Global Women’s Strike message at protest against Massacres in Haiti

We stand with the Haitian grassroots in their daily resistance demanding the resignation of the US-backed president Jovenel Moise and an end to acute food and fuel shortages, desperate poverty and homelessness, state murders and repression, widespread government corruption, and the return of the Petrocaribe billions sent by the Venezuelan people to meet the needs of the Haitian grassroots.  Despite the most horrendous repression, the street protests continue unrelenting.

We support our grassroots sisters and brothers, especially the mothers who have faced the most terrible brutality.  Many of us are mothers and grand-mothers ourselves and are shocked and outraged by the testimonies of the horrors in Lasalin – mothers being burned to death or seeing their children killed in front of them – which have been documented in videos by Margaret Prescod, of WoC GWS and Pacifica Radio’s Sojourner Truth.  The Sojourner Truth team was the first international media crew to interview survivors in Lasalin, the area hardest hit by state massacres.  Despite this, the women and the whole community remain firm against this corrupt government and refuse to faulter in their loyalty to Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Fanmi Lavalas.  

We are all here together today to demand an end to the massacres, an end to the US arming, funding and training the killers in Haiti’s police and military, an end to the US imposing governments through fraudulent elections, an end to 200 years of persecution for having won and still defending the revolution that ended slavery and won independence from the imperial powers – defeating Napoleon with their bare hands.  Haitians must have a life free from repression, terror and abject poverty.

Now is the time when words are not enough. We must give every political and financial support to the Haitian movement.
Week of Action in Solidarity with Haiti


Wednesday, October 2, time tba 
Rally to Stop the Massacres in Haiti
Peckham Federal Building San Jose
280 S. 1st Street

Stand in solidarity with the overwhelming majority of Haitians, whose continued resistance to an illegitimate, US-backed regime has given rise to years of sustained protest against stolen elections, government corruption, poverty, land grabs, rising prices, and 15 years of UN/US military occupation. These are the conditions that drive people to leave Haiti and immigrate elsewhere seeking a means to survive. $4.2 BILLION has been stolen from government revenues. The international media has either ignored this struggle or reported in a way that blames the demonstrators for "violence." 

As resistance to this regime intensifies, so does repression. Police and paramilitary forces have responded with bullets, teargas, imprisonment and increasingly, massacres, aimed at wiping out Haiti's grassroots Lavalas movement. Over several nights in November, 2018 state-sponsored armed forces tortured, and/or murdered several hundred people, raped women in front of their families and burned homes in Lasalin, a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince with a history of resistance. 

The U.S. arms, funds and trains Haiti's military and police, and only with U.S. support can this corrupt regime remain in power. The people of Haiti deserve  to live without the daily threat of state-directed violence. It is time for the U.S. to be held accountable for its continued support of the repressive regime now in power in Haiti.

sent by Haiti Action Committee



You are invited to the following event:
Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:
Thursday, October 10, 2019 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (PDT)
J. Paul Leonard Library
1630 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
View Map 
Please join us for a critical conversation on the World Day Against the Death Penalty.

Kevin Cooper, Artist, Writer and Abolitionist, currently on Death Row, San Quentin (phoning into the panel from death row)
Jarvis Jay Masters, Writer and Buddhist, currently on Death Row, San Quentin (recent recording about life on death row at San Quentin)
Nancy Haydt, Executive Director, Death Penalty Focus
Carina Gallo, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Studies, SFSU
Beth Webb, Board Member, Death Penalty Focus

Light refreshments will be provided
Share this event on Facebook and Twitter.
We hope you can make it!



Sunday, October 13, 2019 from Noon to 4 pm
San Francisco's Embarcadero - Fisherman's Wharf area
< Boats off shore with Peace Banners
< Us on shore handing out Flyers

LAND LINE (leave messages before the 13th…but they won't be heard until Oct. 11):  
CELL (on the 13th only please):  510-541-6874

If you have questions beforehand, you can text to the cell phone,
and Fred will respond as he's able.  
Toby & Fred are at www.ShutDownCreech.blogspot.com 
for a week of killer drone resistance!

"Angels Don't Bomb!" .... plus lots of info on Drones, the anti-war work of the 2 orgs and webs to check out (alternatives to the military, etc.)
We'll also have a counter-recruitment flyer to hand out to young people.

If you are interested in being on a boat, 
Please email Toby Blome:  ratherbenyckeling@comcast.net
Current boats are pretty full, so you will be put on a wait list, in case more boats join us.
You will hear back from Toby on Friday, Oct. 11 to confirm a seat.
If you know a boat owner please encourage them to contact us.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS:   A totally independent "PEACE NAVY" event on the bay is being organized on Oct. 6, Sunday.  More on that later, but the organizers of both events are collaborating, so that we can ENCIRCLE Fleet Week before and after with the values of S.F:   
Peace & Love and ZERO tolerance to war!

Big Thanks to Nadya, our liaison between Veterans For Peaceh and CODEPINK!!



Vote Socialist 2020!
Gloria La Riva and Leonard Peltier announce presidential run



New Evidence of Innocence Spurs two Court Filings for Mumia Abu Jamal

Press Release


September 9, 2019 Philadelphia—The struggle to free unfairly convicted Mumia Abu-Jamal took a significant step forward on September 3, 2019, when his attorneys submitted two documents to Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Judith L Ritter, Widener University-Delaware Law School, and Samuel Spital, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. released this statement: 
"This week, Mumia Abu-Jamal filed a brief in Pennsylvania Superior Court to support his claim that his 1982 trial was fundamentally unfair in violation of the Constitution. For example, he argues that the prosecution failed to disclose evidence as required and discriminated against African Americans when selecting the jury. And, his lawyer did not adequately challenge the State's witnesses. 
"Mr. Abu-Jamal also filed a motion containing new evidence of constitutional violations such as promises by the prosecutor to pay or give leniency to two witnesses. There is also new evidence of racial discrimination in jury selection."
Abu-Jamal has always said he is innocent and the new documents go a long way in supporting his case, undermining police and prosecution claims of how Philadelphia police officer Danny Faulkner was killed.
The filings are in response to the December 27, 2018 decision by Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker reinstating Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) petitions for the defendant. Tucker ruled Justice Ronald Castille unconstitutionally participated in deciding the appeals in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after denying Mr. Abu-Jamal's motions asking for his recusal, creating an appearance of judicial bias.
The "Brief For Appellant" in support of his struggle to gain his freedom after 37 years in Pennsylvania prisons re-opens the PCRA petitions as ordered by Tucker.
The "Appellant's motion for remand to the court of common pleas to consider newly discovered evidence" ask the Superior Court that the case be sent back to the Court of Common Pleas "so that he may present newly discovered evidence."
Among the arguments resubmitted in the "Brief For Appellant:"
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel:Failure to make right argument because counsel did not know the law.
Brady Violation—District Attorney Withheld Evidence:Namely that Prosecutor said that he would look into reinstating the driver's license of key witness, Robert Chobert;
Rights Violation of fifth, sixth, and 14th Amendments:District Attorney manipulated key witness to falsely identify Abu-Jamal as the shooter.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel:Failure to retain ballistics expert when the trial counsel knew Officer Faulkner was killed by a .44 caliber bullet even though it was known Abu-Jamal's firearm was not a .44 weapon.
Batson:Discrimination in jury selection that kept Black jurors from being sworn in.
Juror Misconduct:Several jurors violated court rules by conducting premature discussions, creating potential for prejudgment of evidence.
Basym Hassan, Philadelphia political activist, said: "The district attorney clearly violated Mumia's constitutional rights by withholding clear evidence that should have been exposed from the beginning. Throughout the entire process of Mumia's approaching the scene up until today's current developments, the law has not been applied as it was created—to get to the truth of a matter. Hopefully, Mumia will get a re-trial and the truth will finally get told. We await his release from hell."
Cindy Miller, Food Not Bombs, Solidarity and Mobilization for Mumia reminds us: "Does everybody remember on December 28, when current Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and his staff happened to find six boxes of evidence that had not beforehand been shown? That evidence is partly the reason for this new motion."
The "Appellant's motion for remand to the court of common pleas to consider newly discovered evidence" Miller refers to, includes the suppression of evidence of improper prosecutorial interactions with the state's main two witnesses that were instrumental in ensuring Abu-Jamal's conviction. The motion charges that "Abu-Jamal's capital trial was fundamentally unfair and tainted by serious constitutional violations. Mr. Abu-Jamal respectfully requests that this Court remand the case to the Court of Common Pleas so that Mr. Abu-Jamal may litigate the claims arising from this new evidence."
Pam Africa: "Here's another example of why Mumia shoulda been home—an example of police and prosecutorial misconduct. That evidence has been there for years. It shoulda been in trial records but it was hidden. What else is hidden besides the few things that we have right here."
MOVE 9 member, Eddie Africa said: "If they deal with this issue honestly, they'll have to release him because they know what they did was wrong."
Mumia, 65-years-old, remains in SCI Mahanoy in poor health, suffering from severe itching and cirrhosis of the liver. He recently had cataract surgery in his left eye and is awaiting surgery in his right eye. He also has glaucoma. 
Janine Africa, from the MOVE 9, said: "I just got released from prison after 41 years in May. I want to say, everyone work hard to bring Mumia home so he can be taken care of and get proper medical care, and he don't deserve to be in jail from the beginning."
Mike Africa Jr. added: "The pressure of the people, and of the power of the people is squeezing the evidence of Mumia's innocence out. We shall win."



