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



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


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

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

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

In peace and solidarity,

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Support Committee



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



Support the return of Leonard Peltier's Medicine Bundle

November 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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


Courage to Resist
Reality Winner, a whistleblower who helped expose foreign hacking of US election systems leading up to the 2016 presidential election, has been behind bars since June 2017. Supporters are preparing to file a petition of clemency in hopes of an early release. Reality's five year prison sentence is by far the longest ever given for leaking information to the media about a matter of public interest. Stand with Reality shirts, stickers, and more available. Please take a moment to sign the letter
Vietnam War combat veteran Daniel Shea on his time in Vietnam and the impact that Agent Orange and post traumatic stress had on him and his family since. Listen now
This Courage to Resist podcast was produced in collaboration with the Vietnam Full Disclosure effort of Veterans For Peace — "Towards an honest commemoration of the American war in Vietnam." This year marks 50 years of GI resistance, in and out of uniform, for many of the courageous individuals featured. If you believe this history is important, please ...
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist



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

Press Release


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



Board Game


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



50 years in prison: 

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

NOW is the time for Chip to come home!

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

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

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

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

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

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

The California Board of Parole Hearings is holding Chip hostage.

We call on Governor Newsom to release Chip immediately.

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

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

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

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

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



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



One Democratic State of Palestine

Why One Democratic State of Palestine

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

Call for a Palestine Liberation Movement

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

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

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




Support Chuck Africa for Parole

Michael Africa Jr. started this petition to Pennsylvania Governor

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



On Abortion: From Facebook

Best explanation I've heard so far..., Copied from a friend who copied from a friend who copied..., "Last night, I was in a debate about these new abortion laws being passed in red states. My son stepped in with this comment which was a show stopper. One of the best explanations I have read:, , 'Reasonable people can disagree about when a zygote becomes a "human life" - that's a philosophical question. However, regardless of whether or not one believes a fetus is ethically equivalent to an adult, it doesn't obligate a mother to sacrifice her body autonomy for another, innocent or not., , Body autonomy is a critical component of the right to privacy protected by the Constitution, as decided in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), McFall v. Shimp (1978), and of course Roe v. Wade (1973). Consider a scenario where you are a perfect bone marrow match for a child with severe aplastic anemia; no other person on earth is a close enough match to save the child's life, and the child will certainly die without a bone marrow transplant from you. If you decided that you did not want to donate your marrow to save the child, for whatever reason, the state cannot demand the use of any part of your body for something to which you do not consent. It doesn't matter if the procedure required to complete the donation is trivial, or if the rationale for refusing is flimsy and arbitrary, or if the procedure is the only hope the child has to survive, or if the child is a genius or a saint or anything else - the decision to donate must be voluntary to be constitutional. This right is even extended to a person's body after they die; if they did not voluntarily commit to donate their organs while alive, their organs cannot be harvested after death, regardless of how useless those organs are to the deceased or how many lives they would save., , That's the law., , Use of a woman's uterus to save a life is no different from use of her bone marrow to save a life - it must be offered voluntarily. By all means, profess your belief that providing one's uterus to save the child is morally just, and refusing is morally wrong. That is a defensible philosophical position, regardless of who agrees and who disagrees. But legally, it must be the woman's choice to carry out the pregnancy., , She may choose to carry the baby to term. She may choose not to. Either decision could be made for all the right reasons, all the wrong reasons, or anything in between. But it must be her choice, and protecting the right of body autonomy means the law is on her side. Supporting that precedent is what being pro-choice means.", , Feel free to copy/paste and re-post., y
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) When 'Do No Harm' Means Evacuating Hospitals in California
    Medical evacuees are the new refugees of climate change.
    By Stephen Parodi, November 1, 2019

    Medical personnel evacuated patients from the Feather River Hospital as the Camp Fire raged through Paradise, Calif., in 2018.Credit...Noah Berger/Associated Press

    OAKLAND, Calif. — I must have missed the wildfire evacuation course in medical school. Learning how to move critically ill patients while flames lick the ground just feet away wasn't part of my residency training. Most physicians never anticipate having to empty their hospitals while smoke fills the halls and the sky glows red. 
    This is becoming our everyday reality in Northern California, where I lead an emergency management team for more than 4 million patients. Just last week, the Kincade fire broke out in Sonoma county. The blaze, fueled by an extreme wind event, rapidly engulfed tens of thousands of acres of land. Nearly 190,000 people were evacuated. 
    At the same time, more than 2.5 million people across Northern California were without power for several days — a preventive measure by the local utility to stem the chance of a fire caused by transmission lines.
    Every autumn now ushers in a season of uncertainty and fear.

