CA Coalition for Women Prisoners and
Freedom Archives Present...

A Living Chance

Exhibit & Panel Discussion
Thursday, November 14th | 4:30-6:30pm
Eric Quezada Center | 518 Valencia Street

Please join CCWP for the opening reception of A Living Chance Project, exhibited as part of the National Women's Studies Association's annual conference. We will host a panel discussion of formerly incarcerated survivors of Life Without Parole (LWOP), who now help lead the statewide campaign to #DropLWOP.

*All panelists are members of CCWP, formerly sentenced to LWOP, and are now outside organizers with the Drop LWOP campaign.

• Kelly Savage
• Dejohnette
• Susan Bustamante
• Tammy Garvin
• Brandi Taliano

*Moderated by Adrienne Skye Roberts, A Living Chance organizer

The exhibit can also be viewed on Friday, November 15th and Sunday, November 17th from 11:30am-1:30pm.

A Living Chance uses audio storytelling, portraits and postcards to share the stories of people serving Life Without Parole (LWOP) sentences in California women's prisons. The project was created collaboratively by members of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) inside and outside of prison to break through carceral boundaries and challenge extreme sentencing. Through A Living Chance, more than 70 people have shared their stories about the racialized and gendered violence that led to their conviction, their day-to-day survival, and the resiliency necessary to fight against these death sentences.

Spread the word on Facebook!
Life Without Parole (or LWOP) is a sentence under California law in which a person is sent to prison for the rest of their life with no possibility of demonstrating their change and growth to seek parole. Described as "the death sentence in slow motion," LWOP effectively banishes people from the world outside prisons and demonizes them as less than human. 
Learn more about the campaign to #DropLWOP!



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.





Stop Kevin Cooper's Abuse by San Quentin Prison Guards!


On Wednesday, September 25, Kevin Cooper's cell at San Quentin Prison was thrown into disarray and his personal food dumped into the toilet by a prison guard, A. Young.

The cells on East Block Bayside, where Kevin's cell is, were all searched on September 25 during Mandatory Yard. Kevin spent the day out in the yard with other inmates. In a letter, Kevin described what he found when he returned:

"This cage was hit hard, like a hurricane was in here . . . little by little I started to clean up and put my personal items back inside the boxes that were not taken . . . I go over to the toilet, lift up the seatcover and to my surprise and shock the toilet was completely filled up with my refried beans, and my brown rice. Both were in two separate cereal bags and both cereal bags were full. The raisin bran cereal bags were gone, and my food was in the toilet!"

A bucket was eventually brought over and:

"I had to get down on my knees and dig my food out of the toilet with my hands so that I could flush the toilet. The food, which was dried refried beans and dried brown rice had absorbed the water in the toilet and had become cement hard. It took me about 45 minutes to get enough of my food out of the toilet before it would flush."

Even the guard working the tier at the time told Kevin, "K.C., that is f_cked up!"

A receipt was left in Kevin's cell identifying the guard who did this as A. Young. Kevin has never met Officer A. Young, and has had no contact with him besides Officer Young's unprovoked act of harassment and psychological abuse.

Kevin Cooper has served over 34 years at San Quentin, fighting for exoneration from the conviction for murders he did not commit. It is unconscionable for him to be treated so disrespectfully by prison staff on top of the years of his incarceration.

No guard should work at San Quentin if they cannot treat prisoners and their personal belongings with basic courtesy and respect. Kevin has filed a grievance against A. Young. Please:

1) Sign this petition calling on San Quentin Warden Ronald Davis to grant Kevin's grievance and discipline "Officer" A. Young.

2) Call Warden Ronald Davis at: (415) 454-1460 Ext. 5000. Tell him that Officer Young's behaviour was inexcusable, and should not be tolerated.

3) Call Yasir Samar, Associate Warden of Specialized Housing, at (415) 455-5037

4) Write Warden Davis and Lt. Sam Robinson (separately) at:

Main Street
San Quentin, CA 94964
5) Email Lt. Sam Robinson at: samuel.robinson2@cdcr.ca.gov



Here is a message from Kevin Cooper recorded for Prison Radio in 2015 to save the life of Rodney Reed. Please feel free to circulate it on radio, social media and email as it is very timely now. Rodney Reed is scheduled for execution by the state of Texas on Nov. 20, 2019.

Sign the petition! Rodney Reed is Innocent!

Please sign a petition on Action Network telling Bastrop County DA Bryan Goertz to: (1) Cancel the November 20 execution date; (2) Test ALL the evidence; (3) Ensure a new, fair trial free of racial bias and false forensics. Rodney Reed should have an opportunity to fully prove his innocence in a courtroom.



Sign Global Petition to Dismiss Charges Against Anti-Nuclear Plowshares Activists Facing 25 Years


This is an urgent request that you join with distinguished global supporters including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, other Nobel laureates and many others by signing our global petition to dismiss all charges against the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 (KBP7). They face 25 years in prison for exposing illegal and immoral nuclear weapons that threaten all life on Earth. The seven nonviolently and symbolically disarmed the Trident nuclear submarine base at Kings Bay, GA on April 4, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (View KBP7 reading their statement here.)

This petition is also a plea for us all to be involved in rebuilding the anti-nuclear weapons movement that helped disarm the world's nuclear arsenals from 90,000 down to 15,000 weapons in the 1980s. We must abolish them all. The KBP7 trial is expected to begin this fall in Georgia. Time is short. Please sign the petition and visit kingsbayplowshares7.org. Help KBP7 by forwarding their petition to your friends, to lists, and post it on social media.

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 have offered us their prophetic witness. Now it's up to us!

In peace and solidarity,

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Support Committee



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



Support the return of Leonard Peltier's Medicine Bundle

November 1, 2019

Dear Friends and supporters,
We need your help in getting Leonard Peltier's- (89637-132) Medicine Bundle returned to him. His Medicine Bundle includes: Pipe bowel, Pipe stem, Eagle feathers, sage and cedar. Leonard is at USP Coleman1, in Coleman FL. which has been locked down since mid-July. This lockdown has led to many "shakedowns" that is where the guards go in to a cell and check it for weapons. Leonard said in a legal letter,  that on"10/22/2019 the shakedown crew came to his cell and destroyed itThey came in and tore apart everything and threw out everything they couldjust because they couldThe most painfuland what caused me the most anger was when they took my religious itemsmyPipe (Chunapain myMedicine Bundleuse in my prayers.

Leonard's lawyer was immediately on top of the situation and asked us to hold off until he could reach Leonard's counselor and get the Bundlereturned.  I heard from the attorney last night and he said the prison has not returned Leonard his Medicine Bundle nor give them any reason for itbeing taken. 

Leonard Peltier as a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewaa federally recognized American Indian Nation is afforded all the legalprotections and rights pursuant to the American Indian Freedom of Religion Act codified at Title 42 United States Code 1996 et.seq.

I am asking if today you would send e-mails to Coleman I SR. Attorney J.C. DiNicola jcdinicola@bop.gov, public relations officer-COA/Publicinformation@bop.gov and to thenBOP-Southwest Regional office SERO/ExecAssistant@bop.gov requesting the return of Leonard Peltier 89637-132, Medicine Bundle

This lockdown has been extremely hard on Leonard and his Medicine Bundle is his way to help him maintain his relationship to his Creator!

Paulette Dauteuil ILPDC National Office
Sheridan Murphy- President of the ILPDC Board
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/



Courage to Resist
Reality Winner, a whistleblower who helped expose foreign hacking of US election systems leading up to the 2016 presidential election, has been behind bars since June 2017. Supporters are preparing to file a petition of clemency in hopes of an early release. Reality's five year prison sentence is by far the longest ever given for leaking information to the media about a matter of public interest. Stand with Reality shirts, stickers, and more available. Please take a moment to sign the letter

Vietnam War combat veteran Daniel Shea on his time in Vietnam and the impact that Agent Orange and post traumatic stress had on him and his family since. Listen now
This 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
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The Campaign To Bring Mumia Home


As many of you know, Jalil has been to the parole board twelve times since 2002, when he first become parole eligible.

Jalil has been denied each time for a variety of reasons, all of which are tantamount to the nature of the crime—something that will never change.

Pursuant to NYS Constitutional Article IV, Section 4, Jalil has filed an Application to Commute the Sentence to Time Served with NYS Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Governor Cuomo has the authority to grant the Application and order Jalil's immediate release from NYS DOCCS custody.

Since the Application's submission it has been revealed that the NYS Board of Parole had a "secret deal" with the NYC Police Benevolent Association (PBA), permitting them to submit opposition letters directly to the Board of Parole from their website. These opposition letters negatively influenced the decision-making process, ensuring Jalil would not receive a fair and impartial parole hearing. During Jalil's 2014 parole hearing, he was told that "current and former members of law enforcement" were parole commissioners, many of whom decided to deny his release.

On December 4th & 5th, 2016, The New York Times published an extensive exposé entitled "The Scourge of Racial Bias in New York States Prisons" that informed: "The racism can be felt from the moment a black inmate enters New York's upstate prisons." This implacable racism has been institutionalized in the entire parole system, permitting subjective biases of parole commissioners to influence parole decisions.

Since the submission of the Application to Commute the Sentence to Time Served, Governor Cuomo has received many letters and communications urging him to grant Jalil's Application. However, due to the revelation of political collusion between the Board of Parole and the PBA, and the PBA/media backlash and scrutiny of the Parole Board's release of Jalil's co-defendant, it has become necessary to launch this initiative in support of Jalil's Application.

Jalil exceeds all requirements for release. His release on parole has been supported by activists, academics and community leaders from across the country and around the world, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the family of one of the victims. The political nature of his conviction has prevented parole commissioners from giving fair and impartial consideration to his release, despite the overwhelming community support.


During his 48+ years of his imprisonment, Jalil has accomplished the following: Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, Certificate of Architectural Drafting, Certificate of Computer Literacy.

He has established many programs, such as the first Men's Group for therapeutic training in the NY State prison system, an African/Black Studies program, a computer literacy class, a Sociology class and a poetry class. He has received two commendations for preventing prison riots. He has raised money for the children's fund, was office manager of the computer lab and a teacher's aide for GED classes.

Jalil is also the recipient of several certificates for rehabilitation programming, and is a published author, poet, educator and blogger.

As a human rights advocate, he had the first U.S. prisoners national petition heard and recorded by a Special Committee at the United Nations on U.S. prisons and the existence of U.S. political prisoners. He has litigated several civil rights complaints on behalf of prisoners. In 2000, Essence magazine featured an article on father-daughter relationships. The article, entitled "Daddy Says," quoted Jalil stressing the importance of maintaining these relations even during incarceration.

We request that people do the following for Jalil throughout the months of November and December:

We are requesting that Friends and Supporters call, tweet, email and write NYS Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's office and appeal to him to grant Jalil's Application to Commute the Sentence to Time Served.

We also request that this initiative be widely posted on social media platforms, encouraging freedom loving people around the world to join in this initiative.

Since this will be ongoing throughout the months of November and December, we propose that people tweet and/or email Governor Cuomo every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and call and write the Governor every Tuesday and Thursday.

Communications to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's office must refer to Jalil as: ANTHONY JALIL BOTTOM, 77A4283, Sullivan Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 116, Fallsburg, New York 12733-0115.

Write the Governor:

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

Call the Governor: 1-518-474-8390

Tweet the Governor: @NYGovCuomo

Email the Governor: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form

For more information concerning Jalil's case, check his website: www.freejalil.com and https://thejerichomovement.com/

Click here to download a pamphlet to distribute to your family, friends, neighbors, faith group, etc.



"There is no time for despair, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. This is how civilizations heal."

