Breaking: Governor @GavinNewsom orders retesting of DNA evidence in the case of convicted murderer Kevin Cooper, who has long insisted he is innocent









Solitary Man: A Visit to Pelican Bay State Prison
A two person play with music performed by Fred Johnson and Charlie Hinton to celebrate Charlie’s 74th birthday and recovery from cancer
Music by City Jazz will follow the performance

Monday, March 18
7:30 pm
Berkeley Marsh Cabaret
2120 Allston Way, Berkeley
(1 block from Downtown Berkeley BART)
No-Host Bar
Tickets: $15. Call 415-282-3055 or visit
Scroll down to Solitary Man, click on the purple bar

In Solitary Man, Charlie travels to Crescent City to visit a lifer named Otis Washington (played by Fred). A 64 year old native of New York City, Otis has been imprisoned since 1975 and at Pelican Bay since it opened in 1989. They get to know each other during the visit, and Otis explains some of what he has learned and experienced.

www.lifewish.org     •     Facebook: /solitarymantheplay

DA Krasner: At long last, turn the page on Mumia Abu-Jamal case!

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In 1981, Mumia Abu-Jamal was a former Black Panther and respected public radio journalist in Philadelphia, when he was jailed after a disputed incident in which police officer Daniel Faulkner was killed. In 1982, Abu-Jamal was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by Judge Albert Sabo, known as a "hanging judge" who'd sent more people to Death Row than any other U.S. judge.

Human rights groups like Amnesty International criticized the trial, pointing to racial bias and "possible political influences that may have prevented him from receiving an impartial and fair hearing." Unsuccessful appeals over the years have argued that prosecutors suppressed evidence and that blacks were systematically purged from the jury.

But after 37 years behind bars, much of it on death row in solitary confinement, Abu-Jamal now has some real hope.

Click here to tell Larry Krasner, Philadelphia's progressive District Attorney, that it's time to turn the page on Abu-Jamal's case.

Last December, Abu-Jamal won a major victory when Philadelphia Judge Leon Tucker ruled that he had the right to re-appeal his case because of the appearance of bias during the appeals process – specifically that a former DA-turned-Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice who'd blocked Abu-Jamal's appeals should have recused himself from the case.

This victory, clearing the path for a possible new trial, seemed especially hopeful because in 2017 Philadelphia voters, especially African American voters, had elected Krasner – a longtime foe of mass incarceration, the death penalty, and racism in criminal justice.

Click here to urge DA Krasner not to resist Judge Tucker's ruling and let justice be served.

At the end of January, Krasner shocked many by announcing that he would challenge Judge Tucker's decision to give Abu-Jamal the right to appeal, apparently over his concern that it might open up appeals for other convicted prisoners. Days later, Krasner was disinvited from a progressive law conference at Yale which he was to keynote, and conference organizers urged Krasner to drop his resistance to Abu Jamal's appeal: "We cannot understand how DA Krasner's decision in this case serves justice or the transformative vision that he ran on."

Add your voice to those who want DA Krasner to reverse course on Abu-Jamal's case – and to ask the DA: "Isn't nearly four decades behind bars more than enough?!" 

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

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

-- The RootsAction.org Team

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

>> Amnesty International: "A Life in the Balance: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal" (Feb. 2000)
>> Essence: "Judge Rules Mumia Abu-Jamal Can Reargue Appeal To The Pennsylvania Supreme Court" (Dec. 28, 2018)
>> Philly.com: "Philly DA Larry Krasner disinvited to speak at Yale Law conference" (Feb. 2, 2019)
>> The Intercept.com: "Larry Krasner Responds to Progressive Critics" (Feb. 9, 2019)
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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."




Hello to You All,
                        I have created a board game—"RACE FOR SOLIDARITY" and am awaiting the copyright.   The board game involves throwing dice.  The game both teaches and tests historical knowledge of racism—USA, and the fight against racism involving the struggles for and of multiracial unity.  The game also demonstrates the negative, reactionary movement of the forces of racism as well as the progressive movement of solidarity forces.  Playing the game involves and depends upon successfully building solidarity during the game.  Also included is an extensive list of references for the answers to all questions.
                        Due to the expense of producing the game I presently have only three complete games.  I am hoping to find person, persons or organizations to help me both fund and promote this game.  I am open to suggestions.
Please contact me with any thoughts   gordonnayvin@yahoo.com
Thank you,
In Multiracial Solidarity,
Nayvin Gordon



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.
























Courage to Resist
Hi Bonnie. Courage to Resist is working closely with our new fiscal sponsor, the Objector Church, on a couple projects that we're excited to share with you.
objector registry
Objector Registry launches as draft registration of women nears
The first ever Objector Registry (objector.church/register) offers a declaration of conscience for anyone to assert their moral opposition to war, regardless of age, gender, or religious affiliation. This serves to create a protective record of beliefs and actions with which to oppose a later forced draft. Given last week's release of the report by the Congressionally mandated commission on military service, this free registry is coming online just in time. Please sign up yourself and share with friends!
weekly meetup
You're invited to join us online weekly
This is a great way to find out more about the Objector Church and why we might be the religious humanist interfaith peace and justice community you have been looking for! Our live meetups are lead by Minister James Branum from Oklahoma City. This Sunday at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern, if your not excited by the NFL's "big game", pop online and check us out at objector.church/meetup
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist




New "Refuse War" Shirts

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

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

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

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

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







Abu-Jamal Wins New Right to Appeal

By Rachel Wolkenstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to a radio report at Black Agenda Report:



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



Get Malik Out of Ad-Seg

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

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

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

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

Phone zap on Tuesday, November 13

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

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

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

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


Background on Malik's Situation

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

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

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



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

By Michael Barbaro, May 30, 2018

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

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

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



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

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

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

NO ESTÁN SOLOS (You are not alone).

