Howard Zinn Book Fair

Sunday, Dec. 8, 10AM - 6PM
City College of San Francisco, Mission Campus
1125 Valencia Street
Suggested donation: $5 (no one turned away for lack of funds)
The campus is a short walk from 24th Street BART Station and Muni lines 14,
33, 48, 49 and J

The theme of this year's book fair is "Strike! Discovering Our Power." We
selected this theme to celebrate the ways in which everyday people discover
their ability to work together. Inspired by the wave of strikes across the
United States in the past year, the massive General Strikes in India, and
the recent uprisings in Algeria and Sudan, we expand the idea of the strike
to include all of the ways people can take collective action to preserve
their homes, protect life on earth, respect indigeneity, shut down the
machinery that produces racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and
inequality, and build movements that are strong enough to last. The Strike!
is not only
about withdrawing our labor, but about redirecting it to create a better

Featuring over sixty publishers, booksellers, and grassroots organizations,
dozens of author readings, panels, and workshops with Silvia Federici, Jane
McAlevey, Emory Douglas,  Alice Bag, Bhaskar Sunkara, Nicholas Baham III,
Eric Drooker, Shawna Potter, Charlie Jane Anders, and voices from The
Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, The Yellow Vest Movement in France, the
Oakland Teachers Strike and more


[and a plug for a book I've been involved with]

One of the exhibitors is 1741 Press, publisher of the collective memoir
"You Say You Want a Revolution: SDS, PL, and Adventures in Building a
Worker-Student Alliance".

"a must-read book": Louis Proyect, in CounterPunch


The book has a facebook page at



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.





“If Venezuela goes down, we all go down.” 
- Roberto Vargas, Nicaraguan poet 
No country in the Americas is more cruelly targeted by the Trump regime than Venezuela. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been lost due to blocked oil sales, seized (stolen) assets including gold reserves, and lost productivity due to sabotaged infrastructure and lack of spare parts. Lack of foreign exchange and blocked trade due to illegal US sanctions have caused shortages in food and medicine. An authoritative study estimated that in 2017-2018 over 40,000 people died from lack of medicine and health care directly linked to sanctions. 
Alliance for Global Justice has been a leader of the solidarity movement since former President Hugo Chavez launched the Bolivarian Revolution after his 2006 democratic election. AFGJ founded the Venezuela Solidarity Network (2007-2010) and the Venezuela Strategy Group (2014-present). We host a monthly Webinar to help counter the disinformation that is even propagated by the so-called progressive press. We have authored sign-on letters and urgent alerts and are acting as fiscal sponsor to the End Sanctions Working Group, the Embassy Protectors Defense Committee, and the Manitos Children’s Fund. 
In the face of implacable hostility from our government, rapacious greed for Venezuela’s oil by the corporate oligarchy, and sectarian slanders from segments of the Left, AFGJ has stood strong and firm against US imperialism and in support of Venezuela’s sovereignty and right of self-determination. 
Please help us continue to struggle in solidarity with our Venezuelan sisters and brothers by making a tax-deductible donation today. 

Contact Us

Alliance for Global Justice
225 E 26th St Ste 1

Tucson, Arizona 85713-2925
Follow Us 
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Federal Executions Put On Hold

Late last night, a U.S. district judge halted four federal executions scheduled for this December and January — the first executions by the federal government set to take place in 16 years. Of course, this is welcome news and an answer to our prayers.
The court's decision, although subject to appeal, prevents the federal government from resuming the practice of executing its citizens and perpetuating a culture of death.
Find more information here:
At the moment, CMN is working to determine next steps to ensure the 16-year hiatus from federal executions becomes permanent. 
Please join me in holding in prayer all those who sit on federal death row, the victims of the crimes which put them there, and the members of our federal government with the power to choose hope over death.
In solidarity,

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy
Executive Director

Contact Us

Catholic Mobilizing Network

415 Michigan Ave. NE, Suite 210

Washington, DC 20017
(202) 541-5290
Having trouble viewing this email? 



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



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/


Leonard Peltier's 2019 Thanksgiving Message: "Walking on Stolen Land"

by Levi Rickert
Published November 23, 2019

COLEMAN, FLORIDA – Leonard Peltier, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, who is incarcerated at the U.S. Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida, for his 1977 conviction in connection with a shootout with U.S.. government forces, where two FBI agents and one young American Indian lost their lives..
Peltier, who is considered a political prisoner of war by many, released this statement on Thanksgiving through the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee:

The year of 2019 is coming to a close and with it, comes the day most Americans set aside as a day for Thanksgiving. As I let my mind wander beyond the steel bars and concrete walls, I try to imagine what the people who live outside the prison gates are doing, and what they are thinking. Do they ever think of the Indigenous people who were forced from their homelands? Do they understand that with every step they take, no matter the direction, that they are walking on stolen land? Can they imagine, even for one minute, what it was like to watch the suffering of the women, the children and babies and yes, the sick and elderly, as they were made to keep pushing west in freezing temperatures, with little or no food? These were my people and this was our land.. There was a time when we enjoyed freedom and were able to hunt buffalo and gather the foods and sacred medicines. We were able to fish and we enjoyed the clean clear water! My people were generous, we shared everything we had, including the knowledge of how to survive the long harsh winters or the hot humid summers. We were appreciative of the gifts from our Creator and remembered to give thanks on a daily basis.. We had ceremonies and special dances that were a celebration of life.

With the coming of foreigners to our shores, life as we knew it would change drastically. Individual ownership was foreign to my people. Fences?? Unheard of, back then. We were a communal people and we took care of each other. Our grandparents weren't isolated from us! They were the wisdom keepers and story tellers and were an important link in our families. The babies? They were and are our future! Look at the brilliant young people who put themselves at risk, fighting to keep our water and environment clean and safe for the generations yet to come. They are willing to confront the giant, multi-national corporations by educating the general public of the devastation being caused. I smile with hope when I think of them. They are fearless and ready to speak the truth to all who are willing to listen. We also remember our brothers and sisters of Bolivia, who are rioting, in support of the first Indigenous President, Evo Morales. His commitment to the people, the land, their resources and protection against corruption is commendable. We recognize and identify with that struggle so well.

So today, I thank all of the people who are willing to have an open mind, those who are willing to accept the responsibility of planning for seven generations ahead, those who remember the sacrifices made by our ancestors so we can continue to speak our own language, practice our own way of thankfulness in our own skin, and that we always acknowledge and respect the Indigenous linage that we carry.

For those of you who are thankful that you have enough food to feed your families, please give to those who aren't as fortunate. If you are warm and have a comfortable shelter to live in, please give to those who are cold and homeless, if you see someone hurting and in need of a kind word or two, be that person who steps forward and lends a hand. And especially, when you see injustice anywhere, please be brave enough to speak up to confront it.

I want to thank all who are kind enough to remember me and my family in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for continuing to support and believe in me. There isn't a minute in any day that passes without me hoping that this will be the day I will be granted freedom. I long for the day when I can smell clean fresh air, when I can feel a gentle breeze in my hair, witness the clouds as their movement hides the sun and when the moon shines the light on the path to the sacred Inipi. That would truly be a day I could call a day of Thanksgiving.

Thank you for listening to whomever is voicing my words. My Spirit is there with you.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Leonard Peltier

Levi Rickert, a tribal citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, is the publisher and editor of Native News Online. Previously, he served as editor of the Native News Network. He is a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan.



