SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2019 - 3 PM


5,150 Palestinian political prisoners are waging multiple hunger strikes to protest torture, administrative detention and abusive conditions of confinement in Israeli prisons.  Imprisonment and globalized weaponry trade between the U.S. and Israel are closely linked, fueling repression against Black, brown and immigrant communities in this country.

Join us for an afternoon of discussion: an in-depth look at imprisonment from Palestine to the U.S., and how we can build solidarity between our freedom struggles.

Sponsored by Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), Freedom Archives, FireStorm/CCWP, Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA), Law Students for Justice in Palestine UCB, Students for Justice in Palestine UCB, 


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

Questions and comments may be sent to info@freedomarchives.org



Tell Greyhound:

ICE Off Our Buses! 

No Cooperation with ICE!

Buses are for transportation not deportation!

Protest to End Greyhound's Collaboration with ICE. Greyhound allows ICE, DHS, and border patrol to board buses and detain migrants everyday. People continue to resist! Join us in sending a strong message to the Greyhound bus company.

Friday, October 25, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Greyhound Bus Terminal

2103 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland

Bring picket signs and join us on this national day of protest organized by FIRE (Fight for Immigrants and Refugees Everywhere).

Partial list of sponsors: Workers World Party - Bay Area, FIRE, QUIT (Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism), End the Wars At Home and Abroad, Communist Workers League - Bay Area, LAGAI - Queer Insurrection, People's Alliance - Bay Area, International Action Center - Bay Area

For more information or to endorse, please call (510) 813-4687. 





Save The Date: Black Lives Matter at School Week, February 3-7, 2020.

Mark your calendar! The Black Lives Matter at School national week of action will be held from February 3-7th, 2020–and educators from coast to coast are organizing to make this the biggest coordinated uprising for racial justice in the schools yet. 

Black Lives Matter At School is a national coalition educators, parents and students organizing for racial justice in education.  We encourage community organizations and unions to join our annual week of action during the first week of February each year. To learn more about how to participate in the week of action, please check out the BLM@School starter kit

If you or your organization would like to support or endorse the week of action, please email us at: BlackLivesMatterAtSchool2@gmail.com.  

During the 2018-2019 school year, BLM@School held its second national week of action in some 30 different citiesaround the country. During the nationally organized week of action, thousands of educators around the U.S. wore Black Lives Matter shirts to school and taught lessons about the guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, structural racism, intersectional black identities, black history, and anti-racist social movements. 

In addition to centering Blackness in the classroom, BLM at School has these four demands:

1) End "zero tolerance" discipline, and implement restorative justice

3) Mandate Black history and Ethnic Studies in K-12 curriculum

The lessons that educators teach during the week of action corresponded to the guiding principles of Black Lives Matter:

Monday: Restorative Justice, Empathy and Loving Engagement

Tuesday: Diversity and Globalism

Wednesday: Trans-Affirming, Queer Affirming and Collective Value

Thursday: Intergenerational, Black Families and Black Villages

Friday: Black Women and Unapologetically Black

With your help, this year's BLM at School week of action can continue to grow and provide healing for Black students.  Learn more about how to participate by visiting our website, www.BlackLivesMatterAtSchool.com. Let us know what you are planning for BLM at School week this school year or ask us how to get involved with the action by emailing us at: BlackLivesMatterAtSchool2@gmail.com.





Vote Socialist 2020!

Gloria La Riva and Leonard Peltier announce presidential run





Courage to Resist

In March of 1970, Al Glatkowski and his friend, Clyde McKay, did something unique in modern U.S. History. As an act of protest, the sailors seized the Columbia Eagle, a merchant ship under contract to the US government to take napalm to US Air Force bases in Thailand for Vietnam bombing missions. This is the first time Al has publicly spoken about what happened 50 years ago.

al glatkowski podcast

"We were weighing out the destruction that these bombs would do on humans. We knew that we were causing more suffering, and we had a chance to actually stand up against it. We honestly believed that our lives were worth less than the lives of all the people that would be affected, as well as the environmental destruction that would be affected. Being sailors and transporting these weapons, it just made it all more real for us. You can't have a war without us," shares Al Glatkowski for the first time.

al glatkowski podcast

This historic Courage to Resist podcast was produced in collaboration with the Vietnam Full Disclosure effort of Veterans For Peace — "Towards an honest commemoration of the American war in Vietnam." This year marks 50 years of GI resistance, in and out of uniform, for many of the courageous individuals featured. If you believe this history is important, please ...


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

www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist



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



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!






    1) You're in a Police Lineup, Right Now

    Face-recognition technology is the new norm. You may think, "I've got nothing to hide," but we all should be concerned.

    By Clare Garvie, October 15, 2019


    Face recognition technology is being used to unlock phones, clear customs, identify immigrants and solve crimes. In the Video Op-Ed above, Clare Garvie demands the United States government hit pause on face recognition. She argues that while this convenient technology may seem benign to those who feel they have nothing to hide, face recognition is something we should all fear. Police databases now feature the faces of nearly half of Americans — most of whom have no idea their image is there. The invasive technology violates citizens' constitutional rights and is subject to an alarming level of manipulation and bias.

    Our privacy, our right to anonymity in public and our right to free speech are in danger. Congress must declare a national moratorium on the use of face-recognition technology until legal restrictions limiting its use and scope can be developed. Without restrictions on face recognition, America's future is closer to a Chinese-style surveillance state than we'd like to think.

    [If you're online — and, well, you are — chances are someone is using your information. We'll tell you what you can do about it. Sign up for our limited-run newsletter.]

    Clare Garvie (@ClareAngelyn) is a senior associate studying face-recognition technology at the Georgetown Center on Privacy and Technology.



    2) Why Some Young Voters Are Choosing Democratic Socialism Over the Democratic Party

    As the presidential debate comes to Ohio, the students in a local chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America are defining their political identity.


    Daija Kidd, a junior, is co-chair of Ohio State University's chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America.CreditCreditAndrew Spear for The New York Times

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Tuesday night's Democratic debate approached, members of the Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter at Ohio State University tried to figure out where to focus their energy.

    At a meeting on campus last week designed to set their goals for the year, they talked about labor organizing, volunteering for Morgan Harper's congressional campaign and hosting a town hall-style event focused on climate change.

    "It's all related, even though they look like separate issues, " said Daija Kidd, an African-American studies and sociology double major and co-chair of the Y.D.S.A. chapter, as she tried to get the other members to think about new campaigns for the year.

    "We have these very specific events that we go to, like the climate strike," she said. "But I want to do something that is ongoing, because that is the purpose of democratic socialists. I don't want us to finish doing one big thing and have that be it — I want to keep it chugging along."

    The group's effort to take on an aggressive and expansive agenda reflects the enormous energy on the far left heading into the 2020 election, and part of the appeal of democratic socialism in this cycle: setting an array of big goals to help deepen a movement that goes beyond one-off protest events and marches. 

    For many young, liberal Americans, democratic socialism is a far better representation of their ambitions of far-reaching structural change across the economy and society than the agenda of the Democratic Party, which they see as overly influenced by corporate interests, big-money donors and moderate traditionalists.