-Toni Morrison
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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)  Zimbabwe's Civil Servants in Unprecedented Strike for Better Wages
    Government workers say their earnings are disappearing under skyrocketing inflation.
    By Jeffrey Moyo, November 6, 2019

    Government workers clashed with the police in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Wednesday.Credit...Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated Press

    HARARE, Zimbabwe — Civil servants stung by Zimbabwe's galloping inflation staged what they hoped would be a crippling one-day strike on Wednesday in a demand for increased wages, saying that their earnings are disappearing under skyrocketing prices.
    It is the first time that government workers in Zimbabwe have been allowed to strike against their employer, and the action in the Southern African nation comes as inflation stands at approximately 300 percent, according to recent International Monetary Fund figures.
    There were signs that the strike could spiral down into violence, as clashes erupted between government workers and police forces on Wednesday.

    The civil servants' work stoppage comes amid another ongoing walkout, this time by Zimbabwean doctors, many of whom have been on strike for about two months to demand increased wages paid in American dollars.

    On Tuesday, the government fired 77 of the striking doctors, out of the total of 1,680 doctors in the country. The 77 doctors were accused of failing to attend a disciplinary hearing that they had been summoned to attend by the country's Health Service Board.
    The government workers' strike followed a walkout on Monday by nurses in local authority clinics in the capital, Harare. The nurses said that they were incapacitated and unable to work because of poor wages.
    The Zimbabwean government seems acutely aware of the mounting crisis. On Tuesday, Monica Mutsvangwa, the minister of information, said at a news conference after a cabinet meeting that "medical services at most central hospitals" remained limited because "the public hospitals medical doctors' strike has now gone beyond 63 days."
    The government has over the past months tried to appease its workers by providing allowances to help meet the rising cost of living. But that has not stopped the board representing civil servants in Zimbabwe, the Apex Council, from calling a strike. 
    A member of the council, Takavarasha Zhou, said, "Government workers are earning an equivalent of $40 or less, and so we appeal to government to pay us better."

    The country's police had approved the strike action, even though in August, with the backing of a court, the authorities banned demonstrations by members of opposition political parties and civil society organizations.
    The striking workers on Wednesday sang and danced as they gathered outside the offices of the Apex Council. They waved placards with protest slogans directed at the government as armed police officers stood by. 
    The protesters had wanted to march to the offices of the Ministry of Finance, where they had intended to hand over a petition outlining their grievances. But heavily armed police officers blocked their movement.
    "It's like police gave us the right to march with their right hand, but quickly snatched it away with their left hand," said Cecilia Alexander, the president of the Apex Council.
    In the petition, the council appealed to the minister of finance, Mthuli Ncube, to "take our concerns seriously, without which the situation will lead to serious unrest." 
    Charles Mubwandarikwa, chairman of the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe, which joined the strike in solidarity with other government workers, said, "Today we have come to send a clear message to the government."
    "We need increased salaries to be able to keep coming to work," he added.
    In the past, teachers' unions have demonstrated against the government for better wages and improved working conditions with or without the assent of the authorities.

    Since coming to power, President Emerson Mnangagwa's government has resorted to using force to quell any antigovernment protests.
    In August 2018, after demonstrators in Zimbabwe's capital called the country's peaceful elections a sham and demanded the immediate release of the results in the July presidential poll, Mr. Mnangagwa's government unleashed the army on protesters.
    At least six people were shot and killed in the clashes.
    In January this year, Mr. Mnangagwa's government again deployed the military when antigovernment protests broke out against a rise in fuel prices, leaving 17 people fatally shot in Harare and nearby towns.
    Mr. Mnangagwa's government has struggled to sell its open-for-business mantra to the developed world, but it has received the support of the South African Development Community to lift sanctions imposed by the United States on Zimbabwean government officials.
    In October, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions against the minister of state security, Owen Ncube, and denied him entry to the United States for "a gross violation of human rights in Zimbabwe."

    Thousands were called to march on the same day against American and European sanctions in Zimbabwe, with Mr. Mnangagwa telling the crowds that the impact of sanctions "on our daily lives is immeasurable and the consequences are dire."

    Even as Zimbabwe has tried to re-engage Washington, a diplomatic fallout between Zimbabwe and the United States has complicated matters. 
    The foreign affairs minister, Sibusiso Moyo, accused the United States ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian Nicholson, of acting like a member of the country's opposition. Mr. Moyo this month threatened to cut off diplomatic ties after Mr. Nicholson apparently suggested that corruption, not sanctions, were behind the country's economic malaise.



    2) Italy's Students Will Get a Lesson in Climate Change. Many Lessons, in Fact.
    Public schools will require children in every grade to study sustainability. That could put Italy at the forefront of environmental education.
    By Jason Horowitz, November 5, 2019

    A student demonstration in September in Rome demanding action on climate change.Credit...Massimo Percossi/ANSA, via Associated Press

    ROME — Yes, children, climate change will be on the test.
    Italy's education minister said Tuesday that its public schools would soon require students in every grade to study climate change and sustainability, a step he said would put Italy at the forefront of environmental education worldwide. 
    The lessons, at first taught as part of the students' civics education, will eventually become integrated throughout a variety of subjects — a sort of "Trojan horse" that will "infiltrate" all courses, the education minister, Lorenzo Fioramonti, said.
    Environmental advocates welcomed the new subject matter, with some caveats.
    Teaching children about sustainability is "certainly very important" said Edoardo Zanchini, vice president of Legambiente, Italy's leading environmental group. But he warned that responsibility should not simply be passed on to children.

    "Science tells us the next 10 years are crucial," he said. "We cannot wait for the next generation."

    Mr. Fioramonti is a member of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which has long put environmental concerns at the heart of its identity. He has already become a target of conservatives for backing taxes on sugar and plastics, and for encouraging students to take part in climate protests last September instead of attending class.
    Starting in September 2020, he said, teachers in every grade will lead lessons in climate change and environmental sustainability.That 33-hour-a-year lesson, he said, will be used as a pilot program to ultimately fold the climate agenda of the United Nations into the entire curriculum.
    So merely studying place names and locations in geography class? "Forget that," Mr. Fioramonti said. Geography courses will soon study the impact of human actions on different parts of the planet, too, he said. 
    In an interview, Mr. Fioramonti said that a group of experts — including Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Harvard Institute for International Development, and Kate Raworth of Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute — will act as "peer reviewers" for ministry staff preparing the curriculum. By January, he said, the ministry will be ready to train teachers.

    For children age 6 to 11, he said, "we are thinking of using the fairy-tale model," in which stories from different cultures would emphasize a connection to the environment. Middle schoolers would be expected to learn more technical information, and high school students would explore the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in depth.

    Until August, Five Star had governed Italy for more than a year with the nationalist League party, led by Matteo Salvini, who is still the country's most popular politician, and who has a skeptical view of climate change.
    One cold spring day in Milan, Mr. Salvini, then the interior minister, appeared to trivialize climate change.
    "Talking about global warming — we are in the middle of May and call upon global warming, because we haven't had a cold like this in Italy in recent years," he said. "We are turning on our heaters."
    Mr. Fioramonti suggested that Mr. Salvini needed to be educated.
    "That's the kind of nonsense we want to avoid by educating children that this is the most important challenge humanity has ever faced," he said. "And I want to secure this before there is any change in government that can imperil that kind of process."
    But Mr. Salvini still looms over the wobbly Five-Star-led government, and Italy's many government collapses in recent years have cut short other educational programs. An attempt by a left-leaning government to teach children how to spot disinformation, for example, was discontinued after it lost power.
    Mr. Fioramonti said a law passed last year, when Five Star was still aligned with the League, gave him the authority to introduce lessons on climate change. He said that the conditions had not been right to go forward with the new curriculum then, but that they were now.

    Still, many Italians are concerned that Five Star's emphasis on environmental issues — or, perhaps, its failure to pursue such goals competently — is destroying the country's economy. 
    This month, Italy faced a new economic emergency when the foreign operator of a southern Italian steel plant, Ilva, said it would pull out because the Five Star-led government had decided to end criminal immunity for environmental breaches even as the company sought to clean up the polluted facilities. Such a move could cost Italy more than 8,000 jobs.
    One environmental activist expressed reservations that Mr. Fioramonti's plan may be too dogmatic.
    Chicco Testa, president of the environmental group Assombiente, urged officials to make sure children were exposed to varied views, including those who claim that climate change is not primarily caused by man. "To listen to people who say different things is good," he said. "What the U.N. says is not gospel."
    But as President Trump began pulling the United States out of the landmark Paris Agreement this week, Mr. Fioramonti said that every country needed to do its part to stop the "Trumps of the world" and that his ambition was to show children there was another way. 
    "The 21st century citizen," he said, "must be a sustainable citizen."
    Anna Momigliano contributed reporting.



    3) What We Know About Rodney Reed's Death Row Case in Texas
    Celebrities including Kim Kardashian West have taken up his cause after new evidence cast doubt on his guilt.
    By Nicholas Borgel-Burroughs, November 6, 2019

    Texas is scheduled to execute Rodney Reed on Nov. 20. He was convicted of killing a woman in 1996.Credit...Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman, via Associated Press

    The case of a man who is set to be put to death in Texas later this month has drawn high-profile attention from celebrities, after several people came forward with new testimony throwing his conviction into doubt.
    Rodney Reed, 51, is scheduled for execution on Nov. 20 for the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites in Bastrop, Tex. In recent weeks, celebrities including Rihanna, Kim Kardashian West and Meek Mill have called on Gov. Greg Abbott to intervene. Texas executes far more people than any other state, including seven so far this year.
    Ms. Stites, who was 19, was raped and strangled, and her body was dumped alongside a rural road. Mr. Reed was arrested based mostly on DNA tests. He said he and Ms. Stites had been having an affair in secret, which would explain his DNA being recovered from her body. His lawyers say witnesses have since corroborated the existence of the affair. 
    Here's what else you need to know about the case.

    Mr. Reed's lawyers have argued previously that the state's forensic investigators made critical errors regarding the timeline of the killing, which some investigators later admitted in affidavits. The lawyers have also pushed for the murder weapon — Ms. Stites' belt — to be tested for DNA evidence, which has yet to happen.

    The lawyers work for the Innocence Project, which seeks to exonerate people who might have been wrongly convicted. Along with their forensic argument, they have objected to a Texas judge scheduling Mr. Reed's execution before his federal appeals had been exhausted.
    Most recently, at least three people have come forward with new testimony regarding Ms. Stites' fiancé, Jimmy Fennell. Mr. Fennell is a former police officer who was released from prison in 2018; he pleaded guilty in 2008 to kidnapping a woman he had encountered while on duty. The woman said he had also raped her.
    Arthur J. Snow Jr., who served time in prison with Mr. Fennell, said last month in a sworn affidavit that he heard Mr. Fennell confess to the murder of Ms. Stites. Mr. Snow, a former member of a white-only prison gang called the Aryan Brotherhood, said Mr. Fennell, who is white, had bragged about killing his fiancée because she had cheated on him with a black man. Mr. Reed is black.
    Mr. Snow said he believed that Mr. Fennell had bragged about killing Ms. Stites to try to impress him and other members of the Aryan Brotherhood, whom Mr. Fennell had sought out for protection. Mr. Snow said he came forward after reading about the Reed case in a newspaper.
    Other witnesses have also described statements by Mr. Fennell that the Innocence Project lawyers say warrant further investigation. A former insurance sales representative said he had heard Mr. Fennell say he would kill Ms. Stites if he caught her "messing around." Charles W. Fletcher, a former friend of the couple, said Mr. Fennell had complained that Ms. Stites was cheating on him. And Jim Clampit, a former sheriff's deputy, said that at Ms. Stites' funeral, Mr. Fennell looked at her body and said, "You got what you deserved."