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

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

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

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

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

P.O. Box 3565, New York, NY 10008. All Right Reserved. | Unsubscribe
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Major George Tillery
April 25, 2018-- The arrest of two young men in Starbucks for the crime of "sitting while black," and the four years prison sentence to rapper Meek Mill for a minor parole violation are racist outrages in Philadelphia, PA that made national news in the past weeks. Yesterday Meek Mills was released on bail after a high profile defense campaign and a Pa Supreme Court decision citing evidence his conviction was based solely on a cop's false testimony.
These events underscore the racism, frame-up, corruption and brutality at the core of the criminal injustice system. Pennsylvania "lifer" Major Tillery's fight for freedom puts a spotlight on the conviction of innocent men with no evidence except the lying testimony of jailhouse snitches who have been coerced and given favors by cops and prosecutors.

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

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

Major Tillery and family

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

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

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



    Free Leonard Peltier!

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



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







    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) Doctors and Racial Bias: Still a Long Way to Go
    It would be easy to look at a photo from the 1980s and conclude that things have changed. Many have not.
    A lot of research shows that African-American patients are treated differently than white patients when it comes to cardiovascular procedures.CreditCreditTony Cenicola/The New York Tims

    The racist photo in the medical school yearbook page of Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia has probably caused many physicians to re-examine their past.
    We hope we are better today, but the research is not as encouraging as you might think: There is still a long way to go in how the medical field treats minority patients, especially African-Americans.
    A systematic review published in Academic Emergency Medicinegathered all the research on physicians that measured implicit bias with the Implicit Association Test and included some assessment of clinical decision making. Most of the nine studies used vignettes to test what physicians would do in certain situations.

    The majority of studies found an implicit preference for white patients, especially among white physicians. Two found a relationship between this bias and clinical decision making. One found that this bias was associated with a greater chance that whites would be treated for myocardial infarction than African-Americans.

    This study was published in 2017.
    The Implicit Association Test has its flaws. Although its authors maintain that it measures external influences, it's not clear how well it predicts individual behavior. Another, bigger systematic review of implicit bias in health care professionals was published in BMC Ethics, also in 2017. The researchers gathered 42 studies, only 15 of which used the Implicit Association Test, and concluded that physicians are just like everyone else. Their biases are consistent with those of the general population.
    The researchers also cautioned that these biases are likely to affect diagnosis and care.
    study published three years earlier in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine surveyed 543 internal medicine and family physicians who had been presented with vignettes of patients with severe osteoarthritis. The survey asked the doctors about the medical cooperativeness of the patients, and whether they would recommend a total knee replacement.
    Even though the descriptions of the cases were identical except for the race of the patients (African-Americans and whites), participants reported that they believed the white patients were being more medically cooperative than the African-American ones. These beliefs did not translate into different treatment recommendations in this study, but they were clearly there.
    In 2003, the Institute of Medicine released a landmark report on disparities in health care. The evidence for their existence was enormous. The research available at that time showed that even after controlling for socioeconomic factors, disparities remained.
    There's significant literature documenting that African-American patients are treated differently than white patients when it comes to cardiovascular procedures. There were differences in whether they received optimal care with respect to a cancer diagnosis and treatment. African-Americans were less likely to receive appropriate care when they were infected with H.I.V. They were also more likely to die from these illnesses even after adjusting for age, sex, insurance, education and the severity of the disease.

    Disparities existed for patients with diabeteskidney disease, mental health problems, and for those who were pregnant or were children.
    The report cited some systems-level factors that contributed to this problem. Good care may be unavailable in some poor neighborhoods, and easily obtained in others. Differences in insurance access and coverage can also vary by race.
    But the report's authors spent much more time on issues at the level of care, in which some physicians treated patients differently based on their race.
    Physicians sometimes had a harder time making accurate diagnoses because they seemed to be worse at reading the signals from minority patients, perhaps because of cultural or language barriers. Then there were beliefs that physicians already held about the behavior of minorities. You could call these stereotypes, like believing that minority patients wouldn't comply with recommended changes.
    Of course, there's the issue of mistrust on the patient side. African-American patients have good reason to mistrust the health care system; the infamous Tuskegee Study is just one example.
    In its report, the Institute of Medicine recommended strengthening health plans so that minorities were not disproportionately denied access. It urged that more underrepresented minorities be trained as health care professionals, and that more resources be directed toward enforcing civil rights laws.
    In practice, it endorsed more evidence-based care across the board. It noted the importance of interpreters, community health workers, patient education programs and cross-cultural education for those who care for patients.

    All of this has met with limited success.
    In 2017, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality issued its 15th yearly report on health care quality and disparities, as called for by the medical institute in 2002. It found that while some disparities had gotten better, many remained. The most recent data available showed that 40 percent of the quality measures were still worse for blacks than whites. Other groups fared worse as well. Measures were worse for 20 percent of Asian-Americans, 30 percent of Native Americans, and one third of Pacific Islanders and Hispanics.
    Of the 21 access measures tracked from 2000 to 2016, nine were improving. Nine were unchanged. Three were worsening.
    It would be easy to look at a racist photo from the 1980s and conclude that it was a different time and that things have changed. Many things have not. We know that racism, explicit and implicit, was pervasive in medical care back then. Many studies show that it's still pervasive today. The recommendations from the medical institute in 2003 still hold. Any fair assessment of the evidence suggests much work remains to be done.

    Aaron E. Carroll is a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicinewho blogs on health research and policy at The Incidental Economist and makes videos at Healthcare Triage. He is the author of "The Bad Food Bible: How and Why to Eat Sinfully." @aaronecarroll


    2) Cubans Approve a Constitution, but Opponents Speak Out
    By Elisabeth Malkin, February 25, 2019

    A billboard in Las Tunas, Cuba, promoted voting "yes" for a new constitution.CreditCreditFernando Medina/Reuters

    MEXICO CITY — Cubans voted to approve a new constitution, the government announced Monday, but the growing boldness of those opposing its policies seemed to overshadow the modest legal changes that were on the ballot.
    Nearly 87 percent of Cubans who cast ballots voted "yes" in Sunday's referendum, the National Electoral Commission said, according to Cuban media reports. But about 15 percent of voters stayed home, and those Cubans, along with the ones who voted "no," represented an unusual show of opposition in the one-party state.
    While the final result presents no real challenge to the leadership of President Miguel Díaz-Canel and the continued control of the Cuban Communist Party, it reflects the growing confidence of diverse groups that have pushed back against official decisions in recent months and forced the government to negotiate.