Board Game


Solidarity against racism has existed from the 1600's and continues until today
An exciting board game of chance, empathy and wisdom, that entertains and educates as it builds solidarity through learning about the destructive history of American racism and those who always fought back. Appreciate the anti-racist solidarity of working people, who built and are still building, the great progressive movements of history. There are over 200 questions, with answers and references.
Spread the word!!
By Dr. Nayvin Gordon



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/



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



One Democratic State of Palestine

Why One Democratic State of Palestine

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

Call for a Palestine Liberation Movement

Call initiated by the One State Assembly, February 9, 2019
We are calling for signatures on the statement to create national and global public opinion specially among Palestinians, Arabs and international supporters about the genuine, just and long lasting solution to the seven decades of the ethnic cleansing war and catastrophe of 1948. The One Democratic State  of Palestine (ODSP) initiative stands in opposition and objection to the dead solution of the two states, the Oslo Accords and exposing the latest racist Nation-State Law that was issued by the apartheid state of Israel which emphasizes the real nature of this manufactured colonial state.
This is a crucial time in the history of our struggle, which needs all activists, individuals and organizations, to consolidate and coordinate their efforts in an organized manner to make an impact, make a difference towards the only solution that guarantees the right of return and deals with our people as one united nation on one united homeland: the One Democratic State of Palestine.
Signatories include: Richard Falk, Alison Weir, Ann Wright, Cindy Sheehan, Tariq Ali, Paul Larudee, Kevin Zeese, Joe Lombardo, Tim Anderson, Amal Wahdan, Judith Bello, Ken Stone, Issa Chaer,  Ali Mallah, Alicia Jrapko …..
Endorsers: Free Palestine Movement, Palestine Solidarity Forum (India), Syria Solidarity Movement, International Committee for Peace Justice and Dignity, Hands Off Syria Coalition, Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, United Front Against Facism and War (Canada), Communist Reconstruction (Canada), Palestine Solidarity Association/University of Western Cape (South Africa), India Palestine Solidarity Forum, Venezuela Solidarity Network, Free Palestine Movement, Akashma News, Media Review Network,  Solidarity Net, Kenya, Human Rights in the Middle East, Cleveland Peace Action, Interfaith Council For Peace In The Middle East Northeast Ohio, Pax Christi Hilton Head, Portsmouth South Downs Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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

We say YES to the just national struggle for our rights, which unifies the living energies of our people. We are inspired by our glorious history, our great leaders and their decisive battles, our martyrs, our prisoners, our restless youth and those in refugee camps, waiting on the realization of their inalienable right of return. We say NO to begging at the doors of the occupiers in pursuit of crumbs. This has led Palestinians and will lead them to more division and bloody infighting
Palestine was colonized for strategic, imperial reasons: it is at the junction of three continents, with key transport links and easy access for the hegemonic powers on their way to the oil wealth of the Arab nations. But the colonists could not evacuate the Palestinian people, who have lived here for more than 6,000 years.
After a century of dealing with the European colonial states and American imperialism, our Arab nation has been betrayed, and is still being betrayed, by the terror of these countries.
The illusion that Zionists want peace must be confronted. When will we wake up? We cannot speak of a national state for the Palestinians if we do not liberate ourselves from our petty differences while under siege and occupation. We have to recognize reality: that we continue in a period of national liberation, not in a period of state building.
For this reason we believe in the need to withdraw completely from farcical negotiations with the colonial entity. These only cover up and legalize the occupation. They suggest fair solutions which don't exist, deepening Palestinian conflicts and leading to bloody infighting.
The national liberation stage must precede the construction of the national state. Recognizing this provides a compass to guide us in our national priorities and relations with others. This means no more agreements with the occupiers. They will not commit to agreements, and experience shows they are part of a great deception, falsely called a 'peace process'.
This 'Peace Process' became a façade for the colonial entity to proceed with a so-called 'political solution'. Really, they needed Palestinian participation to pave the way for the oppressive Arab regimes to end the boycott and 'normalize' relationships with the entity.
As Arab markets were closed to the Zionist entity by a blockade, it was necessary to find ways to open them through 'normalization'. But Palestinian resistance had generated popular sympathy in the Arab and Islamic world, and formed a major obstacle to this 'normalization'. Zionist leader Shimon Perez admitted: "The main goal of the Oslo conventions was not Palestinians, but rather normalization with the Arab world and opening its markets."
Yet national liberation requires confronting, not submitting to, foreign hegemony. We say that the leadership of our national movement has ignored this, and has instead engaged in binding relations with the occupying entity and its patrons.
The history of the colonial entity in Palestine is nothing more than a history of the destruction of the Palestinian people and their civilization. Two thirds of our people have been displaced and more than 90% of our land has been stolen. Our land, water and houses are stolen and demolished every day, while apartheid walls are built and the racist nation-state law is being enforced by Israeli legislators. There is also a permanent aggression against the peoples of the region, to subjugate them through Salafist terrorism and economic siege.
The USA supports the Zionist entity with money, weapons, missiles and aircraft, while protecting it from punishment at the UN, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, abolishing its financial support for the United Nations Refugees and Work Agency (UNRWA) and halting its financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. How can the USA or its regional puppets ever be 'honest brokers' for the people of Palestine?
The invaders falsely used divine religion in attempts to destroy the indigenous people and their cultures. They said this was an 'empty land', available for another people with no land, but with the 'divine promise' of a religious homeland. Yet hiding settler colonization behind the banner of Judaism wrongly places responsibility on religion for the crimes of the colonizers.
We have no problem with 'Jewish' people in Palestine. That problem emerged in capitalist Europe, not in our countries. We are not the ones to create a solution to Europe's 'Jewish problem'. Rather, we have to deal with colonization and foreign hegemony in our region.
The colonial entity and its imperial patrons have brought the people of Palestine to a historic juncture. We, the residents of historic Palestine, must dismantle the terms of our collective extermination so as to set up relations which reject racial segregation and mutual negation. We must dismantle the closed structure and replace it with an open, non-imperial and humane system. This can only be achieved by establishing One Democratic State of Palestine for its indigenous people, the refugees who we were forced out of the country and its current citizens. This is the key to a 'fair and permanent solution of conflict' in the region, and to a 'just solution' for the Palestinian cause. Failing this, war and mutual destruction will continue.
Yet the old Palestinian leadership has presided over regression. They make agreements for the benefit of the colonial entity and its patrons. They abandon 1948 Palestine and the refugees. They collaborate with our enemies while delivering no tangible benefit for our people.
For these reasons we say that this leadership has become a real obstacle to any future development or advancement for our people. This leadership has lost its qualifications to lead national action. It looks to its own benefit and is too weak to learn the lessons of the anti-colonial movements of the peoples of Asia, Africa and the Americas. It does not see the advances elsewhere in challenging US hegemony. It does not even see the resistance in the Arab and Muslim World, when they manage to foil US and Zionist projects.
Our movement must be an organic part of the Arab Liberation Movement, putting an end to foreign hegemony, achieving national unity and liberating Palestine from the current apartheid system. Yet this great humanitarian goal directly clashes with the interests of the dominant triad - the forces of global hegemony, settler apartheid and the comprador Arab regimes.
We warn all against chasing the myth of 'two contiguous states' in Palestine. This is a major deception, to portray ethnic enclaves within Palestine as an expression of the right to popular self-determination. The goal must be to replace apartheid with equal citizenship and this can only be achieved by establishing One Democratic State in historic Palestine for all, including its indigenous people, the refugees who we were forced out of the country and its current citizens, including those who were drawn into the country as settlers through the Zionist project.
Palestinian parties negotiating for unity and reform should focus on restoring liberation to the core of the Palestinian National Charter. The Arab homeland will never be liberated and unified by subordination to the USA! It will only be liberated by confronting and ending colonial and imperial dominance.
We say YES to national unity in the framework of our Palestinian Liberation Movement, freed from deceptive agreements which only serve the hegemonic powers and comprador regimes.
LONG LIVE PALESTINE, liberated from racial colonization and built on the foundations of equality for all its citizens, rejecting segregation and discrimination by religion, culture or ethnicity; friends with its regional neighbours and with all progressive forces of the world!
**Your Signature**




