12/07/2019

bauaw2003 BAUAW NEWSLETTER, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2019

 

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Howard Zinn Book Fair


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

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

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

https://howardzinnbookfair.com/

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

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

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

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/22/rebuilding-a-revolutionary-left-in-the-usa/

The book has a facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/pg/yousayyouwantarevolution/posts/






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Sunday, December 15, Noon 

Codepink GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE PEACE WALK 
(Note:  No Marin side contingent this month)

What's Your New Year's Wishes for 2020?
DSC00223 3.jpeg
January 2019:   This banner is coming to the bridge too!

We invite everyone to bring a sign with one of your wishes for the New Year, in the spirit of the season and to "walk the walk" with us for a better world during this holiday season.  "Peace on Earth" is not just a 3 word phrase:  It takes work and commitment! 

Some signs that others are bringing to the bridge on Dec. 15th:

2020 WISH:  END WAR for CLIMATE JUSTICE

2020 WISH:  A Livable Planet for my Grandchildren's Grandchildren.

2020 WISH:  Single Payer Healthcare Justice!

2020 WISH:  World Wide GENERAL STRIKE!

2020 WISH:  END CORPORATE CONTROL! 

2020 WISH:  Plant a billion trees; Plant a billion Acres of Hemp

2020 WISH:  IMMEDIATE ACTION for CLIMATE JUSTICE

Will You Bring one of Your 2020 WISHES and JOIN US?

We'll also have a half page flyer:  Listing our wishes and how we want the grotesque military budget drastically cut and our taxes redirected to programs of social worth and environmental benefit that best serve our communities and our planet.

 11:45 am:  Gather on the SF side of the eastern walkway of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Parking available on southeast and southwest corners,  just remember to take the last exit on hwy 101, northbound, as you approach the bridge, or, southbound, take the first exit after you leave the bridge.  Arrive very early for best parking, or carpool.

Noon:  Walk begins this month only on the eastern walkway from the south side.  Short, silent vigil in the middle.  Then return to the SF side bridge plaza for our rally.

1:00 pm:  Rally on SF side after the bridge walk.
  
Hope you can join us!
Renay, Martha, Susan, Nancy K., Carol, Paul, Michael, Laura, Fred & Toby

BE GREEN AND CARPOOL
See http://tripplanner.transit.511.org for public transit options.
Golden Gate Transit Buses 10, 70, 80
and SF Muni Bus 28 stop at the bridge (SF side).

FMI & carpooling:  Toby, 510-215-5974  
to unsubscribe from this list http://lists.riseup.net/www/sigrequest/bayareacodepinkaction




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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.

Related

https://blacklivesmatteratschool.com/2019/10/15/save-the-date-black-lives-matter-at-school-week-feb-3-7-2020/









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"If Venezuela goes down, we all go down." 

- Roberto Vargas, Nicaraguan poet 


No country in the Americas is more cruelly targeted by the Trump regime than Venezuela. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been lost due to blocked oil sales, seized (stolen) assets including gold reserves, and lost productivity due to sabotaged infrastructure and lack of spare parts. Lack of foreign exchange and blocked trade due to illegal US sanctions have caused shortages in food and medicine. An authoritative study estimated that in 2017-2018 over 40,000 people died from lack of medicine and health care directly linked to sanctions. 

Alliance for Global Justice has been a leader of the solidarity movement since former President Hugo Chavez launched the Bolivarian Revolution after his 2006 democratic election. AFGJ founded the Venezuela Solidarity Network (2007-2010) and the Venezuela Strategy Group (2014-present). We host a monthly Webinar to help counter the disinformation that is even propagated by the so-called progressive press. We have authored sign-on letters and urgent alerts and are acting as fiscal sponsor to the End Sanctions Working Group, the Embassy Protectors Defense Committee, and the Manitos Children's Fund. 

In the face of implacable hostility from our government, rapacious greed for Venezuela's oil by the corporate oligarchy, and sectarian slanders from segments of the Left, AFGJ has stood strong and firm against US imperialism and in support of Venezuela's sovereignty and right of self-determination. 

Please help us continue to struggle in solidarity with our Venezuelan sisters and brothers by making a tax-deductible donation today. 