    Evangelical groups protested a provision in the proposed constitution that would have legalized same-sex marriage, artists demanded the repeal of a decree they said would give the government more power to censor them, and small private businesses bristled at new regulations.

    "None of those issues threatened the basic structure of the single-party system," said William LeoGrande, a professor of government at American University and a specialist in United States-Cuba relations. But, he added, "when you create a precedent that people can mobilize politically to pursue policy differences with the government, it's not so easy to put that genie back in the bottle."
    While it is unclear how far these voices of civil society will resonate, they reveal the narrow line that Mr. Díaz-Canel is walking between a conservative old guard and an increasingly pluralistic society.

    Without the authority that Fidel and Raúl Castro enjoyed as leaders of the 1959 revolution, and with no real economic improvement that he can point to, Mr. Díaz-Canel, who succeeded Raúl Castro as president last April, is seeking to establish his legitimacy. To do that, analysts say, he is cultivating an image of a president who is responsive to people's needs.
    At the same time, the widening reach of the internet makes it easier to mobilize groups around a single issue, and independent voices have multiplied online as Cubans have tested the limits of free expression.
    In December, Cuba introduced 3G service, which allows people with mobile phones to access the internet, sign on to social media and read foreign media. Service is expensive, and for many Cubans, packages cost from almost a quarter to a full month's salary, but those who work in the private sector or receive money from relatives abroad can afford it.

    In some ways, the new constitution is catching up to Cuba's changing reality as it assures the continuity of the political system. It recognizes private property and foreign investment and gives legal status to Cuba's opening to the private sector, now almost a decade in the making. Some 30 percent of Cubans are self-employed or work in small businesses.
    But the document maintains the one-party state and socialist management of the economy, does not recognize the separation of powers and does little to broaden civil and political rights. Indeed, the final text that voters endorsed proved to be more conservative than the draft that was presented last summer.
    The government held public consultations across the country and invited citizens to submit their proposals. But it ignored some suggestions, like the call for citizens to elect their president directly, and incorporated more conservative language, including new limits on the press.
    Most significantly, it restored the word "communism" in the final version and scaled back a proposal to allow same-sex marriage. That suggests that the "most conservative and unmovable" sector of the Cuban elite prevailed in the debate over the text, wrote Rafael Rojas, a Cuban historian at Cide, a Mexico City university.
    In December Cuba introduced 3G service, which allows people with mobile phones to access the internet, sign on to social media and read foreign news outlets.CreditDesmond Boylan/Associated Press

    "That the constitution ended up far below the reformist expectations that it raised two years ago, when Raúl Castro announced it, speaks to the inability of Miguel Díaz-Canel's leadership to cope with a real constitutional modernization of the Cuban system," Mr. Rojas wrote in an email.
    Ted Henken, a Cuba expert at Baruch College of the City University of New York, said that the constitutional vote was an important effort to establish legitimacy for Mr. Díaz-Canel. He has "an easily digestible, more hip image that is covering over the same unworkable revolutionary edifice," Mr. Henken said.
    The government had campaigned heavily for ratification, as its appeals filled radio and television programming, and billboards declaring "Yo Voto Sí" covered Cuba's streets.

    With little open opposition, the government's campaign on behalf of the changes seemed to some to be excessive, at times including accusations that those who would vote "no" were siding with Cuba's "traditional enemies" — a veiled reference to the United States.
    But on social media, some Cubans spoke up, anyway, to declare that they would vote "no." In one test of government monitoring, people sent text messages declaring "Yo Voto No," but the messages never arrived, though the senders were charged texting fees, Mr. Henken said.
    Claudia Padrón Cueto, 26, a journalist who writes for El Toque, a nonofficial online publication, said some people were beginning to shake off their fear. "Contrary opinions haven't been allowed for many years," she wrote in an online interview. "Access to the internet has started to change this context. There is more access to information, and people have more platforms where they can express themselves."
    Ms. Padrón said she was voting against the new constitution because she disagreed with having one party, the Communist Party, remain above all other government institutions and with the enshrinement of only one economic model, socialism. Her opposition was also rooted in the document's failure to guarantee basic political freedoms, she added.

    But expressing opposition offline is more complicated. José Daniel Ferrer García, a leader of the dissident group Patriotic Union of Cuba, was briefly detained twice this month, most recently as he protested in a park in Santiago de Cuba with a large handmade "no" sign.
    The police also raided his home and those of several other activists, taking computers and camera equipment, he said.
    The biggest surprise came from evangelical churches, which opposed a proposal in the initial draft to recognize same-sex marriage.

    Almost a quarter of the proposed changes submitted to the government drafting commission dealt with the article that would have defined marriage as a union between two people. Most of these comments were in opposition, the government said.
    Evangelical churches hung posters on their facades declaring: "I am in favor of the original design. Marriage: Man+Woman" in a presumably unprecedented public display of opposition to the government proposal.
    In the end, the government backed down and removed the article, but promised to bring up the issue again under a change in the country's civil code.
    "What was there before was the willingness we had" to change the law, Homero Acosta, the secretary of the Council of State, said in December when he presented the changes to the draft constitution. "But now is not the time to establish it because there was no consensus," he said.

    The partial retreat on same-sex marriage came on the heels of another concession, this one to private business owners. In an effort to regulate the private sector, new rules would have limited Cubans to only one business license, and the number of seats in restaurants to 50.
    But in early December, the government agreed to lift those proposals — although it kept many others — after protests by the private sector. And in the constitution's final version, a proposal to "limit" the concentration of property was altered to say the government would "regulate" it.
    The government's sometimes contradictory approach to the private sector reflects an ideological discomfort and a concern that some people are amassing too much wealth, said Michael Bustamante, a Cuba historian at Florida International University. "In the Cuba context this private sector got pretty successful, pretty quickly," he said. "It's an issue of growing inequality that's real."