    Mr. Fennell's lawyer, Robert M. Phillips, said that Mr. Fennell denies killing Ms. Stites, and that the Innocence Project was merely recycling claims that were made at trial. It was inconceivable, he said, that the people now coming forward would have stayed silent for so long if their accounts were true.
    Mr. Phillips said Mr. Fennell had converted to Christianity, had found a job and a girlfriend, and was "living a law-abiding life." He said he did not know whether Mr. Fennell supports the death penalty for Mr. Reed. 

    Mr. Reed's lawyers and his supporters have pleaded with Governor Abbott to delay the execution by 30 days and to order the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to investigate the possibility of commuting Mr. Reed's sentence.
    Mr. Abbott's office did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. The governor has stopped just one execution in nearly five years in office, while allowing 47 to go forward, according to The Texas Tribune
    The one case came in February 2018, when the governor granted clemency to Thomas Whitaker, who had been sentenced to death for killing his brother and mother. Mr. Whitaker's father, a survivor of the murders, had asked the governor to spare his son's life, and Mr. Whitaker had agreed to waive his right to seek parole, meaning he would spend the rest of his life in prison.
    Mr. Abbott commuted Mr. Whitaker's sentence after a unanimous recommendation from the state parole board, the same panel that Mr. Reed's lawyers want to investigate his sentence. Bryce Benjet, one of Mr. Reed's lawyers, said the Whitaker case gave him and his client hope.
    "Anybody will tell you that the death penalty is a very serious matter in Texas," Mr. Benjet said. "But I think the Whitaker case does show that where there is compelling evidence, people are willing to take action."

    Ms. Kardashian West, who has lobbied President Trump on criminal justice issues and persuaded him to release a woman serving life in prison, has urged Mr. Abbott to keep the state from killing Mr. Reed.
    "How can you execute a man when, since his trial, substantial evidence that would exonerate Rodney Reed has come forward and even implicates the other person of interest," Ms. Kardashian West wrote on Twitter.
    Dr. Phil McGraw, the television host, has been posting frequently about the case online. On his show, he said that Mr. Reed had not been able to present all of the evidence in the case to the courts.
    "I don't think it's a question of whether he's guilty or not guilty," Mr. McGraw said, according to The Austin American-Statesman. "I think the question is whether he had a full trial, with a full airing of all the evidence. I think the answer to that question, in my opinion, is not just no, but hell, no."
    Other celebrities who have drawn attention to Mr. Reed's case include Pusha T, the rapper; Eric Andre, the comedian; and Cyntoia Brown, who was released from prison this year after serving time for killing a man who had picked her up when she was a victim of teenage sex trafficking.
    Mr. Reed's team of lawyers has been digging hard for new evidence and witnesses, but Mr. Benjet said the rise in public attention might also have encouraged some to speak up. 
    "Basically, every case I've worked on, the more attention that comes to the case, the more people hear about it and come forward," he said. "It just takes a lot of time for innocence cases to get proven."



    4) I Was the Fastest Girl in America, Until I Joined Nike
    Mary Cain's male coaches were convinced she had to get "thinner, and thinner, and thinner." Then her body started breaking down.
    By Mary Cain, November 7, 2019

    Mary Cain

    At 17, Mary Cain was already a record-breaking phenom: the fastest girl in a generation, and the youngest American track and field athlete to make a World Championships team. In 2013, she was signed by the best track team in the world, Nike's Oregon Project, run by its star coach Alberto Salazar.
    Then everything collapsed. Her fall was just as spectacular as her rise, and she shares that story for the first time in the Video Op-Ed above.
    Instead of becoming a symbol of girls' unlimited potential in sports, Cain became yet another standout young athlete who got beaten down by a win-at-all-costs culture. Girls like Cain become damaged goods and fade away. We rarely hear what happened to them. We move on.

    The problem is so common it affected the only other female athlete featured in the last Nike video ad Cain appeared in, the figure skater Gracie Gold. When the ad came out in 2014, like Cain, Gold was a prodigy considered talented enough to win a gold medal at the next Olympics. And, like Cain, Gold got caught in a systemwhere she was compelled to become thinner and thinner. Gold developed disordered eating to the point of imagining taking her life.

    Nike has come under fire in recent months for doping charges involving Salazar. He is now banned from the sport for four years, and his elite Nike team has been dismantled. In October, Nike's chief executive resigned. (In an email, Salazar denied many of Cain's claims, and said he had supported her health and welfare. Nike did not respond to a request for comment.)
    The culture that created Salazar remains.
    Kara Goucher, an Olympic distance runner who trained with the same program under Salazar until 2011, said she experienced a similar environment, with teammates weighed in front of one another.
    "When you're training in a program like this, you're constantly reminded how lucky you are to be there, how anyone would want to be there, and it's this weird feeling of, 'Well, then, I can't leave it. Who am I without it?'" Goucher said. "When someone proposes something you don't want to do, whether it's weight loss or drugs, you wonder, 'Is this what it takes? Maybe it is, and I don't want to have regrets.' Your careers are so short. You are desperate. You want to capitalize on your career, but you're not sure at what cost."
    She said that after being cooked meager meals by an assistant coach, she often had to eat more in the privacy of her condo room, nervous he would hear her open the wrappers of the energy bars she had there.

    A big part of this problem is that women and girls are being forced to meet athletic standards that are based on how men and boys develop. If you try to make a girl fit a boy's development timeline, her body is at risk of breaking down. That is what happened to Cain.
    After months of dieting and frustration, Cain found herself choosing between training with the best team in the world, or potentially developing osteoporosis or even infertility. She lost her period for three years and broke five bones. She went from being a once-in-a-generation Olympic hopeful to having suicidal thoughts.
    "America loves a good child prodigy story, and business is ready and waiting to exploit that story, especially when it comes to girls," said Lauren Fleshman, who ran for Nike until 2012. "When you have these kinds of good girls, girls who are good at following directions to the point of excelling, you'll find a system that's happy to take them. And it's rife with abuse."

    We don't typically hear from the casualties of these systems — the girls who tried to make their way in this system until their bodies broke down and they left the sport. It's easier to focus on bright new stars, while forgetting about those who faded away. We fetishize the rising athletes, but we don't protect them. And if they fail to pull off what we expect them to, we abandon them.
    Mary Cain is 23, and her story certainly isn't over. By speaking out, she's making sure of that.



    5) Flint's Children Suffer in Class After Years of Drinking the Lead-Poisoned Water
    The city's schools, stretched even before the lead crisis, are struggling with demands for individualized education programs and behavioral interventions for children with high lead exposure.
    By Erica L. Green, November 7, 2019

    Nakiya Wakes and her son, Jaylon, in Flint, Mich.Credit...Brittany Greeson for The New York Times

    FLINT, Mich. — Nakiya Wakes could not understand how her wiry, toothy-grinned 6-year-old had gone from hyperactive one school year to what teachers described as hysterical the next. Then, in 2015, the state of Michigan delivered a diagnosis of sorts: Ms. Wakes's neighborhood's water — which her son, Jaylon, had been drinking and bathing in for more than a year — was saturated with lead, at some of the highest levels in the city. 
    Jaylon would cycle through two schools, receive 30 suspensions and rack up 70 unexcused absences. In one of Ms. Wakes's clashes with Flint Community Schools, she delivered administrators a warning: "You can't keep suspending him because soon, you're going to have to suspend the whole school system."
    Five years after Michigan switched Flint's water supply to the contaminated Flint River from Lake Huron, the city's lead crisis has migrated from its homes to its schools, where neurological and behavioral problems — real or feared — among students are threatening to overwhelm the education system. 

    The contamination of this long-struggling city's water exposed nearly 30,000 schoolchildren to a neurotoxin known to have detrimental effects on children's developing brains and nervous systems. Requests for special education or behavioral interventions began rising four years ago, when the water contamination became public, bolstering a class-action lawsuit that demanded more resources for Flint's children.

    That lawsuit forced the state to establish the $3 million Neurodevelopmental Center of Excellence, which began screening students. The screenings then confirmed a range of disabilities, which have prompted still more requests for intervention.
    The percentage of the city's students who qualify for special education services has nearly doubled, to 28 percent, from 15 percent the year the lead crisis began, and the city's screening center has received more than 1,300 referrals since December 2018. The results: About 70 percent of the students evaluated have required school accommodations for issues like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as A.D.H.D.; dyslexia; or mild intellectual impairment, said Katherine Burrell, the associate director of the center. 
    "We have a school district where all that's left are damaged kids who are being exposed to other damaged kids, and it's causing more damage," said Stephanie Pascal, who has taught in Flint for 23 years.
    Medical experts say there is no way to prove that the lead has caused new disabilities. Pediatricians here caution against overdiagnosing children as irreparably brain damaged, if only to avoid stigmatizing an entire city. The State Department of Education, in battling the class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the New Jersey-based Education Law Center, enlisted an expert who testified that the real public health crisis was not the lead-contaminated water but the paranoia of parents, students and teachers exposed to it. 
    But Dr. Burrell said that proving the cause of the students' problems was not the point. Many of the problems uncovered by the lead testing could certainly have existed before.

    "We're not here to prove causation," she said. "We're here to provide answers."

    And school officials said the problems would almost certainly get worse because there was no safe level of lead exposure. 
    "What the research says is that as they get older, and the cognitive demands get harder, we will start to see the demands get higher, and the resources aren't going to be there," said Lisa A. Hagel, the superintendent of the Genesee Intermediate School District, the county that includes Flint.

    Long before Flint's water system was contaminated, its schools exemplified the struggles of urban districts — as its tax base shrank, its student population drifted to charter schools and its core public schools were left with a small but troubled and impoverished student body.
    In the 1960s, the city enrolled nearly 50,000 students in more than 50 buildings. Today, it educates 4,500 students on 11 campuses. A 2017 report found that 55 percent of Flint's students attended charter schools — the second-highest charter enrollment in the country. 
    When the lead crisis began unfolding in 2014, the tiny school district had a $21 million budget deficit that required it to cut more than 200 staff members, including special education teachers. It was transferring millions of dollars from its operating budget to pay for special education, and in violation of federal law, it was segregating special education students from their peers for most of the school day. Flint's teachers were and are among the lowest paid in Genesee County, though a new contract has pushed starting salaries to $35,339 a year, from $32,000 in 2014.
    In the 2013-2014 school year, 15.5 percent of the district's special education students dropped out of high school, compared with 8.63 percent statewide. In 2014-2015, 13 percent of special education students in the school system were suspended or expelled for more than 10 days — more than five times the statewide rate.

    Then came the lead crisis. The class-action lawsuit, filed in 2016, accused the city, the county and the Michigan Department of Education of ignoring dismal outcomes that have worsened after Flint's children were exposed to lead. 
    The partial settlement that established the neurodevelopmental center was a "critical first step," said Kristin Totten, a lawyer with the A.C.L.U., but the lawsuit is demanding that every Flint student be assessed and get needed intervention. 
    "This was an unprecedented crisis that warrants an unprecedented response," she said.
    The suit accuses the school systems of violating federal and state laws, including the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, by failing to identify students who could qualify for special education services, by failing to provide the mandated instructional services to those who do qualify and by punishing children for disability-related behavior.
    Students were denied assessments for education plans or behavioral intervention plans, and then were segregated from their peers, secluded and restrained, repeatedly sent home from school, expelled or arrested, the lawsuit said.
    "The blame for this crisis lies on the state, and instead what we've seen is that the children are shouldering the blame," said Lindsay Heck, a lawyer at White & Case, a New York-based law firm that has worked on the case pro bono.
    Flint Community Schools said in a statement that it was "deeply committed to the well-being and success of all students, and continues to add staff and enhance special education services, and to work with the Michigan Department of Education to seek ways to improve the district's finances long term."

