Cuba Condemns the Terrorist Sabotage Against the Power Supply System in Venezuela

Havana, March 11, 2019—The Cuban government has issued a declaration on the terrorist cyber attack against Venezuela's national electric grid. The full text of the statement follows:

The Revolutionary Government strongly condemns the sabotage perpetrated against the power supply system in Venezuela, which is a terrorist action intended to harm the defenseless population of an entire nation and turn it into a hostage of the non-conventional war launched by the government of the United States against the legitimate government headed by comrade Nicolás Maduro Moros and the civic and military union of the Bolivarian and Chavista people.

Several U.S. politicians have rushed to celebrate an action that deprives the population from an essential basic service; leaves hospitals without the power they require to work; disrupts other basic services which are indispensable in the everyday-life of people, such as food, water supply, transportation, communications, public safety, trade, bank transactions and payments using credit cards. Such an action affects work in general and the proper functioning of schools and universities. 

The sequence and modality of these actions remind us of the sabotage perpetrated against the oil industry back in 2002 by a U.S. company that owned and operated the automated system that controlled the production, refining, transportation and distribution of hydrocarbons.

This adds to the ruthless economic and financial warfare imposed on Venezuela with the clear intention to subjugate, through shortages and deprivations, the political and sovereign will of a people that has not been brought to its knees.

This is an escalation of a non-conventional war led by the U.S. government against that sister nation, which is taking place after the failed provocation orchestrated on February 23 with the intention of carrying by force an alleged humanitarian aid into Venezuela, thus challenging the legitimate authorities of that country and violating International Law and the principles and norms of the United Nations Charter, with the purpose of causing widespread death and violence as a pretext for a "humanitarian intervention."

The experience of Cuba's own history and the history of other countries in the region show that these actions are a prelude of violent acts of a larger scope, as was the case of the armed invasion through Bay of Pigs in 1961. The international community has accumulated sufficient evidence to be on the alert.

The usurper and self-proclaimed "president" made in the U.S. has publicly said that, when the time comes, he would invoke Article 187 of the Constitution to authorize the use of foreign military missions in the country; and has repeated exactly the same phrase used by his American mentors: "All options are on the table."

He just needs to receive an order from Washington, since it is known that, during his tour around South America, he already asked certain governments to support a military intervention in his country.

The offensive launched against Venezuela has been accompanied by a ferocious campaign of McCarthyist propaganda and lies coordinated by the National Security Advisor of that country, John Bolton, as a pretext to apply by force the Monroe Doctrine, for which he has counted on the active participation of the anti-Cuban Senator Marco Rubio, who has frantically resorted to social networks, thus evidencing his interest and personal and conspiratorial involvement in the maneuvers perpetrated against Venezuela.

One of the most relentless and shameless statements made has been the slanderous assertion that Cuba has "between 20 and 25 thousand troops in Venezuela" which "exercise control" on that sister and sovereign nation and "keep" the members of the glorious and combative National Bolivarian Armed Forces "under threat." Cuba categorically rejects that lie and equally strongly refutes any insinuation that there is some level of political subordination by Venezuela to Cuba or by Cuba to Venezuela.

John Bolton is a well-known liar, whose trajectory goes back a long way. He was the U.S. government official who, back in 2002, accused Cuba of having a program to develop biological weapons, a fallacy that was publicly denied by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was his superior back then; and by ex-President James Carter. This falsehood also forced Bolton to undergo a U.S. Congress investigation.

Back in 2003, Bolton was also among those who disseminated the lie that the government of Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and a program to develop them. Such a lie, after being repeated at every level of the U.S. government and magnified by the big media, served as a pretext for the aggression and military occupation of that Middle East country by the United States at a cost of almost one million deadly casualties and millions of displaced Iraqis, plus thousands of U.S. soldiers killed and wounded during a military campaign whose goal was also oil.

As has been publicly announced and is known by the honest and well-informed persons, the bilateral relations between Cuba and Venezuela are based on mutual respect, true solidarity; a shared commitment, based on the ideas of Bolivar, Marti, Fidel and Chavez, with the integration of an independent and sovereign "Our America;" the willingness to practice complementary cooperation among all the peoples of the South and the common effort to implement and defend the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

The projects contained in the Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement that was signed between both countries involve the participation of a little more than 20,000 Cubans, most of them women. Ninety six percent of them are devoted to the provision of health services to the population. Others work in other sectors such as education, culture, sports and agro-food production.

Just to mention some figures, the historical impact of that cooperation in Venezuela has been reflected in the 1,473,117 human lives that have been saved; the 717,029,310 medical diagnoses made; the medical assistance received by 62,031,309 persons suffering from eye problems; the 12,915,648 vaccines against measles and tuberculosis administered to people; and the 3,095,564 persons who have been taught to read and write.

It is absolutely not true that Cuba is taking part in operations carried out by the National Bolivarian Armed Forces or the security services. This is a slanderous rumor deliberately disseminated by the government of the United States. When Bolton as well as other politicians and officials of the U.S. government rely on such rumors, they are deliberately lying to pursue aggressive political purposes. They have sufficient data and information and know the truth.

Cuba does not interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela, just as Venezuela does not interfere in Cuba's internal affairs.

Unlike the United States, which has about 80 military bases in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the one that is usurping the Cuban territory in Guantánamo; and around 800 in the entire planet, with more than 250,000 quartered troops, Cuba does not have any base in any country; or specialists in torture and police repression; or secret prisons; or naval or air forces prowling around the coasts or the immediate air space of sovereign States; or satellites watching every single detail.

It was through the use of lies that imperialism promoted the bloody coup d'étatof Augusto Pinochet in Chile and many other coupsand repressive dictatorships in the region. It was through the use of lies that more than 10,000 defenseless citizens were assassinated during the military invasion against Panama in December of 1989. It was through the use of lies that the military aggression and destabilization of Libya was perpetrated.

It was with lies that the United States and other powers fully supported, all the way until the very last minute, the opprobrious apartheid regime in South Africa.

The Revolutionary Government warns and denounces that the tendency of the government of the United States to lie without any limit or restraint whatsoever has already had dangerous consequences in the past that could replicate in the present.

Radio Havana Cuba, March 11, 2019













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



Gaza's Great March of Return - 1 Year Anniversary, Rally & March- March 30th, SF @noon

We call on supporters of freedom, justice and humanity to join us in solidarity with Gaza and the Palestinian struggle as a whole. We will meet at 24th and Mission Bart in SF, then march through the Mission. 

Saturday, March 30, 2019 marks the first anniversary of the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip and the 43rd anniversary of Land Day in Palestine. This is an invitation for supporters of justice around the world to raise their voices. One year ago March 30th, tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees from Gaza began weekly peaceful protests calling to lift the Israeli-Egyptian blockade and for the right to return to their ancestral homes. Since the Great Return March protests began Israeli snipers have killed 256 Palestinian men, women and children in cold blood-and injured 30,000. Meanwhile today, US made bombs are literally raining down on 2 million trapped Gazans.

The Higher National Commission for the March of Return and Breaking the Siege announced preparations to organize a mega march on the first anniversary of the March of Return and on the Land Day, March 30. In a news conference held in Gaza, head of the Commission Khaled al-Batsh said that this event would be a hundred percent peaceful and would take place in the five border camps of the March of Return. He also called for a general strike in all of Palestine on the same day of the anniversary, urging Palestinians in the West Bank and the world to organize marches to confront the dangers threatening their lives as a result of Israeli barriers and settlements.  Join us!  #GreatReturnMarch #March30


Noura Khouri



Call for a Palestine Liberation Movement

The 1st Anniversary of the 'Great March of Return' is March 30. 

                   Call initiated by the One State Assembly, February 9, 2019

All articles represent the opinions of the authors – not UNAC Positions

The 1st Anniversary of the 'Great March of Return' is March 30.  This is also the commemoration known as Land Day to Palestinians.   Land Day commemorates a massacre of 6 Palestinian 'citizens' of Israel who were protesting the Israeli government's appropriation of thousands of donums of Palestinian land in 1976.  