    At the same time, he said, the government portrayed its backtracking on the new rules as evidence of Mr. Díaz-Canel's new approach.
    "This is not a retreat, this reflects who we are as a government; we listen, we adjusted course," Mr. Bustamante said, describing the message that was intended. "You could see moves like that as helping him to build legitimacy, as being responsive."
    The government was less willing to completely overturn its proposal when it came to a new decree regulating artists, one that artists said would lead to arbitrary censorship. Instead, the government said it would study the implementation of the rules.
    But the government reversals can be read in a different way, Mr. Henken said. "Mr. Díaz-Canel has a lot less power to dictate," he said. "He has a more difficult balancing act." He "had to keep the old guard in his corner" even as he tried to build bridges to religious groups, artists and the private sector.
    Cuban society is becoming more heterogenous socially and economically, Mr. Henken said. But is the government's response to these diverse groups a sign of its increasing tolerance or of their growing demands? The answer is not clear, Mr. Henken said.


    3) Woman Delivers Stillborn Baby While in ICE Custody
    By Mihir Zaveri, February 25, 2019
    "Twenty-eight women 'may have experienced a miscarriage just prior to, or while in ICE custody' between Oct. 1, 2016, and Aug. 31, 2018, she said."

    A 24-year-old Honduran woman delivered a stillborn boy at the Port Isabel Detention Center in Texas last week, the authorities said.CreditCreditDavid J. Phillip/Associated Press

    A 24-year-old Honduran woman gave birth to a stillborn baby boy last week while in ICE custody, the authorities said Monday, further raising concerns about the care pregnant women receive while detained.
    The woman, whose name has not been released, was apprehended by United States Border Patrol officials near Hidalgo, Tex., on Feb. 18, according to a joint statement issued Monday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection. She told the authorities that she was six months pregnant, and she was taken to a hospital and examined, the agencies said.
    The woman was placed in ICE custody at the Port Isabel Detention Center near Los Frenos, Tex., and set to be released last Friday. Then she complained of abdominal pain and was to be sent to a hospital, but went into labor.

    She gave birth to an unresponsive baby boy. Danielle Bennett, an ICE spokeswoman, said she had seen no information that indicated the woman's detention contributed to the stillbirth.

    "Although for investigative and reporting purposes, a stillbirth is not considered an in-custody death, ICE and CBP officials are proactively disclosing the details of this tragic event to be transparent with Congress, the media and the public," the agencies said in the statement.
    Ms. Bennett said that ICE has 60 pregnant detainees in custody and that between Oct. 1, 2017, and Aug. 31, 2018, more than 1,600 pregnant women had been booked into ICE custody.
    Twenty-eight women "may have experienced a miscarriage just prior to, or while in ICE custody" between Oct. 1, 2016, and Aug. 31, 2018, she said.
    Ms. Bennett said that without a full understanding of someone's medical history, it was difficult to tell what caused a miscarriage or when exactly it began.
    Randy Capps, director of United States research for the Migration Policy Institute, said because the woman's detention was only for a few days, "it would seem unlikely detention was the cause" of the stillbirth.

    But how immigration officials care for people in their custody has been under scrutiny in recent months. An 8-year-old Guatemalan boy, Felipe Gómez Alonso, died on Christmas Eve while in United States custody, and three weeks earlier, a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl, Jakelin Caal Maquin, died in Border Patrol custody.
    "There has been more and more public death," said Erika Andiola, chief of advocacy for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, or Raices, a nonprofit organization that provides low-cost legal defense services to immigrant and refugee families in Texas.
    She said the treatment of pregnant women had been a particular focus after the Trump administration said it would stop assuming pregnant women should be released, instead detaining them on a case-by-case basis.
    Ms. Andiola said based on interviews with migrants who have recently left detention centers, some pregnant women do not get the care they need at the centers. For example, some were told they would be taken to off-site medical professionals but never were, she said.
    "We know those are not the best conditions for pregnant women at all," Ms. Andiola said. "This is not surprising, really."
    The story of the Honduran woman detailed Monday still has many uncertainties. It is not clear how or why she was taken into custody by the Border Patrol officers or how it was determined that she should be released.
    Ms. Bennett, the spokeswoman, referred questions about the woman's apprehension to Customs and Border Protection. C.B.P. did not answer questions seeking more information Monday.


    4) Video With 'Racist, Homophobic' Language Surfaces at Elite Private School
    By James Barron, February 25, 2019

    Students from the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx were involved with a video that the school said on Monday showed them using "racist, homophobic and misogynistic language."CreditCreditVincent Tullo for The New York Times

    Several students at an elite private school were involved with a video that the school on Monday said showed them using "racist, homophobic and misogynistic language."
    The school, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, said in a statement that the students were seniors in the upper school — its high school division — on its campus in the Bronx. The head of the school, Jessica L. Bagby, wrote in a schoolwide email that one student involved in the incident had already withdrawn from Fieldston.
    The students were recorded counting down "three, two, one" — and then saying "crack," followed by a racial epithet.

    Calling the language in the video a "clear violation of our community values and expectations," Ms. Bagby said a disciplinary process began soon after school officials became aware of the video a couple of weeks ago. A spokesman for Fieldston, Davidson Goldin, declined to comment on how the other students would be disciplined, citing student confidentiality.

    Ms. Bagby's email said a former student had also been involved in the video, which she said had been shot "a few years ago." It surfaced amid a dispute between the students, according to a person who had been briefed on the situation but spoke on condition of anonymity. The story was first reported by The Daily News, which posted the video on its website.
    The video injected Fieldston into the national conversation about racism a little more than a month after a blackface video went viral at another private school in New York, Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn. That incident propelled New York City's private schools, which are overwhelmingly wealthy and white, into an often-painful dialogue as the city struggles to integrate its public schools and issues like income inequality and the concentration of wealth have increasingly figured in the political discussion.
    Fieldston, with a tuition of $52,993 this academic year, according to its website, said that nonwhite students make up nearly 40 percent of its 1,500-person student body, from prekindergarten through 12th grade. Fieldston said it grants more than $14 million a year in financial aid.
    Once school officials learned of the video, the school acted rapidly. Ms. Bagby's email on Monday was the second about the video in two weeks. The first — from Ms. Bagby and the principal of the upper school, Nigel D. Furlonge — was sent on Feb. 13.
    "The anguish and outrage so many of us feel cannot be overstated enough," it said. "We have a strict no-tolerance policy when it comes to acts of bias and hate speech."