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. 



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



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.*** 





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.]



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) Evo Morales: The Root of the Problem Is the Capitalist System
    teleSUR/MS, September 24, 2019
    • He described as

    • He described as "unfair, immoral and inadmissible" that 26 people in the world have the same wealth as 3.8 billion people. | Photo: Reuters

    The president also warned that "Bolivia will not renounce its right to sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean."

    The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales,   said Tuesday that the multiple problems that afflict the planet have their roots in the capitalist system, which favors the unequal distribution of wealth and the senseless accumulation of goods and money in a few people.
    "Let's say it very clearly: the root of the problem is in capitalism," said the Bolivian president in his speech at the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations, which began work on Tuesday.

    The president also warned that "Bolivia will not renounce its right to sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean."

    The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales,   said Tuesday that the multiple problems that afflict the planet have their roots in the capitalist system, which favors the unequal distribution of wealth and the senseless accumulation of goods and money in a few people.
    "Let's say it very clearly: the root of the problem is in capitalism," said the Bolivian president in his speech at the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations, which began work on Tuesday.
    2) The World's Oceans Are in Danger, Major Climate Change Report Warns
    By Brad Plumer, September 25, 2019

    The warming world is disrupting aquatic life and ocean patterns, with dire global consequences.CreditCreditScott McIntyre for The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — Earth's oceans are under severe strain from climate change, a major new United Nations report warns, which threatens everything from the ability to harvest seafood to the well-being of hundreds of millions of people living along the coasts.
    Rising temperatures are contributing to a drop in fish populations in many regions, and oxygen levels in the ocean are declining while acidity levels are on the rise, posing risks to important marine ecosystems, according to the report issued Wednesday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders in policymaking.
    In addition, warmer ocean waters, when combined with rising sea levels, threaten to fuel ever more powerful tropical cyclones and floods, the report said, further imperiling coastal regions and worsening a phenomenon that is already contributing to storms like Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Houston two years ago.

    "The oceans are sending us so many warning signals that we need to get emissions under control," said Hans-Otto Pörtner, a marine biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany and a lead author of the report. "Ecosystems are changing, food webs are changing, fish stocks are changing, and this turmoil is affecting humans."

    For decades, the oceans have served as a crucial buffer against global warming, soaking up roughly a quarter of the carbon dioxide that humans emit from power plants, factories and cars, and absorbing more than 90 percent of the excess heat trapped on Earth by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Without that protection, the land would be heating much more rapidly.
    But the oceans themselves are becoming hotter and less oxygen-rich as a result, according to the report. If humans keep pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at an increasing rate, the risks to human food security and coastal communities will increase sharply, particularly since marine ecosystems are already facing threats from plastic pollution, unsustainable fishing practices and other man-made stresses. 
    "We are an ocean world, run and regulated by a single ocean, and we are pushing that life support system to its very limits through heating, deoxygenation and acidification," said Dan Laffoley of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, a leading environmental group that tracks the status of plant and animal species, in response to the report. 
    The report, which was written by more than 100 international experts and is based on more than 7,000 studies, represents the most extensive look to date at the effects of climate change on oceans, ice sheets, mountain snowpack and permafrost.

    Changes deep in the ocean or high in the mountains are not always as noticeable as some of the other hallmarks of global warming, such as heat waves on land, or wildfires and droughts. But the report makes clear that what happens in these remote regions will have ripple effects across the globe. 
    For instance, as ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica melt and push up ocean levels, the report said, extreme flooding that was once historically rare could start occurring once a year or more, on average, in many coastal regions this century. How quickly this happens depends largely on the ability of humanity to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that are heating the planet.
    Around the world, glaciers in the mountains are receding quickly, affecting the availability of water for millions of people who depend on meltwater downstream to supply drinking water, irrigate agricultural land and produce electricity through dams and hydropower. 
    But some of the report's starkest warnings concern the ocean, where major shifts are already underway.
    The frequency of marine heat waves — which can kill fish, seabirds, coral reefs and seagrasses — have doubled since the 1980s. Many fish populations are migrating far from their usual locations to find cooler waters, throwing local fishing industries into disarray. Floating sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is declining at rates that are "likely unprecedented for at least 1,000 years," the report said.
    There have even been unwelcome surprises. The report notes that some pathogens are proliferating in warmer waters, including vibrio, a bacteria that can infect oysters and other shellfish, and that already sickens some 80,000 Americans who eat raw or undercooked seafood each year. "That's a good example of how changes in the ocean can affect even people who live far from the coasts," said Sherilee Harper, a public health expert at the University of Alberta and an author on the report.

    The report warns that more dramatic changes could be in store. If fossil-fuel emissions continue to rise rapidly, for instance, the maximum amount of fish in the ocean that can be sustainably caught could decrease by as much as a quarter by century's end. That would have sweeping implications for global food security: Fish and seafood provide about 17 percent of the world's animal protein, and millions of people worldwide depend on fishing economies for their livelihoods. 
    And heat waves in the ocean are expected to become 20 to 50 times more frequent this century, depending on how much greenhouse-gas emissions increase. 
    The potential for these heat waves to wreak havoc in coastal communities is already becoming noticeable in areas like the North Pacific Ocean, where what became known as a "blob" of unusually hot water in 2013 and 2014, partly fueled by global warming, killed thousands of seabirds and helped spawn toxic algae blooms that forced fisheries to close down from California to British Columbia. 
    Last year, officials in the Gulf of Alaska had to reduce permitted cod catches by 80 percent to allow stocks to rebuild in the wake of the heat wave, roiling the local fishing industry.
    "When that happens, it's like a punch in the gut," said Brett Veerhusen, 33, a fisheries consultant and commercial fisherman based in Seattle and Homer, Alaska. "And it's not just fishermen who are affected, it's an entire supply chain, from processing plants to shipping to grocery stores and restaurants."

