Belgium, they organize on Facebook and have skipped school by the thousands on four consecutive Thursdays.
    Last Sunday, climate protests in Brussels swelled to an estimated 100,000 people of all ages. That same day, an estimated 80,000 took part in cities across France — more than turned out for the "Yellow Vest"protests the day before.

    "To us, it is so self-evident that we can't keep on going in this direction," said Axelle, raising her voice above the drumming, whistling and shouting of her fellow protesters.
    "We come here with the right intentions, to protest in peace and to raise awareness about climate change, because we want to be on the right side of history," Elisa Kiambi said. "It is time for the government to act."
    After meeting this week with a delegation of climate activists, Belgium's prime minister, Charles Michel, said he was prepared to act, but not at any cost.

    "Nothing is for free, someone always has to pay the bills," he said.
    He seemed to refer to the Yellow Vest movement against economic woes and inequality, which has resonated with people across Europe, including in Belgium. That movement, which began in reaction to a planned fuel tax increase — presented as an environmental measure — has been at odds with concerns about the climate.
    "We need a climate policy that is positive for the environment, but also one that is positive for the purchasing power of the families," Mr. Michel said.
    In France, few students have skipped school to protest, but an online petition demanding climate action by the government has gathered more than 2.1 million signatures. On the Place de la République in Paris last Sunday, protesters debated how to force climate change into President Emmanuel Macron's nationwide dialogue in response to the Yellow Vests.
    In both movements, there are people who argue that the fights against inequality and climate should not conflict.

    "One shouldn't think that the Yellow Vests aren't mindful of ecology, of the planet," said Ingrid Levavasseur, 31, a Yellow Vest protester who is running for a seat in the European Parliament.
    In Germany on Friday, about 3,500 high school and university students gathered in Munich under the banner "Fridays for Future."
    In Berlin, about 10,000 climate activists with signs like "It's our future you are playing with" and "Climate S.O.S." demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Economics and Technology, joined by the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

    "We tell people, dress warmly, because we are only getting started," said Luisa Neubauer, 22, a university student who helps organize the Berlin protests.
    On Friday morning, organizers met with the economics minister, Peter Altmaier, and members of the government's coal commission. The next day, the commission recommended ending the use of coal to generate electricity by 2038.
    In Brussels, Liam, 18, who was protesting for the third Thursday in a row, said there was "a growing momentum" in the movement, but he wondered if it should be more disruptive to draw more attention.
    "Most adults probably think it's cute that children protest," he said. "But maybe we should change the timing of the protests to rush hour."


    4) Gilets Jaunes "Assembly of Assemblies" calls for massive strike
    The Gilets Jaunes of Commercy recently organized an "Assembly of Assemblies" to coordinate the radical democratization of the popular resistance in France.
    By ROAR Collective, January 30, 2019

    We, Gilets Jaunes of the roundabouts, parking lots, squares, assemblies and demonstrations, gathered on January 26 and 27 for an "Assembly of Assemblies", which united members of over a hundred Gilets Jaunes delegations from across France, all answering the call of the Gilets Jaunes of Commercy.
    Since November 17, 2018, from the smallest villages deep in the country side to the biggest cities of France, we rose up against this deeply violent, unjust and unbearable society. We shall no longer be treated that way! We revolt against the cost of life, poverty, instability and misery. We wish for our relatives, friends, families and children, that they all will be able to live in dignity. Currently, 26 billionaires possess as much as half of the world population — this is totally unacceptable.
    Let's share wealth and not misery! Down with the social inequalities! We demand the immediate increase of wages, of the social allowances, of the subsidies and pensions; we demand the unconditional right for lodging, health, education and free public services for all! It is for all these rights that we occupy the roundabouts across the country on a daily basis, that we organize direct actions, demonstrations and arrange public debates. With our yellow vests, we are reclaiming the power to speak, we who never had it before.
    And then, what is the response from the government? Repression, hubris, denial. Deaths, thousands of wounded, the massive use of weapons designed to maim, blind, injure and traumatize. Over 1.000 persons have been arbitrarily arrested, sentenced and jailed. Now a new, so-called "anti-arson law", is designed to deny us the right of demonstration. We condemn all violence against the demonstrators, be it from the police forces or from violent groups. None of this will stop us! To manifest one's discontent is a fundamental right. Down with the impunity of the police forces! Amnesty for all the victims of the repression!
    And what a sham is this idea of "Grand National Debate". It is just a one big publicity stunt and PR campaign by the government, using and hijacking our will to debate and decide for ourselves! The true democracy is practiced within our popular and public assemblies and on the roundabouts. It is not on the stage of television sets nor is it in the so-called political round-table organized by Macron.
    After insulting us and treating us like we are nothing more than scum, they are now presenting us as a heinous, racist and fascist crowd. But we are the total opposite: neither racist nor sexist nor homophobic, we are simply proud to be together with all our differences to build a society in solidarity.
    We are as strong as the diversity of our debates. At this very moment, hundreds of assemblies are elaborating and proposing their own demands. These assemblies talk about real democracy, social justice, tax issues, working conditions, ecological justice and the end of discrimination. Among the most debated claims and strategical proposals we find: the end of misery in all its forms, the transformation of the institutions (with projects like the Citizen Initiated Referendum, constituent assembly, the end of the privileges of the elected representatives), the ecological transition (energetic scarcity, industrial pollution), equality and the recognition of anyone no matter what nationality (handicapped people, gender issues, an end to the isolation of the populous suburbs, neighborhoods, rural areas and overseas territories).
    We, Yellow Vests, are inviting anyone to join us with their own abilities and capacities. We call to pursue the actions with Act 12 against police violence in front of the police stations and the Acts 13, 14 etc… We call for the continuation of the occupation of the roundabouts and the blocking of the economy, to engage in a massive and unlimited strike starting on February 5, 2019.
    We call for the creation of popular committees in the workplaces, in study places and everywhere else in order that this strike could led from the grassroots by the strikers themselves, and not by the unions. Let's take the matter in our own hands! Don't stay alone, join us!
    Let's organize ourselves democratically, independently and autonomously! This assembly of assemblies is a very important milestone which allows us to discuss about our demands and our means of action. Let's federate to transform the society!
    We propose that all the Yellow Vests circulate this call. And if, as a Gilets Jaunesgroup, it resonates with you, send your signature to Commercy at (assembleedesassemblees@gmail. com). Don't hesitate to discuss and formulate some proposals for the next "Assembly of Assemblies" which we already are preparing.
    Macron Resign! Long live the power of the people, for the people and by the people.
    This call is proposed by the Assembly of Assemblies in Commercy. This call will then be proposed for approval in all local assemblies.

