Close the Camps!

Tuesday, July 2, Noon

Senator Feinstein's Office
1 Post Street at Post, Market and Montgomery
San Francisco, CA 94104

There will be nationwide protests on Tuesday, July 2 demanding the closure of the inhumane immigrant detention centers subjecting children and families to horrific conditions.
  1. Close the Camps
  2. Not One Dollar for Family Detention
 and Deportation
  3. Bear Witness and Reunite Families
Sign up:

Close the Camps. A rally to make heard our protest about the inhumanity and perpetrations upon immigrants at the border. We need to register our horror and outrage for the world to hear. 

Bring signs, music if the spirit moves you, and your best chant voice.

Hosts: Grace H. Lawrence A.



Stop ICE Raids! Stop Detentions!

Friday, July 5, 4:30pm

San Francisco Federal Building

7th Street (at Mission), San Francisco

On June 17, President Trump announced raids to deport thousands of immigrants from cities across the country, including San Francisco. Although the sweeps, to have begun June 23, were postponed, immigrants, their supporters, and working people in general need to demand an end to all ICE raids and detentions.
The profit-driven policies of both Democratic and Republican politicians over the years have driven the economic, political, and environmental devastation that forces migrants and refugees to cross the U.S. border for survival. It's time to reignite the movement to defend immigrants and hold the federal government accountable. They cannot be trusted to do the right thing, so it is up to us to take action. 
Join with other community members, advocates and activists to demand that Senators Harris and Feinstein, and Representatives Pelosi, Speier and others withhold all funding for deportation raids, shut down ICE, close detention centers, and reunite families.  

Click here to see the current Freedom Socialist. To subscribe to the FS by postal mail, email, or audio CD, visit here or send $10 for one year or $17 for two to Freedom Socialist, 5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118. (Students $8 for one year, strikers and unemployed $5.)

Please contribute to sustain our work. You can donate to the Freedom Socialist Party now via PayPal

To see the booklist at Red Letter Press or to find out more about the Freedom Socialist Party, go to www.socialism.com, or reply to this message. We would love to hear from you!

Our mailing address is:
Freedom Socialist Party
747 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Add us to your address book

Telephone: 415-864-1278



End Human Detention Camps Lights for Liberty Worldwide Vigil Protesting U.S. Concentration Camps
Friday, July 12, 2019

Lights for Liberty will organize five main events in El Paso, Texas; Homestead, Florida; San Diego, California; New York City and Washington, D.C.
Look for groups holding protests in your city on that day!

In San Francisco:

Friday, July 12, 2019 at 7 PM – 10 PM
Powell St. Cable Car Turnaround

Photo of migrants detained under the Paso del Norte International Bridge on March 27, 2019.   pin
Photo of migrants detained under the Paso del Norte International Bridge, March 27, 2019.



Political Prisoners and Assange: Carole Seligman At S.F. Assange Rally
As part of an international action to free Julian Assange, a rally was held on June 12, 2019 at the US Federal Building in San Francisco and Carole Seligman was one of the speakers. She also speaks about imperialist wars and  the cases of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Fumiaki Hoshino.
For more info:
Production of Labor Video Project



Act Now to Save Mumia's Eyesight and to 

Demand His Release!

Tell them to approve Mumia's cataract surgery immediately!

Tell them to release Mumia Abu-Jamal NOW because he can receive better healthcare outside of prison and also because he is an innocent man!
Mumia Abu-Jamal

To: Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, SCI Mahanoy Superintendent Theresa A. Delbalso, Dr. Courtney P. Rodgers

Mumia's vision has rapidly deteriorated. It has been confirmed that Mumia currently suffers conditions that seriously threaten his eyesight. These include glaucoma, a vitreous detachment and cataracts in both eyes. This threat seriously jeopardizes his life and well-being, as well as his journalistic profession.

An outside eye doctor is recommending surgical procedures to remove the cataracts on both eyes, but SCI-Mahanoy Doctor Courtney Rodgers is delaying scheduling the needed examinations and surgeries with Mumia's outside ophthalmologist. Rodgers works for Correct Care Solutions, a notorious for-profit prison and immigration detention medical company that, according to the Project on Government Oversight, has been sued at least 1,395 times with complaints alleging a range of charges, including wrongful death, malpractice and inadequate healthcare.

Meanwhile Mumia faces increasing nerve damage to his eyes. He is unable to read or do other things requiring normal vision. This delay echoes the years of delays Mumia experienced getting treatment for hepatitis C. By the time the DOC was finally forced by Federal Court to treat Mumia with the Hep C cure, it was too late to prevent cirrhosis of the liver.

African Americans are 1.5 times more likely to develop cataracts than the general population and five times more likely to develop related blindness.

Not only is his overall health deteriorating as he is threatened by permanent blindness, his failure now to receive the immediate attention he requires is cruel and unusual punishment, especially as an innocent man who has been unjustly incarcerated for almost four decades.
Furthermore, considering his multiple ailments and the threat of blindness, we demand that Pennsylvania officials allow a real and humane "compassionate release" now, not the "fake compassionate release" of transfers from prison to care facilities that Pennsylvania will only grant when a prisoner is within a year of dying. Mumia's family, friends and supporters are ready now to provide the healthcare Mumia requires if he were home.

Mumia is not alone in enduring these cruel and unusual assaults on the health of those ageing and ill behind prison walls. According to Bureau of Justice statistics, over 130,000 of U.S. prisoners are elderly, a 400 percent increase between 1993 and 2013. Mumia himself has noted the significant number of those confined at his own prison who suffer similar life-threatening illnesses that require immediate attention. Across the nation elderly prisoners experience a torturous journey toward the end of their lives without any "compassionate release." Once again, as we fight for Mumia's right to treatment and for his release, we fight for the freedom of all the imprisoned from mass incarceration's cruel and unusual conditions.

Mumia should be released now not only because he can receive better healthcare outside of prison but also because he is an innocent man!

Take Action:

1.    Sign the petition
2.    Call: Dr. Courtney P Rodgers – (570) 773-7851 and SCI Mahanoy Superintendent Theresa A. Delbalso - (570) 773-2158

3.    Call: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf – (717) 787-2500; PA DOC Secretary John Wetzel – (717) 728-2573; Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner – (215) 686-8000

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


50 years in prison: 

FREE Chip Fitzgerald 
Grandfather, Father, Elder, Friend
former Black Panther 
Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald has been in prison since he was locked up 50 years ago. A former member of the Black Panther Party, Chip is now 70 years old, and suffering the consequences of a serious stroke. He depends on a wheelchair for his mobility. He has appeared before the parole board 17 times, but they refuse to release him.

NOW is the time for Chip to come home!

In September 1969, Chip and two other Panthers were stopped by a highway patrolman. During the traffic stop, a shooting broke out, leaving Chip and a police officer both wounded. Chip was arrested a month later and charged with attempted murder of the police and an unrelated murder of a security guard. Though the evidence against him was weak and Chip denied any involvement, he was convicted and sentenced to death.

In 1972, the California Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty. Chip and others on Death Row had their sentences commuted to Life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. All of them became eligible for parole after serving 7 more years. But Chip was rejected for parole, as he has been ever since. 

Parole for Lifers basically stopped under Governors Deukmajian, Wilson, and Davis (1983-2003), resulting in increasing numbers of people in prison and 23 new prisons. People in prison filed lawsuits in federal courts: people were dying as a result of the overcrowding. To rapidly reduce the number of people in prison, the court mandated new parole hearings:
·        for anyone 60 years or older who had served 25 years or more;
·        for anyone convicted before they were 23 years old;
·        for anyone with disabilities 

Chip qualified for a new parole hearing by meeting all three criteria.

But the California Board of Parole Hearings has used other methods to keep Chip locked up. Although the courts ordered that prison rule infractions should not be used in parole considerations, Chip has been denied parole because he had a cellphone.

Throughout his 50 years in prison, Chip has been denied his right to due process – a new parole hearing as ordered by Federal courts. He is now 70, and addressing the challenges of a stroke victim. His recent rules violation of cellphone possession were non-violent and posed no threat to anyone. He has never been found likely to commit any crimes if released to the community – a community of his children, grandchildren, friends and colleagues who are ready to support him and welcome him home.

The California Board of Parole Hearings is holding Chip hostage.

We call on Governor Newsom to release Chip immediately.

What YOU can do to support this campaign to FREE CHIP:

1)   Sign and circulate the petition to FREE Chip. Download it at https://www.change.org/p/california-free-chip-fitzgerald
Print out the petition and get signatures at your workplace, community meeting, or next social gathering.

2)   Write an email to Governor Newsom's office (sample message at:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iwbP_eQEg2J1T2h-tLKE-Dn2ZfpuLx9MuNv2z605DMc/edit?usp=sharing

3)   Write to Chip: Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald #B27527,
P.O. Box 4490
Lancaster, CA 93539

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/

Free Chip Fitzgerald

We the residents of California are calling for the release of Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald, a former member of the Black Panther Party who has served 50 years in the California State prison system. He was first eligible for parole in 1976 and has served more than three times the average sentence ...
Free Chip Fitzgerald. 215 likes. Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald was born and raised in Compton, California. In early 1969, he joined the Southern California...
by Ann Garrison. On April 26, former Black Panther Herman Bell was released from prison in New York State after 45 years. That leaves at least 10 surviving members of the Black Panther Party behind bars, including Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald, who is currently held at the California State Prison-Los Angeles.
Not an average day for us at KAOS NETWORK, today was a petition signing for the well known Late black panther ROMAINE " CHIP " FITZGERALD ...

Free Romaine "Chip" FitzgeraldPolitischer Gefangener in Kalifornien, USA



Support Chuck Africa for Parole

Michael Africa Jr. started this petition to Pennsylvania Governor

Charles Sims Africa #AM 4975 has been in prison since age 18. He is now 59 years old and a recovering cancer patient. He has been eligible for parole since 2008 but continually denied because of  his political views.
Charles has 8 codefendants. Two has died in prison, four has been released from prison onto parole. Chuck's sister Debbie Sims Africa is one of the four codefendants released onto parole.
Since coming home from prison, Debbie is thriving. Our community of support has supported Debbie to excel and we are committed to do the same for Chuck so that he can excel as well. 