    The attempt at Ohio State to define objectives also comes as the Democratic presidential contenders are locked in a battle over what direction the party should take in order to win in 2020. Thatdynamic will be on display Tuesday night less than 15 miles from O.S.U., when the candidates gather for the fourth primary debate at Otterbein University in Westerville.

    Two top candidates, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, have successfully pushed the primary conversation to the left. The D.S.A. saw drastic growth in its membership when Mr. Sanders, himself a democratic socialist, ran for president in 2016, and there are now nearly 60,000 members across the country. (Ms. Warren, who has pulled ahead of Mr. Sanders in polling and is a leading candidate for the nomination, backs many of the same progressive priorities as Mr. Sanders, but has also said she is "a capitalist to my bones.")

    The national leaders of the Young Democratic Socialists of America have seized on Mr. Sanders's momentum with younger voters to expand their group's membership, too, growing from 25 registered chapters in 2016 to 84 in 2019, according to a Y.D.S.A organizer. Chapters have begun to spring up at high schools, as well. 

    The chapter at O.S.U. was small for the past two years, with only 10 or 11 active members. Still, the group managed to create a campus campaign around Fight for $15, an effort to raise the minimum wage of university staff members to $15 an hour. They won that battle in August.

    Now, each meeting draws 40 to 50 members, each one with a different reason for joining and something unique to fight for.

    For many of them, Mr. Sanders was their introduction to the left. They see the D.S.A. as more than just a vehicle to advance the rights of workers — it is also a home for progressive policies and issues that they don't see being addressed by the major political parties in a way they agree with.

    "I don't think they're totally abandoning capitalism per se, but certainly they're more likely to embrace policies tied to what we characterize as socialism," said Melissa Deckman, chair of the political science department at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., who is working on a book about the political engagement of Generation Z. "They're interested in free college tuition or in expanding health care."

    As they grew up in the wake of a recession and watched the effects of climate change unfold, the Black Lives Matter movement form and gay marriage be legalized, the students were often just a click away from finding the next progressive policy to support.

    Nathan Webster, a second-year electrical engineering major at Ohio State, learned about the Democratic Socialists of America through protests in his hometown, Painesville, Ohio, aimed at abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

    "I come from a largely Latino town — some of my friends lost their parents to Border Patrol," Mr. Webster said.

    "Near the end of high school, I realized what politics were and where I fall on the political spectrum," he added. "Originally I told myself, 'O.K., I'm a Democrat,' because I didn't know any better. I didn't know that there was something that could be more left."

    For Ricky Vehar, an environmental engineering major, coming out as gay and then coming out as trans moved her closer to the Young Democratic Socialists of America.

    "From my background, you wouldn't really expect me to become super left. I grew up in a middle-class family, in a good suburb," she said, adding that watching "the discrimination that those communities face not just because they're gay or trans, but because the system incentivizes discrimination against them, moved me toward the left."

    James Fisher, a second-year student and a co-chair of the O.S.U. chapter, joined the group for similar reasons: He supports giving trans teenagers and adults better access to health care through Medicare for All.

    "Medicare for All can benefit the trans community in their ability to get good health care, and that's something that a lot of trans people struggle with," Mx. Fisher said. "It's embedded in the language of Medicare for All, that there's no exclusionary measures to it."

    Others joined the Y.D.S.A. because they saw the benefits of nationalized health care firsthand. During a yearlong program in England, Johnny Amundson got very sick and was hospitalized for a month. His program enrolled him in the National Health Service, and he ended up paying just $200 in medical fees, he said.

    "I saw that there's a difference between being able to have insurance, which my family has, and being able to have health care," Mr. Amundson said. He is now a fourth-year journalism and Russian double major at Ohio State, and he was one of the first members of the university's Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter.

    Nikki Velamakanni, a political science major, joined Y.D.S.A. when she realized that she didn't want to join the College Democrats chapter on campus because of the stigma around it. 

    "It's known to be more centrist, it's known to be more compromise-y," Ms. Velamakanni said. "Whereas the left is more, 'We stand for this and we're going to fight for it.'"

    Dr. Deckman attributes the rise of the Y.D.S.A. to the changing perceptions that younger voters and soon-to-be voters have about government and democratic socialism, and the idea that younger people tend to be more liberal with each passing generation.

    "They're more willing to have a bigger role for government to play in our lives," she said. "This younger generation is growing up seeing what deregulation is doing to the Earth, is doing to their ability to afford college, among other things. I think that's why they're finding democratic socialist ideas appealing."

    Some of their parents were introduced to socialism during the Cold War, giving the word an entirely different meaning.

    "Older Americans who lived during the Cold War, they link socialism strongly to communism. So there's this idea that if we raise socialism, our freedoms, especially religion, are going to be compromised," Dr. Deckman said. "And I don't think that sort of baggage matters to younger Americans."

    For Evan Schmidt, a second-year economics major, "socialism is a word only. It doesn't necessarily have a direct correlation to any sort of regime or empire, which allows for that reconstruction around it."

    He grew up in Manchester, Vt., where the idea of democratic socialism was less taboo thanks to Mr. Sanders. When he moved away, out of what he describes as a "sheltered neighborhood," he had his first experiences with people who grew up with less than he did. 

    It ignited his passion for democratizing the workplace and helping others to achieve the same class mobility his family enjoyed. He joined the Young Democratic Socialists of America, he said, because he thinks "it's what the Democratic Party should be."



    3) For 'Erin Brockovich' Fans, a David vs. Goliath Tale With a Twist

    By Gary Rivlin, October 14, 2019


    Robert Bilott represented a West Virginia cattle farmer in his long battle against corporate pollution. He writes about the case in "Exposure."CreditCreditTaft Stettinius & Hollister LP

    Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer's Twenty-Year Battle Against DuPont
    By Robert Bilott with Tom Shroder

    Robert Bilott never set out to be anyone's hero. He made his living defending chemical companies at an old-line corporate law firm based in Cincinnati when, just a few months shy of making partner, he received a call from a West Virginia farmer who was convinced that the runoff from a nearby DuPont plant was killing his cows. The man had heard Bilott was an environmental lawyer, apparently not understanding that he wasn't the kind of attorney who brought cases on behalf of aggrieved individuals; instead, Bilott defended companies against such complaints. The caller, however, dropped a magic name: that of Bilott's grandmother, a beloved figure in his life. The farmer's case, filed in 1999, and a second, larger class action suit that grew out of it, would dominate the next 20 years of Bilott's life.

    Bilott skillfully tells the story of his epic battle with DuPont and its lawyers in "Exposure," which lands in bookstores just ahead of a new movie, "Dark Waters," starring Mark Ruffalo as Bilott and Anne Hathaway as his put-upon wife. The screenplay is based on a 2016 article in The New York Times Magazine ("The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare"), not Bilott's manuscript. But as you read "Exposure," it's easy to imagine scenes in the film version of Bilott's life. You see the time he was unable to reach his office phone because of the small skyscrapers of boxes and documents that blocked his way, and the time he was rushed to the hospital because of the physical toll the case was taking on his life. In a made-for-Hollywood twist, DuPont bests Bilott by exploiting his pre-existing relationship with a DuPont lawyer and then he bests DuPont's attorneys through clever legal maneuvers of his own.

