May 1st is International Workers' Day around the world. It is a commemoration of the workers of Chicago, who on May 4, 1886 in Market Square, were brutally repressed by the police, some were arrested and hanged. The United States is one of the most oppressive countries, not only nationally, but also internationally through aggressive imperialism and global exploitation of the working class. And it is the only country that does not recognize May 1st as International Workers' Day. This May Day 2019, we gather in Oakland, on indigenous Ohlone land, to show our solidarity with workers around the world and demand that the US stop its racist policies towards communities of color, and stop demonizing and criminalizing migrants forced to flee their countries. We, the workers of the world, fight together to dismantle the racism, xenophobia, and classism that divides us, and we will win! This is why we march every year. Join our movement driven by people power!

Join ILWU to defend port jobs and demand accountability to the communities of Oakland!  Tax the port to fund Public Schools
WHEN: 11am on May Day
WHERE: Howard Terminal, Oakland (Market St. & Embarcadero)



Join ILWU and Oakland Sin Fronteras (OSF) as we come together to share culture and build as workers, migrants and Oakland Community to build people power. Abundant Beginnings will also hold a space for children and youth interested in creating signs, learning chants, and other May Day Activities! Cultural Performers, speakers, drumming circle for kids and youth led by Boomshake and much more.
WHEN: 2-3:30pm on May Day
WHERE: Oscar Grant Plaza


Join Oakland Sin Fronteras as we bring together Bay Area Community to build people power in the streets for International Workers Day.  We come together in Unity with Third World People across the world standing for Worker’s Rights!

Opening Rally at Oscar Grant Plaza
WHEN: 3:30-4pm
WHERE: Oscar Grant Plaza

March to Lake Merritt
WHEN: 4pm
WHERE: March down 14th St to Lake Merritt Amphitheater

Closing Rally & Resource Fair
Includes Food, Speakers, Performers, Resource Tables
WHEN: 5:30-6:30pm
WHERE: Lake Merritt Amphitheater
For more information, please see our Oakland Sin Fronteras Page


Painting by Kevin Cooper, an innocent man on San Quentin's death row. www.freekevincooper.org

Decarcerate Louisiana

Declaration of Undersigned Prisoners 
We, the undersigned persons, committed to the care and custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections (LDOC), hereby submit the following declaration and petition bearing witness to inhumane conditions of solitary confinement in the N-1 building at the David Wade Corrections Center (DWCC). 
Our Complaint:
We, the Undersigned Persons, declare under penalty of perjury: 
1.    We, the undersigned, are currently housed in the N-1 building at DWCC, 670 Bell Hill Road, Homer, LA 71040. 
2.    We are aware that the Constitution, under the 8th Amendment, bans cruel and unusual punishments; the Amendment also imposes duties on prison officials who must provide humane conditions of confinement and ensure that inmates receive adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and must take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the inmates. 
3.    We are aware that Louisiana prison officials have sworn by LSA-R.S.15:828 to provide humane treatment and rehabilitation to persons committed to its care and to direct efforts to return every person in its custody to the community as promptly as practicable. 
4.    We are confined in a double-bunked six-by-nine foot or 54 square feet cell with another human being 22-hours-a-day and are compelled to endure the degrading experience of being in close proximity of another human being while defecating. 
5.    There are no educational or rehabilitation programs for the majority of prisoners confined in the N-1 building except for a selected few inmates who are soon to be released. 
6.    We get one hour and 30 minutes on the yard and/or gym seven days a week. Each day we walk to the kitchen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which takes about one minute to get there. We are given ten minutes to eat. 
7.    The daily planner for inmates confined in the N-1 building is to provide inmates one hour and 30 minutes on yard or gym; escort inmates to kitchen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to sit and eat for approximately ten minutes each meal; provide a ten minute shower for each cell every day; provide one ten minute phone call per week; confine prisoners in cell 22-hours-a-day. 
8.    When we are taking a shower we are threatened by guards with disciplinary reports if we are not out on time. A typical order is: "if you are not out of shower in ten minutes pack your shit and I'm sending you back to N-2, N-3, or N-4"—a more punitive form of solitary confinement. 
9.    When walking outside to yard, gym or kitchen, guards order us to put our hands behind our back or they'll write us up and send us back to N-2, N-3, N-4. 
10.  When we are sitting at the table eating, guards order us not to talk or they'll write us up and send us back to N-2, N-3, N-4. ) 
11.  Guards are harassing us every day and are threatening to write up disciplinary reports and send us back to a more punitive cellblock (N-2, N-3, N-4) if we question any arbitrary use of authority or even voice an opinion in opposition to the status quo. Also, guards take away good time credits, phone, TV, radio, canteen, and contact visits for talking too loud or not having hands behind back or for any reason they want. We are also threatened with slave labor discipline including isolation (removing mattress from cell from 5:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.,) strip cell (removing mattress and bedding and stationery from cell for ten to 30 days or longer), food loaf  (taking one's meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and mixing it all together into one big mass, bake it in oven and serve it to prisoners for punishment.)
12.  When prison guards write up disciplinary reports and transfer us to the more punitive restrictive solitary confinement in N-2, N-3, N-4 or N-5, guards then enforce an arbitrary rule that gives prisoners the ultimatum of sending all their books and personal property home or let the prison dispose of it. 
13.  Louisiana prison officials charge indigent prisoners (who earn less than four cents an hour) $3.00 for routine requests for healthcare services, $6.00 for emergency medical requests, and $2.00 for each new medical prescription. They wait until our family and friends send us money and take it to pay prisoners' medical bills. 
Our concerns:
14.  How much public monies are appropriated to the LDOC budget and specifically allotted to provide humane treatment and implement the rehabilitation program pursuant to LSA- R.S.15:828? 
15.  Why does Elayn Hunt Correctional Center located in the capitol of Louisiana have so many educational and rehabilitation programs teaching prisoners job and life skills for reentry whereas there are no such programs to engage the majority of prisoners confined in the N-1, N- 2, N-3, and N-4 solitary confinement buildings at DWCC. 
16.  It is customary for Louisiana prison officials and DWCC prison guards to tell inmates confined in the prison's cellblocks to wait until transfer to prison dormitory to participate in programs when in fact there are no such programs available and ready to engage the majority of the state's 34,000 prisoner population. The programs are especially needed for prisoners confined in a six-by-nine foot or 54 square feet cell with another person for 22-or-more-hours-per-day. 
17.  Why can't prisoners use phone and computers every day to communicate with family and peers as part of rehabilitation and staying connected to the community? 
18.  Why do prisoners have to be transferred miles and miles away from loved ones to remote correctional facilities when there are facilities closer to loved ones? 
19.  Why are prison guards allowed to treat prisoners as chattel slaves, confined in cages 22-or-more-hours-per-day, take away phone calls and visitation and canteen at will, and take away earned good time credits for any reason at all without input from family, one's peers and community? 
20.  Why do the outside communities allow prison guards to create hostile living environments and conditions of confinement that leaves prisoners in a state of chattel slavery, stress, anxiety, anger, rage, inner torment, despair, worry, and in a worse condition from when we first entered the prison? 
21.  Why do state governments and/or peers in the community allow racist or bigoted white families who reside in the rural and country parts of Louisiana to run the state's corrections system with impunity? For example, DWCC Warden Jerry Goodwin institutes racist and bigoted corrections policies and practices for the very purpose of oppression, repression, antagonizing and dehumanizing the inmates who will one day be released from prison. 
22.  David Wade Correctional Center Colonel Lonnie Nail, a bigot and a racist, takes his orders from Warden Jerry Goodwin, another racist and bigot. Both Goodwin and Nail influences subordinate corrections officers to act toward prisoners in a racist or bigoted manner and with an arrogant attitude. This creates a hostile living environment and debilitating conditions of confinement for both guards and prisoners and prevents rehabilitation of inmates.
23.  In other industrialized democracies like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, et al, it is reported that no prisoner should be declared beyond reform or redemption without first attempting to rehabilitate them. Punitive or harsh conditions of confinement are not supported because they see the loss of freedom inherent in a prison sentence as punishment enough. One Netherlands official reported that their motto is to start with the idea of "Reintegration back into society on day one" when people are locked up. "You can't make an honest argument that how someone is treated while incarcerated doesn't affect how they behave when they get out," the official added. 
24.  Additionally, some Scandinavian countries have adopted open prison programs without fences or armed guards. Prisoners who prove by their conduct that they can be trusted are placed in a prison resembling a college campus more than a prison. The result is a 20 percent recidivism rate, compared to a 67 percent rate in the United States. 
25.  The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) in a position statement says: "Prolonged (greater than 15 consecutive days) solitary confinement is cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, and harmful to an individual's health."
 What We Believe: 
26.  We believe that when the greater portion of public monies goes to war and the military, this leaves little funds left for community reinvestment and human development.The people have less access to resources by which to get a better idea of human behavior and rely on higher education instead of prison to solve cultural, social, political, economic problems in the system that may put people at risk to domestic violence and crime as a way to survive and cope with shortcomings in the system. 
27.  We believe that investing public monies in the rehabilitation program LSA-R.S.15:828 to teach prisoners job and life skills will redeem inmates, instill morals, and make incarcerated people productive and fit for society. 
28.  We believe that confining inmates in cellblocks 15-or-more=hours-per-day is immoral, uncivilized, brutalizing, a waste of time and counter-productive to rehabilitation and society's goals of "promoting the general welfare" and "providing a more perfect union with justice for all." 
29.  We believe that corrections officers who prove by their actions that incarcerated people are nothing more than chattel slaves are bucking the laws and creating hardening criminals and these corrections officers are, therefore, a menace to society. 
Our Demands:
30.  We are demanding a public conversation from community activists and civil rights leaders about (1) the historic relationship between chattel slavery, the retaliatory assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, and the resurrection of slavery written into the 13th Amendment; (2) the historic relationship between the 13th Amendment, the backlash against Reconstruction, Peonage, Convict Leasing, and Slavery; (3) the historic relationship between the 13th Amendment, the War Against Poverty, the War on Drugs, Criminal Justice and Prison Slavery. 
31.  We demand that the Louisiana legislature pass the Decarcerate Louisiana Anti-Slavery and Freedom Liberation Act of 2020 into law and end prison slavery and the warehousing of incarcerated people for the very purpose of repression, oppression, and using prisoners and their families and supporters as a profit center for corporate exploitation and to generate revenue to balance the budget and stimulate the state economy. 
32.  We are demanding that Warden Jerry Goodwin and Colonel Lonnie Nail step down and be replaced by people are deemed excellent public servants in good standing with human rights watchdog groups and civil rights community. 
33.  We are demanding that the LDOC provide public monies to operate state prison dormitories and cellblocks as rehabilitation centers to teach incarcerated people job and life skills five-days-a-week from 7:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. 
34.  We are demanding that the LDOC release a public statement announcing that "from this day forward it will not support punitive or harsh conditions of confinement," and that "no prisoner should be declared beyond reform or redemption without first attempting to rehabilitate them."
35.  We are demanding that the prison cellblocks be operated as open dormitories (made in part a health clinic and part college campus) so that incarcerated people can have enough space to walk around and socialize, participate in class studies, exercise, use telephone as the need arise. Prisoners are already punished by incarceration so there is no need to punish or further isolate them. Racism and abuse of power will not be tolerated. 
36.  We are demanding an end to unjust policies and practices that impose punishments and deprive incarcerated people of phone calls, visitation, canteen, good time credits, books and other personal property that pose no threat to public safety. 
37.  We are demanding that LDOC provide incarcerated people cellphones and computers to communicate with the public and stay connected to the community. 
38.  We are demanding the right to communicate with reporters to aid and assist incarcerated persons in preparing a press release to communicate to the public Decarcerate Louisiana's vision and mission statements, aims, and plans for moving forward. 
39.  We are demanding the right to participate in the U.S.-European Criminal Justice Innovation Project and share our complaint, concerns, and demands for a humane corrections program. 
40.  We are only demanding the right to enough space to create, to innovate, to excel in learning, to use scientific knowledge to improve our person and place and standing in the free world. The rule of law must support the betterment and uplifting of all humanity. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said: "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." 
41.  We demand that the responsibility for prisoner medical care be removed from DOC wardens and place it under the management of the state's health office; increase state health officer staff to better monitor prisoner healthcare and oversee vendor contracts. 
42.  We have a God-given right and responsibility to resist abuse of power from the wrongdoers, to confront unjust authority and oppression, to battle for justice until we achieve our demands for liberation and freedom. 
We, the undersigned, declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. 
Executed on this 28th Day of January 2019. 
Ronald Brooks #385964 
David Johnson #84970 
Freddie Williams #598701 
Earl Hollins #729041 
James Harris #399514 
Tyrone Carter #550354 
Kerry Carter #392013 
Ivo Richardson #317371 
Rondrikus Fulton #354313 
Kentell Simmons #601717 
Jayvonte Pines #470985 
Deandre Miles #629008 
Kenneth P. #340729 
Brandon Ceaser #421453 
Tyronne Ward #330964 
Jermaine Atkins #448421 
Charles Rodgers #320513 
Steve Givens #557854 
Timothy Alfred #502378 
—wsimg.com, January 2019



