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.





Join the International Days of Action against Sanctions and Economic War March 13-15, 2020

Sanctions Kill!

Sanctions are War!

End Sanctions Now!

Organize an event in your area against U.S. imposed sanctions! Help build a Global Movement with hundreds of actions around the world March 13-15

Help expose this war crime against people of the world.

Add your endorsement at: https://sanctionskill.org/

List events and contact info at: info@SanctionsKill.org

Sanctions Kill!

Sanctions are War!

End Sanctions Now!

Please add your endorsement and help spread the word



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

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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/



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






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:


    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






    1) They Came to Play Table Tennis. They Were Deported at Gunpoint in the Dark.Two Nigerian students, in Croatia for a sports tournament, were mistaken for undocumented migrants. They were robbed of their money and clothes and expelled to a country they had never heard of.By Patrick Kingsley, December 11, 2019https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/11/world/europe/nigerian-migrants-croatia-table-tennis.html

    Kenneth Eboh, left, and Alexandro Abia, traveled to Croatia from Nigeria to take part in a table tennis tournament.Credit...Magazin Zurnal Online, via Youtube

    VELIKA KLADUSA, Bosnia and Herzegovina — For two Nigerian competitors at a recent table tennis tournament in Croatia, losing was just about the high point of their trip. 

    Days after their defeat, the two men say they were arrested by the police, robbed of their money and clothes, and deported at gunpoint to a country they had never heard of.

    The players, Alexandro Abia and Kenneth Eboh, had been mistaken for undocumented immigrants — the latest collateral damage in an increasingly aggressive campaign by European governments to prevent a repeat of the migration crisis of 2015. 

    Even though migration has declined dramatically since then, the authorities across the Continent continue to tighten their borders, increase expulsions and, in places like Croatia, crack down violently on undocumented migrants.

    Mr. Abia, 18, and Mr. Eboh, 29, say they were not intending to settle in Europe. They are both students at the Federal University of Technology Owerri in Nigeria. They entered Croatia legally in November to participate in an international sports competition for university students in Pula, an ancient city on the Croatian coast.

    After being knocked out early in the tournament, the pair, who had tickets to fly home, say they decided to make the most of their visa by visiting Zagreb, the Croatian capital.

    On their last night, they were arrested by the police while on an evening stroll, and accused of entering the country illegally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country to Croatia's south.

    "We said: What is Bosnia?" Mr. Eboh said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. "We thought they were joking."

    But the police were very serious.. Officers refused to let the two men fetch their passports from their hotel. The next day, the police drove them to a forest next to the Bosnian border, forcing them at gunpoint to walk south into Bosnia alongside a group of Pakistanis, Mr. Eboh said.

    "They said: 'You go Bosnia, go, go,'" said Mr. Eboh. "I said: 'Go where? I'm not from Bosnia.' But he brought up his gun and said he would shoot me."

    The Croatian Interior Ministry has disputed the accounts of the two men, calling them contradictory and inaccurate. To support its case, the ministry cited news reports saying the Nigerians were abused and expelled on Nov. 17, but the police have said they checked out of their hostel on Nov. 18. 

    "The police have no record of them exiting the Republic of Croatia legally, nor have the police officers working on combating irregular migration taken any action towards persons with their first and last name," the Interior Ministry said in an email on Thursday. 

    But the International Organization for Migration, a United Nations department that gave assistance to the Nigerians in Bosnia, reviewed the men's documents and confirmed that their Croatian visas were valid until Dec. 3 — meaning they were in the country legally when they were deported. Records provided by the tournament organizers show they both participated in the table tennis competition. 

    The incident has highlighted the often violent ways with which European governments have sought to avoid a repeat of the European migration crisis in 2015, when more than a million people made it to Europe without a visa.

    Most traveled from Turkey to Greece, before heading to northern Europe via Hungary.

    But a deal between the European Union and Turkey has persuaded Turkish officials to make it harder to reach Greece. In turn, Greece has placed greater restrictions on those hoping to leave its northern borders.

    With Hungary erecting a fence along its border with Serbia, the primary migration trail north has shifted westward, through Bosnia and Croatia.

    And to throttle movement still further, the Croatian government has employed a policy of violent nighttime deportations, seizing many migrants suspected of entering the country from Bosnia and forcing them back across the border without letting them apply for asylum.