    This call was translated from French by Resistance 71. The original version in French can be found here:


    5) Are Police Lineups Always Fair? See for Yourself
    Hints can steer witnesses toward the suspect the police already have in mind.
    By Joseph Goldstein, January 29, 2019

    The robbery suspect had a birthmark on his face. So when detectives placed him in a lineup, they made sure to cover it up with a bandage. Then they put matching bandages on the faces of the five decoys — or “fillers” — who sat alongside him, so as not to single out the suspect. 
    But even as New York City detectives strove to make the lineup more fair by concealing one identifying feature, they left another clue in plain sight: It is lying on the floor, next to the ankle of the man in the No. 5 position.

    A shackle. A dead giveaway that No. 5 is the police suspect. 
    It was not the only potential problem with the lineup, conducted on June 15, 2017, at the 101st Precinct in Queens. The suspect is the only one with twisted, or braided, hair and whose hat has an adjustable strap. 
    Some lineups do what they are supposed to — engage a witness’s memory and test whether the police have the right person. But others, like the one above, contain clues that could steer the witness toward the suspect whom the police already have in their sights. A judge threw out a witness identification based on this lineup; the robbery charges are still pending.

    To be sure, the quality of New York lineups appears to have improved over the years. For a point of reference, consider this 1998 lineup, from a Manhattan manslaughter case. Can you spot the suspect?

    Look closer. No. 5 seems to be offering a hint.

    It’s the man in the No. 6 slot, the one to whom No. 5, a police officer, appears to be pointing. 
    Over the past two decades, the policing profession has become more attuned to the risks of mistaken identifications. Witnesses are wrong with considerable frequency when they claim to recognize a culprit. And detectives have come to understand that suggestive police procedures, such as unfair lineups, raise the risk that an innocent person is prosecuted. 
    Like many other departments across the country, the New York Police Department has taken steps to improve fairness. 
    “It is absolutely not in our best interest to do something that is going to be suppressed,” said Dermot Shea, the city’s chief of detectives.

    To minimize differences between the suspect and fillers, detectives will cover up tattoos and use hats to obscure differences in hair styles, Chief Shea said. “Fairness is driving everything that we do to make sure that we get the best prosecutable case, and that includes having a fair lineup,” he said. 
    But suggestive lineups are not yet a thing of the past, as the shackle on the floor in the Queens lineup would seem to indicate. 
    Detectives, for instance, sometimes still place teenage suspects in lineups alongside grown men, The New York Times found. A year ago, a 17-year-old robbery suspect in Brooklyn was the only teenager in the lineup. Three of the five fillers next to him were in their 30s. 
    Lineups, say experts who study witness memory, can be thought of as an experiment administered by the police. Detectives have a suspect. Now they want to use the memory of a witness to test whether their suspect committed the crime. 
    “In the witness's mind is a recollection, an image,” said William Brooks, the police chief of Norwood, Mass., a town of 30,000, and a longtime advocate for improving lineups. “You can’t see it or touch it, so how do you use it? You give it a stimulus, and you see the reaction, and see if there is a match.” 
    A confident and quick identification — “That’s him!” or “I’ll never forget that face” — upon first viewing the suspect can be a strong indicator of an accurate identification. But only if the lineup has been administered in a neutral manner, without the police steering the witness toward the suspect.