ANSWER Coalition

Venezuelan Embassy stands strong

Activist-tenants vow to resist illegal eviction

Embassy is owned by Government of Venezuela and protected by international law
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter
People from all over the United States came to Washington, D.C. and joined together last night at the Venezuelan Embassy in a powerful demonstration of solidarity with the people of Venezuela. While banners were hung from outside the windows of the Embassy, people held a night of political education and tactical discussions. The ongoing Embassy Protection Collective continues to prevent the U.S. government from illegally seizing the Embassy of Venezuela in Washington, D.C.
The Embassy building, located in Georgetown, is owned by the Venezuelan government and is a protected international compound by the Vienna Conventions. Progressive activists have been working and living inside the Embassy as invited guests for weeks.
The Embassy Protection Collective was initiated by CODEPINK and Popular Resistance, and the ANSWER Coalition has been mobilizing support for this effort in Washington and around the country. Many ANSWER volunteers and organizers are inside the Embassy.
"The people inside this Embassy are here at the invitation of its lawful owner, the Government of Venezuela," said ANSWER's National Director Brian Becker. "The Trump administration is acting as the world's number one international pirate as it seizes Venezuelan assets, properties and diplomatic compounds. In pure colonial fashion, U.S. and European entities have grabbed hold of Venezuela's oil revenue, gold reserves and bank accounts — while openly championing the Monroe Doctrine. We are joining with the people of the world to declare that the days of the Monroe Doctrine are over."
Becker continued, "Any action to evict the Embassy's current tenant guests by the MPD, Secret Service or other police agencies would be an illegal and unlawful arrest under both D.C. and international law. What we are doing here in this Embassy is not an act of civil disobedience. International law and D.C. law are on our side. The violator of these laws — the criminal in this case — is none other than the Trump White House and the U.S. State Department."
A letter was sent last night from the Embassy Protection Collective, with the assistance of lawyer Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, to the U.S. State Department: 
Members of the Embassy Protection Collective are writing to make it expressly clear and ensure all personnel are put on notice that any arrest of persons inside the embassy would constitute an unlawful arrest. We understand from our communications with your office that you are threatening to arrest persons inside the Venezuelan embassy.
Not only are we here at the invitation of persons lawfully in charge of the premises but we are also here as people with lawful rights under Washington, DC tenancy law.
It is our intention to hold responsible any person who orders or effectuates any unlawful actions against us.
We have received no eviction notice and due process opportunity to challenge any attempted eviction as is required by law.
[VIDEO: Eyewitness Venezuela Webinar. If you missed Saturday's informative webinar with anti-war leaders and journalists, or want to re-watch it, the whole thing has been posted here. Please share with friends and family to get out the truth about Venezuela!]
Please make a donation to support the anti-war movement's ongoing work to stop the Trump administration's regime change effort against Venezuela.
Here is the address to the Venezuelan Embassy:
Embassy of Venezuela
1099 30th St NW
Washington, DC 20007
United States
Google map and directions

ANSWER Coalition
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter
ANSWER Coalition · United States
This email was sent to caroleseligman@sbcglobal.net.
To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with ANSWER Coalition on Facebook.



New Prison and Jail Population Figures Released by U.S. Department of Justice

By yearend 2017, the United States prison population had declined by 7.3% since reaching its peak level in 2009, according to new data released by the Department of Justice. The prison population decreases are heavily influenced by a handful of states that have reduced their populations by 30% or more in recent years. However, as of yearend 2017 more than half the states were still experiencing increases in their populations or rates of decline only in the single digits. 
Analysis of the new data by The Sentencing Project reveals that: 
  • The United States remains as the world leader in its rate of incarceration, locking up its citizens at 5-10 times the rate of other industrialized nations. At the current rate of decline it will take 75 years to cut the prison population by 50%.
  • The population serving life sentences is now at a record high. One of every seven individuals in prison – 206,000 – is serving life.
  • Six states have reduced their prison populations by at least 30% over the past two decades – Alaska, Connecticut, California, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.  
  • The rate of women's incarceration has been rising at a faster rate than men's since the 1980s, and declines in recent years have been slower than among men.
  • Racial disparities in women's incarceration have changed dramatically since the start of the century. Black women were incarcerated at 6 times the rate of white women in 2000, while the 2017 figure is now 1.8 times that rate. These changes have been a function of both a declining number of black women in prison and a rising number of white women. For Hispanic women, the ratio has changed from 1.6 times that of white women in 2000 to 1.4 times in 2017. 
The declines in prison and jail populations reported by the Department of Justice today are encouraging, but still fall far short of what is necessary for meaningful criminal justice reform. In order to take the next step in ending mass incarceration policymakers will need to scale back excessive sentencing for all offenses, a key factor which distinguishes the U.S. from other nations. 

Share This 

[Note: China's population is 1,419,147,756* as of April 26, 2019 with 1,649,804 in prison***; while the population of the USA is 328,792,291 as of April 27, 2019** with 2,121,600 in prison.*** 



"This is a people's victory"  Pam Africa.

Who would ever think that we would see this headline, in our lifetime.  This is the press release up on the Philadelphia District Attorney's website posted minutes ago.

The path to freedom is going to be hard and long, but we are on it.  When We Fight, We Win,
Noelle Hanrahan, P.I. Prison Radio

Mumia Abu-Jamal

See below: 

Statement: Philadelphia District Attorney's Office withdraws appeal in Mumia Abu-Jamal case 

Contact: Ben Waxman
PHILADELPHIA (April 17th, 2019) — Today the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office withdrew its recent appeal of an opinion granting a re-hearing of some previously decided issues in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. We withdrew the appeal because the opinion we appealed has been modified consistent with our primary concern — -that ruling's effect on many other cases.
By way of background, Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of the murder of a young police officer, Daniel Faulkner, that occurred on December 9, 1981. Even after Maureen Faulkner, the wife of the victim, chose not to continue seeking the death penalty several years ago in hopes of closure, the case has evoked polarizing rhetoric and continues to assume a symbolic importance for many that is distinct from the factual and often technical legal issues involved in the case.
The technical issue at stake here is simply whether or not some decided issues need to be re-heard by a Pennsylvania appellate court due to one former judge's having worn two hats — -the hat of an apparently impartial appellate judge deciding Abu-Jamal's case after he earlier wore the hat of a chief prosecutor in the same case. Although the issue is technical, it is also an important cautionary tale on the systemic problems that flow from a judge's failing to recuse where there is an appearance of bias.
Justice Castille did not recuse himself before deciding appeals in the Abu-Jamal case and several others, including the Williams case. In the Williams case, the United States Supreme Court decided that Castille should have recused himself because of the role he took as a chief prosecutor in Mr. Williams's matter. The U.S. Supreme Court ordered that Mr. Williams's appeal be re-heard by the Pennsylvania appeals judges, without the taint of Castille's participation.
A similar question of Castille's role exists in the Abu-Jamal case. In order to help resolve it, our Office exhaustively searched hundreds of file boxes in relation to the Mumia Abu-Jamal matter, including six previously undisclosed boxes (now turned over to the defense, as required by law). While we did not find any document establishing the same level of involvement by Castille in the Abu-Jamal case as in the Williams case, we did find (and turned over) a June, 1990 letter from then-District Attorney Castille to then-Governor Robert Casey, urging that the Governor issue death warrants, especially in cases involving people who have killed police, in order to "send a clear and dramatic message to all police killers that the death penalty actually means something." Although the letter does not mention Mr. Abu-Jamal or his case by name, at the time Justice Castille wrote to Governor Casey, there were only three cases involving people who had been convicted of killing police that were pending. One was Mr. Abu-Jamal's.
In the end, the trial-level judge considering this issue wrote an opinion that agreed with us that these indications of strong feelings on the part of Justice Castille did not rise to the level of the direct and active involvement Justice Castille took in the Williams case but went further, deciding there should be a re-hearing of Abu-Jamal's decided issues anyway, based on more general principles of judges needing to recuse to avoid the appearance of bias.
We appealed, making it extremely clear in our court papers that our primary concern was with the overly broad language of the opinion and its potentially devastating effect on hundreds of long settled cases, decades after their cases were resolved, including its hurtful effect on victims and survivors. We highlighted our concern with the overly broad language of that opinion in five specific respects and specifically noted that we would re-consider appealing if the trial-level court issued another decision addressing the concerns we raised.
Although the judge was not required to do so, on March 27 he issued another decision that addressed the concerns we raised. The judge made clear that his opinion should not be read to mean that several hundreds of cases were disturbed — -it should be applied only to people convicted of killing police officers whose cases were in the District Attorney's Office while Castille was District Attorney (the category of cases Castille highlighted in his June 1990 letter to Casey). Given that the trial-level court has now addressed the concerns that led us to appeal in the first place, we have withdrawn the appeal.
Our decision to withdraw the appeal does not mean Mr. Abu-Jamal will be freed or get a new trial. It means that he will have the appeals that Justice Castille participated in deciding reconsidered by a new group of appellate court judges, untainted by former Chief Justice Castille participating in their decision. The trial-level judge has ordered the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office and the defense to re-submit the legal briefs done in the past (which were written under prior administrations), effectively setting the clock back to where it was in the past.
The result will be that long-settled convictions in other cases will not be disturbed and that decisions made by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on the legal issues raised decades ago in the Abu-Jamal matter will no longer be tainted by the appearance of bias.  ===========end press release====================
Cuando luchamos, ganamos. When We fight, we win. 