Today, more than 40 years later, Israel is murdering Palestinian protesters in the Great March of Return on a daily basis.  While claiming that others threaten the state of Israel, the Israeli occupation of the ancient land of Palestine (and parts of Lebanon and Syria as well) is increasingly genocidal.   

What follows is a statement by the One State Assembly in support of One Democratic State of Palestine.    Please sign and endorse the statement to support the Palestinian right of return and a future for an open democratic state in historic Palestine rather than an ethno-religious encampment.  Sign before March 30th and stand with the Palestinian people and Palestine on Land Day.  

Call for A Palestine Liberation Movement and One Democratic State of Palestine

We say YES to the just national struggle for our rights, which unifies the living energies of our people. We are inspired by our glorious history, our great leaders and their decisive battles, our martyrs, our prisoners, our restless youth and those in refugee camps, waiting on the realization of their inalienable right of return. We say NO to begging at the doors of the occupiers in pursuit of crumbs. This has led Palestinians and will lead them to more division and bloody infighting

Palestine was colonized for strategic, imperial reasons: it is at the junction of three continents, with key transport links and easy access for the hegemonic powers on their way to the oil wealth of the Arab nations. But the colonists could not evacuate the Palestinian people, who have lived here for more than 6,000 years.

After a century of dealing with the European colonial states and American imperialism, our Arab nation has been betrayed, and is still being betrayed, by the terror of these countries.

The illusion that Zionists want peace must be confronted. When will we wake up? We cannot speak of a national state for the Palestinians if we do not liberate ourselves from our petty differences while under siege and occupation. We have to recognize reality: that we continue in a period of national liberation, not in a period of state building.

For this reason we believe in the need to withdraw completely from farcical negotiations with the colonial entity. These only cover up and legalize the occupation. They suggest fair solutions which don't exist, deepening Palestinian conflicts and leading to bloody infighting.

The national liberation stage must precede the construction of the national state. Recognizing this provides a compass to guide us in our national priorities and relations with others. This means no more agreements with the occupiers. They will not commit to agreements, and experience shows they are part of a great deception, falsely called a 'peace process'.

This 'Peace Process' became a façade for the colonial entity to proceed with a so-called 'political solution'. Really, they needed Palestinian participation to pave the way for the oppressive Arab regimes to end the boycott and 'normalize' relationships with the entity.

As Arab markets were closed to the Zionist entity by a blockade, it was necessary to find ways to open them through 'normalization'. But Palestinian resistance had generated popular sympathy in the Arab and Islamic world, and formed a major obstacle to this 'normalization'. Zionist leader Shimon Perez admitted:

"The main goal of the Oslo conventions was not Palestinians, but rather normalization with the Arab world and opening its markets."

Yet national liberation requires confronting, not submitting to, foreign hegemony. We say that the leadership of our national movement has ignored this, and has instead engaged in binding relations with the occupying entity and its patrons.

The history of the colonial entity in Palestine is nothing more than a history of the destruction of the Palestinian people and their civilization. Two thirds of our people have been displaced and more than 90% of our land has been stolen. Our land, water and houses are stolen and demolished every day, while apartheid walls are built and the racist nation-state law is being enforced by Israeli legislators. There is also a permanent aggression against the peoples of the region, to subjugate them through Salafist terrorism and economic siege.

The USA supports the Zionist entity with money, weapons, missiles and aircraft, while protecting it from punishment at the UN, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, abolishing its financial support for the United Nations Refugees and Work Agency (UNRWA) and halting its financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. How can the USA or its regional puppets ever be 'honest brokers' for the people of Palestine?

The invaders falsely used divine religion in attempts to destroy the indigenous people and their cultures. They said this was an 'empty land', available for another people with no land, but with the 'divine promise' of a religious homeland. Yet hiding settler colonization behind the banner of Judaism wrongly places responsibility on religion for the crimes of the colonizers.

We have no problem with 'Jewish' people in Palestine. That problem emerged in capitalist Europe, not in our countries. We are not the ones to create a solution to Europe's 'Jewish problem'. Rather, we have to deal with colonization and foreign hegemony in our region.

The colonial entity and its imperial patrons have brought the people of Palestine to a historic juncture. We, the residents of historic Palestine, must dismantle the terms of our collective extermination so as to set up relations which reject racial segregation and mutual negation. We must dismantle the closed structure and replace it with an open, non-imperial and humane system. This can only be achieved by establishing One Democratic State of Palestine for its indigenous people, the refugees who we were forced out of the country and its current citizens. This is the key to a 'fair and permanent solution of conflict' in the region, and to a 'just solution' for the Palestinian cause. Failing this, war and mutual destruction will continue.

Yet the old Palestinian leadership has presided over regression. They make agreements for the benefit of the colonial entity and its patrons. They abandon 1948 Palestine and the refugees. They collaborate with our enemies while delivering no tangible benefit for our people.

For these reasons we say that this leadership has become a real obstacle to any future development or advancement for our people. This leadership has lost its qualifications to lead national action. It looks to its own benefit and is too weak to learn the lessons of the anti-colonial movements of the peoples of Asia, Africa and the Americas. It does not see the advances elsewhere in challenging US hegemony. It does not even see the resistance in the Arab and Muslim World, when they manage to foil US and Zionist projects.

Our movement must be an organic part of the Arab Liberation Movement, putting an end to foreign hegemony, achieving national unity and liberating Palestine from the current apartheid system. Yet this great humanitarian goal directly clashes with the interests of the dominant triad – the forces of global hegemony, settler apartheid and the comprador Arab regimes.

We warn all against chasing the myth of 'two contiguous states' in Palestine. This is a major deception, to portray ethnic enclaves within Palestine as an expression of the right to popular self-determination. The goal must be to replace apartheid with equal citizenship and this can only be achieved by establishing One Democratic State in historic Palestine for all, including its indigenous people, the refugees who we were forced out of the country and its current citizens, including those who were drawn into the country as settlers through the Zionist project.

Palestinian parties negotiating for unity and reform should focus on restoring liberation to the core of the Palestinian National Charter. The Arab homeland will never be liberated and unified by subordination to the USA! It will only be liberated by confronting and ending colonial and imperial dominance.

We say YES to national unity in the framework of our Palestinian Liberation Movement, freed from deceptive agreements which only serve the hegemonic powers and comprador regimes.

LONG LIVE PALESTINE, liberated from racial colonization and built on the foundations of equality for all its citizens, rejecting segregation and discrimination by religion, culture or ethnicity; friends with its regional neighbours and with all progressive forces of the world!

One State Assembly

Jerusalem, Palestine

Signatories include: Richard Falk, Tariq Ali, Paul Larudee, Kevin Zeese, Tim Anderson, Amal Wahdan, Judith Bello, Ken Stone, Issa Chaer,  Ali Mallah, Alicia Jrapko …..

Endorsers: Free Palestine Movement, Palestine Solidarity Forum (India), Syria Solidarity Movement, United Front Against Facism and War (Canada), Communist Reconstruction (Canada), Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, Hands Off Syria Coalition, International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity




Please note change of venue:



Courage to Resist

free chelsea manning

Free Chelsea Manning (again)!

U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been sent back to jail after refusing to answer questions before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. She could be jailed for up to 18 months this time.

As she was being taken back into custody on March 8th, she declared, "I will not participate in a secret process that I morally object to, particularly one that has been historically used to entrap and persecute activists for protected political speech."  Here's how to offer your support.

randy rowland

Podcast: Randy Rowland, GI resister

"I was the reluctant guy who's bit by bit by bit, just had to face the facts that things weren't the way I had been raised to believe that they were. It wasn't like I planned to be a resister or a troublemaker or anything of the sort," explains Randy Rowland, an organizer of the "Presidio 27 Mutiny."

This Courage to Resist podcast is the first in series to be produced in collaboration with the Vietnam Full Disclosure effort of Veterans for Peace — "Towards an honest commemoration of the American war in Vietnam." This year marks 50 years of GI resistance, in and out of uniform, for many of the courageous

individuals featured. Listen to Randy's story here.

ctr video

We shared our new 75 second promotional video on Facebook this week. Yes, FB is kind of evil, but we still reach a lot of folks that way. Please check it out, share with friends, and "like" our FB page.

ctr video

During Sunday's Objector Church online meetup, James Branum discussed the heroism of US Army Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds (1919–1985). MSgt Edmonds was the ranking US NCO at the Stalag IX-A POW Camp when he was captured in Germany during WWII. At the risk of his life, he prevented an estimated 200 Jews from being singled out from the camp for Nazi persecution and likely death. Watch the video here.