    The Michigan Department of Education did not respond to a request for comment.

    The Genesee school district maintains it has done all it can to help identify and serve students affected by the crisis in Flint. Under the state's education system, that district acts as an intermediary between the state and the 21 school districts in the county, including Flint, providing administrative services and dispensing special education funding from the federal government. It also operates early childhood centers and schools attended by Flint students. 
    School officials say that funding is disbursed equitably, but they acknowledge it is not enough. Congress promised to cover 40 percent of the cost of special education, but Washington funds only 14 to 17 percent.
    "It'd be safe to say there's not enough allocation, much less when you have a situation like this," said Steven Tunnicliff, the associate superintendent of the Genesee Intermediate School District, referring to the lead crisis.
    Ms. Wakes believes she lost four babies — she miscarried two sets of twins, in 2015 and in 2017 — to the water crisis, and said she is determined not to lose another. She pulled her son out of Flint Community Schools in 2017 after she said the district ignored her pleas to accommodate his A.D.H.D., which his pediatrician said was exacerbated by elevated lead levels. 
    Now 10, he attends the Michigan Virtual Charter Academy, an online school, in his living room. On a recent day, he fired up his computer and made a few clicks before the screen flashed a celebratory "Assignment Complete," then shut down abruptly. The assignments meet the requirements of a 10-year-old boy who is repeating fourth grade: They contain three- or four-letter words that he can read and they pose no more than eight questions, and then he can take a break to run outside or play his video game Fortnite.

    "I'm just keeping him online until we can move the hell out of Flint," his mother said.

    In 2016, months after the water contamination was made public, the Flint superintendent at the time, Bilal Tawwab, told Congressthat schools were bracing for an "evolving, educational emergency."
    "We need resources to measure the intellectual and emotional damage done to each and possibly every child," he said.
    Instead, as the district's special education rate rose by a third, the Michigan Education Department demanded more budget cuts and a salary freeze. Last school year, when one in five students qualified for special education services, one in every four special education teaching positions was unfilled.

    Bethany Dumanois, who has taught in Flint for 25 years, works two jobs to keep teaching because she said she cannot abandon children whose discolored, rash-covered skin and chunks of exposed scalp haunt her. In the earlier days of the crisis, she spent class time addressing questions from her students about whether they would die from the water like their class lizard, a bearded dragon, did.

    "There was very minimal training in dealing with the signs and symptoms of lead poisoning," she said. "They gave us a couple of brochures and called it a day."
    Teachers refer students for special education assessments, knowing the schools lack psychologists to conduct them. In small acts of defiance, they withhold their signatures from bureaucratic documents rejecting students from special education services. 
    Ms. Dumanois said her first graders were having "extreme" reactions to insignificant issues, knocking over desks and throwing chairs. Recently, she said, three-quarters of her class could not recall five words they had gone over every day for two weeks. 
    Instead of investing in more teachers, social workers and special education aides, she said the district had pushed laptop computers and iPads, "just jumping on any bandwagon, trying to sugarcoat what's happening with these kids."
    On a recent night at a local restaurant, Ms. Pascal, the 23-year Flint teaching veteran, vented over the "injustices everywhere." The district adopted a new reading program with no money to buy the instructional materials. She had been asked to identify a handful of her students for a new behavior support program, but wants to include all 21. 
    She thinks about quitting, but said she refuses to leave another vacancy for the district to fill. 
    "If you were driving down the road and saw a kid walking from a car injured and bloody, do you ignore it?" she said. "That's what I'm seeing."

    The district's new superintendent, Derrick Lopez, said in a recent interview with a local television station that the district was in desperate need of help, pointing out that the 28 percent of students who have special education plans was double the state average. He also expressed the need to "actually pay our teachers a living wage."
    The Michigan Legislature's recently passed budget provides a modest increase in education spending, but lawmakers rejected a proposal by the state's new Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, to give additional funding to schools with high concentrations of special education students, like Flint.
    State Representative Sheldon Neeley, Democrat of Flint, said the one-time infusion of extra money would be spread across schools in Genesee County.
    "Instead of being delivered to us," he said, "it's going to be delivered around us."

    Flint's schools are now in a downward spiral. The district is funded on a per-pupil basis, but it is hemorrhaging students, about 1,000 since 2014, when the crisis began. Two-thirds of children living in Flint are in charter schools or schools run by the Genesee Intermediate School District.
    Angy Keelin wanted to stay in Flint Community Schools, where her blind son, Averey, was progressing in a program for visually impaired students, but then it ended abruptly. She said she was forced to follow the program 10 miles from her home to a Genesee County school. 
    It has not gone smoothly. Last year, she requested an aide after watching her son walk into buildings and almost fall down a flight of stairs. This year, Averey, now in third grade, has been taught by a long-term substitute who cannot teach him to read Braille, as required by his federal education plan, Ms. Keelin said. 
    The year after Averey was exposed to lead, he had to repeat kindergarten, and Ms. Keelin fears a Michigan law that calls for students to repeat third grade if they are more than one grade level behind in reading. "I don't want him to be continuously held back," she said.

    Jeree Brown left the Flint district in 2017, but said she still sees the effect of her son Jabari's time at Eisenhower Elementary School. She learned Jabari had autism six months after Flint's lead-tainted water began to flow. 
    His exposure was confirmed, along with his autism, but the school denied him an individualized education program, or I.E.P., three times, then told her that such a plan would require him to be placed in an "autism room" apart from his peers, Ms. Brown said. The plan called for him to receive speech and occupational therapy services three or four times a week, but he got them once or twice a month.

    Now 8, Jabari has transferred to a charter school and receives a wealth of autism services. He said his favorite teacher "takes me for breaks to see if you're happy or sad."
    Some families see no way out. In Michigan, students are granted broad access to school choice, but schools can reject a student for being suspended.

    Heather Reynolds's 12-year-old son, Ethan, had a mood disorder and A.D.H.D. that required him to have an aide, but his short-staffed school did not supply one last spring on a day that Ethan encountered a bully in a bathroom and agreed to trade his dinosaur for the other boy's pocketknife. The other student then reported Ethan for having the knife, and he was nearly expelled.
    Ethan, who had also tested positive for lead, told his mother he made the exchange because he "didn't want to be punched again," she said. This summer, after an evaluation by the neurodevelopmental center, he was given a diagnosis of autism. 
    The expulsion was reversed, but the suspension went on his record.
    "Once they get a suspension, the good schools don't want them," Ms. Reynolds said. "Then there's only one school choice, which is the worst school."

    Tucked away in one of the neighborhoods hit hardest by the lead crisis is a 36,000-square-foot early childhood center that many look to for hope. 
    Educare Flint, funded largely by private money in response to the crisis, opened in December 2017 to serve 220 students ages 0 to 5 with lead exposures among the highest detected. The school is part of a national network that uses research into early childhood education, brain development and the achievement gap between rich and poor to shape its approach. The $15 million facility includes mindfulness rooms and a generous playground. 
    For parents, the opportunity to send their children to Educare is some consolation for the outrages in their lives — like paying $100 to $200 a month for water they do not believe is safe.

    Lydia Willis said her 9-month-old son was "getting so much here, including filtered water, that may not be possible at home."
    These children keep the pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha optimistic. Though her research discovered the lead in their blood in 2015, she is looking on the bright side. The crisis has forced a hard conversation about Flint — "toxicity" existed here long before the water crisis, she said. 
    Since the crisis, partnerships have drawn in millions of dollars to expand early childhood education and health care services, and the fallout has created a road map for other cities — like Newark — that are on the brink of a similar crises.
    "We're leaning on the science of trauma and resilience," she said, "because kids across this country are waking up to the same nightmare."



    6) 'Hostile Architecture': How Public Spaces Keep the Public Out
    Hostile design has flourished in New York as a way to maintain order and ensure public safety. But critics say it is inhumane and targets the homeless.
    By Winnie Hu, November 8, 2019

    Credit...George Etheredge for The New York Times

    Strips of sharp metal teeth run alongside a low garden wall on East 96th Street.

    Metal bars divide a public bench on East 47th Street.

    Ugly bolts line the ledges at a public plaza on East 56th Street.

    These are all ways of saying "don't make yourself at home" in public. This so-called hostile architecture has flourished in New York, even as the city has significantly added more public space in the last decade, including new plazas and parkland, pedestrian areas once used for cars and reclaimed industrial waterfront.

    Proponents say this type of urban design is necessary to help maintain order, ensure safety and curb unwanted behavior such as loitering, sleeping or skateboarding.
    But hostile architecture, in New York and other cities, has increasingly drawn a backlash from critics who say that such measures are unnecessary and disproportionately target vulnerable populations. They have assailed what they call "anti-homeless spikes" for targeting those who have nowhere else to go at a time when many cities are grappling with a homelessness crisis.

    In New York, about 79,000 people are homeless, of which about 5 percent are believed to live on the street, according to federal estimates.

    Hostile architecture can be as subtle as simply not providing a place to sit, as obvious as a wall or fence to keep people or animals out or as aggressive as metal studs embedded in pavement. These designs often go unnoticed in the busy cityscape.

    "We're building barriers and walls around apartment buildings and public spaces to keep out the diversity of people and uses that comprise urban life," said Jon Ritter, an architectural historian and a clinical associate professor at New York University.
    Cities have long built walls and other defensive fortifications for protection. Even today, metal and concrete barriers are strategically placed around public buildings and plazas in Lower Manhattan and elsewhere to deter stray vehicles and guard against possible terror attacks. "What is hostile to some is defensive to others," Mr. Ritter said.

    Hostile architecture has also been an issue in some of New York's more than 550 privately owned public spaces, which are required to be open to the public by their owners in return for the right to build larger towers.
    The city has specifically prohibited "devices that inhibit seating" in privately owned public spaces since 2007, though armrests are allowed. But a 2017 audit by Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, found that more than half of the spaces at that time had violated various city requirements and failed to provide mandated amenities that could encourage public use.
    Since then, the city has required regular inspections of privately owned public spaces to ensure more public access. They have visited 333 properties, of which, 193 were cited for violations, including spikes in seating areas, missing signs and other amenities.

    Jerold S. Kayden, a Harvard University professor of urban planning and design who co-authored a 2000 book, "Privately Owned Public Space: The New York City Experience," has documented an array of spikes, bars, railings and other obstructions on benches and ledges in these spaces on a website.

    He has also found issues such as doormen who shooed people away and public spaces that are sealed off behind fences and gates, some of which are kept locked.

    In a public atrium in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, a required marble bench had been removed and replaced with a kiosk selling Trump memorabilia. Mr. Kayden led the effort to get the bench returned.
    "The irony that some public spaces actively discourage public use should not be lost on anyone," Mr. Kayden said. 
    One lush public space with fountains, lawns and benches can be glimpsed behind a metal fence with a gate on East 70th Street. The Rudin Management Company, which owns the property, said the fence and gate, which is kept unlocked, were intended to keep playing children in so they do not run out in front of cars.
    "The park is loved and appreciated by the community, and we have through the years made many improvements to make it even more accessible and welcoming," said William C. Rudin, the chief executive and co-chairman of the company.