    If Bilott makes for an unlikely warrior in the battle for safe drinking water, DuPont plays to type as the faceless behemoth that seems to care more about its bottom line than the health of its employees or the tens of thousands of people who lived near the giant plant it operates outside of Parkersburg, W.Va. Because, of course, it wasn't just the cows that were suffering. Scientists inside the company were concerned enough about a particularly noxious chemical called PFOA — used to manufacture Teflon, among other products — that they began testing DuPont's workers for exposure. But when the results suggested potential health problems, corporate's answer was to stop the testing. The ever-thorough Bilott discovers old laboratory animal studies that DuPont and 3M, which manufactured PFOA, had conducted decades earlier. The results showed dogs and monkeys dying from exposure to PFOA, cancer in rats along with birth defects in its unborn. Yet Bilott found no follow-up investigations. At least within the pages of "Exposure," plausible denial seems to be DuPont's corporate motto. Ultimately, Bilott discovers dangerously high concentrations of PFOA leaching into the surrounding community's drinking water.

    Bilott is an engaging narrator who breaks our hearts with tales of clients suffering excruciating ailments and amazes us with endless 14-hour days scouring technical reports in search of that one clue that might help him make his case. The naïve corporate defense attorney we meet at the book's start is gone by the end, and he seems no longer surprised when he realizes that regulators, including the Environmental Protection Agency, are in DuPont's pocket. By the time he learns PFOA and its chemical cousins are in the blood of virtually all of us, he knows it's fallen to him to do the E.P.A.'s job. The book ends with him filing a federal class action suit against eight chemical companies on behalf of every American. His education is complete.

    Gary Rivlin is the author of "Katrina: After the Flood."


    Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer's Twenty-Year Battle Against DuPont

    By Robert Bilott with Tom Shroder

    400 pp. Atria Books. $28.




    4) We Need More Government Whistle-Blowers

    New York City requires its employees to report corruption. It has worked.

    By Margaret Garnett and Preet Bharara, October 17, 2019


    CreditCreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

    Over the past few weeks, the country has been riveted by the news of a whistle-blower within the intelligence community who filed a formal complaint alleging wrongdoing by President Trump. In turn, we have watched the whistle-blower defamed by the president and his allies, even accused of treason, despite meticulously following the lawful process to report possible criminal conduct. This took remarkable courage. There was no legal obligation to report it, and serious risks to career, reputation and even personal safety for doing so. 

    We know from the work we did as prosecutors and investigators that whistle-blowers are essential to exposing corruption and holding the corrupt accountable. But with few exceptions, the law imposes no general obligation on citizens to report criminal activity to authorities. A "duty to report" is rare in American law. Mostly you may simply avert your eyes, keep your mouth shut and suffer no consequence. The rare exceptions concern particularly vulnerable populations like children, which is why teachers, doctors and other caregivers have a legal obligation to report credible evidence of child abuse.

    As with child abuse, public corruption happens in the shadows and is notoriously difficult to uncover, investigate and prosecute. In our experience, uncovering such behavior and holding public officials accountable depends on fellow public servants blowing the whistle. The broader culture can encourage this. But as we have seen in the past three years, norms and unwritten rules about conduct in public life — even those that once seemed immutable — are only as durable as the people who choose to live, or not live, by them. That's a weak foundation for guarding against breaches of the public trust.

    Now consider a system in which there is an obligation to report corruption, to point a finger at waste, fraud and abuse. You don't have to imagine it, because New York City government imposes an uncommon obligation on public servants, requiring them to report wrongdoing or jeopardize their jobs and professional advancement if they do not.

    The city has a long and storied history of public corruption scandals. But out of that history grew this unusual and effective rule for combating corruption. An executive order, first issued by Mayor Ed Koch in 1978 and ratified by every mayor since, directs that all New York City employees have an obligation to report to the city's independent Department of Investigation any instance of corruption, waste, fraud or abuse by public officials or city contractors. Failure to report can be cause for discipline or termination. The law arose after scandals within city government went unchecked, despite city employees' having knowledge of the corruption that fueled them. All city employees now receive regular anti-corruption training from the D.O.I., which underscores the obligation to report wrongdoing as well as the legal protections they have when they do report.

    New York City is far from perfect, but this distinctive rule has borne extraordinary fruit. Many of the most significant criminal cases that the D.O.I. has investigated began with, or were greatly enhanced by, information reported by city employees or contractors — including cases prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York during our time there. These include the CityTime scandal, in which executives at Science Applications International Corporation bilked New York City out of half a billion dollars, and the sweeping investigation into day care providers known as Operation Pay Care, which exposed a million-dollar fraud and resulted in the convictions of 15 people, including seven city employees. New York City's duty to report has helped law enforcement expose corrupt public officials and those who seek to corrupt them.

    A duty to report may at first seem to only add to the dilemma facing a would-be whistle-blower, but that duty, combined with protections for those who act on it, creates a kind of virtuous cycle. A statutory duty normalizes the reporting of wrongdoing and lessens the stigma of doing so. Rules can operate to shape culture, not just punish, and a culture in which the rules are well known supports their efficacy and makes compliance easier. It would be ideal if all government employees had the courage to voluntarily report wrongdoing. And an ethical culture can certainly help make such reporting more likely. But New York City's experience shows that we need not rely solely on personal bravery, or on changing people's hearts, to have effective systems that can alert us to public corruption and fraud.

    Just in the past month, the D.O.I. began two criminal investigations based on calls from city employees who were each offered a bribe. One of the calls emphasized the power behind the mandatory reporting rule. In making the report, the employee noted that he thought the bribe offer might be an "integrity test" by his employer, and he knew that if it was, it would not be enough to save his job to simply decline the bribe, as he did, but that to pass the test, he was also required to notify D.O.I. of the attempted bribe. One might hope that all public employees would be offended by the offer of a bribe and would report such conduct. But moral impulses are not always enough to combat corruption, and the calculus becomes markedly harder when the wrongdoing is not as stark as a bribe and the wrongdoer is not a stranger but a trusted colleague or an influential supervisor or a powerful elected official.

    Insiders willing to report wrongdoing are vital to the fight against public corruption. It takes fortitude to come forward, even when you are required to do so. Those of us who believe in the promise and ideal of honest self-government have an obligation to support a process for whistle-blowers that helps diminish the amount of bravery and self-sacrifice required. The lesson of New York City's experience is that mandated reporting can work. It has contributed tremendously to changing the culture on child abuse, and in New York City it has exposed public corruption while making investigating and prosecuting it easier. Whatever the outcome of the current impeachment inquiry, it should begin a conversation about how to encourage government whistle-blowers to come forward, just as the aftermath of the Watergate scandal was the impetus for institutional reforms and safeguards. A duty to report deserves a place in that conversation.

    My NYT Comment:

    This article makes no mention of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden—all three criminalized for exposing illegal and criminal practices by the U.S. Government. We don't need laws to demand whistleblowing. We need laws to protect whistleblowers when they disclose the truth.




    5) Chicago Teachers' Strike: Citywide Scramble as Classes Come to Halt

    A walkout in the nation's third-largest school district canceled instruction across Chicago. It was uncertain how long the strike might last.