    In interviews in Bosnia this week with dozens of migrants, residents and aid workers, a consistent picture has emerged of migrants being beaten, robbed by the police and deported without due process from Croatia to Bosnia.

    "Whenever we ask anyone what happens, everyone says the same," said Semra Okanovic, a Bosnian government doctor who works with Doctors Without Borders, a medical aid group, to treat wounded migrants in northern Bosnia. "They get beaten, their telephones broken, their money stolen. Some of them have their arms broken. Some say their clothes are stolen and pushed in the river."

    A third Nigerian, Sunday Awojobi, interviewed in northern Bosnia on Wednesday, said he had been deported in a similar fashion to the two table tennis players.

    Mr. Awojobi had a visa valid until March 2020, and a stamp in his passport showed that he had entered Croatia legally on Nov. 9.

    After an international outcry about their fate, the two table tennis players have been confined inside a government-run center in Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, while the Bosnian and Croatian governments debate who should take responsibility for them.

    Their mobile phones were confiscated, meaning they can only be contacted by the center's landline.

    "We have been locked up and it's not fair — we are human beings," said Mr. Eboh.

    Mr. Abia added, "You have to take us away from here."



    2) Women Have Always Had Abortions

    By Lauren MacIvor, December 13, 2019


    Over the course of American history, women of all classes, races, ages and statuses have ended their pregnancies, both before there were any laws about abortion and after a raft of 19th-century laws restricted it. Our ignorance of this history, however, equips those in the anti-abortion movement with the power to create dangerous narratives. They peddle myths about the past where wayward women sought abortions out of desperation, pathetic victims of predatory abortionists. They wrongly argue that we have long thought about fetuses as people with rights. And they improperly frame Roe v. Wade as an anomaly, saying it liberalized a practice that Americans had always opposed.

    But the historical record shows a far different set of conclusions.

    In the 17th and 18th centuries, abortion was legal under common law before "quickening," or when the pregnant woman could feel the fetus move, beginning around 16 weeks. The birth rate steadily dropped in the decades after the American Revolution, as couples sought to control the size of their families for a variety of reasons.

    Abortion in the early stages of a pregnancy was common and generally not considered immoral or murderous. Along with breastfeeding, abstinence, the use of the rhythm method, vaginal douching and the use of herbs like pennyroyal or savin, which were believed to stimulate menstruation, abortion was considered part of the universe of what we now call "birth control." By the 1820s, abortion services and contraceptive devices were advertised in newspapers with coded language.

    Although 19th-century contraceptive and abortion practices were largely unregulated and often dangerous, the ubiquity of the advertisements indicates just how necessary women found them. They also talked about family planning in private diaries and letters, as well as in public lectures and tracts, using different words, of course. But the conversations were omnipresent.

    Most women's rights activists in the 1800s did not openly embrace contraceptives or abortion as part of their national platform. They knew that doing so would have increased men's sexual access to women, while allowing them to escape responsibility for any consequences. Instead, reformers promoted "voluntary motherhood," the right of women to refuse their husbands' sexual demands and the right to bear children only when they felt ready. Reformers knew that women's right to bodily integrity, above even the right to vote, was the key to truly becoming full citizens.

    Beginning in the 1850s, however, the crusade against abortion began in earnest. Physicians, in trying to persuade legislators to criminalize abortion and birth control, sought to solidify their professional expertise. In an era where American medicine was rife with "irregular" and untrained practitioners, many viewed anti-abortion reform as the key to improving the public's perceptions of physicians and establishing their place as respected members of society.

    Some of their arguments focused on the "rights of the unborn," a view at odds with much of public sentiment at the time, and also with the Supreme Court. It ruled in Dietrich v. Northampton that fetuses who died before they could live separate from their mother were not persons as recognized by the courts. Additionally, physicians were worried about the threat of "race suicide" if white, native-born women continued to shirk their motherly duties.

    Even the Journal of the American Medical Association noted, "the means employed to prevent conception, and the practice of criminal abortion, are not committed by the Jews and Catholics to anything like the degree that they obtain among the Protestants." American physicians drew on nativist and anti-immigrant fears to argue that the "ignorant, the low-lived and the alien" would outbreed good, Protestant Americans and destroy the nation.