Kim Kardashian visits inmate on death row at San Quentin State Prison

By Lee Brown, May 31, 2019
Kim Kardashian at San Quentin State Prison

Kim Kardashian's social justice crusade has taken her to death row.
The reality TV star spent two hours inside a cell in California's San Quentin State Prison, one of the most notorious jails in the US, as part of her latest crusade to free convicted murderer Kevin Cooper, sources confirmed.
"They met for two hours in a cell in the visitors' area of death row — a proper cell with bars," a source said.
The 38-year-old "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star was pictured wearing an all-black jumpsuit as she entered the prison.
"Kim decided to pay a visit so she could have her first face-to-face with the guy she's trying to free," TMZ said.
She left "more convinced than ever he was framed," the site insisted.
The 61-year-old death row inmate was convicted in 1985 of four murders — including two 10-year-old children — but has maintained his innocence.
Kevin CooperCourtesy Photo
Kardashian — who is studying to be a lawyer to help her social justice mission — publicly announced her involvement in Cooper's case last year.
"Governor Brown, can you please test the DNA of Kevin Cooper?" Kardashian tweeted then-California Gov. Jerry Brown last June.
Cooper's advocates have argued that DNA found on a T-shirt that Cooper says he never wore should be retested.
The current governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has ordered that DNA testing, with results yet to be announced, according to TMZ.
Newsom is also a death penalty opponent and has decided to suspend all executions while he is in office.
Earlier this month, it emerged that Kardashian had quietly bankrolled a successful campaign to free 17 federal inmates serving life sentences for low-level drug crimes over the past three months.
Write to:
Kevin Cooper #C-65304 4-EB-82           
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, CA 94974



On Abortion: From Facebook

Best explanation I've heard so far..., Copied from a friend who copied from a friend who copied..., "Last night, I was in a debate about these new abortion laws being passed in red states. My son stepped in with this comment which was a show stopper. One of the best explanations I have read:, , 'Reasonable people can disagree about when a zygote becomes a "human life" - that's a philosophical question. However, regardless of whether or not one believes a fetus is ethically equivalent to an adult, it doesn't obligate a mother to sacrifice her body autonomy for another, innocent or not., , Body autonomy is a critical component of the right to privacy protected by the Constitution, as decided in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), McFall v. Shimp (1978), and of course Roe v. Wade (1973). Consider a scenario where you are a perfect bone marrow match for a child with severe aplastic anemia; no other person on earth is a close enough match to save the child's life, and the child will certainly die without a bone marrow transplant from you. If you decided that you did not want to donate your marrow to save the child, for whatever reason, the state cannot demand the use of any part of your body for something to which you do not consent. It doesn't matter if the procedure required to complete the donation is trivial, or if the rationale for refusing is flimsy and arbitrary, or if the procedure is the only hope the child has to survive, or if the child is a genius or a saint or anything else - the decision to donate must be voluntary to be constitutional. This right is even extended to a person's body after they die; if they did not voluntarily commit to donate their organs while alive, their organs cannot be harvested after death, regardless of how useless those organs are to the deceased or how many lives they would save., , That's the law., , Use of a woman's uterus to save a life is no different from use of her bone marrow to save a life - it must be offered voluntarily. By all means, profess your belief that providing one's uterus to save the child is morally just, and refusing is morally wrong. That is a defensible philosophical position, regardless of who agrees and who disagrees. But legally, it must be the woman's choice to carry out the pregnancy., , She may choose to carry the baby to term. She may choose not to. Either decision could be made for all the right reasons, all the wrong reasons, or anything in between. But it must be her choice, and protecting the right of body autonomy means the law is on her side. Supporting that precedent is what being pro-choice means.", , Feel free to copy/paste and re-post., y
Sent from my iPhone



24 June 2019 ASA 35/0587/2019
Responding to the killings of four Filipino activists over a three-day period, Amnesty International calls on the
Philippine authorities to cease from 'red-tagging' legitimate organizations, or branding them as "communist fronts"which, according to these organizations, have led to increased harassment and attacks by unknown individuals against them. Peaceful activists should not be targeted based on their political views. The authorities must also carry out a prompt, thorough, impartial and effective investigation into the killings, and bring to justice those suspected to
be responsible for the killings. They must take proactive steps to ensure, protect, and promote the human rights of human rights defenders and activists in the country, and guarantee the right to an effective remedy and access to justice to victims and their families.
Local human rights group Karapatan said that two of its staff, 22-year-old Ryan Hubilla and 69-year-old Nelly Bagasala, were gunned down by unidentified persons in Sorsogon City, Sorsogon, on 15 June. The following day, 16 June, farmer-activist Nonoy Palma was shot dead outside his house in San Fernando, Bukidnon, by unknown persons riding a motorcycle. On 17 June, former activist Neptali Morada was driving his motorcycle to the provincial capitol
when he was gunned down by an unknown man in Naga City, Camarines Sur.
Hubilla, Bagasala, Palma and Morada all belonged to 'leftist organizationsthat have been 'red-tagged', or named by the government as "legal fronts" for the Communist Party of the Philippines. In a speech in January 2018, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would "go after the legal fronts," referring to groups with alleged ties to the
communist movement, and reiterated his order to the military to "destroy the [communist] apparatus.Many of these groups say that in the wake of such provocative allegations, they have faced increased attacks by unknown individuals, including killings. Out of concern for the safety of their staff, Karapatan and several other groups have filed a court petition seeking information and protection; in fact, Hubilla had been planning to participate as a witness in hearings relating to this petition. Further evidencing the threats being faced by human rights defenders and activists, a group of UN human rights experts issued a statement on 7 June asking the UN to "establish an
independent investigation into human rights violations in the Philippines ... including sustained attacks on people and institutions defending human rights."
Amnesty International calls on the Philippine authorities to fulfil their international obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights of human rights defenders and activists, including their rights to life, freedom of
expression, and freedom of peaceful assembly. All these rights are guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which the Philippines is a state party. In particular, Amnesty International calls on the Philippine government to conduct prompt, thorough, impartial and effective investigations into the killings of human rights defenders and activists in the country. Philippine authorities should also publicly instruct their officials to end the harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders and activists simply for carrying out human rights work. The authorities should encourage rather than disparage the work of human rights defenders and activists which, in some cases, puts these defenders' lives in danger.
As the human rights situation in the Philippines continues to deteriorate, Amnesty International has called on member states of the UN Human Rights Council to open an independent investigation into human rights violations in the context of the "war on drugs,". This investigation should examine, among other issues, attacks on human rights defenders and activists.
According to the human rights group Karapatan, Ryan Hubilla and Nelly Bagasala had been assisting political prisoners, three of whom were released the day before Hubilla and Bagasala were killed, and had been subjected tosurveillance because of their work. Farmers' group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas said that Nonoy Palma was a member of its local chapter. Neptali Morada was a regional coordinator of the group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
Amnesty International Public Statement 1

(Bayan) until 2000 and was working as a staff of a former local politician when he was killed; Bayan, however, said that Morada continued to experience surveillance and harassment even after he left the group.
According to media reports, Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde has said that he has ordered an investigation into the killings. The reports say that Albayalde has told Karapatan, however, that it has to prove that
both Hubilla and Bagasala are indeed staff of the organization, adding that Karapatan may just be "taking advantage"of the situation by putting the blame on state forces.



Celebrating the release of Janet and Janine Africa
Take action now to support Jalil A. Muntaqim's release

Jalil A. Muntaqim was a member of the Black Panther Party and has been a political prisoner for 48 years since he was arrested at the age of 19 in 1971. He has been denied parole 11 times since he was first eligible in 2002, and is now scheduled for his 12th parole hearing. Additionally, Jalil has filed to have his sentence commuted to time served by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Visit Jalil's support page, check out his writing and poetry, and Join Critical Resistance in supporting a vibrant intergenerational movement of freedom fighters in demanding his release.

48 years is enough. Write, email, call, and tweet at Governor Cuomo in support of Jalil's commutation and sign this petition demanding his release.

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of the State of New York
Executive Chamber State Capital Building
Albany, New York 12224

Michelle Alexander – Author, The New Jim Crow
Ed Asner - Actor and Activist
Charles Barron - New York Assemblyman, 60th District
Inez Barron - Counci member, 42nd District, New York City Council
Rosa Clemente - Scholar Activist and 2008 Green Party Vice-Presidential candidate
Patrisse Cullors – Co-Founder Black Lives Matter, Author, Activist
Elena Cohen - President, National Lawyers Guild
"Davey D" Cook - KPFA Hard Knock Radio
Angela Davis - Professor Emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz - Native American historian, writer and feminist
Mike Farrell - Actor and activist
Danny Glover – Actor and activist
Linda Gordon - New York University
Marc Lamont Hill - Temple University
Jamal Joseph - Columbia University
Robin D.G. Kelley - University of California, Los Angeles
Tom Morello - Rage Against the Machine
Imani Perry - Princeton University
Barbara Ransby - University of Illinois, Chicago
Boots Riley - Musician, Filmmaker
Walter Riley - Civil rights attorney
Dylan Rodriguez - University of California, Riverside, President American Studies Association
Maggie Siff, Actor
Heather Ann Thompson - University of Michigan
Cornel West - Harvard University
Institutional affiliations listed for identification purposes only
Call: 1-518-474-8390

Email Gov. Cuomo with this form

Tweet at @NYGovCuomo
Any advocacy or communications to Gov. Cuomo must refer to Jalil as:
Sullivan Correctional Facility,
P.O. Box 116,
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116



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



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. 

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[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.*** 



Courage to Resist
daniel hale drone activist
Drone vet turned activist facing 50 years for whistle-blowing
Daniel Hale, an Air Force veteran and former US intelligence analyst was arrested May 9th and charged with violating the Espionage Act. Daniel is a well-known anti-drone activist who has spoken out a number of anti-war events and conferences. He's a member of About Face: Veterans Against the War, and he's featured in the documentary "National Bird." For years, Daniel has expressed concern that he'd be targeted by the government.  Learn more.
Hal Muskat
Podcast: "There were US anti-war soldiers all over the world" - Hal Muskat
"I told my command officer that I wasn't going to, I was refusing my orders [to Vietnam] … In his rage, he thought if he court-martialed me, he'd have to stay in the Army past his discharge date." While stationed in Europe, Hal Muskat refused orders to Vietnam and joined the GI Movement, resulting in two court martials. This Courage to Resist podcast was produced in collaboration with the Vietnam Full Disclosure effort of Veterans For Peace. Listen to Hal Muskat's story.

Chelsea Manning returned to jail after brief release; Faces half million dollar fine in addition to another 18 months prison
chelsea manning resists
Since our last newsletter less than two weeks ago, Chelsea Manning was freed from jail when the grand jury investigating Julian Assange and WikiLeaks expired. However, a few days later, she was sent back to jail for refusing to collaborate with a new grand jury on the same subject. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga ordered Chelsea fined $500 every day she is in custody after 30 days and $1,000 every day she is in custody after 60 days -- a possible total of $502,000. Statement from Chelsea's lawyers.
Stand with Reality Winner, rally in DC
chelsea manning resists
June 3, 2019 at 7pm (Monday)
Lafayette Square, Washington DC 
Please join friends and supporters as we raise awareness of the persecution of this young veteran and brave truth teller. This marks two years of imprisonment of Reality for helping to expose hacking attempts on US election systems leading up to the 2016 presidential election. For more info, visit the "Stand with Reality" pages on Twitter or FacebookOrder "Stand with Reality" shirts, banners, and buttons from Left Together protest shirts.