    It also said that in conversations with faculty and staff members and administrators, "many students of color currently in the upper school shared stories of microaggressions and racism that they have experienced during their time" at Ethical Culture Fieldston.
    In her email on Monday, Ms. Bagby said she was "heartsick about the situation for our children and our school."
    She said the upper-school administration had led the investigation into the video and that the school's discipline committee had met last week to discuss the matter.
    She said that after consulting with her, Mr. Furlonge, the principal, had "affirmed the Discipline Committee's recommendations of consequences."
    She would not provide details, but added, "The consequences for other students involved have been differentiated based on their responsibility for video, its content and how it was used."


    5) Study: Glyphosate Found in 19 of 20 Beers and Wines Tested
    By Olivia Rosane, February 27, 2019

    Glyphosate has been found in beer and wine. (photo: Pixabay)

    lyphosate—the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller that some studies have linked to cancer—is also a secret ingredient in nearly 20 popular beers and wines. 
    That's the finding of a new study from the education group U.S. PIRG, which found glyphosate in 19 of 20 wine and beer brands tested, including organic labels and brews.
    The release of the study coincides with the beginning of the first federal trial against Monsanto and its new parent company Bayer over whether Roundup use caused a plaintiff's cancer, USA Today reported Monday.
    "With a federal court looking at the connection between Roundup and cancer today, we believe this is the perfect time to shine a spotlight on glyphosate," study author and U.S. PIRG Toxic's Director Kara Cook-Schultz told USA Today. "This chemical could prove a true risk to so many Americans' health, and they should know that it is everywhere – including in many of their favorite drinks." 
    The drink with the highest glyphosate concentration was Sutter Home Merlot, at 51.4 parts per billion (ppb). Popular beer brands like Coors Light, Miller Lite and Budweiser all had concentrations above 25 ppb. The full results of the study, from highest to lowest glyphosate concentration in ppb, are listed below. 
    1. Sutter Home Merlot: 51.4 ppb

    2. Beringer Founders Estates Moscato: 42.6 ppb

    3. Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon: 36.3 ppb

    4. Inkarri Malbec, Certified Organic: 5.3 ppb

    5. Frey Organic Natural White: 4.8 ppb
    1. Tsingtao Beer: 49.7 ppb

    2. Coors Light: 31.1 ppb

    3. Miller Lite: 29.8 ppb

    4. Budweiser: 27.0 ppb

    5. Corona Extra: 25.1 ppb

    6. Heineken: 20.9 ppb

    7. Guinness Draught: 20.3 ppb

    8. Stella Artois: 18.7 ppb

    9. Ace Perry Hard Cider: 14.5 ppb

    10. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: 11.8 ppb

    11. New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale: 11.2 ppb

    12. Sam Adams New England IPA: 11.0 ppb

    13. Stella Artois Cidre: 9.1 ppb

    14. Samuel Smith's Organic Lager: 5.7 ppb
    The only beverage tested that contained no glyphosate was Peak Beer Organic IPA. 
    The amounts found were far below the safety limits for glyphosate set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as Bayer toxicologist William Reeves told CBS News via a spokesperson.
    "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets daily exposure limits at least 100 times below levels shown to have no negative effect in safety studies," Reeves said. "Assuming the greatest value reported, 51.4 ppb, is correct, a 125-pound adult would have to consume 308 gallons of wine per day, every day for life to reach the US Environmental Protection Agency's glyphosate exposure limit for humans. To put 308 gallons into context, that would be more than a bottle of wine every minute, for life, without sleeping."
    However, the study noted that chemicals aren't necessarily safe just because regulatory bodies say they are. 
    "While these levels of glyphosate are below EPA risk tolerances for beverages, it is possible that even low levels of glyphosate can be problematic. For example, in one study, scientists found that 1 part per trillion of glyphosate has the potential to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells and disrupt the endocrine system," the study said.
    The EPA has found that glyphosate is not carcinogenic to humans, but the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer ruled it was a probable human carcinogen in 2015. More recently, a study released February found that those exposed to glyphosate were 41 percent more likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
    In the first case to go to trial against Monsanto over Roundup last year, a jury ruled that exposure to glyphosate had caused the non-Hodgkin lymphoma of California groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson. Plaintiff Edwin Hardeman is making a similar claim in the first federal glyphosate trial that started Monday. 
    "Due to glyphosate's many health risks and its ubiquitous nature in our food, water and alcohol, the use of glyphosate in the U.S. should be banned unless and until it can be proven safe," the U.S. PIRG study advised.

    6) Israelis May Have Committed Crimes Against Humanity in Gaza Protests, U.N. Says
    By Nick Cummins-Bruce, February 28, 2019

    Palestinian medics evacuating an injured protester during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, last year.CreditCreditAdel Hana/Associated Press

    GENEVA — United Nations investigators said on Thursday that Israeli troops may have committed crimes against humanity in shooting unarmed civilians — including children — who posed no threat during the mass protests last year at the border with Gaza.
    A commission of inquiry, formed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to look into the violence, reported that Israeli security forces had killed 189 Palestinians and injured more than 9,000 others. Its 25-page report, released in Geneva on Thursday, accused the Israeli authorities of showing little willingness to prosecute anyone responsible.
    “The Israeli security forces killed and maimed Palestinian demonstrators who did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot, nor were they directly participating in hostilities,” the panel wrote. “Less lethal alternatives remained available and substantial defenses were in place, rendering the use of lethal force neither necessary nor proportionate, and therefore impermissible.”