    By 1900 most states had passed laws restricting abortion or contraception. The Comstock law, passed in 1873, had also classified contraception and abortion information and advertising as legal obscenity for much of the next century. This law banned the mailing of "obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy" material through the Postal Service. That meant that advertising abortifacients, abortion services or contraceptives could land people in prison or saddle them with high fines. Of course, women still sought to control their fertility. Information and devices to control reproduction simply became harder to obtain and were shrouded in shame and secrecy, increasing the danger to women who sought underground methods.

    And seek underground methods they did. Medical journals during this era were full of carefully recorded cases involving descriptions of women's perforated and infected uteruses, and the grim and often fatal consequences of chemical douches and injections.

    In the late 1920s, the Children's Bureau found that illegal abortions accounted for at least 11 percent of all maternal deaths. By the 1930s, one physician estimated that there were at least 681,000 abortions per year in the United States, resulting in the deaths of 8,000 to 10,000 women.

    The Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade allowed women to choose to have an abortion under some circumstances. The decision stated that during the first trimester of pregnancy, a state could not restrict abortion access, merely legalizing what had been happening all along. In the years after the ruling, the number of legal abortions increased to over one million procedures per year. The mortality rate dropped significantly, from about 70 patient deaths per 100,000 cases before the ruling to 1.3 after the decision. It has now become statistically safer to obtain an abortion in the United States than it is to undergo pregnancy or give birth.

    Scholars have worked tirelessly to uncover this long history and make sense of it. Nevertheless, false histories of abortion dominate contemporary politics, selling Americans on a past that never existed and creating the possibility of a future that has no precedent. It is a world where somehow no one will ever try to end her pregnancy. But it's worth taking a close look at the historical record because it tells us one thing over and over and over. Regardless of whether abortion was legal, or how many people believed fetuses had rights or what physicians thought or anything else really, women have always had abortions.

    Lauren MacIvor Thompson, a historian at Georgia State University, is the author of the forthcoming "Battle for Birth Control: Mary Dennett, Margaret Sanger and the Rivalry That Shaped a Movement."



    3) Our Future Depends on the Arctic

    Save it from the ravages of warming and we can save the planet.

    By Durwood J. Zaelke and 

    MADRID — Delegates from nearly every nation spent the last two weeks here at a United Nations climate summit struggling to chart a course to meet the extraordinarily difficult goal of net zero emissions of carbon dioxide by the year 2050. 

    Yet long before then, the effects of global warming could spin out of control. As the United Nations' secretary general, António Guterres, warned in opening the meeting: "The point of no return is no longer over the horizon. It is in sight and hurtling toward us." 

    Perhaps nowhere is that more true than in the Arctic. The surface air there is warming at twice the global rate and temperatures over the past five years have exceeded all previous records since 1900. This past week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the extent of Arctic summer sea ice was at its second lowest point since satellite observations began in 1979, and that average temperatures for the year ending in September were the second highest since 1900, when record-keeping began.

    What will this mean? A study published in Geophysical Research Letters in June described the catastrophic consequences of losing the Arctic's reflective summer sea ice. The ice is a great white shield that reflects incoming solar warming back to space during the long summer days of the midnight sun. Otherwise, it would be absorbed by the ocean. Losing this ice, the study explained, would be the warming equivalent of an extra 25 years of emissions at current rates, pushing us more quickly past the threshold of warming that scientists say could lead to catastrophic damage, from more intense heat waves and coastal flooding to extinctions of species and threats to food supplies.

    The heating up of the Arctic is also speeding the thawing of permafrost, causing the release of more carbon dioxide and methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide when measured over 20 years, along with nitrous oxide, a powerful long-lived climate pollutant.

    The world needs an all-out effort to keep the Arctic ice strong. This requires cutting emissions of carbon dioxide, of course, but also attacking short-lived climate pollutants — especially black carbon, methane and tropospheric ozone. Another one, hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants, are now being phased down under an international agreement, the Montreal Protocol.

    Targeting these short-term superpollutants for aggressive reduction — which, according to one study, could avoid twice as much warming by midcentury as aggressive reductions in carbon dioxide — would have a pronounced effect in the Arctic, with the potential to cut the rate of warming there by up to two-thirds..