    There are many ways for the police to steer a witness toward a particular suspect. Consider, for instance, the photo lineup — an array of six mug shots — which detectives showed a robbery victim in Queens in 2009. The victim had already told the police her assailant was a goateed man wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

    Of the six mug shots, only one — the police’s suspect, on the bottom left — had a goatee and wore a hooded sweatshirt. 
    In this case, the suspect stands out because he alone fits the description. (The suspect was convicted, but an appellate court ultimately overturned it.) But in other cases, the suspect is more likely to get picked not because there is anything exceptionally obvious about him, but because some of the fillers seem implausible. 
    By using fillers who bear little resemblance to how witnesses described the perpetrator, detectives increase the odds their suspect is selected, research shows. But not because the suspect is more likely to be guilty. Rather, because he may appear to be the best choice.
    That is why, experts say, it is problematic for detectives to place teenage suspects alongside grown men in lineups, as happened in February 2018. The 17-year-old Brooklyn robbery suspect was the only teenager in the lineup. Two of the fillers were in their 20s. Three were in their 30s. Some fillers weighed 200 pounds or more; the suspect weighed 145 pounds.

    The Times found three cases from the past decade in which a teenage suspect had a filler in his lineup who was at least twice his age. Because lineup paperwork is not ordinarily made public, there is little data for how frequently such age mismatches occur. 
    Nancy Ginsburg, a Legal Aid Society lawyer who supervises cases involving adolescent defendants, said it is not unusual for fillers to be noticeably older than the suspect. 
    In 2012, a 14-year-old suspect who weighed 110 pounds was put alongside fillers who ranged in age from 21 to 31 and were at least 50 pounds heavier.

    In a 2013 lineup, a 16-year-old suspect appeared alongside three fillers who were twice his age or older.

    Chief Shea declined to comment on specific cases. 
    One 2010 lineup photo that was part of an appeal demonstrates how a mismatch in age can reduce a lineup’s fairness. Robbery victims in Brooklyn described one perpetrator as between 16 and 20 years old. The police arrested an 18-year-old. The fillers alongside him included a couple of men who looked older.

    The suspect is No. 4. The filler in the No. 5 position is a 35-year-old police officer. No. 1, another filler, is 29. 
    A victim who remembers being robbed by a teenager is likely to exclude the older individuals as implausible choices, focusing on the few remaining faces. 
    “They’re looking for the best match, as opposed to the person who matches their memory,” Karen Newirth, a lawyer with the Innocence Project, said. 
    In this robbery case, the judge excused the age disparities. “We know it’s difficult for the police to get teenagers into a lineup,” said the judge, Joel Goldberg, who has since retired, according to a transcript. That decision was later overturned by an appellate court. 
    “The age disparity was sufficiently apparent as to orient the viewer toward the defendant,” the appellate panel wrote.

    It is true that detectives struggle to find teenagers willing to act as fillers. In the late 1990s, some parents reported that the police had forced their teenage children into serving as lineup fillers, prompting an apology from the police commissioner. 
    The challenge of finding suitable fillers is one reason that most police departments around the country have abandoned live lineups. When arranging a photo lineup, detectives can easily find suitable fillers by searching through a mug shot database. 
    New York law until 2017 prevented photo lineups from being admitted as evidence in a trial, all but requiring detectives to conduct live lineups. The law has since changed. 
    The New York Police Department conducted 1,353 lineups last year, about half as many as it did even two years ago. Chief Shea attributed the drop to the increasing availability of video evidence, which has lowered the reliance on witness identifications.
    Still, lineups remain a key tool. In much of the city, detectives find fillers in homeless shelters or by enlisting other police officers to act as fillers, although detectives in the Bronx have their own system
    Based on a review of court files and interviews with numerous detectives, it is clear that some detectives put considerable thought into selecting fillers. Others can be less discerning. 
    In September 2014, it fell to a Bronx detective, Franco Johnson, to administer a lineup in an attempted murder case. He was hoping for five fillers who were male, black and between 30 and 35 years of age, just like the suspect, he testified.

    But in the end he settled for fillers who were significantly younger: ages 18, 19, 21, 22 and 24. It was not clear all were black. Still they all went in the lineup. 
    He was asked in court whether one of the fillers — No. 6 — had a similar complexion to the suspect, who is in the No. 3 position.

    “It’s close enough,” Detective Johnson said.

    Tyler Pager contributed reporting.

    Joseph Goldstein writes about policing and the criminal justice system. He has been a reporter at The Times since 2011, and is based in New York. He also worked for a year in the Kabul bureau, reporting on Afghanistan. @JoeKGoldstein


    6) The Brutal Economy of Cleaning Other People’s Messes, for $9 an Hour
    By Emily Cooke, January 31, 2019