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

www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist



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."





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

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



Major George Tillery




April 25, 2018-- The arrest of two young men in Starbucks for the crime of "sitting while black," and the four years prison sentence to rapper Meek Mill for a minor parole violation are racist outrages in Philadelphia, PA that made national news in the past weeks. Yesterday Meek Mills was released on bail after a high profile defense campaign and a Pa Supreme Court decision citing evidence his conviction was based solely on a cop's false testimony.

These events underscore the racism, frame-up, corruption and brutality at the core of the criminal injustice system. Pennsylvania "lifer" Major Tillery's fight for freedom puts a spotlight on the conviction of innocent men with no evidence except the lying testimony of jailhouse snitches who have been coerced and given favors by cops and prosecutors.

Sex for Lies and Manufactured Testimony

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

Homicide detectives and prosecutors threatened Claitt with a false unrelated murder charge, and induced him to lie with promises of little or no jail time on over twenty pending felonies, and being released from jail despite a parole violation. In addition, homicide detectives arranged for Claitt, while in custody, to have private sexual liaisons with his girlfriends in police interview rooms.

In May and June 2016, Emanuel Claitt gave sworn statements that his testimony was a total lie, and that the homicide cops and the prosecutors told him what to say and coached him before trial. Not only was he coerced to lie that Major Tillery was a shooter, but to lie and claim there were no plea deals made in exchange for his testimony. He provided the information about the specific homicide detectives and prosecutors involved in manufacturing his testimony and details about being allowed "sex for lies". In August 2016, Claitt reaffirmed his sworn statements in a videotape, posted on YouTube and on JusticeforMajorTillery.org.

Without the coerced and false testimony of Claitt there was no evidence against Major Tillery. There were no ballistics or any other physical evidence linking him to the shootings. The surviving victim's statement naming others as the shooters was not allowed into evidence.

The trial took place in May 1985 during the last days of the siege and firebombing of the MOVE family Osage Avenue home in Philadelphia that killed 13 Black people, including 5 children. The prosecution claimed that Major Tillery was part of an organized crime group, and falsely described it as run by the Nation of Islam. This prejudiced and inflamed the majority white jury against Tillery, to make up for the absence of any evidence that Tillery was involved in the shootings.

This was a frame-up conviction from top to bottom. Claitt was the sole or primary witness in five other murder cases in the early 1980s. Coercing and inducing jailhouse informants to falsely testify is a standard routine in criminal prosecutions. It goes hand in hand with prosecutors suppressing favorable evidence from the defense.

Major Tillery has filed a petition based on his actual innocence to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Larry Krasner's Conviction Review Unit. A full review and investigation should lead to reversal of Major Tillery's conviction. He also asks that the DA's office to release the full police and prosecution files on his case under the new  "open files" policy. In the meantime, Major Tillery continues his own investigation. He needs your support.

Major Tillery has Fought his Conviction and Advocated for Other Prisoners for over 30 Years

The Pennsylvania courts have rejected three rounds of appeals challenging Major Tillery's conviction based on his innocence, the prosecution's intentional presentation of false evidence against him and his trial attorney's conflict of interest. On June 15, 2016 Major Tillery filed a new post-conviction petition based on the same evidence now in the petition to the District Attorney's Conviction Review Unit. Despite the written and video-taped statements from Emanuel Claitt that that his testimony against Major Tillery was a lie and the result of police and prosecutorial misconduct, Judge Leon Tucker dismissed Major Tillery's petition as "untimely" without even holding a hearing. Major Tillery appealed that dismissal and the appeal is pending in the Superior Court.

During the decades of imprisonment Tillery has advocated for other prisoners challenging solitary confinement, lack of medical and mental health care and the inhumane conditions of imprisonment. In 1990, he won the lawsuit, Tillery v. Owens, that forced the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) to end double celling (4 men to a small cell) at SCI Pittsburgh, which later resulted in the closing and then "renovation" of that prison.

Three years ago Major Tillery stood up for political prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and demanded prison Superintendent John Kerestes get Mumia to a hospital because "Mumia is dying."  For defending Mumia and advocating for medical treatment for himself and others, prison officials retaliated. Tillery was shipped out of SCI Mahanoy, where Mumia was also held, to maximum security SCI Frackville and then set-up for a prison violation and a disciplinary penalty of months in solitary confinement. See, Messing with Major by Mumia Abu-Jamal. Major Tillery's federal lawsuit against the DOC for that retaliation is being litigated. Major Tillery continues as an advocate for all prisoners. He is fighting to get the DOC to establish a program for elderly prisoners.

Major Tillery Needs Your Help:

Well-known criminal defense attorney Stephen Patrizio represents Major pro bonoin challenging his conviction. More investigation is underway. We can't count on the district attorney's office to make the findings of misconduct against the police detectives and prosecutors who framed Major without continuing to dig up the evidence.

Major Tillery is now 67 years old. He's done hard time, imprisoned for almost 35 years, some 20 years in solitary confinement in max prisons for a crime he did not commit. He recently won hepatitis C treatment, denied to him for a decade by the DOC. He has severe liver problems as well as arthritis and rheumatism, back problems, and a continuing itchy skin rash. Within the past couple of weeks he was diagnosed with an extremely high heartbeat and is getting treatment.

Major Tillery does not want to die in prison. He and his family, daughters, sons and grandchildren are fighting to get him home. The newly filed petition for Conviction Review to the Philadelphia District Attorney's office lays out the evidence Major Tillery has uncovered, evidence suppressed by the prosecution through all these years he has been imprisoned and brought legal challenges into court. It is time for the District Attorney's to act on the fact that Major Tillery is innocent and was framed by police detectives and prosecutors who manufactured the evidence to convict him. Major Tillery's conviction should be vacated and he should be freed.

Major Tillery and family


    Financial Support—Tillery's investigation is ongoing. He badly needs funds to fight for his freedom.

    Go to JPay.com;

    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC

    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:

    The Conviction Review Unit should investigate Major Tillery's case. He is innocent. The only evidence at trial was from lying jail house informants who now admit it was false.

    Call: 215-686-8000 or

    Write to:

    Security Processing Center

    Major Tillery AM 9786

    268 Bricker Road

    Bellefonte, PA 16823

    For More Information, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery.org


    Kamilah Iddeen (717) 379-9009, Kamilah29@yahoo.com

    Rachel Wolkenstein (917) 689-4009, RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com





    On Monday March 4th, 2019 Leonard Peltier was advised that his request for a transfer had been unceremoniously denied by the United States Bureau of Prisons.

    The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee appreciates and thanks the large number of his supporters who took the time to write, call, email, or fax the BOP in support of Leonard's request for a transfer.

    Those of us who have been supporting Leonard's freedom for a number of years are disappointed but resolute to continue pushing for his freedom and until that day, to continue to push for his transfer to be closer to his relatives and the Indigenous Nations who support him.

    44 years is too damn long for an innocent man to be locked up. How can his co-defendants be innocent on the grounds of self-defense but Leonard remains in prison? The time is now for all of us to dig deep and do what we can and what we must to secure freedom for Leonard Peltier before it's too late.

    We need the support of all of you now, more than ever. The ILPDC plans to appeal this denial of his transfer to be closer to his family. We plan to demand he receive appropriate medical care, and to continue to uncover and utilize every legal mechanism to secure his release. To do these things we need money to support the legal work.

    Land of the Brave postcard-page-0

    Please call the ILPDC National office or email us for a copy of the postcard you can send to the White House. We need your help to ask President Trump for Leonard's freedom.


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    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) Chelsea Manning Jailed Again

    By Barry Sheppard, March 12, 2019

    Chelsea Manning, a transgender U.S. soldier who blew the whistle on U.S. war crimes, and spent 2013 to 2017 in an army stockade as a result, is back in prison again.

    This time because she refuses to join a bipartisan campaign against WikiLeaksthat seeks to bring Julian Assange from his refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to the U.S. in order to put him on trial and send him to prison.