    Changes in the ocean also threaten to disrupt the complex and often delicate ecosystems that underpin marine environments. The report notes that the upper layers of the open ocean have lost between 0.5 percent and 3.3 percent of their oxygen since 1970 as temperatures have risen. And, as the ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide, it is becoming more acidic, which could make it harder for corals, oysters, mussels and other organisms to build their hard shells.

    Acidification and declining oxygen levels are already affecting the California Current, a nutrient-rich pattern of water currents in the Pacific Ocean that supports one of the world's most lucrative fisheries, the report notes. While scientists are still trying to understand the full effects of these changes, one risk is that shifts in the food chain could cause fish to migrate away. 
    "If the fish leave, that affects the small fishing fleets we have up and down the California coast," said Gretchen Hofmann, a professor of marine biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara who was not involved in the report. "So there's the risk of real economic and social problems."
    While the report recommends that the world's nations sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions to lessen the severity of most of these threats, it also points out that countries will need to adapt to many changes that have now become unavoidable.
    Even if, for instance, nations rapidly phase out their greenhouse gas emissions in the decades ahead and limit global warming to well below an increase of 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels — a goal enshrined in the Paris Agreement, a pact among nations to fight warming — the world's oceans and frozen landscapes would still look very different by the end of the century than they do today. Warm-water coral reefs would still face devastation. Global sea levels could still rise another 1 to 2 feet this century as ice sheets and glaciers melted. Fish populations would still migrate, creating winners and losers among fishing nations and potentially leading to increased conflicts, the report noted.
    To cope with these problems, coastal cities will need to build costly sea walls and many people will likely need to move away from low-lying areas, the report said. Fishery managers will need to crack down on unsustainable fishing practices to prevent seafood stocks from collapsing. Nations could also expand protected areas of the ocean to help marine ecosystems stay resilient against shifting conditions.
    But the report also makes clear that if greenhouse gas emissions keep rising, many of these adaptation measures could lose their effectiveness. In the report's worst-case emissions scenario, where greenhouse gases continue piling up unchecked in the atmosphere throughout the century, sea levels could keep rising at a relentless pace for hundreds of years, potentially reaching 17 feet or higher by 2300, the report said.

    "Our fate is probably somewhere in between" the best- and worst-case emissions scenarios laid out in the report, said Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton University and a lead author of the report's chapter on sea levels. "But if you think about the possibility of indefinite or even accelerating sea level rise for centuries to come, that bodes very poorly for coastal civilization."

    Brad Plumer is a reporter covering climate change, energy policy and other environmental issues for The Times's climate team


    3) Angry Protesters in Haiti Call for Resignation of President
    By The Associated Press, September 27, 2019

    Protesters demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise faced the police in Port-au-Prince.CreditCreditAndres Martinez Casares/Reuters

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Thousands of protesters seeking to oust President Jovenel Moise attacked businesses and government buildings across Haiti Friday, creating chaos on the streets after a weekslong shutdown of vital services that has damaged the country's ailing economy and shaken the president's already tenuous position.
    In the capital, Port-au-Prince, hundreds of opposition supporters ransacked a police station used by a special tactical unit, hauling out office furniture and even Kevlar vests and ammunition. An Avis car rental office and Western Union branch were also attacked and burned.
    Several houses in the Delmas neighborhood were burned and groups of protesters hurled rocks at the police, who responded with tear gas. A radio station in the city of Jacmel reported that a courthouse there had burned.

    "We are telling the people who live in the Cite Soleil area and the Haitian population to rise up to overthrow this government because President Jovenel Moise is not doing anything for us, just killing us," said Francois Pericat, a protester.

    Opposition leaders pledged that there would be no peace until Mr. Moise, who took office in 2017, steps down.
    Senator Youri Latortue, one of the opposition leaders, told Radio Caraibes that "if Jovenel doesn't resign today, whatever happens to him is not our responsibility."
    "Jovenel Moise will be held accountable for everything that happens in the country today," he said.
    Haiti has seen months of protests over the government's reluctance to investigate accusations that Mr. Moise's allies had embezzled and wasted billions in proceeds from a Venezuelan program to aid Haiti with subsidized oil. Those protests have been followed by strikes and violent demonstrations as the government has proved unable to import enough fuel to meet the nation's daily needs.
    For three weeks, leaders of opposition parties have sent groups of young men onto the streets to enforce a shutdown of businesses and public services, which opposition leaders pledged would continue over the weekend.


    4) Three Billion Canaries in the Coal Mine
    What does it mean for us that birds are dying? And what can we do about it?
    By Margaret Renkl, September 29, 2019

    A Magnolia Warbler found recently on a suburban lawn in the northeast.  

    NASHVILLE — During the nearly quarter-century that my family has lived in this house, the changes in our neighborhood have become increasingly apparent: fewer trees and wildflowers, fewer bees and butterflies and grasshoppers, fewer tree frogs and songbirds. The vast majority of Tennessee is still rural, and for years I told myself that such changes were merely circumstantial, specific to a city undergoing rapid gentrification and explosive growth. I wasn't trying to save the world by putting up nest boxes for the birds or letting the wildflowers in my yard bloom out before mowing. I was hoping only to provide a small way station for migrating wildlife, trusting they would be fine once they cleared the affluence zone that is the New Nashville.
    I was wrong. A new study in the journal Science reports that nearly 3 billion North American birds have disappeared since 1970. That's 29 percent of all birds on this continent. The data are both incontrovertible and shocking. "We were stunned by the result," Cornell University's Kenneth V. Rosenberg, the study's lead author, told The Times.
    This is not a report that projects future losses on the basis of current trends. It is not an update on the state of rare birds already in trouble. This study enumerates actual losses of familiar species — ordinary backyard birds like sparrows and swifts, swallows and blue jays. The anecdotal evidence from my own yard, it turns out, is everywhere.
    You may have heard of the proverbial canary in the coal mine — caged birds whose sensitivity to lethal gasses served as an early-warning system to coal miners; if the canary died, they knew it was time to flee. This is what ornithologists John W. Fitzpatrick and Peter P. Marra meant when they wrote, in an opinion piece for The Times, that "Birds are indicator species, serving as acutely sensitive barometers of environmental health, and their mass declines signal that the earth's biological systems are in trouble."