Eddie Conway's Update on Forgotten Political Prisoners

EDDIE CONWAY: I'm Eddie Conway, host of Rattling the Bars. As many well-known political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal continue to suffer in prison…
MUMIA ABU JAMAL: In an area where there is corporate downsizing and there are no jobs and there is only a service economy and education is being cut, which is the only rung by which people can climb, the only growth industry in this part of Pennsylvania, in the Eastern United States, in the Southern United States, in the Western United States is "corrections," for want of a better word. The corrections industry is booming. I mean, this joint here ain't five years old.
EDDIE CONWAY: …The media brings their stories to the masses. But there are many lesser-known activists that have dropped out of the spotlight, grown old in prison, or just been forgotten... For Rattling the Bars, we are spotlighting a few of their stories. There was a thriving Black Panther party in Omaha, Nebraska, headed by David Rice and Ed Poindexter. By 1968, the FBI had began plans to eliminate the Omaha Black Panthers by making an example of Rice and Poindexter. It would take a couple of years, but the FBI would frame them for murder.
KIETRYN ZYCHAL: In the 90s, Ed and Mondo both applied to the parole board. There are two different things you do in Nebraska, the parole board would grant you parole, but because they have life sentences, they were told that they have to apply to the pardons board, which is the governor, the attorney general, and the secretary of state, and ask that their life sentences be commuted to a specific number of years before they would be eligible for parole.
And so there was a movement in the 90s to try to get them out on parole. The parole board would recommend them for parole because they were exemplary prisoners, and then the pardons board would not give them a hearing. They wouldn't even meet to determine whether they would commute their sentence..
EDDIE CONWAY: They served 45 years before Rice died in the Nebraska State Penitentiary. After several appeals, earning a master's degree, writing several books and helping other inmates, Poindexter is still serving time at the age of 75.
KEITRYN ZYCHAL: Ed Poindexter has been in jail or prison since August of 1970. He was accused of making a suitcase bomb and giving it to a 16-year-old boy named Duane Peak, and Duane Peak was supposed to take the bomb to a vacant house and call 911, and report that a woman was dragged screaming into a vacant house, and when police officers showed up, one of those police officers was killed when the suitcase bomb exploded.
Ed and his late co-defendant, Mondo we Langa, who was David Rice at the time of the trial, they have always insisted that they had absolutely nothing to do with this murderous plot, and they tried to get back into court for 50 years, and they have never been able to get back into court to prove their innocence. Mondo died in March of 2016 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and Ed is going to turn 75 this year, I think.. And he has spent the majority of his life in prison.. It will be 50 years in 2020 that he will be in prison.
EDDIE CONWAY: There are at least 20 Black Panthers still in prison across the United States. One is one of the most revered is H. Rap Brown, known by his Islamic name, Jamil Al-Amin.
KAIRI AL-AMIN: My father has been a target for many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many years of the federal government, and I think him being housed these last 10 years in federal penitentiaries without federal charges show that the vendetta is still strong. The federal government has not forgotten who he was as H.. Rap Brown, or who he is as Imam Jamil Al-Amin.
JAMIL AL-AMIN: See, it's no in between. You are either free or you're a slave. There's no such thing as second-class citizenship.
EDDIE CONWAY: Most people don't realize he's still in prison. He's serving a life sentence at the United States Penitentiary in Tucson.
KAIRI AL-AMIN: Our campaign is twofold.. One, how can egregious constitutional rights violations not warrant a new trial, especially when they were done by the prosecution. And two, my father is innocent. The facts point to him being innocent, which is why we're pushing for a new trial. We know that they can't win this trial twice. The reason they won the first time was because of the gag order that was placed on my father which didn't allow us to fight in the court of public opinion as well as the court of law. And so when you don't have anyone watching, anything can be done without any repercussion.
EDDIE CONWAY: Another well-known political prisoner that has been forgotten in the media and in the public arena is Leonard Peltier. Leonard Peltier was a member of the American Indian Movement and has been in prison for over 40 years and is now 75 years old.
SPEAKER: Leonard Peltier represents, in a very real sense, the effort, the struggle by indigenous peoples within the United States to exercise their rights as sovereign nations, recognized as such in treaties with the United States.. For the government of the United States, which has colonized all indigenous peoples to claim boundaries, keeping Leonard in prison demonstrates the costs and consequences of asserting those rights.
EDDIE CONWAY: Leonard Peltier suffers from a host of medical issues including suffering from a stroke. And if he is not released, he will die in prison.
LEONARD PELTIER: I'll be an old man when I get out, if I get out.
PAULETTE D'AUTEUIL: His wellbeing is that he rarely gets a family visit. His children live in California and North Dakota. Both places are a good 2000 miles from where he's at in Florida, so it makes it time consuming as well as expensive to come and see him. He is, health-wise, we are still working on trying to get some help for his prostate, and there has been some development of some spots on his lungs, which we are trying to get resolved. There's an incredible mold issue in the prison, especially because in Florida it's so humid and it builds up. So we're also dealing with that.
EDDIE CONWAY: These are just a few of the almost 20 political prisoners that has remained in American prisons for 30 and 40 years, some even longer. Mutulu Shakur has been in jail for long, long decades. Assata Shakur has been hiding and forced into exile in Cuba. Sundiata has been in prison for decades; Veronza Bower, The Move Nine. And there's just a number of political prisoners that's done 30 or 40 years.
They need to be released and they need to have an opportunity to be back with their family, their children, their grandchildren, whoever is still alive. Any other prisoners in the United States that have the same sort of charges as those people that are being held has been released up to 15 or 20 years ago. That same justice system should work for the political prisoners also.
Thank you for joining me for this episode of Rattling the Bars. I'm Eddie Conway.