    By Mitch Smith and Monica Davey, October 17, 2019


    Students and teachers on the picket line outside Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Chicago on Thursday.CreditCreditJoshua Lott for The New York Times

    CHICAGO — Tens of thousands of public school teachers took to picket lines on Thursday morning as a strike in the nation's third-largest school district canceled classes across the city, sent parents racing to find child care and left Chicago's new mayor, Lori Lightfoot, grappling with her most significant crisis to date. 

    City officials said schools remained open to students, who would be fed three meals and were being supervised by nonunion workers like principals. But some parents were skeptical of that option, signing up for last-minute camps at community centers and local parks. Others said they were staying home from work or hiring babysitters. School bus service was suspended. 

    Outside schools across the city, clusters of teachers and supporters — many of them dressed in red — held signs and handed out apple cider and coffee, waving to passing cars and answering questions for parents who walked up. 

    "We want to be in our classrooms with our babies, but we need to get them the class sizes and counselors and support that they need," said Shemeka Elam, a third-grade teacher who stood outside Anna R. Langford Community Academy on the city's South Side. Many passing cars honked in support as they passed Ms. Elam and other teachers beside the school.

    The standoff between city officials and more than 20,000 Chicago teachers and thousands more school support workers had been brewing for months, but many residents had believed a strike would be averted. Now, with one landing weeks into the school year, they were worried about what it might mean for their families — for college applications, for sports seasons, for daily routines.

    On the city's Far North Side, Eric Ndedi, the father of two boys — age 14 and 9 — said he had kept his children home with their mother even though school buildings were open. 

    "It's more safe than going when there is no teacher," said Mr. Ndedi, 42, a ride-hailing driver who said he had been accustomed to teacher strikes while growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but had not previously experienced one in the United States. "It's better to stay at home."

    Mr. Ndedi, who moved to Chicago three years ago, said he did not know enough to say who was to blame for the strike, but that "it's totally not good." He said he expected his sons to spend the day watching television, and hoped they would be back in class on Friday.

    It was uncertain how long the walkout would last. Jesse Sharkey, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, has said that he hoped for a short strike and saw a path for an agreement, but that next steps were up to Ms. Lightfoot.

    Outside Peirce International Studies School on the North Side on Thursday morning, Mr. Sharkey said, "It's up to the mayor to get a fast contract settlement, she has the power to do that. But we are going to hold fast to a just contract settlement."

    The strike in Chicago follows a wave of teacher protests and work stoppages nationwide, including in conservative states like West Virginia and Oklahoma, as well as in large, liberal cities including Los Angeles and Denver. 

    Across the country, teacher unions have demanded bigger budgets not just for salaries, but also for classroom supplies, smaller class sizes and additional support personnel, such as nurses and guidance counselors — the issues at the heart of the current conflict in Chicago. Along the protest lines on Thursday, teachers stressed that their biggest complaints were not about their own salaries, but concerns about equity for all of the city's public school students, including those on the West and South Sides, parts of the city that have often been overlooked and where schools have been closed in recent years.

    Ms. Lightfoot said that there had been progress in recent days in negotiations on the issues of staffing and class size, but that other topics kept the two sides apart.

    "They gave us a number of issues in the last 24 hours that we could not bridge those divides — and some of which, we're just not going to be able to get there," said Ms. Lightfoot, who took office this year after an overwhelming electoral victory and pledged to improve life in neighborhoods on the city's South and West Sides. About 47 percent of the Chicago public school system's students are Hispanic, 37 percent are African-American and 10 percent are white. Some 76 percent are economically disadvantaged. 

    Ms. Lightfoot, who said she would be going door to door on Thursday in parts of the city to check on students, said, "this work stoppage will put a significant strain on working families."

    The strike is the first for Chicago's school system since 2012, when teachers walked out for seven days.

    The city said it had offered teachers a 16 percent raise over five years, while union leaders called for increases of 15 percent over a shorter three-year term. But union leaders also wanted written into their contracts the promise of smaller classes, more paid time to prepare lessons and the hiring of more school nurses, social workers, librarians and counselors. Other demands include affordable housing provisions and protections for immigrant students.

    Mental health supports are crucial in a city where some public students are traumatized by exposure to gun violence, said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the Chicago teachers' parent union.

    She accused Ms. Lightfoot of "dangling money" in front of teachers for salaries instead of supporting broader investments in schools.

    "Why do we have to make an argument for a nurse in school every day?" Ms. Weingarten asked before the strike. She said she believed most of the money the union was asking for could be available without new taxes.

    Kerry Kasper contributed reporting from Chicago, and Dana Goldstein from New York.



    6) No Address, No Next of Kin: Homeless in Life, Anonymous in Death

    It took days to identify a homeless man killed in Chinatown. The name of a man who died in a manhole remains a mystery.

    By Edgar Sandoval, Nikita Stewart and Ashley Southall, October 18, 2019


    Calla Kessler/The New York Times

    One man was beaten with a metal bar as he slept on a sidewalk in Chinatown, his face mangled beyond recognition in one of the most brutal quadruple murders in the city's recent memory.

    The other stumbled and fell into a manhole in Midtown Manhattanin the middle of the night, an accident that somehow escaped the notice of nearby workers, who later unknowingly sealed him in. He was not discovered until two weeks later.

    Days passed in each case without the police or the medical examiner identifying the bodies. In the middle of a teeming metropolis, the two men seemed to be living off the grid and alienated from loved ones. 

    No frantic co-workers or family members contacted the police to say someone they knew was missing.

    Their unsettling deaths revealed the anonymity that shrouds the homeless and others living marginal lives in New York City.

    The street can swallow people whole until they blend into their surroundings, ignored or tolerated by passers-by. Many do not carry a driver's license or other identification and avoid giving their names to social workers or the police, out of fear or shame, advocates for the homeless said. 

    "There's people in the street that don't care, because no one cares about them," said Eddie Ramos, 56, a homeless man whose job is to reach out to his peers who need help with alcohol and drug abuse. 

    By Thursday morning, investigators confirmed a name of the man beaten to death in Chinatown two weeks ago: He was Florencio Moran, 39. 

    The medical examiner and the police said they still had not officially determined the identity of the man who was discovered on Monday in the manhole near Columbus Circle. 

    The delay in identifying the men highlights the immense difficulties the police face when investigating deaths among the estimated 3,600 people living on the streets in New York City.

    Investigators said they had little information about Mr. Moran, beyond records of arrests for criminal weapons possession and public drinking. Detectives have been unable to locate anyone in his family or to determine where he was from, the police said.

    Mr. Moran was one of four men clubbed to death as they slept on the sidewalks around Chatham Square on Oct. 5. The police have charged another homeless man, Randy Rodriguez Santos, 24, with the murders

    Identifying the victims proved a challenge, the police and medical examiners said, not just because of their facial injuries, but because they had not been in touch with their families. 

    It is not uncommon for the police to have trouble discovering the identity of a homeless murder victim because homeless people are often reluctant to share their names with others on the street or the authorities.

    Outreach workers said they can spend weeks, even months, trying to convince someone to give a full name.

    For many people living unsheltered, a name may be one of the few possessions they have left, and they guard it the way other people shield social security numbers or A.T.M. codes, advocates for the homeless said.

    "Some give me their nickname," Mr. Ramos said. 