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


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/



Words of Wisdom

Louis Robinson Jr., 77
Recording secretary for Local 1714 of the United Auto Workers from 1999 to 2018, with the minutes from a meeting of his union's retirees' chapter.

"One mistake the international unions in the United States made was when Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. When he did that, the unions could have brought this country to a standstill. All they had to do was shut down the truck drivers for a month, because then people would not have been able to get the goods they needed. So that was one of the mistakes they made. They didn't come together as organized labor and say: "No. We aren't going for this. Shut the country down." That's what made them weak. They let Reagan get away with what he did. A little while after that, I read an article that said labor is losing its clout, and I noticed over the years that it did. It happened. It doesn't feel good."

[On the occasion of the shut-down of the Lordstown, Ohio GM plant March 6, 2019.]



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.

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.

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

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



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.

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.

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

Major Tillery Needs Your Help:

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.

    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) Utah Family Sues After Son With Diabetes Is Kept From School
    By Christine Hauser, June 29, 2019
    A child pricking his finger with a glucometer before a morning snack. An estimated 167,000 Americans under 20 have Type 1 diabetes.CreditCreditAlexandra Daley-Clark for The New York Times

    The 8-year-old son of Caly and Wade Watkins is an active and happy Utah boy, they say. He fishes in a pond, sometimes landing a catfish, which he throws back. He rides his dirt bike for miles. He pores over his schoolwork, which in second grade included mastering multiplication tables.
    But at least four times a day, the Watkinses's son, who has Type 1 diabetes, needs to test his blood sugar and take injections of insulin, including while in school. Last year, a disagreement over how his medical plan should be administered led the Jordan School District to bar the boy from attending classes, according to a lawsuit filed this month in Federal District Court.

    So during the 2018-19 school year, the boy did his class work on the dining room table at the family home instead of attending Butterfield Canyon Elementary School with his friends in Herriman, a city of about 26,000 people in southwestern Salt Lake County. But Ms. Watkins said he kept his school bag and medical kit ready, just in case.
    "He would cry and get angry," she said. "He loves school. He is very good at math; he is working on reading; he loves his friends."
    In the lawsuit, filed on June 13, Ms. Watkins alleges that the school district's decision violates the boy's rights under state and federal laws that require public schools to accommodate the medical needs of students, and that prohibit discrimination based on a disability.
    The district has allegedly denied him "his right to attend school with his non-diabetic peers for an entire school year," it says.
    The boy, referred to as K.W. in the lawsuit, is one of about 167,000 Americans under 20 who have Type 1 diabetes, according to 2009 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    At least 34 states and the District of Columbia have trained teachers, administrators and coaches in schools who are permitted to give routine insulin and emergency glucagon, according to the American Diabetes Association. School employees also follow individual plans written for a diabetic student by a doctor or a nurse.
    But the Watkins family's struggles with school officials in managing K.W.'s diabetes are not unusual. The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights received 38 complaints regarding how school districts handled diabetes-related cases in the United States in the 2019 fiscal year, an agency spokesman said. There were 55 the year before.

    Some students have encountered difficulties receiving care at schools, such as insulin shots or blood sugar monitoring. Children have been barred from attending their zoned schools or have been transferred after diagnosis to schools with nurses, previous reporting by The Times has found.
    "He's a normal boy who needs to stop and test his blood sugar and inject insulin so he can continue to do what he loves!" Ms. Watkins said.
    The Salt Lake Tribune wrote about the family in an article on Wednesday.
    Under Utah law, a public school is required to allow a student to self-administer diabetes medication with permission from the child's parents and doctors. Nurses or trained school staff members can administer the medication if they follow the child's preauthorized health plan.
    It also allows students to carry the medicine and to administer it to themselves.
    But Jordan School District policy allows medication delivered by syringe only if it has been prefilled by the drug manufacturer or by a registered pharmacist. This was a factor in the disagreement between the district and the Watkins family, who wanted to be responsible for filling the syringes themselves.
    The school district and Joan M. Andrews, a lawyer for the district, referred questions about the case to the Utah attorney general's office, which declined to comment on Friday. An email that Ms. Andrews wrote in December to the Watkinses' lawyer, attached to the lawsuit as evidence, showed that the district had made attempts to resolve the issue.
    The complications arose after the 2016-17 school year, when the boy was in kindergarten and his 10-year-old sister would check on him in class to make sure his insulin pump was working properly, Ms. Watkins said.
    The next school year, when he was in first grade, school nurses injected him with medicine they had drawn out of a vial.

    But K.W. uses one type of insulin that is diluted, depending on his needs, and another type that is available without a prescription for his lunch dose, the lawsuit said. Ms. Watkins asked to verify every dose, so the staff agreed to text her photographs so she could confirm them.
    Sometimes those images were blurry or were not sent at all, the lawsuit said. Once, in January 2018, a nurse sent her a message showing a syringe containing 10 units of the insulin solution, rather than the proper dose of one unit, it said. Ms. Watkins called the nurse, and "a possibly fatal medical emergency was averted," the suit alleged.
    Ms. Watkins, 36, who also has Type 1 diabetes, then asked that K.W. be allowed to use syringes prefilled by his parents at home or to allow his parents to go to the school to give him the medication. The requests were denied.
    "They would not permit the home dilution of the insulin, which the parents have done for years," Nate Crippes, a lawyer with the Disability Law Center who is representing the Watkins family, said. "It's a simple process."
    Just before the 2018-19 school year, when K.W. was to start second grade, there was no agreement on a health plan and the boy was placed on "home and hospital status," meaning he was deemed too ill to attend school.
    In December, the district said it would consider allowing the boy to come to school if the prefilled syringes were labeled by a pharmacy, Ms. Andrews, the district lawyer, said in the email included as evidence with the lawsuit.
    But Ms. Watkins alleged in the lawsuit that the method of prefilling by a pharmacist was impractical, unaffordable and not covered by insurance, the lawsuit said. It is seeking an end to the school exclusion and damages.

    K.W. was provided with a home schooling curriculum and the school offered to send a teacher to the house a few hours a week, Ms. Watkins said.
    The boy said that he felt "mad" to be kept from school, and that he missed his friends, lunch, recess and playing basketball.


    2) Italy Arrests Captain of Ship That Rescued Dozens of Migrants at Sea
    By Elisabetta Povoledo, June 29, 2019
    Carola Rackete, the Sea-Watch 3 captain, center, being escorted off the ship by the police on the Italian island of Lampedusa on Saturday.CreditCreditGuglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters

    Migrants onboard the Sea Watch 3 on Wednesday. The ship rescued 53 people off the coast of Libya on June 12.CreditGuglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters

    ROME — A protracted standoff between a ship carrying rescued migrants and the Italian government ended early Saturday, when the vessel docked at the southern island of Lampedusa and the captain was arrested.
    The 40 migrants rescued at sea disembarked at dawn, strained and exhausted after 16 days on the vessel, the Sea Watch 3, which flies a Dutch flag and is operated by Sea-Watch, a German nongovernmental organization.
    Its captain, Carola Rackete, 31, docked the vessel shortly before 2 a.m., after waiting in vain for two days near the port for permission to come ashore with the migrants.

    The Sea Watch, which rescued 53 people off the coast of Libya on June 12, had navigated toward Italy after rejecting an offer to dock in Tripoli, Libya, which humanitarian groups do not deem safe. Thirteen migrants had been allowed to disembark in Italy for medical reasons after the rescue.

    The Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has pushed a hard-line immigration policy, insisting that the country's ports were closed to rescue ships, and demanding that other European countries take the migrants.
    Mr. Salvini said on Saturday that Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal would take the rescued migrants, adding that Italy's tough stance on immigration had "served to wake up Europe and to wake up these countries." he said.

    In its attempt to dock, the Sea Watch 3 rammed a border-control vessel that was trying to stop it from reaching shore. Captain Rackete was immediately arrested after arriving in Lampedusa.
    In a long Facebook video, Mr. Salvini accused Captain Rackete of trying to sink the patrol boat that had agents on board, describing the events as an "act of war."

    "They say they want to save lives, but they risked killing people who were doing their job," Mr. Salvini said. He also described the captain and the crew as "criminals," and he railed against the government of the Netherlands for not intervening, since the Sea Watch flies a Dutch flag.
    An Italian judge has 48 hours to decide whether to uphold Captain Rackete's detention. Mr. Salvini said that she would be put on a plane to Berlin if she were released. "The Interior Ministry has an expulsion order ready," he said, adding that the ship had been seized.
    Captain Rackete's Italian lawyer, Leonardo Marino, said by phone that his client had been detained on charges of violating an article of Italy's Code of Navigation, specifically "resisting a war ship," which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison on conviction. She is also under investigation for facilitating illegal immigration, he said.
    Mr. Marino said his client was "very tired" because of the "intense pressure" she had been under. "She saved people at sea, and then asked for a safe port to bring them to, which was denied," he said.
    Riccardo Magi, an Italian lawmaker, boarded the Sea Watch on Thursday and was among the last to disembark on Saturday. He said in a phone interview that morale among the migrants on the ship had been low, and that he and other lawmakers had been trying to make sure they didn't harm themselves.

    For migrants who had faced untold horrors on their route toward Europe, "finding themselves so close" to Lampedusa without being able to land had caused further distress, he said. "There was tension and frustration," he added. "They felt rejected."

    He said the ship's captain had decided to dock because of this state of emergency, which justified her actions. "She decided based on a state of necessity that I saw," he said. "She decided to end an imprisonment at sea."
    Mr. Magi said that the ship's crew had entered the port slowly, and had rammed into the border-control vessel when it came between the Sea Watch and the dock. The migrants were greeted by insults "on the part of a small group of Italians in the port," he added. "There was some applause, but the insults lasted longer."
    The Sea Watch is not the only ship whose operation the Italian government has tried to scuttle. In 2018, Italy ordered the seizure of another rescue ship, the Aquarius, saying the vessel had illegally disposed of potentially infectious waste.
    But as international criticism grew over the government's hard line against migration, some Italians have pushed back. Leoluca Orlando, the mayor of Palermo, the Sicilian capital, refused to comply with a decree doing away with two years of "humanitarian protection" for asylum seekers, a status that allowed them to live in the country legally.
    Mr. Salvini said on Saturday that Italy's objective was to avoid "drama and death" by stopping migrants from leaving their homeland. He said he had heard that two more rescue ships were en route to Libya, and added that the arrest of Captain Rackete should serve as a warning of the risks of coming to Italy.
    "Now you know how things work," he said. "Finally, there is a government that ensures that its borders are respected."