    During the massive 2017 Tubbs fire, I oversaw the physicians and care teams who moved 122 patients to safety as hurricane-force winds drove flames toward our hospital doors.

    Throughout the night, critically ill babies were bundled up, placed in incubators and then put in ambulances. Laboring mothers and their families were presented with unimaginable choices: Should we wait for the baby to be born while fires rage outside? Should we move now and risk delivery in the ambulance? Surgeries underway in the operating room required battlefield-like urgency. Close the patient. Stabilize. Get everyone out.
    Medical evacuees are the new refugees of climate change.
    We managed to safely evacuate all patients that night in 2017, but there was tremendous loss. My colleague, a fellow physician who helped lead the hospital evacuation, called home to warn his family about the fires. As he listened to his 15-year-old daughter scream through the phone, fire engulfed their home. His daughter and wife survived — but they lost pets and everything they owned.
    When I stood outside the hospital the day after the Tubbs fire, surrounded by smoldering embers and soot so thick I could taste it, I saw a war zone. The hospital was intact. But everything beyond the makeshift firebreak had turned to cinders.
    In October 2017, more than 250 fires ravaged Northern California — names like Tubbs, Nuns and Atlas left a permanent imprint, one that I had hoped would be an isolated memory of a tragic situation. But in 2018, the fires returned. The city of Paradise was devastated in the deadliest wildfire in California's history. 
    Now, the Kincade fire has forced the evacuation of the Santa Rosa Medical Center for the second time. Last Saturday, in the dark of night, 70 ambulances lined the facility while my colleague led the orderly transport of 110 patients to safety. His wife packed what they could from their temporary rental home and fled the area, again.

    From the command center, I face heart-wrenching decisions. In the hospitals that remain open, we must delay elective surgeries because we're operating on emergency power. And every week we do this creates months of backlogs. A patient with a sick gall bladder who delays an elective surgery could wind up in an emergency room — or worse — if the gall bladder becomes inflamed and bursts.
    As wildfire smoke fills the air, respiratory issues flare and underlying chronic conditions become acute. Patients who rely on insulin, which must be refrigerated, wonder how they will keep their medication cold and their sugar levels managed without power. Cellphone towers falter without generator backup, roads close and the ability to communicate with our patients is compromised.
    When the lights come back on and the firefighters manage to tame the flames, we face traumatized communities. Children who packed up their toys in the middle of the night and parents who wondered whether they were leaving their homes for the last time relive the experience, like a horror movie on repeat.
    The shelters where our physicians and others volunteer are filled with people who already live on the margins — medically, socially, financially. We donate supplies, we give our hearts, yet their mental, medical and social health needs only increase.
    We have been told that this is the "new normal." 
    The health care system often serves as an early warning for larger challenges: Food and housing insecurity, unsafe physical environments and social isolation often present at the doors of our hospitals. These issues demand a medical response, but a cure can't be found through the tools that physicians and care providers have at their disposal.
    The consequences of climate change will not be effectively addressed by individuals alone; society must take collective responsibility. Improved infrastructure and preparedness, like de-energizing the power grid, are important steps, but we need a concerted effort at the local, state and federal levels.
    We must update the infrastructure required to meet basic human needs, including clean water, clean air and a safer environment. These are the bedrock principles of public health. We need to return our focus to restoring the foundational elements necessary to support human life.

    As an infectious disease specialist, what I did learn in medical school was that 100 years ago, we changed the course of human history with sewer lines and water treatment facilities. Next, vaccines saved lives on a massive scale. The climate crisis is this generation's own great problem to solve.
    The health care system's early warning light is blinking red. The power grid goes dark. The smoke moves with the wind. Our stethoscopes and scalpels won't suffice. When I took my solemn oath as a doctor, it wasn't to evacuate hospitals. We must refuse to let this be our new normal.