DONATE NOW

  

Contact Us

Alliance for Global Justice

225 E 26th St Ste 1


Tucson, Arizona 85713-2925

202-540-8336

afgj@afgj.org

Follow Us 

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Federal Executions Put On Hold




Late last night, a U.S. district judge halted four federal executions scheduled for this December and January — the first executions by the federal government set to take place in 16 years. Of course, this is welcome news and an answer to our prayers.

The court's decision, although subject to appeal, prevents the federal government from resuming the practice of executing its citizens and perpetuating a culture of death.

Find more information here:

At the moment, CMN is working to determine next steps to ensure the 16-year hiatus from federal executions becomes permanent. 

Please join me in holding in prayer all those who sit on federal death row, the victims of the crimes which put them there, and the members of our federal government with the power to choose hope over death.

In solidarity,


Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy
Executive Director

  

Contact Us

Catholic Mobilizing Network


415 Michigan Ave. NE, Suite 210


Washington, DC 20017

(202) 541-5290

Having trouble viewing this email? 






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

https://www.change.org/p/san-quentin-warden-ronald-davis-stop-kevin-cooper-s-abuse-by-san-quentin-prison-guards-2ace89a7-a13e-44ab-b70c-c18acbbfeb59?recruiter=747387046&recruited_by_id=3ea6ecd0-69ba-11e7-b7ef-51d8e2da53ef&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=petition_dashboard&use_react=false


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



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

US ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR

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

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/sign-global-petition-to-dismiss-charges-against-anti-nuclear-plowshares-activists-facing-25-years?source=direct_link&




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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!


Miigwech

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/




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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.


Doksha,

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.


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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..



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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 ...





COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT!

484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559


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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.

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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!

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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.

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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


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Board Game

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/race-for-solidarity


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



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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]."


Furthermore:


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...



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50 years in prison: 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!


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,

CSP-LAC

P.O. Box 4490

B-4-150

Lancaster, CA 93539


--

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



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One Democratic State of Palestine

https://odspal.net



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

https://odspal.....net/call-for-a-palestine-liberation-movement/






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**


HTTPS://ODSPAL..NET/CALL-FOR-A-PALESTINE-LIBERATION-MOVEMENT/

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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. 

http://chng.it/Yprs8pXBBp


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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


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Celebrating the release of Janet and Janine Africa

Take action now to support Jalil A. Muntaqim's release





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


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


http://freedomarchives.org/Support.Jalil/Campaign.html

Write:

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:

ANTHONY JALIL BOTTOM, 77A4283,

Sullivan Correctional Facility,

P.O. Box 116,

Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116




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Funds for Kevin Cooper

https://www.gofundme..com/funds-for-kevin-cooper?member=1994108


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!






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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/

https://internal.diem25.org/en/petitions/1


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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..]

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/01/magazine/lordstown-general-motors-plant.html


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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

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MAJOR TILLERY FILES NEW LEGAL PETITION

SEX FOR LIES AND

MANUFACTURED TESTIMONY

April 25, 2018-- The arrest of two young men in Starbucks for the crime of "sitting while black," and the four years prison sentence to rapper Meek Mill for a minor parole violation are racist outrages in Philadelphia, PA that made national news in the past weeks. Yesterday Meek Mills was released on bail after a high profile defense campaign and a Pa Supreme Court decision citing evidence his conviction was based solely on a cop's false testimony...

These events underscore the racism, frame-up, corruption and brutality at the core of the criminal injustice system. Pennsylvania "lifer" Major Tillery's fight for freedom puts a spotlight on the conviction of innocent men with no evidence except the lying testimony of jailhouse snitches who have been coerced and given favors by cops and prosecutors..


Sex for Lies and Manufactured Testimony

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


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


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


Major Tillery Needs Your Help:



Major Tillery and family


HOW YOU CAN 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

    Call/Write:

    Kamilah Iddeen (717) 379-9009, Kamilah29@yahoo.com

    Rachel Wolkenstein (917) 689-4009, RachelWolkenstein@gmail..com





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    ILPDC NEWSLETTER BANNER

      


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


    The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee appreciates and thanks the large number of his supporters who took the time to write, call, email, or fax the BOP in support of Leonard's request for a transfer.