    3) Florida Limits Ex-Felon Voting, Prompting a Lawsuit and Cries of 'Poll Tax'
    By Patricia Mazzel, June 28, 2019
    Voters registering at the Miami-Dade County Elections office on Jan. 8, the day a measure restoring voting rights to ex-felons went into effect. Under a new law, former felons will have to pay off fines and court fees before registering to vote.CreditCreditScott McIntyre for The New York Times

    MIAMI — Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed into law on Friday significant restrictions to the recently restored voting rights of people with felony convictions, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union to sue the state hours later.
    The new law requires people with serious criminal histories to fully pay back fines and fees to the courts before they become eligible to vote. In some cases, those costs amount to thousands of dollars.
    The A.C.L.U. argued that the new limits would unconstitutionally price some people out of the ballot box and undermine the intent of Florida voters, who last November approved a measure to enfranchise up to 1.5 million former felons.

    "There's no rational basis for treating somebody who can afford to pay fees any differently than treating anybody who can't afford to pay them," said Julie Ebenstein, a senior staff attorney with the A.C.L.U.'s Voting Rights Project. "That's just distinguishing people's right to vote based on their wealth."

    Nearly 65 percent of Florida voters backed the measure to enfranchise ex-felons, Amendment 4, which many felt could reshape the electorate of the nation's largest presidential battleground state. African-Americans, who tend to vote Democratic, have been disproportionately disenfranchised, though the majority of those with felony convictions in Florida are white.
    State lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Legislature said they were not motivated by politics when they adopted restrictions to Amendment 4 last month. Instead, they said they needed to clarify how the measure would be put into practice. The text of the amendment itself, they argued, required a strict interpretation of what constitutes the completion of a felony sentence — which includes repaying financial obligations, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, to the courts.
    Mr. DeSantis's office did not issue a statement explaining his decision to sign the bill. But he had promised to do so, and faced a Saturday deadline.
    "The controversy, to me, is not really substantive," Mr. DeSantis told a Miami news station last week. "The people who advocated for this, I mean, they went to the Supreme Court, and they said, 'Of course, whatever you're sentenced to, you have to finish — whether that's incarceration, whether that's a fine, restitution, probation.'"
    Still, the timing of the governor's action, announced after 6 p.m. on a Friday, seemed intended to draw little attention from Florida voters, more of whom voted for Amendment 4 than for him. Not long afterward, the A.C.L.U. filed its lawsuit in Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida, joined by the A.C.L.U. of Florida, the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.

    Groups that helped pass Amendment 4 have continued to hold registration drives, trying to add as many ex-felons to the rolls as possible before the new restrictions become effective on Monday. Under Amendment 4, people with felony convictions had been eligible to register as of January. Some of them have already cast ballots in local elections.
    Among them was Jeff Gruver, 33, one of the plaintiffs in the A.C.L.U. lawsuit. Mr. Gruver, who runs a homeless shelter in Gainesville, Fla., was so eager to vote for the first time in his life that he tried registering right after Election Day in November, only to be rejected because the amendment was not in effect yet. He voted in a mayoral election earlier this year.
    "I was so, so excited," he said. "I went to the polling place, which is right next to my house. I got my I.D. out and, and I even showed them my registration card. I was like, 'Look at this!' and they said, 'You don't need to show that.' I said, 'No, you don't understand.'"
    Mr. Gruver spent about 10 months over several stints in jail for cocaine possession and for violating the terms of his probation. He was addicted to heroin and opiates for about a decade before joining Narcotics Anonymous and getting clean, he said.
    Mr. Gruver was assessed $801 in court costs in 2008. He said he cannot afford to make a payment like that.
    "I have paid for what I've done in more ways than one," he said.
    Another plaintiff, Betty Riddle, who works as a communications assistant at the public defender's office in Sarasota, Fla., regained her voting rights at 61. She completed her prison sentence in 2002 and now deals with others caught in the criminal justice system.
    "I was in hog heaven," she said. "I thought I would never vote."
    She still owes more than $1,000 in court costs and fees, which she said she cannot afford to pay.
    "I don't think it's fair," she said. "It is a poll tax to keep us from voting."


    4) Stonewall Uprising: 50 Years Later, a Celebration Blends Pride and Resistance
    By Michael Gold, June 28, 2019
    Activists for Gays Against Guns remember victims of gun violence at the Stonewall commemoration Friday.CreditCreditBrittainy Newman/The New York Times

    [Read more from outside the Stonewall Inn on Friday night.]
    The crowd of thousands that gathered outside the Stonewall Inn on Friday, packing the streets around the most famous gay bar in the world, assembled to pay tribute to the pioneers who 50 years ago led a protest that galvanized the modern gay rights movement.
    The emotional rally, held on a warm summer night in Greenwich Village, commemorated the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Around a stage at the corner of Christopher Street and Waverly Place, candy-colored wigs and bright apparel mixed with a sea of rainbow flags like the ones that have been festooned around New York City in June for the monthlong Pride celebrations.
    But amid the festive atmosphere, advocates and politicians, in their remarks, took a tone of staunch resistance, making it clear that they believed the fight for equality was far from over and emphasizing that a host of national and global policies still discriminated against the L.G.B.T. community. 

    "We as an L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.-plus community need to fight now, more than ever, as the rights of our community are rolled back," said Marti Gould Cummings, a New York City drag performer and activist.

    "As transgender people aren't allowed to serve in the military; as 28 states tell us we can be fired for being who we are; as six trans women of color have been murdered this month alone — it's an epidemic, and we must fight for our community now," Mr. Cummings said, to cheers.
    It was a message repeated by other speakers and enthusiastically received by the crowd.
    "Fifty years ago, those brave activists stood on this street and fought back," said Corey Johnson, the openly gay and H.I.V. positive City Council speaker. "Let's keep fighting."
    And Cathy Marino-Thomas, an activist with Gays Against Guns, said, "This is not the time to sit at home and worry, it is the time for action."
    Throughout the rally, spectators mingled, some facing the stage, intently listening to speakers, others meandering about, photographing the sights and gaping at the crowd. The group represented the diversity of the L.G.B.T. movement, with a range of ages, ethnicities, gender expressions and nationalities.
    Frits Huffnagel, 50, the chairman of Amsterdam Pride, said he had long been planning to attend this year's celebrations — his first ever New York Pride — in large part because of the significance of the Stonewall anniversary.

    "All the Prides we have in the world, it started here. We are all standing on the shoulders of the people that were here," he said.

    Kiyomi Calloway, 20, who was handing out rainbow lollipops in front of the Stonewall Inn, said that it was "surreal and confusing and powerful" to stand on a street where 50 years ago the police attacked a crowd of gay people, and now the police were protecting a larger crowd.
    "A lot of social mentality has changed," she said, adding that in the future she wanted to see more protections for trans women of color.
    Amid a weekend of late-night dance parties, outdoor concerts and a colorful corporate-sponsored parade, the rally Friday night was intended to be the main political event during the WorldPride festival, a global event that has previously been held in Rome, Jerusalem, London, Toronto and Madrid.
    Many Pride celebrations, WorldPride included, can trace their origins back to the clash that broke out between the police and the crowd outside the Stonewall Inn and the days of protest that followed.
    The bar, now a national monument, has become a tourist destination for those looking to honor L.G.B.T history. On Friday, even as the rally began outside, about a hundred people were crammed inside the bar, nursing drinks and taking selfies.

    "We came to look at this park, this memorial, that's known around the world, at least in the gay community," said Scott Douglas, 38, a doctor who came from Australia with his partner, a police officer, to celebrate Pride.
    The Stonewall uprising began in the hours after midnight on June 28, 1969, when police officers with the now-extinct Public Morals Squad raided the bar. It was late on a warm summer night, and the inn, a mob-run dive without a liquor license, was packed.

    As the police had in previous raids, they began arresting employees, who they said were selling alcohol illegally. The customers were ushered out of the bar, but officers pulled some aside, asking for identification, checking for what was considered gender-appropriate clothing and demanding that some cross-dressers submit to anatomical inspections.

    The police officers' behavior had long infuriated L.G.B.T. people, who, already on the margins of society, saw bars like the Stonewall as safe havens.
    That night, the tension, long simmering, hit its boiling point.
    As officers conducted the raid, a group of onlookers taunted the police, crying, "Gay power." The conflict escalated after one woman who resisted arrest was shoved into the back of a police car. Some started to throw coins, stones and bottles at the car and at officers.

    It was then that the uprising turned into a clash. As news of the conflict spread, it became a call to arms for the gay liberation movement. Days and nights of street protests followed, marked with more violent encounters.

    In the days after the riots, a new group, the Gay Liberation Front, emerged, holding demonstrations that built off the momentum of the energy at Stonewall. On the first anniversary of the rebellion, that group and others joined for the Christopher Street Liberation Day March — viewed now as New York's first Pride march.
    It was the start of a new template for gay activists — one that urged outspoken defiance against homophobic and transphobic forces.
    Then, just as gay rights groups were becoming a stronger political force, the community was ravaged by the AIDS epidemic,which struck down many leaders in their primes. Angry activists, motivated by the perceived indifference of political leaders, fought for change.
    At the inn on Friday night, Anthony Zullo, 62, who grew up in New York City and remembered the uprising, said it thrilled him to see how many people had gathered to honor its participants. But he had a message for the revelers taking part.
    "It's not about a party," he said. "It's about your rights and your freedom."
    Derek M. Norman, Emily Palmer, Aaron Randle and Nate Schweber contributed reporting.