    Unlike the miners of old, we have nowhere safe to flee. Nevertheless, the current administration has been rolling back existing environmental protections faster than environmentalists can respond to the ceaseless bad news.
    On the other hand, we've been here before. Not here, precisely, but close enough to have seen what can happen when large numbers of people demand action. Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" — which was published on September 27, 1962, almost exactly 57 years ago — made readers understand the cumulative effects of pesticides on the food chain. The resulting outcry led to a ban on DDT, which in turn was instrumental in allowing raptors like bald eagles and peregrine falcons, which exist at the top of their own food chains, to recover. One bit of good news in the new report in Science is that both of those species are now thriving.
    With climate deniers occupying both the White House and the United States Senate, we seem to be a long way from achieving anything like the kind of bipartisan effort that led to the recovery of the bald eagle. But as avian research-and-advocacy organizations have pointed out, we are not entirely powerless. While continuing to pressure our elected leaders to do right by the planet before it convulses completely, we can also tend our own gardens with an eye toward giving birds a better chance:
    • Maintain a brush pile so songbirds have a place to hide from predators.
    • Let dead trees stand as nesting sites for cavity-nesting birds and a food source for insects. The insects will in turn provide protein for birds.
    • Plant fruit-and-nut-bearing trees and berry-producing shrubs. Native birds evolved to eat native plants, so make sure everything you plant is native to your area.
    • Swear off herbicides and insecticides, in your yard and refrigerator. A chemical-free yard provides safe food sources for birds, and organic farms provide the same benefits on an agricultural scale.
    • Keep fresh water readily available. In a drought, it's easier for birds to find food than clean water.
    • Use traps instead of rat poison, many forms of which move up the food chain to raptors, like owls and hawks, that eat rodents.
    • To protect existing forests, buy sustainably sourced wood and paper products, eat less beef, drink shade-grown coffee.
    • Keep house cats indoors. Even well-fed cats kill birds.
    • Reduce bird collisions with glass by keeping screens up year-round or installing guards that interrupt reflections.
    • Eliminate single-use plastics, many of which end up in the oceans where seabirds consume them at lethal levels.
    These efforts alone won't save North American birds. A true solution will require concerted effort: the political will to address climate change, conservation strategies that restore habitat, policies that consider wildlife needs as well as human needs. More than anything, it will require a comprehensive understanding that wildlife needs are human needs.
    None of this will happen without a wholesale shift in this country's politics, and while that might seem impossible, it isn't. The Republican Party today may be little more than a political wing of the fossil-fuel industry, but it needn't be that way. The Environmental Protection Agency that President Trump seems intent on destroying was created by President Richard Nixon, a Republican.


    5) Wrongly Convicted, They Had to Choose: Freedom or Restitution
    Prosecutors are adopting strategies to keep from having to pay for mistakes.
    By Stephanie Clifford, September 30, 2019

    Jimmy Dennis agreed not to seek civil damages from the City of Philadelphia so he would be released from prison after a wrongful murder conviction. "Sometimes I hate the fact that I let these people off the hook," he said.CreditCreditMichelle Gustafson for The New York Times

    PHILADELPHIA — Outside of Jimmy Dennis's house, on a quiet block, it was one of those perfect summer days. But Mr. Dennis preferred to stay inside, behind drawn shades, where there was little risk anyone would misinterpret what he was up to.
    Twenty-five years on death row can do that to a man.
    Since being arrested for a 1991 murder in Philadelphia, Mr. Dennis has maintained his alibi — that he was on a bus — and his innocence. But not until 2016 did a federal appeals court tell the state to start a new trial or release Mr. Dennis.
    Neither happened. Instead, prosecutors offered Mr. Dennis a deal: sign a plea of no contest to third-degree murder and he could leave prison instantly. If he declined, a new trial would most likely take years.

    The deal gave the city a potential out. Without an affirmative finding that he was innocent, the city would later argue, Mr. Dennis should not be able to bring a civil suit seeking payment for his years in prison.

    "The whole thing was they didn't want me to sue," Mr. Dennis said. "That's what it all comes down to."
    Mr. Dennis's deal is one of several nationally that federal judges are taking a close look at, weighing their fairness and whether they stand up under legal precedent. The deals suggest an emerging strategy in potentially costly wrongful conviction cases: Set people free, but pay them nothing.
    Governments are fielding huge bills as the number of overturned convictions mounts. Since 1989, municipalities have paid $2.5 billion to exonerees, who can seek money under compensation statutes in more than 30 states or via civil lawsuits, according to research from Jeffrey S. Gutman, a law professor at George Washington University.
    Some jurisdictions are having trouble paying. Michigan this year had to pass legislation to replenish its wrongful conviction claim funds after it almost ran out of money, while tiny Gage County, Neb., which has been ordered to pay $28 million to six exonerees, has considered raising property taxes and declaring bankruptcy.

    In order to bring a civil rights claim, defendants must have a favorable termination of their criminal case, according to the Supreme Court's ruling in the 1994 decision Heck v. Humphrey.

    In the prevailing interpretation of that ruling, favorable termination means an affirmative finding of innocence. But such findings are rare. If a conviction is vacated, the defendant is typically granted a new trial rather than declared innocent outright.
    Prosecutors may then retry the case, or they may drop it — either because so much time has passed that the case would be too difficult to retry, or as a de facto acknowledgment that the person probably did not commit the crime. Or, as in Mr. Dennis's case, they may strike a deal requiring the defendant to forgo seeking civil damages.
    Some prosecutors say these types of offers are inherently coercive when the alternative is staying in prison.
    "It flies in the face of our most basic concepts of an accurate and just system: Simply put, I think the whole thing is despicable," Larry Krasner, Philadelphia's district attorney and a former defense lawyer, said when asked to comment on Mr. Dennis's case and another similar deal arranged by his predecessor.
    When Mr. Dennis was offered the deal, his mother was sick and his father had already died. His daughters, one born after he was jailed, were in their 20s.
    "When your mother doesn't ask you for anything your entire life and she says, 'You've proven your innocence, and what else do you need to prove?'" He trailed off, his voice cracking.

    "To this day, sometimes I hate the fact that I let these people off the hook," he said.
    In a 1997 Alaska case, four defendants — all Native Americans or Native Alaskans — were convicted of the murder of a white 15-year-old named John Hartman. As problems with the case against them came to light, supporters began to call them the Fairbanks Four.
    At a hearing in 2015, the four presented exculpatory evidence — including some that pointed to lapses by law enforcement. Prosecutors began shaping a deal that would free the men if they agreed not to pursue a lawsuit. 
    But there was a hitch: One defendant, Marvin Roberts, had received a lighter sentence and was already out on parole. He would not have to choose between incarceration and taking the deal.
    Marvin Roberts had already left prison on parole when prosecutors began shaping a deal that would let his three co-defendants go free if all four agreed not to sue.CreditAsh Adams for The New York Times

    One former prosecutor wrote in an email that Mr. Roberts "may be convinced if it means the release of the other three." Otherwise, he warned, the state could "face exposure of tens of millions of dollars."
    Alaska's attorney general's office formalized its offer, agreeing to drop charges and release the remaining three men if they relinquished any claim of wrongdoing by the police or the state. If any of the four refused to sign, the deal was off.
    "In the end, for going through what I went through, I would not get any compensation whatsoever," Mr. Roberts said. "I spent over 18 years in hell, in a nightmare."

    He had already experienced the financial impact of so many years in prison: Though he had been a high school valedictorian, the only job he could initially get was property maintenance, with duties like shoveling snow.
    "But my three friends, my brothers, they were still in jail," he said. "So I was going to be out for Christmas and they weren't — if I didn't make the deal." He signed.

