Victory Update: Rodney Reed has been granted an indefinite stay of execution as lawyers ready for a new trial to prove his innocence!

Court Stops Execution of Rodney Reed in Texas After Outcry
Mr. Reed had been scheduled to die on Wednesday. Celebrities, politicians and the state's parole board had all argued for a reprieve.
By Manny Fernandez and Richard A. Oppel, Jr.

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.



BAY AREA Women in Black Inviting CODEPINK to join in Annual Black Friday Action.

Friday, Nov. 29, 11:45:  Meet at Powell St. BART station. 
12:00:  March to Union Square for one hour vigil, chants and "anti-carols".

1:00 return to Powell St.
SFPD will escort us.

Please join them if you can,  
Toby     (We'll be out of town)

Dear all,

Please join Bay Area Women in Black for our annual Black Friday march and vigil in San Francisco. Our fliers and signs will carry the message, on the most profitable shopping day of the year in the US, that people's purchases may be contributing to the illegal and deadly Israeli occupation and colonizing of Palestine.  We will name specific products to be boycotted, explaining the rationale of each call for boycott. We will also urge people to remind their elected representatives of the role of US taxpayers in the increased violence of the Israeli military government toward Palestinian civilians, particularly children,  and in the official steps that Israel is taking, with US support, toward a state worse than apartheid South Africa.

Please dress in black.  Drums are welcome. Let us know if you are willing to wear a "puppet" (see attached photo by Phil Pasquini). And please pass this message along to allies.ro

Peace and be well,
Judith and BAWiB



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



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."

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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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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



Action Alert for Shaka Shakur

Urgent Action Alert: Stop Prison Officials from Blocking Shaka Shakur's Access to Educational and Vocational Services

Shaka Shakur is a politically active, incarcerated, New Afrikan who was transferred on December 18th, 2018, from the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) to the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) as part of campaign to neutralize his activism by prison officials. This transfer was done in violation of his due process rights as a prisoner. He is currently incarcerated at the Sussex 1 State Prison in Waverly, Virginia. His VA DOC # is 135647.  Since being held there, his right to access educational and vocational programs has been violated. Below is a summary of these violations in Shaka's own words:

"1) i was moved out of the state of Indiana against my will in violation of Indiana Code and due process. i was never afforded any form of hearing where i was informed as to why i was being shipped out of state nor allowed to present evidence challenging the decision to move me.

2) Upon my arrival to the prison system in Virginia, i was never given any form of orientation. I've never been informed as to what my rights are, nor informed as to how i can go about challenging any decision made by the state of Va. I've only been informed that the state of Va has custody of my body and that all decisions pertaining to my classification, security level and placement was being determined and controlled by the state of Indiana and its Department of Corrections (IDOC).

3) There is supposed to be an IDOC liaison that oversees my placement in Va and communicates with an official in the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) named Ms. Collins. She has refused to respond to any and all efforts to contact her by myself or any outside sources. Any questions i've had pertaining to video visits, security level, placement, and classification have gone unanswered except for being told that it is up to Indiana.

4) Per Indiana Code i am supposed to be afforded the same rights and privileges as if i was still in Indiana. That includes jobs, programming, religious services etc.s To deny me such is a const violation and discrimination. In fact, it denies me equal protection under the law. I am not being allowed to find a job outside of the housing unit. i'm being told that i'm not going to be allowed to drop my security level even though my points will drop as low as 10 points in Va and less than 15 in indiana. Both of which would qualify me for a level 3 security level placement.

5) The counselor Ponce falsified my classification review/progress report by lying and saying that i had assaulted a staff member within the last 12 months. This was in order to justify my continued placement at a level 4/5 prison. When this was brought to her attention, she pretended that she had corrected it and instead further falsified the report and then blamed it on Indiana. i have copies of these documents and my lawyer have the originals [see images posted in event below]."


6) The doctors at Sussex 1 have not been provided with Shaka's medical records past 2014. Shaka experiences nerve and other issues due to a degenerative disc on which he has been operated. Without these records he cannot be provided with the necessary care for his chronic condition.

7)There is no appeals process available to Shaka or any other out-of-state inmate. Indiana code establishes the sender state [Indiana] as having unchallenged authority in cases of interstate transfer. Having access only to internal grievance procedures in Virginia, Shaka is unable to appeal decisions made in Indiana

You can read about Shaka's long history of activism and rebellious activity in Indiana prisons here and here.

What You Can Do to Support Shaka:

On Monday, 11/11, call  the Indiana DOC Executive Director of Classification Jack Hendrix at (317) 232-2247. Leave a message with whoever you are able to speak to, or a voicemail. You can also email Jack Hendrix at jdhendrix@idoc.in.gov.

Please tell them to drop Shaka's  security level dropped to a level 3 for which he qualifies so that he can access vocational and educational programs, or to authorize Shaka's lateral transfer to a facility where he can be allowed to participate in vocational and educational programs.

As Shaka stated:

"How am i supposed to work my way back to Indiana if i'm not being allowed to participate in anything positive or constructive?"

To make a donation to Shaka Shakur's legal defense fund and for more info on his case, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/shaka-shakur-legal-defense-fund

For more information, contact Seth Donnelly at sethdonnelly2000@yahoo.com.


50 years in prison: 

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

NOW is the time for Chip to come home!

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

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

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

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

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

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

The California Board of Parole Hearings is holding Chip hostage.

We call on Governor Newsom to release Chip immediately.

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

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

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

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

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



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



One Democratic State of Palestine

Why One Democratic State of Palestine

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

Call for a Palestine Liberation Movement

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

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

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




Support Chuck Africa for Parole

Michael Africa Jr. started this petition to Pennsylvania Governor

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



On Abortion: From Facebook

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



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

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

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

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

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

Call: 1-518-474-8390

Email Gov. Cuomo with this form

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



Funds for Kevin Cooper


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

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

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

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

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



Don't extradite Assange!

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



Words of Wisdom

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

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

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



Get Malik Out of Ad-Seg

Keith "Malik" Washington is an incarcerated activist who has spoken out on conditions of confinement in Texas prison and beyond:  from issues of toxic water and extreme heat, to physical and sexual abuse of imprisoned people, to religious discrimination and more.  Malik has also been a tireless leader in the movement to #EndPrisonSlavery which gained visibility during nationwide prison strikes in 2016 and 2018.  View his work at comrademalik.com or write him at:

Keith H. Washington
TDC# 1487958
McConnell Unit
3001 S. Emily Drive
Beeville, TX 78102
Friends, it's time to get Malik out of solitary confinement.

Malik has experienced intense, targeted harassment ever since he dared to start speaking against brutal conditions faced by incarcerated people in Texas and nationwide--but over the past few months, prison officials have stepped up their retaliation even more.

In Administrative Segregation (solitary confinement) at McConnell Unit, Malik has experienced frequent humiliating strip searches, medical neglect, mail tampering and censorship, confinement 23 hours a day to a cell that often reached 100+ degrees in the summer, and other daily abuses too numerous to name.  It could not be more clear that they are trying to make an example of him because he is a committed freedom fighter.  So we have to step up.

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

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



Major George Tillery
April 25, 2018-- The arrest of two young men in Starbucks for the crime of "sitting while black," and the four years prison sentence to rapper Meek Mill for a minor parole violation are racist outrages in Philadelphia, PA that made national news in the past weeks. Yesterday Meek Mills was released on bail after a high profile defense campaign and a Pa Supreme Court decision citing evidence his conviction was based solely on a cop's false testimony.
These events underscore the racism, frame-up, corruption and brutality at the core of the criminal injustice system. Pennsylvania "lifer" Major Tillery's fight for freedom puts a spotlight on the conviction of innocent men with no evidence except the lying testimony of jailhouse snitches who have been coerced and given favors by cops and prosecutors.

Sex for Lies and Manufactured Testimony
For thirty-five years Major Tillery has fought against his 1983 arrest, then conviction and sentence of life imprisonment without parole for an unsolved 1976 pool hall murder and assault. Major Tillery's defense has always been his innocence. The police and prosecution knew Tillery did not commit these crimes. Jailhouse informant Emanuel Claitt gave lying testimony that Tillery was one of the shooters.

In May and June 2016, Emanuel Claitt gave sworn statements that his testimony was a total lie, and that the homicide cops and the prosecutors told him what to say and coached him before trial. Not only was he coerced to lie that Major Tillery was a shooter, but to lie and claim there were no plea deals made in exchange for his testimony. He provided the information about the specific homicide detectives and prosecutors involved in manufacturing his testimony and details about being allowed "sex for lies". In August 2016, Claitt reaffirmed his sworn statements in a videotape, posted on YouTube and on JusticeforMajorTillery.org.

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

Major Tillery Needs Your Help:

Major Tillery and family

    Financial Support—Tillery's investigation is ongoing. He badly needs funds to fight for his freedom.
    Go to JPay.com;
    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC

    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:
    The Conviction Review Unit should investigate Major Tillery's case. He is innocent. The only evidence at trial was from lying jail house informants who now admit it was false.
    Call: 215-686-8000 or

    Write to:
    Security Processing Center
    Major Tillery AM 9786
    268 Bricker Road
    Bellefonte, PA 16823
    For More Information, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery.org
    Kamilah Iddeen (717) 379-9009, Kamilah29@yahoo.com
    Rachel Wolkenstein (917) 689-4009, RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com




    On Monday March 4th, 2019 Leonard Peltier was advised that his request for a transfer had been unceremoniously denied by the United States Bureau of Prisons.

    The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee appreciates and thanks the large number of his supporters who took the time to write, call, email, or fax the BOP in support of Leonard's request for a transfer.
    Those of us who have been supporting Leonard's freedom for a number of years are disappointed but resolute to continue pushing for his freedom and until that day, to continue to push for his transfer to be closer to his relatives and the Indigenous Nations who support him.
    44 years is too damn long for an innocent man to be locked up. How can his co-defendants be innocent on the grounds of self-defense but Leonard remains in prison? The time is now for all of us to dig deep and do what we can and what we must to secure freedom for Leonard Peltier before it's too late.
    We need the support of all of you now, more than ever. The ILPDC plans to appeal this denial of his transfer to be closer to his family. We plan to demand he receive appropriate medical care, and to continue to uncover and utilize every legal mechanism to secure his release. To do these things we need money to support the legal work.
    Land of the Brave postcard-page-0

    Please call the ILPDC National office or email us for a copy of the postcard you can send to the White House. We need your help to ask President Trump for Leonard's freedom.

    Free Leonard Peltier!






    1) Family to Get $10 Million After Death of Man Left in Jail Cell With a Broken Neck
    An Oklahoma county agreed to pay the estate of Elliott Williams, whose complaints were ignored by members of the detention and medical staff for five days.

    Elliott WilliamsCredit...Family Photo

    Surveillance cameras at the Tulsa County Jail captured the response by emergency medical workers.Credit...Tulsa County Jail/Tulsa World, via Associated Press

    Elliott Williams tried to tell guards at an Oklahoma jail that he had broken his neck. 
    But surveillance footage shows staff members at the Tulsa County Jail throwing trays of food toward him and placing water out of his reach as he struggled to move on the floor. They dragged him on a blanket from another cell, and would later say he "acted as if paralyzed" and wanted "to be waited on." 
    Elliott Williams was eventually found dead in his cell, lying naked on the floor.
    More than eight years later, the county agreed this week to pay $10 million to the estate of Mr. Williams, marking the end of a civil rights lawsuit filed by his parents. 
    By the time he died, he had been injured for five days, and the jail recorded the final 51 hours of his life from a monitored medical unit. 
    "It's so disturbing," said Dan Smolen, the estate's attorney. "There were dozens of people who came in contact with Elliott Williams in the Tulsa County Jail and laughed at him, mocked him, thought he was faking and didn't do anything."

    "It's the dehumanization of people who are in their custody," Mr. Smolen added. "There's just a total attitude of indifference."