    Stephanie LandCreditCredit
    Nicol Biesek

    Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive 
    By Stephanie Land 
    289 pp. Hachette Books. $27.
    The strain of caring for a child in insecure circumstances shadowed the pleasures of motherhood. Land followed a strict bedtime routine with her daughter, hoping that rigid structures would increase the girl’s sense of stability, knowing any foundation was being eroded by her shared custody agreement and frequent changes to their living arrangements. After her relationship with the farmer ended, Land regretted the loss on her daughter’s behalf more than her own. She encountered no personal obstacle that wasn’t magnified in some way by being a single parent, no problem of parenthood that wasn’t intensified by her financial predicament.
    For a while, as Land recounts in “Maid,” her memoir of her time as a cleaner, she was on seven kinds of government assistance, and still hardly surviving. The paperwork she was forced to complete in order to qualify for help was interminable: applications with questions about her plans for the years to come, detailed proof of income that included documentation of her schedule and letters from clients verifying that she did indeed work for them, and continual updates to account for any change in status. When, at one point, she submitted a handwritten pay stub, an official from the Department of Health and Human Services threatened to rescind her child care grant. To be eligible for a program that subsidized her rent, Land was required to attend a class about how to approach landlords, because they tend to resist renting to those on public assistance.
    Rent plus groceries plus utilities plus laundry plus insurance plus gas plus clothing minus an hourly paycheck of barely more than minimum wage and the scant assistance parceled out by the government with spectacular reluctance — the brute poetry of home economics recurs throughout Land’s book. When Land is faced with any kind of irregular expense, she must check the budget pinned to her wall, next to her notes about when each bill will be withdrawn and for how much. Math like this isn’t complicated, it’s merely endless. Calculated and recalculated as if the sums will improve with repetition, the figures overwhelm the mind.
    As Lizzie Feidelson wrote in a 2016 essay for n+about her work as a housecleaner, an ambivalent pleasure of the job is that it gives you singularly novelistic insight into the people who dirty the spaces you clean. Details emerge “unbidden, without warning, like smells.” Documents spread on a table, receipts pinned to the fridge, a sound clip emanating from a laptop — the plot points of her clients’ lives, Feidelson observes, “connected in an instant.”
    Land finds the intimate knowledge she acquires of her mostly absent clients to be similarly evocative. She names the houses she cleans according to whichever possession or habit of the occupants is most conspicuous to her: The Plant House, crowded with large pots on wheeled stands; The Porn House, where a stack of romance novels sits next to a twin bed and a stack of Hustlers near an armchair; The Sad House, whose walls are lined with pictures of the owner’s dead wife and son. She glimpses receipts for rugs that cost as much as her car, a dry-cleaning bill so large she could replace half her wardrobe with the same amount of money. One woman fills her freezer with cartons of cigarettes and her bathroom with jars of anti-wrinkle cream.

    How well the underclass are forced to know their overseers. This state of affairs is so ordinary, so unremarkable, people hardly mention it. That the poor must grow adept in the customs and quirks of the rich, must attune themselves to their desires and peeves, that this attention is forever and fatally one-sided, is understood merely as the basis for good customer service. Land’s memoir is not particularly artful. The narration advances with some circularity; the language is often stale. But her book has the needed quality of reversing the direction of the gaze. Some people who employ domestic labor will read her account. Will they see themselves in her descriptions of her clients? Will they offer their employees the meager respect Land fantasizes about? Land survived the hardship of her years as a maid, her body exhausted and her brain filled with bleak arithmetic, to offer her testimony. It’s worth listening to.
    Emily Cooke is the editorial director of The New Republic.


    7) As West Bank Violence Surges, Israel Is Silent on Attacks by Jews
    By Isabel Kershner, February 2, 2019

    The funeral last Sunday for Hamdy Naasan, who was killed in a melee involving Jewish settlers. The Israeli government has been reluctant to address a rise in attacks by settlers.CreditCreditMohamad Torokman/Reuters

    AL MUGHAYIR, West Bank — A gang of a dozen or so armed Jewish settlers descended from a hilltop outpost to the Palestinian village below and opened fire, witnesses said. Israeli soldiers arrived, and instead of stopping the settlers, the witnesses said, they either stood by or clashed with the villagers.
    In the melee, Hamdy Naasan, 38, a Palestinian father of four, was shot and killed.
    The killing last Saturday was the latest in a wave of settler violence. Attacks by settlers on Palestinians, their property and Israeli security forces increased by 50 percent last year and have threatened to ignite the West Bank, Israeli security officials say.
    Days earlier, the Israeli authorities charged a 16-year-old yeshiva student from another Jewish settlement with manslaughter and terrorism, accusing him of hurling a four-pound rock that killed Aisha al-Rabi, a Palestinian mother of eight, one night in October as she rode in her family car along a nearby highway.

    While Palestinian and United Nations officials have condemned the violence — Nickolay E. Mladenov, the United Nations envoy to the Middle East, described the shooting in Al Mughayir as “shocking and unacceptable” — Israel’s right-wing government has remained conspicuously silent, wary of alienating settlers and other potential supporters in an election year.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is seeking a fifth term, is vying with other right-wing rivals for the settlers’ support. He is facing bribery investigations and his strongest political challenge in years.
    “Thou shalt not murder?” Tamar Zandberg, leader of the left-wing party Meretz, wrote in a Facebook post, noting the resounding lack of condemnation from government officials. “Silence. Everyone sees the election on the horizon, and the settler lobby is stronger than any moral standard.”