    The Israeli Foreign Ministry, in a statement, blamed Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza, for the violence and dismissed the United Nations report as a product of bias, “written by three individuals that lack any understanding in security matters.”

    “Hamas exploits the civilians in Gaza as human shields for terrorists,” the Israeli ministry said. “Israel has responded with restrained action taken only in defense of our civilian population.”

    The Gaza demonstrations drew tens of thousands of people on Fridays, beginning on March 30 last year, to spots along the fence that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip.
    Palestinians sought an end to the economic blockade that has been choking off Gaza for more than a decade. They also wanted refugees and their descendants to be allowed to reclaim property in Israel, 70 years after thousands of Palestinians were displaced.
    Some demonstrators attempted to storm the fence and to open crossings the Israelis had sealed. Others rolled burning tires toward the fence, pulled away razor wire, released flaming kites or threw rocks at Israeli security forces. But most protesters — including many of the people hit by Israeli gunfire — were hundreds of yards from the fence.
    The Israeli government insisted that Hamas intended for the demonstrations to provoke violent clashes, and warned repeatedly that it would defend the border with force.

    From the outset, Israel objected to the United Nations inquiry, calling it an example of the Human Rights Council’s bias, and refused to allow the three-person panel to visit Israel or Gaza. Egypt initially agreed to let the investigators into Gaza, but later declined on grounds of security.
    Without access to the area, the commission drew on 325 interviews and more than 8,000 documents, including affidavits and medical reports, as well as photographs and video and drone footage. Along with its report, it released a video compilation showing some of the shootings.

    300 Meters in Gaza: Snipers, Burning Tires and a Contested Fence

    A fence that divides Israel and Gaza has become the latest flashpoint in the decades-old conflict, with Israeli soldiers unleashing lethal force against mostly unarmed Arab protesters.

    It concluded that there were reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers had deliberately shot at journalists, health workers, children and people with disabilities.
    Of the 189 Palestinians killed, investigators said, 183 were shot with live ammunition, including 35 children, three health workers and two journalists.
    It reported 6,106 people wounded by live ammunition, including 940 children, 39 health workers and 39 journalists. In addition, 3,098 people were injured by bullet fragments or other shrapnel, or were struck directly by tear gas canisters or rubber bullets.
    The panel found that four Israelis were wounded in the clashes, and none were killed.
    “There can be no justification for killing and injuring journalists, medics and persons who pose no imminent threat of death or serious injury to those around them,” Sara Hossain, a member of the panel, said in a statement, adding that she was particularly alarmed by “the targeting of children and persons with disabilities.”
    Such violations could be prosecuted in Israeli or international courts, but Ms. Hossein said that the panel was aware of criminal investigations by the Israeli government into only five deaths.

    The panel’s report called on Israel to investigate “every protest-related killing and injury in accordance with international standards” in order to determine whether war crimes or crimes against humanity had been committed.
    The group recommended that the United Nations high commissioner for human rights maintain “dossiers on alleged perpetrators, to be provided to national and international justice mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court,” and it called for international sanctions against those people.


    7) White Man Who Shot Black Men After Hurricane Katrina Dies Days After Sentencing
    By Matt Stevens, February 27, 2019

    Roland Bourgeois Jr. was sentenced to 10 years in prison nearly nine years after his initial indictment. He had repeatedly been found incompetent to stand trial.

    A white man who shot three young black men who had been trying to evacuate in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina died just days after being sentenced to 10 years in prison for the crimes, the authorities said Wednesday.
    The man, Roland J. Bourgeois Jr., 56, died Feb. 19 — five days after his sentencing — at a jail in Louisiana while he was in the custody of the United States Marshals Service, Walter Martin, a supervisory deputy, said. Mr. Bourgeois had been awaiting a transfer to a federal prison.
    The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office is handling the death investigation, Mr. Martin added. The cause of death was not immediately clear, but Mr. Martin said the authorities did not suspect foul play.
    Federal prosecutors had cited Mr. Bourgeois’s physical and mental health as one reason his court proceedings dragged on for nearly nine years after he was initially indicted. During that time, Mr. Bourgeois was repeatedly found incompetent to stand trial. He was eventually declared competent in 2018.

    Shortly after the hurricane ravaged New Orleans in 2005, Mr. Bourgeois fired a shotgun at the three men because they were black and had entered the neighborhood in which he lived, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana had said. The men, who were all injured in the shooting, had been trying to reach a ferry landing that state and federal agencies were using as an evacuation site.
    In 2010, federal prosecutors charged Mr. Bourgeois with five felony counts, and the maximum penalty was life in prison. Prosecutors later dismissed the original indictment as part of a plea agreement, and in October, Mr. Bourgeois pleaded guilty to two counts: interference with the rights of the men he targeted and use of a firearm during a violent crime. [My emphasis—Bonnie Weinstein]
    On Feb. 14, he was sentenced to five years in prison on each of the two counts. He was also sentenced to five years of supervised release.

    Julia Jacobs contributed reporting.


    8) Thousands of Immigrant Children Said They Were Sexually Abused in U.S. Detention Centers, Report Says
    By Matthew Haag, February 27, 2019

    A Justice Department report, released by Representative Ted Deutch, Democrat of Florida, said that there were 4,500 complaints in four years about the sexual harassment and abuse of immigrant children in United States custody.CreditCreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

    The federal government received more than 4,500 complaints in four years about the sexual abuse of immigrant children who were being held at government-funded detention facilities, including an increase in complaints while the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the border was in place, the Justice Department revealed this week.
    The records, which involve children who had entered the country alone or had been separated from their parents, detailed allegations that adult staff members had harassed and assaulted children, including fondling and kissing minors, watching them as they showered, and raping them. They also included cases of suspected abuse of children by other minors.
    From October 2014 to July 2018, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a part of the Health and Human Services Department that cares for so-called unaccompanied minors, received a total of 4,556 allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment, 1,303 of which were referred to the Justice Department. Of those 1,303 cases deemed the most serious, 178 were accusations that adult staff members had sexually assaulted immigrant children, while the rest were allegations of minors assaulting other minors, the report said.