    5) Bruce Dixon ¡presente!
    By Louis Proyect, June 289, 2019
    We lost a giant today. Bruce A. Dixon died at 2:32 pm with his family in Georgia. I miss his political clarity, his guidance, his candor, his warmth and his humor. Bruce was a legendary organizer. He was old school – organizing person-to-person and always willing to provide assistance. It's hard to believe you are gone, Bruce. The world is a better place for you having been in it. Rest in Power.
    Margaret Flowers on Facebook

    I was born to working class parents, and raised on the south side of Chicago. By 1967 I was involved in the citywide organizing effort among black high school students demanding the first black history courses and opposing the war in Vietnam. In the fall and winter of 1967 we hooked up with young Marine and Army veterans just back from the war. We took them to nine or ten black high schools on the west and south sides of Chicago where we conducted teach-ins at which they recounted stories of rapes, murders and war crimes they either took part in or witnessed but were powerless to stop. They told us we had a political and moral obligation to resist the war and the draft and not allow us to be used in the shameful way they had been used.
    In January 1969 I joined the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party, in which I served as part of the education cadre, responsible for conducting the party's political education classes. I also served as a patient advocate in the party's free medical center. I left the BPP about August of 1970.
    In 1974-75 Bobby Rush, former Illinois Black Panther Party's Deputy Minister of Defense ran for Democratic ward committeeman in Chicago's 2nd ward. I took part in the campaign, running 5 precincts, canvassing and training others to canvass for about 60 days prior to the election. This was my first brush with electoral work. Bobby is now of course congressman from the first congressional district of Illinois.
    During the mid and late 1970s I took part in a series of ephemeral community organizing efforts in the Cabrini-Green public housing project on Chicago's near north side around issues affecting public housing residents including public education, police practices, jobs the corrupt practices of the Chicago Housing Authority and more. In 1979-80 I was part of a group that planned and executed a series of highly visible protests over the fact that Chicago residents could not register to vote except weekday business hours downtown in non-presidential election years. I was arrested a few times, but we embarrassed the city into allowing Chicago's first off-site voter registration drives, and signing up about 60,000 new voters in time for the 1980 Illinois gubernatorial election. From this time until the end of the century I was involved in contesting primary elections every cycle as a volunteer or consultant or staffer or precinct captain or one of the folks who trained precinct captains, always against the Daley Machine.
    I was caught in a couple of plant shutdowns in 1978 and 1981, and the second time worked with other rank and file steelworkers to gain control of our union at Chicago's old Pullman passenger rail car plant and mobilize to prevent the shutdown. We seized the local union but were betrayed by our international, and 3,000 of us were put on the street that year. All through the 1980s I worked on campaigns against the Daley Machine in Chicago, including the 1983 and 87 mayoral campaigns of Harold Washington. In 1984 I worked in the congressional campaign of Danny Davis, who now represents the 7th district of Illinois, and the Jesse Jackson presidential campaign that season, and the 1987 Chicago mayoral campaign. I ran field operations for primary election campaigns in 1988 and 1990 in which we decisively beat the Daley Machine. I also recruited and trained the first Local School Improvement Councils for five Chicago Public Schools in the Cabrini Green neighborhood in the 1988-1991 period. I gained a reputation for running successful voter registration drives and field operations against the Daley Machine.
    In 1992 I was tapped to be one of three field organizers responsible for the summer and fall voter registration drive leading up to the general election that year. Our director that year whose chief responsibility was fundraising was a guy fresh out of Harvard law with no political experience, but a quick study and a great fundraiser. We took him around to the people we'd organized in our previous 15 years, our union folks, our people in public public housing, in neighborhood organizations and the like. His name was Barack Obama. We signed up 133,000 new voters in four months and chased them out to the polls. Afterward I took a job in the Elections Department of the Cook County Clerk's office responsible for registrations and elections in the suburban half of Cook County, where my responsibilities included training deputy registrars and prospective candidates for local office, writing manuals and some other stuff.
    I left Chicago at the end of 2000, and moved to Georgia. In 2002 I took a week off to work in the congressional campaign of Rep. Cynthia McKinney, and afterward published a critical assessment of the effort online. The article attracted the attention of Glen Ford and we began collaborating with Margaret Kimberley to produce an online journal called the Black Commentator, and in 2006 we founded Black Agenda Report, a weekly journal of news, commentary and analysis from the black left published each and every week.
    In 2009 I joined the Georgia Green Party. To tell the truth the GA Green Party, like the national party had a lot of problems when I joined it, most of which I have learned are reflected in the experience of Greens in other states as well. Assessing, addressing and overcoming them is more than just a notion, it's been a journey of several years here in GA, but I believe we are in sight of being able to build a party with a mass base here, capable of putting a couple hundred people in a room in Atlanta, and a hundred or more in Macon, Savannah and Augusta within a year, leasing a permanent meeting place in Atlanta and one other location, and launching a successful drive for ballot access in Georgia, with or without aid from the national party or its presidential campaign.
    I was also a staff person in the 2016 campaign of Jill Stein, until I had to leave because of illness. I contributed to the ballot access and campaign plans, to Jill's tour of NC and GA, composed a number of mailings, operated parts of the web site, and more.
    At the GP's 2016 Annual National Meeting, I worked with Howie Hawkins of the NY Green Party to prepare and present what was undoubtedly the best attended workshop of that year's offerings, on the subject of transforming our party into a dues paying membership organization, the model followed by successful opposition parties almost everywhere in the world except the US.


    6) F.D.A. Links 16 Brands of Dog Food to Canine Heart Disease
    By Sandra E. Garcia, June 29, 2019
    Several brands of "grain-free" dog food have been linked to canine heart disease, the F.D.A. found after a monthslong investigation.CreditCreditGetty Images

    The Food and Drug Administration identified 16 brands of dog food that had been linked to heart disease in dogs that eat them, according to a report the agency published on Thursday.
    In the report, the F.D.A. named for the first time the pet food brands most frequently associated with adverse events. In descending order of most incidents of heart disease, the brands are Acana, Zignature, Taste of the Wild, 4Health, Earthborn Holistic, Blue Buffalo, Nature's Domain, Fromm, Merrick, California Natural, Natural Balance, Orijen, Nature's Variety, NutriSource, Nutro and Rachael Ray Nutrish.
    The heart condition examined in the report, canine dilated cardiomyopathy, often results in heart failure and is believed to have a genetic component, according to the report. The disease usually affects large breeds, but the F.D.A. said it knew of smaller dogs that have been afflicted with it.
    The disease was most frequently reported to the F.D.A. in golden retrievers, but the report noted that breed-specific social media groups and activities raised awareness of the issue in these communities of golden retriever owners, who perhaps disproportionately notified the F.D.A. of their dogs' diagnoses.

    Most of the dog foods listed are usually labeled "grain-free" and contain a large proportion of peas, lentils, legume seeds or potatoes, according to the report. Many of the dogs researched in the investigation did not have a genetic predisposition to the condition, the F.D.A. said.
    Using an abbreviation for the disease, the agency said in its report that it was "using a range of science-based investigative tools as it strives to learn more about this emergence of D.C.M. and its potential link to certain diets or ingredients."
    "We understand the concern that pet owners have about these reports: The illnesses can be severe, even fatal, and many cases report eating 'grain-free' labeled pet food."
    In July 2018, the study began investigating diagnosed cases of the disease that had been reported to the F.D.A. The agency started receiving reports of dilated cardiomyopathy in cats and dogs in 2014. Since that year, 560 dogs with the heart condition have been reported to the F.D.A., of which 119 have died, according to the report.
    The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States, most of which are not developing dilated cardiomyopathy, the F.D.A. said in a statement. The number of dogs affected with heart disease may not seem like a lot, John de Jong, president of the veterinary association, said on Saturday, but the F.D.A. found a trend and is informing consumers of it.

    "The F.D.A. has a responsibility that if it is more than five or 10 isolated cases, that is something to be reported," Dr. de Jong said.
    "It is not five million dogs; it's still a small amount," he added. "I would also caution the consumer not to throw the baby out with the bathwater."
    Cardiomyopathy affects dogs by thinning the left ventricle of the heart, the last place blood rests before the heart pumps it out, Dr. de Jong explained. That weakens the heart, which means fluid can enter a dog's lungs, causing a cough or illness. The disease can be treated with medication if caught early, he said.
    Dr. de Jong said the trend of not having grain in a dog's diet might be a culprit.
    "The whole grain-free thing is a popular myth," Dr. de Jong said. "If they look at the dogs' relatives in the wild, like coyotes, wolves and hyenas, they live on their prey. Those animals they prey on are typically herbivores, so they are ingesting grains anyway."
    Over all, the best thing a dog owner could do is consult with a veterinarian, Dr. de Jong said.
    "It is not an overwhelming amount of cases out there," he said. "We do know it exists and we know it is a fully high correlation; some of those diets may suffice.
    "If it ain't broke you don't have to fix it."

    Mariel Padilla contributed reporting.


    7) Hong Kong Protest Live Updates: Protesters Occupy Legislature After Police Leave
    By The New York Times, July 1, 2019
    Protesters urged the city's leader to resign.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

    As a broader, peaceful march continues outside, a few hundred protesters begin defacing the Legislative Council chambers. 

    By The New York Times


    Police officers allow a core group of protesters to storm the offices of the Legislative Council. The demonstrators are defacing portraits and the walls, and some raised a British colonial-era flag. 

    A few hundred protesters stormed into Hong Kong's legislative complex on Monday, pumping their fists in the air, after riot police appeared to back away from a confrontation, leaving the compound hours after the core group of demonstrators started bashing their way in.

    Protesters wearing safety helmets and masks had been steadily destroying the facade of the Legislative Council, leaving broken glass and torn metal panels in their wake, hours after the government held a ceremony commemorating the 22nd anniversary of the territory's return to China from Britain. Using metals bars and makeshift battering rams to break the building's outside glass walls and doors, some protesters entered the building and forced open metal roller shutters that sealed the entrance to the lobby leading to the legislative chambers. 

    For hours, riot police with gas masks and shields had guarded the facility from within the building, holding up signs warning the protesters that they would use force if the demonstrators charged.

    Then around 9 p.m., as protesters appeared ready to breach the shutters, the riot police officers dispersed and were seen marching toward the central government building. Once inside, the protesters sprayed messages on the walls calling for protesters arrested last month to be released. "Murderous regime," read another message. They built barricades inside using materials they had scavenged and brought, including umbrellas and metal gates and destroyed surveillance cameras. Then they filled the legislative chambers, defaced portraits of leaders and spray-painted slogans on the desks and walls.

    "I am inside here to use more extreme ways for the government to accept our demands," said one protester who identified himself as a 17-year-old high school student, and whose name is being withheld. He decided to enter the building, but insisted he had not taken part in any destruction. "There is no one here who isn't scared of being arrested. I only have a bottle of water and a helmet, but the police have tear gas and pepper spray."

    The protest was quickly turning into a broad repudiation of Chinese rule, with demonstrators tearing up copies of the Basic Law, a mini constitution that took effect in 1997 and governs Hong Kong's relations with Beijing, and calling for free and direct elections. One group raised a British-colonial-era flag.

    "I want universal suffrage!" one protester led others in chanting.

    Protesters walked through dark hallways littered with broken glass near the doorways. 

    The police and government earlier said that they condemned the violence at the legislature and that officers were exercising restraint.

    But early in the day, hundreds of riot police officers had used batons and pepper spray to beat back protesters at a different site — near a government flag-raising ceremony attended by the city's chief executive, Carrie Lam. 

    At the handover of Hong Kong to China's control in 1997, the Chinese government agreed that Hong Kong could retain its justice system and protections for civil liberties for 50 years, under a philosophy commonly known as "one country, two systems." Protesters today are angry because they see Ms. Lam's pushing of a bill that would open the way to extradite suspects to mainland China as giving up those rights to Beijing. 

    [Read more about China's promises to preserve Hong Kong's freedoms.]