Noelle Hanrahan
Director, Prison Radio
To give by check: 
PO Box 411074
San Francisco, CA

Stock or legacy gifts:
Noelle Hanrahan



Funds for Kevin Cooper


For 34 years, an innocent man has been on death row in California. 

Kevin Cooper was wrongfully convicted of the brutal 1983 murders of the Ryen family and houseguest. The case has a long history of police and prosecutorial misconduct, evidence tampering, and numerous constitutional violations including many incidences of the prosecution withholding evidence of innocence from the defense. You can learn more here . 

In December 2018 Gov. Brown ordered  limited DNA testing and in February 2019, Gov. Newsom ordered additional DNA testing. Meanwhile, Kevin remains on Death Row at San Quentin Prison. 

The funds raised will be used to help Kevin purchase art supplies for his paintings . Additionally, being in prison is expensive, and this money would help Kevin pay for stamps, paper, toiletries, supplementary food, and/or phone calls.

Please help ease the daily struggle of an innocent man on death row!



Don't extradite Assange!

To the government of the UK
Julian Assange, through Wikileaks, has done the world a great service in documenting American war crimes, its spying on allies and other dirty secrets of the world's most powerful regimes, organisations and corporations. This has not endeared him to the American deep state. Both Obama, Clinton and Trump have declared that arresting Julian Assange should be a priority. We have recently received confirmation [1] that he has been charged in secret so as to have him extradited to the USA as soon as he can be arrested. 
Assange's persecution, the persecution of a publisher for publishing information [2] that was truthful and clearly in the interest of the public - and which has been republished in major newspapers around the world - is a danger to freedom of the press everywhere, especially as the USA is asserting a right to arrest and try a non-American who neither is nor was then on American soil. The sentence is already clear: if not the death penalty then life in a supermax prison and ill treatment like Chelsea Manning. The very extradition of Julian Assange to the United States would at the same time mean the final death of freedom of the press in the West. 
The courageous nation of Ecuador has offered Assange political asylum within its London embassy for several years until now. However, under pressure by the USA, the new government has made it clear that they want to drive Assange out of the embassy and into the arms of the waiting police as soon as possible. They have already curtailed his internet and his visitors and turned the heating off, leaving him freezing in a desolate state for the past few months and leading to the rapid decline of his health, breaching UK obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights. Therefore, our demand both to the government of Ecuador and the government of the UK is: don't extradite Assange to the US! Guarantee his human rights, make his stay at the embassy as bearable as possible and enable him to leave the embassy towards a secure country as soon as there are guarantees not to arrest and extradite him. Furthermore, we, as EU voters, encourage European nations to take proactive steps to protect a journalist in danger. The world is still watching.
[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/16/us/politics/julian-assange-indictment-wikileaks.html
[2] https://theintercept.com/2018/11/16/as-the-obama-doj-concluded-prosecution-of-julian-assange-for-publishing-documents-poses-grave-threats-to-press-freedom/



Chelsea Manning denied release from jail

chelsea manning
Yesterday, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to keep Chelsea Manning jailed for contempt of court. Chelsea has been jailed since March 8th for refusing to collaborate with the grand jury investigating Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. "While disappointing, we can still raise issues as the government continues to abuse the grand jury process. I don't have anything to contribute to this, or any other grand jury. While I miss home, they can continue to hold me in jail, with all the harmful consequences that brings. I will not give up. Thank you all so very much for your love and solidarity through letters and contributions," shared Chelsea. She faces another 16.5 months in jail. Donate to Chelsea's legal defense here. Write her a letter at: Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, A0181426, William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center, 2001 Mill Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.

484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist



How to buy a gun in the U.S. and New Zeland:

New Zealand to Ban Military-Style Semiautomatic Guns, Jacinda Ardern Says
By Damien Cave and Charlotte Graham-McLay, March 20, 2019













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


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.



Updates from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Justice for Rasmea Odeh! Justice for Palestine!

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression strongly supports Rasmea Odeh's right to speak in Berlin about the Palestinian liberation struggle. We stand with the many other organizations who condemn the German, Israeli, and U.S. governments' attacks on Rasmea and their attempts to silence her by revoking her visa and prohibiting her from political activity (see article about the March 15 incident).

The actions of these governments blatantly reflect their racist anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim views. But we want to draw attention to the underlying reason for their targeting of Rasmea. The attack on her right to speak is deeply tied to U.S. and German support for the Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism in Palestine. Moreover, the attack on Rasmea reflects these countries' imperialist strategies for control of the Middle East. By the same token, these governments are clearly acting out of fear - fear that when Palestinian women and activists like Rasmea speak up, it chips away at such countries' grasp on Palestine and the surrounding region.

The attacks on Rasmea and Palestine also relate to political repression taking place across the globe. Germany, the U.S. and Israel are attempting to silence Rasmea for the same fundamental reasons that the Duterte government has murdered and attacked activists and human rights defenders in the Philippines; that the U.S. government is trying to forcibly install a new government in Venezuela; and that the NYPD's Strategic Response Group is surveilling and harassing leaders and activists in the Black Lives Matter movement. The imperialists who are in power are clearly afraid that people like Rasmea might inspire others to rise up and fight back against the racist and oppressive system in place.

We want to send a message to these imperialist powers, to say that fighting back is exactly what we plan to do. It is imperative that we fight back against this unjust system that tries to silence Palestinian women like Rasmea. We demand that Rasmea Odeh be permitted to speak in Germany, and we demand an end to state repression against all Muslim women, and all Palestinians who have boldly raised their voices against the imperialist and colonialist powers that are oppressing people across the world.

Activists are not terrorists! We stand in solidarity with Rasmea and all Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation.

-- NYC Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Copyright © 2019 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights reserved.
Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!

Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
MinneapolisMN  55414

Add us to your address book























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







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.

    Powered by
    GoDaddy Email Marketing ®

    Free Leonard Peltier!

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



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





    1) U.S. to Consider Listing Giraffes as Endangered Species
    By Mihir Zaveri, April 27, 2019

    Giraffes in Nairobi National Park in Kenya. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service said it would explore listing giraffes as an endangered species.CreditCreditYasuyoshi Chiba/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    Federal wildlife officials said Thursday that they would officially consider listing the giraffe as an endangered species, a move long sought by conservationists alarmed by the African mammal's precipitous decline and a growing domestic market for giraffe products.
    The United States Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday that it had found "substantial information" that listing giraffes as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act "may be warranted." The finding came more than two years after conservation groups petitioned the Trump administration for the protection, warning that the animals were in danger of extinction.
    The Fish and Wildlife Service will now begin an in-depth review before making a final decision. The process could take years, conservationists said.

    Designating giraffes as endangered or threatened would place restrictions on their import into the United States and make federal funding available for conservation efforts.

    Conservationists also hope that a listing could elevate the giraffes' plight, which they said was often overshadowed by higher-profile initiatives to protect lions, elephants and other distinctive animals.
    "Tons of money is poured into conservation projects for these species," said Adam Peyman, manager of wildlife programs and operations for the Humane Society International, one of the groups that filed the petition. "Giraffes just don't enjoy that."
    Per federal regulations, the wildlife service's response to the groups' petition should have come within 90 days of the petition's filing in April 2017. In December, more than a year after the petition was filed, the groups sued the wildlife service to compel a response. It is not clear what took the wildlife service so long, or whether the announcement on Thursday was prompted by the lawsuit.
    Mr. Peyman said the wildlife service routinely missed deadlines, though the delay on the giraffe petition was the longest he had ever seen.
    Federal wildlife officials did not respond to further requests for comment Friday.
    The agency's finding appeared to be a distinctly pro-conservation move by an administration that has repeatedly rolled back environmental protections. The wildlife service moved last year to allow some hunters to import big-game trophies, including elephant tusks and lion hides, overturning an Obama-era ban.

    Tanya Sanerib, international legal director and senior attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, said the agency's decision to conduct the in-depth review on giraffes was akin to clearing a "tiny little hurdle." The bigger obstacle, she said, would be actually listing giraffes as endangered or threatened.
    "While it's shocking that the Trump administration made a possible finding for wildlife, it would have been more astonishing to say giraffes don't pass that first hurdle," she said.
    Mr. Peyman said it was not clear whether the agency would ultimately decide to protect giraffes. It could say that giraffes do not deserve protections under the Endangered Species Act, or that the federal government's limited resources should be focused on other species.
    Conservationists say there is a strong argument for listing giraffes under the Endangered Species Act.
    The population of giraffes, the tallest land animals on the planet, has declined about 40 percent in the last 30 years, according to the groups' petition. They estimate the population today is close to 97,000.
    Among the biggest threats to giraffes is habitat loss driven by the expansion of cities, agriculture and timber harvest. Poaching and legal hunting have also contributed to the decline.
    In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources declared the giraffe "vulnerable to extinction."

    The market for products derived from giraffes has also increased in the United States. According to a report released last year by the Humane Society of the United States, more than 40,000 giraffe parts were imported from 2006 to 2015 to be made into expensive pillows, boots, knife handles, Bible covers and other trinkets.
    Mr. Peyman acknowledged, however, that legal hunting had a relatively small impact on giraffe populations when compared with habitat loss or poaching. He said it was not clear how much of the giraffe products' import comes from poaching.
    "What we want to do is raise that bar, make it so that giraffes aren't threatened by trade in addition to the other threats they are facing," he said.
    Some, however, say that listing the giraffes under the Endangered Species Act could have an adverse impact on their population.
    The Safari Club International, a pro-hunting group, said that the potential measures could "would reduce U.S. hunters' willingness to pay top dollar for giraffe hunts," money that could in turn be used to buy land to increase giraffes' habitat or fund anti-poaching programs.
    "Many species, including giraffes, benefit from this investment in conservation," the group said in a statement. "Without offering anything in return, an ESA listing could reduce the revenues and incentives currently being generated by hunting."