    Those of us who have been supporting Leonard's freedom for a number of years are disappointed but resolute to continue pushing for his freedom and until that day, to continue to push for his transfer to be closer to his relatives and the Indigenous Nations who support him..

    44 years is too damn long for an innocent man to be locked up. How can his co-defendants be innocent on the grounds of self-defense but Leonard remains in prison? The time is now for all of us to dig deep and do what we can and what we must to secure freedom for Leonard Peltier before it's too late.

    We need the support of all of you now, more than ever. The ILPDC plans to appeal this denial of his transfer to be closer to his family. We plan to demand he receive appropriate medical care, and to continue to uncover and utilize every legal mechanism to secure his release. To do these things we need money to support the legal work.

    Land of the Brave postcard-page-0


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

      

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



    Free Leonard Peltier!




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    Articles:



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    1) Rikers Guards Stood By for 7 Minutes as Inmate Tried to Hang Himself

    Four correction officers have been suspended as investigators examine their failure to stop an 18-year-old detainee's suicide attempt.

    By Ed Shanahan and William K. Rashbaum, December 3, 2019

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/nyregion/rikers-island-inmate-suicide.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage

    The entrance to Rikers Island.Credit...Spencer Platt/Getty Images


    At least four New York City correction officers failed to act for seven minutes as an 18-year-old detainee tried to hang himself at the Rikers Island jail complex, with some of them watching the suicide attempt before intervening, according to four people with knowledge of the matter. 

    The officers have been suspended while the city's Department of Investigation conducts an inquiry, officials said. The inmate was hospitalized and put into a medically induced coma on Tuesday, the people said.

    The suicide attempt was captured on a video feed that the officers are expected to monitor periodically, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The actions of the officers, one of whom was a supervisor, were recorded by a separate camera, the people said.

    "There is video of him and video of them," one of the people said, referring to both the inmate and the officers.


    The inmate, Nicholas Feliciano, was in an empty holding pen in plain view of a central guard desk in the jail's intake area, where officers can also monitor activity in cells via video feeds, the person said. 

    On the video, which was described to The Times, one officer can be seen going to the pen where Mr. Feliciano was hanging, opening the door, closing the door without entering and then walking away, the person said. 

    Cynthia Brann, the city correction commissioner, said in a statement that the agency had suspended three officers and a captain and confirmed that the city's Department of Investigation was conducting an independent inquiry.

    "The claims being made here are extremely troubling," Ms. Brann said in the statement. "The safety and well-being of those in our custody is our No. 1 priority and an investigation into this incident is underway." If warranted, she said, the officers could face "disciplinary action up to and including termination."

    Mr. Feliciano had a history of suicide attempts and mental health problems, according to the Legal Aid Society, which represented him in court.


    "Nicholas' tragedy illustrates the dangers and horrors of relying on our broken parole and correctional systems to address a mental health crisis," the society said in a statement on Wednesday morning. "This outcome underscores the New York City Department of Correction's inability to safeguard the youngest people in its custody."

    Diane Struzzi, a spokeswoman for the Department of Investigation, declined to comment beyond acknowledging that agency was conducting an inquiry, noting that the case was an active matter.

    Elias Husamudeen, the president of the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, said in a statement that the officers would "be given the best legal representation possible to ensure their rights are fully protected under the law."

    "They are innocent until proven guilty, just like anyone else in our justice system," he added.

    The episode is the latest in the troubled history of the aging jail complex, which has long been plagued by violence, abuse, neglect and mismanagement at levels that have made it among the most notorious correctional facilities in the United States. 

    In October, the City Council approved a plan to close Rikers Islandwithin seven years and to replace it with what officials envision as safer, smaller and more humane jails that will become a model for the rest of the country.

    Mr. Feliciano was in the Elmhurst Hospital Prison Ward on Tuesday, according to city jail records. He was on a respirator with no brain activity, the people with knowledge of the matter said. He was arrested on Nov. 19 on a parole violation and was being held at the complex's George R. Vierno Center when he tried to hang himself. 

    One of the people with knowledge of the episode said that Mr. Feliciano had been in a fight the day he attempted suicide. After the fight, he was moved from the general housing area to the intake cell block, where he appeared to be in distress before he tried to hang himself.