    Alaska's former attorney general, Craig Richards, who approved the settlement, declined requests for comment, as did the current attorney general.
    In 2017, the four men filed a lawsuit citing police misconduct and civil rights violations in the original case. They argued that the prosecutors' dismissal of the charges counted as favorable termination.
    Last year a federal judge ruled against them on the grounds that the signed agreements specifically said the parties had not reached an agreement on guilt or innocence. The four are appealing.
    Mr. Roberts, left, joined Kevin Pease, Eugene Vent and George Frese in Fairbanks in December 2015 after they were freed from prison.CreditErin Corneliussen/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, via Associated Press

    "Once there's compelling evidence that there's serious misconduct in obtaining the conviction, why should prosecutors have the power to stop a civil rights suit?" said Anna Benvenutti Hoffmann, a lawyer for two of the men. Among other things, officials had failed to disclose inconsistent statements by a key witness.
    It can be difficult to understand why a person would sign away the right to sue, even if doing so means freedom. At one hearing, Sean Kelly, a brother of the victim, said the bargain underscored his belief that the four were guilty.
    If they were innocent, he asked, "would they accept a deal that basically gives them nothing?"
    Shaurn Thomas walked out of prison in 2017. Philadelphia's conviction integrity unit, a division of its district attorney's office that re-examined old cases, had vacated his decades-old murder conviction, deciding there was evidence that could have shown that Mr. Thomas was not guilty.
    But at the time, the city was being sued by another exonerated man, who would ultimately win a record $10 million. His name was Anthony Wright. 
    "Would be nice to avoid a second Anthony Wright-type case and get a nolo contendere" — a plea of no contest — a city lawyer wrote to a colleague.
    Shaurn Thomas speaking with the news media in 2017 after being released from a Pennsylvania prison. CreditSteven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer, via Associated Press

    But Mr. Thomas refused to sign a deal saying he would not pursue a lawsuit. "You are going to bankrupt the city," the acting district attorney told one of Mr. Thomas's lawyers, according to a court filing.

    In the end, prosecutors used a "nolle prosequi" — translation: "to be unwilling to pursue" — to dismiss the charges. The city argues that a nolle prosequi does not count as a favorable termination. 
    A wrongful conviction does not necessarily mean the defendant's rights were violated. A conviction can be vacated for many reasons, including exculpatory DNA evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, errors during the trial, new witnesses, new evidence or, as in Mr. Thomas's case, a prosecutorial review.
    If there is no evidence the police or prosecutors acted improperly, the defendant cannot sue.
    The considerations for overturning a conviction and for determining a city's civil liability are different, Mike Dunn, a spokesman for the City of Philadelphia, wrote in an email: "They are not interchangeable. Thus, it is incumbent upon us to consider and avail the city of all available defenses."
    Mr. Thomas argues that there were civil rights violations against him. The Philadelphia police pressured a participant in the crime to name Mr. Thomas, he said in a federal lawsuit, and ignored evidence that he was at a youth study center at the time of the crime.
    In August, Judge Gene E.K. Pratter of Ferderal District Court decided the suit could go forward. The city's "nol pros decision is indicative of the plaintiff's innocence" and indicates "favorable termination," she wrote.
    In another case, in Pima County, Ariz., Louis Taylor was a teenager when he was arrested near a Tucson hotel in 1970 after it caught fire. He was convicted of 28 arson-related counts of murder, but decades later, after advances in fire investigation techniques showed that cases may have been misclassified as arson, Mr. Taylor's lawyers pushed for a new trial.
    Instead, prosecutors offered Mr. Taylor, now in his 60s, a "no contest" plea to lesser charges and time served, which he took.
    Louis Taylor after a 2013 hearing in Tucson, Ariz., cleared the way for his release from prison decades after he was convicted of 28 arson-related counts of murder.CreditPool by Benjie Sanders, via Associated Press

    A federal appeals court decided this year that Mr. Taylor could not sue for damages, but one judge dissented. "He was convicted on the basis of little more than that proximity and trial evidence that 'black boys' like to set fires," Judge Mary M. Schroeder wrote. She found it troubling that "his plea agreement somehow validates or justifies the original sentence that deprived Taylor of a meaningful life."
    "See how gorgeous he is?" said Corby Johnson, Jimmy Dennis's fiancée, showing pictures of Mr. Dennis just after they first met as children, at an elite choir for Philadelphia public school students.
    When a teenage girl was shot and killed in 1991 near a transit stop, Mr. Dennis was miles away on a bus en route to singing practice, he said.
    After decades of appeals, a judge found that prosecutors had suppressed statements and evidence that backed up Mr. Dennis's alibi and pointed to another perpetrator. Mr. Dennis "was wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to die for a crime in all probability he did not commit," the federal judge, Anita B. Brody, wrote in a 2013 decision. Mr. Dennis still carries his copy of it, worn and water-stained, almost all the time.
    Life has resumed some regular rhythms since he has left prison. He moved in with Ms. Johnson; he has been writing and recording songs.
    Mr. Dennis and his fiancée, Corby Johnson, at her home in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia.CreditMichelle Gustafson for The New York Times

    But he is not normal, and he knows that. He keeps his phone locator on at all times so Ms. Johnson can track him. He panics if she so much as double parks, worried it will attract the police. When he travels, he insists on hotels lined with cameras. "What was taken away from me so easily could easily be taken away from me again," he said.
    He has nightmares about his trial, with the judge and police officers looming cartoonishly above him.
    "This side of the bed is dry but my side of the bed — " he said.
    "Soaking wet," Ms. Johnson finished.
    In May, Mr. Dennis got some good news. A federal judge, Eduardo C. Robreno, had found a novel way to let his lawsuit against Philadelphia proceed even though he had entered the plea deal in 2016.
    Judge Robreno determined that the deal was the second of two separate convictions, and said that Mr. Dennis was entitled to sue based on the first one, which had been declared invalid by a federal judge.
    If Judge Robreno's decision is upheld by higher courts, it could present a new way forward for the wrongfully convicted.
    Mr. Dennis, for now, is trying to figure out each day.
    "I'm sitting here a semblance, trying to get back to me," he said.
    He rose to shake hands, and then stopped at the threshold of his house, not willing, for now, to go any further.


    6) National Day Demonstrations in Hong Kong Turn Violent, as Police Shoot Protester
    The Hong Kong police used a live round against a protester for the first time, as Beijing celebrated 70 years of Communist Party rule.
    By The New York Times, September 30, 2019

    CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

    A Hong Kong police officer on Tuesday shot a teenage demonstrator, the first time in months of protests that a live round was fired at a protester. The shooting capped an evening of violent protests, escalating the territory’s political crisis on the same day that the central government staged a huge military parade in Beijing to celebrate 70 years of Communist control.
    The protesters in Hong Kong hoped to upstage Beijing’s celebrations by holding their own unauthorized marches. Violence quickly broke out, as demonstrators in districts across the city engaged in some of the bloodiest and most sustained clashes since protesters began taking to the streets in early June.
    The protester was shot in the Tsuen Wan district of northern Hong Kong. Tsuen Wan is a working-class area near Hong Kong’s border with the Chinese mainland, miles from the city’s gleaming financial district.

    Yolanda Yu, a spokeswoman for the Hong Kong Police Force, said in a video posted on the force’s Facebook page that the protester was an 18-year-old who had been shot in the left shoulder. She said the protester was conscious as he was taken to the hospital.

    Local news media reported that the young man was a high school student.
    Ms. Yu said the officer who shot the protester had been under attack by violent “rioters” who were threatening officers’ lives. “In order to save himself and his colleagues, he fired one shot at the attacker,” she said.
    In the video, the protester who was shot is first seen joining a black-clad mob of people who chase a riot officer and tackle him to the ground. They kick him and beat him with what appear to be metal pipes.
    At one point, the protester approaches a second police officer who is standing nearby with a handgun drawn. Just after the protester hits the officer with the pipe, the officer fires at the man at point-blank range.

    Hong Kong was transformed into a tear gas-engulfed battlefield on Tuesday as protesters clashed with riot police in nine districts across the territory, building bonfires and barricades and hurling firebombs and other objects in a direct challenge to Beijing’s rule.

    The sirens of ambulances and fire trucks rang out as the police chased after and tried to pin down protesters dressed in black — who in many cases far outnumbered the officers at the scene.