    In 2010, she leaked hundreds-of-thousands of documents about the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. She first tried to get mainstream media to publish them, to no avail, before turning to WikiLeaks, which did publish them.

    One of these was a video, shown on TV at the time. The video was taken by U.S. soldiers aboard a helicopter gunship as they machine-gunned Iraqi civilians in the street as they attempted to flee. The soldiers joked and laughed while they committed murder.

    Daniel Ellsberg, who released the secret Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War that documented the long campaign Washington engaged against Vietnam from the end of WWII through the Vietnam War itself, said recently on Democracy Now!

    "She also revealed massive, widespread torture being conducted by our Iraqi allies, with our knowledge and complicity, going from George W. Bush on into President Obama's term.

    "So there is a lot of resentment against her in the intelligence community and the Army about the shameful things she revealed. Also assassination squads, death squads, corruption in general."

    Manning is in prison once again for refusing to answer questions before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaksand its founder, Julian Assange. She was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors to appear for questioning about her 2010 leak to WikiLeaks, and jailed for contempt for refusing to do so. In 2010 she testified that she acted alone (on record if the prosecutors really want to know,) and now stands by that.

    Journalist Glenn Greenwald said on Democracy Now!

    "I don't think it's a surprise to anybody that Chelsea Manning is extraordinarily heroic. She has demonstrated that repeatedly over the last decade in all kinds of ways. But what she's doing here is really remarkable, because the context is that the Trump administration is trying to do what the Obama administration tried to do but concluded it couldn't do without jeopardizing press freedoms, which is to prosecute WikiLeaksand Julian Assange for what it regards as the crime of publishing top secret or classified documents."

    He added: 

    "The Obama administration tried to create theories to say that WikiLeaksdid more than passively receive documents from Chelsea Manning and then publish them…. The Justice Department under Obama, searched high and low for evidence that WikiLeaks participated in Chelsea Manning's taking of those documents. They found no evidence….

    "And unfortunately, between the Republicans, who have long hated WikiLeaksfor exposing the war crimes of the Bush administration and Democrats, who now hate WikiLeaksbecause they published documents that reflected poorly on Hilary Clinton and the Democratic Party, very few people are willing to stand up to this very serious attack on press freedom."

    The latter refers to WikiLeakspublishing Democratic National Committee documents that exposed Clinton's and the DNC's dirty tricks to sabotage Bernie Sanders' campaign in 2016. That is, WikiLeakspublished the truth. But the Democrats are joining the Trump administration in going after WikiLeaksfor a deeper reason—the whole U.S. government operates behind a vast wall of secrecy, and hates it when they are exposed for their crimes.

    In 2017, then head of the CIA Mike Pompeo, who is now Secretary of State, charged that: 

    "WikiLeakswalks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service and has encouraged its followers to find jobs at the CIA in order to obtain intelligence. It directed Chelsea Manning in her theft of specific secret information…. It's time to call out WikiLeaksfor what it is: a nonstate, hostile intelligence service…."

    That's what the federal prosecutors are now trying to substantiate to criminalize WikiLeaksand jail Assange. Chelsea Manning won't go along with this, and is sitting in jail, with nary a squeak of protest by Democrats.  

    —March 12, 2019



    2) One British Ex-Soldier to Be Prosecuted in 'Bloody Sunday' Shootings

    By Ed O'Loughlin, March 14, 2019


    Families of the victims gathered on Thursday in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, before the announcement on whether to charge British soldiers involved in the "Bloody Sunday" events.CreditCreditClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

    DUBLIN — Officials in Northern Ireland said on Thursday that one former British soldier would be prosecuted on murder charges in connection with the massacre of unarmed civilians by British forces nearly 50 years ago in Londonderry, an event that came to be known as Bloody Sunday.

    The former soldier, identified only as "Soldier F," will be charged in the killings of James Wray and William McKinney, and with the attempted murder of four others. Eighteen others, including 16 former British soldiers and two nationalist gunmen said to have fired shots that day, will not be prosecuted, the officials said, on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to provide a reasonable chance of conviction.

    The massacre on Jan. 30, 1972, became one of the main flash points in the Troubles, the 30-year struggle over the status of Northern Irelandthat claimed at least 3,500 lives.

    The announcement in Londonderry on Thursday by the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland was greeted with dismay by many of the victims' families, some of whom said they would mount a legal challenge.

    Kate Nash, who was 23 when her 19-year-old brother, William Nash, was killed and her father, Alex, injured, said she was "very, very saddened" by the decision.

    "So many of these families, I can't tell you how disappointed we are," she said. "But whatever can be done for our loved ones, we will do it. After 47 years, the struggle goes on."

    Darragh Macken, a lawyer for the Nash family, said the prosecutors' decision may be challenged in the High Court in Belfast. He said he believed there was sufficient independent evidence to prosecute more soldiers and others, including graphic testimony of their guilt, and that many could be charged with perjury over attempts to cover up their roles in the killings.

    Stephen Herron, the director of public prosecutions for Northern Ireland, said in a statement on Thursday that the decision to try only Soldier F was based on a lack of admissible evidence to prosecute more of the soldiers. Some of the suspects could still face perjury charges.

    Protesters running from tear gas during the clashes in Northern Ireland in 1972.CreditPL Gould/Images Press, via Getty Images

    "This is in no way diminishes any finding by the Bloody Sunday inquiry that those killed or injured were not posing a threat to any of the soldiers," Mr. Herron said.

    Thirteen people were killed in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in 1972when British soldiers opened fire after unrest broke out at a civil rights march. Within weeks of the shootings, the British prime minister imposed direct British rule, which lasted until the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement set out complex power-sharing arrangements for Northern Ireland.

    At the time, the soldiers said that they had been responding to gunfire and nail bombs thrown by nationalist militants who were using the protest march as cover. An official inquiry that year led by a former army officer, Lord Widgery, largely exonerated the soldiers and attributed the killings to armed protesters, who the report said had provoked the attack. That inquiry came to be seen as a whitewash.

    A second investigation began in April 1998 under a different British jurist, Lord Saville. Twelve years later, his inquiry found that none of the victims had posed any threat to the soldiers, who had "lost control" and fired without warning. Some of those killed or wounded, the report found, were either fleeing or trying to help other victims.

    The report also found that some of the soldiers had lied to hide their actions, that their commanders had disobeyed standing orders by sending them into the area that day, that five of the soldiers had opened fire knowing that their targets posed no threat and that two other soldiers had fired without being sure.

    After the release of the report, the British prime minister at the time, David Cameron, offered a formal apology on Britain's behalf. He said that the inquiry had left no doubt that soldiers had fired first and that the killings were "both unjustified and unjustifiable."

    John Kelly, whose brother Michael was killed in 1972, said on Thursday at a news conference in Londonderry's town hall that the decision to prosecute just one former soldier was a "terrible disappointment" for the victims' families.

    "The full cost of Bloody Sunday cannot be measured just in terms of those who suffered that day," he said, "but must also be measured in terms of those who suffered because of that terrible day."

    Mr. Kelly added: "But we got one soldier, Soldier F, and he was responsible for the murder of five individuals out there. So their victory is our victory."

    A British soldier dragging a protester on Jan. 30, 1972. Within weeks of the shootings, the British prime minister imposed direct British rule, which lasted until the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.CreditThopson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    A moment of silence was held in the chamber, filled with relatives of the victims and officials.

    The question of whether to prosecute so-called legacy crimes in Northern Ireland remains a complicated political question in Britain and in the Republic of Ireland. Many relatives of victims of both sides of the conflict continue to press for the crimes to be investigated and punished.

    But some defenders of the British security forces argue that those efforts are weighted unfairly against the army and police force, which kept detailed records and archives, as opposed to the illegal nationalist and loyalist organizations, which did not.

    Karen Bradley, the British cabinet official responsible for Northern Ireland, caused outrage last week when she said in the House of Commons that the killings by security forces "were not crimes."

    "They were people acting under orders and under instruction and fulfilling their duty in a dignified and appropriate way," she said. Faced with widespread condemnation, Ms. Bradley apologized and retracted her comments.