    California has shown the world how to reduce these pollutants. The state has cut black carbon emissions by more than 90 percent since the 1960s, primarily by reducing diesel emissions. California has also imposed the nation's strongest standard for limiting methane emissions from landfills and strict regulations on refrigerants in air-conditioners and consumer products.

    Other countries can build on California's success by including plans to reduce these short-lived climate pollutants in updates to their national commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, due next year under the Paris climate agreement.

    The race to maintain the Arctic's stabilizing role in the global climate means, in addition, that we need to put geoengineering into the policy mix, despite its hazards, moral or otherwise. This should start with "soft" geoengineering that can be carefully monitored as it is scaling up, and reversed if side effects become too troubling. 

    One example, developed by the nonprofit group Ice911, would be to cover thin, first-year ice with a type of white sand to enhance the reflectivity of the sun's radiation and allow the ice to grow stronger. We should start field-testing this strategy immediately.

    A riskier approach would be to introduce sulfates or other particles into the atmosphere to reflect solar radiation, mimicking the temperature-reducing effect of volcanic eruptions. We don't know enough yet to employ this idea. 

    But we've reached the point where we need to understand whether it would be effective, while developing a strong governance system to manage it.. The risk of losing the Arctic's stabilizing function for the global climate now appears far greater than the risk of experimenting with geoengineering. 

    Save the Arctic, and we'll have a chance to save the climate.



    4) The Decade in Retirement: Wealthy Americans Moved Further Ahead

    Prospects for most Americans' retirement security haven't improved. For affluent households, however, the odds of a successful retirement have gotten much better.

    "....the average balance for plan participants with incomes over $150,000 in 2018 was $193,130, compared with just $22,679 for workers with income of $30,000 to $50,000 ...58 percent of white households owned retirement accounts in 2016, compared with just 33.6 percent of black households and 27.8 percent of Latino households"

    By Mark Miller, December 14, 2019


    Sam Kalda

    Retirement in America has become a tale of two very different realities in the decade now drawing to a close.

    In 2010, the economy was just beginning to recover from the worst recession and financial crisis in recent memory. The unemployment rate was high, the stock market was coming back and millions of workers were worried that their retirement plans were ruined.

    Since then, a robust economic rebound has put some Americans back on solid footing for retirement, but progress has been uneven. Despite the gains made in employment, wage growth has only recently begun to recover — and remained flat for older workers. Retirement wealth has accumulated almost exclusively among higher-income households, while middle- and lower-income households have only held steady or lost ground, Federal Reserve data shows.

    Trends in Social Security and Medicare also are troubling. The value of Social Security benefits — measured by the share of pre-retirement income they replace — is falling, and the cost of Medicare is rising.

    For members of the baby boomer and Gen X generations, the odds of success are mixed. The Employee Benefit Research Institute has developed a model that simulates the percentage of households likely to have adequate resources to meet retirement expenses, considering household savings, home equity and income from Social Security and pensions.

    The model shows that the highest-income households have seen their odds of a successful retirement improve sharply during this decade, and have very high odds of success. Middle-income households, meanwhile, have seen some gains, but still have only 50-50 odds of success. And the lowest-income households have seen their retirement prospects diminish sharply — among these boomers approaching retirement, their odds of success have fallen during the decade from 26 percent to 11 percent.

    "Retirement prospects improved significantly for higher-income workers who were fortunate enough to work for employers that sponsor retirement plans," says Jack VanDerhei, the organization's research director.

    Let's consider how the retirement landscape has changed during the decade now ending. 

    The stock market bottomed out in March 2009 — and it has more than quadrupled since then. Most retirement savers did not abandon equity markets during the crash, says Jean Young, senior research associate with the Vanguard Center for Investor Research. "Some did, but the vast majority stayed the course."

    But the recovery has seen retirement wealth accumulate almost exclusively among affluent households that had access to workplace retirement plans and the means to make contributions. For example, Vanguard reports that the average balance for plan participants with incomes over $150,000 in 2018 was $193,130, compared with just $22,679 for workers with income of $30,000 to $50,000.

    Just 52 percent of American households owned retirement accounts in 2016, according to Federal Reserve data, not much changed from 2010, when that figure stood at 50 percent. Racial gaps in account ownership are especially pronounced — 58 percent of white households owned retirement accounts in 2016, compared with just 33.6 percent of black households and 27.8 percent of Latino households.