    The episode occurred one night last week, said one of the people with knowledge of the matter. Mr. Feliciano tied one end of a garment around his neck and the other around a pipe on the ceilingwhile standing on a waist-high partition separating a toilet from the rest of the pen, several of the people with knowledge of the matter said. He then stepped off the partition, the people said. 

    At some point, one of the people said, Mr. Feliciano apparently had second thoughts about what he was doing as he began to choke and tried to put his feet back on the partition in hopes of saving himself. 

    Seven minutes passed before the officers intervened to free Mr. Feliciano from the makeshift noose, said the person, who noted that Rikers Island inmates sometimes threaten suicide as a manipulative gesture. It was unclear, the person said, what Mr. Feliciano's intentions might have been.

    Some of the people with knowledge of the inquiry initially said that at least five correction officers had been suspended. But City Hall later confirmed only four suspensions. 

    In 2012, the building where Mr. Feliciano tried to hang himself was the scene of a brutal beating of an inmate by five correction officers who were later convicted by a Bronx jury on charges that included attempted gang assault and official misconduct.. 

    A spokeswoman for Darcel D. Clark, the Bronx district attorney, whose jurisdiction includes the Rikers Island complex, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


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    2) Australia Revokes Medical Evacuations for Offshore Detainees

    The government called the policy, enacted just 10 months ago, a "back door" to let refugees into the country. Human rights advocates denounced the repeal as shameful.

    By Isabella Kwai, December 4, 2019

    https://www..nytimes.com/2019/12/04/world/australia/medevac-refugees-repeal.html

    A July rally in Sydney, Australia, calling for humane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.Credit....Peter Parks/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


    SYDNEY, Australia — The Australian Parliament on Wednesday repealed a law that had allowed refugees and asylum seekers being held offshore to seek emergency medical care in Australia, a reversal that human rights advocates denounced as cruel and shameful.

    The vote, which came 10 months after the law was enacted, was the latest example of the Australian government's hard-line stance on border protection, a policy it has maintained even as the United Nations has condemned it for detaining asylum seekers who were intercepted at sea indefinitely, on islands in the Pacific.

    "This was always a law that was about getting people here through the back door, and today we've closed that back door," Peter Dutton, the minister for home affairs, told reporters in Canberra, the capital. He added that it had undermined efforts to resettle refugees in the United States under a deal struck in 2016.

    The independent senator who cast the decisive vote to repeal the measure, Jacqui Lambie, said it would return decision-making power to lawmakers from doctors, whose approval was required for a medical transfer.


    "You can take advice from doctors, but doctors aren't elected. They aren't accountable to the public," Ms. Lambie told the Senate as the repeal passed, 37 to 35.

    Physicians' groups had strongly supported the medical evacuation law, saying it upheld fundamental rights to health care.

    The law, which was narrowly approved in February after a campaign by doctors, lawyers and rights advocates, allowed detainees on the islands to come to Australia for medical treatment or assessment if the transfers were approved by two doctors and the home affairs minister. 

    About 170 people have filed applications to be transferred under the law, and more than 130 have been evacuated. About 500 are still being held in the Pacific island nations of Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Since the Australian government enacted a policy in 2013 barring anyone intercepted at sea from setting foot in Australia, more than 3,000 people have been held on the islands, where their living conditions have been described as dire.

    Twelve detainees have died since 2014. A coroner said in 2018 that a faster medical transfer could have prevented the death of Hamid Khazaei, an Iranian asylum seeker who suffered from a leg infection. There have been no deaths since the medical evacuation law was enacted.


    Dissenting lawmakers said the law's repeal would compound the detainees' despair.. "The last shred of hope for people we know were suffering in those offshore hellholes was knowing they were getting medical care — and now that's gone," said Richard Di Natale, the leader of the Greens party.

    Detainees called the move a devastating blow. Shamindan Kanapathi, a Sri Lankan detainee in Papua New Guinea, said on Twitter that refugees' lives would "again be in the hands of politicians who have shown they will deliberately withhold medical treatment from people who desperately need it."


    Jana Favero, a director at the Asylum Seeker Resource Center, said that many of the people who had been evacuated suffered from multiple medical conditions, and that many more sick detainees remained. "This is not about left and right, it's about right and wrong," she said. "Yet again, the government is playing politics with people's lives."