    2) 'We Must Be Better': A Young Black Student Takes His Own Life
    By Pierre-Antoine Louis, April 27, 2019

    Nigel Shelby

    Last week, Nigel Shelby, a 15-year-old black student at Huntsville High School in Alabama, killed himself. His family said he had been the target of homophobic bullying.
    I remember when I was a young black boy in high school like Nigel. I was ridiculed and called homophobic slurs that, at such a young age, I hardly understood. I remember grappling with the feeling that I was different from my peers.
    According to the Center for Social Equity, a nonprofit organization based in South Carolina, 74 percent of L.G.B.T.Q. youths say they do not feel safe in the schools they attend. Many students don't feel comfortable telling their teachers about the bullying they experience because they fear it will lead to more bullying. They don't bring it up with their parents because they don't want to deal with questions they are not quite ready — or able — to answer.

    I also remember how being both black and gay made all of this worse. I was fighting both racism and homophobia while also trying to figure out who I was. I bottled up all my emotions hoping that someone would notice how much pain I was in and hear my cry for help.

    Sadly, for some of us, that cry is never heard.
    Nigel's untimely and tragic death is a reminder of the urgent need for more research to help us better understand how racial disparities affect the national suicide crisis. Studies show that black children take their own lives at a rate that is nearly twice as high as white children.
    "Parents, please talk to your students about Nigel's death," Aaron King, the principal of Nigel's school, said in a statement. "Know and be aware of changes in your child. Talk to them about what they see, words they speak and actions they can take to make a difference. We must be better."
    We must do better.

    3) US Sanctions Killed Over 40,000 Venezuelans Since 2017
    By TeleSUR, April 25, 2019
    President Donald Trump's economic sanctions against Venezuela are affecting not only President Nicolas Maduro's administration but also the civilian population after over 40,000 deaths were reported in a study released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) said Thursday.
    The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) released Thursday a study revealing that President Donald Trump's actions against Venezuela are mostly affecting not President Nicolas Maduro's administration but the civilian population, as more than 40,000 deaths have been brought about by U.S. economic sanctions.
    "The sanctions are depriving Venezuelans of lifesaving medicines, medical equipment, food, and other essential imports," said Mark Weisbrot, the CEPR Co-Director and co-author of the report. "This is illegal under international laws and treaties that the U.S. has signed. Congress should move to stop it."
    The "Economic Sanctions as Collective Punishment: The Case of Venezuela" study was also written by Jeffrey Sachs, a world-renowned economist who teaches at Columbia University and was a director of the Harvard Institute for International Development at the Kennedy School of Government.
    Besides pointing out that the U.S. actions have been rapidly worsening the humanitarian crisis, the CEPR study notes that a new set of financial and trade sanctions have been deployed to devastate the Venezuelan economy since the U.S. recognized Juan Guaido's parallel government in January 2019.
    "Venezuela's economic crisis is routinely blamed all on Venezuela but it is much more than that. U.S. sanctions are deliberately aiming to wreck Venezuela's economy and thereby lead to regime change," the Columbia professor said and explained that "it's a fruitless, heartless, illegal, and failed policy, causing grave harm to the Venezuelan people," the authors write. 
    Nevertheless, by prohibiting international transactions with the Bolivarian government, the United States has "efficiently" affected Venezuela's oil production, which can be clearly seen when a correlation is drawn between oil production levels and the dates when the sanctions went into effect.

    The loss of oil-based incomes has prevented the Venezuelan government from not only improving the country's balance of payments but also buying food and medicines at international markets.
    "Since the January 2019 sanctions, oil production has fallen by 431,000 barrels per day or 36.4 percent. This will greatly accelerate the humanitarian crisis, but the projected 67 percent decline in oil production for the year, if the sanctions continue, would cause vastly more loss of human life," the report warned.
    The CEPR report also reveals that Venezuela's economic contraction is clearly not a "natural fact" but rather a consequence of the current U.S. foreign policy, which represents a "very serious harm to human life and health."
    "The sanctions reduced the public's caloric intake, increased disease and mortality (for both adults and infants), and displaced millions of Venezuelans who fled the country as a result of the worsening economic depression and hyperinflation. They exacerbated Venezuela's economic crisis and made it nearly impossible to stabilize the economy, contributing further to excess deaths. All of these impacts disproportionately harmed the poorest and most vulnerable Venezuelans," the Weisbrot & Sachs study denounces.
    CEPR estimated more than 40,000 deaths prompted by U.S. actions since August 2017. That figure is based on an estimated 80,000 people with HIV who have not had antiretroviral treatment since 2017, 16,000 people who need dialysis, 16,000 people with cancer, and 4 million with diabetes and hypertension, many of whom cannot obtain insulin or cardiovascular medicine.


    4) Can What We Eat Affect How We Feel?
    Nutritional psychiatrists counsel patients on how better eating may be another tool in helping to ease depression and anxiety and may lead to better mental health.
    By Richard Schiffman, March 28, 2019

    CreditCreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

    The patient, a 48-year-old real estate professional in treatment for anxiety and mild depression, revealed that he had eaten three dozen oysters over the weekend.
    His psychiatrist, Dr. Drew Ramsey, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, was impressed: "You're the only person I've prescribed them to who came back and said he ate 36!"
    Dr. Ramsey, the author of several books that address food and mental health, is a big fan of oysters. They are rich in vitamin B12, he said, which studies suggest may help to reduce brain shrinkage. They are also well stocked with long chain omega-3 fatty acids, deficiencies of which have been linked to higher risk for suicide and depression

    But shellfish are not the only food he is enthusiastic about. Dr. Ramsey is a pioneer in the field of nutritional psychiatry, which attempts to apply what science is learning about the impact of nutrition on the brain and mental health.

    Dr. Ramsey argues that a poor diet is a major factor contributing to the epidemic of depression, which is the top driver of disability for Americans aged 15 to 44, according to a report by the World Health Organization. Together with Samantha Elkrief, a chef and food coach who sits in on many of his patient sessions, he often counsels patients on how better eating may lead to better mental health.
    The irony, he says, is that most Americans are overfed in calories yet starved of the vital array of micronutrients that our brains need, many of which are found in common plant foods. A survey published in 2017 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only one in 10 adults meets the minimal daily federal recommendations for fruit and vegetables — at least one-and-a-half to two cups per day of fruit and two to three cups per day of vegetables. 
    Nutritional psychiatrists like Dr. Ramsey prescribe antidepressants and other medications, where appropriate, and engage in talk therapy and other traditional forms of counseling. But they argue that fresh and nutritious food can be a potent addition to the mix of available therapies.
    Americans routinely change what they eat in order to lose weight, control their blood sugar levels and lower artery-clogging cholesterol. But Dr. Ramsey says that it is still rare for people to pay attention to the food needs of the most complex and energy-consuming organ in the body, the human brain.
    The patient Dr. Ramsey was seeing that day credits the nutritional guidance, including cutting down on many of the processed and fried foods and fatty meats that used to be part of his diet, with improving his mood and helping him overcome a long-term addiction to alcohol.

    "It's one part of the whole package that helps alleviate my depression and helps me to feel better," he said.
    Research on the impact of diet on mental functioning is relatively new, and food studies can be difficult to perform and hard to interpret, since so many factors go into what we eat and our general well-being. But a study of more than 12,000 Australians published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2016 found that individuals who increased the number of servings of fruits and vegetables that they ate reported that they were happier and more satisfied with their life than those whose diets remained the same. 
    Another study of 422 young adults from New Zealand and the United States showed higher levels of mental health and well-being for those who ate more fresh fruits and vegetables. Interestingly, the same benefits did not accrue to those who ate canned fruits and vegetables. "We think this is due to the higher nutrient content of raw fruits and vegetables, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C, which are vulnerable to heat degradation," said Tamlin Conner, a study author and senior lecturer at the University of Otago.
    One of the first randomized controlled trials to test whether dietary change may be effective in helping to treat depression was published in 2017. In the study, led by Felice Jacka, a psychiatric epidemiologist in Australia, participants who were coached to follow a Mediterranean diet for 12 weeks reported improvements in mood and lower anxiety levels. Those who received general coaching showed no such benefits. 
    A Mediterranean diet, rich in whole grains, legumes and seafood as well as nutrient-dense leafy vegetables that are high in the fiber, promotes a diverse population of helpful bacteria in the gut. Research suggests that a healthy gut microbiome may be important in the processing of neurotransmitters like serotonin that regulate mood. 
    "Our imaging studies show that the brains of people who follow a Mediterranean-style diet typically look younger, have larger volumes and are more metabolically active than people who eat a more typical Western diet," said Dr. Lisa Mosconi, the director of the Women's Brain Initiative at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. Such brain benefits may be protective against the onset of dementia, she said.
    Dr. Mosconi noted that "there is no one diet that fits all" but advises patients to cut out processed foods, minimize meat and dairy and eat more whole foods like fatty fish, vegetables and whole grains and legumes to cut the risk of developing degenerative brain diseases associated with aging.

    She and Dr. Ramsey both recommend "eating the rainbow," that is, consuming a wide array of colorful fruits and vegetables like peppers, blueberries, sweet potatoes, kale and tomatoes. Such foods are high in phytonutrients that may help to reduce harmful inflammation throughout the body, including the brain, and promote the growth of new brain cells throughout our adult years, they say.
    Dr. Emily Deans, a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, cautions that a plant-only diet may carry some risks. Some large observational studies suggest, for example, that strict vegetarians and vegans may have somewhat higher rates of depression and eating disorders than those who eat a more varied diet. Those on a meat-free diet may also need to take supplements to provide missing nutrients. "Some of the key nutrients for the brain, like long chain omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, are simply not found in vegetable only diets," says Dr. Deans. 
    Samantha Elkrief, the food coach who assists Dr. Ramsey, adds that it's not just what we eat but the attitudes that we bring to our food that contribute to mental well-being. "I want to help people find the foods that give them joy, that make them feel good," she says. "It's about slowing down and becoming more mindful, noticing your body, noticing how you feel when you eat certain foods."


    5) Ex-Officer in Florida Gets 25 Years in Prison for Killing Black Man
    By Emily S. Rueb, April 25, 2019

    Nouman K. Raja being brought into the courtroom for sentencing on Thursday.CreditCreditPool photo by Lannis Waters

    A former police officer in Florida was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for fatally shooting a black man who had been awaiting help on a highway more than three years ago.
    "This has been a heartbreaking case," Judge Joseph Marx said in sentencing the former officer, Nouman K. Raja, for the two counts a jury found him guilty of last month: manslaughter by culpable negligence and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm.
    Mr. Raja, 41, who had faced a maximum penalty of life in prison in the fatal shooting of Corey Jones, received a 25-year term for each count. The sentences will be served concurrently.