    The settler outpost Adei Ad sits on a hill overlooking the Palestinian village of Al Mughayir in the West Bank.CreditMenahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    By contrast, after a Palestinian home in the village of Duma was firebombed in 2015, killing a toddler and his parents, Mr. Netanyahu and right-wing leaders issued strong condemnations and said Jewish terrorism would not be tolerated.
    This time the loudest voices have risen to the defense of the Jewish suspects. Israel’s domestic security agency, the Shin Bet, has found itself on the defensive, accused by right-wing organizations of trampling on the rights of those suspected in the stoning.
    Honenu, a right-wing legal aid organization, denounced the fact that the five youths initially detained in the woman’s attack had been denied access to legal counsel for days under court-approved counterterrorism laws. About 100 rabbis, including prominent voices in the religious Zionist and settler establishment, signed an open letter in support of the youths.

    The justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, called the mother of one of the detainees, telling her to “be strong” and saying she had discussed his case with the state prosecutor. One legislator from the governing Likud party compared the Shin Bet to the K.G.B. Four of the youths were ultimately released.
    Mr. Netanyahu rebuffed the attacks on Shin Bet, praising its efforts to thwart Palestinian terrorism, but did not address the settler violence.
    For over a decade, radical young settlers known as the hilltop youth have practiced the doctrine known as “Price Tag,” which calls for exacting a price through violence or vandalism in revenge for Palestinian attacks on Jews or for army or police moves against rogue settlement activity.
    A week before the stoning attack, a Palestinian gunman fatally shot two Israeli workers in an Israeli-run factory in the West Bank. In December, two Palestinian attacks on a West Bank road killed two Israeli soldiers and critically wounded a third soldier and a pregnant woman. Her baby was delivered early and died three days later.

    Violence is endemic around settlements deep in the West Bank, and Jewish attacks often follow Palestinian ones, said Shlomo Fischer, an expert in radical religious Zionism at the Jewish People Policy Institute in Jerusalem. “The right is tending to view this in terms of a vendetta,” he said.
    Security officials partly attribute the surge in settler violence to the recent lifting of restrictions from some main activists.
    The authorities had imposed antiterrorism measures after the 2015 Duma attack and the subsequent exposure of a shadowy militant network known as “the Revolt.” The group seeks the collapse of the state of Israel and its replacement with a Jewish kingdom based on religious law.

    The extraordinary steps included administrative detentions and orders keeping key radicals out of the West Bank. Those temporary orders have now run out.
    The Shin Bet pointed to links between the yeshiva, or religious school, attended by the suspect in the stoning case and the kind of anti-Zionist, messianic ideology behind the Revolt. An Israeli flag scrawled with “death to the Zionists” and a swastika was found in a yeshiva dorm.
    Some of the rabbis teaching at the yeshiva, Pri Haaretz, are associated with the extremist margins of the settlement movement. One of the yeshiva’s founding directors, a senior officer in Israel’s military reserves, was suspected of killing a Palestinian man in disputed circumstances in late 2017.
    The links became apparent the morning after the killing of Ms. al-Rabi, when a car set out from the settlement of Yitzhar to coach the students in how to deal with Shin Bet interrogations. The occupants included Meir Ettinger, the alleged leader of the Revolt and a grandson of Meir Kahane, the slain American-Israeli rabbi considered the father of far-right Jewish militancy, and Akiva HaCohen, considered one of the architects of the Price Tag policy.

    Pri Haaretz sits in a scruffy compound at the entrance of the settlement of Rehelim, a small community with neat rows of houses and a boutique winery.
    On a recent weekday, chickens scratched around in the dirt outside a dozen or so trailers housing classrooms and living quarters. Pupils sported the flowing side-locks associated with the hilltop youth. Two severed goats’ heads were impaled on a chain-link fence, gruesome trophies from an apparent practice session in ritual slaughter.
    Some residents of Rehelim now want to expel Pri Haaretz from the settlement. One said the school’s ideology was too extreme and was bound to cause trouble. Yeshiva leaders refused to comment.

    The suspect whose DNA was found on the rock denied any involvement, according to his lawyers. He has not been publicly identified because he is a minor. One rabbi provided law enforcement with an apparent alibi, declaring that he had been eating and singing with the pupils at the yeshiva, including, to the best of his memory, the one who was later charged, till midnight.
    Recounting the events of that night in an interview, Ms. al-Rabi’s widower, Yacoub, described how the stone smashed through the front windshield, striking his wife in the head and causing her brains and blood to spill out “like a waterfall.” She died on the spot.
    Mr. al-Rabi said it was incomprehensible that only one person had been charged in her death since many heavy stones were thrown at the car and it was “impossible that only one person was throwing them all.”
    The Israeli military and police are now investigating the death of Mr. Naasan.
    The settlers say the clash started with an attack on a Jewish teenager who was staying in the settler outpost of Adei Ad over the Sabbath. In a recorded statement, the teenager said he had walked out of Adei Ad to spend some time alone, was accosted by Palestinians, managed to get away, realized his arm was bleeding and ran back to the outpost for help.

    Adei Ad representatives initially put out a contradictory statement saying that a local armed response force had set out to rescue a group of hikers and to rule out a report that one was missing, and that it had also been chasing the assailants. They said the force fired in the air after being ambushed by hundreds of violent Palestinians and was joined by soldiers who also opened fire.
    In a later statement, they said the response team had operated together with the soldiers “according to the law.”
    But residents of Al Mughayir said armed settlers first came down the hill and vandalized a tractor, smashing its windows and puncturing its tires. Farmers ran to ask some soldiers stationed nearby for help, but the soldiers told them to call the police.