    In 2017, a federal jury awarded the Williams estate a $10.25 million payment that the county then appealed. The settlement announced on Tuesday eliminated the requirement for Stanley Glanz, who was the sheriff at the time of Mr. Williams's death, to pay $250,000.
    Guy Fortney, a lawyer representing the county, said that both parties were pleased to agree to a resolution and that everyone wanted to put the matter behind them.
    Mr. Williams, a 37-year-old Army veteran, had been arrested in October 2011 on an obstruction complaint in a hotel lobby in the Tulsa suburb of Owasso. The police noted in the arrest report that Mr. Williams was having a mental breakdown and that he said he was going to kill himself.

    After he was brought into custody, Mr. Williams was transferred to a cell at the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center, where he bashed his head into a steel door and broke his neck. His complaints about the injury were largely ignored by detention and medical staff members.

    The medical examiner confirmed in 2014 that Mr. Williams had died from complications of vertebro-spinal injuries, as well as starvation and dehydration.
    "Unfortunately, prisoners are by and large a population that can be harmed, can be mistreated, can even be tortured often with impunity," said David C. Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project.
    Mr. Williams's older brother, Kevin Williams, described a sense of relief following the settlement, saying it was some good news after what had been a frustrating, drawn-out battle.
    "At the same token," Kevin Williams said, "no amount of money will bring him back."



    2) Civilian Toll in Israel-Gaza Clashes Comes Under Scrutiny
    The two-day conflict has killed 16 civilians, including two 7-year-old boys and two toddlers, according to human rights investigators.
    By The Associated Press, November 15, 2019

    A funeral for members of the Malhous family in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, on Thursday, after their house was hit by an Israeli airstrike.Credit...Mohammed Saber/EPA, via Shutterstock

    GAZA CITY — Residents say the airstrike came this week without warning: With fighting raging between Israel and Islamic Jihad militants throughout Gaza, two loud blasts destroyed a home in central Gaza, killing eight members of the family in a split second.
    Abdelhaj Musleh, a neighbor, said many children lived in the house in the central Gaza town of Deir el-Balah that was struck on Thursday. "If there had been a warning, no one would have waited for this death and destruction," he added.
    Israel has claimed victory in its latest battle against Gaza militants,a clash set off by the Israeli military's killing of an Islamic Jihad commander. But its tactics of carrying out airstrikes on private homes thought to be of harboring militants could once again come under scrutiny over the civilian death toll. 
    On Friday, the Israeli army said it would investigate the "unexpected" harm to civilians in the Gaza strike.

    Palestinian militants also have come under international criticism for firing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilian areas.
    A truce announced early Thursday appeared to be breaking down less than 24 hours later, as Israel resumed airstrikes on Gaza overnight Friday after a series of Palestinian rocket attacks. Among the 34 people killed in the two-day conflict, 16 were civilians, including two 7-year-old boys and two toddlers, according to human rights investigators.
    Since Hamas seized power in Gaza in 2007, Israel has fought three wars and dozens of skirmishes against Islamic militant groups. While the wars have inflicted heavy damage on Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad group, hundreds of civilians have also died in Israeli airstrikes.

    The high civilian death toll has drawn heavy international criticism, and the International Criminal Court in The Hague has opened a preliminary investigation into Israel's battlefield tactics. Israel has rejected the criticism, saying it takes numerous precautions to prevent unnecessary civilian casualties.

    It says its targets are based on sophisticated intelligence and cleared by legal advisers and other experts, and that it often warns inhabitants to evacuate before their homes are struck. It says it has fine-tuned its guided missiles, delivering small payloads that minimize damage beyond the precise target.
    "Our operations against the Islamic Jihad were very accurate, very deliberate, based on the highest level of intelligence that we have," Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, told reporters on Thursday after the cease-fire was declared.
    "One of the key considerations was and remains to limit to the greatest extent possible collateral damage and the effect on noncombatants," he added.
    The latest round of fighting began early Tuesday, when an Israeli airstrike killed Baha Abu al-Ata, a senior Islamic Jihad commander who Israel said was responsible for numerous rocket attacks and was planning a deadly infiltration operation into Israel. The 4 a.m. missile strike hit the top-floor apartment in Gaza City where he was sleeping, also killing his wife, Asmaa Abu al-Ata.
    Colonel Conricus said Israel had been following Mr. Abu al-Ata for 10 days but had held off attacking him sooner because he routinely surrounded himself with crowds of civilians for protection.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited a group of Israeli soldiers to congratulate them on what he called a successful mission. "Our enemies got the message," he said. "We can reach anyone, even in their beds."

    Such airstrikes can be permissible under international law, depending on the threat posed by the target and whether the damage to civilians is "proportional" to the military gain, said Omar Shakir, the country director of Human Rights Watch.

    Palestinians gathered around a crater following an Israeli air strike in Deir al-Balah.Credit...Said Khatib/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    "Too often civilians pay the price for political brinkmanship by states and armed group," Mr. Shakir said. "We've seen several rounds of fighting now in Gaza where civilians have lost their lives or had their property damaged and faced harrowing circumstances as the result of unlawful attacks by both parties."
    Palestinian militants also have been denounced for firing rockets at Israeli civilian areas. The Israeli military said dozens of the rockets this week had been misfired and landed in Gaza, with one believed to have damaged the offices of the International Commission for Human Rights, a Palestinian watchdog group. 
    The group stopped short of criticizing the militants and called for an investigation of the incident.
    In the case of the airstrike in Deir el-Balah, neighbors said an Islamic Jihad commander lived in the home that was destroyed. The commander, however, was not home and had apparently gone into hiding.
    Instead, his brother Rasmi Abu Malhous, 45, was killed, along with both of their wives and five children under the age of 13. They included his 7-year-old son and two nephews, ages 2 and 3.

    The neighbors, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to anger the family, said Rasmi Abu Malhous had not involved in any militant activity. The home virtually disintegrated in the blast, leaving a large crater with kitchenware, pillows and mattresses strewn about. Neighbors dug out eight bodies and tried to salvage school backpacks and clothes.

    "When we came, we did not recognize where the house was standing," said Mr. Musleh, the neighbor. "The airstrike intentionally targeted civilians."
    Israel argues that civilian casualties are inevitable in Gaza's densely populated urban environment. Militants often fire rockets from crowded residential areas, drawing Israeli retaliatory strikes, and Israel accuses the militants of using civilians as human shields.
    Colonel Conricus, the military spokesman, said he had no information about the particular airstrike. But he defended the attacks on private homes, saying that Islamic Jihad commanders used their residences to store weapons or as command and control centers, making them legitimate military targets.





     November 15, 2019      

    Mumia Abu-Jamal and his supporters are closer than ever to winning his release after 38 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. The Fraternal Order of Police, former district attorneys, and other political higher ups who participated in the frame up are now shaking in their boots because an innocent man may be given a new trial in which judicial, police and prosecutorial misconduct will be exposed.
    Formerly hidden evidence disclosed by current District Attorney Larry Krasner justifies a new trial and Abu-Jamal's immediate release. That decision is currently in the hands of State Superior Court judges. 
    Pam Africa, of the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and a MOVE member, said "Abu-Jamal should have been released by Krasner on the basis of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct--as many others have been recently. By doing this,  Krasner would be following the color of the law."
    While Maureen Faulkner/Palkovic, widow of Daniel Faulkner, is being put forward as the face of the opposition in recent court proceedings, the real players behind the scenes are the FOP and their cronies. And they are dangerously worried. It is in the interest of the 6500-member FOP Lodge 5 to bring down Larry Krasner, the popular new DA with an anti-corruption agenda.  The FOPs' campaign is nothing less than an effort to terrorize any court official who values justice more than letting an unfair conviction stand.
    At a Nov. 12 press conference at the FOPs' lodge, Faulkner claimed "I'm here for justice." In 38 years, Faulkner and the FOP have never fought for justice. In fact, the FOP has a decades-long violent and racist history of defending every cop accused of police brutality and terror against Black and Brown and poor people.
    Previous district attorneys were more concerned with getting high rates of convictions against African American and Latinx residents than actual justice. Their policies resulted in the unfair jailing of innocent people like Mumia Abu-Jamal and mass incarceration. "The police at the scene, supported by the FOP, also the prosecution under Edward Rendell knew that Mumia was innocent. The FOP and Faulkners' recent attempt to remove DA Krasner from Mumia's new appeals is just another cover-up " said Rachel Wolkenstein, longtime Mumia supporter.
    The FOP wants Abu-Jamal's case to be taken from Krasner's office and handled instead by conservative PA Attorney General Joshua Shapiro, who has staffed his office with several former assistant DAs fired from the Philadelphia DAs office - some of whom were complicit in Mumia's unfair conviction.
    DA Krasner says he found potentially damaging evidence about the prosecution's trial witnesses in newly discovered files. He believes that evidence should be aired in court - but hasn't said if Abu-Jamal deserves a new trial.
    Abu-Jamal's attorney Judith Ritter contends that the new evidence shows Abu-Jamal's trial was "fundamentally unfair and tainted by serious constitutional violations."
    Abu-Jamal was a well-known political activist when he was severely beaten by police and charged with murder in 1981. Questions that have been suppressed and buried for decades could now could be made public for the first time during a new trial:
    • DA Joe McGill paid off witnesses with favors and cash.
    • McGill allowed a cab-driver witness with a suspended license to keep driving. (Photos of the crime scene by the Philadelphia Bulletin prove the cabbies' car was literally not at the scene.) 
    • Joe McGill illegally removed Black jurors.
    • Joe McGill tracked and fixed the outstanding cases of other key witnesses.
    • The DA's office for 37 yrs withheld and suppressed critical information from Mumia's criminal defense team.
    • Judge Albert Sabo stated "I am going to help them fry the n*****" in front of Judge Richard Klein and court clerk Terry Maurer Carter.
    •Alfonso Giordano--Philadelphia Police Commander -- the highest ranking officer on the scene of officer Faulkner's murder on Dec. 9th 1981 falsely stated that Mumia confessed while he was beating him in the police van.  
    On Dec. 2, Krasner is expected to submit a response to arguments from Abu-Jamal's lawyers for a new trial-- taking a stand for justice against FOP intimidation.
    The current FOP attack on DA Krasner is part of the 38 year effort to silence Abu-Jamal once and for all. We who believe in justice will not allow that to happen.



    4) Harvard students walk out en masse from Israeli consul talk (and liberal Zionists are saddened)
    By Phillip Weiss, November 14. 2019

    Students walk out on Dayan at Harvard Law School. He can be seen speaking at lower left, in background.
    In yet another sign that Palestinian solidarity activists are getting room inside mainstream institutions, scores of Harvard students walked out on the Israeli consul general yesterday as he began a talk at Harvard Law School on the settlement project. The students were largely silent and held up signs saying, "Settlements are a War Crime."
    Dani Dayan spoke to a largely-empty room and expressed contempt for the demonstrators as being like kindergartners.
    More than 100 students "from across Harvard" walked out, according to the Palestine Solidarity Committee at the school. Most of the hall empties in this video of the protest posted by Hamzah Raza, a student at Harvard's Divinity School.
    Dayan is himself a settler and spoke on the "legal strategy of Israeli settlements." He was sponsored by a program on Jewish and Israeli law at the Law School, and introduced by Noah Feldman, a Harvard law professor and expert on religion, who said that the invitation did not represent an endorsement of Dayan's views, but a desire to engage his views.
    The Palestine Solidarity Committee posted a photograph of the largely empty hall after the walkout. It shared credit for the protest with the "Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine."
    Dayan thanked Harvard for hosting him at its "most prestigious institution." But the Palestine Solidarity Committee statement reports that he was disdainful:
    Smiling at the sight of the protesters silently leaving the room, Dayan remarked: "I remember a time doing something similar in my kindergarten." He later tweeted (translated): "On my way back to NYC I'm thinking why are these people so happy with themselves? A bunch of losers trembling in fear of the disciplinary committees of their school."
    That statement characterized the protest as part of a trend:
    This event is part of a growing momentum on Harvard's campus for justice in Palestine. "We do not intend on sitting out on complicity in oppression," a student organizer remarked. "Not at Harvard, not anywhere else."
    The Palestine Solidarity Committee also tweeted, "We cannot tolerate his extremist views."
    Israeli human rights attorney Michael Sfard was pleased by the demonstration.
    Liberal Zionist Richard Goldwasser seconded the idea that the protest reflects a trend– and Israel better get with it. He endorsed the walkout but said he was saddened.
    I support protesting Dayan. At the same time, this saddens me. It's only going to grow. Israel needs to change course. Now.
    Debra Shushan of Peace Now endorsed the protest but echoed Goldwasser's view. "I feel the same way. If I copied a few lines from your tweet ("This saddens me. It's only going to grow. Israel needs to change course. Now.") I could use it as commentary to about half the things I share on Twitter."
    The Palestine Solidarity statement was not saddened:
    Dayan is a vocal advocate for the illegal expansion of Israeli settlements into Palestinian territory. In a 2012 op-ed in the New York Times, he wrote that the international community should abandon its vain attempts at the two-state solution and accept the Israeli presence in the West Bank as "an irreversible fact." Israeli settlements are blatant violations of international law, and the Israeli settler movement is a violent project of settler-colonialism in occupied Palestine.
    "I'm disappointed that the Harvard Law School would let this kind of propaganda for a colonial project for accumulation by dispossession be framed as "legal." This is not only complicit but simply dishonest," a student organizer remarked. "Let us be clear, there is a consensus among the international community that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and a violation of the fourth Geneva Convention," they added.
    Thanks to Scott Roth, Terry Weber, and James North. 