    Federal efforts to expand the availability of retirement accounts foundered during the decade. During the Obama administration, Congress refused to enact a system of mandatory auto-enroll I.R.A.s that President Barack Obama had proposed for workers lacking access to workplace plans; since then, 10 states have enacted similar plans of their own and several have launched.

    Among households that had workplace retirement plans, the gains have been substantial. Average account balances jumped 22 percent from 2006 to 2018, according to Vanguard data.

    More workers are contributing to plans as a result of widespread adoption by plan sponsors of automatic enrollment features. Equally important has been a major shift toward the use of target date funds, which add a level of professional management by automating asset allocation between equities and fixed income, adjusting the mix as retirement approaches. Last year, 52 percent of participants were using a target date fund, up from 13 percent in 2008, according to Vanguard — a figure the company expects to reach 70 percent in 2023.

    Workers who lost their jobs in the recession often lost not only their incomes, but also their health insurance. Older jobless people who were not yet eligible for Medicare were at the mercy of the individual insurance market, where the likelihood of pre-existing conditions meant that they paid much higher premiums — and higher deductibles — if they could find coverage at all.

    But the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 changed that, and the number of pre-Medicare older Americans without health insurance has dropped during the decade.

    This year, 9.4 percent of adults ages 50 to 64 were uninsured, a decline from 14 percent in 2010, according to the Commonwealth Fund. The decline would have been much greater if 14 states had not rejected the law's Medicaid expansion, according to Commonwealth — in states that expanded, the rate for this age group has fallen to 6.4 percent.

    "People in that age group have much better protection now," says Sara Collins, vice president for health care coverage and access at Commonwealth. "If they have to leave a job, or elect to leave to do something different as they approach age 60, they can buy a policy in the individual market — that used to be quite risky and often out of reach due to pre-existing conditions."

    In Medicare, the decade has been marked by sharp increases in enrollment and federal spending — and privatization..

    This year, 61 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare, 33 percent more than in 2010. Program spending will be $749 billion, up 47 percent compared with 2010. And an aging population means there are just 2.9 workers contributing to the system for every Medicare enrollee this year, down from 3.4 in 2010, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of Medicare data.

    The standard premium for Part B (which covers outpatient services) in 2020 will be $144.60 — 31 percent higher than it was in 2010. And Medicare's trustees project annual increases of nearly 6 percent over the coming decade.

    "The numbers speak to an underlying question and challenge that we have yet to embrace: How will we pay for a growing and aging population?" says Tricia Neuman, director of Kaiser's program on Medicare policy.

    Another striking trend has been the growth of privately offered Medicare Advantage plans, the all-in-one managed care alternative to original fee-for-service Medicare. This year, 34 percent of enrollees are in Medicare Advantage plans, up from 24 percent in 2010, according to Kaiser.

    The growth comes despite studies that raise doubts about Advantage plans. For example, a report last year by federal investigators found a pattern of inappropriate denial of patient claims; other studies have questioned their quality of care. And this week, a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General raised concerns that Advantage plans were overbilling the program by improperly adding conditions to patient records.

    "The growing role of private plans — Medicare H.M.O.s and PPOs — stands out as perhaps the most significant change to Medicare over the past decade," Ms. Neuman said. "This growth has occurred without an explicit policy debate or major change in policy."

    The last decade of work is especially important for any retirement plan — it's the time when many workers enjoy peak earnings. In some cases, working longer helps people increase Social Security income by claiming benefits later, and by adding to savings.

    But the surge in joblessness during the recession damaged the retirement prospects of millions of older Americans — and many have not recovered.

    Unemployment for workers age 55 and older soared to a peak of 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2010 from 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2007, according to the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School. But a broader measure of unemployment tracked by the center that includes people who were underemployed or had given up looking for jobs peaked at a much higher level: 14.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011.

    The economic recovery has pushed those figures down dramatically — unemployment for workers 55 and older was 2.6 percent in the third quarter this year, and the broader unemployment measure that includes discouraged workers stood at 5.5 percent.

    Older workers also are having an easier time regaining employment now than during the recession. The typical unemployed person over age 55 needed 21 weeks to find a new job during the third quarter this year — far less than at the peak of the recession, when they needed 35 weeks.