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



Mumia Abu-Jamal: New Chance for Freedom
Police and State Frame-Up Must Be Fully Exposed!
Mumia Abu-Jamal is innocent. Courts have ignored and suppressed evidence of his innocence for decades. But now, one court has thrown out all the decisions of the PA Supreme Court that denied Mumia's appeals against his unjust conviction during the years of 1998 to 2012! 
This ruling, by Judge Leon Tucker, was made because one judge on the PA Supreme Court during those years, Ronald Castille, was lacking the "appearance of impartiality." In plain English, he was clearly biased against Mumia. Before sitting on the PA Supreme Court, Castille had been District Attorney (or assistant DA) during the time of Mumia's frame-up and conviction, and had used his office to express a special interest in pursuing the death penalty for "cop-killers." Mumia was in the cross-hairs. Soon he was wrongly convicted and sent to death row for killing a police officer.
*     *     *     *     *
Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning and intrepid journalist, a former Black Panther, MOVE supporter, and a critic of police brutality and murder.  Mumia was framed by police, prosecutors, and leading elements of both Democratic and Republican parties, for the shooting of a police officer. The US Justice Department targeted him as well. A racist judge helped convict him, and corrupt courts have kept him locked up despite much evidence that should have freed him. He continues his commentary and journalism from behind bars. As of 2019, he has been imprisoned for 37 years for a crime he did not commit. 
Time is up! FREE MUMIA NOW!
*     *     *     *     *
DA's Hidden Files Show Frame-Up of Mumia
In the midst of Mumia's fight for his right to challenge the state Supreme Court's negative rulings, a new twist was revealed: six boxes of files on Mumia's case--with many more still hidden--were surreptitiously concealed for decades in a back room at the District Attorney's office in Philadelphia. The very fact that these files on Mumia's case were hidden away for decades is damning in the extreme, and their revelations confirm what we have known for decades: Mumia was framed for a crime he did not commit!
So far, the newly revealed evidence confirms that, at the time of Mumia's 1982 trial, chief prosecutor Joe McGill illegally removed black jurors from the jury, violating the Batson decision. Also revealed: The prosecution bribed witnesses into testifying that they saw Mumia shoot the slain police officer when they hadn't seen any such thing. Taxi driver Robert Chobert, who was on probation for fire-bombing a school yard at the time, had sent a letter demanding his money for lying on the stand. Very important, but the newly revealed evidence is just the tip of the iceberg! 
All Evidence of Mumia's Innocence Must Be Brought Forward Now!
Mumia Abu-Jamal's trial for the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner was rigged against him from beginning to end. All of the evidence of Mumia's innocence--which was earlier suppressed or rejected--must now be heard:
• Mumia was framed - The judge at Mumia's trial, Albert Sabo, was overheard to say, "I'm gonna help 'em fry the n____r." And he proceeded to do just that. Mumia was thrown out of his own trial for defending himself! Prosecution "witnesses" were coerced or bribed at trial to lie against Mumia. In addition to Chobert, this included key witness Cynthia White, a prostitute who testified that she saw Mumia shoot Faulkner. White's statements had to be rewritten under intense pressure from the cops, because she was around the corner and out of sight of the shooting at the time! Police bribed her with promises of being allowed to work her corner, and not sent to state prison for her many prostitution charges.
• Mumia only arrived on the scene after Officer Faulkner was shot - William Singletary, a tow-truck business owner who had no reason to lie against the police, said he had been on the scene the whole time, that Mumia was not the shooter, and that Mumia had arrived only after the shooting of Faulkner. Singletary's statements were torn up, his business was wrecked, and he was threatened by police to be out of town for the trial (which, unfortunately, he was).
• There is no evidence that Mumia fired a gun - Mumia was shot on the scene by an arriving police officer and arrested. But the cops did not test his hands for gun-powder residue--a standard procedure in shootings! They also did not test Faulkner's hands. The prosecution nevertheless claimed Mumia was the shooter, and that he was shot by Faulkner as the officer fell to the ground. Ballistics evidence was corrupted to falsely show that Mumia's gun was the murder weapon, when his gun was reportedly still in his taxi cab, which was in police custody days after the shooting!
• The real shooter fled the scene and was never charged - Veronica Jones was a witness who said that after hearing the shots from a block away, she had seen two people fleeing the scene of the shooting. This could not have included Mumia, who had been shot and almost killed at the scene. Jones was threatened by the police with arrest and loss of custody of her children. She then lied on the stand at trial to say she had seen no one running away. 
• Abu-Jamal never made a confession - Mumia has always maintained his innocence. But police twice concocted confessions that Mumia never made. Inspector Alfonso Giordano, the senior officer at the crime scene, made up a confession for Mumia. But Giordano was not allowed to testify at trial, because he was top on the FBI's list of corrupt cops in the Philadelphia police force. At the DA's request, another cop handily provided a second "confession," allegedly heard by a security guard in the hospital. But at neither time was Mumia--almost fatally shot--able to speak. And an earlier police report by cops in the hospital said that, referring to Mumia: "the negro male made no comment"!
• The crime scene was tampered with by police - Police officers at the scene rearranged some evidence, and handled what was alleged to be Mumia's gun with their bare hands. A journalist's photos revealed this misconduct. The cops then left the scene unattended for hours. All of this indicates a frame-up in progress.
• The real shooter confessed, and revealed the reason for the crime - Arnold Beverly came forward in the 1990s. He said in a sworn statement, under penalty of perjury, that he, not Mumia, had been the actual shooter. He said that he, along with "another guy," had been hired to do the hit, because Faulkner was "a problem for the mob and corrupt policemen because he interfered with the graft and payoffs made to allow illegal activity including prostitution, gambling, drugs without prosecution in the center city area"! (affidavit of Arnold Beverly).
• The corruption of Philadelphia police is documented and well known - This includes that of Giordano, who was the first cop to manufacture a "confession" by Mumia. Meanwhile, Faulkner's cooperation with the federal anti-corruption investigations of Philadelphia police is strongly suggested by his lengthy and heavily redacted FBI file.
• Do cops kill other cops? There are other cases in Philadelphia that look that way. Frank Serpico, an NYC cop who investigated and reported on police corruption, was abandoned by fellow cops after being shot in a drug bust. Mumia was clearly made a scape-goat for the crimes of corrupt Philadelphia cops who were protecting their ill-gotten gains.
• Politicians and US DOJ helped the frame-up - Ed Rendell, former DA, PA governor, and head of the Democratic National Committee--and now a senior advisor to crime-bill author Joe Biden--is complicit in the frame-up of Mumia. The US Justice Department targeted Mumia for his anti-racist activities when he was a teenager, and later secretly warned then-prosecutor Rendell not to use Giordano as a witness against Mumia because he was an FBI target for corruption.
*     *     *     *     *
All this should lead to an immediate freeing of Mumia! But we are still a ways away from that, and we have no confidence in the capitalist courts to finish the job. We must act! This victory in local court allowing new appeals must now lead to a full-court press on all the rejected and suppressed evidence of Mumia's innocence!
Mass Movement Needed To Free Mumia! 
Mumia's persecution by local, state and federal authorities of both political parties has been on-going, and has generated a world-wide movement in his defense. This movement has seen that Mumia, as a radio journalist who exposed the brutal attacks on the black community by the police in Philadelphia, has spoken out as a defender of working people of all colors and all nationalities in his ongoing commentaries (now on KPFA/Pacifica radio), despite being on death row, and now while serving life without the possibility of parole (LWOP).
In 1999, Oakland Teachers for Mumia held unauthorized teach-ins in Oakland schools on Mumia and the death penalty, despite the rabid hysteria in the bourgeois media. Teachers in Rio de Janeiro held similar actions. Letters of support came in from maritime workers and trade unions around the world. Later in 1999, longshore workers shut down all the ports on the West Coast to free Mumia, and led a mass march of 25,000 Mumia supporters in San Francisco. 
A year later, a federal court lifted Mumia's death sentence, based on improper instructions to the jury by trial judge Albert Sabo. The federal court ordered the local court to hold a new sentencing hearing. Fearing their frame-up of Mumia could be revealed in any new hearing, even if only on sentencing, state officials passed. Much to the chagrin of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)--which still seeks Mumia's death--this left Mumia with LWOP, death by life in prison. 
Mumia supporters waged a struggle to get him the cure for the deadly Hepatitis-C virus, which he had likely contracted through a blood transfusion in hospital after he was shot by a cop at the 1981 crime scene. The Labor Action Committee conducted demonstrations against Gilead Sciences, the Foster City CA corporation that owns the cure, and charged $1,000 per pill! The Metalworkers Union of South Africa wrote a letter excoriating Governor Wolf for allowing untreated sick freedom fighters to die in prison as the apartheid government had done. Finally, Mumia did get the cure. Now, more than ever, struggle is needed to free Mumia!
Now is the Time: Mobilize Again for Mumia's Freedom!
Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal | Mumia Abu-Jamal is an I...

November 2019

"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



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..
    ©2019 ILPDC | 116 W Osborne Avenue Tampa, FL 33603 

    Free Leonard Peltier!