    Huge crowds of demonstrators have taken to Hong Kong's streets in the past several weeks, protesting a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China. The protests forced Mrs. Lam to suspend the bill but demonstrators want a full withdrawal and for her to resign. 

    The turnout of protesters on Monday was among the largest attempts to disrupt the Hong Kong government's most important annual political event. It underscored the deepening anxiety that many in Hong Kong feel about the erosion of the civil liberties that set the city apart.

    Monday's protests, which also fell on the 98th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, were a direct challenge to President Xi Jinping and his increasingly authoritarian policies.

    Analysts said the chaos risked giving Mr. Xi an opportunity to justify his tough approach.

    "If it gets really violent, the risk is that Beijing has a good excuse to become even more uncompromising," said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a political scientist at Hong Kong Baptist University. "Xi can put even more pressure on Carrie Lam not to make any concessions."

    Protesters who joined the demonstration outside the legislature said they were frustrated that the government was not listening to their concerns. "Friends, don't leave," read the signs many were waving. "People of Hong Kong, don't give up," 

    This was the latest instance in which a group of predominantly younger protesters have taken measures that test the boundaries of civil disobedience in this usually orderly financial hub. In recent weeks, to protest the extradition bill and what they saw as a heavy-handed police response, the protesters have twice besieged the city's police headquarters and sought to disrupt government services. 

    The protesters said they chose to descend on the Legislative Council because the police prevented them from getting close to the site of the government's flag-raising ceremony that morning. 

    Several protesters said that while they did not personally plan to break into the complex, they supported those on the front lines who did. Peaceful protest methods were ineffective, they said, and they increasingly felt open to a more confrontational approach if it would help to protect Hong Kong's freedom and relative independence from Beijing.

    "We have been too peaceful for the past few times, so the police think we are easily bullied," said Natalie Fung, 28, who was outside the legislative complex supporting the protesters with food and drinks. "The younger people are risking their safety and their futures for us."

    Not all protesters supported the handful who attacked the Legislative Council. Several democratic lawmakers tried to stop the protesters by positioning themselves between the demonstrators and the building, even physically blocking the makeshift battering rams at times — but were eventually pushed aside.

    Claudia Mo, who was among the pro-democracy legislators attempting to stop the protesters, said she thought the violence was an expression of how desperate the younger protesters had become in the face of a government that they thought had not done enough.

    "I'm extremely worried because the young really seem like they have nothing to lose, when they have a lot to lose," Ms. Mo said. "It's their Hong Kong they're fighting for. It's their future and they need to take their future into account."

    Samson Yuen, a political scientist at Lingnan University in Hong Kong who studies social movements and identity politics, said that many protesters who felt like they were facing repression could set aside their ideological differences about the use of violence. "People understand that they need to band together in order to avoid being fragmented."

    In the morning, police used batons and pepper spray to beat and push back demonstrators who tried to march to the convention center. Protesters who had been hit with pepper spray stumbled to seek help at medical stations set up by supporters. Some poured water over their bodies. 

    The government said around midday that demonstrators had attacked police lines and thrown an unidentified liquid at officers. Some officers reported difficulties breathing and irritated skin, and 13 were sent to the hospital, the government said in a statement. The police also said that some protesters had scattered lime powder at the police, injuring officers.

    "Police strongly condemn such illegal acts and will stringently follow up," it said.

    Mrs. Lam, the city's chief executive, sought to strike a conciliatory note on Monday morning, pledging that she and her government would be more responsive to public sentiment. She was earlier criticized for insisting on pushing the unpopular legislation through despite an intense public outcry.

    "I will learn the lesson and ensure that the government's future work will be closer and more responsive to the aspirations, sentiments and opinions of the community," Mrs. Lam said at the official ceremony commemorating the handover anniversary. "The first and most basic step to take is to change the government's style of governance to make it more open and accommodating." 

    Local television news channels broadcast a startling split screen. On one side, Mrs. Lam and officials from Hong Kong and mainland China clinked champagne flutes in a toast to a unification, on the other riot police clashed violently with protesters. 

    Mrs. Lam said she would make more time to meet with people from different political backgrounds and reach out to the city's youth. She said that Hong Kong's economy could feel the repercussions of a protracted trade war between the United States and China and urged Hong Kong residents to work with the government on managing the impact of the trade dispute and addressing the housing shortage and other issues.

    The broad public anger has already forced Mrs. Lam to suspendthe proposed legislation, but demonstrators want it to be fully withdrawn and have also turned their scrutiny on the police, whom they say acted with excessive force in dispersing a June 12 protest. A march was planned for later in the day that pro-democracy organizers said was expected to draw a large turnout.

    Separately, hundreds of thousands of other protesters, including families and children, marched through nearly 90 degree heat on Monday afternoon to fill the streets of downtown Hong Kong in a separate demonstration calling on the city's leader to resign.

    Protesters carried signs saying "Free HK Democracy Now," and "Hong Kong Fights For Democracy." The march began at Victoria Park, where a few people handed out yellow signs urging people to "stand firm and investigate police violence."

    "Carrie Lam, step down, get some dignity for yourself," said Lo Woon-fun, 84, who was sitting under a small umbrella in the muddy field at the beginning of the march. "I came out today because I want to tell Carrie Lam that despite my old age, I still come out to demand she step down." 

    "I have come here because of the future generation of ours. I want them to live a good life as I have," she said.

    Organizers said late Monday that 550,000 people had joined the march, setting a record for the annual event.

    Members of the labor union for Postal Service workers carried a large printed banner that read: "When a million people walk against the mainstream, it's inhumane to neglect it," referring to a massive protest in June.

    Daniel Victor, Alexandra Stevenson, Mike Ives, Tiffany May, Katherine Li, Javier Hernandez, Austin Ramzy, Gillian Wong and Ezra Cheung contributed reporting.


    8) A Hong Kong Protester's Tactic: Get the Police to Hit You
    By Fred Chan Ho-fai, June 30, 2019

    Police faced off with protesters on the Victoria Harbor waterfront in Hong Kong on Saturday.CreditChan Long Hei/EPA, via Shutterstock

    This article has been updated to reflect news developments.

    HONG KONG — I am one of the Hong Kong protesters. I took part in the two mass marches earlier this month, the June 12 protest that turned violent and the blockade of police headquarters on June 21. Today I am among the tens of thousands of protesters on the streets outside of the Legislative Council and I witnessed a group of them storm the building.

    I am not optimistic that we can get what we are asking for. The government's response has been robotic, and it still refuses to completely withdraw, instead of just suspending, the extradition bill we oppose. But like other protesters, I will devote myself to the movement anyway. It would be cowardly not to; Hong Kong's entire future is at stake right now.

    Under the proposed law, anyone in Hong Kong who is wanted by the authorities on mainland China could be sent there for trial. If the extradition bill is passed, the Chinese Communist Party will start targeting and purging its perceived opponents here, one by one, group after group. If the bill is passed, it will be as though 2047 — the year that China is supposed to gain full control over Hong Kong — were already here.

    Back in 2014, when I was 25, I participated in the Umbrella Movement and joined the call for real universal suffrage in Hong Kong. I would spend most nights at the sit-ins, after work. But when the protesters were removed after 79 days of peaceful occupation, with no concession from the government, I experienced an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness.

    By the time the current movement started, I, like many other young people, had been inspired by Edward Leung Tin-kei, a spokesman for Hong Kong Indigenous, a localist group that calls for the independence of Hong Kong — or that used to call for independence, before doing so publicly triggered reprisals from the government. In August 2016, after being barred from running for the Legislative Council because of his political views, Mr. Leung said, "When dictatorship is a fact, what else can we do? Revolution is our duty." 

    That made me wonder what measures — more radical than those of the Umbrella Movement — might be effective.

    Then the confrontation between the protesters and the police happened on June 12, and it sharpened my thinking. 

    The police's violent overreaction revealed two things very clearly. The first one I knew, of course: The protesters' power and equipment are no match for that of the police. At the same time, the police's brutality helped bring out nearly two million Hong Kongers to the streets the following Sunday. That number, a record, surprised me. That's about the size of the People's Liberation Army of China or the population of Slovenia. When Israel became a country in 1948, it had fewer than 900,000 people.

    An important idea that has been circulating in online forums is now firmly planted in my mind. It is called the Marginal Violence Theory (暴力邊緣論), and it holds that protesters should not actively use or advocate violence, but instead use the most aggressive nonviolent actions possible to push the police and the government to their limits.

    This is what some protesters have been doing today, July 1, on the anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China from Britain in 1997. After a ceremony marking the anniversary, a group of protesters have stormed the Legislative Council's building. Though they have damaged property, they are not seeking to harm anyone.

    Such actions are a way to make noise and gain attention. And if they prompt the police to respond with unnecessary force, as happened on June 12, then the public will feel disapproval and disgust for the authorities. The protesters should thoughtfully escalate nonviolence, maybe even resort to mild force, to push the government to the edge. That was the goal of many people who surrounded and barricaded police headquarters for hours on June 21.

    It is tricky to implement the Marginal Violence Theory. It's difficult to calibrate it just right: If the police get violent, we, the protesters, win over a million people — as happened between the marches on June 9 and June 16 — but if the protesters get violent, we lose a million. And some protesters remain committed to using nothing but absolutely peaceful means.

    That's why I am not in favor of, for example, throwing bricks at police officers. And on the night of the 21st, I didn't want anyone to try to break into the police's headquarters.

    I didn't throw any eggs or tomatoes either. But I had nothing against the fact that other protesters did. That wasn't violence; it was a symbol and a provocation, a test.

    One difficulty we face is that the authorities have wised up, it seems, since June 12, and now understand our approach. At police headquarters on June 21, a journalist next to me wondered out loud why half a dozen officers had been posted at the top of an escalator outside the building, in front of, rather than behind, a metal curtain, leaving them exposed to the humiliation of being pelted by eggs and tomatoes. I think that was deliberate: The police wanted the media to relay to the public images of a force that was not only restrained, but also looked vulnerable, even under attack. The authorities, too, are playing to public opinion.

    During protests earlier today, police responded with pepper spray and, in some cases, by beating protesters with batons. But later in the day, they even retreated. They might believe that images of protesters breaking glass will play to the government's advantage.

    That's one reason that we, the protesters, should be careful not to make certain demands at this moment. Asking for self-determination or Hong Kong's full independence from China are controversial ideas. They could turn off members of the public, or the government could find a way to use them to discredit us.

    Like many of us, I decided to come out to protest not because of any politician's or organizer's calls, but because of various posts on the local online forum LIHKG.

    I distrust the older generation of pro-democracy politicians — those champagne Socialists who use fancy words to get votes, but whose actions over the years haven't help Hong Kong make progress toward democracy. They have only created false hope.

    The younger politicians I support have been disqualified from the Legislative Council or sentenced to prison for previous protest activities. It's by necessity that the movement has no leaders.