    The city's Medical Examiner's office said out of a "large volume of cases" an average of 15 people a year go unidentified per year.

    In the end, the police said, it was Mr. Moran's arrests that left a trail for investigators: his fingerprints were on file. 

    In April 2013, two days after his 33rd birthday, he was arrested on charges of drinking in public while aboard a train. 

    "I was only drinking a little bit," he told the police at a subway station in Queens. The case was dismissed, as was a weapons charge from August 2012. Another case for criminal possession of a weapon was sealed.

    He once listed his address as a residence on Northern Boulevard in Queens that is the site of an employment office of Goodwill Industries of New York and Northern Jersey. The office offers help with résumés and job coaching to people with developmental disabilities. But there are other commercial tenants in the same building.

    The Police Department declined to give details about the steps detectives took to identify Mr. Moran's family members and the man found in the manhole.

    Joseph Giacalone, a retired detective sergeant who now teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said investigators generally rely on a number of methods to connect a person's living history with a lifeless body.

    "The path of least resistance is to go and see if the person has a wallet on them," he said. A driver's license or medical insurance card often leads to family members, he said. 

    "We still need a family member to identify the body," he said.

    But this simple process becomes more challenging when a person had been living on the street, and it becomes doubly hard when the body is in a state of decomposition, he said.

    The next logical step is to trace a person's history through fingerprints, but that is hit and miss, he said. 

    Investigators also often canvass neighborhoods with photographs and sketches of the deceased to try to find anyone that knew them, he said.

    "They hang them in shelters and show them to people on the street, to anyone who might be able to tell us who the person is," he said.

    Investigators and medical examiners also turn to DNA samples from a hair brush or a undergarment and try to match them to DNA samples submitted by family members looking for a missing relative, he said.

    Sometimes, they never get an answer. There are more than a million people buried in the city's potter's field on Hart Island, many of them unidentified.

    "If the family isn't looking for them, thousands of people are buried in potter's field," Mr. Giacalone said. "But we never stop trying to find out who they are."

    Susan Beachy contributed research.



    7) Hong Kong Court Rules Against Same-Sex Unions

    The decision is a setback to efforts to expand recognition of such partnerships in Asia, after Taiwan's recognition of gay marriage stirred hopes among many.

    By Tiffany May and Gerry Mullany, October 18, 2019


    A gay pride parade in Hong Kong in 2017.CreditCreditVicent Yu/Associated Press

    HONG KONG — A Hong Kong court ruled Friday against allowing same-sex unions in the city, a setback for efforts to broaden recognition of such partnerships in Asia.

    The decision by Hong Kong's Court of First Instance upheld a government policy prohibiting such unions. It came five months after Taiwan's government became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriages, stirring hope among many that other places in the region would follow suit.

    In the ruling Friday, Judge Anderson Chow wrote that "updating" the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples would lead to "far-reaching consequences" that the court was not prepared to accept.

    He said it was "beyond the proper scope of the functions or powers of the court, in the name of interpretation, to seek to effect a change of social policy on such a fundamental issue."

    The judicial review followed a petition filed in June 2018 by a woman, referred to as MK in court documents, who wanted to marry or enter into a legally recognized civil partnership with her partner in Hong Kong, where both were permanent residents. She argued that the government's denial of same-sex marriage and civil unions was unconstitutional. 

    "MK's decision to challenge this discrimination in court was an opportunity for Hong Kong to break away from the injustices of the past and start shaping a more fair and equal society," Man-kei Tam, the director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, said Friday in a statement. "Sadly, the discriminatory treatment of same-sex couples will continue for the time being."

    A local push for recognition of same-sex unions had gained momentum after two smaller court victories. Hong Kong's top court ruled in July 2018 that foreign same-sex couples living in the city who had legally gotten married elsewhere were entitled to spousal visas. 

    Then, in June, it ruled that a gay civil servant and his husband were entitled to spousal benefits and a joint tax return. Advocates celebrated that decision as a small but important win for gay rights, even though the court had explicitly said that the decision was unrelated to the question of whether same-sex couples had the right to marry in Hong Kong.

    A 2017 poll conducted by the University of Hong Kong found that more than half of residents surveyed supported same-sex marriage, compared with 38 percent in 2013.

    Ray Chan, an openly gay Hong Kong lawmaker, criticized the Friday ruling on Twitter. He said that "certain rights and benefits are accorded to couples who were married or entered into a civil union overseas, but it is impossible for eligible couples to perform a marriage or enter into a civil union in Hong Kong. This is a fundamental flaw."

    Ezra Cheung contributed reporting.



    8) Bronx Shooting: Officer Kills Man in 2nd Deadly Police Encounter in 3 Days

    The shooting occurred during a traffic stop near Woodlawn Cemetery, the police said.

    By Ed Shanahan and Edgar Sandoval, October 17, 2019


    Investigators at the shooting site, near the intersection of Bainbridge Avenue and East 211th Street.CreditCreditGregg Vigliotti for The New York Times

    A police sergeant fatally shot a man during a traffic stop in the Bronx on Thursday, officials said, the second deadly shooting by the New York police this week and the third time in three days that an officer fired at a suspect. 

    The shooting happened about 3 p.m. near Woodlawn Cemetery after the sergeant and two officers in a marked car pulled over an S.U.V. because the driver was not wearing a seatbelt, the police said. 

    The officers determined that the driver, whose name was not released, had three outstanding warrants for failing to pay fines for violations, including one for littering, the police said.

    The officers told the driver they were arresting him as a result of the warrants, and he got out of the S.U.V., the police said.

    Once out of the vehicle, though, the driver began to physically resist and then got back behind the wheel, officials said. The officers were on the driver's side of the car, and the sergeant was on the passenger's side, the police said. 

    With both of the S.U.V.'s front doors open, the driver "initiated a violent struggle," Terence A. Monahan, the chief of department, said at a news conference near the site of the shooting.

    At that point, Chief Monahan said, the sergeant fired a stun gun at the driver, but the confrontation continued. As it did, the driver shifted into drive and then reverse "with the sergeant inside the vehicle at all times," Chief Monahan said.

    "When the car was put into reverse, the officer on the driver's side had to release his grip" on the driver "and jump out of the way to avoid being hit by the car," Chief Monahan said. The police had initially said one of the officers was dragged by the car.

    When the car continued to move, the sergeant shot the driver once in the chest, killing him, the police said. The struggle lasted about a minute and a half, Chief Monahan said. 

    A bystander's video posted online by News 12 Bronx captures a sequence of events roughly in line with Chief Monahan's description. Two officers — a man and woman — are seen on the driver's side of a silver S.U.V., tussling with the driver. The car moves forward and then reverses.

    The male officer jumps out of the way to avoid being hit by the open door, which slams shut. Then a shot rings out. Seconds later the male officer hauls a bleeding man from the driver's seat onto the pavement and handcuffs him behind his back and then begins lifesaving measures.

    The officers, sergeant and a passenger in the car were not hurt, the police said. A large quantity of drugs, including cocaine, heroin and Ecstasy, were found in the S.U.V., the police said. 

    On Tuesday, anti-crime officers in Brooklyn fatally shot a man after encountering him firing at a second man. Several hours later, officers in the Bronx shot an armed man at the 225th Street subway station, hitting him once in the arm.