    1) Jack Merritt Died in the London Bridge Attack. Don't Forget What He Stood For.
    Remembering a life cut short.
    By Emma Goldberg, December 1, 2019
    Messages of condolence and floral tributes, including a photograph Jack Merritt, near the scene of the stabbing on London Bridge.Credit...Toby Melville/Reuters

    I remember a morning of unadulterated goodness. I'd come to celebrate graduation at a local men's prison. The inmates had spent the semester studying criminal justice with students from the University of Cambridge as part of a program called Learning Together. The men from the prison dressed up for the occasion, hair slicked back and shirts tucked in.
    Jack Merritt, my classmate at Cambridge and a program participant, recited a poem he'd written on forgiveness and rehabilitation. I remember feeling surprised by his words, so unselfconsciously earnest. I'd known him mostly for his dry wit, his boyishly good looks and his reputation as a criminology class clown.
    Jack, who was 25 and from Cambridge, was stabbed to death during a terrorist attack near London Bridge on Friday. The attacker, Usman Khan, had been convicted of terrorism offenses in 2012. He was released from prison last year. Just before the attack, Jack was in Fishmongers' Hall, a building adjacent to the bridge, helping to lead a conference on prisoner rehabilitation, an alumni celebration for Learning Together. Mr. Khan, who was attending the conference, began his rampage as a creative writing workshop was wrapping up inside the hall, around 2 p.m.
    The injustice of somebody murdered while organizing for criminal justice feels impossibly sharp. Jack was in a room of people, some on day release from prison, discussing possibilities for penal reform.

    But the world is full of injustice, and young people denied opportunity. Jack understood that better than most.
    When I read the news of the attack, I pictured him back at Grendon prison reading his graduation poem. I remember how the students and inmates waved their diplomas in the air that day, pulling each other in for hugs and inside jokes. I remember how the prison auditorium felt blissfully full. A food truck came to hand out free burritos. An older man from the prison read a slam poem about unlikely friendships. I tried to blot my eyes dry, until I realized the girl beside me was crying, too.
    Cambridge, like much of Britain, was a place of political extremes. We dressed in robes for formal dinners, then gravely debated the gaudy tradition. The winter I was there, a Snapchat video shared with the press showed a student in black tie burning a 20 pound note in front of a homeless person. This was months after the Brexit vote. Everything felt ideologically fraught.
    Learning Together was a balm during that time, with its focus on empathy and its commitment to the complexity and necessity of second chances. The goal of the program was to reduce stigma and recidivism by giving university students and inmates a chance to study together. They took classes on political theory, poetry and prison reform. Jack stayed on after we graduated to become the course coordinator.
    Learning Together was celebrating its five-year anniversary on Friday, in an event that convened prisoners, probation staff, students and experts on criminology from across Britain. The terrorist attack began when Mr. Khan, who was wearing what turned out to be a fake suicide belt, ascended the grand staircase at Fishmongers' Hall, pulled out two knives and threatened to blow up the building.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded to the attack by callingfor more punitive measures for prisoners. He demanded changesto the country's policy on automatic release, which allows most prisoners to be released halfway through their sentences if they meet certain government conditions. Mr. Khan, the attacker, was part of a gang that plotted in 2010 to plant explosives in the London Stock Exchange. He was freed halfway through his term, last December, without a parole board assessment.
    When Mr. Khan began his violent rampage on Friday, bystanders tried to intervene and wrestle him to the ground. They grabbed anything weapon-like that they could find, from a fire extinguisher to an ornamental narwhal tusk pulled from the wall. One person who saw the attack unfolding and rushed to help was a fellow conference participant, James Ford, a convicted murderer on day release from prison. 
    This weekend, Jack's father, David Merritt, wrote a tribute to his son, who he called "a beautiful spirit," on Twitter. He wrote: "My son, Jack, who was killed in this attack would not wish his death to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences or for detaining people unnecessarily."
    Those words, pulling reason out of heartache, bear remembering. They're a challenge to a society stretched thin by ideological debate — a challenge to mourn Jack's death, without forgetting what he stood for in life.



    2) Hong Kong Police Fire Tear Gas as Protesters Return in Force
    After a week of relative calm and a vote that boosted protesters' cause, officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets, and demonstrators attacked shops.
    By Elaine Yu, December 1, 2019
    Thousands of people took part in a pro-democracy protest in the Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood of Hong Kong on Sunday.Credit....Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

    HONG KONG — After a relative lull in the protests, thousands of pro-democracy activists turned out Sunday for three demonstrations a week after scoring a major victory in electionsthat were viewed as a broad endorsement of the movement's goals.
    The vote last Sunday saw pro-democracy candidates win 87 percent of the seats in local district council races. The councils have little political power, but the vote — a rare form of popular elections in the semiautonomous city — was portrayed as reflecting widespread discontent with the government and backing for the protesters' aims.
    The demonstrations on Sunday were all granted "letters of no objection," unlike the many recent protests that had been banned by the police. Activists have denounced such bans as unnecessary restrictions on freedom of assembly. While the first two protests were peaceful, a later one saw several tense confrontations between demonstrators and the police. 
    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:

    Thousands of protesters, many dressed in black and wearing face masks, descended on the harborfront district of Tsim Sha Tsui, chanting slogans such as "Five demands, not one less!" and "Hong Kongers, take revenge!"
    After the Beijing-backed establishment camp was dealt a blow in last Sunday's elections, Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, finally said the government was considering setting up a committee to look into the crisis. The move stopped short of addressing the protesters' main demand of setting up an independent commission to examine how the police have handled the protests.
    "Never forget why you started," read a large, black-and-white banner at the march. Not long after it started, the police fired pepper spray and later tear gas at some of the protesters after warning them they had veered from the approved route.
    The clashes continued into the evening, with officers firing more rubber bullets and tear gas, while protesters vandalized shops perceived to be friendly to Beijing.

    A man who had been clearing roadblocks set up by protesters was struck "in the head by a hard object" wielded by another man, the police said in a statement.

    Graphic footage circulating online showed the man being bashed by a long object and collapsing onto a roadblock in Mong Kok as blood trickled down his face, though he appeared to be conscious after being hit.
    The barriers set up by pro-democracy demonstrators to block police movements have become flash points between these protesters and supporters of the government, with scuffles often breaking out when people try to dismantle them..
    A Hospital Authority spokeswoman did not provide details of individual cases, but said two men who had been injured in the area were in stable condition.

    Hundreds of parents brought their children to the march on Sunday morning against what many consider the indiscriminate use of tear gas by the police.
    The marchers waved yellow balloons — the color of the pro-democracy movement — while young children stuck their drawings and handwritten messages for the police outside the government headquarters.
    "Please don't fire tear gas anymore, because besides making other people sick, tear gas will also make you sick and hurt animals," one primary school student wrote on his note.

    Separately, protesters waving American flags marched to the United States Consulate to thank Washington for passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which authorizes sanctions on officials responsible for human rights abuses in the city.



    3) U.S. Drone Killed Afghan Civilians, Officials Say
    The strike on a car killed all five onboard, including a woman who had given birth hours before, relatives and officials said.
    By Farooq Jan Mangal and Fahim Abed, December 1, 2019

    KHOST, Afghanistan — An American drone strike on a car carrying a woman who had just given birth in southeastern Afghanistan left five people dead, including the mother, three of her relatives and the driver, Afghan officials and family members said on Sunday.
    The strike in the Alisher District of Khost Province occurred either late Friday night or early Saturday, they said.. The woman, Malana, 25, had given birth to a son, her second child, at home. But her health had deteriorated soon after and relatives had been taking her to a clinic. On their way home, their vehicle was hit..
    After the strike, there was confusion about whether the newborn was among the victims. Later, it became clear that the baby had not been in the car. Turab Khan, a relative, said the boy was safe at home.
    The United States military command in Afghanistan confirmed a strike in Khost, saying that three Taliban fighters had been killed. But the military said the strike occurred on Thursday, Nov. 28.