    Despite this improvement, median weekly earnings of full-time workers age 55 to 64 have not risen appreciably during the recovery, standing at $872 during the third quarter of 2019, compared with $861 in the third quarter of 2008, adjusted for inflation, according to Census Bureau data.

    And for many workers who lost a job in the recession, the damage was permanent, says Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist and the center's director. "People who were 55 or older during the recession have never quite recovered — they are far behind in building up wealth again, and when they did find another job, it probably paid much less than they were earning before the recession."

    For most Americans, homeownership is a crucial part of retirement security. "Retirement accounts are one of the important ways people save for retirement — and the other is paying off the mortgage in retirement," says Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

    But homeownership rates for older Americans have fallen sharply since the recession, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. And an already-substantial racial gap in ownership rates has widened significantly during the economic recovery — for example, ownership rates for black households age 50 to 64 fell to 54 percent in 2018 from 62 percent in 2004.

    The ownership trends are worrisome because homeowners can tap the equity in their homes by borrowing against it or by downsizing. Moreover, owners enjoy greater housing security and more predictable housing costs than do renters.

    The researchers at Harvard also found that a growing share of older households are carrying mortgage debt, or that they are burdened by their housing costs — which the center defines as paying more than half of income for housing.

    "Many of the indicators have not improved since the recession — and in fact many have become more negative," says Jennifer Molinsky, a senior research associate at the center.

    Social Security remains the linchpin of retirement security for most Americans 10 years after the crash — but the value of benefits has fallen during this decade, and will fall further in the years ahead.

    That has nothing to do with economic cycles. Changes enacted in 1983 are gradually pushing up the program's full retirement age — that is, the age when claiming gets you 100 percent of your earned benefit. That age is gradually increasing to 67 for workers born in 1960 or later.

    A higher retirement age acts as a benefit cut, since it raises the bar for receiving full benefits. Net benefits are shrinking further because of rising Medicare Part B premiums, which typically are deducted from benefits. What's more, a rising number of Social Security claimants owe income taxes on at least part of their benefits. The Center for Retirement Research calculates that an average earner retiring at age 65 could expect to replace 37 percent of pre-retirement income in 2010; that dropped to 35 percent in 2018 and will fall to 29 percent in 2035.



    5) For Scotland and Northern Ireland, a Weakening of Ties

    Both strongly opposed Boris Johnson's Brexit plan. With that now a certainty, independence is in the air, particularly in Scotland.

    By Ceylan Yeginsu and Stephen Castle, December,15, 2019


    Supporters of the Scottish National Party celebrated election results in Glasgow, Scotland, on Thursday.Credit...Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

    LONDON — While voters across England embraced Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party, it was a different story in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where Thursday's electoral earthquake has strained the ties that bind the United Kingdom and increased the risk of its eventual breakup. 

    In Scotland a constitutional crisis looms after the dominant Scottish National Party made significant gains, winning 48 of 59 seats, and said it would press its demands for a second independence referendum — something that Mr. Johnson has already rejected.

    The background in Northern Ireland is more complicated. But for the first time in its history, the territory elected more nationalist members of Parliament, who support reunification with the Republic of Ireland, than unionists, who wish to remain a part of the United Kingdom..

    Though the situations are quite different in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the common thread is Brexit, a project supported by English and Welsh voters but opposed by majorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

    "Brexit has completely transformed the debate in Northern Ireland," said Daniel Keohane, an Irish political analyst. "Before Brexit, no one seriously thought a united Ireland would happen anytime soon. Now it's a very real prospect based on these results."

    In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister, who leads the anti-Brexit Scottish National Party, said that it was "now clear beyond any doubt that an overwhelming majority of people in Scotland do want to remain in the European Union." Then she demanded a repeat of the 2014 referendum in which Scots voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

    This was, she added, an "assertion of the democratic right of the people of Scotland to determine our own future."

    Such claims are unlikely to move Mr. Johnson, putting him and Ms. Sturgeon on a collision course. On Friday after a phone call between the two leaders, Mr. Johnson issued a statement saying that he had made clear to Ms. Sturgeon how he "remained opposed to a second independence referendum," adding that the result of the 2014 vote "was decisive and should be respected."

    But the reality is that the politics of England and Scotland seem to be diverging. So while Mr. Johnson's Conservatives won a landslide overall, they lost seven of their 13 Scottish seats despite their hopes that campaigning against Scottish independence might save them.