    Mr. Naasan’s cousin, Yasser Naasan, 34, said he went to check on the tractor but more settlers arrived, fired at him and chased him back to the village.
    The mosque loudspeakers called on residents to come out and defend their homes. Palestinians threw stones. Witnesses said soldiers arrived and fired tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and possibly live bullets in the air while settlers shot live ammunition. One resident showed photographs on his cellphone of armed settlers standing shoulder to shoulder with soldiers, and some settlers wearing masks.
    “I witnessed a battlefield,” said Farraj Naasan, 53, an uncle of Hamdy Naasan. “There was massive shooting. Ta-ta-ta. I saw three Israeli soldiers firing into the air and three settlers firing directly at people.”
    Hamdy Naasan worked in construction and spent seven years in an Israeli prison for security offenses. He was released in 2008. Last Saturday, his uncle said, he was helping evacuate the wounded.
    “He carried the first and the second,” he said. “When he went up to get more of the wounded, he was shot.”
    Mr. Naasan fell about 50 yards from the last home on the edge of the village. Another witness, Samir Abu Alia, 53, said villagers had to wait 20 minutes, until the shooting subsided, to retrieve his body.

    Rami Nazzal contributed reporting.


    8) Court in France Upholds Police Use of Golf-Ball-Size Rubber Bullets
    By Adam Nossiter, January 1, 2019

    Some have lost eyes to rubber bullets during the Yellow Vest demonstrations, but the police say the weapons are needed to keep the peace.CreditCreditSebastien Salom Gomis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    PARIS — Rejecting complaints that heavy police use of golf-ball-size rubber bullets has caused serious injuries, including blindness and fractures, during the Yellow Vest protests, France’s highest administrative court Friday upheld the legality of the weapons.
    The ruling was a boost for the French government’s tough police strategy in the face of a popular uprising that is diminished but still vigorous.
    Dozens have been mutilated or blinded by the projectiles over weeks of Yellow Vest demonstrations, according to victim advocates. Bystanders, passers-by, people with their arms in the air, and journalists have been hit. Jaws have been fractured, hands crushed, eyes shot out.

    Their use — overuse, critics say, with more than 9,200 firings recorded, including forbidden shots to the head — have come to symbolize an increasingly fierce police response to the Yellow Vests, especially after a protest leader’s eye was seriously injured last week.

    But in its ruling upholding the use of the projectiles, the high court, called the Council of State, instead underlined the violence of the Yellow Vest protests, which at their peak in December shook the government of President Emmanuel Macron.
    And the court noted fears that this violence would continue, as the Yellow Vests prepared for a 12th consecutive weekend of protests this Saturday, organized as a tribute to victims of what is deemed police violence. Protesters planned to brandish portraits of the injured leader, Jérôme Rodrigues, his eye shut tight; the police are investigating that shooting.
    The court’s decision came in the same week Mr. Macron’s government bolstered its anti-Yellow Vest arsenal on the legislative front, pushing through much of a tough new “anti-vandals” law in the National Assembly, including a provision allowing officials to bar suspect individuals from taking part in protests, and a ban on face masks.
    After weeks of violent protests punctuated by calls for his resignation, Mr. Macron has only recently been seen as regaining the upper hand, pushing a new strategy of dialogue with citizens in meetings all over France. His government has put an increasingly negative spin on the protests: “These are not demonstrations, they are urban riots,” said an Interior Ministry official, Pascale Léglise, at an emergency hearing before the high court on Wednesday.

    Jérôme Rodrigues, left, one of the leading figures of the Yellow Vest movement, at a news conference in Paris on Wednesday after his eye was injured during a protest.CreditBertrand Guay/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    The government has insisted that the 40-millimeter rubber-bullet guns and their projectiles, about the size of golf balls, are essential tools for the police. But their use makes France an outlier with respect to Western Europe, if not the United States. French police officers, and particularly the heavily armored paramilitary anti-riot CRS force, have historically been granted wide latitude in suppressing demonstrations.

    American police officers made frequent use of rubber bullets during the protests in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014, sometimes causing serious injuries. In France the country’s official human rights watchdog has urged banning them for crowd control.
    Still, the strategy of an uncompromising police response to the Yellow Vests — heavy use of tear gas, nonlethal rubber bullets and water cannons — appears to have helped reduce the severe urban vandalism of the protests’ early days, when the streets of Paris’s luxury districts were littered with burning cars and smashed store windows.
    This strategy has been met with approval from a key right-leaning constituency being wooed by Mr. Macron, whose approval ratings have only recently begun to edge up after sagging to record lows.
    His political difficulties are not over, however, and he acknowledged to French journalists this week that he was still “walking on ice” even as the Yellow Vests have begun to form candidate lists for the coming European elections.
    Human rights activists have criticized the toll so far exacted by the so-called defense bullet-launchers: over 350 people, including dozens of journalists, have been wounded or mutilated, with 159 struck in the head and as many as 17 losing eyes. The police acknowledge there have been four blindings.
    “This weapon is simply too dangerous to use in a demonstration,” Regis Froger, a lawyer for the leftist union CGT, said during the emergency hearing this week before the high court. “It’s a weapon designed to wound and mutilate,” he said. “And there is a real dissuasive effect on the right to demonstrate.”
    To his left in the ornate court chamber sat four Yellow Vest victims of shootings who had traveled to Paris from the southern city of Montpellier, one still bearing a livid scar on his face. Another, Cynthia Lubin, a 31-year-old saleswoman shot in the forehead, wept.