    5) Court Stops Execution of Rodney Reed in Texas After Outcry
    Mr. Reed had been scheduled to die on Wednesday. Celebrities, politicians and the state's parole board had all argued for a reprieve.
    By Manny Fernandez and Richard A. Oppel, Jr.

    Rodney Reed waving to his family in court in Bastrop, Texas, in 2017.Credit...Ricardo Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman, via Associated Press

    HOUSTON — A Texas prisoner who has long claimed his innocence in the murder of a woman 23 years ago was days away from his execution on Friday when an appeals court stepped in to suspend his death sentence indefinitely. 
    The dramatic decision by the Court of Criminal Appeals in Texas halted the execution of the prisoner, Rodney Reed, and ordered the court where he was originally tried to consider new evidence in the case, including testimony from eyewitnesses who have come forward in recent months pointing toward the victim's fiancé as another suspect.
    The court's ruling came just hours after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles had also supported halting the execution and recommended that Gov. Greg Abbott grant a 120-day reprieve for Mr. Reed, 51, one of 215 prisoners on Texas' death row. 
    "I have tears streaming down my cheeks," said Andrew MacRae, one of Mr. Reed's lawyers, after learning of the parole board recommendation.

    Mr. Reed's case has generated intense interest in recent weeks, with a rare confluence of Republican lawmakers and high-profile celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna, calling on courts and the governor to spare his life. He had been scheduled to die on Wednesday.
    By granting the indefinite stay and sending the case back to a trial court, the Texas appeals court — the highest criminal court in the state — provided Mr. Reed's defense team a sweeping victory.
    "At every turn we have asked for a hearing at which we can present the evidence, in full, of Rodney Reed's innocence," said Bryce Benjet, one of Mr. Reed's lawyers. "So it is extremely rewarding that we can finally have a chance to fully present his case in court, so it can be determined that he did not commit this crime."
    Mr. Benjet added that he had just spoken to Mr. Reed's mother. "She was both relieved and elated," he said.
    Mr. Reed was convicted of the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites in Bastrop, Texas. Ms. Stites, 19, was strangled, and her body was dumped alongside a rural road. Prosecutors said she had also been raped, and Mr. Reed was arrested based mostly on DNA tests.

    He maintained that he and Ms. Stites had been having an affair, which would explain how his DNA was recovered from her body. 
    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. 
    Most recently, at least three people have come forward with new testimony regarding Ms. Stites's 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.
    A man who served time in prison with Mr. Fennell said in a sworn affidavit last month that he had heard Mr. Fennell confess to killing Ms. Stites because she had cheated on him with a black man. Mr. Reed is black.
    Mr. Fennell's lawyer, Robert M. Phillips, said that Mr. Fennell denies killing Ms. Stites. 
    It was unclear whether Friday's ruling would lead to a resolution of one of the most contentious issues in the case: Mr. Reed's lawyers have pushed for the murder weapon — Ms. Stites's belt — to be tested for DNA evidence, which has yet to happen.
    Mr. MacRae said he expected that an evidentiary hearing would take place in another four to six months, in which the new witnesses would testify and other evidence would be examined in court. He said it was possible that Mr. Reed's defense team would also subpoena Mr. Fennell.
    Other witnesses could still come forward, Mr. MacRae added. "It's still an open investigation," he said.

    What made the Reed case unique was the widespread support he received from Republican elected officials, many of whom had in the past avoided speaking out publicly about the guilt or innocence of death row inmates and who have been staunch supporters of the death penalty.
    Senator Ted Cruz was one of several Texas Republican leaders who called on Mr. Abbott and the state parole board to stop the execution and grant Mr. Reed a reprieve so that the new evidence could be examined. The list included the Republican congressman who represents Bastrop, where the crime took place.
    Eight Republican and eight Democratic state senators sent a letter supporting a reprieve to Mr. Abbott and the board. The letter referred to the decision in 1998 by George W. Bush, the governor at the time, to commute the death sentence of Henry Lee Lucas.
    "One thing we often grapple with when discussing criminal justice reform is balancing justice with mercy, particularly when we consider a heinous crime," the letter read. "Executing Rodney Reed without certainty about his guilt erodes public trust — not only in capital punishment, but in Texas justice itself."
    State Representative Matt Krause, Republican of Fort Worth, said on Friday that the court's action was a best-case scenario because it will provide an opportunity to review the new evidence. 
    "I want to make sure that anytime the state does use that ultimate final punishment," said Mr. Krause, who supports the death penalty, "that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that was the person who committed the crime."
    Texas runs the nation's busiest death chamber. Since December 1982, when the state resumed carrying out capital punishment after the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, Texas has executed 566 men and women, more than any other state.

    In February 2018, Governor Abbott took his only action during nearly five years in office to block a death sentence, granting clemency to Thomas Whitaker, who had been sentenced to death for orchestrating the killing of his brother and mother. Mr. Whitaker's father, a survivor of the murders, had asked the governor to spare his son's life. Mr. Abbott commuted Mr. Whitaker's sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole, after a unanimous recommendation from the state parole board.
    That was the only other time, until Friday, that the parole board had recommended Mr. Abbott take action to delay or stop an execution.
    Manny Fernandez reported from Houston, and Richard A. Oppel Jr. from New York.



    6) When the Judge Became the Defendant
    Judge Shelley Joseph, charged with obstruction of justice and accused of helping an undocumented immigrant escape detention, has signaled she will risk a trial.
    By Ellen Barry, November 16, 2019

    Judge Shelley Joseph leaving federal court in Boston in April. Steven Sennets/Associated Press

    NEWTON, Mass. — When she was brought before a court this spring, charged with the federal crime of obstruction of justice, Judge Shelley Joseph did not look like a rebel. 
    Her face was tear-streaked, and bore an expression of helpless dismay, as if she were struggling to take in the upside-down worldin which she was the defendant. 
    In April, she and a court officer, Wesley MacGregor, were accused of allowing an immigrant to evade detention by arranging for him to sneak out the back door of a courthouse. 

    The federal prosecutor in Boston took the highly unusual step of charging the judge with obstruction of justice, setting off a debate over whether and how states can refrain from carrying out President Trump's immigration policy.

    Massachusetts has been at the forefront of the sanctuary city movement, passing a series of legal rulings that constrain Immigration and Customs Enforcement from detaining immigrants in courthouses.
    The judge's supporters say she is no crusader, but an inexperienced judge who stumbled into a bitterly contested area of the law. They warn that if the case goes forward, it will open the door for prosecution of other judges, undercutting their independence, as the country grapples with its deep divisions over immigration. 
    Judge Joseph has refused a plea deal that would have allowed her to avoid prosecution if she admitted violating federal law, signaling that she is prepared to go to trial in a case that could drag on for years. 
    For a federal prosecutor to indict a state judge is so rare that, in search of a Massachusetts precedent, observers have cast back to 1787, when Judge William Whiting was removed from the bench for defending a farmer's rebellion against state tax collectors. 
    Some in Massachusetts's sprawling legal and immigration rights community kept a distance from Judge Joseph, in part because the evidence against her was damning: Before allowing the man to be led out of her courtroom, Judge Joseph could be heard on an audio recording instructing the court clerk to switch off the recorder in an apparent effort to conceal what they were saying.

    But legal heavyweights have rallied in her defense, arguing that the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, Andrew E. Lelling, has crossed a line by indicting a state judge, inviting the use of federal power to intimidate state officials into compliance.
    This summer, the state Supreme Judicial Court ordered the restoration of her $184,000 salary while the case is pending, for fear that the threat of being stripped of a paycheck would make judges hesitant to challenge prosecutors, diminishing the "over-allindependence of the judiciary." 
    Daniel Medwed, a law professor at Northeastern University, said, "What Joseph's behavior has become is a rallying cry, not just for judicial independence, not just for states' rights, but also a form of civil disobedience, that we, as state duly appointed judges, won't be cowed by federal prosecutors."
    A spokeswoman for Mr. Lelling declined to comment on the pending case. 
    Through her lawyer, Judge Joseph also declined to comment, as did her lawyer, Thomas Hoopes. Judge Joseph has pleaded not guilty, as has Mr. MacGregor.

    "This prosecution is absolutely political," Mr. Hoopes told reporters in April. "Shelley Joseph is absolutely innocent."
    Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington-based organization that favors reduced immigration, said the judge is the one propelling the case forward by choosing not to accept the plea deal.
    "They just want to make it clear that what she did was wrong, but if she remains defiant, it kind of boxes them into a corner," she said. "It's just a question of how long she wants to draw it out." 
    She added, "Maybe she thinks of herself as a martyr for the cause."

    Judge Joseph, who joined the bench five months before the incident, was not well known or particularly outspoken. 
    After a career as a prosecutor and defense attorney, she had been nominated by the state's Republican governor, Charlie Baker, as an associate justice of the Framingham District Court, hearing misdemeanors and minor felonies. The main indication of her politics was a stint working on Bill Clinton's presidential campaign and a term on the Democratic State Committee in the 1990s. 
    At her nomination hearings in 2017, colleagues spoke of her compassion and, as one put it, her "belief in human goodness." The newly minted judge was beaming and a bit nervous, kneading her fingers in her lap under the table. She spoke of lessons she had learned from her mother.

    "She taught me to be an advocate, to stand up for what is right, and never to compromise my values," she said. "The most important thing she taught me was to be nice."
    She was entering a court system that was under strain, particularly around the bitterly contested legal ground of ICE detentions.
    "Massachusetts courts blatantly and willfully disregard ICE's requests to detain aliens on a daily basis, and cannot be relied upon to honor our requests," an official in ICE's Boston field office complained in internal emails
    One person tasked with pushing back against the state's left-leaning trends was Mr. Lelling, the United States attorney appointed under President Trump. Mr. Lelling promised, right away, that Massachusetts would see his office take a tougher stance on immigration.
    "Some of our judges are motivated by their personal conclusions that it's unfair in certain instances to deport someone," he told The Boston Globe. "That's not law, just their personal feelings."

    Tension over the question was in the background when an ICE officer arrived at the Newton District Court at 9:30 a.m. on April 2, 2018, with orders to detain Jose Medina-Perez, an undocumented immigrant from the Dominican Republic.