    One especially ironic example can be found at a sprawling public plaza on East 56th Street and Third Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Not a single table or chair was in sight (seating is not required at most privately owned public spaces created before 1975). Office workers had to lean against a wall for a quick break.
    "The message is 'Don't hang out here,'" said Sean Orlando, 44, who sat on the steps with his lunch. "It definitely doesn't feel like a public space. It seems like they're trying to keep people from using it."
    SL Green, which owns the plaza, declined to comment.

    A couple blocks away, at East 47th Street, another plaza offered seating on gleaming wooden benches. But until recently, "no loitering" signs were prominently displayed on them. Mia Wagner, an actress, paused when she saw the sign.
    "At what point am I loitering?" she said. "It makes me think twice about whether or not to sit, how long can I sit, and do I have to buy something so that I'm a valid squatter?"

    Sage Realty, which manages the plaza, said it removed the "no loitering" signs in late September as soon as it learned there were concerns. "We never thought of them as hostile," said Jonathan Kaufman Iger, Sage's chief executive. "That's not what we're trying to convey to the community."
    Mr. Iger added that metal bars are used on some benches to deter skateboarding, which would damage the wood.

    In an effort to create awareness about privately owned public spaces, a design competition was held this year to select a new logothat will be posted at every one of them.
    Hostile designs in New York and elsewhere are also increasingly being called out on social media by those who believe that it goes too far. 
    As evidenced by the spikes along the UPS logo at a store on East 34th Street, even the pigeons are not safe.



    7) I Never Expected to Protest the Vietnam War While on Active Duty
    By David Cortright, November 8, 2019
    "One day I saw an article about soldiers who opposed the war and decided I would join the growing G.I. peace movement. I was looking for a way to express my moral objection, and I felt that if soldiers were demanding peace, political leaders would take notice."

    Protesters of the Vietnam War marching in Washington on Nov. 15, 1969.Credit...Associated Press

    I never expected that I would be a soldier, or that I would protest the Vietnam War while on active duty, or that I would sue the Army in federal court for violating my First Amendment rights. But it all happened, and it shaped my life in ways I never could have imagined.
    I was drafted in 1968 and reluctantly volunteered for the 26th United States Army Band at Fort Wadsworth, N.Y. Veterans returning from the war told harrowing tales of what they experienced. Doubts swirled in my mind, and I began to read about Vietnam. Questions turned to shock as I realized the cruel injustices of the war. I desperately wanted to escape, but it was too late. I was stuck in the Army, part of the green machine, forced to serve a cause I could not accept.
    One day I saw an article about soldiers who opposed the war and decided I would join the growing G.I. peace movement. I was looking for a way to express my moral objection, and I felt that if soldiers were demanding peace, political leaders would take notice. My activism began in April 1969 when I joined a contingent of active-duty troops at an antiwar rally in New York's Central Park.

    Afterward, an organizer of the April rally asked if I would pose for an antiwar poster. I agreed, and the following week I arrived at the Manhattan studio of the great fashion and portrait photographer Richard Avedon. I had no idea who he was, so I wasn't nervous in his presence. He gently placed a live dove on my wrist and asked me to move my arm slowly up and down, capturing a striking image. The resulting poster that he created was not a photo of me personally but of the antiwar soldier as archetype.
    That summer we learned about a G.I. antiwar petition organized by the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. The plan was to collect more than a thousand signatures from service members across the military and release the names before a protest scheduled for Nov. 15 in Washington. The ad appeared on Nov. 9, 1969, two days before Veterans Day, in The New York Times. It read: "We are 1,365 active-duty servicemen. We are opposed to American involvement in the war in Vietnam." Among the names were more than 30 from the band at Fort Wadsworth. The following Saturday, a dozen of us were among the nearly quarter to half a -million people to march on Washington.
    The advertisement in The New York Times.Credit...The New York Times Archive

    Back at the base, news of the petition and rally cheered fellow soldiers, but it brought a stern rebuke from the command. We were told to keep our opinions about the war to ourselves. We refused to be silent and circulated another petition in spring the next year, but we were forced to withdraw it under escalating threats of collective punishment.
    The ax fell in July 1970 when Fort Hamilton Command imposed punitive reassignments, duty restrictions and make-work details. Musical performances ceased. I, a specialist at the time, was branded a "troublemaker" and ordered to report to the Army band at Fort Bliss, Tex.

    My bandmates and I decided to fight back by filing a lawsuit against the Army. Civilian lawyers represented us, and later I appeared in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York seeking an injunction to prevent the Army from transferring me.
    The court refused to block the order, but it took jurisdiction of the case and convened a trial. Our attorneys proved that I was transferred not for military necessity but to suppress my antiwar dissent. The court ruled in our favor and ordered that I be sent back to New York, but the Army appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which ruled against us. I ended up staying in Fort Bliss — where I continued participating in antiwar activities.
    The court case had ambiguous results legally, but it was great theater. The spectacle of soldiers suing the Army made headlines and helped the antiwar cause, which was what we wanted.
    I guess I should be grateful to the Army. My experience in the military taught me about war and protest and persuaded me to study, teach and work for peace. I have not strayed from that path in all the years since.

    David Cortright is a guest contributor to the At War newsletter. He is a professor of peace studies at the University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and is co-editor of "Waging Peace in Vietnam: U.S. Soldiers and Veterans Who Opposed the War" (New Village Press, 2019). 



    8) How Scientists Got Climate Change So Wrong
    Few thought it would arrive so quickly. Now we're facing consequences once viewed as fringe scenarios.
    By Eugene Linden, November 8, 2019

    Rifts in the Amery ice shelf in Eastern Antarctica. In September, a section of the shelf broke away, forming a 600-square-mile iceberg.Credit...Richard Coleman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    For decades, most scientists saw climate change as a distant prospect. We now know that thinking was wrong. This summer, for instance, a heat wave in Europe penetrated the Arctic, pushing temperatures into the 80s across much of the Far North and, according to the Belgian climate scientist Xavier Fettweis, melting some 40 billion tons of Greenland's ice sheet.
    Had a scientist in the early 1990s suggested that within 25 years a single heat wave would measurably raise sea levels, at an estimated two one-hundredths of an inch, bake the Arctic and produce Sahara-like temperatures in Paris and Berlin, the prediction would have been dismissed as alarmist. But many worst-case scenarios from that time are now realities. 
    Science is a process of discovery. It can move slowly as the pieces of a puzzle fall together and scientists refine their investigative tools. But in the case of climate, this deliberation has been accompanied by inertia born of bureaucratic caution and politics. A recent essay in Scientific American argued that scientists "tend to underestimate the severity of threats and the rapidity with which they might unfold" and said one of the reasons was "the perceived need for consensus." This has had severe consequences, diluting what should have been a sense of urgency and vastly understating the looming costs of adaptation and dislocation as the planet continues to warm. 

    In 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group of thousands of scientists representing 195 countries, said in its first report that climate change would arrive at a stately pace, that the methane-laden Arctic permafrost was not in danger of thawing, and that the Antarctic ice sheets were stable.

    Relying on the climate change panel's assessment, economistsestimated that the economic hit would be small, providing further ammunition against an aggressive approach to reducing emissions and to building resilience to climate change.
    As we now know, all of those predictions turned out to be completely wrong. Which makes you wonder whether the projected risks of further warming, dire as they are, might still be understated. How bad will things get?
    So far, the costs of underestimation have been enormous. New York City's subway system did not flood in its first 108 years, but Hurricane Sandy's 2012 storm surge caused nearly $5 billion in water damage, much of which is still not repaired. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey gave Houston and the surrounding region a $125 billion lesson about the costs of misjudging the potential for floods.

    The climate change panel seems finally to have caught up with the gravity of the climate crisis. Last year, the organization detailed the extraordinary difficulty of limiting warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius), over the next 80 years, and the grim consequences that will result even if that goal is met.

    More likely, a separate United Nations report concluded, we are headed for warming of at least 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit. That will come with almost unimaginable damage to economies and ecosystems. Unfortunately, this dose of reality arrives more than 30 years after human-caused climate change became a mainstream issue.

    The word "upended" does not do justice to the revolution in climate science wrought by the discovery of sudden climate change. The realization that the global climate can swing between warm and cold periods in a matter of decades or even less came as a profound shock to scientists who thought those shifts took hundreds if not thousands of years.
    Scientists knew major volcanic eruptions or asteroid strikes could affect climate rapidly, but such occurrences were uncommon and unpredictable. Absent such rare events, changes in climate looked steady and smooth, a consequence of slow-moving geophysical factors like the earth's orbital cycle in combination with the tilt of the planet's axis, or shifts in the continental plates.
    Then, in the 1960s, a few scientists began to focus on an unusual event that took place after the last ice age. Scattered evidence suggested that the post-ice age warming was interrupted by a sudden cooling that began around 12,000 years ago and ended abruptly 1,300 years later. The era was named the Younger Dryasfor a plant that proliferated during that cold period.
    At first, some scientists questioned the rapidity and global reach of the cooling. A report from the National Academies of Science in 1975 acknowledged the Younger Dryas but concluded that it would take centuries for the climate to change in a meaningful way. But not everyone agreed. The climate scientist Wallace Broecker at Columbia had offered a theory that changes in ocean circulation could bring about sudden climate shifts like the Younger Dryas.

    And it was Dr. Broecker who, in 1975, the same year as that National Academies report playing down the Younger Dryas, published a paper, titled "Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?" in which he predicted that emissions of carbon dioxide would raise global temperatures significantly in the 21st century. This is now seen as prophetic, but at the time, Dr. Broecker was an outlier. 
    Then, in the early 1990s, scientists completed more precise studies of ice cores extracted from the Greenland ice sheet. Dust and oxygen isotopes encased in the cores provided a detailed climate record going back eons. It revealed that there had been 25 rapid climate change events like the Younger Dryas in the last glacial period.
    The evidence in those ice cores would prove pivotal in turning the conventional wisdom. As the science historian Spencer Weart put it: "How abrupt was the discovery of abrupt climate change? Many climate experts would put their finger on one moment: the day they read the 1993 report of the analysis of Greenland ice cores. Before that, almost nobody confidently believed that the climate could change massively within a decade or two; after the report, almost nobody felt sure that it could not."
    In 2002, the National Academies acknowledged the reality of rapid climate change in a report, "Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises," which described the new consensus as a "paradigm shift." This was a reversal of its 1975 report.
    "Large, abrupt climate changes have affected hemispheric to global regions repeatedly, as shown by numerous paleoclimate records," the report said, and added that "changes of up to 16 degrees Celsius and a factor of 2 in precipitation have occurred in some places in periods as short as decades to years."
    The National Academies report added that the implications of such potential rapid changes had not yet been considered by policymakers and economists. And even today, 17 years later, a substantial portion of the American public remains unaware or unconvinced it is happening.