    But that's also a good thing, I think. That we have no leaders reflects a certain vision of democracy: Everyone can express their ideas and act on them swiftly. We have traded the prolonged, organized mass sit-ins of the Umbrella Movement for spontaneous actions and momentary disruptions. The siege of police headquarters on June 21 lasted less than a day. Unpredictability makes us less vulnerable to repression. Bruce Lee's advice, "Be water, my friend," has become a motto of the movement.

    But being water doesn't simply mean being fluid and elusive. To be effective, we must also be everywhere. Sometimes very large numbers of us will march all together. But even when it's just a few of us acting, it should be with the support of many.


    9) Alabamians Defend Arrest of Woman Whose Fetus Died in Shooting
    By Farah Stockman, June 30, 2019

    An undated photo of Marshae Jones, provided by her family.

    PLEASANT GROVE, Ala. — In the days since police officers arrested Marshae Jones, saying she had started a fight that resulted in her unborn baby getting fatally shot, the hate mail has poured in.

    "I will encourage all U.S. business owners to boycott your town," a woman from San Diego wrote on the Facebook page of the Pleasant Grove Police Department.

    "Misogynist trash," wrote another.

    "Fire the chief and arresting officers," wrote a third.

    But Robert Knight, the police chief, said his officers had little choice in the matter.

    "If the laws are there, we are sworn to enforce them," he said. "That's what we're going to do."

    Around the country, the case of Ms. Jones — who was indicted by a grand jury for manslaughter — has served as a stark illustration of how pregnant women can be judged and punished when a fetus is treated as a person by the justice system.

    Activists have also cited it as a demonstration of the dangers of the "personhood" movement, which pushes for the rights of fetuses to be recognized as equal to — or even more important than — the rights of the mothers who carry them. And many are now watching as the movement gains momentum in Alabama, which already has some of the most restrictive reproductive rights laws in the country.

    But in Pleasant Grove, a city of 10,000 people on the western outskirts of Birmingham, the case appears to have caused little controversy. Gun rights are popular here. Reproductive rights are not. Many conversations in the city focused on how harshly Ms. Jones should be punished, not whether she was culpable.

    Outside Hill's Foodland, the city's only grocery store, two mothers raising money for the Pleasant Grove middle school cheerleading squad said that both Ms. Jones, 28, and the woman who shot her should face some consequences — perhaps anger management classes — for the death of a fetus.

    "In the state of Alabama, an unborn baby has the same rights as a living child," said Sharonda Hall, 38, who just earned her bachelor's degree in criminal justice and is hoping to attend law school. "Most people agree with it."

    Others said prison time would be appropriate. Inside a local restaurant, the Olipita Mediterranean & American Grill, Forrest Brown, 64, a retired musician, said that from what he had heard so far about the case, he believed the indictment was fair.

    "You have to go by the law," he said.

    The notion that the law should treat a fetus like a person is widely held in Alabama. Lawmakers passed the most restrictive anti-abortion bill in the country in May, banning abortions at any stage of pregnancy, even in cases of rape or incest. A protest against the measure in Birmingham drew only about 2,000 people, in a metropolitan area that is home to more than one million.

    Last November, Alabama voters approved a ballot measure that amended the state's constitution to recognize the "sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children."

    In the wake of that vote, a Madison County judge ruled that a 19-year-old man could pursue a wrongful-death lawsuit against a clinic and a pharmaceutical company that provided an abortion pill to his girlfriend.

    It is that case — not the case of Ms. Jones — that pushes the envelope of "personhood" for many in Alabama.

    Brent Helms, the attorney who filed the wrongful-death suit on a contingency basis, said that case law had already established personhood for fetuses who perish at the hands of reckless people, such as drunken drivers or domestic abusers. His is the first case, he said, to "establish personhood for even an unborn aborted child."

    He acknowledged that conferring "personhood" so early in a pregnancy had the potential to affect everything from fertility treatment — which discards fertilized eggs that aren't used — to the freedom of women who play risky sports or drink wine.

    "At this stage, we don't know all of the ramifications," he said. "Every time I speak to someone, they come up with something new."

    Years of legal precedent in Alabama have set the stage for this debate.

    "Under Alabama law, life begins at conception," said Bryan Fair, professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Alabama School of Law. "The question is whether that is consistent with federal constitutional law."

    He said that in a case like Ms. Jones's, the federal courts could be asked to decide whether the state law that defines a fetus as a person is trumped by the constitutionally protected rights to due process and equal protection, an uncertain prospect under the current conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

    Hundreds of women have been prosecuted in the state for exposing their fetuses to controlled substances under a 2006 "chemical endangerment" law, according to an investigation by ProPublica and Al.com. In Pleasant Grove, three women who were addicted to drugs have been prosecuted for chemical endangerment in recent years.

    Last year, Jessica Lindsey, 29, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to chemical endangerment for using heroin while pregnant. Raven West, a heroin addict who gave birth to a stillborn baby, received a five-year suspended sentence last year. And Alexandra Laird, who gave birth to two children who tested positive for heroin, received two suspended 10-year sentences and access to a treatment program, according to court records.

    The cases have sometimes put police at odds with doctors who argued that prosecuting pregnant addicts discourages them from seeking treatment they need. But in each of those cases, Lt. Danny Reid of the Pleasant Grove Police, who serves as a spokesman of the 16-officer department, gave passionate public statements about the need to protect the rights of the unborn.

    A similar approach can be seen in the case of Ms. Jones. Shortly after the shooting, which took place in December, Lieutenant Reid told reporters that the mother's culpability will be presented to a grand jury.

    "The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby," he said then. "It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight."

    Ms. Jones was five months pregnant and working at a company in Pleasant Grove that sells fuel for fires, when she got involved in an altercation in the parking lot of the Dollar General store.

    The fight stemmed from a long-simmering feud with a female co-worker, Ebony Jemison, 23, over a man who worked at the same company. Ms. Jones spotted Ms. Jemison in the parking lot and started a fight with her, according to a law enforcement officer with direct knowledge of the investigation who did not want to be identified. By the officer's account, Ms. Jones was winning the fight and had Ms. Jemison pinned in her car.

    After taking repeated blows, the officer said, Ms. Jemison reached for a gun, and fired point blank into Ms. Jones's stomach. Ms. Jones was driven to a hospital in a car that apparently broke down on the way. Paramedics eventually arrived and took her to a hospital, but her fetus — struck by a bullet — died.

    This account of the fight differs from others that have been offered in recent days, which have suggested that Ms. Jemison fired a warning shot at the ground and the bullet bounced up and hit Ms. Jones in the belly.

    Pleasant Grove officers initially arrested Ms. Jemison. But the grand jury declined to indict her, concluding that she had acted in self-defense. It then took the unusual step of indicting Ms. Jones, for "initiating a fight knowing she was five months pregnant." The police were surprised by the decision, according to the law enforcement officer, but agreed with its logic.

    Reached by phone on Friday night, the forewoman of the grand jury, Mischelle Cagle, said she was unaware of the national furor. She declined to discuss the details of the case, but said that it was one of hundreds of cases the jury had heard over the course of a few days. She said the jurors did their best to probe for the truth and follow Alabama law.

    "You think certain things, but then when you look at the law, it's different," she said.

    Since the furor erupted, prosecutors have distanced themselves from the charges.

    A statement from the office of Lynneice Washington, the district attorney for part of Jefferson County, emphasized that no decision had yet been made about whether to go to trial, file lesser charges against Ms. Jones or dismiss the case altogether. A decision is expected within the week.

    "Foremost, it should be stated that this is a truly tragic case," the statement said. "We feel sympathy for the families involved, including Ms. Jones, who lost her unborn child."

    Ms. Washington, a Democrat, became Alabama's first black female district attorney when she was elected in 2016 by a slim margin of about 300 votes. The case is being closely watched by liberal reproductive rights advocates in Birmingham, as well as conservative voters in her district.

    Ms. Jones was taken into custody on Wednesday, and posted bail the following day with the help of her family and the Yellowhammer Fund, an organization that supports abortion rights. Her attorney Mark White, whose law firm has taken on the case, said Ms. Jones was resting in an undisclosed location.

    "She's devastated," he said.

    After being shot, Ms. Jones lost her unborn baby, her job and her house, which burned down in an unrelated incident, Mr. White said. Now she is facing criminal prosecution in a case that could land her in prison for years, depriving her 6-year-old daughter of a mother.

    "If you look at the five top stress factors that humans can experience, she may be the only person we've encountered that got all five simultaneously," Mr. White said.

    Mr. White said many lawyers in Birmingham were outraged about how his client had been treated, and urged his law firm to take her case. His legal team spent the weekend poring over case law and investigating the facts.

    "By Monday morning, we will file a motion to dismiss that will show this indictment to be illegal, inappropriate and unprecedented," he said. "The motion will also give examples of the additional dangers this type of prosecution presents for the rule of law."

    Ms. Jones's lawyers have not decided whether to challenge the notion of conferring "personhood" on a fetus, which is enshrined in Alabama law.

    Indeed, even Ms. Jones views the fetus that died in the shooting as a baby. She gave it a name — Marlaysia Jones. She had it cremated and the ashes placed in an urn.

    Alain Delaquérière contributed research.


    10) President of El Salvador Says Migrant Deaths in Rio Grande Are 'Our Fault'
    By Kirk Semple, July 1, 2019

    Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, drowned during their attempt to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico to the United States.CreditJulia Le Duc/Associated Press

    MEXICO CITY — The new president of El Salvador said that his country was to blame for driving tens of thousands of its citizens to emigrate every year, including a father and daughter who became a focal point in the migration debate when they drowned while trying to cross into the United States last week.

    "People don't flee their homes because they want to," President Nayib Bukele said Sunday at a news conference in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. "They flee their homes because they feel they have to."

    "They fled El Salvador, they fled our country," he continued. "It is our fault."

    Mr. Bukele's statements came in response to questions from reporters about the deaths of the father and daughter, and about what he intended to do to address the economic and security concerns that have pushed so many Salvadorans to leave the country and try to reach the United States.

    His comments were remarkable in a region where political leaders have been loath to assume any responsibility for the social and political dynamics that drive migration and have generally paid lip service to the idea that conditions must improve at home to encourage people to stay.

    There are nearly 1.4 million Salvadorans — the equivalent of about one-fifth of the country's population — living in the United States, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

    Migration from El Salvador, and its perils, were highlighted last week with the publication of a photograph of the corpses of the young father and his daughter — Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria — who were found lying face down in the Rio Grande, between Mexico and the United States.

    Their bodies were returned to El Salvador on Sunday and are reportedly scheduled to be buried in a private ceremony on Monday.