    The main British opposition party, Labour, which once dominated Scottish politics, now holds just one seat there.

    Removal from the European Union against its will is likely to feed a sense of resentment in Scotland, especially if Mr. Johnson's Brexit plan proves as economically harmful as many expect.

    In Northern Ireland it was a sobering night for the party that had championed Brexit there, the hard line Democratic Unionist Party. Its leader, Nigel Dodds, lost his parliament seat in Belfast North.

    The Democratic Unionist Party had propped up the minority Conservative government since 2017, and ultimately felt betrayed when Mr. Johnson struck a new Brexit deal that leaves Northern Ireland linked closely to the European Union's customs market, effectively severing it economically from the rest of the United Kingdom and putting a new border in the Irish Sea. 

    But an even more striking shift in Northern Ireland's political trajectory, analysts say, is the startling support won by the centralist Alliance Party, which gained 8.8 percentage points in Thursday's general election, more than any other party.

    Unlike the territory's main unionist and nationalist political parties, whose policies are mainly defined by sectarianism, the Alliance Party is neutral and has come to represent progressive and moderate politics across all communities.

    "The real story of the night is the Alliance Party in the middle, which is now our third-largest party," said Newton Emerson, a political commentator in Northern Ireland, who describes himself as a "liberal unionist." "The big change we have seen in Northern Ireland is that we now have a three-community system."

    He said the troubled governance system created by the Good Friday Agreement, the 1998 pact that halted decades of sectarian strife in Northern Ireland, "now has a third leg on the stool."

    Frustrated by the political deadlock between unionists and nationalists that led to the collapse of the region's governing assembly more than three years ago, many voters supported the Alliance Party, hoping that an electoral sting for the main parties would force them to revive the local power-sharing government.

    "The political paralysis has had great consequences," said Marie Kelly, a trainee nurse, who voted for the Alliance Party in Belfast. "Our health system is collapsing, we just don't have the resources and deprived areas are suffering so so badly."

    Ms. Kelly, who previously voted for the Democratic Unionist Party, said she had wanted to punish it for focusing on Brexit alone and ignoring other important problems. "We need a more neutral political representation that prioritizes issues over ideologies."

    Stephen Farry, the deputy leader of the Alliance Party, who won in the Belfast constituency of North Down that the Democratic Unionists had been favored to win, said his victory was tied to the values of "moderation, rationalism and inclusion."

    The biggest disappointment in the election was felt by unionists and loyalists who vehemently oppose Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new Brexit deal.

    The unionists view the deal as a betrayal because it would require checks on goods flowing across the Irish Sea, effectively cleaving Northern Ireland economically from the rest of the United Kingdom.

    "The poll clearly creates the expectation that Boris Johnson will try to force the Betrayal Act through Parliament," said Jamie Bryson, a prominent unionist activist who is challenging the Brexit agreement in court. "The unionist-loyalist community have been clear. An economic United Ireland will never be tolerated.."

    Senior members of the community insist that the deal breaches the consent mechanism of the Good Friday Agreement, which eased the legacy of bitterness between Protestant unionists and the Catholic republicans, who want Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic of Ireland. The new Brexit arrangement, they say, threatens to inflame sectarian tensions.

    "If the political process has been exhausted then potentially, we could face some very dark days ahead," Mr. Bryson said. "And that's obviously something everyone wants to avoid."

    Mr. Keohane says it is understandable that unionists are upset about the customs arrangement because it will be more intrusive than most people wanted, but at the same time he said it is hard to imagine them attacking their own state.

    "Of course, there will be some loyalists who will make a lot of noise about it. I don't blame unionists for being upset," Mr. Keohane said. "they have been betrayed by Boris Johnson, it's as simple as that."



    6) $625,000 Settlement for Woman Whose Child Was Torn From Her Arms

    Jazmine Headley sued over a confrontation with New York City workers that was captured in a widely seen video.

    By Nikita Stewart. December 13. 2019


    Jazmine Headley was arrested at a public benefits office in Brooklyn in December 2018. The charges were later dropped.Credit.....Sara Naomi Lewkowicz for The New York Times

    The video spread quickly online: Security guards and police officers pry a baby boy from his mother's arms as she lies on the floor of a public benefits office in Brooklyn. 