    But the French court on Friday endorsed the police argument that it could not keep the peace without rubber bullets, even as it noted that “very serious” injuries had resulted.

    A mural by a French artist collective, Black Lines, in Paris depicting a man wounded by a rubber bullet.CreditThomas Samson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    The “numerous demonstrations” all over France “have frequently been accompanied by gratuitous violence, assaults, vandalism and destruction,” the court said. “Because it is impossible to rule out such incidents in future demonstrations, it is necessary for law enforcement to continue to use these weapons, particularly appropriate in these situations,” the court wrote in its decision.
    “We haven’t talked about the police victims,” Ms. Léglise of the Interior Ministry said during the emergency hearing. “It would be irresponsible to ban it.”
    The human rights lawyers immediately vowed to appeal Friday’s decision. “It’s a disappointment,” said Patrice Spinosi of the LDH, the Human Rights League. “We haven’t succeeded in preventing it for this weekend. There will be consequences. And we’re going to appeal.”
    Police specialists have weighed in against the rubber-bullet guns, comparing France’s stance unfavorably with that of other European countries — Austria, Britain, Denmark, Finland, Germany, and Norway, for the most part, among others — that ban the weapon.
    “From the medical point of view there are good reasons not to use it,” said Sebastian Roché of the CNRS research institute. “And the countries that forbid them are the most thoroughgoing democracies.”
    “It’s a question of democracy,” he said. “You can do better without these weapons. Look at Germany or Belgium.”

    But Mr. Roché said the French judicial authorities would not go against the police unions.
    Indeed, French television coverage Friday was dominated by police union representatives expressing satisfaction with the ruling.
    Ms. Lubin, the Yellow Vest activist who attended Wednesday’s hearing, expressed fear and anger at the ruling. On Dec. 29 she passed out after a police officer fired a rubber bullet that struck her head during a demonstration at the Montpellier train station.
    “I saw something dark, and I heard a noise,” she recalled. “I was 10 meters from him. I looked around, and I took the bullet, square in the forehead. I was stunned. I turned around and around. I was on the ground. Blood was coming out. I was on the ground. Then, the ‘street medics’ came to help me.”
    She added: “Now, I am frightened every day. I sleep badly. This has shaken up our whole family.”


    9) Italy’s Crackdown on Migrants Meets a Grassroots Resistance
    By Jason Horrowitz, February 1, 2019

    “I don’t know what to do,” said Saha Abdul, 21, a migrant from Ghana, as he shopped in the Ballarò market in Palermo.CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

    PALERMO, Sicily — Italy’s populist interior minister, Matteo Salvini, celebrated Parliament’s passage of his Security Decree to crack down on illegal immigration by assuring his supporters last year that “I won’t stop!”
    But stopping Mr. Salvini is exactly what Leoluca Orlando, the mayor of Palermo, the Sicilian capital, wants to do.
    Passed with much fanfare late last year, Mr. Salvini’s Security Decree was intended to make Italy more unwelcoming to migrants, not least by doing away with two years of “humanitarian protection” for asylum seekers, a status that allowed them to live in the country legally.

    Far from adding to security, says Mr. Orlando, 71, a veteran mayor and constitutional law professor who came to prominence in the fight against the mafia, the law risks pushing migrants into the shadows and the criminal underworld by denying them legal status as well as access to health care and other social services.

    He has refused to apply the decree in a stand that has become a prominent part of a widening grass-roots resistance to Mr. Salvini’s hard line on immigration, which is increasingly dividing the country even as it has tightened the populist government’s hold on power.
    On Friday afternoon, in defiance of the law, Mr. Orlando pushed through the first four applications by migrants seeking residency under their humanitarian status.

    By signing their applications, Mr. Orlando hopes to invite a legal challenge by the government that he can take all the way to Italy’s highest court. He intends to argue that Mr. Salvini’s measures are unconstitutional and violate the migrants’ human rights.
    “I cannot accept that you produce criminality,” Mr. Orlando said in an interview last month in his grand office, surrounded by gilded Islamic manuscripts, a letter from Pope Francis and a paperweight of the Dalai Lama.
    Many liberal mayors across the country, from Naples to Florence to Milan, applauded Mr. Orlando’s intention to defy the government, which he first announced at the end of December.