    Ms. Lambie, the senator who cast the deciding vote, had initially expressed sympathy for the refugees' plight but ultimately voted for the repeal, saying she had negotiated a secret agreement with the conservative government on the issue. The government denied any such deal.

    New Zealand has offered to help resolve the crisis by accepting 150 refugees a year, though the Australian government has so far refused the proposal. 

    On Wednesday, the Kurdish-Iranian writer Behrooz Boochani, a prominent former detainee, applied for asylum in New Zealand, Australian news media reported. Mr. Boochani was allowed to leave Papua New Guinea last month for a literary festival in New Zealand.


    Under a deal reached with President Barack Obama late in his second term, 654 refugees have been resettled in the United States, with 251 in the provisional approval stage, Mr. Dutton said.


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    3) General Strike in France Is Fresh Test for Emmanuel Macron

    The walkout by a broad range of workers threatens to paralyze the country for several days, calling into question the president's apparent quelling of the "Yellow Vest" movement.

    By Adam Nossiter, December 4, 2019

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/world/europe/france-strike-macron.html


    A protest in Paris last month marked the "Yellow Vest" movement's one-year anniversary.Credit....Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA, via Shutterstock


    PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron is facing his biggest test since the "Yellow Vest" uprising shook his presidency a year ago, as unions representing railway and transport workers and many others in the public sector called for a walkout on Thursday to protest changes to France's uniquely generous pension system.

    The strike threatens to paralyze France for several days or more, with teachers, students, hospital staff, police officers, garbage collectors, truck drivers and airline workers all expected to join.

    The fresh round of social unrest is once again calling into question Mr. Macron's top-down management style, a big factor in last year's protest over stagnating wages and dwindling living standards. He promised then to bring more voices into his decision-making but has wound up dictating another overhaul that has created deep unease in France. 

    There is also now concern at the top at the reaction from the street, with one senior official at the Élysée Palace, the French presidency, acknowledging that the pension overhaul had the potential to galvanize disparate parts of the opposition. "Pension reforms create anxiety. It's not an easy sell," said the official, who could only be quoted anonymously under French rules.


    The Yellow Vests say they will join the new protest — unlike the unions, they have been successful at extracting concessions from the government — as will Mr. Macron's opponents, right and left, and a wide spectrum of unions, though not the centrist French Democratic Confederation of Labor..


    Publicly, government officials have been busy assuring journalists and others that they are not afraid of the strike action, which has come to be called "the Dec. 5 wall." But the walkout and the underlying social discontent call into question Mr. Macron's apparent triumph over the Yellow Vest movement, seen up until now as a crucial moment of his reformist presidency. Unions are predicting a huge turnout on Thursday.

    Jean Garrigues, a political historian at the University of Orléans, said, "The victory doesn't seem to have rehabilitated Macron." This week's protest is "the reflection of a crisis in French society, one that can explode at any moment," he added. "There's real anxiety over the future.."

    Mr. Macron's hasty $19 billion check to bolster purchasing power in the form of tax cuts and income supplements for low earners did help tamp down the Yellow Vest demonstrations.


    But some analysts, like the economist Daniel Cohen of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, have pointed out that the cash did not settle underlying French social dislocation linked to globalization. The senior Élysée official acknowledged that citizens were in effect saying that they had not seen enough improvement to their daily lives.

    The strike has been called to protest Mr. Macron's proposed overhaul of the byzantine French pension system, one of the world's most complicated and generous, which is currently headed for a deficit of about $19 billion. Some railway workers, for instance, can retire at 52, and average retirement ages are among the lowest in the industrialized world.

    The official retirement age is 62, but many retire before. Pensions as a percentage of working-age salaries are among the world's highest, hovering at around 70 percent, and often even higher for state workers. Retirements tend to be long in France, and public leisure facilities — concerts, museums, theaters — are often full of vigorous retirees with lots of time on their hands.


    The results of this complex system of 42 different pension plans are remarkable: France has among the world's lowest old-age poverty rates, and average incomes of those over 65 are slightly higher than incomes under that age, a global rarity.