    Newton District Court is a sleepy, two-room courthouse in a wealthy, liberal suburb. On a recent afternoon, a judge hearing a woman's shoplifting case admiringly noted her degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    "This is Newton," joked its clerk magistrate, Henry Shultz, "where you're considered a dropout if you only have a master's degree." 
    Judge Joseph was a visiting judge in the courthouse, occasionally hearing cases on Tuesdays. 
    Mr. Medina-Perez, who also went by the name Oscar Peguero, had been arrested in Newton on narcotics charges, and had been linked to an eight-year-old warrant for drunken driving from Pennsylvania. He had been deported twice from the United States, and the second time, in 2007, he had been prohibited from entering the country for 20 years, according to the federal indictment.
    At 12:04, while Mr. Medina-Perez was sitting in the glass dock to the right of her bench, Judge Joseph instructed the court clerk to ask the ICE officer to leave the courtroom and wait in the lobby outside. According to defense briefs, the judge was complying with established policy at the Newton courthouse at the time. 
    Only later would it become clear what had happened inside, as Judge Joseph held a sidebar conference with the assistant district attorney and Mr. Medina-Perez's defense attorney. Both agreed that Mr. Medina-Perez was not the man wanted in Pennsylvania. 
    He could have been released on bond from the jail in Billerica, Mass., but the defense attorney, David Jellinek, jumped in. 
    Defense Attorney: There is an ICE detainer. So if he's bailed out from Billerica when he goes back there, ICE will pick him up —
    Judge Joseph: ICE is gonna get him?
    Defense Attorney: Yeah.
    Judge Joseph: What if we detain him?
    Defense Attorney: Are we on the record?
    Judge Joseph: {Clerk,} can we go off the record for a moment?
    Clerk: What's that?
    Judge Joseph: Are we off the record? 
    Clerk: No, we're on the record.
    Defense attorney: Can we go off the record for a moment?
    At this point, according to the indictment, the clerk switched off the courtroom recorder for 52 seconds, in violation of Massachusetts courtroom rules. When the recording picked up again, the three resumed their conversation, agreeing to release Mr. Medina-Perez — but not, as is standard, through the courtroom lobby. (Mr. Jellinek declined to comment for this article.)
    Defense attorney: I would ask that he, uh — I believe he has some property downstairs. I'd like to speak with him downstairs with the interpreter if I may.
    Judge Joseph: That's fine. Of course.
    Defense attorney: Thank you.
    Seven minutes later, the indictment reflects, Mr. Medina-Perez departed through the courthouse's rear exit, which opens into a public parking lot. But this was not communicated to the ICE officer, who remained in the lobby. The courthouse closes its doors at 4:30 p.m., seven hours after the ICE officer showed up.

    He departed empty-handed and, presumably, frustrated.

    Word of what had happened moved quickly up the chain of command, reaching Washington in a matter of hours, said Thomas D. Homan, who was the acting director of ICE at the time.
    "I heard about it the same day it happened," Mr. Homan said. "I was dumbfounded. I said, 'Well, now, things are going a bit too far.' For an officer of the court to help someone escape ICE arrest. I've done this 35 years and never seen anything like that."
    Informed of the decision by Matthew Albence, then the director of enforcement removal operations and now ICE's acting director, Mr. Homan said he immediately began asking about legal recourse. 
    "I remember I got angry," he said. "I asked, 'Is there a legal action I could take?' I was looking to do whatever I could do to make that happen." He said he considered it a clear case of obstruction of justice, but that his agency did not have the power to bring charges. "We've got to find a U.S. attorney who is willing to indict. I talked to my legal staff, they said it would be up to the U.S. attorney's office.'" 
    The idea of such a prosecution was popular in Washington.
    In 2018, Mr. Trump publicly urged Jeff Sessions, who was then the attorney general, to bring obstruction of justice charges against Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, Calif., for warning her constituents of an impending ICE raid. 
    In an interview with WGBH radio, Mr. Lelling, the United States attorney, said that Judge Joseph's case was not the first time he had heard of a judge impeding a detention, but that it stood out because of the quality of the evidence.
    "We've heard rumors of, you know, judges doing this or that, I don't want to identify them," he said, "but this was the first time we have come across an instance where, one, as alleged in the indictment, we thought it was clearly criminal, and two, we think we can prove it."

    Mr. Lelling said the case should not be viewed within the context of the legal tension over immigration. 
    "To me, it's not an immigration case," he said. "I know that seems counterintuitive to people. It's a rule of law case. You have, the indictment alleges, a sitting judge who helps a federal fugitive evade capture by letting him out the back door. You can't do that." 
    Even some immigration advocates were cautious about defending Judge Joseph. 
    "We were quiet on this," said Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, the executive director of Lawyers for Civil Rights, which filed a lawsuitto stop ICE courthouse detentions.
    "There are elements of this that have a very bad look," he said. "People are sympathetic with Judge Joseph but at the same time there are elements of what happened in the courtroom that most people wouldn't defend. I wouldn't defend turning off the recorder in the courtroom."
    Carol Ball, a retired Superior Court judge who was making the rounds of retired judges, seeking support for Judge Joseph, encountered that reaction in some cases. 
    But she said that was missing a much more important point: Judges' behavior in the courtroom is typically subject to judicial discipline, not federal prosecution. 
    For a federal prosecutor to indict a sitting judge is crossing a line, she said.
    "If she did what they say she did, she does deserve to be dealt with," she said. "Nobody is saying, 'It's fine, no problem.'"

    She said federal immigration authorities were "furious" at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which had recently ruled that state courts could not hold subjects purely on the basis of ICE detainers.
    Massachusetts "is the home of all those liberals who hate Donald Trump, you know what I'm trying to say?" she said. "You don't indict a sitting judge without getting direct clearance from Washington."
    Judge Joseph, she said, was simply not prepared for the battleground she was walking into. 
    "She was a baby judge, caught in this swirling vortex of change," she said. 
    In the months that have passed, Judge Joseph has figured regularly in the Boston newspapers. 
    In the Globe's letters column, one admiring reader put her in a category with Henry David Thoreau and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as an icon of civil disobedience who "knew that there were consequences for disobeying the law" and "accepted them."
    The right-wing radio host Howie Carr, writing for The Herald, has derided her as "a lawless, privileged moonbat judge" who is "hoping for an O.J. Simpson-like jury nullification from 12 Democrats afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome."
    As for the judge herself, she has been silent.
    Alicia Shems, a friend from high school, said it had been a painful period for the judge, who has spent the past decades consumed with her work. 
    She said Judge Joseph at first struggled to fill her days, which Ms. Shems described as "empty and terrifying."

    To settle her mind, Ms. Shems said, Judge Joseph is training for her fourth marathon, running so much and eating so little that she has lost 10 or 20 pounds. 
    As for the threat of a prison sentence, she said, "she can't think about that or she won't be able to function."



    7) 'Yellow Vest' Anniversary Brings Fires, Tear Gas and Dwindled Crowds
    A protest movement that once brought tens of thousands to the streets of Paris has been confined to marginal sites and outmaneuvered by the president whose program it challenged.
    By Adam Nossiter, November 16, 2019

    A "Yellow Vest" protester in Paris on Saturday. The movement has dwindled since late last year, when it could mobilize tens of thousands.Credit...Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

    PARIS — Clouds of tear gas covered a major square in southern Paris on Saturday as the police attempted to quell a "Yellow Vest" demonstration marking the movement's anniversary.
    Protesters, some masked, threw paving stones and set trash cans on fire, while dozens of other demonstrators, a few wearing the yellow road-emergency vests that became the movement's uniform, milled about on the Place d'Italie at the capital's southeastern edge.
    But the mayhem was largely confined to a small area and could not hide the weak mobilization on Saturday, which numbered in the hundreds rather than the tens of thousands seen at the movement's inception in November 2018
    Then, nearly 300,000 turned out for what began as apparently spontaneous demonstrations against a proposed fuel tax rise but quickly broadened into a major social protest movement that rocked the presidency of Emmanuel Macron.

    By midafternoon on Saturday, the police had made 61 arrests in Paris, down sharply from the hundreds that were the norm throughout months of Saturday protests last fall and winter. 
    The police canceled a planned protest march through Paris because of the violence at the Place d'Italie, and they earlier closed off the Champs-Élysées, the central avenue that was a focus of previous demonstrations.
    "All those who are there and who hide their faces will be systematically arrested," the Paris prefect of police, Didier Lallement, said at a midafternoon news conference, referring to the Place d'Italie. "The rest of Paris is calm," he added.
    The protesters, many chanting, "We're here even if Macron doesn't want us to be!" and "Happy birthday!" also flooded the Porte de Champerret in the northwest of Paris, attempting to block the ring road around the capital before they were dispersed.
    Public sympathy for the movement, a cry of protest over stagnating wages and declining living standards, was strong at first, but largely dissipated after weeks of violence tore up sections of Paris and some of the major provincial cities. Mr. Macron quashed the movement by deploying a three-pronged strategy: cash, the unbridled deployment of the police and dialogue.

    Mr. Macron granted nearly $19 billion in fiscal concessions to the lower-middle-class workers populating the movement, largely in tax breaks and direct subsidies like an increase in the so-called work bonus. Economists estimate that his breaks added some $900 in average purchasing power to French family budgets.
    In addition, Mr. Macron unleashed France's tough riot police, resulting in well over 2,000 injuries and dozens of blindings from rubber bullets, along with a significant fear factor that kept people from turning out for the demonstrations. 
    The president also embarked on a national talking campaign that saw him tour the provinces that were the seedbed of the protest movement, spending hours in dialogue with small-town mayors and citizens over four months. The tactic worked.
    The Yellow Vests were undermined from within, analysts say, by their failure to coalesce around leaders, fixed goals and a long-term strategy.



    8) In Win for Protesters, Chile to Vote on Replacing Constitution
    The country plans to hold a referendum next April on replacing the country's dictatorship-era constitution.
    By Reuters, November 15, 2019

    A demonstrator throwing a fire extinguisher at riot police during an antigovernment protest on Thursday in Santiago, Chile.Credit...Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images

    SANTIAGO, Chile — Lawmakers in Chile agreed on Friday to hold a referendum next April on replacing the country's dictatorship-era constitution, bowing to demands of protesters who want the country's social and economic model overhauled.
    Voters will be asked whether they approve the idea of a new constitution and whether current lawmakers should serve on the commission that would redraft the document.

    The two-page "Agreement for Peace and a New Constitution," signed after midnight following intense negotiations, calls for a "commitment to re-establish peace and public order in Chile."

    A month of protests has sown chaos in the South American nation. More than 20 people have died during riots, arson and looting that caused extensive damage and prompted President Sebastián Piñera to call soldiers on to the streets. The Chilean peso this week plunged to a new low against the dollar.

    Though protesters lack a clear leader or spokesperson, a new constitution emerged quickly as an important demand. Critics say Chile's existing Magna Carta, written and adopted during Gen. Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990 military dictatorship, lacks legitimacy.
    Lawmakers revised the original 1980 document after Chile returned to democracy but many say it still falls short, failing to ensure for proper health care, education and citizen participation in government.
    Opponents of an overhaul say the charter has been a pillar of stability for Chile, among the region's strongest and most investor-friendly economies.
    The details will be worked out by a constitutional convention whose composition will be determined in the April referendum. A second vote, in October 2020, will allow voters to select those who will finally serve on the convention.

    A final vote on the draft itself will be obligatory for all voting age Chileans, according to the agreement.