    Last month, officers in the Bronx fatally shot another man in an episode that also involved the deadly "friendly fire" death of one of their colleagues, Officer Brian Mulkeen.

    Ali Watkins contributed reporting.



    9) Union Says G.M. Strike Won't End Until Workers Vote on Deal

    By Neal E. Boudette, October 17, 2019


    Union workers from the idled General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, traveled to Detroit to voice opposition to a tentative contract agreement. They insisted that the Lordstown plant be put back into production.CreditCreditBrittany Greeson for The New York Times

    DETROIT — The longest strike against General Motors in half a century isn't over yet.

    Leaders of union locals voted Thursday to approve a tentative contract agreement with the automaker, but said the strike — already a month old — would continue until workers voted to ratify the deal.

    After meeting for more than five hours in Detroit, the group said voting by the 49,000 members of the United Automobile Workers at G.M. plants would begin on Saturday and be completed within a week.

    The union leadership did not comment after the meeting, which brought together nearly 200 U.A.W. representatives, and it was not clear whether there had been dissension in the room. But it will now be up to those representatives to sell the agreement to members.

    According to a summary posted online by the union, the four-year deal includes wage increases, and a formula for allowing temporary workers to become full-time employees. It also provides for workers to reach the same top wage regardless of when they were hired, overhauling a dual-scale system that has produced wide pay disparities.

    But the union appeared to fall short of its objectives for reopening plants and bringing jobs back to the United States from Mexico.

    The tentative agreement would keep production going at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, a factory for Chevrolets and Cadillacs that G.M. had said it would close. But the deal does not reverse plans for three plants that have been idled, including one in Lordstown, Ohio, though it provides retirement incentives for displaced workers.

    Brian Rothenberg, the union's spokesman, said after Thursday's meeting that the U.A.W.'s negotiating team "did everything they could" to save jobs.

    "This was a strike not just by U.A.W. workers," he said. "It became a strike for American workers and the middle class." Workers walked off the job, he added, to secure fair wages and "a fair share of the profits."

    The company's profits — and its implicit ability to share more of them with workers — were a continuing refrain for the union in the long negotiations with G.M., which started in July. In the last three years, the automaker has reported earnings of $35 billion in North America.

    The contract negotiations grew tense at times. The union accused G.M. of not negotiating fairly and assailed the company for seeking to cut off workers' health insurance during the strike, a move it ultimately did not make.

    When the talks appeared to be at a stalemate last week, the chief executive, Mary T. Barra, met with the union's top negotiators to get discussions back on track.

    Remaining on strike is likely to be seen as a move by the union leadership to take a hard line with the company, a position that could rally support among the rank and file. In the last contract negotiations, in 2015, some workers complained that the union didn't fight hard enough and gave in to too many management demands.

    In announcing the accord on Wednesday, the U.A.W. said it had "achieved major wins." But ratification is not a foregone conclusion. In the union's last negotiations with G.M., in 2015, approval of a tentative agreement was delayed for a month and the terms had to be reworked.

    A rejection of the proposed contract would be a rebuke to the U.A.W. president, Gary Jones, and his negotiating team.

    "If the rank and file vote down an agreement their leaders send them, they also are voting down the leaders," said Erik Gordon, a business professor at the University of Michigan who follows the auto industry. "Workers may ask whether it was worth being out of work a month to get a deal that could be close to what they would have gotten with no strike and no loss of pay."

    G.M. issued a statement urging the union "to move as quickly as possible through the ratification process, so we can resume operations."

    But for at least another week, the walkout will continue to take a financial toll on the company, its workers and its suppliers. Analysts estimate that the strike has cost G.M. $2 billion in operating profit. Workers are getting by on strike pay of $275 a week.

    If the contract is ratified, each full-fledged U.A.W. worker will receive a signing bonus of $11,000, a 3 percent wage increase in the second and fourth years of the contract, and a 4 percent lump sum in the first and third years. Temporary workers would get a signing bonus of $4,500, the same wage increases as full-time workers and the possibility of becoming permanent employees within three years.

    A notable provision would allow workers hired since 2007 to reach a top wage of $32 an hour after four years of service, the same maximum as more senior workers. The change would essentially eliminate the two-tier wage system, which the union says is a source of workplace tension.

    Since 2007, new hires have started at about $17 an hour and moved to a top wage of $29 over eight years. Workers hired before 2007 earned the top wage of $31 an hour. That left some workers earning far less than more senior colleagues doing similar work.

    The two-tier system was introduced when G.M., Ford Motor and Chrysler were struggling and needed to lower labor costs to compete with the nonunion, foreign-owned auto plants that had sprung up across Southern states.

    The tentative G.M. deal would also eliminate a $12,000 cap on annual profit-sharing payouts, which could have a significant upside if G.M. continues its recent earnings performance.

    Health care benefits are unchanged, with workers paying about 3 percent of the cost.

    There were signs of dissent Thursday from union members outside the Renaissance Center office complex, where G.M. has its headquarters and where the union meeting took place. As the union officials arrived, they were greeted by about 30 workers from the Lordstown plant in red T-shirts shouting, "Vote no!"

    "It's no deal for us," said one of the protesters, Todd Piroch, a Lordstown worker who has been transferred to a plant in Bowling Green, Ky., that assembles Chevrolet's Corvette sports car. He said he was going to vote against the contract, but said he wasn't sure workers elsewhere would do so.

    "We're just angry," he said.

    G.M. has promised to invest $7.7 billion in its manufacturing operations in the United States over the next four years, and a further $1.3 billion in ventures with partners, saying those moves would create or preserve 9,000 jobs. But the deal includes no specific promises to expand domestic production or to move manufacturing to the United States from Mexico, both of which were goals of the union going into the negotiations.

    Mr. Rothenberg, the union spokesman, said the U.A.W. would make the details of G.M.'s investment plans public soon. In previous years, the union has presented a breakdown of plant-by-plant investments.

    One of the union's main objectives was getting G.M. to reopen the car factory in Lordstown, a goal that President Trump endorsed. But there is no indication that the matter was ever on the table in the contract talks. G.M. stopped production at that plant, and others in Baltimore and in Warren, Mich., as part of a cost-cutting effort that eliminated 2,800 factory jobs and thousands of white-collar positions.

    In a statement on Thursday, General Motors said it was looking into building a battery factory near Lordstown that would employ about 1,000 workers. The plant would be built with a partner and unionized, but under a separate contract.

    An electric-truck company that hopes to buy the Lordstown plant from G.M. would employ about 400 production workers, the automaker said.

    The company has not indicated that displaced workers from its Lordstown plant would be given preference in hiring at either operation.

    G.M. reaffirmed a plan announced in May to invest $700 million in three existing plants in Ohio — in Parma, Toledo and the Dayton area — with an expected net gain of 450 jobs.

    "G.M. is committed to future investment and job growth in Ohio," the company said.

    If the G.M. contract is ratified, the U.A.W. will turn its focus to Ford Motor or Fiat Chrysler. Contracts with those manufacturers expired on Sept. 14, but workers continued reporting to assembly lines while the union negotiated with G.M.

    David Yaffe-Bellany contributed reporting from New York.