    "We are aware of the allegations of civilian casualties and working with local authorities to determine the veracity of these claims," Col. Sonny Leggett, a military spokesman, said.
    Gulmir Jan, a local tribal leader, said that hours after Malana had given birth, her health took a turn for the worse and her in-laws rushed her to the clinic. (Like most Afghans, the woman used one name..) A sister-in-law was among those in the car with her. 
    "Their vehicle was completely destroyed," Mr. Jan said.
    Claims of civilian casualties by American or Afghan strikes often come from parts of the country that are hard to gain access to, and accounts are difficult to verify. In September, officials and residents in southern Helmand Province said airstrikes had targeted a wedding convoy, killing 40 people. But military officials disputed that account and days later released information that said a senior leader of Al Qaeda had been killed in the strikes.
    Civilian casualties reached a record in the third quarter of 2019, according to the United Nations, with 1,174 civilians killed and 3,139 others wounded. In its latest report, the United Nations said most of the casualties had been caused by the Taliban and other militants, but earlier in the year, it blamed Afghan and coalition forces for far more casualties than the Taliban.
    President Trump, during an unannounced visit with American troops in Afghanistan last week, said that he had reopened peace negotiations with the Taliban, though the declaration appeared to have caught the militants by surprise.

    He expressed the demand of the Afghan government for a cease-fire as a condition for peace talks, a major shift in American policy. In the deal they were near finalizing in September, before Mr. Trump abruptly called off talks, United States diplomats had concluded that the chances of achieving a cease-fire before signing a withdrawal agreement was unrealistic. 
    The Taliban have continuously rejected calls for a cease-fire before a deal with the Americans, saying that they would discuss the possibility only in talks with the Afghan side that would begin after any agreement with Americans.
    The strike in Khost came at a time of widespread violence across the country, with the deadliest attacks occurring in the north and south. In northern Kunduz Province, the Taliban attacked security outposts on the highway connecting Kunduz with Takhar Province on Sunday, killing 11 soldiers in several hours of fighting, said Safiullah Amiri, the deputy of the provincial council. The militants also pulled three police officers off a bus traveling from Kabul to northern Badakhshan Province, executing them on the road in Kunduz. 
    In Faryab Province, the Taliban captured a security outpost in the Ghorziwan District on Saturday, killing seven members of the security forces and wounding two others.
    In southern Helmand Province, a convoy of Afghan security forces was struck by a roadside bomb in the Marja District on Saturday, killing the commander of a border regiment, Gen. Zahir Gul Muqbil, and wounding a journalist, according to Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the governor of Helmand.
    A group of journalists had been traveling with the regiment commander to cover a military operation to clear Marja, which has been under siege by the Taliban for several years.
    Farooq Jan Mangal reported from Khost, Afghanistan, and Fahim Abed from Kabul, Afghanistan. Mujib Mashal contributed reporting from Kabul.



    4) He Gave Thanks for His 2 Dads. His Teacher Condemned Gay Couples.
    The substitute teacher was fired from a Utah public school. One of the boy's parents, Louis van Amstel of "Dancing With the Stars," wondered how she had become a teacher in the first place.
    By Neil Vigdor, December 2, 2019
    Louis van Amstel, left, and his husband, Joshua van Amstel. Louis van Amstel said their son was bullied by the teacher. Credit...Rachel Giese

    A substitute teacher at a Utah public school asked members of a fifth-grade class what they were thankful for before they left for Thanksgiving break. 
    When one of the students answered that he was "thankful for finally being adopted by my two dads," the teacher retorted that "homosexuality is wrong," one of the boy's parents said in a video that has gotten widespread attention on social media. The teacher then told the student that it was sinful for two men to live together, the father said.
    The substitute teacher was fired soon after, according to the staffing company that had placed the woman at the school, Deerfield Elementary in Cedar Hills, Utah.. 
    The father, Louis van Amstel, who is known for his role on "Dancing With the Stars," wrote on Twitter and Facebook that his son, Daniel, 11, had been bullied by the teacher.

    "It shouldn't matter if you're gay, straight, bisexual, black and white," Mr. van Amstel said in an interview on Sunday. "If you're adopting a child and if that child goes to a public school, that teacher should not share her opinion about what she thinks we do in our private life." 
    Mr. van Amstel, 47, credited three girls in the class with alerting the principal about the teacher's actions and with speaking up on behalf of his son, who he said didn't want the teacher to get in trouble.
    "The woman, even when the principal said, 'Well, you're fired,' and escorted her out the door, tried to blame Daniel for what she said,'" Mr. van Amstel said.
    The episode happened Nov. 21 in the Alpine School District, which is one of the largest in Utah and serves about 80,000 students in several communities south of Salt Lake City.
    The district's spokesman, David Stephenson, said in an email that "the school took appropriate action that day based upon their investigation," but referred questions on the substitute teacher to Kelly Services, the staffing company used by the district. The district did not identify the teacher. 
    Kelly Services said in a statement on Sunday that the substitute teacher was no longer employed by the company.
    "We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate conduct and take these matters very seriously," the statement said. "We conducted an investigation and made the decision to end the employee's relationship with Kelly Services."
    The company did not respond to questions about how long the substitute teacher had been placed in the school district or the vetting process it used for school instructors. 
    Mr. van Amstel said he was proud of how swiftly and decisively the school had handled the situation, but was troubled about the vetting of the teacher and about how she had tried to impose her personal beliefs on a group of children.
    Mr. van Amstel, an Amsterdam-born choreographer, former dance champion and creator of the dance fitness program LaBlast, said his neighbors in Utah had rallied around his family. He said some online commenters had jumped to unfair conclusions about what he described as a politically and socially conservative state. 
    "It doesn't mean that all of Utah is now bad," he said. "This is one person."
    The episode came just a few weeks after the Trump administration proposed a rule change that would roll back Obama-era discrimination protections that were based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families have said that the reversal could allow foster care and adoption agencies to deny their services to L.G.B.T.Q. families on faith-based grounds.

    In 2017, Mr. van Amstel wed Joshua Lancaster at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah, posting a photo of their marriage licenseon Instagram. He said his spouse took his surname so they and their children would have the same one. 
    The couple started the adoption process in 2018 and met Daniel for the first time in March after seeing his photograph online, Mr. van Amstel said. Daniel's placement with his would-be parents came on Father's Day, according to Mr. van Amstel, who said the adoption would become final this month.
    "This boy since we met him feels like our son," Mr. van Amstel said. "Right now, it feels like I made him."



    5) Dead sperm whale had 220 pounds of garbage in its stomach, including rope, plastic and gloves
    By Lateshia Beachum
    Washington Post, Dec. 2, 2019
    Plastic, rope and nets from a juvenile whale carcass. (Plastic, rope and nets from a juvenile whale carcass. Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme)

    Researchers on a Scottish island found disturbing items during a necropsy of a juvenile sperm whale: 220 pounds of land and sea debris.

    The young male found himself stranded on the sands of Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris, which is located at the northwest corner of the Western Isles in Scotland.

    His insides revealed an entangled ball of litter that dismayed responders with the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme, an organization that collects and analyzes data on stranded marine life native to Scotland, according to the organization’s Facebook page.

    The young whale had ingested a large amount of refuse, including bundles of rope, plastic cups, bags and gloves. Examiners also found packing straps and tubing inside his stomach.

    The adolescent whale could have swallowed the debris at any point between Norway and the Azores, an archipelago in the Mid-Atlantic, marine experts said.

    Dan Parry, an administrator for the Facebook page that promotes plastic pickups on Luskentyre Beach, wrote that the 13-foot-long whale was starved to death as its intestines could no longer process food.