    “The safety of minors is our top concern when administering the UAC program,” Jonathan H. Hayes, the acting director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, said in a statement, using an abbreviation for unaccompanied children. “None of the allegations involved O.R.R. federal staff. These allegations were all fully investigated and remedial action was taken where appropriate.”

    [Read the latest edition of Crossing the Border, a limited-run newsletter about life where the United States and Mexico meet. Sign up here to receive the next issue in your inbox.]
    The records do not detail the outcome of every complaint, but they indicate that some accusations were determined to be unfounded or lacking enough evidence to prosecute. In one case, a staff member at a Chicago detention facility was accused in April 2015 of fondling and kissing a child and was later charged with a crime. The report did not state whether that person had been found guilty.
    The documents, first reported by Axios, were made public by Representative Ted Deutch, Democrat of Florida, the night before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday about the Trump administration’s policy of family separations at the southern border. That policy, which was put in place last spring, resulted in more than 2,700 children being separated from their parents under President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting anyone caught crossing the border illegally, including those with families seeking asylum on humanitarian grounds.
    For most of the four years covered by the report, the number of allegations made to the Office of Refugee Resettlement stayed about the same from month to month. But the number of complaints rose after the Trump administration enacted its separation policy. From March 2018 to July 2018, the agency received 859 complaints, the largest number of reports during any five-month span in the previous four years. Of those, 342 allegations were referred to the Justice Department, the report showed.
    During the hearing on Tuesday, a discussion of the records sparked a heated exchange between Mr. Deutch and Cmdr. Jonathan White of the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who last year repeatedly warned a top official in Health and Human Services that the family separation policy could permanently traumatize young children.

    As Mr. Deutch read some of the report, Commander White interjected, “That is false!”
    He later apologized, claiming that a “vast majority of allegations proved to be unfounded.” He said he was unaware of any accusations against staff members that were found to have merit.


    9) White Supremacism in the U.S. Military, Explained
    By Dave Philipps, February 27, 2019

    For much of the 20th century, the Ku Klux Klan actively recruited members in the armed forces without hindrance. Dozens of Navy sailors in uniform attended a Klan rally in the summer of 1923, where they were photographed holding their robes.CreditCreditJ.W. Sandison/Whatcom Museum

    The United States military is one of the most ethnically diverse and integrated institutions in the nation, and has long promoted racial equality. Yet in a string of cases in recent years, Americans bent on racist extremism have been current or former members of the armed forces.
    The arrest of a Coast Guard lieutenant whom federal prosecutors accused last week of stockpiling weapons and planning to start a race war raised the question of whether the military, for all its efforts to fight discrimination, has a continuing problem with white supremacists in the ranks.
    Here is a look at the issue and how the military has addressed it:
    Watchdog groups that monitor domestic extremist activity were quick to cite the allegations against the Coast Guard officer, Lt. Christopher Hasson, as a fresh cause for concern, one of a number in recent years involving people with military backgrounds. They have warned that the armed forces can be a training and recruiting ground for hate groups.
    [Sign up for the weekly At War newsletter to receive stories about duty, conflict and consequence.]

    “If you look at the list of domestic terrorism attacks, you will find a lot of veterans,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the intelligence project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    The trouble, Ms. Beirich said, is that the Pentagon does not see white nationalists in the ranks as a major issue. “We’ve had a hard time convincing the military of the seriousness of this problem,” she said.
    The Defense Department did not respond to requests for comment for this article, but its posture has generally been that the number of troops involved in extremist activity is tiny, that there are strict regulations against discrimination and extremist activity, and that military commanders are empowered to discipline and discharge troops who break them.
    The department told Congress in a 2018 letter that, out of 1.3 million serving members of the military, only 18 had been disciplined or discharged for extremist activity over the past five years.
    Experts say, though, that because extremists generally try to keep their activities in the shadows, the official discipline figures probably understate the scale of the problem.
    Timothy McVeigh, top center, with members of his Army platoon in 1988 during infantry training at Fort Benning, Ga. Four years after his 1991 discharge, he bombed a federal office building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.CreditAssociated Press

    In a number of cases, white supremacists have served in the military and then turned to deadly violence afterward. Examples include Wade Page, who opened fire at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012, and Timothy McVeigh, who bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. More recently, a half-dozen current and former service members were linked in 2017 to the Atomwaffen Division, a violent white supremacist group.

    Saying that the military radicalized these men would be wrong, Ms. Beirich said. “The military is one of the most diverse, multicultural places you can go get a job,” she said. “If anything, it de-radicalizes people.”
    Even so, an F.B.I. report in 2008 found that right-wing extremists with military experience were a persistent problem in civilian life. And since then, a number of participants in violent protests mounted by so-called alt-right groups have been active-duty troops or veterans.
    Some extremist groups encourage their younger members to enlist in order to get weapons training, Ms. Beirich said, adding that the military often has little awareness of these groups and how they operate.
    And for individuals, she said, the personality traits that may predispose them to extremist views may also predispose them to seek a career involving weapons and the use of force.
    The military does not want such recruits, but it does not have a comprehensive system for screening them out. All recruits go through a criminal-background check when they enlist, but that would only detect extremists if they have been charged with a crime related to their beliefs; those who have not can slip through. Recruits’ medical records are reviewed for signs of significant mental illness, but there is no formal psychological assessment that might detect extremist views.
    The history of white supremacism in the ranks stretches back to the segregated regiments that fought the Civil War and, before 1862, to laws that barred blacks from serving in the Army at all.
    The Ku Klux Klan recruited openly in the armed forces for decades, and at the peak of its influence in the 1920s it even had at least one official chapter aboard a Navy battleship, the Tennessee.