    Were the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica to melt, sea levels would rise by an estimated 225 feet worldwide. Few expect that to happen anytime soon. But those ice sheets now look a lot more fragile than they did to the climate change panel in 1995, when it said that little change was expected over the next hundred years. 
    In the years since, data has shown that both Greenland and Antarctica have been shedding ice far more rapidly than anticipated. Ice shelves, which are floating extensions of land ice, hold back glaciers from sliding into the sea and eventually melting. In the early 2000s, ice shelves began disintegrating in several parts of Antarctica, and scientists realized that process could greatly accelerate the demise of the vastly larger ice sheets themselves. And some major glaciers are dumping ice directly into the ocean.
    By 2014, a number of scientists had concluded that an irreversible collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet had already begun, and computer modeling in 2016 indicated that its disintegration in concert with other melting could raise sea levels up to six feet by 2100, about twice the increase described as a possible worst-case scenario just three years earlier. At that pace, some of the world's great coastal cities, including New York, London and Hong Kong, would become inundated. 
    Then this year, a review of 40 years of satellite images suggested that the East Antarctic ice sheet, which was thought to be relatively stable, may also be shedding vast amounts of ice.
    As the seas rise, they are also warming at a pace unanticipated as recently as five years ago. This is very bad news. For one thing, a warmer ocean means more powerful storms, and die-offs of marine life, but it also suggests that the planet is more sensitive to increased carbon dioxide emissions than previously thought.
    The melting of permafrost has also defied expectations. This is ground that has remained frozen for at least two consecutive years and covers around a quarter of the exposed land mass of the Northern Hemisphere. As recently as 1995, it was thought to be stable. But by 2005, the National Center for Atmospheric Research estimated that up to 90 percent of the Northern Hemisphere's topmost layer of permafrost could thaw by 2100, releasing vast amounts of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.
    For all of the missed predictions, changes in the weather are confirming earlier expectations that a warming globe would be accompanied by an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather. And there are new findings unforeseen by early studies, such as the extremely rapid intensification of storms, as on Sept. 1, when Hurricane Dorian's sustained winds intensified from 150 to 185 miles per hour in just nine hours, and last year when Hurricane Michael grew from tropical depression to major hurricane in just two days.
    If the Trump administration has its way, even the revised worst-case scenarios may turn out to be too rosy. In late August, the administration announced a plan to roll back regulations intended to limit methane emissions resulting from oil and gas exploration, despite opposition from some of the largest companies subject to those regulations. More recently, its actions approached the surreal as the Justice Department opened an antitrust investigation into those auto companies that have agreed in principle to abide by higher gas mileage standards required by California. The administration also formally revoked a waiver allowing California to set stricter limits on tailpipe emissions than the federal government.
    Even if scientists end up having lowballed their latest assessments of the consequences of the greenhouse gases we continue to emit into the atmosphere, their predictions are dire enough. But the Trump administration has made its posture toward climate change abundantly clear: Bring it on!
    It's already here. And it is going to get worse. A lot worse.



    9) We're Living Act 1 of the Disaster Films We Grew Up With
    There is a tension in the air as we practically lunge for the last bag of ice or can of food.
    By Shannon Stirone. November 8 2019

    Smoke from the eastern edge of the Kincade fire on Oct. 30.Credit...Philip Montgomery for The New York Times

    MARIN COUNTY, Calif. — Another year, another fall, and our skies have turned hazy orange once again — ash from the Kincade fire, which first sparked about 60 miles away, began slowly falling onto my windshield in mid-October, like some perverse first snow of the season. 
    I am a freelance science writer. And for a week I wrote and reported from my car — the only place I had with a working phone charger and heat. Because the utility PG&E has outdated power lines with an unfortunate tendency to spark fires, the utility turned our power off, affecting almost 2.7 million people. Over 180,000 people have reportedly been evacuated. 
    For days, almost all gas stations in the North Bay were closed. I went a week without electricity. To save fuel, every couple of hours I'd swap sitting at the desk inside of my chilly apartment for warming up and charging my devices in the car. It's the sort of depressing ad hoc solution that countless Bay Area residents have been forced into creating. On Facebook, I see friends from college mark themselves as safe while others announce that they are looking for shelter; on Twitter, a follower reported that her elderly parents, who were in the affected area, were ill and left without power, fresh food or access to their caretaker. During the last shut-off, a man relying on an oxygen machine died after losing his electricity.

    Depending on the day, grocery store shelves are gutted and schools are closed. Family members throughout the state have been evacuated, losing days of pay, as they cross their fingers that their houses won't be ash by the time they return. The air quality is still officially so bad that it's unsafe to be outside in a large, patchy network of area codes. And if you have no power, you can't run air purifiers inside. Hospitals have been running out of generator fuel. Life in the Bay Area hasn't come to a complete halt, but weeks into this fire crisis it has become disturbingly halting.

    It's one thing to see images of glaciers cracking apart and to understand, journalistically, the gravity of rising sea levels, longer droughts and frequent extreme weather events. It is quite something else for this thing, this term, global warming, that we've talked and written about in the abstract to now be palpable in such a terribly quotidian way. As 11,000 scientists recently explained in an article for the journal BioScience: "The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity."
    I've spent my entire life in California, and fires have always felt like a pretty regular event. These past few years are something entirely new. Imagine if every year the borough of Queens or the Bronx could be expected to catch fire, and while Queens or the Bronx burned, the rest of New York City went without power — to prevent another fire from starting nearby.
    What if Houston and New Orleans knew to expect a Category 3 hurricane every single year instead of every few years. This will now be the violent, destabilizing rhythm of disaster in vast areas of America's largest state.
    As exhausted as I am angry, I've gotten used to seeing the almost C.G.I.-looking photos that appear from around the state, numb to the dystopian desolation and the towering flames that continue to dance along several major freeways, the strewn tires, skeletons of people's homes, decimated forests and abandoned animals.
    It's unquestionable that this year's Kincade fire grew with such disastrous rapidity because of the climate: When the fires started, our air was so devoid of moisture it was on a par with Antarctica's, and parts of the Bay Area have experienced hurricane-force winds. Once sparked, the Kincade fire spread through a football field's worth of land every three seconds. The blaze is finally mostly contained, but there are seven other fires raging in the state.

    Some signs have made me wonder whether our more Hobbesian tendencies can be contained too. Every day, I drove to the East Bay, to a tiny pocket of Berkeley that still had power, so I could go to one of the few grocery stores still open in the area. Hundreds, unsurprisingly, had the same idea. Even though everyone is supportive in the aisles — asking "Are you safe?" and "Where are you heading?" — there is tension in the air, too, as we practically lunge for the last bag of ice or can of food, as if we are all in the first act of some bad post-apocalypse movie.
    Are we?
    My neighbors walk their dogs with face masks, and their kids play wearing specially ordered face masks, covered with emojis — trying to function normally in a world slipping away a bit more every autumn. Every night I sat in the darkness, illuminated by a flashlight and a few candles, with the man-made wildfires in the distance, and thought, "This is what the scientists warned us about." This is the flashing red warning.
    You may remember that, for a time, floods and droughts were mostly the face of climate change. Many people shamed members of coastal communities for still living in those spaces. And as the Colorado River dried up out west, at first it felt like a problem for only the six or so states whose water supply was affected. And for a while, the rich in California thought they could insulate themselves. Maybe now — when it's clearer than ever that eventually everybody has skin in the game — more of us will listen to calls for the radical reforms we'll need to avoid burning alive.



    10) The Hidden Cost of Gold: Birth Defects and Brain Damage
    By Richard C. Paddock, November 9, 2019

    An outlaw gold miner on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa examining a nugget of gold combined with toxic mercury, which is used to extract the precious metal from crushed ore.Credit...Adam Dean for The New York Times

    CIDAHU, Indonesia — Thousands of children with crippling birth defects. Half a million people poisoned. A toxic chemical found in the food supply. Accusations of a government cover-up and police officers on the take.
    This is the legacy of Indonesia's mercury trade, a business intertwined with the lucrative and illegal production of gold.
    More than a hundred nations have joined a global campaign to reduce the international trade in mercury, an element so toxic there is "no known safe level of exposure," according to health experts.
    But that effort has backfired in Indonesia, where illicit backyard manufacturers have sprung up to supply wildcat miners and replace mercury that was previously imported from abroad. Now, Indonesia produces so much black-market mercury that it has become a major global supplier, surreptitiously shipping thousands of tons to other parts of the world.

    Much of the mercury is destined for use in gold mining in Africa and Asia, passing through hubs such as Dubai and Singapore, according to court records — and the trade has deadly consequences.
    "It is a public health crisis," said Yuyun Ismawati, a co-founder of an Indonesian environmental group, Nexus3 Foundation, and a recipient of the 2009 Goldman Environmental Prize. She has called for a worldwide ban on using mercury in gold mining.
    Mercury can be highly dangerous as it accumulates up the food chain, causing a wide range of disorders, including birth defects, neurological problems and even death.

    Today, despite the risks, small-scale miners using mercury operate in about 80 countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas. They produce up to 25 percent of all gold sold.

    As gold makes its way around the world, so too does mercury — poisoning the air and food of people thousands of miles away. Small-scale gold mining is the largest single source of mercury pollution.
    A recent study of women on 24 remote islands found that more than half displayed high mercury levels. The women lived far from sources of mercury pollution but ate a diet rich in fish. In the United States, contaminated fish is the No. 1 source of mercury poisoning.
    Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation, stands out for its huge number of outlaw gold miners and for concerns that some law enforcement officials assigned to police the trade are instead profiting from it.
    As much as anyone, Cece Rifa'i, a former miner, is responsible for Indonesia's mercury boom and spreading the scourge of contamination across the country.
    But he has no regrets.
    "I don't feel guilty about anything," he said from the veranda of his two-story home on the island of Java.
    For years, Mr. Cece was a pioneer in a network of illegal mercury producers, traders and smugglers who supply gold miners across Indonesia with mercury, used to extract gold from crushed ore.

    On a single day, operating a furnace he constructed in his backyard, he could produce a ton of black-market mercury worth more than $20,000, he said.

    For decades, Indonesia got most of its mercury legally from the United States and Europe. But recognizing the harm it was doing, Western countries began reducing mercury exports six years ago.
    Since 2013, 114 countries, including Indonesia, have signed on to the Minamata Convention, a treaty that took effect in 2017 and that requires participating nations to reduce the export and use of mercury in a variety of industries.
    Nevertheless, United Nations trade data shows that Indonesia became a significant exporter of mercury from 2015 to 2017, peaking at more than 320 tons in 2016.
    Ms. Yuyun, the environmentalist, estimates that illicit manufacturers in Indonesia produce more than 10,000 tons of mercury a year. About a third is used in gold mining in Indonesia, she said, the rest smuggled overseas.
    The government banned the use of mercury in gold mining in 2014, but has done little to curb its use, clean up contaminated sites or warn the public of the danger.
    In surveys of 24 hot spots, the Nexus3 Foundation and a team of independent doctors found more than 700 cases of suspected mercury poisoning, including children with birth defects and villagers with irreversible neurological disorders. At least 45 have died.

    Based on these studies, the environmental group estimates that decades of mining have poisoned 500,000 people.
    The mercury trade is lucrative, but the gold business it supports is far more profitable. By some estimates, Indonesia's illicit small-scale gold miners produce as much as $5 billion a year.

    Poverty is widespread in Indonesia, and many people, jobless and desperate, have flocked to the gold fields.
    As miners, they often live outside the law, digging for ore on land without permission or government permits, sometimes in national parks and protected areas.
    To extract gold, the miners mix liquid mercury with crushed ore. Gold in the ore binds with the mercury to produce an amalgam of the metals. The miners heat the small lump with a blowtorch, sending mercury vapors into the air and leaving the gold behind.
    Many miners like the method because it gives them a quick return.
    But in mining communities, airborne mercury levels can be dangerously high. Wastewater containing mercury finds its way into fields, streams and bays, contaminating rice, fruit and fish, studies show.

    Government officials have known about mercury-related health problems in the gold fields since at least 2012, Ms. Yuyun said, but they have not warned residents about the dangers of consuming potentially contaminated rice and fish.
    Last year, Indonesia's Ministry of Environment and Forestry conducted tests in seven mining communities and identified 558 adults and children with high mercury levels, many with severe exposure. The sampling also found high levels in rice.
    But the ministry has yet to notify subjects of their test results or issue a public warning for fear of setting off panic over the safety of the food supply.
    "It's a crime to deliberately conceal the damning results," said Ms. Yuyun, the lead researcher on small-scale mining at the International Pollutants Elimination Network. "People are dying and have little access to any effective treatment. The government has to stop the mercury trade and clean up the mess."