    10) Anti-Brexit Protesters Descend on London as Parliament Debates

    The rally's organizers said they hoped more than a million people would join a demonstration rejecting Prime Minister Boris Johnson's withdrawal deal.

    By Marc Santora and Anne Schaverien, October 19, 2019


    "We are now reaching a crucial moment in the Brexit crisis," said the organizers of the London rally on Saturday.CreditKirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    LONDON — As lawmakers huddled inside the House of Commons on Saturday to debate Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal, hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered outside the Palace of Westminster to demand that voters be given the final say on Brexit.

    Organizers said they hoped to draw more than a million protesters, which would make it one of the largest demonstrations in British history. 

    The stated desire of the marchers was to call for a second referendum on any Brexit deal that lawmakers approve, but most had a more basic goal.

    "No Brexit" was the chant that echoed through the stately streets and grand avenues of the city on a crisp and sunny autumn afternoon.

    "This is a last-ditch attempt to get them to hear our voices," said Ollie Lloyd, 42, who was among those protesting. The debate taking place in Parliament, he said, was about more than trade deals and plain economics.

    "This is about what kind of country we want to be," he said: "Do we want to be an open and tolerant country," or one that is closed off and inward looking?

    His father, Gil Lloyd, 68, was handing out anti-Brexit stickers at the march. 

    Wearing a European Union sweatshirt and wristbands, and a button depicting a man meant to represent Britain shooting himself in the foot, he said it was important to participate in the demonstration even if he was not hopeful that a second referendum would take place. 

    "I am just horrified at the whole thing," he said.

    Those mixed emotions seemed to capture the spirit of the day — a combination of defiance, determination, exhaustion and resignation.

    Yet the mood was largely festive as the march made its way from the triumphal Marble Arch near Hyde Park, through Trafalgar Square, past the many monuments to past days of imperial power, and on to Parliament.

    While protesters cheered and jeered outside the building, inside Mr. Johnson was making the case to Parliament that it was time for lawmakers to pass "a deal that can heal the rift in British politics" and "unite the warring instincts in our soul."

    He called the deal "the greatest single restoration of national sovereignty in parliamentary history."

    t was the first time the House of Commons had been called into session on a Saturday in nearly four decades, when lawmakers gathered to discuss the war in the Falkland Islands.

    In a referendum three years ago, British voters narrowly supported leaving the European Union, which it had joined in 1973.

    Since then, the divisions in the country have grown along with feelings of frustration, confusion, sadness and despair.

    And growing public anger.

    "The whole thing was sold on a lot of lies," said Dorothy Milosevic, 63. "Since that morning when we woke up to find that the leavers had won, it is has been gloom and despondency."

    "It is important that our voice is heard," she added. She had traveled from Oxford with her daughter, Angahard Holloway, 34, and her granddaughter, Eleanor, 12.

    Those who would be most affected by Brexit, she said, were the young people. "They simply won't have the same opportunities I was afforded," she said.

    Outside Parliament, three 16-year-old friends who attend school together said they felt it was important to take part in the march even though they were still two years away from voting age.

    "We came here today because we want to let our voices be heard," said one of the teenagers, Anoushka Nairac, a student at Magdalen College. "We have not been able to do it any other way."

    As for many others, the issues surrounding the Brexit debate are deeply personal.

    "My father is an immigrant who set up his own company and provided jobs for citizens," she said. "It makes me annoyed; people are not looking at the facts." 

    Even before Saturday, the anger over Brexit had led to some of the largest protests in British history.

    The first People's Vote March, which drew hundreds of thousands people, was held a year ago on the eve of a vote on an agreement put forth by Theresa May, who was then prime minister.

    Mrs. May tried to persuade Parliament to pass her deal three times, and three times failed. Supporters of a people's vote had hoped that the chaos would help build support for their cause.

    But after her resignation, Mr. Johnson, a champion of Brexit, won the Conservative Party's backing to take up residence at 10 Downing Street and set about pushing for a swift exit, deal or no deal.

    He has steadfastly opposed the idea of another vote, saying that the people have already had their say.

    Those who took to the streets on Saturday called that argument flawed 

    They say that voters were misled before the referendum and that they should be given a chance to vote on a specific Brexit deal — with the benefit of being informed by years of debate and discussion — rather than the abstract notion of a withdrawal.

    The protesters were joined by celebrities, opposition politicians and the former prime ministers Tony Blair, of the Labour Party, and John Major, a Conservative, who united to make a short film that was to be screened at the rally warning about the dangers Brexit posed to Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

    The organizers of the march, reacting to criticism that their movement was mainly backed by people in wealthy areas, sought to build support outside London and have staged rallies around Britain, including in Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland; in Belfast, Northern Ireland; and in Cheltenham, in southern England

    On Saturday, more than 170 buses had been arranged to bring protesters from around the country into London.

    "We are now reaching a crucial moment in the Brexit crisis," the organizers of the march said in a statement. "The Government has adopted the slogan 'Get Brexit Done' to try and browbeat an exhausted public into accepting whatever botched Brexit Boris Johnson presents to them but we know this slogan is a lie."

    Greg Brown, 41, an engineer from Middlesbrough, said he had made the trek from the northeast of England to show that even in Brexit strongholds like where he lives, opinion is divided.

    "I am embarrassed to say that there was a big Leave vote in the north east," he said. "Europe stands for peace, for multilateral negotiations, workers rights, paternity rights, jobs and free trade."

    "In the three years since the vote," he said, "I have not yet heard a decent reason for voting Leave, and here we are standing on a cliff edge."

    Since lawmakers decided to delay the vote, it seems Mr. Brown, along with millions of others, will have to remain on the cliff's edge a while longer.



    11) What Is Brexit? A Simple Guide to Why It Matters and What Happens Next

    By Benjamin Mueller, October 17, 2019


    Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

    Britain has been haggling over the nation's withdrawal from the European Union, the process known as Brexit, since the referendum in 2016. The badly divided government has been in crisis, unable to agree on an approach to perhaps the country's biggest peacetime decision in decades. The deadline for leaving the bloc is fast approaching.

    The struggle has already cost one prime minister, Theresa May, her job; she announced on May 24 that she would resign after failing to come up with a plan that satisfied her party, her coalition partners and officials in Brussels, the seat of the European Union.

    The task then fell to her successor, Boris Johnson. The Conservative Party chose Mr. Johnson, a brash proponent of withdrawal, to succeed Mrs. May and take control of the Brexit process.

    It has not gone well.

    Many lawmakers were outraged over Mr. Johnson's insistence that if need be, he would pull Britain from the European Union even without a formal agreement — a move many warn could mean major economic damage. When he maneuvered to cut out the lawmakers by suspending Parliament weeks before the deadline for withdrawal, Britain's Supreme Court ruled that he had acted unlawfully and that Parliament must be allowed to resume as normal.

    The deadline for withdrawal is currently Oct. 31. On Oct. 17, Mr. Johnson and E.U. negotiators announced that they had struck a draft deal, which still needed to clear several hurdles, including passage in the British and E.U. parliaments.

    What ultimately emerges could determine the shape of Britain and its place in the world for decades. What follows is a basic guide to Brexit, what it is, how it developed into the mess it is today and how it could ultimately be resolved.