    "They're hurting my son!" the mother, Jazmine Headley, can be heard crying as she struggles to hold onto the boy while the officers try to arrest her. "They're hurting my son!" 

    The episode, in December 2018, touched a nerve, capturing what New Yorkers who rely on public benefits say is the uncaring and even hostile treatment they often get from city workers who themselves feel pressure to follow rules. 

    The charges against Ms. Headley were ultimately dropped. Her public benefits, which had been stripped, were restored, and Mayor Bill de Blasio apologized to her publicly. Nonetheless, saying she was standing up for herself and others in similar circumstances, she filed a federal lawsuit against the city.

    On Friday, the de Blasio administration said that it would pay $625,000 to settle the suit.

    "Ms. Headley came to the city seeking help, and we failed to treat her with the dignity and respect she deserved," Olivia Lapeyrolerie, a spokeswoman for Mr.. de Blasio, said in a statement. "While this injustice should have never happened, it forced a reckoning with how we treat our most vulnerable." 

    In February, Ms. Headley, 24, testified tearfully about her experience before the City Council in support of a package of bills meant to improve how city employees, especially security guards, interact with those seeking public benefits. 

    "From Day 1, Ms. Headley insisted that this incident was not just about her, but about the dignity of every young woman of color raising her family with immense love and hard work, in a difficult world," her lawyer, Katie Rosenfeld, said. 

    The city's most notable moves in the wake of the episode involving Ms. Headley included the introduction of mandatory training in how to de-escalate tensions for the security guards who work in the city's public benefits offices. Twenty-two security guards at the city's welfare agency resigned or were fired..

    Ms. Headley with her son, Damone Buckman III..Credit...Jacqueline Jenkins

    The Department of Social Services established an Office of Constituent Services to handle complaints from benefits recipients. The agency is now required to issue quarterly reports on use-of-force incidents. And within a few weeks, security guards will begin wearing body cameras that will capture their encounters with the public.

    "The steps that we said we would take that would mitigate the horrible things that happened to Ms. Headley have been taken," Steven Banks, the social services commissioner, said in an interview on Friday.

    Ms. Headley had taken the day off from her job cleaning offices on Dec. 8, 2018, to go to a public benefits office in Boerum Hill. She wanted to find out why the city had abruptly stopped paying for day care for her son, who was 1 at the time.

    Unable to find a seat in the office's crowded waiting room after about three hours, Ms. Headley sat on the floor next to her son's stroller. When security guards told her to leave, she asked to speak with a supervisor. 

    When she walked away from the guards, they and police officers who had been called in grabbed her. She was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child, obstructing governmental administration and trespassing.

    "By the end of the day, Ms. Headley had been humiliated, assaulted, physically injured, threatened with a Taser, brutally separated from her son, handcuffed, arrested, and jailed — all by employees of the City of New York," her lawsuit said, noting that the guards and police officers should have been trained in how to defuse such situations. 

    Mr.. Banks acknowledged that there was more to be done to cut down the long lines in benefits offices that can fuel tensions between city workers and those who depend on public assistance.

    Advocates for benefits recipients agreed. 

    "Have we heard of another incident like the one that occurred with Jazmine Headley?" said Craig Hughes, a supervising social worker at the Urban Justice Center. "No, not that we know of. But I can say it continues to be a frustrating, time-sucking and sometimes traumatizing experience." 

    Linda Tavares, 28, said she had visited a Bronx office in November where more than 100 people were waiting to be seen. She said she was told to leave and return two weeks later.

    Ms. Tavares, who works in cleaning and maintenance, said that the security guards were friendly, but that she still felt mistreated because of the wait and chaos. She said she was seeking cash public assistance because she was in danger of being evicted. 

    "I don't really have anyone to help me," she said in Spanish, speaking through an interpreter. "They should have more people staffed there." 

    Mr. Banks said he wanted to make it possible for people like Ms.. Tavares to be able to get access to services without having to go to an office and wait. 

    "That," he said, "will ultimately be the lasting impact of what happened to Ms. Headley."



    7) Young Black People Are Killing Themselves

    The numbers are shocking.

    By Inger E. Burnett-Ziegler, December 16, 2019


    Getty Images

    I recently took a panicked call from a friend who'd just received a text from his 22-year-old bro