    Environment Ministry officials declined to be interviewed and did not respond to written questions.
    Officials in the office of Indonesia's president, Joko Widodo, acknowledged that mercury contamination is a serious problem and said he had issued a national action plan that calls for cleaning up four hot spots.
    The president also has directed police and military commanders to take action against personnel found to be involved in the illegal metals trade. Officials said they were unaware of anyone being disciplined. Spokesmen for the national police and the military declined to be interviewed.

    Officials say the public has been warned about mercury's dangers, but there is little evidence of this in mining areas. Many miners insist it is not hazardous.
    The role of corrupt officials in the gold and mercury trade is widely recognized but seldom addressed by the government.
    Some members of the police and military are said to finance gold mining operations, extort protection money, oversee their own mines and ensure the safe transit of mercury and gold. Many tons of mercury seized by the police have gone missing.
    "When we went to the field and talked to the people there, they admitted that the police gave them the mercury," said Putu Selly Andayani, head of the West Nusa Tenggara Province Trade Agency. "They said the police helped them to set up the illegal mining."
    Throughout the country, miners work with mercury in plain sight without fear of punishment. The occasional arrests of furnace workers and smugglers have barely dented the supply.
    Mercury remains cheap and plentiful in the gold fields, where it is sold in mining supply shops or by dealers who travel from village to village. Dozens of Indonesian websites offer mercury for sale.

    One international smuggler arrested last year was Chander Hass Khera, an Indian citizen. Seized documents show that he shipped 9.7 tons of mercury to South Africa, Thailand and India in 2017.
    Last year, he bought an additional 3.8 tons from a dozen traders, said Dyah Paramita, a researcher at the Center for Regulation Policy and Governance in West Java, who reviewed court records.
    Soon after the smuggler's arrest, most of his confiscated mercury disappeared from police custody. The police told the court they were investigating.
    Mr. Khera was sentenced to 18 months in prison for trying to ship mercury produced without proper permits.
    Like methamphetamine labs in rural America, mercury distillation often takes place in remote areas, far from prying eyes.
    Mr. Cece, 64, the prolific backyard mercury producer, began mining gold as a young man.
    In 2010, as wildcat mining boomed, he said he started searching for cinnabar, the ore from which liquid mercury is produced.
    Inspired by his years vaporizing mercury by blowtorch, he constructed a simple concrete furnace with a narrow trench in the center for a wood fire, steel buckets to heat the reddish ore and fixtures to capture the mercury as it cooled and liquefied.

    His home in Sukabumi Regency in western Java is an unlikely spot for this backyard industry. A picturesque area of rice paddies and simple villages, there is no cinnabar ore or nearby highway. There is not even a road to Mr. Cece's house in Cidahu village.

    But on his patio, Mr. Cece built a furnace so large it could produce a ton of mercury in 24 hours.
    He arranged to have cinnabar shipped from distant islands, often using express courier services.
    He hired local men — "robbers, thieves and hit men," he called them — to work the furnace.
    Local police officers and health officials visited frequently, sometimes taking water samples. On each visit, he said, he gave them "pocket money."
    The inspectors found no health problems.
    On one occasion, he said, he demonstrated his furnace to a high-ranking police official from Jakarta.
    Soon dozens of copycat furnaces began appearing in Sukabumi and on islands closer to the cinnabar mines, helping flood the black market with cheap mercury.
    "We all know that he is the pioneer," said, Alung, 35, who learned the business working for Mr. Cece. Like many Indonesians, he uses one name.

    The police cracked down on mercury producers in Sukabumi in 2017, shutting down three dozen furnaces and arresting about 100 people, including Mr. Cece.
    He and nearly all the others avoided jail by agreeing to stop making mercury. Mr. Cece dismantled his furnace.
    The police seized nearly a ton of mercury from three furnaces in the village. Mr. Cece and Mr. Alung suspect the police sold it because they brought their own containers to haul it away.
    Before the crackdown, mercury production meant jobs.
    Whatever the health hazard, the work paid better than anything else, and they were disappointed when the furnaces were shut down.
    "We know it's dangerous," Mr. Alung said. "But we're sad. We no longer have the income."



    11) Ugly From the Outset: A Day of Violence and Anger in Hong Kong
    By Mike Ives, Elaine Yu and Edward Wong, November 11, 2019

    A still image captured from a live video shot by Chan Cheuk-hin, a reporter for a local production house, shows the scene just before a police officer shot a protester on Monday.Credit...Cupid Producer, via Reuters


    HONG KONG — On a Hong Kong street corner, a young protester found himself staring at the end of an angry police officer's handgun. He was shot.
    Across town on an overpass, a middle-aged man argued with rowdy protesters, accusing them of lacking patriotism for the Chinese motherland. He was set on fire.
    By nightfall, both were in the hospital, fighting for their lives.

    The actions on Monday were the violent expressions of a city on edge and seething with resentment. The protesters are furious with a police force they see as acting with impunity, while their detractors are angry with the increasingly destructive demonstrations.

    Months of antigovernment protests have thrown the Chinese territory into its worst political crisis in decades, with no end in sight. The movement, which started as a fight over an extradition bill, has morphed into a broader call for democracy and police accountability in the former British colony. But neither side seems to agree on what the future should look like under Chinese rule — and neither seems willing to compromise.

    Carrie Lam, the city's embattled chief executive, denounced the unrest on Monday, saying the escalating violence would not force the government to give in to the protesters' demands. She called those who had set the man on fire "enemies of the people."
    Tensions had been building for days, following the death of a student last week who fell from a parking garage amid demonstrations. The protesters see him as a martyr, and have depicted his death as another sign of excessive police violence.
    In response, they called for the city to join in a strike on Monday, disrupting transit en masse and messing up the morning commute. Events across the city, including classes at most of its universities, were canceled.
    Monday's unrest was ugly from the outset. The police officer drew a handgun on the protester as commuters, snarled by roadblocks set up by demonstrators, looked on in disbelief. Several shots rang out, and the 21-year-old man crumpled to the ground in the middle of an eerily deserted intersection.

    As blood pooled on the asphalt, a crowd of angry pedestrians surrounded riot police officers who had arrived as reinforcements. "Murderer!" some of them cried, while an officer doused the crowd with pepper spray.
    Anger over the shooting quickly unspooled across several districts in the city of more than seven million people, drawing suit-clad office workers in the central business district and residents in working-class neighborhoods.
    The scale of the transit disruptions on Monday was not as large as a citywide strike that protesters staged on a weekday in early August. Yet the clashes between protesters and the police were intense by any measure; the shooting was only the third time the police have shot a protester since the demonstrations began in June.
    Notably, some clashes occurred on the fringes of leafy university campuses that have in recent months generally been off limits to such violence. Protesters threw Molotov cocktails and glass bottles at police lines, while officers responded by firing tear gas and rubber bullets.

    Thousands of black-clad protesters also turned up for a flash mob-style demonstration in Hong Kong's central business district around lunchtime, creating a starkly surreal aura in an area filled with luxury malls. Some front-liners used orange traffic cones, bricks and wooden poles to set up barricades on main roads.

    On the side of a Giorgio Armani store, a screen with a video ad that showed sleek models parading down a runway was defaced with graffiti: "They shoot, they murder, they are well-paid." And protesters, some of them office workers in full face masks, yelled insults at police officers along the same lines.
    "Shooting everywhere, you think you're so cool?" one asked an officer at one point, adding an expletive. "Have you killed someone yet today? Have you met your killing quota?"
    Marcus Lee, a 26-year-old lawyer in a charcoal gray suit with a blue face mask, stood outside with a group of protesters who were shouting at the police.

    "The gun wasn't necessary, let alone firing shots," he said, referring to the morning's shooting. "You can see how people are reacting to this. They are angry. It's just very ridiculous."
    Scattershot violence erupted throughout the city for much of the day.
    Video footage showed a police officer on a motorcycle in the Kwai Fong district of northern Hong Kong swerving into a crowd of protesters, clipping at least one of them. The police later said the officer had been suspended from front-line duties.
    Across town in Ma On Shan, a district near the border with the Chinese mainland, a video showed a man who appeared to be a government supporter being doused with flammable liquid and set on fire after arguing with a group of protesters.

    "Go back to the Greater Bay Area!" the protesters shouted at him, using Beijing's term for the region of southern China that includes Hong Kong and neighboring cities.

    As many Hong Kong residents prepared for their evening commute, the smell of tear gas lingered outside their office buildings. In an internal memo, the bank HSBC said that while it was still operating normally, its employees should "leave the office early and under safe conditions."
    The Hospital Authority said that both the protester who had been shot and the man who had been set on fire were in critical condition.
    On Monday afternoon, the police urged protesters to stop threatening public safety. The authorities said that the officer who fired the three live rounds in the Sai Wan Ho area had acted in self-defense against protesters who had been trying to steal his revolver.
    "We certainly believe our officer did not have bad intention to hurt anyone," John Tse, a top police official, told reporters.
    Mrs. Lam, the city's leader, called Monday's mayhem "destructive" and said it could "take Hong Kong to the road of ruin."

    "The behaviors of these rioters have already far exceeded this so-called fight for demands," Mrs. Lam said, describing those who were responsible for the man's burning.
    Mrs. Lam also made it clear that the government would not be pressured into making concessions to the protesters, describing such expectations as "wishful thinking."
    "I am making this statement clear and loud here," she said. "That will not happen."

    Katherine Li, Ezra Cheung and Paul Mozur contributed reporting.



    12) Big Business Is Overcharging You $5,000 a Year
    Consolidation is great for corporations — and bad for almost everyone else.
    By David Leonhardt, November 10, 2019
    "In the United States, the process is more political, and companies spend vastly more money on campaign donations and lobbying. Lobbyists — and, by extension, regulators — justify mergers with dubious theories about money-saving efficiencies. Somehow, though, the efficiencies usually end up raising profits rather than lowering prices."

    Thomas Philippon outside Washington Square Park in New York on Friday.Credit...Emon Hassan for The New York Times

    When Thomas Philippon moved to Boston from his native France 20 years ago, he was a graduate student on a budget, and he was happy to discover how cheap American telephone use was. In those days of dial-up internet connections, going online involved long local phone calls that could cost more than $10 apiece in France. In the United States, they were virtually free.
    Philippon eventually got a Ph.D. in economics at M.I.T. and decided to stay here. He's now a professor at New York University. And over the years, he has noticed something surprising about his adopted country: Internet usage is no longer a good deal.
    Today, his parents pay about 90 euros (or $100) a month in the Paris suburbs for a combination of broadband access, cable television and two mobile phones. A similar package in the United States usually costs more than twice as much.

    Figuring out why has become a core part of Philippon's academic research, and he offers his answer in a fascinating new book, "The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets." In one industry after another, he writes, a few companies have grown so large that they have the power to keep prices high and wages low. It's great for those corporations — and bad for almost everyone else.

    Many Americans have a choice between only two internet providers. The airline industry is dominated by four large carriers. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are growing ever larger. One or two hospital systems control many local markets. Home Depot and Lowe's have displaced local hardware stores. Regional pharmacy chains like Eckerd and Happy Harry's have been swallowed by national giants.
    Other researchers have also documented rising corporateconcentration. Philippon's biggest contribution is to explain that it isn't some natural result of globalization and technological innovation. If it were, the trends would be similar around the world. But they're not. Big companies have become only slightly larger in Europe this century — rather than much larger, as in the United States.