    Traffic was snarled on some major thoroughfares, subway stations were shut down and the clashes looked set to continue deep into the evening.
    The police created a cordon and used a water-cannon truck to keep protesters away from the office of the central government’s liaison to the territory. Elsewhere, they fired live rounds as warning shots, and chased after protesters, pinning some of them down. The Hong Kong Police Force said on Twitter that “rioters” in one district had injured multiple officers and reporters with “corrosive fluid.” It did not elaborate.
    The demonstrations began in earnest when tens of thousands of people joined an early afternoon march on Hong Kong’s main island from the Causeway Bay shopping district toward the heart of the city’s financial district. Some protesters sprinkled fake money — a traditional Chinese funerary custom — as a way of “mourning” China’s National Day. Others cursed and taunted those riot police who were stationed nearby, and who retreated into the shadows of a nearby footbridge.
    The Hong Kong island march was largely peaceful. But others across the territory turned into violent clashes. 
    Hundreds of protesters fought with riot police officers outside a shuttered town hall in Tuen Mun, close to Hong Kong’s border with the Chinese mainland. The police also fired multiple rounds of tear gas at demonstrators in the Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan and Wong Tai Sin neighborhoods. And as protesters squared off with police at either side of an avenue in the working-class neighborhood of Sham Shui Po, some built makeshift roadblocks with trash cans and bamboo sticks, and others built bonfires.

    In the Jordan neighborhood on the Kowloon Peninsula, seven masked men used a Molotov cocktail to burn posters of Xi Jinping outside a Chinese Army barracks. They left after setting the blaze, and soldiers inside the gates did not emerge to confront them.
    In Wong Tai Sin, where the police had fired tear gas at one point near a retirement home, dozens of residents without masks or protest gear shouted at police to retreat. 
    “I want to cry. I come downstairs and feel that I have walked into a war zone,” Vincey Wu, a 53-year-old accountant, said. “Carrie Lam has gone off to celebrate National Day. But has she thought about her people who are breathing in tear gas?”

    To the report of a 70-gun salute, 15,000 soldiers goose-stepped along Chang An Avenue — the Street of Eternal Peace — as an enormous military parade kicked off in Beijing. 
    The parade, commemorating 70 years of Communist Party rule in China, is one of the largest in modern Chinese history. It included 100,000 performers and was the capstone of a week of events meant to celebrate the country’s rapid emergence as a global power. 
    In his opening speech before the parade, Mr. Xi quickly hit on the theme of Hong Kong, the semiautonomous territory that has been roiled by anti-government protests for months.

    “No force can shake the status of our great motherland, no force can obstruct the advance of the Chinese people and Chinese nation,” Mr. Xi said speaking from Tiananmen, or the Gate of Heavenly Peace, which overlooks the square.

    Mr. Xi said that China would “maintain the lasting prosperity and stability” of Hong Kong and Macau. He made no mention of the months of strife in Hong Kong, but his words left no mistake that Hong Kong is on the mind of Chinese leaders today. 
    Mr. Xi also used the occasion to emphasize his narrative of national unity and rejuvenation under party rule. “No power can stop the progress of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation,” he said.
    In the tradition of past parades, Mr. Xi, wearing a Mao-style suit, stood in the open sunroof of a Chinese-made Red Flag limousine as he reviewed the troops. He called out “Greetings, Comrades,” and “Comrades, you are working hard!” The troops responded in unison: “Greetings, Chairman” and “Serve the people!”

    Many tens of thousands of other people marched through a busy Hong Kong shopping district on Tuesday afternoon.

    The large crowd defied a government ban on assembly and marched through an empty thoroughfare in the Causeway Bay district on Hong Kong’s main island. Chants of “Hong Kongers, add oil!” and “Reclaim Hong Kong; revolution of our times” echoed off a canyon of skyscrapers and shuttered shopping malls.
    “We are scared now,” said Ricky Hong, 49, a marketing executive who joined the march with his wife and young daughter. “Everyone is afraid of being arrested for just exercising our right to assembly and free speech.”

    “This is not the Hong Kong we know,” he added. “Please tell the world.”
    In the late afternoon, thousands of other protesters broke off from the main march and headed to a harbor-side complex of government offices. The mood remained festive, but grew more tense as the sun dipped lower in the hazy sky.
    As protesters collected bricks in a trash can — weapons in the battle ahead — the authorities issued an evacuation order for the Hong Kong legislature. And before dusk fell, the police began firing tear gas and blue-dyed water from cannons mounted on trucks.
    The police fired a continued fusillade of tear gas to clear the boulevard, but the protesters divided up into smaller pods; some made bonfires on the side streets with cardboard while others collected bricks. A saxophonist at the rear played the Star Spangled Banner.

    New high-tech weapons are put on display.

    The display of high-powered weaponry is always a highlight of the parade, but its usefulness for assessing China’s military has diminished over the years with ever-advancing satellite technology able to scour the country’s bases, airfields and ports.
    China shocked the world when it showed off intercontinental ballistic missiles for the first time in 1984 during the 35th National Day parade. But this year, experts at the Foundation for Strategic Research in France were able to spot the latest addition to its arsenal weeks ago from afar.

    That missile — which is known as the DF-41 and can carry 10 nuclear warheads and strike anywhere in the United States — made its first public appearance on Tuesday but has been known to American officials for years.
    Other new weapons included a supersonic reconnaissance drone, the WZ-8, and a wing-shaped stealthy drone called Sharp Sword. Both are intended to support naval operations. China has been racing to catch up with the American Navy, shifting the balance of power in the South China Sea and farther out in the Pacific. Two submarine drones were also put on display.
    The parade included 15,000 soldiers and sailors, 160 aircraft, and 580 tanks and other mobile weapons, according to military commanders, who emphasized that all of the weapons were made in China and already operational.
    Mr. Xi, who is commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army, has overseen a sweeping military reorganization that has created a smaller but more modern and capable military force.

    Another float showed off the country’s technological accomplishments, including models of its C919 jetliner, a Long March space rocket and its Jade Rabbit moon rover, all riding atop a sleek high-speed rail car.
    Still another float celebrated China’s entrepreneurs. The rainbow-colored float, with a charging bull at the prow, was called “The Rolling Spring Tide,” a metaphor often used when discussing China’s process of reform. Lei Jun, the founder of smartphone maker Xiaomi; Liu Yonghao, who controls the New Hope food conglomerate; and Liang Wengen, the founder of Sany Group, a heavy equipment maker, were among those waving to the crowd.
    “I deeply feel today’s happy life is hard to come by,” said Mr. Lei in a post on the Weibo social media platform. “We are still on the road. The more we struggle, the happier we are!”
    The images of progress evoke the Communist Party’s unspoken pact with its people: Your quality of life will improve as long as you leave the politics to us. That idea forms part of what Mr. Xi calls the China Dream, a broad vision of the country’s emergence as an economic and political force to be reckoned with for decades to come.
    But for many, the China Dream may seem harder to reach than before. China’s economic growth is slowing. The trade war with the United States shows no signs of ending. Various indicators point to job losses, sluggish wage growth and fewer opportunities for college graduates.
    The cost of living is rising, too. Both tariffs and a weaker currency have made imported goods more expensive.

    Still, huge numbers of those watching the parade still remember a destitute China still struggling with the consequences of the devastating policies of the Mao Zedong era. The National Day holiday, which kicks off a weeklong holiday for many, will offer still more reminders as millions go back to their often modest roots to visit their families.