    In asking the judge to hand down the maximum sentence, Adrienne Ellis, the chief assistant state's attorney, said that Mr. Jones, 31, "had done nothing wrong that night.".

    "He did everything right, and yet, he still lost his life," she said. "Corey essentially begged the defendant not to kill him."
    Richard G. Lubin, who oversaw Mr. Raja's defense team, asked the judge to sentence Mr. Raja only on the manslaughter count and not on the attempted first-degree murder charge.
    He said that it was difficult for his client to receive a fair trial, because people "have stoked the narrative that this is another case about a white cop murdering a black man."
    "He doesn't have a prejudiced bone in his body," Mr. Lubin said of Mr. Raja, who is of Asian descent. "He himself has had a lifetime of suffering prejudice because of his race."

    Lawyers for Mr. Raja are likely to appeal the decision.
    Before the judge announced his decision, Mr. Raja's wife, Karine Raja, pleaded for leniency, pointing to the support that she would need from her husband to care for the couple's two children.

    "Why I'm so angry is that the wrong person was chosen as the sacrificial lamb," she said. "Raja is the man you wanted serving and protecting you."
    After leaving the courthouse on Thursday afternoon, family members and friends of Mr. Jones held hands and sang the spiritual song "Victory is Mine."
    "This is a milestone in black America," said Benjamin L. Crump, one of the lawyers for Mr. Jones's family.
    "It is a footnote in American jurisprudence," he continued. "But based on the fact that this is the first time in over 30 years that a police officer has been convicted of killing a black person in the state of Florida, it is a milestone for many black Americans, not only in Florida but all across the United States."
    According to the Miami Herald, the last time an officer was sentenced for an on-duty killing in Florida was 1989.
    The 2015 killing of Mr. Jones, a church band member without a criminal record, became a flash point in a string of contentious shootings of black men by the police.

    The encounter also highlighted Florida's so-called Stand Your Ground law, which Mr. Raja's lawyer had cited in his defense.
    The Stand Your Ground law removes the obligation to retreat if a person feels threatened and frees the person to use deadly force "if he or she reasonably believes" it is necessary "to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm."
    A picture of Corey Jones was shown to the jury as his brother, Clinton Jones Jr., testified in the trial of Mr. Raja, a former Palm Beach Gardens police officer.CreditPool photo by Lannis Waters

    On the night of Oct. 18, 2015, Mr. Jones was on the side of an Interstate 95 exit ramp in Palm Beach County at about 3:15 a.m. waiting for a tow truck when Mr. Raja, an officer with the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department who was on duty in plainclothes, approached Mr. Jones's S.U.V. in an unmarked van.
    According to prosecutors, Mr. Raja did not identify himself as a police officer.
    The Police Department initially said Mr. Jones had "confronted" Mr. Raja, who then fired his weapon.
    Mr. Jones had a legally purchased handgun with him, which Mr. Raja had claimed that Mr. Jones pointed at him.
    Within moments of approaching Mr. Jones, Mr. Raja fired six shots and struck Mr. Jones three times, killing him.

    It was later discovered that the interaction between the two men had been recorded on a phone line after Mr. Jones called for roadside assistance.
    Prosecutors said that Mr. Jones was heard calmly speaking to the tow-truck dispatcher and to Mr. Raja.
    The audio recording, in which gunshots could be heard, was played repeatedly for the jury.
    Mr. Raja was fired by the Police Department within a month of the killing, and was charged in June 2016.
    This week, C.J. Jones, Mr. Jones's older brother, told a local news station, CBS 12, that he blamed himself for not getting out of bed to help his brother when he called that night shortly before 3 a.m.
    "It's hard," he said. "It's really hard."
    "I never had a fight with him," Mr. Jones said. "We never had to argue about nothing. It was the best feeling to have a brother like that because he looked up to me, he listened to me, he lived his life."


    6) Profitable Giants Like Amazon Pay $0 in Corporate Taxes. Some Voters Are Sick of It.
    "Mr. Robertson, the carpet cleaner, has his own idea: nationalizing the companies. 'I think forcing them to pay higher alone is inefficient,' he said, 'and taxation alone is inefficient.'"
    By Stephanie Saul and Patricia Cohen, August 29, 2019

    Members of the Akron chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America spent two hours recently talking over a framework for a post-capitalist society.CreditCreditAllison Farrand for The New York Times

    AKRON, Ohio — Colin Robertson wonders why he pays federal taxes on the $18,000 a year he makes cleaning carpets, while the tech giant Amazon got a tax rebate.
    His concerns about a tilted economic playing field recently led Mr. Robertson to join the Akron chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. At a gathering this month, as members discussed Karl Marx and corporate greed over chocolate chip cookies, it wasn't long before talk turned to income inequality and how the government helps the wealthy avoid taxes.
    "One of the benefits of taxation is taking it and using it for the collective good," said Mr. Robertson, 25, comparing his minimal income to the roughly $150 billion net worth of Jeff Bezos, Amazon's chief executive and the world's richest person.
    "He could be taxed at 99.9 percent and still have millions left over," Mr. Robertson said, "and I'd be homeless."

    It's a topic that several presidential candidates, led by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have hammered recently as they travel the campaign trail, spurred by a report that 60 Fortune 500 companies paid no federal taxes on $79 billion in corporate income last year. Amazon, which is reported to be opening a center in an abandoned Akron mall that will employ 500 people, has become the poster child for corporate tax avoidance; last year it had an effective tax rate of below zero — receiving a rebate — on income of $10.8 billion.
    For decades, profitable companies have been able to avoid corporate taxes. But the list of those paying zero roughly doubled last year as a result of provisions in President Trump's 2017 tax bill that expanded corporate tax breaks and reduced the tax rate on corporate income.
    "Amazon, Netflix and dozens of major corporations, as a result of Trump's tax bill, pay nothing in federal taxes," Mr. Sanders said this month during a Fox News town hall-style event. "I think that's a disgrace."

    Corporations' ability to whittle down their tax bills has long been a target of criticism by Democrats, and this presidential campaign is no exception, particularly among left-wing candidates who argue that corporations should be accountable for wage inequality and its impact on low- and middle-income workers.

    Though both parties have sought to lower the top corporate tax rate in the last decade — President Barack Obama proposed lowering it from 35 percent to 28 percent — Republicans in 2017 pushed it down to 21 percent, in addition to expanding some generous tax breaks. The new law allowed immediate expensing of capital expenditures, for example, in order to goose investment. That was one of the primary reasons that more corporations paid no federal taxes, according to the report.
    Mr. Trump and his Republican allies argued that the tax changes would stimulate investment and economic growth. That has happened, though not by as much as they predicted.
    Here in Ohio, even though unemployment has hit an 18-year low, several counties still have jobless rates significantly higher than the national rate, 3.8 percent, and the statewide rate, 4.4 percent. Ohioans have witnessed so many factory closures over the years that they seem to live with a permanent sense of economic wariness. The question for Democrats is how to leverage that to their advantage as they try to retake the state, which Mr. Trump won by 8 percentage points in 2016.
    David Betras, the Democratic chairman in Mahoning County, a traditionally blue stronghold of union voters that President Trump nearly carried in 2016, said that Democrats had not yet figured out how to use the economic angst of laid-off employees and minimum-wage workers to defeat Mr. Trump in Ohio in 2020.
    "Believe it or not, if you listen to the president, he addresses that issue," Mr. Betras said. "He does it with a lot of smoke and very many mirrors, but he's at least talking about how good the economy is and what I've done for you. 'I'm with you. I have your back.'"
    Even as candidates focus on corporate taxation, Mr. Betras said the issue didn't resonate with voters in the same way as more familiar topics like health care or immigration. (Mr. Betras, a lawyer, has endorsed Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio for the Democratic nomination.)

    Gallup poll last fall suggested that taxes were generally a more important issue for Republicans than for Democrats.

    In an election in which Democrats will seek to win back voters who supported Mr. Obama in 2008 and 2012, then switched to Mr. Trump, some worry that calls to increase corporate taxes might turn off swing voters in this critical state, those like Thomas Chhay, a student at the University of Akron.
    "I lean Republican," Mr. Chhay, 18, said recently while having lunch at the university's student union. "I agree with corporate tax cuts unless the companies ship the jobs overseas."
    The list of profitable companies that pay no corporate taxes, compiled by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a left-leaning think tank, also includes Goodyear and three other Ohio companies, including the Akron-based electric utility FirstEnergy.
    FirstEnergy paid no taxes last year on $1.5 billion in income, according to the analysis, and will receive additional tax credits that can be used in the future. In a win for consumers, some of that will be returned to the utility's customers.

    Several of the Democratic candidates have called for changes to the corporate system, and Ms. Warren has gone the furthest in issuing a detailed plan. Under her proposal, corporations would pay a new 7 percent tax on every dollar over $100 million in profits they earn anywhere in the world. She estimated the new tax would apply to roughly 1,200 companies and bring in $1 trillion over 10 years.

    Under Ms. Warren's plan, Amazon would have paid $698 million instead of $0 in federal taxes for 2018. In a statement, the company said it "pays all the taxes we are required to pay in the U.S. and every country where we operate." (In a separate statement, Netflix said that it did, indeed, pay federal taxes in 2018.)
    Mr. Sanders, in his 2016 presidential campaign and in this one, has routinely talked about closing loopholes and capturing some of the billions in profits that multinationals have kept overseas in tax havens.
    Amy Klobuchar, the Minnesota senator who is also running, has taken a different approach. She has tied a proposed increase in the corporate tax rate, to 25 percent from the current 21 percent, to plans to rebuild bridges, roads and airports. About $400 billion of her trillion-dollar infrastructure plan would be financed by the tax increase.
    Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who officially entered the race on Thursday, has not issued a formal proposal on corporate taxes. In remarks last May, however, he blamed a "yawning" income gap for tearing the country apart. "We have to deal with this tax code," he said. "It's wildly skewed toward taking care of those at the very top."
    In surveys, more Americans support raising the corporate tax rate than lowering it or leaving it unchanged. And several Democratic candidates, like the former housing secretary Julián Castro, invoke "fair share" rhetoric in speeches or vow to undo the recent Republican tax law. Others, like Senator Kamala Harris of California, have focused more on the individual income tax and reducing the burden on working families.
    But raising the headline tax rate on corporations won't eliminate the corporate zero-rate club, which also results from companies taking advantage of loopholes and the way global profits are taxed.
    Two years ago, Mr. Trump appeared at a rally in working-class Youngstown, the seat of Mahoning County, and delivered a message full of economic reassurance.