    But the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme found that while the trash likely played a role in the whale’s death, it wasn’t the sole reason. A beachside necropsy didn’t show evidence that trash had impacted or obstructed his intestines.

    The whale was in decent health despite its trash-filled gut, which partially exploded when cut.

    Animals as large as the sperm whale are very well insulated, according to the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme. Even when temperatures are freezing or just above, the dead animal’s insides still run hot, causing rapid decay and even intestinal explosions.

    Researchers are still looking into why the young whale ended up with so much trash in his system.

    Members of the coast guard and the Western Isles Council Disposal team also contributed to the postmortem examination of the whale and his burial.

    In January, Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme reported that 2018 was a record year for reported marine animal strandings in Scotland, rising from 204 reports in 2009 to 930 last year.

    For Parry, the gruesome discovery of refuse in the whale is a reminder that keeping the oceans clean is everyone’s responsibility.

    “The fishing industry need to do better, but equally, we all need to do more,” he wrote. “Watching this today, makes me despair for the environment, totally falling apart around us.”



    6) Abolish Immigration Prisons
    We should shut down these institutions, end the suffering they cause and redirect the money.
    Credit...Gabriella Angotti-Jones/The New York Times

    Near Denver, migrants are locked inside a prison tucked into an industrial quarter. To the southwest, in the vast space between Phoenix and Tucson, they are surrounded by barbed wire in facilities that seem to rise right out of the Sonoran Desert. 
    Imprisoning migrants this way is lucrative for prison corporations and politicians, and it’s common. But the United States hasn’t always embraced the idea. In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower’s attorney general, Herbert Brownell Jr., announced a decision to shut down major immigration detention centers along both coasts, including Ellis Island. While the policy didn’t abolish immigration imprisonment, it came close. A few years later, the Supreme Court declared this a sign of “an enlightened civilization.”
    The United States has veered far from the enlightenment that the Supreme Court imagined 65 years ago. Under President Barack Obama, the Department of Homeland Security locked up more migrants than ever (the average daily population of migrants in detention facilities in 2016 was 34,000); the Trump administration has locked up even more (the average population in 2018 was 42,000). 
    From asylum seekers to longtime legal residents who have committed crimes, immigration prisons spare no one. In them, people — including children, who the United Nations says should never be detained — often find trauma. Two doctors who regularly work with the Department of Homeland Security were so appalled by the agency’s confinement of children that they wrote to Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Wyden in 2018 describing an infant who lost one-third of his body weight over 10 days yet was never given IV fluids or sent to an emergency room. Other children, they added, had their fingers lacerated by heavy doors in a converted medium-security prison in which they were confined. Detention is so harmful to children, they concluded, that the “fundamental flaw of family detention is not just the risk posed by the conditions of confinement — it’s the incarceration of innocent children itself.”

    Kamyar Samimi, a green-card holder with 40 years in the United States, died 13 days after ICE agents took him into custody. When he arrived at a private prison in suburban Denver, he told prison officials that his doctor had prescribed medicine to control an addiction. The prison’s doctor never bothered to see him. Soon his health tumbled; nurses gave him half the medicine that the prison doctor ordered. Nurses said he was faking, hoping to get drugs, an internal review released a year later revealed. Finally, after he had become too ill to be moved into a wheelchair, as he vomited and urinated on himself, prison guards called for an ambulance. Emergency responders arrived four minutes later, but Mr. Samimi stopped breathing before they could get him into the ambulance. His death was tragic, but not isolated. Since Oct. 1, two of ICE’s detainees have died.
    The United States should shut down its immigration prison system. The federal government should redirect the billions of dollars it spends jailing migrants — $2.7 billion alone in 2017 for ICE’s detention system — to helping them navigate the labyrinthine legal process. To navigate high-stakes immigration court cases, migrants need lawyers, social workers and case managers. Right now, most get none of those. In immigration court, there is no government-paid lawyer, and most detained migrants can’t afford to hire one. But going back to the Reagan administration, pilot projects that offer support consistently display remarkable success getting migrants to show up for court dates and stay out of trouble.
    In an immigration court system that handles 200,000 cases a year, there are bound to be some people who flout the rules. And there will be others who get their day in court only to lose. When that happens, two options are available. We could arrest and deport those people, or we could turn the other way.
    For decades, the bipartisan consensus has been to rely on arrest and deportation. But what if we asked this instead: What good comes from locking up migrants? Republicans declare that we need to detain migrants to uphold the rule of law. Democrats add that detention helps keep our communities safe. Neither of these claims stands up to scrutiny.
    The rule of law isn’t a blunt hammer. Prosecutors regularly choose whether to go after \citizens who have committed crimes. Even when evidence of guilt is strong, there might be other reasons to let illegal activity slide: Perhaps a first-time offender deserves a second chance or putting a parent in jail would do more harm than good. Whatever the reason, the Supreme Court declared in 1985, prosecutors have “broad discretion as to whom to prosecute”— or in not prosecuting. It’s up to prosecutors to weigh the harm that prosecution seeks to remedy. When it comes to immigration law violations, locking up migrants is applying brute force to a minor transgression.

    Fears that migrants will endanger the public are similarly flimsy. First, reams of evidence show that migrants aren’t any more dangerous than people born in the United States. Second, coming to the United States to request asylum, as many people locked up by ICE have done, doesn’t suggest a willingness to commit crime. 
    Even when migrants have a criminal history, immigration prison isn’t the right answer. It’s the job of police officers to prevent and investigate crime. At best, adding ICE to the mix is redundant. At worse, it’s demeaning. Take David Rodriguez’s experience in a Houston prison. Growing up on the streets of Mexico City, he made his way to the United States as a teenager. Years later he had a green card and celebrity status as the chef at a trendy Houston cafe and the owner of a fashionable boutique.
    When he and his fiancée were harassed as they returned home one evening, he swung a baseball bat in their defense. A felony assault charge for the incident was ultimately lowered to a misdemeanor, the judge didn’t sentence him to jail, and seven years went by without a problem.
    When he returned home from his honeymoon in Belize, the idyllic days of beachside lounging turned into a nightmare. He was detained by Customs and Border Protection in Miami and then directed to a private immigration prison in Houston, where he was arrested. Despite never having been convicted of a deportable offense, he’d been mistakenly flagged as having committed a felony. He told me he realized how lucky he was to have a family that could afford to hire a lawyer. “Because you’re an immigrant, you’re guilty until proven innocent,” he said.
    In the years after the Eisenhower administration led the federal government tantalizingly close to de facto abolition of immigration prisons, the country boomed, our cities diversified, and courts maintained a central role resolving disputes in our messy democracy. Growing pains and all, the United States progressed with migrants free to live as ordinary people. Since then, we have swerved far from that past. To put someone behind bars, we should demand an exceptional justification. So far, the government hasn’t found one.
    César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández is an associate professor of law at the University of Denver and the author of “Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession With Locking Up Immigrants.



    7) ‘It Just Isn’t Working’: Test Scores Cast Doubt on U.S. Education Efforts
    An international exam shows that American 15-year-olds are stagnant in reading and math even though the country has spent billions to close gaps with the rest of the world.
    By Dana Goldstein, December 3, 2019
    Credit...Megan Jelinger/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    The performance of American teenagers in reading and math has been stagnant since 2000, according to the latest results of a rigorous international exam, despite a decades-long effort to raise standards and help students compete with peers across the globe. 
    And the achievement gap in reading between high and low performers is widening. Although the top quarter of American students have improved their performance on the exam since 2012, the bottom 10th percentile lost ground, according to an analysis by the National Center for Education Statistics, a federal agency. 
    The disappointing results from the exam, the Program for International Student Assessment, were announced on Tuesday and follow those from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, an American test that recently showed that two-thirds of children were not proficient readers
    Over all, American 15-year-olds who took the PISA test scored slightly above students from peer nations in reading but below the middle of the pack in math.