    9) The End of Babies
    By Anna Louie Sussman, November 16, 2019
    "The point is not really whether $200,000 is reasonable; it is that the very notion of attaching a dollar figure to an experience as momentous as parenthood is a sign of how much my mind-set has been warped by this system that leaves us each so very much on our own, able to avail ourselves of only what we can pay for.
    For decades, people with as much good fortune as I have were relatively immune to these anxieties. But many of the difficulties that have long faced working-class women, and especially women of color, are trickling up. These women have worked multiple jobs without stability or benefits, and raised children in communities with underfunded schools or poisoned water;"

    llustration by Jun Cen

    In the fall of 2015, a rash of posters appeared around Copenhagen. One, in pink letters laid over an image of chicken eggs, asked, "Have you counted your eggs today?" A second — a blue-tinted close-up of human sperm — inquired, "Do they swim too slow?"
    The posters, part of a campaign funded by the city to remind young Danes of the quiet ticking of their biological clocks, were not universally appreciated. They drew criticism for equating women with breeding farm animals. The timing, too, was clumsy: For some, encouraging Danes to make more babies while television news programs showed Syrian refugees trudging through Europe carried an inadvertent whiff of ugly nativism.
    Dr. Soren Ziebe, former chairman of the Danish Fertility Society and one of the brains behind the campaign, believes the criticism was worth weathering. As the head of Denmark's largest public fertility clinic, Dr. Ziebe thinks these kinds of messages, fraught as they are, are sorely needed. Denmark's fertility rate has been below replacement level — that is, the level needed to maintain a stable population — for decades. And as Dr. Ziebe points out, the decline is not solely the result of more people deliberately choosing childlessness: Many of his patients are older couples and single women who want a family, but may have waited until too late.
    But the campaign also notably failed to land with some of its prime targets, including Dr. Ziebe's own college-age daughter. After she and several classmates at Copenhagen University interviewed him for a project on the campaign, Dr. Ziebe sought answers of his own.
    "I asked them, 'Now, you know — you have gained a lot of information, a lot of knowledge. What are you going to change in your own personal lives?' he said. He shook his head. "The answer was 'Nothing.' Nothing!"
    If any country should be stocked with babies, it is Denmark. The country is one of the wealthiest in Europe. New parents enjoy 12 months' paid family leave and highly subsidized day care. Women under 40 can get state-funded in vitro fertilization. But Denmark's fertility rate, at 1.7 births per woman, is roughly on par with that of the United States. A reproductive malaise has settled over this otherwise happy land.
    It's not just Danes. Fertility rates have been dropping precipitously around the world for decades — in middle-income countries, in some low-income countries, but perhaps most markedly, in rich ones.
    Declining fertility typically accompanies the spread of economic development, and it is not necessarily a bad thing. At its best, it reflects better educational and career opportunities for women, increasing acceptance of the choice to be child-free, and rising standards of living. 
    At its worst, though, it reflects a profound failure: of employers and governments to make parenting and work compatible; of our collective ability to solve the climate crisis so that children seem a rational prospect; of our increasingly unequal global economy. In these instances, having fewer children is less a choice than the poignant consequence of a set of unsavory circumstances.
    Decades of survey data show that people's stated preferences have shifted toward smaller families. But they also show that in country after country, actual fertility has fallen faster than notions of ideal family size. In the United States, the gap between how many children people want and how many they have has widened to a 40-year high. In a report covering 28 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, women reported an average desired family size of 2.3 children in 2016, and men wished for 2.2. But few hit their target. Something is stopping us from creating the families we claim to want. But what?
    There are as many answers to this question as there are people choosing whether to reproduce. At the national level, what demographers call "underachieving fertility" finds explanations ranging from the glaring absence of family-friendly policies in the United States to gender inequality in South Korea to high youth unemployment across Southern Europe. It has prompted concerns about public finances and work force stability and, in some cases, contributed to rising xenophobia. 
    But these all miss the bigger picture.
    Our current version of global capitalism — one from which few countries and individuals are able to opt out — has generated shocking wealth for some, and precarity for many more. These economic conditions generate social conditions inimical to starting families: Our workweeks are longer and our wages lower, leaving us less time and money to meet, court and fall in love. Our increasingly winner-take-all economies require that children get intensive parenting and costly educations, creating rising anxiety around what sort of life a would-be parent might provide. A lifetime of messaging directs us toward other pursuits instead: education, work, travel. 
    These economic and social dynamics combine with the degeneration of our environment in ways that hardly encourage childbearing: Chemicals and pollutants seep into our bodies, disrupting our endocrine systems. On any given day, it seems that some part of the inhabited world is either on fire or underwater.
    To worry about falling birthrates because they threaten social security systems or future work force strength is to miss the point; they are a symptom of something much more pervasive. 
    It seems clear that what we have come to think of as "late capitalism" — that is, not just the economic system, but all its attendant inequalities, indignities, opportunities and absurdities — has become hostile to reproduction. Around the world, economic, social and environmental conditions function as a diffuse, barely perceptible contraceptive. And yes, it is even happening in Denmark.
    DANES DON'T FACE the horrors of American student debt, our debilitating medical bills or our lack of paid family leave. College is free. Income inequality is low. In short, many of the factors that cause young Americans to delay having families simply aren't present.
    Even so, many Danes find themselves contending with the spiritual maladies that accompany late capitalism even in wealthy, egalitarian countries. With their basic needs met and an abundance of opportunities at their fingertips, Danes instead must grapple with the promise and pressure of seemingly limitless freedom, which can combine to make children an afterthought, or an unwelcome intrusion on a life that offers rewards and satisfactions of a different kind — an engaging career, esoteric hobbies, exotic holidays. 
    "Parents say that 'children are the most important thing in my life,'" said Dr. Ziebe, a father of two. By contrast, those who haven't tried it — who cannot imagine the shifts in priorities it produces, nor fathom its rewards — see parenting as an unwelcome responsibility. "Young people say, 'Having children is the end of my life.'"
    There are, to be sure, many people for whom not having children is a choice, and growing societal acceptance of voluntary childlessness is undoubtedly a step forward, especially for women. But the rising use of assisted reproductive technologies in Denmark and elsewhere (in Finland, for example, the share of children born via assisted reproduction has nearly doubled in a little more than a decade; in Denmark, it accounts for an estimated one in 10 births) suggests that the same people who see children as a hindrance often come to want them.
    Kristine Marie Foss, a networking specialist and event manager, almost missed out on parenthood. A stylish woman with a warm smile, Ms. Foss, now 50, always dreamed of finding love, but none of her serious boyfriends lasted. She spent most of her 30s and 40s single; those were also the decades in which she worked as an interior designer, created several social networks (including one for singles, "before it was cool to be single"), and expanded and deepened her friendships.
    It wasn't until she was 39 that she realized it might be time to start thinking seriously about a family. A routine visit to the gynecologist prompted an unexpected revelation: "If I become 50 or 60 and I don't have kids, I know I'm going to hate myself the rest of my life," said Ms. Foss, now the mother of a 9-year-old and 6-year-old via a sperm donor. Ms. Foss has joined the ranks of what Danes call "solomor," or single mothers by choice, a cohort that has been growing since 2007, when the Danish government began covering IVF for single women.
    There are those who have always sought to lay the blame for declining fertility, in some way, on women — for their individual selfishness in eschewing motherhood, or for their embrace of feminism's expansion of women's roles. But the instinct to explore life without children is not restricted to women. In Denmark, one out of five men will never become a parent, a figure that is similar in the United States.
    Anders Krarup is a 43-year-old software developer living in Copenhagen who recently rediscovered his love of fishing. Most weekends he drives to the Zealand coast, where he communes with the sea trout. When he's not working at his start-up, he meets friends for concerts. As for a family, he's not particularly interested.
    "I'm feeling very content with my life at the moment," he told me.
    Mads Tolderlund is a legal consultant who works outside of Copenhagen. At age 5, he was struck with wanderlust when he saw an advertisement for Uluru, or Ayers Rock, in Australia. He eventually resolved to visit every continent in his lifetime, and today, at 31, has just Antarctica to go. In his view, people have children either because they truly want them, because they fear the consequences of not having them, or because it's the "normal" thing. None of those reasons apply to him.
    "I have so many other things that I want to do," he said.
    ARE ALL THESE OPTIONS NOT PRECISELY what capitalism promised us? We were told that equipped with the right schooling, work ethic and vision, we could have professional success and disposable income that we could use to become the most interesting, most cultured, most toned versions of ourselves. We learned that doing these things — learning, working, creating, traveling — was rewarding and important.
    Trent MacNamara, an assistant professor of history at Texas A&M University, has been pondering human attitudes toward fertility and family for over a decade. Economic conditions, he notes, are only part of the picture. What may matter more are "the little moral signals we send each other," he writes in a forthcoming essay, signals that are "based on big ideas about dignity, identity, transcendence and meaning." Today, we have found different ways to make meaning, form identities and relate to transcendence. 
    In this context, he said, having children may appear to be no more than a "quixotic lifestyle choice" absent other social cues reinforcing the idea that parenting connects people "to something uniquely dignified, worthwhile and transcendent." Those cues are increasingly difficult to notice or promote in a secular world in which a capitalist ethos — extract, optimize, earn, achieve, grow — prevails. Where alternative value systems exist, however, babies can be plentiful. In the United States, for example, communities of Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, Mormons and Mennonites have birthrates higher than the national average.
    Lyman Stone, an economist who studies population, points to two features of modern life that correlate with low fertility: rising "workism" — a term popularized by the Atlantic writer Derek Thompson — and declining religiosity. "There is a desire for meaning-making in humans," Mr. Stone told me. Without religion, one way people seek external validation is through work, which, when it becomes a dominant cultural value, is "inherently fertility reducing." 
    Denmark, he notes, is not a workaholic culture, but is highly secular. East Asia, where fertility rates are among the lowest in the world, is often both. In South Korea, for example, the government has introduced tax incentives for childbearing and expanded access to day care. But "excessive workism" and the persistence of traditional gender roles have combined to make parenting more difficult, and especially unappealing for women, who take on a second shift at home.
    The difference between life in tiny Denmark, with its generous social welfare system and its high marks for gender equality, and life in China, where social assistance is spotty and women facerampant discrimination, is vast. Yet both countries face fertility rates well below replacement levels. 
    If Denmark illustrates the ways that capitalist values of individualism and self-actualization can nonetheless take root in a country where its harshest effects have been blunted, China is an example of how those same values can sharpen into competition so cutthroat that parents speak of "winning from the starting line," that is, equipping their children with advantages from the earliest possible age. (One scholar told me this can even encompass timing conception to help a child in school admissions.)
    After decades of restricting most families to just one child, the government announced in 2015 that all couples were permitted to have two. Despite this, fertility has barely budged. China's fertility rate in 2018 was 1.6.
    The Chinese government has long sought to engineer its population, reducing quantity in order to improve "quality." These efforts are increasingly focused on what Susan Greenhalgh, a professor of Chinese society at Harvard, describes as "cultivating global citizens" through education, the means by which Chinese people and the nation as a whole can compete in the global economy.
    By the 1980s, she said, child-rearing in China had become professionalized, shaped by the pronouncements of education, health and child psychology experts. Today, raising a quality child is not just a matter of keeping up with the latest child-rearing advice; it's a commitment to spending whatever it takes.
    "These notions of the quality child, the quality person, got articulated in the language of the market," she said. "It means, 'What can we buy for the kid? We need to buy a piano, we need to buy dance lessons, we need to buy an American experience.'"
    Talking to young Chinese people who have benefited from their parents' investments in them, I heard echoes of their Danish peers. For those with the right credentials, the past few decades have opened up opportunities their parents never imagined, making having children look burdensome by comparison.
    "I feel like I just got out of college, just started working," said Joyce Yuan, a 27-year-old Beijing-based interpreter, whose plans include earning an M.B.A. outside of China. "I still think that I'm at the very beginning of my life."
    But Ms. Yuan and others were also quick to note China's harsh economic conditions, a factor that rarely, if ever, came up in Denmark. She cited, for instance, the high cost of urban living. "Everything is super expensive," she said, and quality of life, especially in big cities, "is extremely low."
    The factors suppressing fertility in China are present throughout the country: In rural areas, where 41 percent of its nearly 1.4 billioncitizens still live, there is little enthusiasm for second children, and policymakers can seemingly do even less about it. In Xuanwei Prefecture, after the central government announced in 2013 that couples in which one spouse was an only child could apply for permission to have a second baby, just 36 people sought such approval in the first three months — in a region of around 1.25 million people. "Local family planning officials blamed economic pressure on young couples for the low take-up," the authors of a study on China and fertility wrote.
    In urban settings, the opportunities for education and enrichment are more abundant, and the sense of competition more intense. But Chinese couples everywhere are responsive to the pressures of the country's hyper-capitalist economy, where setting a child down the right path could mean life-changing opportunities, while heading down the wrong one means insecurity and struggle.
    As access to college has expanded, the value of a diploma is worth less than it once was. Competition for places in top schools has grown more brutal, and the need to invest heavily in a child from the start more imperative. For many mothers, arranging the details of a child's education, seen as the most critical channel for upgrading his or her "quality," has almost become a full-time job, said Dr. Greenhalgh.
    One Beijing resident, Li Youyou, 33, sees the stratified nature of reproduction in China playing out within her own circle. A wealthy friend with a high-earning husband is having her second child this year. Another, from a modest background, gave birth this summer; when Ms. Li asked her about a second, she said she could barely contemplate providing for this one. Ms. Li, who teaches English, was planning a visit to bring a gift for the baby. She wondered if she should just give money.
    Ms. Li has no near-term plans for a family. She hopes instead to pursue a doctorate in linguistics, preferably in the United States.
    "Having a relationship is not my priority right now," she said. "I more want to focus on my career."
    MY OWN EXPERIENCE AS AN AMERICAN has been in some respects Danish, in others Chinese. I am one of the lucky ones: Thanks to scholarships, and my mother's tremendous sacrifices, I graduated from college without debt. Thus unencumbered, I spent most of my 20s working and studying overseas. Along the way, I got two master's degrees, and built a rewarding, if not especially remunerative, career. In my late 20s, I learned about egg freezing. It seemed like a secret weapon I could use to stave off the decision of if and when to have kids — an absolution, of sorts, for spending these years abroad and not searching terribly hard for a partner.
    At 34, I finally underwent the procedure. Last year, I did another round. Ever since then, there's a number I've been playing with as I've wondered about whether and when I will use those eggs. According to my back-of-the envelope calculations, I should have $200,000 saved before having a child.
    To be clear, I am fully aware that people far worse off than me have children all the time. I know that even the prospect of a pre-pregnancy savings target vaults me firmly into the realm of tragicomic middle-class absurdity. I am resolutely not saying that if you don't have this (or any sum of) money, you should reconsider children.
    Rather, this number is a hybrid — an acknowledgment of the financial realities of single parenthood, but also the arithmetic crystallization of my anxieties around parenthood in our precarious era. To me, it demonstrates that even with my abundant privileges, it can still feel so risky, and on some days impossible, to bring a child into the world. And from the dozens of conversations I've had in reporting this essay, it's clear these anxieties are shaping the choices of many others, too.
    Where did I get the $200,000 figure from? First, there's at least $40,000 for two rounds of IVF. (That I am contemplating this route also speaks to the obstacles of dating under late capitalism — but that's a subject for a different article.) Thousands of dollars in hospital bills for a birth, provided it's not a complicated one. 
    As a freelancer, I wouldn't be eligible for paid leave, so I'd either need child care (easily $25,000 a year or more) until the child starts prekindergarten, or have enough saved to support us while I'm not working. I could sell my studio apartment, but homeownership is a key means by which parents pay for college, and I am as terrified of relinquishing this asset as I am of launching a child into the job market sans higher education credentials. On some days, I tell myself I'm being responsible by waiting. On other days, I wonder how this anxiety over my present might crowd out the future I envision.
    The point is not really whether $200,000 is reasonable; it is that the very notion of attaching a dollar figure to an experience as momentous as parenthood is a sign of how much my mind-set has been warped by this system that leaves us each so very much on our own, able to avail ourselves of only what we can pay for.
    For decades, people with as much good fortune as I have were relatively immune to these anxieties. But many of the difficulties that have long faced working-class women, and especially women of color, are trickling up. These women have worked multiple jobs without stability or benefits, and raised children in communities with underfunded schools or poisoned water; today, middle-class parents, too, are time-starved, squeezed out of good school districts, and anxious about plastic and pollution. 
    In the 1990s, black feminists, facing the conditions above, developed the analytical framework known as reproductive justice, an approach that goes beyond reproductive rights as they are usually understood — access to abortion and contraceptives — to encompass the right to have children humanely: to "have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities," as the collective SisterSong put it.
    Reproductive justice was not always well understood or embraced by mainstream reproductive rights groups. (Loretta Ross, one of the founders of the movement, said an early focus group found people thought the term referred to seeking fairness for photocopiers.) But the trickling up of reproductive injustice could potentially give it broader traction. "White America is now feeling the effects of neoliberalism capitalism that the rest of America has always felt," Ms. Ross said.
    Are we prepared, though, for what it asks of us? Ms. Ross compared reproductive justice activism to parenting. "When you parent, you've got to work on safe drinking water, and safe schools and a clean bedroom at the same time," she said. "People's lives are holistic and interconnected. You can't pull on one thread without shaking up the whole thing." Seen in this light, incremental improvements like paid parental leave are only a partial fix for our current crisis, a handful of crumbs when our bodies and souls require a nourishing meal.
    THE SOLUTION, THEREFORE, is not to compel a man like Anders Krarup to put aside his fishing and procreate, nor to dissuade Li Youyou from pursuing her Ph.D. Instead, we must recognize how their decisions take place in a broader context, shaped by interrelated factors that can be hard to discern.
    The problem, to be clear, is not really one of "population," a term that since its earliest use, according to the scholar Michelle Murphy, has been a "profoundly objectifying and dehumanizing" way to discuss human life. Hundreds of thousands of babies are born on this planet every day; people all over the world have shown they are willing to migrate to wealthier countries for jobs. Rather, the problem is the quiet human tragedies, born of preventable constraints — an employer's indifference, a belated realization, a poisoned body — that make the wanted child impossible.
    The crisis in reproduction lurks in the shadows, but is visible if you look for it. It shows up each year that birthrates plumb a new low. It's in the persistent flow of studies linking infertility and poor birth outcomes to nearly every feature of modern life — fast-food wrappers, air pollution, pesticides. It is the yearning in your friends' voices as they gaze at their first child, playing in their too-small apartment, and say, "We'd love to have another, but …" It is the pain that comes from lunging toward transcendence and finding it out of reach.
    Seen from this perspective, the conversation around reproduction can and should take on some of the urgency of the climate change debate. We are recognizing nature's majesty too late, appreciating its uniqueness and irreplaceability only as we watch it burn. 
    "I see a lot of parallels between this tipping point that people feel in their intimate lives, around the question of reproduction under capitalism, also playing out in broader existential conversations about the fate of the planet under capitalism," said Sara Matthiesen, a historian at George Washington University whose forthcoming book examines family-making in the post-Roe v. Wade era. "It seems like more and more people are being pressed to this place of, 'O.K., this system of value is literally going to kill us.'"
    Conversations about reproduction and environmental sustainability have long overlapped. Thomas Malthus worried that population growth would outstrip the food supply. The 1970s saw the emergence of ecofeminism. Since the 1990s, reproductive justice groups have sought a better planet for all children. Today's BirthStrikers disavow procreation "due to the severity of the ecological crisis."
    While climate catastrophe has revived elements of the insidious discourse of population control, it has also prompted a new wave of activism, born of an understanding of just how deeply these foundational components of life — reproduction and the health of the planet — are linked, and the collective action that is required to sustain them.
    The first step is renouncing the individualism celebrated by capitalism and recognizing the interdependence that is essential for long-term survival. We depend on our water supply to be clean, and our rivers depend on us not to poison them. We ask our neighbors to watch our dogs or water our plants while we're away, and offer our help in kind. We hire strangers to look after our children or aging parents, and trust in their compassion and competence. We pay taxes and hope those we elect spend that money to keep roads safe, schools open, and national parks protected. 
    These relationships, between us and the natural world, and us and one another, testify to the interdependence that capitalist logic would have us disavow.
    Reproduction is the ultimate nod to interdependence. We depend on at least two people to make us possible. We gestate inside another human, and emerge with the help of doctors or doulas or kin. We grow up in environments and communities that shape our health, safety and values. We must find concrete ways to recognize this interdependence and resolve to strengthen it.
    One of the people upon whom my existence depends, my father, died of a heart attack when I was 7. At some point, I started wearing his watch, a beautiful gold thing that would slide up and down my wrist, heavy with sentiment. This year, on a work trip, I sat down in a hotel lobby to get some writing done. I took the watch off to type, only to realize on a bus going home that I'd left it at the hotel. Hours of searching the lobby and sobbing to the hotel staff failed to bring it back.
    Later that evening, writing in a journal, I consoled myself by listing some of the things he had left me that I couldn't lose if I tried: the large-ish nose, the sense of humor, the shrimpy stature that curtailed both his basketball career and mine.
    In that moment, I understood why I had frozen my eggs. Intellectually, I am skeptical, even critical, of the inherent narcissism of preserving one's own genetic material when there are already so many children without parents. Even as I was going through with it, injecting drugs into my abdomen each night until it came to resemble a dart board, I struggled to articulate why, at least in a way that made sense to me.
    But as I reflected on the immaterial gifts I like to think I inherited from him, it became clear I craved genetic continuity, however fictitious and tenuous it might be. I recognized then something precious and inexplicable in this yearning, and glimpsed how devastating it might be to be unable to realize it. For the first time, I felt justified in my impulse to preserve some little piece of me that, in some way, contained a little piece of him, which one day might live again.