    Last month, Northern Ireland's department of justice announced a fund of 55 million pounds, about $72 million, to investigate 52 legacy cases involving 92 deaths. The majority of those cases involve killings said to have been carried out by the military or police forces, but the Conflict Archive on the Internet, a database run by the University of Ulster, estimates that only 10 percent of deaths during the Troubles were caused by the security forces.

    Denis Bradley, a former vice chairman of the Northern Ireland policing board, who was present during the 1972 shootings, told Irish state television that he questioned the finding that there was not sufficient evidence to prosecute "when deaths took place that day in front of a quarter of the town's citizens, including myself."

    Ms. Nash said that Jan. 30, 1972, was the saddest day of her life. "They took me to the hospital, and my father was there in the bed with his wounds," she recalled. "I asked him how he was, and he said to me, 'Where's your brother?' He didn't know he was dead."

    She added: "But my father was very brave. He went out in a hail of bullets to try and save his son."

    On Thursday, the British defense secretary, Gavin Williamson, said, "We are indebted to those soldiers who served with courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland."

    He added that the government would provide "full legal and pastoral support to the individual affected by today's decision" — meaning the government would pay Soldier F's legal costs.

    Iliana Magra contributed reporting from London.



    3) 'What Does It Take?': Admissions Scandal Is a Harsh Lesson in Racial Disparities

    By John Eligon and Audra D.S. Burch, March 13, 2019


    "To know that these parents are throwing money at all of these people and being like, 'Can you do this for my child,' it's kind of discouraging," said Da'Shona Martin, a student at Ewing Marion Kauffman School in Kansas City, Mo.CreditCreditKatie Currid for The New York Times

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — They studied into the wee hours and agonized line by line over their personal essays. They took standardized tests three, four, five times to increase their scores. And last fall, after years of preparation and anxiety, the students at Ewing Marion Kauffman School, a predominantly black school in Kansas City, submitted their college applications, hoping all their hard work would pay off.

    The students at Kauffman saw their charter school as something of an equalizer. The shiny, sprawling campus opened in 2011 on the city's mostly black and economically disadvantaged East Side. Nine out of 10 students receive free or reduced lunch.

    But this week, the students there, and at high schools across the country, were reminded by the nation's largest admissions scandal that there is nothing equal about the process.

    Students at Kauffman had their sights set on some of the same schools that wealthy parents used bribes to get their children into. It's what the students call a harsh lesson in the limits of meritocracy.

    "It's frustrating that people are able to obtain their opportunities this way," said Khiana Jackson, 17, a senior at Kauffman who has been accepted to the University of Chicago, but is waiting to hear from her top choices. "We can put in work from fifth grade to 12th grade, every single day, come in early, leave late, and it's still not enough."

    "What does it take? You work every day, they still find a way," she said.

    The case underscored the racial and economic disparities that plague access to higher education. With an expansive network of pricey college preparation courses and counselors at their disposal, wealthy students find themselves with a leg up in the increasingly cutthroat competition for the limited slots at the most prestigious universities.

    In an effort to diversify their student bodies, universities are recruiting students of different racial and economic backgrounds. But those opportunities can come with a backlash.

    For students of color who have found their qualifications questioned when they arrive at elite campuses, the case was dispiriting.

    "This scandal exposed the fact that there is a misplaced emphasis on so-called affirmative action inequities, rather than privilege," said Mark Stucker, an educational consultant who hosts a weekly podcast called Your College-Bound Kid, which focuses on access and equity in education.

    "That is the big travesty of college admission. People of means are able to tilt the system in their favor," he said.

    At Kauffman, all 39 of the seniors have already been accepted to college. But many are waiting to hear from their dream schools, and there's a feeling that the deck may be stacked against them despite all their hard work.

    Ms. Jackson is still waiting to hear from her top choices, Princeton and Yale. If she does not make it to the Ivy League, it would be hard to say whether something like the admissions scandal played a role. But just knowing that "some people did get in based on how much money they could hand somebody, it's not fair," she said.

    On Wednesday, seniors at Kauffman discussed their experiences and the fallout of the scandal. The obstacles that they had to overcome were things that the children of the parents who bribed their way into schools could never imagine, they said.

    Da'Shona Martin, 18, has had to work at Panera Bread to help her family pay the bills. She sometimes has to leave school early to make it to work on the bus. And when she works, she often does not make it home until late at night, and may not get to bed until 3 a.m., she said.

    That left little time for homework, said Ms. Martin, who planned to attend Clark Atlanta University.

    "Just knowing that due to circumstances outside of school, you do give your best in all that you can, but you also have to kind of balance being an adult," Ms. Martin said. "To know that these parents are throwing money at all of these people and being like, 'Can you do this for my child,' it's kind of discouraging. Some of us will probably have to work our whole lifetime to see money like this."

    Jennifer McReynolds and her husband prepared their son, Leonard, a senior at a Massachusetts prep academy, for college.

    Their son applied to six universities, including Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. He took the ACT six times to increase his score and spent last summer studying for the test.

    Ms. McReynolds and her husband, owners of a financial education company based in Atlanta, have drilled a message into their son: as an African-American student, you have to be better.

    "Over and over we have told him that to be positively recognized, you have to have an incredible work ethic and you have to be above reproach," Ms. McReynolds said. "You often hear talk about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and that college admission is based on merit. What this story tells me is that the playing field is not level based on race and wealth."

    In some cases, parents have been put in jail for lying about their residency so that their children can get into high-performing schools.

    Getting into college is just one challenge for many students of color and their families. Paying for it is another.

    Kielan Watson, 17, who plans to attend Vanderbilt University, said his father told him at a young age that he would have to pay for college on his own. With that in the back of his mind, Mr. Watson said he has been seeking scholarships, which have application processes that are even more rigorous than college admissions, he said.

    Mr. Watson is a finalist for a Gates Scholarship, which would be a full ride, but applying for it has been demanding.

    "There's been a lot of nights where I was up thinking, 'Is this the best version of myself that I can put in here?'" he said.

    The fact that some students have to scrape by while the wealthy parents listed in the indictment threw around money to get their children access disturbed the students at Kauffman.

    "I was mad at the fact that parents spent millions of dollars to pay these counselors to falsify test reports and in the meanwhile, I know everyone in here is figuring out how to come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for the rest of our college education," said Jacob Esquivel, 18, who plans to attend the University of Miami.

    But in a strange way, the advantages of wealth and privilege that some students may bring with them to college could make Ms. Jackson feel more confident when she arrives on a campus this fall, she said.

    "I'm not going to feel like I'm at a disadvantage compared to them because I know that I have character, I have values that they haven't had to develop," she said. "They've had things handed to them. Having things handed to you versus having to earn the things you have, they create two different characters."

    John Eligon reported from Kansas City, and Audra D. S. Burch from Miami.



    4) On the Violence in New Zealand:

    Our Collective Defense is Solidarity

      Statement from the Arab Resource and Organizing Center

    Ambulance staff taking a man from outside a mosque after the attack.CreditMark Baker/Associated Press

       As Arabs and Muslims, we are deeply saddened and disturbed by the news of the murder of 49 people in two New Zealand mosques. We are outraged that white supremacist violence continues to take the lives of so many.

    Today is a truly difficult day, situated amid truly difficult conditions. Despite the shock we might feel along with our feelings of grief, we know this is not senseless violence. These acts of hatred and destruction at the hands of vigilantes are a logical outcome of the racism, xenophobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, and white supremacy promoted and sanctioned by right-wing movements and governments. The attack on the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch is driven by a white nationalism that fuels attacks on mosques, Black churches, and synagogues, and the heightened assault on migrants here in the US. And it is this same white nationalism expressed in the Trump Administration, its Muslim ban, the disgraceful Islamophobic attacks on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the forced separation of families at the border.

    Our collective defense is the deepest and most unwavering form of solidarity. It is imperative that we continue building movements that are prepared to defend and protect one another against all odds. History, and our own recent past, have shown that when we come together to protect and defend one another, we build a strength that is in fact able to contend with some of the most impossible of circumstances. It is also imperative that we build a united front to confront and topple right wing authoritarian movements and regimes across the world--whether it be Trump, Bolsonaro, Marquez, Duterte, Netanyahu, or Modi—and build our power to end violence, militarism, and war where we live, and globally.