    Low-performing students have been the focus of decades of bipartisan education overhaul efforts, costing many billions of dollars, that have resulted in a string of national programs — No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, the Common Core State Standards, the Every Student Succeeds Act — but uneven results. 
    There is no consensus on why the performance of struggling students is declining. Education experts argue vociferously about a range of potential causes, including school segregation, limited school choice, funding inequities, family poverty, too much focus on test prep and a dearth of instruction in basic skills like phonics.
    About a fifth of American 15-year-olds scored so low on the PISA test that it appeared they had not mastered reading skills expected of a 10-year-old, according to Andreas Schleicher, director of education and skills at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which administers the exam. 
    Those students, he said, face “pretty grim prospects” on the job market.
    Daniel Koretz, an expert on testing and a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said recent test results showed that “it’s really time to rethink the entire drift of policy reform because it just isn’t working.” 
    Because the United States lacks a centralized system for teacher training or distributing quality instructional materials to schools, Professor Koretz said, states and districts did not always effectively carry out the Common Core or other initiatives.

    The Common Core, which began almost a decade ago, has been a national effort by governors, state education chiefs, philanthropists and school reformers to enrich the American curriculum and help students compete with children around the world. Its priorities include increasing the amount of nonfiction reading, writing persuasive essays using evidence drawn from texts and adding conceptual depth in math. 
    The effort became a political lightning rod, with the left opposing a new generation of standardized tests tied to the Core, and the right seeing the effort as an unwelcome intrusion into local control of schools. Some states that initially signed on to the Core later rejected it. 
    Even in those places that stuck with the effort, the curricular changes that flowed from the Common Core could be made without necessarily improving the quality of teaching, Professor Koretz said.
    He suggested a renewed focus on classroom instruction, and on providing students and families who are poor, or are recent immigrants, with support like social workers and translators. 
    The most recent PISA test was given in 2018 to 600,000 15-year-olds in 79 education systems around the world, and included both public and private school students. In the United States, a demographically representative sample of 4,800 students from 215 schools took the test, which is given every three years. 
    Although math and science were also tested, about half of the questions were devoted to reading, the focus of the 2018 exam. Students were asked to determine when written evidence supported a particular claim and to distinguish between fact and opinion, among other tasks. 
    The top performers in reading were four provinces of China — Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Also outperforming the United States were Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, Estonia, Canada, Finland and Ireland. The United Kingdom, Japan and Australia performed similarly to the United States.

    Among the countries that demonstrated improvement on the test were Portugal, Peru and Colombia. 
    There were some bright spots for the United States: Achievement gaps between native-born and immigrant students were smaller than such gaps in peer nations. 
    Mr. Schleicher, of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said it was a common misconception that socioeconomic achievement gaps in the United States were much larger than those in the rest of the world. Three percent of American children from poor families were top performers in reading, compared with an average of 4 percent of poor children among O.E.C.D. countries. 
    In math, socioeconomic status explained 16 percent of the variation in American performance, similar to the average of 14 percent across O.E.C.D. nations. 
    Mr. Schleicher said that differences in school quality affected the performance of American students less than it affected the performance of students in many other nations — meaning that in the United States, there is more achievement diversity within schools than across schools. 
    Some education leaders said they saw no reason to drastically change policy directions. 
    William G. McCallum, a mathematician and one of the lead writers of the Common Core State Standards, said he remained hopeful that a strategy of rigorous standards, quality classroom materials and effective teacher training could improve student achievement. 
    He noted that Washington, D.C., which has been committed to the Common Core, had recently demonstrated impressive performance gains
    “Frustration is understandable,” he said of low test results. But, he added, “Maybe this is just a really hard problem.”

    Dana Goldstein is a national correspondent, writing about how education policies impact families, students and teachers across the country. She is the author of “The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession.” 

    My NYT Comment:
    "When I was a child (I'm 74 years old) when we had a homework  assignment to "use the correct word" in a sentence, we had to copy the whole sentence the teacher wrote on the board into our homework notebooks; then rewrite the entire sentence with the correct word on our homework page. When my oldest son was in school in the early '70s he got a ditto sheet where he just had to fill in the correct word. This was the beginning of the dumbing down of American education. Compounding the problem is the vast funding difference between schools in poor communities and those in wealthy communities—not to speak of the financial struggles of the families themselves. It's not rocket science—education must become a priority! Schools—not jails, bombs and war—should be our priority everywhere!" —Bonnie Weinstein



    8) Seeking a New Lens to Study Same-Sex Behavior in Animals
    A team of researchers say that science has relied on a human heterosexual baseline and made faulty assumptions about sexual activity in the animal kingdom.
    By Asher Elbein, November 26, 2019
    Credit...Ronald Wittek/European Pressphoto Agency

    Male field crickets perform mating songs and dances for each other. Female Japanese macaque monkeys pair off into temporary but exclusive sexual partnerships. Pairs of male box crabs occasionally indulge in days-long marathon sex sessions.
    Comparable arrangements can be found in damselflies, Humboldt squid, garter snakes, penguins and cattle. In fact over 1,500 species across most major animal families have been observed engaging in sexual activity with individuals of the same sex. But the origins of such same-sex sexual behavior have long puzzled evolutionary biologists. How could this behavior evolve and persist in so many lineages, even when it doesn’t directly aid reproduction?
    That very question may be the wrong one to ask, a group of researchers argue in a study published last week in Nature Ecology and Evolution, seeking to flip the underlying assumptions of a whole wing of biology. 
    “The expectation has been that same-sex sexual behavior evolved in different species independently, against this default background of heterosexual sex,” says Ambika Kamath, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-author on the study. “And what we’re saying is that baseline isn’t necessarily the right baseline.”

    Instead, the researchers suggest that same-sex behavior is bound up in the very origins of animal sex. It hasn’t had to continually re-evolve: It’s always been there.
    Evolutionary biologists have long pondered same-sex behavior, often describing it as a “Darwinian paradox.” Paul Vasey, an expert on non-conceptive sexuality at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, who did not participate in the study, says one school of thought held that such behaviors weren’t primarily sexual, instead relating to dominance or grooming.
    Other researchers have suggested it persists in some species because it helps social animals maintain communities, said Max Lambert, a biologist at Berkeley and a co-author on the study. Still others suggested that examples of same-sex behavior were “practice” for reproductive sex, or even cases of mistaken identity. Most agreed that it had to have some sort of evolutionary benefit to make up for the presumed costs of nonreproductive sexual behavior.
    None of these explanations satisfied Julia Monk, a Ph.D. candidate at Yale and the study’s lead author.

    “The idea that same-sex sexual behavior had to be justified at all seemed like a perspective of dominant cultural norms rather than a more holistic view of the actual biology,” she said. “I really disagreed with some of the ways I saw that discussion framed.”