    10) How FedEx Cut Its Tax Bill to $0
    The company, like much of corporate America, has not made good on its promised investment surge from President Trump's 2017 tax cuts.
    "FedEx's use of its tax savings is representative of corporate America. Companies have already saved upward of $100 billion more on their taxes than analysts predicted when the law was passed. Companies that make up the S&P 500 index had an average effective tax rate of 18.1 percent in 2018, down from 25.9 percent in 2016, according to an analysis of securities filings. More than 200 of those companies saw their effective tax rates fall by 10 points or more. Nearly three dozen, including FedEx, saw their tax rates fall to zero or reported that tax authorities owed them money."
    By Jim TankersleyPeter Eavis and 

    FedEx made a major push for a reduction in corporate taxes when Donald Trump won the presidential election. Credit...Gabby Jones for The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — In the 2017 fiscal year, FedEx owed more than $1.5 billion in taxes. The next year, it owed nothing. What changed was the Trump administration's tax cut — for which the company had lobbied hard.
    The public face of its lobbying effort, which included a tax proposal of its own, was FedEx's founder and chief executive, Frederick Smith, who repeatedly took to the airwaves to champion the power of tax cuts. "If you make the United States a better place to invest, there is no question in my mind that we would see a renaissance of capital investment," he said on an August 2017 radio show hosted by Larry Kudlow, who is now chairman of the National Economic Council.

    Four months later, President Trump signed into law the $1.5 trillion tax cut that became his signature legislative achievement. FedEx reaped big savings, bringing its effective tax rate from 34 percentin fiscal year 2017 to less than zero in fiscal year 2018, meaning that, overall, the government technically owed it money. But it did not increase investment in new equipment and other assets in the fiscal year that followed, as Mr. Smith said businesses like his would.

    Nearly two years after the tax law passed, the windfall to corporations like FedEx is becoming clear. A New York Times analysis of data compiled by Capital IQ shows no statistically meaningful relationship between the size of the tax cut that companies and industries received and the investments they made. If anything, the companies that received the biggest tax cuts increased their capital investment by less, on average, than companies that got smaller cuts.
    FedEx's financial filings show that the law has so far saved it at least $1.6 billion. Its financial filings show it owed no taxes in the 2018 fiscal year overall. Company officials said FedEx paid $2 billion in total federal income taxes over the past 10 years.
    As for capital investments, the company spent less in the 2018 fiscal year than it had projected in December 2017, before the tax law passed. It spent even less in 2019. Much of its savings have gone to reward shareholders: FedEx spent more than $2 billion on stock buybacks and dividend increases in the 2019 fiscal year, up from $1.6 billion in 2018, and more than double the amount the company spent on buybacks and dividends in fiscal year 2017.
    A spokesman said it was unfair to judge the effect of the tax cuts on investment by looking at year-to-year changes in the company's capital spending plans. 
    "FedEx invested billions in capital items eligible for accelerated depreciation and made large contributions to our employee pension plans," the company said in a statement. "These factors have temporarily lowered our federal income tax, which was the law's intention to help grow G.D.P., create jobs and increase wages."

    FedEx's use of its tax savings is representative of corporate America. Companies have already saved upward of $100 billion more on their taxes than analysts predicted when the law was passed. Companies that make up the S&P 500 index had an average effective tax rate of 18.1 percent in 2018, down from 25.9 percent in 2016, according to an analysis of securities filings. More than 200 of those companies saw their effective tax rates fall by 10 points or more. Nearly three dozen, including FedEx, saw their tax rates fall to zero or reported that tax authorities owed them money.