    As we mourn the loss of life in New Zealand, let's honor their lives by expanding, connecting and defending our movements to build a world where all people are liberated from structural violence and can live with dignity and self-determination.



    5) Opinion: We Confronted Chelsea Clinton At The Christchurch Vigil. Here's Why.

    By Leen Dweik and Rose Asaf, March 16, 2019


    Rose Asaf / Leen Dweik

    Yesterday we posted a video of Leen confronting Chelsea Clinton at a vigil for the victims of the white supremacist New Zealand mosque massacre. Today, we woke up to over 100,000 people talking about it on Twitter. Needless to say, this is not what we expected.

    We went to the vigil for one reason: to grieve the loss of innocent lives that were stolen from this world by vile hatred. We wanted to join our friends and colleagues in a time of heartbreak and agony, to remember the 49 Muslims who were murdered for being Muslim. As a Jewish American-Israeli and a Palestinian Muslim, we understand far too well the consequences of anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, and white supremacy. And as activists who are unafraid to speak the truth, we know we have a duty to call out any bigotry wherever it exists.

    We did a double take when we first noticed Chelsea Clinton was at the vigil. Just weeks before this tragedy, we bore witness to a bigoted, anti-Muslim mob coming after Rep. Ilhan Omar for speaking the truth about the massive influence of the Israel lobby in this country. As people in unwavering solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for freedom and human rights, we were profoundly disappointed when Chelsea Clinton used her platform to fan those flames. We believe that Ilhan Omar did nothing wrong except challenge the status quo, but the way many people chose to criticize Omar made her vulnerable to anti-Muslim hatred and death threats.

    We were shocked when Clinton arrived at the vigil, given that she had not yet apologized to Rep. Omar for the public vilification against her. We thought it was inappropriate for her to show up to a vigil for a community she had so recently stoked hatred against. We were not alone in feeling uncomfortable — many students were dismayed to see her there.

    So when we saw Chelsea, we saw an opportunity to have her ear and confront her on her false charge of anti-Semitism against our only Black, Muslim, Somali, and refugee member of Congress. We took our chance to speak truth to power. Chelsea hurt our fight against white supremacy when she stood by the petty weaponizers of antisemitism, showing no regard for Rep. Omar and the hatred being directed at her.

    We know that our only safety is through solidarity. The fight against anti-Muslim bigotry is the fight against anti-Semitism is the fight against racism is the fight against white supremacy. When someone attacks one of us, they attack all of us. We know that our struggles are intertwined, and for any of us to be safe, all of us must be safe.

    Rose (left) and Leen (right) at a previous protest. Provided to BuzzFeed News

    Many have said it was unfair to connect Chelsea's words to the massacre in Christchurch. To them, we say that anti-Muslim bigotry must be addressed wherever it exists. This is not about left and right. This is about people who do and do not have power, and how those with power use it. A global environment of hatred and vilification against Muslims created this killer. Spurred on by professional bigots, anti-Muslim hate now permeates our culture and politics, and everyone, as a matter of urgency, should consider the role they play in enabling it. That includes Chelsea Clinton.

    The reality is that many people aren't doing enough to fight anti-Muslim bigotry. We need people to understand that you cannot be racist against Palestinians, and vilify people who promote their cause, while also being in solidarity with Muslims. You cannot contribute to the anti-Muslim, anti-Black, and misogynistic abuse of Rep. Omar while also being in solidarity with Muslims.

    To Chelsea Clinton: We hope that our intentions in confronting you are now clear. We believe that you still owe an apology: not only to Rep. Omar, but also to Palestinians for using your platform to defame their cause. As an Israeli national and a Palestinian, we want you to know that it is dangerous to label valid criticisms of Israel and its lobby as anti-semitic. We know that this is a tactic to silence us and deny us our free speech.

    Unfortunately, people have cynically seized on this confrontation to divert attention from the conversation we need to be having about anti-Muslim bigotry and white supremacy. People have subjected us to a relentless bullying campaign, death threats, and threats of sexual violence. In their haste to defend Chelsea Clinton, people continue to vilify a Muslim woman for speaking her truth.

    But we are not deterred. This is a turning point, and white supremacy and anti-Muslim bigotry must be defeated. It begins with keeping our own accountable. Our hearts are with the Muslim community and the victims' families. We will continue to fight for justice for everyone.

    Rose Asaf is a senior at New York University where she studies Comparative Politics and American Studies. She is an Israeli-American Jewish woman, and she co-founded the Jewish Voice for Peace chapter at NYU.

    Leen Dweik is a senior at New York University studying International Relations and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. She is a Muslim Palestinian whose main organizing centers on Palestine solidarity efforts.




    6) Last night in Berlin: The attack on Rasmea Odeh is an attack on Palestine

    March 16, 2019





    The Rasmea Defense Committee is re-publishing this statement from Samidoun, and asking all of Rasmea's supporters to pay close attention to samidoun.net and @uspcn on Twitter and Facebook in the coming days, to be ready to provide support as soon as Rasmea and her advocates in Germany ask us for it. 

    Last night in Berlin: The attack on Rasmea Odeh is an attack on Palestine

    16 March 2019

    Photo: Afif El-Ali

    We urge people of conscience around the world to support justice for Rasmea Odeh and justice for Palestine. We will be issuing urgent calls for additional actions in the coming days. Your solidarity statements and messages are important in making clear that the world rejects the actions of the German, U.S. and Israeli governments to silence Rasmea Odeh and instead stands with Palestinian women and the Palestinian people in their quest for liberation.

    Following a frenzied campaign of harassment by pro-apartheid journalists, the Israeli ambassador and the U.S. ambassador to Germany (infamous for his connection to far-right groups), Berlin officials declared on Friday night, 15 March, that Palestinian former prisoner and renowned activist Rasmea Odeh's visa would be cancelled and that she was prohibited from political activity.

    International solidarity is critical at this time. Please send statements of support for Rasmea Odeh to samidoun@samidoun.net.

    Supporters of the AfD, the most far-right party in Germany, deeply engaged in anti-Muslim, racist rhetoric and with a long history of welcoming Holocaust revisionists, demanded the cancellation of Rasmea's speech and the revocation of her visa. Of course, the AfD – which aspires to emulate Israeli apartheid – was not alone, but was instead joined by Green politican Volker Beck, who has made his career by attacking Palestinians at the behest of the Israeli apartheid state and various Berlin city officials, including SPD mayor Michael Müller.

    An ongoing and severe harassment campaign directed at the venue that had been engaged to host the event. The hall was vandalized and the organization that owns it were subjected to numerous threatening and harassing phone calls and demands.

    Despite multiple assurances by police that the event could indeed go forward, Rasmea was pulled aside by police on her way to deliver her speech about Palestinian women in the struggle for liberation.

    Hundreds of police surrounded the venue, while around 15 pro-apartheid, Zionist counterprotesters carried Israeli flags. At the same time, around 150 supporters of justice in Palestine gathered outside the venue to hear the planned speeches of Rasmea Odeh and Dareen Tatour.

    Photo: Afif El-Ali

    Rasmea was surrounded by police and delivered a stack of documents in German declaring that her visa had been cancelled. These documents were replete with allegations that had been apparently taken fully from scurrilous and inaccurate right-wing media reports as a justification to force her to leave the country.

    Police then followed Rasmea kilometers away, demanding that she move down the street, leave another cafe in pouring rain, threatening her with arrest if she did not continue to move toward the east side of the city, even long after she had already left the venue for the event.

    Photo: Afif El-Ali

    Pressure tactics, intimidation and repression have been used to compel multiple venues to cancel events featuring Palestinian speakers, most notably officially-supported threats to cut the funding of an Iranian community center if it allowed an event with Manal Tamimi to move forward in September 2018. However, this comes hand in hand with cancellation of musical events for bands that support BDS, censorship of DJs for Palestine and pressure on venues and universities to cancel lectures and events about any aspect of Palestinian rights and existence.

    Photo: Afif El-Ali

    Palestinian and non-Palestinian women who participated in the Women's March in Berlin were vilified in person and on social media for carrying signs recognizing that Palestine is a feminist issue.