    Stephen Parodi (@StephenParodiMD) is an associate executive director at the Permanente Medical Group at Kaiser Permanente.



    2)  Suicide Has Been Deadlier Than Combat for the Military
    The Pentagon has made strides in helping those in need, but the rate of deaths is rising.
    By Carole Giacomo, November 1, 2019

    Alex Wong/Getty Images

    Struggling with mental demons, Kayla Williams went to her bathroom and held a gun in her hand, contemplating suicide. It was 2004, and she'd been home for only a few months after serving as an Army sergeant and Arab linguist in the Iraq war.
    But hers is one story that doesn't end in tragedy: Ms. Williams held those demons at bay long enough to get help and learn to manage the challenges of marriage to a combat-wounded veteran while writing two books about her experiences. "I'm doing well," she told me. She is now the director of the Military, Veterans and Society program at the Center for a New American Security. 
    Her journey, like that of so many others, has not been smooth. Recovery sometimes requires working with several therapists, changing providers when one isn't working and undergoing repeated treatment. The government has begun to acknowledge the danger that suicide poses for an all-volunteer fighting force and has invested $1 billion in seeking solutions. 
    But that hasn't proved to be enough. Suicide rates for active-duty service members and veterans are rising, in part, experts say, because a culture of toughness and self-sufficiency may discourage service members in distress from getting the assistance they need. In some cases, the military services discharge those who seek help, an even worse outcome.

    More than 45,000 veterans and active-duty service members have killed themselves in the past six years. That is more than 20 deaths a day — in other words, more suicides each year than the total American military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    The latest Pentagon figures show the suicide rate for active-duty troops across all service branches rose by over a third in five years, to 24.8 per 100,000 active-duty members in 2018. Those most at risk have been enlisted men under 30. 
    The data for veterans is also alarming. In 2016, veterans were one and a half times more likely to kill themselves than people who hadn't served in the military, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Among those ages 18 to 34, the rate went up nearly 80 percent from 2005 to 2016. The risk nearly doubles in the first year after a veteran leaves active duty, experts say.
    The Pentagon this year also reported on military families,estimating that in 2017 there were 186 suicide deaths among military spouses and dependents. 
    Military officials note that the suicide rates for service members and veterans are comparable to the general population after adjusting for the military's demographics — predominantly young and male. But given the military's size and influence, it is an institution that is well placed to lead the nation in suicide prevention.

    Other than pointing to national trends, officials have offered few explanations for why military suicides are rising. Studies seeking more answers are underway.
    Experts say suicides are complex, resulting from many factors, notably impulsive decisions with little warning. Pentagon officials say a majority of service members who die by suicide do not have mental illness. While combat is undoubtedly high stress, there are conflicting views on whether deployments increase risk.
    Where there seems to be consensus is that high-quality health care and keeping weapons out of the hands of people in distress can make a positive difference.
    Studies show that the Department of Veterans Affairs provides high-quality care, and its Veterans Crisis Line "surpasses most crisis lines" operating today, according to Terri Tanielian, a researcher with the RAND Corporation. (The Veterans Crisis Lineis staffed 24/7 at 800-273-8255, press 1. Services also are available online or by texting 838255.)
    But Veterans Affairs often can't accommodate all those needing help, resulting in patients being sent to community-based mental health professionals who lack the training to deal with service members. 
    Kim Ruocco's husband, John, a decorated Cobra gunship pilot who flew 75 combat missions as a Marine, also returned home tormented. But he did not seek help to deal with depression and combat trauma. He killed himself in 2005 as he prepared for a second deployment to Iraq. As an executive at the nonprofitTragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Ms. Ruocco now helps grieving families and friends and raises awareness about the risk of suicide. She says even when service members in distress know about available resources, they often resist.
    "One of the biggest battles is the military culture," Ms. Ruocco said. "Seeking mental health treatment goes against everything they are taught in boot camp," where service members are told "to push through pain, to think of everybody else before self, to solve problems with lethal force if necessary."