    From the first quarter of 2018, when the law fully took effect, companies have spent nearly three times as much on additional dividends and stock buybacks, which boost a company's stock price and market value, than on increased investment. 
    The law cut the corporate rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, and allowed companies to deduct the full cost of new equipment investments in the year that they make them. Those cuts stimulated the American economy in 2018, helping to push economic growth to 2.5 percent for the year and fueling a boost in hiring. Business investment rose at an 8.8 percent rate in the first quarter of 2018, and was nearly as strong in the second quarter.
    But the impact dwindled quickly. 
    In the summer, the economy grew at just 1.9 percent and business investment fell 3 percent, including a 15.3 percent plunge in spending on factories and offices. Over the spring, companies spent less on new investments, after adjusting for inflation, than they had in the winter.
    Overall business investment during Mr. Trump's tenure has now grown more slowly since the tax cuts were passed than before.
    Some conservative economists and business leaders say the effects of the tax cuts were undercut by uncertainty from Mr. Trump's trade war, which is slowing global growth and prompting companies to freeze projects. Other economists say the fizzle is predictable because high tax rates were not holding back investment.

    "It did provide a short-term boost, but it wasn't the big response that many people expected," said Aparna Mathur, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who recently concluded that the 2017 law has not meaningfully changed investment patterns in America.

    "It did provide a short-term boost, but it wasn't the big response that many people expected," said Aparna Mathur, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who recently concluded that the 2017 law has not meaningfully changed investment patterns in America.

    Mr. Smith met with Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in February 2017, and on May 26 he spoke on the phone with Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, according to Mr. Mnuchin's public calendar. 
    Eight months after Congress passed the law, Mr. Trump celebrated the tax cuts by hosting Mr. Smith and other business leaders at a dinner at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club. He singled out Mr. Smith several times, bantering with him about a term paper that Mr. Smith had written while a student at Yale. The paper formed the basis for the creation of FedEx.

    The next week, Mr. Smith boasted of his company's influence on the law in the company's annual report, which noted that FedEx is "investing more than $4.2 billion in our people and our network as a result of the tax act."
    FedEx increased the size of its work force by around 4 percent in its 2018 fiscal year and around 7 percent in its 2019 fiscal year. 
    The company also accelerated previously scheduled wage increases for hourly employees by six months. It gave performance-based pay to other managers and said it would invest $1.5 billion over seven years in its Indianapolis shipping hub. The company also bought 24 Boeing freight jets for $6.6 billion, a purchase officials say would not have happened without tax cuts. 
    But the company ended its 2018 fiscal year having spent $240 million less on capital investments than it predicted it would in December 2017, shortly before the tax cuts passed. The company's capital spending declined by nearly $175 million in fiscal 2019.

    This year, the company cut back employee bonuses and has offered buyouts in an effort to reduce labor costs in the face of slowing global growth. The company has also added to its pension fund, a move that carried the benefit of reducing its tax liability even further. 
    FedEx reduced its tax liability in part by taking advantage of a provision in the law that allowed companies to immediately deduct the value of any capital investments they make in a given year. But its biggest gains were from the cut in the corporate rate. FedEx had been carrying a large amount of future tax liabilities on its balance sheet — and when the corporate rate fell to 21 percent, those liabilities shrank too. 
    "Something like $1.5 billion in future taxes that they had promised to pay, just vanished," said Matthew Gardner, an analyst at the liberal Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in Washington. "The obvious question is whether you can draw any line, any connection between the tax breaks they're getting, ostensibly designed to encourage capital expenditures, and what they're actually doing. And it's just impossible to know."



    11) Opportunity Zones — for Billionaires
    A federal tax break intended to draw investment to lower-income areas has become one more way for the rich to avoid paying taxes.
    By The Editorial Board, November 16, 2019

    Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Getty Images

    Of all the ways President Trump's 2017 tax cut has enriched the wealthy at the expense of the public interest, perhaps the most outrageous is the black comedy of "opportunity zones."
    The law lets the wealthy avoid capital gains taxation by investing in projects or companies in designated geographical areas. The stated purpose is to drive big money into investment deserts — areas where wealthy investors might otherwise hesitate to tread. In reality, the tax break is being used to juice the profit margins on projects like a proposed luxury condominium development at a "superyacht marina" in ritzy West Palm Beach, Fla.
    According to ProPublica, then-Gov. Rick Scott of Florida agreed to create the opportunity zone after lobbying by the owner of the marina, Wayne Huizenga Jr., the son of the billionaire founder of Waste Management and AutoNation. The Huizenga family gives generously to Republican candidates, including Mr. Scott, and Mr. Huizenga wrote a letter to Mr. Scott requesting the inclusion of the marina. Mr. Scott obliged — while deciding not to honor the request of the city government to designate nearby, less affluent areas of the same city.
    The report adds to a rapidly mounting pile of evidence that the design of the opportunity zone program is allowing a massive waste of public resources for the benefit of a wealthy few.

    The program, by its nature, rewards the small number of households that face significant capital gains taxation, offering them a measure of relief from that obligation. Still, many members of Congress — including a large number of Democrats — saw merit in encouraging development in downtrodden areas. But Congress failed to write a law that directed dollars into those areas, and the flaws have been compounded by the Trump administration's interpretation and administration of the program. The law, for instance, allowed the inclusion of a limited number of neighborhoods adjacent to low-income areas. As anyone who has spent time in an American city knows, this definition includes some very wealthy areas. And in the hands of the Treasury Department, the language of the law was capaciously interpreted to include fully 56 percent of the nation's census tracts, an astonishing figure. 
    The federal government then gave states significant discretion in picking from that list. The result, in many states, is that politicians chose to focus the tax breaks on areas already experiencing significant development. Indiana, for example, designated much of downtown Indianapolis as an opportunity zone — an area already experiencing a multibillion dollar building boom — while ignoring several lower-income neighborhoods around the designated downtown area.
    The developers of the planned condominiums at the superyacht marina in West Palm Beach have not even bothered to pretend that they needed the tax break to move ahead with the project. "It worked as a market-rate rental," Jorge Perez, chairman of the development firm Related Group, told Bloomberg. "Now, it works that much better as an opportunity zone."
    Similar stories of political largess are popping up around the country. The Times reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin personally intervened to designate an opportunity zone in Nevada, including a 700-acre industrial park among whose major investors is the billionaire junk bond king — and felon — Michael Milken. Officials initially concluded the area was too affluent to qualify, but Mr. Mnuchin, a friend of Mr. Milken's, reversed that decision, The Times reported. The Treasury says Mr. Mnuchin was not aware that Mr. Milken was among the beneficiaries; Mr. Milken has denied lobbying for the change.
    ProPublica has produced a series of compelling stories about similar giveaways, including a decision by the Trump administration to revise its initial list of eligible census tracts to include an affluent portion of downtown Detroit where Dan Gilbert, the billionaire founder of Quicken Loans, has amassed significant landholdings.

    Similarly, Kevin Plank, the billionaire founder of Under Armour, persuaded Maryland officials to designate a Baltimore district called Port Covington, where he already was planning a giant development project. To clear room, Maryland removed a nearby low-income neighborhood from its list of opportunity zones.
    Supporters of the law maintain that it will produce significant benefits. But in a further blow to the public interest, Congress stripped the legislation of any reporting requirements. The beneficiaries are not required to report the value of the tax breaks they receive, nor the value of the projects they undertake, making it impossible to assess the merits of the program. This is a basic and appalling failure of good governance. 
    It is not too late to correct those problems. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon introduced legislation earlier this month to exclude wealthier areas from the opportunity zone program and to create reporting requirements. Both changes are necessary. We concur in the judgment of Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina: "The program needs to be tweaked — or it needs to experience its funeral."



    12)  PRESS RELEASE: Settlement Ends Solitary Confinement for All People Sentenced to Death in PennsylvaniaNovember 18, 2019

    Hanna Johnson, hjohnson@aclu.org
    Andrew Hoover, media@aclupa.org
    HARRISBURG, Pa. — The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, Abolitionist Law Center, and counsel from Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing, Feinberg & Lin LLP announced a settlement today in a class action lawsuit against the state's Department of Corrections. The suit, which was filed in January of 2018, claimed that Pennsylvania DOC's automatic, irrevocable practice of holding all people sentenced to death in permanent solitary confinement violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
    In the settlement, the department agreed to house people who have been sentenced to death in the same manner as the prisons' general population.
    "The use of long-term solitary confinement on anyone is torture," said Amy Fettig, deputy director of the National Prison Project. "The conditions Pennsylvania's DOC was subjecting people on death row to — spending their entire lives in a tiny, filthy cell without any normal human contact, congregate religious services, sufficient access to exercise, sunshine, access to the outdoors, or environmental and intellectual stimulation — weren't just deeply unconstitutional; they were horribly inhumane."
    The department will still house people who are sentenced to death in specific prisons, but has agreed to reforms to offer the rights and privileges afforded to people in other state facilities, including: 
    • At least 42.5 hours out-of-cell activity every week, including yard and outdoor time, law library time, congregate meal time, treatment or counseling meetings, congregate religious worship, work assignment, and phased in contact visitation;
    • Permission to use the phone on a daily basis  for at least 15 minutes per usage;
    • Incarcerated people will not be subjected to strip-searches, shackling, or other restraints, unless security measures are required in response to a temporary, emergent situation;
    • Contact visits with family, lawyers and religious advisors; and
    • Resocialization assistance for individuals psychologically damaged by long periods in solitary confinement to help them in the transition to living in a general population setting, as well and physical and mental health baseline evaluations due to years of neglect.
    "This settlement brings Pennsylvania out of the penological dark ages and makes it a national leader in treating all incarcerated persons humanely," said Witold Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. "We are grateful that Governor Wolf and Secretary Wetzel have agreed to stop using permanent solitary confinement and to adopt humane policies to govern Pennsylvania's capital units."
    "Despite decades spent in inhumane isolation, our clients have organized and persevered in this historic achievement for the movement to abolish solitary confinement in Pennsylvania," said Bret Grote, legal director of the Abolitionist Law Center. "They have set a powerful precedent for ending solitary confinement of capital case prisoners —  and eventually the death penalty as a whole — across the country. We are proud to represent them."
    Pennsylvania currently has 136 people on death row, making it the fifth largest row in the country. The state hasn't carried out an execution since 1999 and currently has a moratorium on the death penalty.
    More information about the lawsuit, Reid et al. v. Wetzel, including a copy of the settlement agreement, is available at this link: https://www.aclupa.org/en/cases/reid-et-al-v-wetzel
    Copyright © 2019 Abolitionist Law Center, All rights reserved.
    Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
    Questions and comments may be sent to info@freedomarchives.org



    13) Hong Kong Protests: Demonstrators Trapped at Polytechnic University as Court Overturns Mask Ban
    The police offered protesters one way out of a besieged university campus, raining tear gas and rubber bullets on those who attempted to flee.
    By Elaine Yu and Russell Goldman, Photos by Lam Yik-Fei, November 18, 2019

    Police officers on Monday seemed to block all routes out of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

    Police officers on Monday cornered hundreds of student protesters who occupied a Hong Kong university, offering the demonstrators one way out: drop your weapons and surrender or be met with a hail of tear gas and rubber bullets. 
    For days, the protesters have held the police off from entering the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, fortifying their holdout with homemade fire bombs, giant sling shots, bricks and bows and arrows.
    At least 38 people were injured in a protracted battle at the university on Sunday, the city's Hospital Authority said, after a bloody battle in which a police officer was struck by an arrow and demonstrators set a police van on fire. 
    As other protests raged across the city, Hong Kong's High Court on Monday struck down a contentious ban on the wearing of face masks in public. The court found that the ban, enacted in October, violated the territory's mini-constitution, know as the Basic Law.

    The Hong Kong protests began in June over legislation, since scrapped, that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, and have expanded to include a broad range of demands for police accountability and greater democracy.
    Here's the latest:
    Running out of weapons and supplies, protesters at PolyU on Monday sought to flee the campus, only to find all of their routes blocked by a cordon of heavily armed riot police officers and a hailstorm of tear gas and rubber bullets. 
    The students on Monday afternoon tried unsuccessfully to rush a police cordon only to be pushed back into the campus. Despite running out of options, the students fear that following police instructions to "drop their weapons" and leave through one designated exit will result in their arrest.

    The protesters, many of them university and high school students, have occupied the campus for a week. On Sunday night and well into Monday morning they clashed with the police in one of the most violent confrontations in months of conflict. 
    At least 500 protesters remained on campus by Monday afternoon, after the police tried to enter the campus that morning but were pushed back.