    What is Brexit?

    A portmanteau of the words "Britain" and "exit," Brexit is shorthand for Britain's split from the European Union, changing its relationship to the bloc on trade, security and migration.

    Britain has been debating the pros and cons of membership in a European community of nations almost from the moment the idea was broached. It held its first referendum on membership in what was then called the European Economic Community in 1975, less than three years after it joined, when 67 percent of voters supported staying in the bloc.

    In 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron promised a national referendum on European Union membership with the idea of settling the question once and for all. The options it offered were broad and vague — Remain or Leave — and Mr. Cameron was convinced that Remain would win handily.

    Britons voted on June 23, 2016, as a refugee crisis made migration a subject of political rage across Europe and amid accusations that the Leave campaign had relied on lies and broken election laws. An ill-defined Brexit won 52 percent of the vote.

    Not only did that not settle the debate, but it also saved for another day the tangled question of what should come next. After more than three years of debate and negotiation, that remains unanswered.

    How did the referendum vote break down?

    Most voters in England and Wales supported Brexit, particularly in rural areas and smaller cities. That overcame majority support for remaining in the European Union among voters in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland. See a detailed map of the vote.

    Young people overwhelmingly voted against leaving, while older voters supported it.

    Why is it such a big deal?

    Europe is Britain's most important export market and its biggest source of foreign investment, and membership in the bloc has helped London cement its position as a global financial center. An announcement, or at least a threat, from a major business to leave Britain because of Brexit is a regular occurrence. The list of companies that are thinking about relocating includes Airbus, which employs 14,000 people and supports more than 100,000 other jobs.

    The government has projected that in 15 years, the country's economy will be 4 percent to 9 percent smaller under Brexit than it would inside the bloc, depending on how it leaves.

    Mrs. May had promised that Brexit would end free movement, the right of people from elsewhere in Europe to live and work in Britain, and vice versa. That was a triumph for some working-class people who see immigration as a threat to their jobs, but dispiriting for young Britons hoping to study or work abroad.

    On Oct. 17, Britain and the European Union announced that they had struck an agreement on a draft deal. The draft has to be approved by the E.U. leaders, and most crucially, the British Parliament.

    What's holding it up?

    Undoing 46 years of economic integration in one stroke was never going to be easy, and the Brexit process has been bedeviled by the same divisions that led to the referendum in the first place. Both Britain's main parties, the governing Conservatives and the Labour opposition, are divided over what to do, leaving Parliament so factionalized that there may be no coherent plan that would get a majority.

    After the announcement on Oct. 17 of a draft deal, the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland said that they could not support the proposal because of the tax arrangements involved. The Conservative Party has relied on the D.U.P. to remain in government since it lost its majority in the 2017 election, and their support for a Brexit deal is thought to be crucial for Mr. Johnson to get his deal through Parliament.

    Britain's opposition Labour Party slammed the proposed deal and said it wanted to put the agreement to a public vote, giving Britons a chance to support either leaving the European Union on Mr. Johnson's terms or reversing Brexit altogether. It was their strongest endorsement of a second referendum.

    We keep hearing about the Irish border. What's that about?

    The single greatest hangup is the question of Britain's only land border with the European Union — the invisible line between Ireland, another member state of the bloc, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

    Mrs. May and her Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, want to prevent checkpoints from going up at the border; such barriers are generally seen as incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which brought respite from decades of violence in Northern Ireland.

    But the method she agreed for guaranteeing that — called "the backstop" — has alienated much of Parliament.

    The backstop would keep the United Kingdom in a trading relationship with Europe until a final deal to avoid a hard border could be agreed on, something that hard-line Brexiteers fear would never happen.

    And it would bind Northern Ireland to even more European rules, to the dismay of those who reject any regulatory differences between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. Most notably, that includes the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, whose 10 lawmakers give Mrs. May her parliamentary majority.

    Mr. Johnson has promised to negotiate a new deal without the backstop arrangement, which he says would leave Britain in an "absolutely unacceptable" situation.

    D.U.P. lawmakers have long sought a veto on post-Brexit trading rules, seeing that provision as the only way to ensure that the territory does not diverge from the rest of the United Kingdom — but Mr. Johnson's proposal with the E.U. does not provide one.

    How did we end up with an Oct. 31 deadline?

    Just about the only clear decision Parliament has made on Brexit since the 2016 referendum was to give formal notice in 2017 to quit, under Article 50 of the European Union's Lisbon Treaty, a legal process setting it on a two-year path to departure. That set March 29, 2019, as the formal divorce date.

    When it became clear that Parliament would not accept Mrs. May's deal by then, the European Union pushed the precipice back to April 12, to allow her to try again. The timing was dictated by the coming European Parliament elections, the thinking being that if Britain were to take part in that vote, it would need to begin preparing at least six weeks in advance.

    Once again, the "cliff edge" of a no-deal Brexit loomed, but the new deadline did not yield any more agreement in London, forcing Mrs. May to plead, again, for more time. European leaders insisted on a longer delay this time, and set Oct. 31 as the date.

    But in announcing her decision to step aside, Mrs. May acknowledged that lawmakers had yet to find a way to pass that deal, or to agree on what they wanted instead.

    The fantasy that Brexit would be easy has crumbled, and lawmakers who made lofty promises to their constituents are having to face hard reality.

    Somehow, having the nightmare come to a head — again — on Halloween seems fitting.

    What happens next?

    To be ratified, the deal announced on Oct. 17 must be approved by European Union leaders and by the British Parliament. Mr. Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May, had also struck a deal with Brussels but suffered three thunderous defeats in Parliament.

    Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, seen as vital to the passage of the agreement in Parliament, said it did not support the agreement. And the opposition Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, called on members of Parliament to reject it, saying, "It seems the prime minister has negotiated an even worse deal than Theresa May's."

    Mr. Johnson announced the agreement on Twitter, saying that the parties had reached a "great new deal that takes back control" and that Parliament would now be clear to vote on the agreement on Oct. 18. Parliament had passed a law to force Mr. Johnson to seek a Brexit delay if he failed to negotiate a new deal with the E.U. at the summit on Oct. 17 and 18. Mr. Johnson said he would stand by the law but also pledged to lead Britain out of the E.U. on Oct. 31 no matter what happens.

    What are the alternatives?

    Mr. Johnson has said he would be prepared to lead a no-deal withdrawal, but that he would work toward a better deal. A less strident leader might have tacked to the center by committing to a customs union with Europe — a close trading relationship that would prevent the imposition of tariffs and quotas. That would solve the Irish border dilemma and possibly win votes from Labour lawmakers.

    Mr. Corbyn has worked hard not to commit Labour to a distinct course on Brexit. But under pressure from many of his members, he has moved toward supporting a second referendum on the eventual withdrawal agreement. On Oct. 17, Labor gave its strongest endorsement yet for a second referendum, and swiftly walked it back.

    A referendum could take many forms, and even among its backers, there is no agreement on that, either. Nor is it certain that a rerun of the vote would deliver a different result.

    Still other pro-Europe voters want Parliament to kill Brexit on its own, or at least delay it for years, by revoking Article 50.













    Working people are helping to feed the poor hungry corporations! 

    Charity for the Wealthy!


    Posted by: bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com
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