    Marines wouldn't think of not working out physically, she said, but "there is no space and time for self-care until it interferes with their ability to do their jobs." She is confident that if Marines had been drilled on the importance of mental and emotional health, her husband would have found a safe way to cope.
    Not only do these deaths devastate families; suicides can also undermine morale and cohesion within units that lose a member this way and can discourage potential recruits, threatening the viability of the all-volunteer force.
    The other obvious imperative is doing more to reduce easy access to firearms — the most widely used method of suicide — by distributing gun locks, training individuals in safe storage methods and enabling military commanders to remove a service member's firearm if warranted. Health care professionals who treat service members and veterans should discuss this issue with their patients, just as they encourage people to wear seatbelts and bike helmets.
    In the end, everyone has a role in helping those we love who are experiencing tough times to discuss their struggles, reduce alcohol and drug use and seek professional help. 
    To quote the Marine commandant, Gen. David Berger, "We must create a community where seeking help and assistance are simply normal, important decisions Marines and sailors make."
    As mentioned above, the crisis line for veterans is 1-800-273-8255(press 1). Another resource for those having thoughts of suicide is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of additional resources at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.



    3) Gary Jones, U.A.W. President, to Take a Leave of Absence
    He is taking a leave amid a federal investigation into financial wrongdoing at the union.
    By Laura M. Holson, November 2, 2019

    Federal agents in August raided the home of Gary Jones, the president of the United Automobile Workers, and executed search warrants at a union resort in Michigan.Credit...Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Gary Jones, the president of the United Automobile Workers union, which is under investigation over allegations of financial wrongdoing, is taking a leave of absence, the union said in a statement on Saturday.
    The union said Mr. Jones sought the leave of absence after a vote by its executive board. The statement did not elaborate on the board's vote.
    In August, federal agents raided his home and executed search warrants at a U.A.W. resort in Michigan, the F.B.I. said at the time. 

    The investigation has uncovered the improper use of millions of dollars of funds and bribery of union officials by auto executives. In some cases, money was spent on personal travel, Rolex watches and other high-priced items.

    In the statement, Mr. Jones said the union was fighting for its members.
    "I do not want anything to distract from the mission," he said. "I want to do what's best for the members of this great union." 
    His leave will begin on Sunday. The union's vice president, Rory Gamble, will serve as interim president.



    4) Hong Kong Protests: Police Face Off With Demonstrators After Election Rally
    The event, which was billed as a campaign event for local elections, quickly descended into chaos around the city.
    By Amy Qin, Austin Ramzy and Tiffany May, November 2, 2019

    Protesters marched Saturday near Victoria Park in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong, shortly before a clash with the police.Credit...Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

    HONG KONG — Police officers in Hong Kong on Saturday fired tear gas and clashed with protesters around the city, capping 21 weeks of antigovernment demonstrations that have convulsed this international financial hub and helped to sink it into a recession.
    In scenes throughout the night that have become part of the new normal in Hong Kong, the city's central financial district and several dense commercial neighborhoods were enveloped in shrouds of tear gas as riot police battled with protesters, who wore masks in defiance of a ban on face coverings enacted last month. Earlier in the afternoon, police shut down two rallies in the Central district that had received official authorization, citing the clashes elsewhere.

    The day began when several thousand protesters turned out for a rally at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay. It had been billed as a campaign event for Hong Kong's upcoming district council elections, after the police rejected the organizers' initial application to hold a demonstration. (Police permission is not always required for election events.)

    Here's the latest on the Hong Kong protests.

    • The mood was tense from the beginning, as police quickly declared the Victoria Park rally an unauthorized assembly and tried to disperse protesters using tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons. Later, as the police continued their dispersal efforts, some protesters responded by throwing petroleum bombs, vandalizing metro stations and shops seen as sympathetic to the Chinese government, spraying graffiti and building barricades on streets.For the first time, protesters also targeted the offices of Xinhua, China's state-run news agency.
    • Dozens of protesters were detained, adding to the more than 2,800 who have been arrested since the movement began. Two pro-democracy election candidates, Osman Cheng and Richard Chan, were seen being taken away by the police.