    Rasmea Odeh was subjected to repeated and unsubstantiated allegations of "anti-Semitism," which media organizations did not even attempt to justify except through the use of the "terrorist" label. Not one of the articles using this label could point to a single anti-Semitic statement, message or belief on Rasmea's part; her commitment to the liberation of Palestine was deemed sufficient to make this allegation.

    Photo: Afif El-Ali

    This was clearly a racist attack on the right of a Palestinian woman to speak and the right of her audience to hear her. Through her life, she has been subject to intense state violence: sexual assault, torture, imprisonment, imprisonment again, deportation. The stripping of her visa is only the latest example of state violence directed against Rasmea Odeh in an attempt to block her message from being heard, a message that has garnered her support from Angela Davis, Jewish Voice for Peace (US) and countless supporters of justice worldwide.

    Photo: Afif El-Ali

    It should be noted that following the demonstration, which was enthusiastic, well-attended and led by women and youth, participants – particularly young Palestinians – were later followed by police and questioned about chants at the demonstration (particularly those challenging German foreign policy) and their relationship with Rasmea, even hours after the event had ended. This is an attempt to intimidate young people from being involved in the movement for justice in Palestine.

    Photo: Afif El-Ali


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    Copyright © 2019 USPCN, All rights reserved. 



    7) I Am an Immigrant. Someday You Might Be One, Too.

    Increasingly, people are being forced to flee their homes not just by war and poverty, but also by climate change. It's time we rethink our antiquated ideas about immigrants.

    By Lailia Lalami, March 17, 2019


    Salvadorean migrants heading to the United States last November.CreditCreditMarvin Recinos/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    My first encounter in America was with a luggage cart. In the summer of 1992, when I landed at Kennedy Airport, I carried with me a travel bag filled with books. It was so heavy that it could not be checked in at my originating airport in Casablanca, Morocco, without putting me over the weight limit. Since I couldn't afford the excess baggage fee, I brought the bag with me on the plane, where the flight attendant helped me hoist it into the overhead bin. In New York, I hauled it down the jet bridge and through passport control, my hands blistering from the effort. Relief washed over me when I saw a row of carts. I tried to get one, only to discover that it required three dollars to unlock. I remember thinking: What kind of a heartless place is this?

    I didn't have three dollars, or a five or a ten. The money I did have was in the larger denominations I had received at the currency exchange office where I'd traded in my meager savings. I began to doubt whether I would make it to the terminal from which my flight to California was scheduled to leave. Then a voice behind me called, "Do you need help with that?" A middle-aged man in a baseball cap picked up my bag and carried it for me to the terminal bus. All the way to my next gate, other people stepped in to help. This wasn't a heartless place after all, I thought; Americans were more than willing to lend a hand to a stranger.

    I am no longer a stranger here. In the 20-odd years since I arrived at Kennedy, I have had ample time to learn about this country's history, culture and politics. Although my plan had been to complete a graduate degree in linguistics and return to Morocco, chance intervened: I met an American, we fell in love, got married. Now, I'm an immigrant. There is nothing extraordinary about this condition — I share it with millions of others — yet hardly a day goes by when I am not reminded that to be an immigrant is to have crossed a threshold, to see the world from two vantage points at once, to perceive it in shades of gray rather than in black and white.

    When I hear elected officials talk about immigrants, they seem to be speaking about figments of their imagination, conjured up to illustrate talking points. The president rants about "criminals," "rapists" and "terrorists," then uses them as justification for building a wall, separating families at the border, jailing refugee children in tent camps and banning people from five Muslim countries. The president's critics, meanwhile, portray newcomers to this country as singularly talented people who start new businesses, serve in the armed forces, innovate new technologies, run for Congress or otherwise "get the job done."

    By casting immigrants as either heroes or villains, these politicians reveal that they view immigration as a law-enforcement issue. The reality is much more complicated. Like other species on this planet, human beings are a migratory type. When they suddenly find themselves in desperate need of physical safety or economic opportunity, they leave home and start over somewhere new. It has always been this way. The earliest stories we tell ourselves are stories of displacement: Adam's fall from Eden, Moses' flight from Egypt, Muhammad's hegira to Medina. Trying to stop this process through the building of walls strikes me as both ineffective and unnatural — like trying to stop a river from flowing.

    I use the simile deliberately. Scientists predict that over the next decade the earth will warm by 1.5 degrees, and perhaps as much as two degrees Celsius if we fail to take drastic and sustained action on climate change. Even under the best-case scenarios, we will witness huge hurricanes, wildfires, droughts and other severe weather events. The consequences will be dire: loss of homes and livelihoods, hunger and disease, probably conflict, but eventually dislocation. As much as it is an economic, a social and a foreign-policy issue, migration is a climate issue.

    Those who are safe from displacement — at least for the moment — must confront the roles they want to play in this unfolding global story. What responsibility do people in America, for example, have toward those who live in places that have been ravaged by wars the American government has started or abetted? What responsibility do they have toward those who have benefited least from industrialization but stand to suffer most? And how do they plan to adapt to global migration? 

    In Christchurch, New Zealand, last week, at least 49 people were killed during Friday prayers by a white nationalist who released a manifesto railing against Muslims and immigrants. As refugees and migrants rebuild their lives in new places, both the intolerance and the resilience of their host communities are revealed.

    In order to have a fruitful conversation about immigration, we have to set aside antiquated ideas about barbarians at the gate and thoroughly rethink our approach to the inevitable displacements that will take place in our lifetimes. The overwhelming majority of immigrants are neither dangerous monsters nor exceptional achievers — they are ordinary people who find themselves, for a range of personal or political reasons, pulled or pushed to leave home. Whether they will be met by kind strangers or by an enforcement machine as faceless and indifferent as a luggage cart is a choice that Americans still have the luxury to make.

    Laila Lalami is the author of the forthcoming novel "The Other Americans."



    8) A Raised Middle Finger Is Protected Free Speech, Appeals Court Rules

    By Jacey Fortin, March 18, 2019


    A woman who was handed a harsher ticket after giving the finger to a Michigan police officer in 2017 has the right to sue him, a U.S. appeals court decided last week.CreditCreditStan Lim/Digital First Media, via The Press-Enterprise, via Getty Images

    A federal court has ruled that raising a middle finger — even to a police officer — counts as protected free speech.

    The decision came from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit last week, but it started with a spirited exchange in June 2017, when a woman gave the middle-finger salute to a police officer who had just written her a ticket.

    The woman, Debra L. Cruise-Gulyas, had been driving over the speed limit in Taylor, Mich. At first, there was a small mercy, according to the opinion written by Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton for a panel of three judges: The officer, Matthew W. Minard, wrote her a ticket for a non-moving violation, which is less serious than a typical speeding ticket.

    Ms. Cruise-Gulyas was driving away when, "apparently ungrateful for the reduction, she made an all-too-familiar gesture at Minard with her hand and without four of her fingers showing," the opinion added. "That did not make Minard happy."

    So he pulled her over again, the opinion said, and changed the ticket to reflect the more serious violation of speeding.

    That was two separate traffic stops — a key point in this case. The judges found that the first stop was justified because Ms. Cruise-Gulyas had committed an infraction. But they added that "any authority to seize her in connection with that infraction ended when the first stop concluded," meaning that the second stop, apparently in response to nothing more than a vulgar gesture, was not justified.

    Ms. Cruise-Gulyas claimed in a lawsuit that Officer Minard violated the First Amendment, by retaliating against her because of protected speech; the Fourth Amendment, because of the unreasonable seizure; and the 14th Amendment, for restricting her liberty.

    In response, Officer Minard argued for "qualified immunity," a legal doctrine that can protect officials from lawsuits if they can show that the rights they violated were not clearly established; essentially, that they were acting in good faith.

    But a district court denied that motion, and the appeals court did the same in its decision last week. So, it has been affirmed: Raising your middle finger to a police officer is your First Amendment right.

    Or rather, it has been affirmed again. There are at least two earlier cases in which federal courts made similar decisions.