    "I was looking at some of those big, once incredible job-producing factories," the president said. "Those jobs have left Ohio. They're all coming back. They're all coming back. Don't move. Don't sell your house."
    In Ohio, it has not entirely worked out that way.
    General Motors, one of the companies on the zero-tax list, recently idled a large plant near Youngstown that produced the Chevrolet Cruze, a decision that helped increase the company's stock price even as G.M. paid no federal taxes on $4.32 billion in income.

    "What was promised to these people was more jobs," said David Green, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112, which represents workers at the plant, which is in Lordstown. "When you give them the tax break and they take the jobs away, that's like a double whammy. That's a lose-lose."
    Lordstown is in Trumbull County, where the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in March and many of those who work are eligible for public assistance.
    Tyler Savin, a real estate agent, said the idling of the plant had added to his home listings and that many sellers wouldn't get their asking prices as they left Ohio for other G.M. locations.
    Mr. Savin, 22, was among the customers recently at Tommy Dogg's Bar and Grill in nearby Niles, the birthplace of both Mr. Ryan, the local favorite-son candidate, and William McKinley, a Republican president who was known for imposing tariffs on foreign goods.

    Mr. Savin likes Mr. Sanders, Mr. Biden and former Representative Beto O'Rourke of Texas, but will ultimately vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is, he said in a whisper lest pro-Trump patrons overhear.
    "I think corporations should pay their taxes, like Amazon," he said. But he said health care and support for abortion rights were more important to him.
    Jeff Williams, 57, who manages a convenience store on the midnight shift, had heard about Amazon's tax breaks on the radio. As he sat outside his home in Niles, he also was doing some comparison.
    He was treated for cancer, heart disease and two hernias last year but wasn't able to deduct his expenses, he said. Amazon, meantime, availed itself of a full suite of tax breaks. "Amazon doesn't pay taxes, but I pay taxes," Mr. Williams said.
    Akron, about an hour west, is faring better economically. Mayor Daniel Horrigan won't confirm or deny it, but Amazon is believed to be the company he has recruited to move into the old Rolling Acres Mall, which closed in 2008. Amazon would not comment on whether it planned to open a facility there.
    Mr. Horrigan has been working to invigorate the economy of Akron, historically known as the Rubber City for its role in tire manufacturing. The tire jobs have mostly moved elsewhere.
    Goodyear, which made the list of 60 by paying no federal corporate income taxes, employs 64,000 people worldwide, but only 3,000 of them remain here, mostly in the company's headquarters. A spokesman said the company's 2018 tax situation stemmed from "historical losses in U.S. operations."

    The Democratic Socialists have close to 100 members in Akron, many of them supporters of Mr. Sanders. Those attending this month's meeting ranged from a stay-at-home mother who said she hadn't been able to pay her water bill for a year to a college professor, David Pereplyotchik.
    Mr. Pereplyotchik, 37, said he believed the group should come up with a viable alternative to the American corporate tax and wage system.
    "If we're fighting for something, what version of the thing are we fighting for?" asked Mr. Pereplyotchik, who teaches philosophy. "It seems like if you just make them pay employees more, they're just not going to hire employees."
    Mr. Robertson, the carpet cleaner, has his own idea: nationalizing the companies. "I think forcing them to pay higher alone is inefficient," he said, "and taxation alone is inefficient."


    7)   Sixty Profitable Fortune 500 Companies Avoided All Federal Income Taxes in 2018
    By Matthew Gardner, Steve Wamhoff, Mary Martellotta, Lorena Roque, April 11, 2019
    Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

    For decades, profitable Fortune 500 companies have manipulated the tax system to avoid paying even a dime in tax on billions of dollars in U.S. profits. This ITEP report provides the first comprehensive look at how corporate tax changes under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affect the scale of corporate tax avoidance. The report finds that in 2018, 60 of America's biggest corporations zeroed out their federal income taxes on $79 billion in U.S. pretax income. Instead of paying $16.4 billion in taxes at the 21 percent statutory corporate tax rate, these companies enjoyed a net corporate tax rebate of $4.3 billion.

    Companies Represent Diverse Economic Sectors

    The companies avoiding income taxes in 2018 represent a range of segments of the U.S. economy:
    • Computer maker International Business Machines (IBM) earned $500 million in U.S. income and received a federal income tax rebate of $342 million.
    • The retail giant Amazon reported $11 billion of U.S. income and claimed a federal income tax rebate of $129 million.
    • The streaming service Netflix paid no federal income tax on $856 million of U.S. income.
    • Beer maker Molson Coors enjoyed $1.3 billion of U.S. income in 2018 and received a federal income tax rebate of $22.9 million.
    • Automaker General Motors reported a negative tax rate on $4.3 billion of income.

    All 60 companies' effective federal income tax rates for 2018 are shown in the table at: https://itep.org/notadime/

    Companies' Low Taxes Stem from a Variety of Legal Tax Breaks

    Companies profiled in this report appear to be using a diverse array of legal tax breaks to zero out their federal income taxes:

    Accelerated Depreciation

    Chevron, Delta Airlines, Duke Energy, Halliburton, Dominion Resources, Jetblue, Ryder, Owens Corning, Devon Energy and Ameren used accelerated depreciation, a tax break that allows companies to write off the cost of their capital investments much faster than these investments wear out, to dramatically reduce their tax rates. Chevron reported $290 million of depreciation-related tax breaks in 2018, and Halliburton reduced its taxes by $320 million. As a group, these companies reduced their taxes by $8 billion using depreciation-related tax breaks. Accelerated depreciation is supposed to encourage business investment, but a recent ITEP report explains why it is unlikely to achieve that goal.[1] The new tax law expands this break to allow corporations to deduct the entire cost of a capital investment during the first year.

    Stock Options

    Amazon reduced its income taxes by more than $1 billion in 2018 using a tax break for stock options. A June 2016 Citizens for Tax Justice report found that 315 companies in the Fortune 500 disclosed receiving benefits from this tax break, which allows companies to write off stock-option related expenses in excess of the cost they reported to shareholders and the public.[2] Netflixreduced its income taxes by $191 million using this tax break. Salesforce.com reported $137 million of stock option tax benefits. Activision Blizzard reported $58 million of stock option tax breaks, with Honeywell close behind at $52 million. DeereRockwell Collins and Performance Food Group each reduced their income taxes by $20 million using stock options in 2018, and half a dozen other companies on this list reported smaller stock option tax breaks.

    Fossil Fuel Tax Subsidies

    Oil and gas tax breaks including depreciation and percentage depletion helped Pioneer Natural Resources zero out its federal income taxes on $1.2 billion of U.S. income in 2018. Occidental Petroleum used the enhanced oil recovery credit to reduce its taxes by $158 million last year.

    Alternative Energy Tax Subsidies

    A number of companies took advantage of alternative-energy tax breaks as well. Duke Energy enjoyed $129 million in renewable energy production tax credits in 2018. The so-called Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 expanded these credits. DTE Energy reduced its taxes by $223 million using production tax credits.  WEC Energy reported $12 million in production tax credits, and Xcel Energy claimed $75 million in wind production tax credits. CMS Energy also reported renewable electricity production tax credits of $14 million, and Dominion Energy claimed $21 million.

    Tax Credits

    US Steel used percentage depletion to cut its taxes by $48 million in 2018. Dominion Energy claimed about $59 million of investment tax credits.
    Rockwell Collins enjoyed $60 million in research and development tax breaks in 2018. Netflix reported $140 million in R&D credits, Activision Blizzard enjoyed $46 million, and Deere reported $43 million. CMS Energy also reported R&E credits. The R&E tax credit has been criticized for rewarding companies for "research" they would have done anyway, as well as rewarding research in areas such as fast food packaging and, in the case of Activision, video games. [3]
    Prudential Financial reduced its income taxes by $111 million using low-income housing and other credits in 2018, and Eli Lilly claimed $87 million of various business credits.

    Vague Financial Disclosures Sometimes Prevent Full Diagnosis of Corporate Tax Avoidance Strategies

    All data cited in this report come from the 10-K annual financial filings published by these companies. In many cases, the company's disclosures don't fully clarify which tax breaks were used. For example, Chevron's annual report for 2018 discloses that unspecified "tax credits" reduced the company's income taxes by $163 million. General Motors' disclosure of $695 million of "general business credits and manufacturing incentives" leaves unclear what fraction of those tax breaks apply to U.S. income taxes. Salesforce.com disclosed $132 million of "tax credits." International Business Machines tells us that "domestic incentives" reduced their income taxes by about $110 million in 2018. US Steel discloses using $71 million of "tax credits" last year, while Amazon discloses $419 million of "tax credits." And Principal Financial discloses that "tax credits" reduced its worldwide income tax rate by 3 percentage points in 2018. None of these disclosures are sufficiently clear to allow analysts, policymakers or the public to understand which features of the tax law are responsible for these companies' tax avoidance.
    There is, to be clear, nothing obviously illegal about the vague language these companies use to describe their tax provisions. Giving the public a clear sense of how companies are reducing taxes has never been a central goal of the annual financial reports published by these companies, nor has it been a priority of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which mandates publicly traded companies publish these reports. Achieving a full understanding of how companies are avoiding taxes would require that Congress, or the SEC, require a higher standard of tax disclosure by publicly traded firms.

    True Corporate Tax Reform Should Start with the Hard Questions: Which Tax Loopholes Will Be Repealed?