      • A Hong Kong court on Friday granted a government request to temporarily bar anyone from "disseminating, circulating, publishing or republishing" information that "promotes, encourages or incites the use or threat of violence."
      • The order specifically cited Telegram, a messaging app, and LIHKG, a Reddit-like messaging forum. Both are widely used by demonstrators to organize protests.
      • The ban came one week after another court barred the publicfrom harassing police officers, including taking their photos while on duty or posting their personal details online.

      • Chinese Communist Party leaders who met in Beijing during the past week signaled that they were exploring a tougher approach to the unrest in Hong Kong. Mainland officials renewed a call for "patriotic education" in the territory, aimed at fostering greater loyalty to China.
      • Shen Chunyao, the head of a central government committee that oversees policy in Hong Kong, also indicated that Beijing might revise how the top official in Hong Kong, called the chief executive, is appointed. He confirmed that the Chinese government was considering new legal measures to "safeguard national security" in Hong Kong.

      • The demonstration on Saturday in Victoria Park was an unusual combination of protest and election rally. Candidates for district council carried banners and wore sashes bearing their names; they talked with potential voters as thousands of people dressed in black milled about.
      • "There are many ways to struggle and fight back against the government, from inside the institutions and outside the institutions," said Sam Cheung, 26, a university tutor and district council candidate from the Tuen Mun area in northern Hong Kong.
      • The elections, scheduled for Nov. 24, will test the protest movement's ability to take advantage of its momentum to gain institutional influence. That effort suffered a blow this past week when a government official barred Joshua Wong, a prominent activist, from running in the district council race.
        Elaine Yu contributed reporting from Hong Kong, and Christopher Buckley from Beijing.



    5) Iraq Demonstrations Grow, and Government Scrambles to Respond
    By Alissa J. Rubin, November 1, 2019

    The demonstration in Baghdad on Friday was the largest in a month's worth of protests.Credit...Khalid Mohammed/Associated Press

    BAGHDAD — Tens of thousands of Iraqis, with support from Shiite religious authorities and the country's president, gathered in the center of the capital on Friday in the largest of a month's worth of antigovernment protests.
    Two demonstrators were killed, but pronouncements from religious and political leaders appear to have staved off a repeat of the violence of the early days of the demonstrations, when security forces killed nearly 150 protesters. 
    The religious authorities said Friday that the government should protect peaceful protesters who have called for an end to corruption and a change in leadership, a message that was echoed by President Barham Salih. 

    Although casualties were down and the security forces appear to have exercised restraint, the respite rests on a knife's edge.

    Behind the scenes, the security forces and civilian officials have discussed almost daily whether to use force to oust protesters from the Jumhuriya Bridge, which spans the Tigris River and leads to the Green Zone, a government and diplomatic center. 
    So far they have not, in order to avoid a repeat of the deadly, early-October violence that transformed what were initially small antigovernment protests into a nationwide movement. In addition to the deaths, thousands of protesters were wounded.
    Parliament and government officials are discussing ways to meet at least some of the protesters' demands, and Mr. Salih seemed to put himself squarely on the side of the demonstrators.
    "The status quo is unsustainable. We are in need of big changes," Mr. Salih said.
    "There is no security solution," he added. "We reject repression and the use of force and violence. The solution is in reforms." 
    Mr. Salih has proposed discarding the current electoral system, in which voters cast ballots for a list of candidates belonging to a particular political party. Instead, under his plan, they would vote for representatives by district, a move intended to make members of Parliament more accountable to constituents and to reduce the influence of the political parties.

    Mr. Salih also said that Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi would resign, but only after the parties anoint a successor to avoid a power vacuum. 
    Opposition politicians and many protesters have called on Mr. Mahdi to resign, prompting him to offer to step down in a letter this week to the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, who has been encouraging the protests. 
    The president's repetition of Mr. Mahdi's intentions seemed aimed at reassuring Iraqis that the offer was genuine. "The prime minister has expressed his willingness to submit his resignation, asking the political blocs to reach an acceptable alternative," Mr. Salih said.
    Both the United States and Iran have weighed in on the protests, signaling that they view calm in Iraq as a priority. But while the United States has sided with the demonstrators, Iran has charged that the unrest has been fomented by Israel and the United States. 
    One of the victims on Friday, the first woman to lose her life in the demonstrations, was hit on the head by a tear-gas canister. 
    The tear gas used by Iraqi security forces is delivered in metal canisters that function like grenades, causing "gruesome wounds and death after the grenade embeds in the skull," Amnesty International said in a report this week. 
    "The tear gas is not being used as a dispersal mechanism," added Belkis Wille, the senior Iraq researcher for Human Rights Watch. "It's being used in lieu of live ammunition."
    Falih Hassan contributed reporting.