    In 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided against qualified immunity for a police officer who had arrested a teenage girl after she raised two middle fingers in front of him; the girl's mother had been killed by the police a few years earlier. Also in 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided that an officer should not have been granted qualified immunity after he arrested a man who had raised a middle finger while passing by in a car. The officer had followed the car and a verbal confrontation had ended in the man's arrest.

    These courtroom decisions do not necessarily mean that people can be rude to police officers with impunity, or that people would feel safe doing so, especially since police officers have used deadly force against unarmed people and avoided facing charges.

    Joanna C. Schwartz, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an expert on police misconduct litigation, noted that Ms. Cruise-Gulyas and a few others had their rights recognized only after they went through the trouble of bringing their cases to court.

    "The right is there, but the enforcement of that right is a more complicated matter," she said, noting that many people who experience police misconduct do not report it. "There is a gap between what the Constitution allows and requires, and how police behave on the street. And getting from the street to the courthouse is a long and expensive process."

    But Professor Schwartz added that the visibility of these individual cases might be a good thing.

    "There is research showing that when courts clearly define what the Constitution allows or prohibits, then police departments are more likely to take those rules and incorporate them into their policies and trainings," she said.

    In the opinion last week, Judge Sutton drew a line between vulgarity and crime. "Fits of rudeness or lack of gratitude may violate the Golden Rule," he wrote. "But that doesn't make them illegal or for that matter punishable."

    A lawyer for Ms. Cruise-Gulyas did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday, and a lawyer for Officer Minard declined to comment on pending litigation.



    9) He Spent 7 Years in Prison. Then a Court Changed the Rules.

    By Ashley Southall, March 18, 2019


    Otis Boone, who was recently acquitted of robbery after a second trial, on his way home in Brooklyn.CreditCreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

    Otis Boone insisted he was innocent from the time he was accused of two robberies in 2011, when he was 19. But the two victims who had their cellphones snatched by a knife-wielding man picked Mr. Boone out of separate police lineups. Though there was no physical evidence, he was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

    Mr. Boone, of Brooklyn, took his appeal to New York's highest court, where a majority of judges ruled that the jury should have been told that witnesses often struggle to identify strangers of a different race because mistaken identifications are a major factor in wrongful convictions. Mr. Boone is black; the victims were white.

    The Court of Appeals granted Mr. Boone a retrial and made it mandatory going forward for judges to explain what psychologists call the "cross-race effect" to jurors whenever a case involves a witness identifying of a suspect of a different race.

    At his second trial last month, public defenders presented evidence that Mr. Boone was a mile away from one of the robberies five minutes before it occurred. He was acquitted on March 1, after spending seven of the last eight years behind bars.

    Mr. Boone, 27, wept at the verdict. Some of the jurors hugged him and his fiancée. One juror said the panel had reached a decision in under five minutes.

    "To be serving someone else's time is a hardship," Mr. Boone said in an interview. "It was many times that I wanted to give up."

    Mr. Boone's ordeal illustrates a shift in how the state's criminal justice system handles witness identifications. They were once considered strong evidence of guilt, and they remain a persuasive tool for prosecutors.

    But psychologists who study memory have long warned that witness identifications are often shaky after a crime because of factors like stress, the short duration of the incident and the presence of a weapon. Identifications can also be influenced by a witness's biases and by subtle cues from the police and prosecutors.

    "Because memory is so full of holes and flawed, as a witness gets exposed to a suspect, their memory of the case moves toward the suspect," Nancy Franklin, a psychology professor at Stony Brook University, said. She testified for the defense at trial. "I think the Boone case presents a powerful example of the sorts of issues that my field has uncovered that lead to false convictions."

    About 70 percent of the 364 convictions overturned with DNA evidence in the United States since 1992 involved witnesses who identified the wrong assailant, and nearly half of those mistaken identifications involved a witness and suspect of different races, according to the Innocence Project, a nonprofit that seeks exonerations.

    The 2017 decision by the Court of Appeals in Mr. Boone's case made New York one of only a handful of states with a cross-race effect rule. (New Jersey and Massachusetts are among those with similar rules.) In New York, some defense lawyers refer to it as "the Boone rule."

    Previously, the instruction was required only if the defense requested it after an expert testified at trial about witness testimony. Now, judges are required to give the instruction upon request, unless neither side disputes the identity of the suspect.

    The Brooklyn district attorney, Eric Gonzalez, supports the new rule, but prosecutors have said they remain convinced Mr. Boone is guilty.

    "We believe the evidence supported his guilt, and that the jury in the second trial should have been allowed to hear evidence regarding the high degree of confidence the witnesses expressed in their identifications within days of the incidents," the spokesman, Oren Yaniv, said.

    Some prosecutors say the new rule is unfair because it suggests a racial bias on the part of a witness without any context from experts or testimony about the witness's life. One Court of Appeals judge on the seven-member panel said his colleagues went too far in making it mandatory.

    John Wixted, a psychology professor at the University of California, San Diego, said the Court of Appeals erred in focusing the rule on race instead of on the witness's confidence in making the initial identification. Witnesses who are highly confident when identifying a suspect almost always pick the culprit, regardless of race, he said. He testified at Mr. Boone's trial for the prosecution.

    "It's confidence that tells you what you want to know, not race," he said in an interview. "You're not going to get a lot of high-confidence identifications with cross-race, but when you do, they're highly reliable."

    In nearly all wrongful convictions where the authorities have made note of witnesses' confidence, he added, witnesses signaled they were not sure about whom they picked, but the police, prosecutors and judges failed to understand what that meant.

    Mr. Boone has filed notice that he plans to sue the city for false arrest and malicious prosecution.

    Bess Stiffelman, the trial lawyer who represented him for the Legal Aid Society, said the authorities showed "a shocking disregard for the risk of false identification here and for whether or not they may have arrested an innocent suspect."

    A spokesman for the Law Department declined to comment. Phillip Walzak, a deputy commissioner and spokesman for the Police Department, said the claim was under review.

    The lead investigator, Maureen Sheehan, testified at Mr. Boone's trial that she had not reviewed the case notes before administering the lineup and that she did not know detectives had recovered one of the victims' phones and returned it to him.

    The victims in Mr. Boone's case were a teenager and a man in his 20s who were robbed 10 days apart in February 2011 in Midwood, an enclave for Orthodox Jews. Each time, the assailant asked for the time, prompting the victims to pull out their phones, which he then snatched.

    The victims said they had only a short time to see the attacker's face, which was partially covered in the second incident, and that he had a weapon — factors that psychologists have said undermine witness identifications.

    Two weeks passed between the second robbery and the police lineup, which Mr. Boone's defense said was unfair. He was on the end, standing four inches taller than the man next to him.

    Three of the five men used to fill out the lineup had visibly long hair, even though the witnesses said their assailant's hair had been short. The younger victim picked Mr. Boone only after hearing him say, "What time is it?"

    A state policing panel recommended new guidelines for conducting lineups and photo arrays in 2017 aimed at making them fairer, and Mr. Walzak said the Police Department had adopted some of them. For instance, the officer administering the test is not allowed to know who the suspect is, a practice that helps avoid steering witnesses to the suspect. Witnesses are also asked to describe how confident they are after identifying a suspect.

    The protocols help to ensure the lineups and photo arrays are not "unduly suggestive," Mr. Walzak said.

    By the second trial, Mr. Boone's defense team had found evidence supporting his alibi: government records showing two transactions on his public benefits card that took place a mile away from the second robbery about five minutes before it occurred.

    The prosecutor tried to make the case that Mr. Boone had taken a four-minute bus ride to commit the robbery, but jurors did not believe that.

    "It just seemed wildly unlikely," Meredith Coffey, one of the jurors, said. She noted that Mr. Boone had moved to Brooklyn only a couple of weeks before the first robbery occurred.

    Ms. Coffey, 32, of Park Slope, said she had been willing to convict based on witness testimony alone, but that she did not find it compelling in this case. The cross-race effect instruction from the judge confirmed her doubts about its reliability, she said.

    Mr. Boone was freed from prison in January 2018, but the experience left him struggling to trust anyone. The long wait for a retrial cost him a job because he missed so much work to appear in court, he said. There was a time when he wanted to be a police officer like one of his uncles, but now he said he had lost faith in the criminal justice system.

    "I want things to change," he said. "I want justice."




































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