    President Trump on Tuesday tweeted a message of congratulations to Mr. Xi hours after violent protests broke out across Hong Kong and the police shot a young demonstrator.
    “Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!” Mr. Trump tweeted from the White House early Tuesday morning, after National Day celebrations in Beijing included a large military parade.
    Critics of Mr. Trump and the Chinese government were quick to seize on the president’s comment, retweeting video of the Hong Kong shooting and suggesting the American president was “lauding communism.”
    Mr. Trump has had a complicated relationship with the Chinese leader. He both flatters and lauds Mr. Xi, while attacking China and escalating a trade war with the country.
    Last week, officials said the president was considering blocking Chinese companies from listing shares on American stock exchanges, the latest push to try to sever economic ties between the two countries.

    Tuesday’s protests were different than weeks past in part because of the widespread vandalism that demonstrators inflicted on shop fronts, restaurants and other private property across the city. 
    But much of what looked like indiscriminate destruction of property was in fact part of a coordinated pressure campaign: For months, the protesters have been targeting mainland Chinese businesses, as well as those that they perceive to be sympathetic to the central government. 
    Protesters in Causeway Bay set fire outside a Bank of China branch. And in Tsuen Wan — the district where the police shot a protester with a live bullet — they smashed a Bank of China branch and a business called China Travel Service. 
    Not all of the vandalism appeared to have a specific target, however. On the wall of a business complex in Tuen Mun, for example, protesters spray painted the phrase “The heavens will destroy the Communist Party.” The link to mainland Chinese businesses was not immediately clear.

    One of the guests of honor at the National Day parade in Beijing was Lau Chak-kei, a Hong Kong police sergeant who was photographed over the summer carrying a shotgun during a July protest.
    Sergeant Lau is among the more polarizing figures in the semiautonomous Chinese territory.
    In Hong Kong, he is reviled by the pro-democracy movement as a symbol of what they see as a corrupt police force prone to brutality.

    But on the Chinese mainland, he is widely seen as a hero who is gallantly battling rogue subversives. He is known affectionately there as “Bald Lau Sir,” and an account that he created recently on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, has more than 600,000 followers. (An account his wife created, “My super badass husband,” also has about 125,000 followers.)
    In recent days, China’s state-controlled media has breathlessly documented Sergeant Lau’s activities in the capital, such as climbing the Great Wall and buying Peking duck. The newspaper China Daily praised him as one of many Hong Kong officers who are “combating violence” and helping to protect their city.
    On Tuesday, Sergeant Lau was photographed in the parade gallery wearing a white shirt and striped tie. One user on Weibo thanked him for his service in Hong Kong; another asked him to “shout encouragement for our motherland.”

    Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Communist Party leaders have established a kind of liturgy for how to celebrate the anniversary, including the role of the military. 
    But President Xi Jinping has also created new ways to put himself and his message of patriotic obedience to the fore this year. Mr. Xi featured prominently on Monday in a recently established ritual: aceremony in Tiananmen Square to mark Martyr’s Day, a holiday established in 2014 to honor those who have given their lives to the Communist Party’s cause. He also paid his respects at Mao Zedong’s mausoleum.
    In his speech on Tuesday, Mr. Xi referred to Mao Zedong but did not mention his predecessors as Chinese leaders — even as two previous presidents, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, stood nearby listening to the address. Instead, Mr. Xi’s focus was on the theme of “national rejuvenation” that he has made his own since taking office in 2012.

    “On this day 70 years ago on this spot, Comrade Mao Zedong announced to the world the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and the Chinese people henceforth had stood up,” Mr. Xi said. “This great event utterly transformed the tragic face of China for over a century of modern history when it was poor, weak and bullied.”
    (In fact, Mao did not make his famous remark about the Chinese people standing up in his speech at Tiananmen on Oct. 1. He used a similar phrase in a speech not long before.)
    “The Chinese nation advanced along the grand road toward achieving its great rejuvenation,” Mr. Xi said. 

    The Communist Party controls many things in China but one thing that it could not rein in today was the pollution.
    Beijing woke on Tuesday to a pall of smog and dust ahead of the parade — despite the usual government diktats that have ensured blue skies on important holidays in the past.
    Industries north of the Yellow River were shut down, including a glass tempering factory in Shijiazhuang, south of Beijing, which confirmed that it had closed for the holidays five days ago and will remain shut until Friday. Construction sites in Beijing also went idle. Trucks were barred from the city center.

    To no avail. The air quality index reached 154, a level that is considered unhealthy. Outdoor activity is not recommended, which has been the case for several days now.
    Tiananmen Square was packed with dignitaries, party members and foreign journalists. Access was tightly controlled. Many Chinese attendees were from government offices, top universities and state-owned enterprises. 

    For those of us who have been in China for a long time, the parades reflect China’s changing times and fortunes. In 1984, when I was a 22-year-old student at Peking University, we were told late in September that we would be going to Tiananmen Square to help celebrate the 35th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.
    This was the first big celebration after the end of the Cultural Revolution — although Deng Xiaoping had taken power in 1978, the affair the next year had been relatively low key. But now, with economic reforms having kicked in, Deng’s government was eager to show off its accomplishments.
    I remember a very real sense of excitement in the air. We mainly milled around on the square and walked right up to the parade as it went past, clapping and waving. 
    There was little security, and people joined in — most famously when some university students began to yell out “Xiaoping, ni hao!” (“Hello Xiaoping!”) to the elderly leader. For the first time since the 1950s, China had a stable government that had put economic development ahead of politics, and people appreciated it.

    I ended up attending the next big parade, too. This was 1999, and it was the first to have a military element since the 1984 parade — the army’s crushing of the Tiananmen uprising in 1989 had made that year’s events a sober affair.
    But by 1999, China was taking off economically and leaders were eager to show their country’s newfound wealth and might. This has been the overall trend since then — ever more mighty and technically impressive parades, but perhaps without the naïve enthusiasm of the 1980s. Or perhaps this is just nostalgia on my part.
    — Ian Johnson

    One of the guests of honor at today’s parade will be Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s beleaguered chief executive. 
    Because Mrs. Lam had sent out invitations to a flag-raising ceremony and reception in Hong Kong on Tuesday, her decision to travel to Beijing appeared to have been made at the last minute. It was unclear why her plans had changed.
    The 200-plus-person delegation that accompanied Mrs. Lam did not include any legislators from the city’s pro-democracy legislative minority. 
    The first and only time my father saw Mao Zedong in person was in the October 1 parade of 1950, on the first anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic

    In the fall of 1950, there were not many students in Beijing, and the call to attend the parade went out to all the universities. My father had started classes a month earlier at Beijing Agricultural University. He wore a long-sleeve white shirt and blue pants and held a simple red flag in one hand.
    Those assembled for the parade were grouped by work affiliations: there were farmers and factory workers, and in front of them all stood the soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army. My father was far back with the students.
    “Everybody was excited,” my father said. “You could imagine it! It was our first time seeing Mao.”
    The students marched in rows of ten. My father was at the left end of his row and walked next to Tiananmen Square, which meant he was far from Mao, who stood atop the gate to the Forbidden City. My father could not see Mao clearly, but could make out the chairman raising his right hand and waving. “Greetings, comrades!” Mao said.
    The marchers shouted slogans. “Long live Chairman Mao!” and “Long live the Communist Party!” My father could also hear music, but it is the shouting that he remembers most clearly seven decades later. 
    — Edward Wong
    Reporting was contributed by Russell Goldman, Gillian Wong, Keith Bradsher, Mike Ives, Andrew Jacobs, Ezra Cheung, Li Yuan, Elsie Chen, Tiffany May and Elaine Yu in Hong Kong, and Christopher Buckley, Steven Lee Myers, Alexandra Stevenson, Edward Wong and Ian Johnson in Beijing. Claire Fu and Albee Zhang contributed research in Beijing.


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