    6) ‘Chile Woke Up’: Dictatorship’s Legacy of Inequality Triggers Mass Protests
    By Amanda Taub, November 3, 2019
    "As free trade, new technologies, the rise of China, and other seismic changes have reshaped the world’s economies, political divisions have emerged between those who gain from the current system and those who do not."

    A million or more Chileans took to the streets on Oct. 25. (Photo by Tomas Munita)

    SANTIAGO, Chile — The suddenness of the protests, the anger that spilled onto the streets every day, might have been surprising anywhere. But in the country often lauded as Latin America’s great economic success story, it has shocked the world.
    For three weeks, Chile has been in upheaval. One day alone, more than a million people took to the streets of Santiago, the capital.
    Perhaps the only people not shocked are Chileans. In the chaos, they see a reckoning. The promise that political leaders from the left as well as right have made for decades — that free markets would lead to prosperity, and prosperity would take care of other problems — has failed them.
    “Chile woke up,” thousands of protesters chanted one recent Sunday afternoon in Santiago’s O’Higgins Park.

    For a while, the promise seemed to be working. The country moved from dictatorship to democracy in 1990, and decades of economic growth and democracy followed, with one government peacefully replacing another. 
    But that growth did not reach all Chileans.
    Inequality is still deeply entrenched. Chile’s middle class is struggling with high prices, low wages, and a privatized retirement system that leaves many older people in bitter poverty. And a series of corruption and tax-evasion scandals have eroded faith in the country’s political and corporate elite.

    “This is a sort of legitimacy crisis,” said Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, a political scientist at Diego Portales University in Santiago. “People start to say, ‘O.K., why is it we have to pay that, and the very rich are not paying their fair share?” 
    “And at the same time, we have a political class that’s totally out of touch,” Mr. Kaltwasser added.

    In an attempt to restore order, President Sebastián Piñera scrapped the four-cent subway fare increase that set off the initial demonstrations. Then he deployed the military in Chile’s streets for the first time since the country’s transition to democracy. 
    When that didn’t quell the protests, Mr. Piñera went on television to ask for forgiveness and promise higher pensions, better health coverage, higher taxes for the rich and pay cuts for politicians. Later, he asked his cabinet to resign.
    But demonstrators were not convinced.

    At the protest in O’Higgins park, that was certainly the view of Luis Ochoa Pérez, who was selling flags near the entrance. 
    “The abuses haven’t stopped,” he said, “so we have to go into the streets.”
    His best-selling flag, of his own design, demanded Mr. Piñera’s resignation.

    Minutes later, it sold out.

    Javiera López Layana, 24, an activist and student at the University of Chile who helped organize the protest, was buzzing with excitement. 
    Many of the speakers had used the term “el pueblo” when describing the Chilean people, she pointed out. To an outsider, it seemed like a tiny detail. But that term, which in Latin America is associated with the left, had been taboo in Chile for as long as Ms. López could remember. Its resurgence seemed as if it could be a harbinger of more significant change.
    The end of the Pinochet dictatorship, in 1990, came with an implicit caveat: Military rule would end, but the socialist policies of Salvador Allende, the leftist president Gen. Augusto Pinochet had deposed in a coup, would not return. Subsequent governments preserved the extreme laissez-faire economic system imposed in the 1970s and 1980s.
    But today, widespread public anger over the inequality and economic precarity that many Chileans see as a consequence of that system means that conservative economic policies may be more of a threat to political stability than a means of ensuring it. 
    “It’s not 30 pesos, it’s 30 years” has become one of the slogans of the protests — a reference to the proposed metro fare increase that set off the crisis and to the three decades since military rule ended.