    Instead of wondering why same-sex behavior had independently evolved in so many species, Ms. Monk and her colleagues suggest that it may have been present in the oldest parts of the animal family tree. The earliest sexually reproducing animals may have mated with any other individual they came across, regardless of sex. Such reproductive strategies are still practiced today by hermaphroditic species, like snails, and species that don’t appear to differentiate, like sea urchins.
    Over time, Ms. Monk said, sexual signals evolved — different sizes, colors, anatomical features and behaviors — allowing different sexes to more accurately target each other for reproduction. But same-sex behavior continued in some organisms, leading to diverse sexual behaviors and strategies across the animal kingdom. And while same-sex behavior may grant some evolutionary benefits, an ancient origin would mean those benefits weren’t required for it to exist.
    But how has same-sex behavior stuck around? The answer may be that such behaviors aren’t as evolutionarily costly as assumed. Traditionally, Ms. Monk said, any mating behavior that doesn’t produce young is seen as a waste. But animal behavior often doesn’t fit neatly into an economic accounting of costs and benefits.
    Mating attempts between different sexes don’t always efficiently lead to offspring either, Dr. Kamath said — mating attempts can be rebuffed, conception may not occur and clutches or young may not survive. These are normal hiccups in population-level reproduction, and the team predicts that the costs of same-sex behavior aren’t likely to be any greater.
    “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that at some early stage of animal evolution mating was more indiscriminate and that this is part of the evolutionary heritage of higher animals,” Dr. Vasey said of the study. “Occasional same-sex sexual behavior is not particularly difficult to accommodate within an evolutionary framework when such behavior is performed within the larger context of different-sex sexual behavior.”
    An issue with past research in the field, Dr. Lambert said, is that unexamined cultural projections — largely by the white heterosexual men who have dominated the field — resulted in many researchers failing to accurately document what they were seeing.

    “We’re missing so many observations of sexual behaviors because the people looking at them thought that it must have been an abnormality, based on a preconceived notion of how the world should work,” Dr. Lambert said.
    While cultural ideas can affect our observations of biology, Dr. Kamath said, biology doesn’t necessarily tell us anything clear about culture. The team was careful not to draw explicit links to any aspects of human culture, including L.G.B.T.Q. communities.
    “We do not want our work to be leveraged in harmful ways and we’ve done our best to avoid that in the way that we’ve constructed the paper itself,” she said.
    Ms. Monk and her colleagues say that explicitly flipping the cultural assumptions — in this case by conducting the study with researchers who self-identify as queer, and bringing in outside disciplines like social science — can yield better research.
    “It’s important for us as scientists to recognize that while we’d love to think about what we do as objective, it might be really framed by our culture and context,” Ms. Monk said.
    There are still a lot of questions left to be answered, and the team hopes that the study will inspire more research on the prevalence of same-sex behavior across the animal kingdom and its potential costs and benefits. When it comes to opening up new avenues of research, Ms. Monk said, sometimes it’s as simple as looking at a place where people are asking “why,” and instead asking “why not?” 
    “Sometimes there’s a really exclusive view of evolutionary fitness and we can have a more inclusive view,” she said. “Variation is the baseline, and that baseline persists to this day.”



    9) Beacon High School Is Half White. That’s Why Students Walked Out.
    More than 300 students at the selective public high school, one of New York City’s most prestigious, protested its admissions policies.
    By Eliza Shapiro, December 2, 2019
    Credit...Eliza Shapiro/The New York Times

    Naia Timmons, a junior from Harlem, stood surrounded by classmates in the middle of the street outside Beacon High School as hail began to fall. 
    She shouted into a bullhorn: “I continue to recognize the privilege I had of escaping the system that many of my friends could not.” Naia identifies as black and white.
    Her classmates chanted “End Jim Crow” and “Education is a right, not just for the rich and white.” 
    Roughly 300 students walked out of Beacon on Monday to protest its high-stakes admissions process, which they said has exacerbated segregation in the nation’s largest school system. 
    The protest at Beacon, one of New York City’s most selective public schools, illustrates the widening scope of the push for school integration. It has shifted away from the narrow issue of how few black and Hispanic students are admitted to the city’s eight specialized high schools, including Stuyvesant.

    Beacon’s student population is about half white, a striking anomaly in a public school system that is nearly 70 percent black and Hispanic. Beacon is not a specialized high school — it has no admissions test — but its highly competitive admissions process requires students to assemble a portfolio of middle school work, admissions essays and high standardized test scores and grades. It is one of the most selective schools in New York: Last year, there were over 5,800 applications for 360 ninth-grade seats. 
    Beacon has a higher percentage of black and Hispanic students than Stuyvesant — about 32 percent compared to 4 percent at the specialized school — but also a higher percentage of white students, fewer Asian students and a lower percentage of students living in poverty. The school’s parent-teacher organization raised over $685,000 for the school last year, according to data released on Monday.
    Earlier this fall, thousands of parents lined up outside Beacon for hours in the rain on a Tuesday afternoon, just to get a glimpse inside the school. The application deadline for the city’s public high schools is this Friday.
    After Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to diversify schools failed this summer in the State Legislature — which controls admissions to the specialized schools — attention began to move to admissions policies in the high-profile schools that Mr. de Blasio actually oversees. Mr. de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, attended Beacon.
    The high school, in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, is now at the center of a push for large-scale desegregation that Mr. de Blasio’s administration has not endorsed.

    Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza has promised, with sweeping rhetoric, to desegregate schools, but he has not yet released any major integration policies of his own during his 18 months on the job.
    “Our schools are stronger when they reflect the diversity of our city, and we’re taking a look at our admissions processes,” said Katie O’Hanlon, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education. 
    New York relies on screened admissions policies like Beacon’s more than any other city in the country. 
    A panel commissioned by Mr. de Blasio to study desegregation policies recommended that the city not open any new screened high schools and eliminate most academic screens for middle school admissions. 
    But some families support screens for high schools in particular, and have argued that students who demonstrate academic excellence in middle school deserve to attend the city’s highest-performing high schools.
    Many of the students who gathered on Monday said they realized how much help they received during the high school admissions process only once they got to Beacon and learned that other students did not have access to private tutors, parents who edited admissions essays or schools with enough guidance counselors to successfully shepherd students through the complex system.
    “The abundance of privilege in our school is so universal that it usually goes unquestioned and unnoticed,” said Toby Paperno, a junior who is white and lives in Brooklyn.

    A number of other white students echoed that message in comments that drew cheers from the many black and Hispanic students who walked out of school.
    Carmen Lopez Villamil, a junior who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, said the focus on Beacon was intentional and meaningful.
    “Beacon is really important because if students within Beacon are saying that the system is not working, this means that even the ones who are benefiting are not having it, that this is not working for anyone,” she said. 
    Carmen, who is Hispanic and white, said she had spoken with classmates who were uncomfortable with the idea that they were at Beacon not only because of their intellect or talent but also because of their privilege.
    “You have privilege. It’s not your fault, it’s the system’s fault. But we have to work together to change that system,” Carmen said she tells her peers.
    Sadie Lee, an Asian-American Beacon sophomore who lives in Brooklyn, said she had benefited from the segregated system by getting help from her parents and her high-performing middle school during the application process.
    But Sadie also said that she sometimes felt isolated at the school, which was about 9 percent Asian last year. She had exclusively white teachers last year. Sometimes people at the school confused her with another Asian-American girl in one of her classes, she said. Sometimes she was asked where she was from and whether she spoke Chinese.

    “Racism hides itself behind our progressive facade,” Sadie said during Monday’s protest. “The fight does not end when we walk back into that building,” she added.
    The 30-minute walkout at Beacon was part of a series of protests organized by Teens Take Charge, a student-led pro-integration group that has been staging demonstrations outside public schools for the past few weeks. Monday’s walkout was the largest of those actions so far.
    Over the summer, the group organized a large protest in which hundreds of students chose to separate themselves by race on the steps of the Department of Education headquarters in Manhattan. They held a banner that read: “de Blasio’s school system.”





























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


    Posted by: Bonnie Weinstein <bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com>

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