    In the run-up to the tax reform debate of late 2017, the basic outline of U.S. tax avoidance was well known to federal lawmakers. Reports from ITEP, as well as various government agencies, had documented how Fortune 500 companies were using legal tax breaks to shelter close to half of their income from federal taxes, meaning that even with a 35 percent tax rate the yield of our corporate tax was low and getting lower. But when Congress and the Trump Administration pushed through a technically flawed set of corporate tax changes as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in December of 2017, the new law cut the statutory tax rate to 21 percent, while leaving intact most of the tax breaks that allowed profitable companies to zero out their income taxes. The result, unsurprisingly, has been a continued decline in our already-low corporate tax revenues: in fiscal 2018, U.S. corporate tax revenues fell by 31 percent, according to U.S. Treasury data. This was a more precipitous decline than in any year of normal economic growth in U.S. history.
    As this report demonstrates, it's easy to see which tax breaks are responsible for allowing our biggest and most profitable corporations to avoid income taxes. Lawmakers interested in enacting true tax reform should critically assess the costs of each of existing tax break—including those discussed in this report—and take steps to ensure that profitable corporations pay their fair share of U.S. taxes.
    At a time when the public's confidence in our elected officials and our institutions is especially low, the specter of big corporations avoiding all income taxes on billions in profits sends a strong and corrosive signal to Americans: that the tax system is stacked against them, in favor of corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Sustainable corporate tax reform that focuses on eliminating tax loopholes and shoring up revenues could help allay these fears and can be a vital tool for addressing our nation's fiscal priorities and making critically needed public investments in our nation's future.
    [1] Steve Wamhoff and Richard Phillips, The Failure of Expensing and Other Depreciation Tax Breaks, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, November 19, 2018. https://itep.org/the-failure-of-expensing-and-other-depreciation-tax-breaks/
    [2] Citizens for Tax Justice, "Fortune 500 Corporations Used Stock Option Loophole to Avoid $64.6 Billion in Taxes Over the Past Five Years," June 9, 2016. https://www.ctj.org/fortune-500-corporations-used-stock-option-loophole-to-avoid-64-6-billion-in-taxes-over-the-past-five-years/
    [3] Citizens for Tax Justice, "Reform the Research Tax Credit — Or Let It Die," December 4, 2013. https://www.ctj.org/new-ctj-report-reform-the-research-tax-credit-or-let-it-die/

    8) Asylum Seekers Face New Restraints Under Latest Trump Orders
    By Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Caitlin Dickerson, April 29, 2019

    Customs and Border Protection agents with migrants hoping to apply for asylum at the border between Mexico and the United States.CreditCreditJose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday ordered new restrictions on asylum seekers at the Mexican border — including application fees and work permit restraints — and directed that cases in the already clogged immigration courts be settled within 180 days.
    In a memo sent to Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, and Attorney General William P. Barr, the president took another step to reshape asylum law, which is determined by Congress, from the White House.
    The restrictions do not take effect immediately. Mr. Trump gave administration officials 90 days to draw up regulations that would carry out his orders. They would be among the first significant changes to asylum policy since Mr. McAleenan replaced Kirstjen Nielsen as head of homeland security and the president signaled he would take a tougher stance on the asylum seekers swamping the border.

    The administration has already tried to restrict the number of migrants who can apply for asylum per day, who qualifies for asylum and where they must wait for a resolution — immigration policies that have been the subject of multiple federal court cases.

    Carrying out the president's orders will be an early test for Mr. McAleenan, who was named acting secretary this month.
    "The purpose of this memorandum is to strengthen asylum procedures to safeguard our system against rampant abuse of our asylum process," Mr. Trump said in the memo.
    The memo did not make clear how the plans would be carried out in immigration courts. More than 800,000 cases are pending, with an average wait time of almost two years. The Trump administration added to that backlog when it directed immigration authorities to reopen thousands of nonviolent removal cases.
    The memo specifically called for the authorities to set a fee for asylum seekers filing their claims and for their work permit applications.
    Migrants who have entered or tried to enter the United States illegally would also be barred from receiving a work permit until their claims are adjudicated.

    "There's a reason that we give people work permits while they are waiting for asylum, so that they can support themselves and don't have to be depending on government assistance during that time," said Michelle Brané, the director of migrant rights and justice at the Women's Refugee Commission.
    Fewer migrants try to cross the border now than in the early 2000s. But the demographics have shifted: Most are now families from Central America rather than single Mexicans who could be quickly deported. The sheer number of families has overwhelmed the system, and because of rules that prohibit holding children in detention for more than 20 days, some families are released into communities along the border.
    More than 103,000 migrants crossed the southwestern border in March without authorization, an increase from the more than 76,000 who crossed in February. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE, is currently housing more than 50,000 migrants, one of the highest numbers on record, and about 5,000 more than the congressionally mandated limit of 45,274.
    In 2016, the average daily population of immigrants in detention dipped to 34,376.
    After the memo's release on Monday night, Julián Castro, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former Obama administration housing secretary, called the orders "truly sickening."
    "Families are fleeing violence and turmoil to seek refuge at our borders and Donald Trump wants to charge them a fee to gain asylum," he said on Twitter.
    This month, the White House took action over the rising number of border crossings when Mr. Trump forced out Ms. Nielsen, who oversaw attempts to tighten the asylum process and the administration's family separations practice. The next day, the White House pushed out multiple other homeland security officials.
    Stephen Miller, the president's top immigration adviser, has assumed more power over shaping policies and decisions. He was behind the purge of homeland security officials and has advocated aggressive, legally dubious policies, including busing migrants to so-called sanctuary cities to retaliate against Democrats.

    At the current pace of about 100,000 migrants each month, officials estimate more than a million people will have tried to cross the border within a year.
    "The Coyotes and Drug Cartels are in total control of the Mexico side of the Southern Border," Mr. Trump tweeted Monday night. "They have labs nearby where they make drugs to sell into the U.S. Mexico, one of the most dangerous country's in the world, must eradicate this problem now. Also, stop the MARCH to U.S."
    Ms. Brané said the new restrictions would turn "asylum on its head."
    "The entire idea of asylum is that it's something that you need because you are fleeing some sort of violence or persecution," she said, "and to then say that it's only accessible to people who can pay a fee doesn't make sense."
    Speaking of the Trump administration's broader approach to asylum, Ms. Brané said, "All of it has been aimed at reducing the number of people who can access the system as opposed to reducing the need for asylum by addressing root causes."
    While most asylum seekers pass their initial interview with an asylum officer, only about 20 percent ultimately win the right to live and work in the United States. Applicants must show evidence of past persecution and establish a "well founded" fear that they would face danger if they returned home.
    As former commissioner for Customs and Border Protection, Mr. McAleenan helped carry out the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy to prosecute parents caught crossing the border illegally, which led to the family separations. But he has also emphasized the importance of aid to Central American countries — even though Mr. Trump cut State Department funding to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala this year.
    Mr. McAleenan, who is seen by many as someone who can appeal to both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, will have an opportunity to do so on Tuesday morning, when he is expected to testify in front of the House Appropriations Committee.

    Zolan Kanno-Youngs reported from Washington, and Caitlin Dickerson from New York. Jacey Fortin contributed reporting from New York.


    9) Trump Sues Deutsche Bank and Capital One to Block Compliance With Subpoenas
    By Maggie Haberman, William K. Rashbaum and David Enrich, April 29, 2019

    President Trump with his three oldest children, Eric, left, Ivanka and Donald Jr., in 2017. In a suit filed on Monday, the president and his family members argue that the Democrat-controlled House committee leaders who issued subpoenas engaged in a broad overreach.CreditCreditTimothy A. Clary/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    President Trump, his three eldest children and his private company filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against Deutsche Bank and Capital One, in a bid to prevent the banks from responding to congressional subpoenas.
    In the suit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, the president and his family members argue that the Democratic House committee leaders who issued the subpoenas engaged in a broad overreach.
    "This case involves congressional subpoenas that have no legitimate or lawful purpose," the suit alleges. "The subpoenas were issued to harass President Donald J. Trump, to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses and the private information of the president and his family, and to ferret about for any material that might be used to cause him political damage. No grounds exist to establish any purpose other than a political one."

    The House's Intelligence and Financial Services Committees issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank, a longtime lender to Mr. Trump's real estate company, and other financial institutions two weeks ago, seeking a long list of documents and other materials related to Deutsche Bank's history of lending and providing accounts to Mr. Trump and his family. People with knowledge of the investigation said it related to possible money laundering by people in Russia and Eastern Europe.

    [Read our investigation of Mr. Trump's history with Deutsche Bank.]
    Representative Maxine Waters of California, the chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, and Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, called the lawsuit "meritless" in a joint statement, and said it demonstrated "the depths to which President Trump will go to obstruct Congress's constitutional oversight authority."
    "As a private businessman, Trump routinely used his well-known litigiousness and the threat of lawsuits to intimidate others, but he will find that Congress will not be deterred from carrying out its constitutional responsibilities," they said. "This lawsuit is not designed to succeed; it is only designed to put off meaningful accountability as long as possible."
    The suit appears to be part of an increasingly aggressive counteroffensive by Mr. Trump's administration and his business empire to thwart attempts by House Democrats to investigate him and his presidency. In a statement, Marc Mukasey and Patrick Strawbridge, the lawyers who filed the suit, said, "Every citizen should be concerned about this sweeping, lawless invasion of privacy."
    In the suit, they argue that a lack of legislative purpose to the subpoenas makes them illegal.
    "'Oversight' and 'transparency,' in a vacuum, are not legitimate legislative purposes that can justify subpoenaing a private citizen," the suit says. "For more than a century, in fact, the Supreme Court has been quite 'sure' that neither the House nor Senate 'possesses the general power of making inquiry into the private affairs of the citizen.'"
    Kerrie McHugh, a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman, said, "We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations."

    Capital One representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    The suit provides a glimpse into some of the details that the congressional committees hoped to glean about Mr. Trump's finances, as well as their strategy to blur the lines between Mr. Trump as president and as private citizen.
    Among the entities that Congress members have sought documents from is Mazars USA, the president's longtime accounting firm. On April 22, Mr. Trump filed a suit to prevent Mazars from responding to a subpoena from Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
    But Deutsche Bank holds one of the biggest troves of documents.
    Starting in the late 1990s, it was the only mainstream financial institution willing to consistently do business with Mr. Trump. Other Wall Street banks shunned him after a series of defaults and bankruptcies saddled them with hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.
    Starting in 2011, the Trump relationship was handled by the private-banking division of Deutsche Bank, which caters to the ultrawealthy. That division dispensed more than $300 million of loans to Mr. Trump and his companies, making Deutsche Bank his largest creditor. The bank also was an important lender to Mr. Trump's son Donald Jr. and to the family of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
    According to the suit, officials from the president's company, the Trump Organization, tried but failed to get information about the subpoenas from congressional officials.
    They learned from Deutsche Bank that the request included financial information related to "parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, branches, divisions, partnerships, properties, groups, special purpose entities, joint ventures, predecessors, successors or any other entity in which they have or had a controlling interest," according to the suit.
    The bank had intended to begin responding on May 6, the suit says.

    Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting.


    10) John Singleton Did Justice to a Poetic Vision of African-American Life
    By A.O. Scott, April 30, 2019

    Maya Angelou with John Singleton in 1993, the year "Poetic Justice" was released.CreditCreditColumbia Pictures, via Everett Collection

    "Boyz N the Hood" rests in American movie history like a boulder in a riverbed, altering the direction of the stream. After its release in the summer of 1991, everything looked different, including its precursors. "Mean Streets," "Rebel Without a Cause," the Blaxploitation spectacles of the 1970s, the socially conscious crime dramas of the 1930s, classic westerns and samurai epics — somehow John Singleton, a very recent graduate of the University of Southern California film school, synthesized all of those models even as he came up with something bracingly, thrillingly and frighteningly new.
    "Boyz" made him the youngest person — and the first African-American — nominated for a best directing Academy Award. In the annals of cinema, there aren't many first features to match it for ambition and impact ("Citizen Kane"? "Breathless"?), and its influence on what came after is hard to overstate. Singleton, who died Monday at 51, filled his characters' lives with warmth and humor even as they were constantly menaced, and often destroyed, by violence. He infused familiar coming-of-age and gangster-movie tropes with a rare authenticity. This wasn't just a matter of his intimate knowledge of the setting known then as South-Central Los Angeles, but also of his brave, even brazen confidence in himself and his audience.
    [Read the John Singleton obituary and a recent interview with him. | See where to stream his best films.]