    The train workers have their own retirement plan, as do the opera workers, the workers at the Comédie-Française — the national theater company — and the workers at the Port of Bordeaux, among others. Most workers are under the private-sector pension plan, in which the state is also heavily involved.

    The French are fiercely protective of their world-beating pension arrangements, and indeed, the government does not dare tinker with the basics: It is not proposing to spend less on pensions or to make people retire later.


    Instead, Mr.. Macron's idea is to merge all these disparate systems, public and private, into one state-managed system in which workers accumulate points over the course of a working life and then cash them in.

    His instinct is always to rationalize and he says his system will be fairer, though there are concerns that his changes will mean less for some.

    Hervé Boulhol, a pensions specialist at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said that, as things stand, "We've got a panorama that's extremely disparate, with lots of different rules." Mr. Macron is proposing "a very ambitious reform," Mr. Boulhol said. "We're changing the way of calculating pension rights."

    But although many in France worship the rational, it is also a country that loves street protest and hates change, particularly in a moment full of fear over globalization and climate change. Previous governments have foundered on the third rail of French politics, the pensions system.

    "It's not right that you do the same work, and your neighbor retires earlier, the calculation is different," Mr. Macron said at a public meeting in Rodez in central France this fall. "So this has created suspicion in regard to our pension system, so today people find that it is more or less unfair, and more and more, people have doubts about it."

    But they appear to have even more doubts about Mr. Macron's changes. "The amount of pension, for everybody, is going to go down," said Benoît Martin, a senior official with the General Confederation of Labor, a left-leaning union that is leading the charge on Thursday. He added, "The number of retirees is going to go up, but they're not talking about spending more on pensions."

    "It's going to be a lot more haphazard, this way of getting points," Mr.. Martin said. "When there's periods of little work, the number of points will be low."


    None of this is certain. But one of the difficulties with Mr. Macron's overhaul is its continual state of flux, and the president's own lack of clarity. At Rodez, Mr. Macron refused to commit to special retirement rules for the police; sure enough, they will be demonstrating on Thursday.


    "We don't know all the details; there's uncertainty," said Mr. Boulhol of the O.E.C.D. There was talk, for instance, of raising the retirement age, but a vast outcry killed that idea.

    And then there has been the government's uncertain method, which could point to lessons imperfectly learned from the Yellow Vest crisis.

    Mr. Macron was "scarred" by those protests, he had a "consciousness-raising," said Ismaël Emelien, one of the president's closest advisers until he left the government this year and who is still a source of counsel.

    Mr. Macron learned that "all change has got to be cultural," Mr. Emelien said in an interview this fall. "You've got to implicate society in these changes. You can't just stand there and say you are right." 

    The senior Élysée official said: "We have to associate the people.. It's a matter of management and focus." And so Mr. Macron spent four months traveling France to listen and to lecture, a process that continues fitfully today.


    But in the end, the pensions overhaul has been served up like so many of its predecessors, under the French top-down system: from the professed smart folk at the Élysée Palace. There has so far been no debate in Parliament. Mr. Macron has convened endless meetings with unions, but those discussions have not made the lines move.

    "We have the impression that these meetings were not really a negotiation," said Mr. Garrigues, the political historian. "The positions remained fixed. And the responsibility for this immobility belongs to an executive too used to top-down. Maybe that's the personality of Emmanuel Macron."


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    4) Hundreds of Thousands Are Losing Access to Food Stamps

    The Department of Agriculture gave its final approval to the first of three rules that are ultimately expected to cut 3 million from the food stamp rolls.

    By Lola Fadulu, December 4, 2019

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/food-stamps.html

    Meals were prepared at a food bank in Hillside, N.J. Nearly 755,000 people would lose food stamps under the new rule.Credit...Sarah Blesener for The New York Times


    WASHINGTON — The Department of Agriculture, brushing aside tens of thousands of protest letters, gave final approval on Wednesday to a new rule that would remove nearly 755,000 people from the federal food-stamp program.

    The rule, which was proposed in February, makes it more difficult for states to allow able-bodied adults without children to receive food assistance for more than three months out of a 36-month period without working. More than 140,000 public commentsflooded in before the department's comment period closed in April, and they were overwhelmingly negative.

    But the department was unmoved from its position that the granting of state waivers needed to be stricter because the economy had improved under the Trump administration and assistance to unemployed, able-bodied adults was no longer necessary in a strong job market.