    In his comments on Sunday, Mr. Bukele, who took office a month ago, acknowledged the two main forces driving so many of his citizens to take their chances on a perilous migration north in search of a better life: insecurity and economic duress.

    "They feel safer crossing a desert, three frontiers, and all of the things that may happen in the road to the United States because they feel that's more secure than living here," he said. "So we want to make our country safer."

    He also vowed to address the poverty and lack of employment opportunities that so many migrants cite as their reason for fleeing.

    "We will make a country that is more prosperous and that can provide decent paying jobs for all of our people," he said. "If people have an opportunity for a decent job, a decent education, a decent health care system and security, I know that forceful migration will be reduced to zero."

    Follow Kirk Semple on Twitter: @KirkSemple.


    11) Israel Is Blamed for Deadly Missile Strikes in Syria
    By Isabel Kershner, July 1, 209

    A still from a video showing smoke near the Syrian capital, Damascus, after a reported Israeli airstrike.CreditCreditYoussef Karwashan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    JERUSALEM — Israeli warplanes struck several military sites in Syria overnight and killed several fighters and civilians, Syrian state media reported on Monday, in what appeared to be a stepping up of Israel's long-running, partly covert campaign to thwart Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and stop weapon transfers to Lebanon.

    The warplanes fired missiles from Lebanese airspace, according to SANA, the official Syrian news agency, which reported that a baby was among four civilians who were killed. The airstrikes hit a variety of targets, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group identified with the Syrian opposition.

    The targets included the headquarters of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of Iran in the south of the Syrian capital, Damascus; a scientific research center in the countryside around the city; and positions held by Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese group, in the mountains near the border with Lebanon, the Observatory said.

    The Hezbollah sites that were targeted included ammunition warehouses, resulting in explosions and huge fires, the Observatory reported.

    Israel has carried out many strikes in Syria. The military and government officials declined to comment, in line with their usual policy of ambiguity, an approach intended to avoid forcing the government of Bashar al-Assad or his allies into retaliating.

    The attack came amid escalating tensions in the region between Iran and the United States over sanctions and the downing of an American reconnaissance drone, and just hours before the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had surpassed a key limitation on how much nuclear fuel it can possess.

    Last week, Israel hosted an extraordinary meeting of the national security advisers of Israel, Russia and the United States that was planned long before the recent rise in tensions. Iran and Hezbollah, both archenemies of Israel, together with Russia, have helped Mr. Assad of Syria gain the upper hand in a civil war that began in 2011.

    Opening that trilateral meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel pressed for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria, in particular those of Iran and Iranian proxies near the frontier with Israel. He said Israel had acted "hundreds of times" to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and the transfer of weapons.

    The Israeli campaign, however surgical, risks miscalculations and unintended consequences. Last year, Syrian forces accidentally shot down a Russian military plane after an Israeli airstrike on Syrian territory, causing a temporary crisis in Israeli-Russian relations.

    On Monday, the foreign minister of Turkish-held Northern Cyprus, Kudret Ozersay, said that what appeared to be a Russian-made antiaircraft missile fired by Syria at Israeli jets had missed its mark and fallen on the island. There were no reports of casualties.

    Citing a military source, the Syrian news agency, SANA, said that Syria's air defense had responded to the missiles fired by Israeli warplanes.

    Another figure close to the Syrian government who was briefed on the strikes and who requested anonymity to discuss secret military information put the total death toll from the attacks higher, saying that at least 16 had been killed, including five Syrian Army personnel, one Iranian and 10 civilians and that 49 others had been wounded. He added that many of the targets had been vacated ahead of time because of the tensions between Iran and the United States and that the civilian casualties had been caused by explosions from munition stores.

    Though hardly a supporter of Mr. Assad, Israel has professed neutrality in the Syrian civil war, saying that it only acts in the country in the interests of maintaining its own red lines and protecting its own interests. Israel has said it would like to see stability restored there.

    Speaking on Monday at an annual conference on national security, Yossi Cohen, director of the Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, said that the country had "no interest in a conflict with Syria, but we cannot agree to Syria serving as an arena in which Iranian forces or forces operated by it become entrenched against us."

    Without specifically addressing the overnight activity, Mr. Cohen added that Israel would not allow Syria to become a logistical base for the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah and Lebanon.

    "Israel has operated in the past four years, overtly and covertly — only a small part of that has been reported — to prevent and destroy the entrenchment of Iranian forces in Syria and the infrastructure for manufacturing precision weapons," he said. "Thanks to that resolute action, I believe the Iranians will ultimately reach the conclusion that it's not worth their while."

    He said that Iran and Hezbollah were now seeking to move some of their bases to northern Syria, "a place where they believe, mistakenly, that we will have trouble reaching."

    Hwaida Saad contributed reporting from Beirut, Lebanon; and David M. Halbfinger from Herzliya, Israel.


    12) Poachers Are Invading Botswana, Last Refuge of African Elephants
    By Rachael Nuwer, July 1, 2019
    "From 2009 to 2014, Tanzania's elephant population fell by 60 percent, while Mozambique's Niassa National Reserve lost 78 percent of its elephants over the same period. The illegal trade in ivory is driven by nearly insatiable demand in China and elsewhere in Asia. ...'Addressing poverty and unemployment in the rural areas would go a long way in protecting our wildlife.'"

    A dead elephant inspected by a soldier in Chobe, northern Botswana, in September. Poachers, mostly from Zambia, now are operating in Botswana, conservationists report.CreditCreditMonirul Bhuiyan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    In September, conservationists in Botswana discovered 87 dead elephants, their faces hacked off and tusks missing. Poaching, the researchers warned, was on the rise

    The news had international repercussions. Botswana had been one of the last great elephant refuges, largely spared the poaching crisis that has swept through much of Africa over the past decade. 

    The country is home to some 126,000 savanna elephants, about a third of Africa's remaining population — plentiful enough that they are increasingly in conflict with villagers in the northern part of the country. 

    Following the announcement in September, Botswana's ministry of the environment denied that there was a poaching crisis of any sort, and in May the government lifted a ban on trophy hunting that had been in place for five years, provoking worldwide condemnation.

    Even some scientists wondered whether the illegal ivory trade really had found its way to Botswana. Now, the researchers have published data in the journal Current Biology that seems to confirm their initial findings. 

    Based on aerial surveys and field visits, the authors report that fresh elephant carcasses in Botswana increased by nearly 600 percent from 2014 to 2018.

    Samuel Wasser, a conservation biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle who was not involved in the research, said that "there's no question" about the authors' findings. 

    "The work was exceptional in every way," he said. "There were so many features they carefully and meticulously documented. And they also looked at alternative hypotheses, and none were supported by data."

    Such careful documentation of poaching is sorely needed across Africa, Dr. Wasser added: "This is an example of how to do it right, and hopefully others will learn from it."

    Reached by phone, Cyril Taolo, director of research at Botswana's Department of Wildlife and National Parks, said that he and his colleagues "are still interrogating this paper and coming up with a response" to the concerns raised by the conservationists.

    The survey was led by Michael Chase, founder and director of Elephants Without Borders, a nonprofit conservation organization based in Kasane, Botswana. 

    Squeezed into a fixed-wing Cessna, Dr. Chase and his colleagues crisscrossed 36,300 square miles of habitat, counting and photographing all living and dead elephants they spotted 300 feet below. 

    They recorded 156 carcasses they believed to be poached, clustered at five hot spots.

    One criticism of the earlier report had been that an elephant's cause of death is impossible to determine from the air. Scott Schlossberg, a data analyst at Elephants Without Borders and co-author of paper, disagreed: "When an elephant's face has been chopped off, you can often see that from the plane." 

    But to assuage such concerns, he and his colleagues used a helicopter to make field visits to 148 carcasses. About half were fresh, the rest at least a year old.

    With close inspections, the researchers confirmed that recent carcasses were exclusively poached animals; roughly 80 percent of the older carcasses had been poached, as well. Older bulls accounted for all of the remains that the scientists were able to age, indicating that poachers, for now, are targeting individuals with the largest tusks.

    A herd in the Chobe district in September.CreditMonirul Bhuiyan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    The findings revealed a 593 percent increase in the number of freshly killed carcasses, compared to survey results from 2014. Extrapolating the numbers, the researchers estimated that a minimum of 385 elephants had been poached in Botswana between 2017 and 2018.

    "Those scientists and colleagues who cast doubt on our initial findings I hope now find that the science and evidence that we describe in our paper is indeed convincing," Dr. Chase said.

    The results of this "state of the art" study speak for themselves, putting to rest any doubt that Botswana has a poaching problem, said Keith Lindsay, a collaborating researcher at the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, a nonprofit research group in Kenya, who was not involved in the study.

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    "The few people who did speak against Mike's original results were researchers who have a history working in Botswana and who want to be seen as supporting the government," Dr. Lindsay said. "My own interpretation is that they wanted to support their future position in Botswana."

    While 400 elephants killed out of a population of 126,000 does not sound like a lot, the study authors warn that the situation could quickly escalate. Small increases in poaching — similar to the rates now being seen in Botswana — have preceded dramatic elephant declines in other places. 

    "Poaching doesn't go away on its own," Dr. Schlossberg said. "Based on scenarios from other countries, it starts small and gets bigger and bigger."

    From 2009 to 2014, Tanzania's elephant population fell by 60 percent, while Mozambique's Niassa National Reserve lost 78 percent of its elephants over the same period. The illegal trade in ivory is driven by nearly insatiable demand in China and elsewhere in Asia.

    Conservationists have been warning for years that poaching would eventually reach Botswana, said Mary Rice, executive director of the Environmental Investigation Agency, a nonprofit group in London that has worked to combat illegal ivory trade for decades.

    "My feeling is that this has been a long time coming and that Botswana is still not taking the information seriously," she said. "A country won't be judged by the fact that it has a poaching problem, but it will be judged by how it responds to the problem."

    At the end of June, poachers killed at least three more elephants with poison, the government confirmed. More than 500 endangered vultures that fed off the carcasses also died — the largest mass poisoning of vultures in Africa, Dr. Chase said.

    Arrest records and seizure data indicate that poachers behind the recent elephant killings in Botswana mostly originate from Zambia. But while organized criminal networks may be established outside Botswana, Ms. Rice pointed out, poachers cannot operate in isolation. 

    "Usually there's local support," she said.

    For rural villagers in Botswana, the temptation may be rising. Unsafe conditions in neighboring countries have caused elephants to gather in the north, increasing conflict and breeding animosity, said Neil Fitt, an independent conservation consultant in Botswana.

    Recently, he said, three Botswanans were killed by elephants in one week.

    "I'm not saying that poaching is O.K., but whilst we have these problems, it is difficult to get the communities on board to assist in protecting wildlife," Mr. Fitt said. "Addressing poverty and unemployment in the rural areas would go a long way in protecting our wildlife."



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