    The country’s median salary is now about $540 per month — below the poverty line for a family of four, said Marco Kremerman, an economist with the Fundación Sol, a left-leaning think tank in Santiago. Median payments in the national private pension program, the only safety net for retirees, are about $200 per month.
    There is broad agreement, among protesters and experts alike, that the country needs structural reforms. Replacing the current Constitution, which was adopted under the dictatorship, would also signify that Chile is emerging from the 30-year shadow of the Pinochet regime.
    “When we’re in debt, living in misery and impoverished, we don’t necessarily think of the Constitution,” Ms. López said. “But in the end, we need to make changes.”

    That evening, Ms. López and her family gathered around the kitchen table at their home in Lo Espejo, a working-class municipality far from the city center, and discussed the protest movement. 
    Seeing the military once again patrolling the streets had brought painful memories, long repressed, to the surface.
    Ms. López’s grandfather revealed to her, for the first time, that he had been arrested during the military regime, and his sister killed by the government, because they had hidden a leftist politician and his family, then helped them escape to safety abroad.

    Her father described how dictatorship had divided Lo Espejo in his youth. One neighbor, who still lived nearby, was interrogated and tortured by a man they had both grown up with. Another had a sister who worked for DINA, the feared secret police.

    In part because of those experiences, they have been cautious about joining the protests, even if they support the goals.
    “Javiera’s generation, they grew up without fear of the dictatorship,” said Ms. López’s mother, Pamela Inés Layana Guendelman. “She’s fearless.”
    “I’m not afraid,” Ms. López said.
    “But it enrages me” she said, as tears welled in her eyes. “Every time I go to a protest in Plaza Italia, or a protest in La Alameda, I have to come back here, to Lo Espejo, and see the same crap, the same misery, that has been there for many governments. And nothing has changed at all.”
    In many ways, Ms. López personifies the contradictions of Chile’s political crisis.
    Her parents and grandfather strained to send her to private schools, she was the first in her family to go to college, and she now hopes to attend graduate school. At least on paper, Ms. López seems to be a success story, proof of the benefits that hard work is supposed to bring under Chile’s free-market system.
    But when she reached the University of Chile, she said, she confronted an educational system that seemed designed to keep her in Lo Espejo forever. Though a scholarship covered much of her tuition, she has still had to borrow money to complete her degree. Getting a master’s will mean borrowing even more.

    “Education was supposed to be our ladder out of poverty,” she said. “But the debt turns out to be a heavy backpack.” Her background may also dilute the value of her degree: Employers are widely believed to discriminate against candidates from poorer social classes.
    Families like hers have become a new constituency in Chile, one that has sacrificed to succeed in a supposedly meritocratic system, only to find that they are still excluded from its benefits. 
    “There is this discourse of merit, of striving, of how ‘you should get up earlier,’” she said. “But even if we get up early, nothing is going to change.”

    One recent day, at the near-shuttered University of Chile, as clouds of tear gas billowed outside, student leaders scrolled through Instagram and Twitter posts announcing demonstrations.
    “We are the generation for whom the joy never came,” said one of them, Nicole Martínez, 26. Her words were a bitter twist on “joy is coming,” the slogan from the campaign that ended military rule.
    But the Chilean political crisis is not unique to Chile. It carries unmistakable echoes of a problem that is at the center of political conflict all over the developed world.

    As free trade, new technologies, the rise of China, and other seismic changes have reshaped the world’s economies, political divisions have emerged between those who gain from the current system and those who do not.

    In much of Europe and the United States, onetime industrial towns declined as economic growth accrued to large, globally connected cities, instead. For many, even those who have seen modest objective improvements in their own standards of living, watching others surge ahead while they struggle has left them feeling angry and disillusioned. In many countries, trust in institutions is falling, surveys show.
    The same economic changes have shattered longstanding political coalitions, weakening mainstream parties. Far-right populists and other outsider politicians have moved to fill the vacuum left behind.
    And with no effective channels for public anger, mass frustration has erupted into protest movements like France’s Yellow Vests and the demonstrations in Chile.
    The Chilean movement, like the Yellow-Vest movement, has no clear leaders, said Ms. Martínez, with information mostly spreading through people’s social networks.

    “It is a social explosion,” she said.

    Pascale Bonnefoy contributed reporting













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


    Posted by: bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

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