    President Truman ordered all branches of the military to integrate in 1948, but for decades afterward, many in uniform still held extreme racist views, and commanders often did little to dissuade them.
    Klan members paraded in makeshift white robes and burned crosseson an American base in Vietnam to mark the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. Marines wore KKK patches and held Klan meetings in 1976 at Camp Pendleton in California. After black Marines tried to forcibly break up a Klan meeting, they were charged with assault, while 17 Klan members were transferred to other bases to “defuse the situation,” as a commander said at the time, instead of being disciplined.
    The Klan held what it billed as a military recruiting rally in Virginia Beach, in 1979, hoping to sign up some of the 50,000 sailors and Marines based in the area. Commanders told the troops the rally was off limits, but a number attended anyway, confident that they would face no consequences.
    “The Navy’s policy is that membership in the Klan is no more illegal than membership in the Elks,” a spokesman said at the time, explaining why none of those who attended were reprimanded, even after fights broke out at the rally.
    Though critics say the military is not doing enough to root out extremism, it does much more now than it once did. Significant change came in the 1980s, when the military began to see right-wing extremists as a national security issue and began to impose new restrictions, usually in reaction to egregious episodes.
    In 1986, after soldiers and Marines were photographed in uniform at a rally with a flag that read “KKK rally, no Jews allowed,” the Pentagon issued new regulations barring service members from belonging to extremist organizations. The troops in the photo had joined a paramilitary group begun by a retired Army Special Forces master sergeant that government prosecutors said was training to overthrow the government. The master sergeant was later convicted of murder.
    The year of the rally, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger issued a directive requiring everyone in the military to “reject participation in white supremacy, neo-Nazi, and other such groups which espouse or attempt to create overt discrimination.” The ban applied both on and off duty.

    Even so, the military, reflecting society as a whole, still struggled with hate groups and racist violence.
    Experts generally agree that the problem is more widespread than the military acknowledges.
    In 1995, after the Oklahoma City bombing and the killing of a black couple by a paratrooper and skinhead near Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the Army conducted a sweeping investigation of extremism in its ranks. It turned up 22 skinheads at Fort Bragg, but the Army found a “very, very, very small amount of extremist activity” over all, a spokesman said at the time.
    That has largely been the posture of the military ever since, according to Carter F. Smith, who served for 30 years as an Army criminal investigator and now teaches criminal justice at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee.
    “They always say the numbers are small, and because of that, it is not a priority,” Mr. Carter said of military officials. “Well, the numbers might be small, but they are like a drop of cyanide in your drink. They can do a lot of damage.”
    Mr. Smith said that while the military is required to prepare a report every year on the number of domestic extremists in its ranks, it has no law enforcement task force to monitor extremist networks and generate comprehensive data.
    “So every year they get a report based on what they were never looking for,” he said.
    As a result, he said, the figures include only the small number of disciplinary cases that arise on their own, and the military goes on assuming that extremists in the ranks are a minor issue.
    Responsibility for identifying and discharging extremists is left to individual unit commanders. Mr. Smith said that many line officers may lack the time and the training for the task, or any feeling that it is necessary.

    Over the years, he said, when he has offered to brief commanders about the issue of skinheads or gang members in their ranks, the response would often be, “We don’t have a problem.”
    Military law enforcement was alerted to the Coast Guard lieutenant’s views by the internet searches he was performing on his work computer, which led to his arrest on drug and gun charges. Mr. Smith said it was unlikely that the military will be able to count on other extremists being so careless.
    “They will just react when something bad happens,” he said. “I don’t expect this problem to stop any time soon. It never stopped in the 30 years I worked on it.”


    10) Oregon to Become First State to Impose Statewide Rent Control
    By Mihir Zaveri, February 26, 2019

    Oregon is poised to become the first state with a rent control policy.CreditCreditAmanda Lucier for The New York Times

    Oregon is poised to become the first state in the nation to impose statewide limits on how much landlords can raise rents after state lawmakers passed a sweeping measure on Tuesday.
    The legislation would generally limit rent increases to 7 percent annually plus the change in the Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation. Some smaller and newer apartment buildings would be exempt.
    The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 35 to 25, largely along party lines. It had already been approved by the State Senate, and Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, plans to sign the bill, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

    The measure’s passage comes as states and cities across the country have struggled to address a growing housing affordability crisis. Rents have risen while wages have stagnated, and the supply of affordable housing has fallen short of need.

    In Oregon, median rent has increased by more than 14 percent statewide in recent years. In Portland, the epicenter of the crisis, median rents have risen by 30 percent since 2011, adjusted for inflation.
    “There is no single solution — not one entity, or one person — that can solve Oregon’s housing crisis,” Ms. Brown said in a statement Tuesday. “This new legislation is one of many actions Oregon needs to take to address our housing crisis. While it will provide some immediate relief, we need to focus on building supply in order to address Oregon’s housing challenges for the long term.”

    Lisa Morawski, a spokeswoman for Ms. Brown, said Tuesday that a legal team would review the bill before the governor could sign it into law, at which point it would go into effect immediately. Ms. Morawski did not immediately have a timeline for when that would happen.
    Three-quarters of the country’s mayors say that a lack of affordable housing is a significant concern, and they are reacting: Boston is proposing steep taxes on developers. Denver is studying proposals to allow more carriage houses — detached separate units on the same lot as a house — which are generally cheaper to build than homes.
    Rent control has been a particularly divisive topic. While Oregon’s would be the first statewide rent control measure, many states prohibit their cities from capping rent increases.

    Cities like New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco have rent control policies.
    But economists tend to agree that rent control makes housing problems worse in the long run.
    Some say that by limiting the amount of rent landlords can collect, they will take the properties off the market, limiting the housing supply at a time when there already is a crunch.
    “While the intent of rent control laws is to assist lower-income populations, history has shown that rent control exacerbates shortages, makes it harder for apartment owners to make upgrades and disproportionally benefits higher-income households,” Doug Bibby, president of the National Multifamily Housing Council, which represents the apartment industry, said in a statement Tuesday about the Oregon bill.
    Apartment buildings with fewer than five units are exempt from the bill. So are housing complexes that are less than 15 years old. The bill also sharply reduces the circumstances in which tenants can be evicted.



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