    What explains the difference? Politics.
    The European economy certainly has its problems, but antitrust policy isn't one of them. The European Union has kept competition alive by blocking mergers and insisting that established companies make room for new entrants. In telecommunications, smaller companies often have the right to use infrastructure built by the giants. That's why Philippon's parents can choose among five internet providers, including a low-cost company that brought down prices for everyone.

    In air travel, European discount carriers like easyJet have received better access to the gate slots they need to operate. The largest four European airlines control only about 40 percent of the market. In the United States, that share is 80 percent, and, as you'd expect, airfares are higher. Even Southwest Airlines has begun to behave less like a low-fare carrier.
    The irony is that Europe is implementing market-based ideas — like telecommunications deregulation and low-cost airlines — that Americans helped pioneer. "E.U. consumers are better off than American consumers today," Philippon writes, "because the E.U. has adopted the U.S. playbook, which the U.S. itself has abandoned."

    The European Union has created an impressively independent competition agency that's willing to block mergers, like General Electric-Honeywell and Siemens-Alstom. In the United States, the process is more political, and companies spend vastly more money on campaign donations and lobbying. Lobbyists — and, by extension, regulators — justify mergers with dubious theories about money-saving efficiencies. Somehow, though, the efficiencies usually end up raising profits rather than lowering prices.

    Whirlpool's 2006 purchase of Maytag is a good example. The Justice Department rationalized the deal partly by predicting that foreign appliance makers would keep the combined company from raising prices. But Whirlpool later successfully lobbied for tariffs to keep out foreign rivals. Washers, dryers and dishwashers have all become more expensive.
    The consolidation of corporate America has become severe enough to have macroeconomic effects. Profits have surged, and wages have stagnated. Investment in new factories and products has also stagnated, because many companies don't need to innovate to keep profits high. Philippon estimates that the new era of oligopoly costs the typical American household more than $5,000 a year.

    It's a problem that should inspire bipartisan action. Some solutions feel conservative: reducing licensing requirements and other bureaucratic rules that hamper start-ups. Others feel progressive: blocking mergers, splitting up monopolies and forcing big business to share infrastructure.
    There are signs that the politics of antitrust are shifting. Several Republicans, like Senator Josh Hawley, now talk about the issue, and many Democrats — not just Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, but also Amy Klobuchar — do too.
    But we have a long way to go. Too often, both parties are still confusing the interests of big business with the national interest. And American families are paying the price.



    13) Australia Confronts 'Catastrophic' Fire Conditions
    An emergency was declared for all of New South Wales as risk warnings reached their highest possible level.
    By Damien Cave, November 11, 2019

    Bushfires in New South Wales, Australia, on Saturday.Credit...Tom Bannigan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    SYDNEY, Australia — Australia is bracing for cataclysmic wildfires on Tuesday, as officials warned that strong winds, high temperatures and parched forests had created some of the worst fire conditions the country has ever seen. 
    After powerful blazes caused three deaths over the weekend, the authorities said people and homes were now at risk from Sydney's outer suburbs up the southeastern coast to Byron Bay, 500 miles away. An emergency was declared on Monday for all of New South Wales as risk warnings reached their highest possible level.
    "If a fire starts and takes hold during 'catastrophic' fire danger conditions, lives and homes will be at risk," said Shane Fitzsimmons, the Rural Fire Service commissioner, adding, "We are talking about something we haven't experienced before in Sydney."
    The fires also became a political issue on Monday as the deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, said that only leftist "lunatics" were linking the blazes to climate change.

    Across the region, the day began with preparations for the increased fire risk. 
    • In Sydney's suburbs near the Blue Mountains, where a devastating fire destroyed hundreds of homes and left two people dead in 2013, residents reported packing their cars with clothes, water and essentials in case they needed to flee. Farther north, where fires continued to rage, evacuation centers have been filling up with residents fleeing to safety. 
    • The Country Fire Authority in the state of Victoria reported sending more than 300 members to New South Wales after the state requested help. More than 1,000 firefighters have been fighting blazes across the state since the weekend. Most are volunteers. 
    • Conditions were expected to ease somewhat on Wednesday in New South Wales, with temperatures cooling and winds slowing, but the fire threat was expected to remain for several days. 

    An omen for the current fire season came in September, when a historic lodge in a rain forest burned nearly to the ground.
    The areas where fires were raging as of Tuesday morning, north of Sydney near Port Macquarie and the Queensland border, have been suffering from a lengthy drought.
    But scientists note that moisture levels of live trees and shrubs around Sydney are also at record lows — even lower than the levels during the Black Christmas fires of 2001, which destroyed more than 500 buildings on the edge of Sydney and burned for three weeks.
    Given the drier-than-normal conditions, there is fuel both on the ground, with dry leaves, and in the branches of trees that are dying or dead. And if something ignites, high winds threaten to carry the flames far and wide.

    On Tuesday, the federal Bureau of Meteorology reported, winds could reach up to 70 kilometers per hour, or 43 miles per hour, with gusts in excess of 90 km/h (56 m.p.h). Gusts could be even higher in the mountains.

    "It's not just out in the bush, because many people in cities are right on that edge," said Lesley Hughes, a biology professor at Macquarie University who works with the Climate Council of Australia. "Everybody loves to live in the bush and around the bush — it's becoming an increasingly dangerous place."

    Despite several months of mass protests drawing attention to the Australian public's concerns about climate change, the country's deputy prime minister on Monday dismissed questions about its role in the fires. 
    In an interview with ABC Radio National, the official, Michael McCormack, said it "galls" him when people raise climate change in relation to bush fires. He said global warming was a concern of "raving inner-city lunatics."
    Scientists and firefighters immediately responded. Many pointed out the clear connections between climate change and the extended and more intense fire seasons in Australia, California and other places around the world. 
    "Fires are burning in places and at intensities never before experienced," Greg Mullins, a former fire and rescue commissioner in New South Wales, wrote in an op-ed article for The Sydney Morning Herald, citing rain forests in northern New South Wales, tropical areas of Queensland and the "formerly wet old-growth forests" of Tasmania. 
    He also said that thunderstorms caused by fires — known as "pyro-convective" events — were rare in the past but were now happening regularly.

    Joëlle Gergis, a climate scientist and writer from the Australian National University, said it was clear that "there's a human fingerprint on the temperature increases since 1950 — all the weather patterns are occurring in a planet that is warming and warming because of human activity."
    By dismissing the role of climate change, she said, the government was choosing immediate disaster response over long-term needs. 
    "We're really missing the opportunity to prepare for future life in Australia," Ms. Gergis said. 
    "It's going to be a lot warmer, and we're going to see a lot of prevalence of extreme fire conditions," she added. "The further we kick the can down the road and avoid these conversations, we're really missing the opportunity to get the Australian public ready for what is upon us."
    Jamie Tarabay, Isabella Kwai and Sasha Gattermayr contributed reporting.



    14) Is It a Crime to Encourage Unauthorized Immigration? The Supreme Court Will Decide
    An appeals court struck down a broad 1986 law under the First Amendment, saying it covers conversations between family members and legal advice.
    By Adam Liptak, November 11, 2019

    The case is one of several significant immigration matters on the Supreme Court's docketAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — A 1986 federal law makes it a crime to "encourage" unauthorized immigrants to come to or stay in the United States. 
    "The statute potentially criminalizes the simple words — spoken to a son, a wife, a parent, a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, a student, a client — 'I encourage you to stay here,'" Judge A. Wallace Tashimawrote last year for a unanimous panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, in striking down the law.

    The law applies to a grandmother urging a grandchild to overstay a visa or a lawyer advising a client to stay in the country while fighting deportation, Judge Tashima wrote. It may cover public officials helping immigrants in sanctuary cities and perhaps even speeches at immigration rallies, he wrote.
    Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the law can be squared with the First Amendment. The case, United States v. Sineneng-Smith, No. 19-67, is one of several significant immigration matters on the court's docket. On Tuesday, the court will hear arguments on whether the Trump administration can rescind protections for so-called Dreamers. Later in the term, it will consider whether immigrants can go to court to challenge orders calling for their expedited removal.
    The First Amendment case concerns Evelyn Sineneng-Smith, who ran an immigration consulting firm in San Jose, Calif. Her clients, mostly from the Philippines, worked without authorization in the home health care industry. Ms. Sineneng-Smith offered to help them get green cards under a Labor Department certification program that she said would give them permanent resident status and allow them to work legally.
    But the program had expired. Ms. Sineneng-Smith nonetheless charged her clients $6,800 to file applications she knew to be futile. She was convicted of mail fraud, a conviction that the Ninth Circuit affirmed and that Ms. Sineneng-Smith is not challenging in the Supreme Court. The question for the justices is whether her separate conviction under the 1986 law for encouraging her clients to stay in the United States was proper.
    In the Ninth Circuit, Ms. Sineneng-Smith argued that she had a First Amendment right to file the applications, which was not a particularly strong argument. "Speech integral to criminal conduct," the Supreme Court has said, is not protected by the First Amendment.
    When the case reached the Ninth Circuit, it did something unusual. It asked for briefing on a different First Amendment question. The court wanted to know whether the law was overbroad, chilling the free speech of people other than Ms. Sineneng-Smith.
    After getting additional briefs and hearing another round of arguments, the appeals court ruled that the law was unconstitutional.

    In urging the Supreme Court to hear its appeal, the Trump administration said the Ninth Circuit had gone too far. The Supreme Court has said that striking down laws because they are too broad is "strong medicine" to be used only when the laws are unconstitutional in a substantial number of real-world settings rather than in "fanciful hypotheticals."
    In his Ninth Circuit opinion, Judge Tashima said that his examples of possible prosecutions "are not some parade of fanciful horribles." 
    "Instead," he wrote, "they represent real and constitutionally protected conversations and advice that happen daily."
    Whatever the literal language of the 1986 law, Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco wrote for the government in its petition seeking review, criminal laws are "ordinarily understood not to prohibit abstract advocacy of illegality."
    "Just as a teenager does not aid, abet or solicit marijuana possession merely by saying to a friend, 'I encourage you to try smoking pot,'" Mr. Francisco wrote, a grandmother does not violate the 1986 law "merely by saying to her grandson whose visa has expired, 'I encourage you to stay.'"
    Mr. Francisco asked the justices to decide only whether speech made for financial gain could be made criminal. The 1986 law does discuss financial gain, but in a separate provision allowing longer sentences when money is involved.
    Prosecutions under the law tend to be limited to cases concerning classically criminal conduct by unsympathetic defendants. But not always. In 2012, for instance, a Massachusetts woman, Lorraine Henderson, was convicted of hiring an unauthorized immigrant to clean her home and offering general and not always reliable advice about immigration law.

    In that case, Judge Douglas P. Woodlock, of the Federal District Court in Boston, wrote that the "plain and unadorned language" of the law "can be read to cast a wide net over those who interact with illegal aliens by offering employment." 
    Judge Woodlock did not consider First Amendment issues in his decision, but he granted Ms. Henderson's motion for a new trial based on his misgivings about the sweep of the law. Prosecutors dropped the case.
    In Ms. Sineneng-Smith's case, the government argued that it did not pursue prosecutions based on ordinary interactions with unauthorized immigrants.
    That was small comfort, Judge Tashima wrote. "Just because the government has not (yet) sought many prosecutions based on speech," he wrote, "it does not follow that the government cannot or will not use an overbroad law to obtain such convictions."
    In the Supreme Court, Ms. Sineneng-Smith's lawyers said they should be allowed to challenge the law in order to protect the constitutional rights of other people.
    "The very reason that overbroad laws are subject to facial attack," they wrote, "is to remedy the chilling effect resulting from keeping such laws on the books."































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


    Posted by: bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

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