    By nightfall, about 100 people staged a sit-in directly in front of the police cordon near the university, including women who appeared to be mothers of trapped protesters sobbing and being comforted by others. 
    "Most of the people here are parents," said Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy lawmaker who joined the rally. "They realize once their children get out they will be immediately arrested. They just want to take a look at their kid and see if he or she is O.K."
    Conditions on the campus have grown increasingly desperate with injured protesters unable to receive treatment, Owan Li, a student council member, told reporters. Student leaders said protesters suffered eye injuries and hypothermia after being struck by a stinging dye shot from a police water cannon.
    Areas near the university had the feel of a battle zone, with streets engulfed by tear gas and fires.

    Scores were arrested by the police on Monday morning near the university. A large group of people were seen seated outside a hotel in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Kowloon, their hands zip-tied behind their backs.

    It was unclear if the bulk of the arrestees were protesters trying to flee the campus or allies responding to calls for help evacuating protesters. 
    The police said that they arranged for Red Cross volunteers to enter the campus in the afternoon and provide first aid to the injured, and that the force would assist those who needed to go to the hospital "before further investigation," implying that arrests would wait until after their treatments.
    Fernando Cheung, a pro-democracy lawmaker who was in touch with social workers, said that some of the young people trapped inside were "close to breaking down."
    The police said 154 people were arrested over the weekend, bringing the total number of arrests to 4,491 since the protests started in June.

    The city's High Court on Monday struck down a ban on wearing face masks in public, issuing a blow to the local government's ability to characterize the ongoing protests as a situation that requires the invocation of emergency powers. 
    The ban, which was enacted in October, quickly inflamed tensions in the city and set off a series of violent clashes. The city's chief executive, Carrie Lam, imposed the ban without seeking legislative approval by invoking powers granted under the rarely used Emergency Regulations Ordinance, or E.R.O. 
    In its ruling, the court said the ban violated the city's mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law, because it was too vague and endangered the ability of the Legislative Council, or LegCo, to make the territory's laws.
    "The E.R.O. is so wide in its scope, the conferment of powers so complete, its conditions for invocation so uncertain and subjective, the regulations made thereunder invested with such primacy, and the control by the LegCo so precarious, that we believe it is not compatible with the constitutional order laid down by the Basic Law," the court said in its ruling. 
    Masks have been worn by protesters since the early days of the movement, as a way for protesters to conceal their identities and protect themselves from the pepper spray and tear gas routinely deployed by the police. Many protesters saw the law as a pretext that would allow officers to arrest nonviolent demonstrators in order to discourage people from joining the street actions. 
    "The judgment affirms the importance of separation of powers and fundamental freedoms under our constitutional order," said Simon Young, a professor at the University of Hong Kong Law School.

    Austin Ramzy and Tiffany May contributed reporting. 



    14) Sweden Drops Julian Assange Rape Inquiry
    “The evidence is not strong enough to form the basis of an indictment,” the country’s deputy director of public prosecutions said.
    By Elian Peltier, November 19, 2019

    Credit...Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    LONDON — The Swedish authorities announced on Tuesday that they would end an investigation into allegations of rape and sexual assault made against Julian Assange, the embattled WikiLeaks founder, that date from 2010.
    “The evidence is not strong enough to form the basis of an indictment,” said Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions. “In such a situation, the preliminary investigation should be discontinued, and that is what has happened.”
    Mr. Assange, 48, is still in a British prison awaiting a United States extradition hearing, raising questions about whether the end of the Swedish investigation would clear the path for that process to continue. 
    “This clears one hurdle away for Julian Assange,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. “It brings the focus on the extradition process, and what British authorities will be willing to do.”

    Sweden began investigating Mr. Assange in 2010, after two women accused him of assaulting them during separate sexual encounters while he was visiting Stockholm.
    When the Swedish authorities issued a European arrest warrant in 2012 seeking his extradition from Britain for questioning over “suspicion of rape, three cases of sexual molestation and illegal coercion,” he fled to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Mr. Assange and his lawyers said they feared that if he returned to Sweden, he would then be extradited to the United States from there.
    He remained in self-imposed exile in the embassy for seven years, until his arrest in April after Ecuador revoked his asylum status. 
    Ms. Persson said that investigators had questioned again the individuals who had been interviewed in 2010 and spoken to two additional people who had not previously been interviewed. She said that the investigators had found the accusers credible and their statements reliable but that some parts of the testimonies were contradictory.
    In 2010, Anna Ardin, a Swedish woman who later spoke publicly about the incident, accused Mr. Assange of forcing her to have unprotected sex. A second woman said Mr. Assange had penetrated her without a condom as she was sleeping during the same trip to Stockholm.

    “Memories fade for natural reasons,” Ms. Persson said, but she emphasized that the “injured party has submitted a credible and reliable version of events.”
    “Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed,” Ms. Persson said about one of the complainants. “However, my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation.”
    Asked by reporters about the length of the procedure — almost 10 years — Ms. Persson said that the extensive news coverage could have affected the case’s viability.
    “You have to consider how much the witnesses will have read and heard from the media,” she said.
    The Swedish authorities dropped the investigation in 2017, but it was reopened this year after Mr. Assange was arrested in London and a lawyer for one of the alleged victims asked for it to be revisited, the prosecutor said. Mr. Assange, who is Australian, has always denied the accusations, and his lawyers have repeatedly accused the complainants of trying to unjustly slur the WikiLeaks founder.
    Mr. Assange was detained last year and jailed for jumping bailafter Ecuador abruptly withdrew its protection of him. The United States is seeking his extradition over accusations that he tried to assist in a breach of classified data.
    In September, a British court ruled that Mr. Assange must stay in a British jail until his extradition hearing, which is planned for early next year. 
    The Justice Department has indicted Mr. Assange on a slew of charges including 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, accusing him of the solicitation, acquisition, and publication of classified information from the former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
    The charges raised questions about press freedom, and critics have expressed concern that the case could set a precedent to criminalize future acts of national security journalism.

    The end of the Swedish investigation into the sexual assault allegations simplifies matters for the United States government in its effort to extradite him to American soil. Put simply, it means there is now only one country, not two, that would like the British authorities to transfer custody of him for further legal proceedings. 
    The Justice Department declined to comment on how the end of the Swedish investigation would affect its case. 
    But Mr. Assange’s lawyers welcomed the Swedish decision on Tuesday and said that it was time to turn to the American extradition request. Kristinn Hrafnsson, the editor in chief of WikiLeaks, echoed that sentiment in a statement published by the group.
    “Sweden has dropped its preliminary investigation into Mr. Assange for the third time, after reopening it without any new evidence or information,” he said. “Let us now focus on the threat Mr. Assange has been warning about for years: the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat it poses to the First Amendment.”
    Elisabeth Massi Fritz, a lawyer for one of the women who made allegations against Mr. Assange, said in an emailed statement that she and her client to do not share the prosecutor’s assessment.
    She said there are logical reasons why the oral evidence from nine years ago has changed and said that if the earlier investigation had included more detailed questioning, “then the interviews would have been of higher quality and we would have been able to use them today.”

    “Unfortunately, that is not the case,” Ms. Massi Fritz said. “The only right decision would have been to interview the suspect in London,”
    Megan Specia contributed reporting from London, Christina Anderson from Stockholm and Charlie Savage from Washington.



    15)  Falsely Imprisoned for 23 Years: Now He’s Received $7 Million
    The payout “doesn’t settle what I went through,” said Derrick Hamilton, who accused the police of fabricating evidence.
    By Alan Feuer, November 19. 2019

    Credit...Anthony Lanzilote for The New York Times

    Twenty years ago, Derrick Hamilton was at his lowest point: locked in solitary confinement for a murder he insisted he did not commit. Over the next two decades, he slowly crawled his way out of the belly of the beast. 
    He became a jailhouse lawyer, helping his fellow inmates appeal their convictions. Twenty-three years later, he finally persuaded prosecutors to throw out his own conviction, after an eyewitness recanted her testimony. Once free, he became an activist, toiling to get others he believed were wrongfully convicted out of jail.
    Late last week, Mr. Hamilton, 54, took on a new role in the long drama of his fight against injustice: a successful plaintiff. City officials in New York and New Haven, Conn., agreed on Friday to pay him a total of $7 million to settle a lawsuit he had filed against three police officers, accusing them of fabricating evidence against him.
    One of those officers, Louis Scarcella, a retired New York detective, has emerged in recent years as symbol of wrongful convictions, as numerous cases he handled have fallen apart. Under the terms of the agreement, reached on the eve of what would have been a trial in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Mr. Scarcella admitted no wrongdoing. He had been scheduled, like Mr. Hamilton himself, to testify at the trial.

    For Mr. Hamilton, the payout, while substantial, was not the point. “It’ll help my family out financially,” he said. “It doesn’t settle what I went through.”
    Mr. Hamilton added: “Everyone’s life went on for 20 years. Mine stopped.”
    In 1991, when he was 28 and living in New Haven, Mr. Hamilton was arrested by Mr. Scarcella and the local police, accused of having murdered a Brooklyn man, Nathaniel Cash, whom he had known when he lived in the borough. 
    The only eyewitness against him at his trial in State Supreme Court was Mr. Cash’s girlfriend, Jewel Smith, who had given conflicting accounts to the police about Mr. Hamilton’s role in the killing.
    Still, the jury convicted him, and Mr. Hamilton was sent away in 1992 to what soon became a series of upstate prisons. 
    He spent much of the next 23 years performing jailhouse legal work. He pored over trial transcripts, filing motions on behalf of other inmates and occasionally winning their appeals. At one point — in Attica Correctional Facility — he filed papers challenging his long stint in solitary confinement, claiming it was “cruel and unusual punishment.”

    In 2007, Ms. Smith went to the authorities and asserted that Mr. Hamilton was innocent. Mr. Scarcella, she said, had coerced her into testifying against him. Eight years later, the Conviction Review Unit of the Brooklyn district attorney’s office asked a judge to toss out Mr. Hamilton’s guilty verdict. Prosecutors noted that Ms. Smith had been “unreliable, untruthful and incredible in her testimony.”
    By that point, the district attorney’s office was two years into an expansive investigation of dozens of Mr. Scarcella’s former murder cases, looking into allegations that he had coerced other witnesses and had threatened people to get them to confess. That investigation, which is ongoing, has led to the release of 14 inmates and has resulted in the city and state paying tens of millions of dollars to settle lawsuits against Mr. Scarcella.

    The district attorney’s office has, however, maintained that Mr. Scarcella has not committed any punishable conduct or broken the law.
    Since becoming a free man, Mr. Hamilton has labored to overturn many convictions linked to Mr. Scarcella. Mr. Hamilton has worked with lawyers as a paralegal to investigate facts and has helped draft lawsuits and motions in support of new trials.
    A few years ago, he founded a support group called Friends and Family of the Wrongfully Convicted with another former inmate, Sundhe Moses, who was also arrested by Mr. Scarcella and was ultimately freed. 
    The group met for a while at the Brownstone Bar & Restaurant on Tillary Street in Downtown Brooklyn, which Mr. Hamilton operated with Shabaka Shakur, a third man arrested by Mr. Scarcella and later exonerated. (The bar eventually closed down.)

    The three former prisoners would sometimes appear at hearingswhere Mr. Scarcella was on the stand defending his work. They wore hats that said “Wrongfully Convicted.”
    More recently, Mr. Hamilton has partnered with the Innocence Project in an effort to persuade the New York Police Department to change the way in which its officers conduct interrogations. He has also undertaken a project to organize former prison inmates to work together as a voting bloc for criminal justice reform.
    On Tuesday, he was in court when a Brooklyn judge was scheduled to throw out the conviction of Eliseo Deleon in what will be the 15th exoneration linked to Mr. Scarcella’s detective work. Mr. Deleon spent 25 years in prison for a 1996 murder committed during a botched robbery in Clinton Hill. He has long maintained that Mr. Scarcella fabricated his confession.
    “I know what it’s like to come home and have nothing — that’s why I’m going,” Mr. Hamilton said. “The guy who’s coming home, he needs to know he’s got a friend.”













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


    Posted by: bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

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