    A blazing debut can be a hard act to follow, and Singleton's second film, "Poetic Justice" (1993), didn't enjoy the same success, at least with critics, as its predecessor. But when I heard the news of Singleton's passing, "Poetic Justice" was the movie I found myself thinking about. Partly because its earnest sentiments — its open-heartedness about creativity, love and loss — seemed most apt for mourning an artist who left too soon. Grief, after all, has been part of the film's legacy since its male star, Tupac Shakur, was murdered in 1996. And there may be no purer dose of early-'90s nostalgia than watching Shakur and Janet Jackson travel the romantic-comedy arc, their progress from conflict to harmony punctuated by the poems of Maya Angelou and breathtaking vistas of the California countryside.
    From left, Tupac Shakur, Regina King, Joe Torry and Janet Jackson in "Poetic Justice."CreditColumbia Pictures

    "Poetic Justice" is, in its way, as influential as "Boyz N the Hood" and as political as "Higher Learning" and "Rosewood," Singleton's subsequent confrontations with past and present-day manifestations of American racism. "Poetic Justice" begins with a sly and pointed critique of Hollywood representation. A note tells us we're in South-Central, but the images are of high-rise, well-heeled Manhattan, where a white couple, played by Billy Zane and Lori Petty, are drinking wine in a penthouse.

    The joke is that this is a movie-within-the-movie showing at a Los Angeles drive-in. (The marquee tells us that it's called "Deadly Diva" and has an NC-17 rating.) The patrons, including Jackson's Justice and her boyfriend (Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest), don't look like the people onscreen, but they've bought tickets anyway, as generations of black and Latinx moviegoers have before them. With a few exceptions, it's always been that way.
    "Poetic Justice" sets out to change that situation, by every means available. The stylized, consequence-free gunplay of "Deadly Diva" is soon drowned out by a shooting that pulls what seemed like an '80s-vintage teen comedy into the brutal world of "Boyz N the Hood." Within a few minutes, before the opening titles have even scrolled, we've swerved from satire to sex farce to tragedy, and Singleton is only getting started.
    Eventually, Justice and Lucky (Shakur's character) will set off for Oakland in a Postal Service truck with their friends Iesha (Regina King) and Chicago (Joe Torry), and "Poetic Justice" will turn into a road movie. Before their departure, Singleton lingers over the funny and painful details of their lives at home and at work, sketching a portrait of working-class black life that looks back to the radical neo-realism of the L.A. Rebellion and forward to the businesslike striving of the "Barbershop" franchise. The casting of two stars of popular music as a hairdresser (Jackson) and a mailman (Shakur) doesn't so much glamorize the characters as affirm the realness that the performers had already established as the cornerstone of their appeal.
    Singleton, center, and Shakur, right.CreditColumbia Pictures/, via Everett Collection

    Between Los Angeles and the Bay Area, the four travelers journey through a kind of utopian space. Not that everything is harmonious among them. Iesha and Chicago have some issues, and Lucky and Justice are barely on speaking terms. Harsh words are exchanged, followed by a few slaps and punches. But the movie's close attention to this interpersonal friction might cause you to notice what isn't in the picture. There are no police on the highway and almost no white people (except for a belligerent truck driver at a gas station). Justice and company crash a family reunion, where Maya Angelou herself dispenses wisdom and passes judgment on her temporary nieces and nephews. They stop at a cultural festival where revolutionary poets and drummers hold the stage.
    This dream evaporates in Oakland, where a shooting has claimed the life of Lucky's cousin and rap partner. The point of the film's long, languorous middle was never to imagine an escape from violence and racism, but to show some of the richness and variety of life in their shadows, to free the characters from the obligation to behave like symbols or avatars of social problems.
    Watching "Poetic Justice" now, I was put in mind of Barry Jenkins's recent "If Beale Street Could Talk," and not only because Regina King is (splendidly) in both films. Their visual and storytelling styles are very different, but Jenkins and Singleton are directors whose primary motivation is their unstinting love for the people they conjure into being.
    They push aside the noise of plot to capture the quiet intensity of ordinary moments and the poetry of everyday experience. They notice beauty everywhere. "Beale Street" and "Poetic Justice" are stories of black artists falling in love in a world that tends to devalue both their creativity and their feelings, and each movie simultaneously illuminates those struggles and shares in them, in a spirit that is sorrowful but never grim or despairing.
    My point isn't to establish a lineage, but to identify a common spirit, and to measure the shape and size of the doorway that Singleton made, an opening wide enough for so many others to walk through.


    11) U.N. Issues Urgent Warning on the Growing Peril of Drug-Resistant Infections
    A new report says the overuse of antimicrobial drugs in humans, animals and plants is fueling resistant pathogens that could kill 10 million people annually by 2050.
    By Andrew Jacobs, April 29, 2019

    Women wash clothes just outside a river polluted with sewage and waste in the Kibera neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya. The rate of drug-resistant infections in the community is high.CreditCreditAndrew Renneisen for The New York Times

    With more and more common medications losing their ability to fight dangerous infections, and few new drugs in the pipeline, the world is facing an imminent crisis that could lead to millions of deaths, a surge in global poverty and an even wider gap between rich and poor countries, the United Nations warned in a report on Monday.
    Drug-resistant infections already claim 700,000 lives a year, including 230,000 deaths from drug-resistant tuberculosis, the report said. The rampant overuse of antibiotics and antifungal medicines in humans, livestock and agriculture is accelerating a crisis that is poorly understood by the public and largely ignored by world leaders. Without concerted action, a United Nations panel said, resistant infections could kill 10 million people annually by 2050 and trigger an economic slowdown to rival the global financial crisis of 2008.
    The problem threatens people around the world. During the next 30 years, the United Nations experts said, 2.4 million people in Europe, North America and Australia could die from drug-resistant infections, making routine hospital procedures like knee-replacement surgery and child birth far riskier than they are today.

    "This is a silent tsunami," said Dr. Haileyesus Getahun, director of the U.N. Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, which spent two years working on the report. "We are not seeing the political momentum we've seen in other public health emergencies, but if we don't act now, antimicrobial resistance will have a disastrous impact within a generation."

    The group, a collaboration of public health experts, government ministers and industry officials, called for the creation of an independent body with the stature and funding of the United Nations' panel on climate change.

    The report's dire predictions seek to raise public awareness and shake political leaders into action. It proposes a series of measures that health officials say could help stem the rise of drug-resistant pathogens. The recommendations include a worldwide ban on the use of medically important antibiotics for promoting growth in farm animals; financial incentives for drug companies to develop new antimicrobial compounds; and more stringent rules to limit the sale of antibiotics in countries where drugs can often be bought at convenience stores without a prescription.
    [Read our series Deadly Germs, Lost Cures.]
    The report also highlights underappreciated factors in the spread of drug-resistant germs: the lack of clean water and inadequate sewage systems that sicken millions of people in the developing world. Many of them are too poor to see a doctor and instead buy cheap antibiotics from street vendors with little medical expertise. Sometimes they unknowingly purchase counterfeit drugs, a problem that leads to millions of deaths, most of them in Africa.
    To reduce outbreaks of infectious disease, the report says, wealthier nations should help poor countries pay for improvements to public hygiene, and ensure greater access to vaccines and properly manufactured antibiotics.

    Health officials are struggling to understand the scope of the problem because many countries are ill-equipped to monitor drug-resistant infections. In a survey the United Nations conducted for the report, 39 of 146 nations were unable to provide data on the use of antimicrobials in animals, which experts say is a major driver of resistance in humans as resistant bacteria get transferred to people through contaminated food and water.
    "We are flying pretty blind and working hard to get some clear vision," said Sally Davies, the chief medical officer of England and a leader of the United Nations panel.
    As a first step, the report calls on member states of the United Nations to create national stewardship plans to reduce the unnecessary use of antimicrobials.
    A key element of the report is a call for new incentives to encourage the development of antimicrobial medicines. Between 2010 and 2014, six new antimicrobial drugs were approved, most of them additions to existing drug classes, according to the World Health Organization. By contrast, 19 new antimicrobial drugs were approved between 1980 and 1984.
    The dearth of new drugs is tied to the perverse economics of antimicrobial resistance and the free market. It can cost a half-billion dollars to develop a new compound, but doctors are discouraged from using the drugs to reduce the possibility that the targeted pathogens will become resistant. Even when doctors prescribe the drugs, most patients take them for a week or two, limiting a drug company's ability to earn back its initial investment. 
    "Everyone agrees that there is an absolute need for new antibiotics but there is no sustainable market," said Thomas Cueni, director general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations.
    Incentives to develop new drugs could include generous government financing for research, or regulatory changes that would increase reimbursements for newly approved antibiotics considered medically important. According to the World Bank, such investments would quickly pay for themselves; it notes that containing antimicrobial resistance costs $9 billion annually.

    "I applaud the U.N. for at least putting incentives on the map, but there needs to be more than talk," said Mr. Cueni, who also chairs the AMR Industry Alliance, a trade group working to address the problem of antimicrobial resistance. "What's needed is money."
    Still, many public health advocates said the report was an important step in elevating a crisis that has failed to garner the attention of other global problems like climate change and AIDS. 
    Lance Price, director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at George Washington University, said he worried the report might not gain much traction with the Trump administration, which has been averse to multilateral cooperation.
    Fear, he said, was the key to changing the status quo.
    "Even if you don't care about the suffering of people who drink unclean water and get resistant infections, you still have to recognize that these bacteria don't recognize international borders," he said. "They will come here, and they will kill us. We have to let people know that the problem is closer than they think."
    Andrew Jacobs is a reporter with the Health and Science Desk, based in New York. He previously reported from Beijing and Brazil and had stints as a Metro reporter, Styles writer and National correspondent, covering the American South. @AndrewJacobsNYT






    Have you tried the highest rated email app?
    With 4.5 stars in iTunes, the Yahoo Mail app is the highest rated email app on the market. What are you waiting for? Now you can access all your inboxes (Gmail, Outlook, AOL and more) in one place. Never delete an email again with 1000GB of free cloud storage.

    Yahoo! Groups
    • Privacy • Unsubscribe • Terms of Use 



    Posted by: bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

    Reply via web post Reply to sender Reply to group Start a New Topic Messages in this topic (1)

    Have you tried the highest rated email app?
    With 4.5 stars in iTunes, the Yahoo Mail app is the highest rated email app on the market. What are you waiting for? Now you can access all your inboxes (Gmail, Outlook, AOL and more) in one place. Never delete an email again with 1000GB of free cloud storage.