    Mr. Orlando’s office now hopes his action will clear the way for the mayors to create Italian versions of the sanctuary cities that sprouted in the United States in opposition to President’s Trump’s similarly minded crackdown on immigration.
    This week, Tuscany, Umbria, Sardinia and the northern region of Piedmont filed a legal complaint against the Security Decree, charging that it actually increased criminal activity and decreased the possibility of economic integration.
    In a further knock on the government, prosecutors in Sicily initiated an investigation of Mr. Salvini on charges of “kidnapping,” after his refusal to allow an Italian Coast Guard ship carrying migrants to dock this summer.

    n the absence of plausible political opposition at the national level, some have welcomed the signs of resistance against the government led by Mr. Salvini’s anti-immigrant League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.
    “There are many little outbreaks that have failed to form in a single flame,” said Claudio Cerasa, the author of a manual on resistance to Italy’s culture of intolerance and the editor of Il Foglio, a newspaper critical of the government.
    But the flickers of resistance have only inflamed Mr. Salvini, who clearly thinks he has a winning position ahead of critical European Parliament elections in May. He continues to find evermore inventive ways to ratchet up his crack down on illegal migration.
    Mr. Salvini has embraced the investigation aimed at him as an opportunity to play the victim of overreaching magistrates. He has already attacked the civilly disobedient mayors as scofflaws who “help the illegal migrants hate Italians, and they will answer to the law and to history.’’

    ‘‘I will not stop,” he pledged.
    Indeed, last month, Mr. Salvini refused to offer a safe port to the Sea Watch 3, a vessel that had rescued 47 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea. For nearly two weeks, the ship was adrift as Mr. Salvini spoke of forming a “naval blockade” to seal off the country.
    The standoff ended on Thursday, only after European neighbors agreed to take in the majority of the migrants, who disembarked in another Sicilian city, Catania.

    The repeating loop of ships approaching Italy with rescued migrants, only to be turned away by Mr. Salvini, has given the tough-talking interior minister a seemingly inexhaustible well of talking points and advantageous television footage.
    “I guarantee that our position will not change: Zero Tolerance” Mr. Salvini posted on Twitter Thursday, adding later that millions of Italians “voted for me to BLOCK THE LANDINGS.”
    Mr. Orlando accused Mr. Salvini of fear-mongering and “using the banner of security to get votes in the next European election.”
    His decision, which his office said is based on his reading of Italian law, breaks a bureaucratic impasse with city workers who, unlike him, were loath to defy Mr. Salvini’s decree. It sets off a process that will likely result this month in the mayor personally granting residency to the applicants.
    “This is the first concrete act of opposition,” said Mr. Orlando, who is eager for Italy’s highest court to rule on Mr. Salvini’s law. “I need a court!”

    In the meantime, migrants around Italy are feeling the pressure.
    “I don’t know what to do,” Saha Abdul, 21, a migrant from Ghana, said as he shopped in the Ballarò market in the center of Palermo. He said he had tried to renew his documents to gain residency in Italy, but was told the decree made that impossible.

    Alieu Sosseh, 17, is worried after his application for residency was postponed.CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

    “I’m already on the street. Everything is in my bag — water, food,’’ he lamented. ‘‘I get no help. It will push people to do what people don’t want to do.”
    At the University of Palermo, a group of 10 lawyers and law students offered free counsel to migrants thrown in disarray by the new decree. Outside of a classroom, lawyers worked off a call list with the names Sakko, Konate, Camara and Bolul.
    Migrants who arrived in Italy as minors — attending Italian schools, learning the language and integrating in their cities — often counted on the humanitarian status to remain in Italy when they came of age. Instead, many risked suddenly becoming illegal as they turned 18.
    Alieu Sosseh, 17, said his application for a residency permit had been postponed until later this month.
    “I don’t know why. I’m not trying to do something bad in this country. I have been going to school,” he said, worried that people in his situation will eventually be forced to start dealing drugs.

    “In life when you can’t get your meals — your breakfast — and that is the only opportunity, you can get involved in that thing,’’ he said. ‘‘You won’t like it, but you have no choice.”

    Mr. Salvini’s critics say that is exactly the outcome he desires. By producing more migrant crime, they say, he produces more anxiety and fear, exactly the conditions on which his law-and-order proposals feed.
    But Mr. Salvini argues that the mayors and other liberals are simply making excuses for migrants, who they prefer over law-abiding Italian citizens.
    Acting on the authority of Mr. Salvini’s Security Decree, the police last week cleared out an integration center in Castelnuovo di Porto, north of Rome. Mr. Salvini said the closure of such centers, where about 6,000 refugee applicants across the country receive shelter, would save the state about six million euros.
    Mr. Salvini pledged to carry out a similar evacuation of an even larger center in Sicily later this year.
    Such moves continue to divide Italians. The mayor of Castelnuovo di Porto expressed disgust with Mr. Salvini and took in a Somali woman. Other residents rallied around children who attended the local school and a 19-year-old Senegalese striker for the local soccer team.
    Mr. Orlando had supported the Sea Watch, the rescue vessel that landed Thursday, and even gave its crew a Palermo flag before they set sail. Residents in the Sicilian town Syracuse, outside of which the Sea Watch lingered, hung white sheets from their balconies reading “Let Them Dock,” and some families offered to take migrants in.
    Mr. Orlando is hoping that he, and the mayors who followed his lead, had at least sparked something in the country.
    “I played my role,” he said. “I hope I will not remain isolated and everyone will ask, ‘In my field, what can I do to be concretely against this?’”



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