    "Government can be a powerful force for good, but government dependency has never been the American dream," Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary, said. "We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand."


    But anti-poverty groups said the administration's focus on the unemployment rate was misleading. 

    "The overall unemployment rate is really a measure of the whole labor market and not people without a high school diploma who are incredibly poor and may lack transportation," said Stacey Dean, the vice president of food assistance policy at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "We're talking about a different group who just face a very different labor market."

    The rule is the first of three department efforts to scale back the food stamps program.. Mr. Perdue said the rules were an effort to encourage self-sufficiency, save taxpayer money and ensure that only those who truly need benefits receive them. 

    The department has also proposed a rule that would close what it calls a loophole that allows people with incomes up to 200 percent of the poverty level — about $50,000 for a family of four — to receive food stamps. It also wants to prevent households with more than $2,250 in assets, or $3,500 for a household with a disabled adult, from receiving food stamps. That would strip nearly 3 millionpeople of their benefits, and nearly 1 million children would lose automatic eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals. The proposal received 75,000 public comments, which were overwhelmingly negative.

    Another proposal would cut $4.5 billion from the program over five years by adjusting eligibility formulas, affecting one in five struggling families. That one received 90,000 comments.

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as the food stamps program, has two sets of work requirements for participants, one for parents and another for able-bodied adults without children. Wednesday's rule makes it more difficult for states to waive the time limit for the second set of work requirements.


    States have typically waived the three-month time limit for one or two years in areas that have a lack of sufficient jobs or high unemployment rates. Every state except Delaware has used the waiver in the past 23 years. After the 2008 recession, the time limit was suspended in areas representing nearly 90 percent of the population.

    Ms. Dean said the final rule was actually made tougher than the initial proposal, because "it makes it much harder for states with high unemployment to qualify for waivers during a national recession."

    But Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the incentives in the old waiver system encouraged states to petition the federal government for their citizens.

    "States do not pay one dime in the cost of food stamps," he said. "They didn't even pay for most of the administrative costs. Therefore we should have a federal work requirements on a federally funded program."

    Without a waiver, able-bodied adults without children must work or participate in a work program for 20 hours or more a week to qualify for food stamps. That requirement can be difficult for people who are already homeless or have significant health issues, some poverty experts said, especially for low-wage workers who often are not offered 20 hours a week of steady work.

    If the Agriculture Department finalizes the other two rules, nearly 4 million people would lose food assistance and nearly one million school children would lose access to free or reduced price school meals, according to a new study by the Urban Institute.

    Representative Marcia L. Fudge, Democrat of Ohio and chairwoman of the House Agriculture Committee's subcommittee on nutrition, said in a statement that instead of "considering hungry individuals and their unique struggles and needs, the department has chosen to paint them with the broadest brush, demonizing them as lazy and undeserving."


    My NYT Comment:


    "Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas little children—NO FOOD FOR YOU!

    The U.S. military budget is in the trillions of dollars. Major corporations pay no taxes at all or actually get tax refunds. The gap between the wealthy and the poor is wider than ever. And the Department of Agriculture in the wealthiest country in the world is going to take food out of the mouths of the poor and their children, too? When the price for a two-bedroom apartment is in the thousands of dollars? When thousands of children are homeless? Is this the best modern capitalism can offer? This is more proof that capitalism kills and we need to end it now! Money for human needs not profits for the few!" —Bonnie Weinstein

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/food-stamps.html#commentsContainer&permid=103966170:103966170


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    5) Live Updates: As France Strikes, Commuters Suffer and Protests Start

    Workers across the country were staging walkouts and joining demonstrations to register their opposition to President Emmanuel Macron's efforts to overhaul the pension system.

    By The New York Times, December 6, 2019

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/world/europe/france-strike-pensions.html

    Workers demonstrating in Bordeaux, France, on Thursday.Credit...Nicolas Tucat/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


    A protest against changes to France's pension system brought parts of the country to a grinding halt on Thursday, with nationwide strikes shutting down transportation and leaving schools and hospitals unstaffed and basic government services unmet. 

    Huge crowds of railway workers, teachers, students, hospital workers and other protesters peacefully marched down Paris's wide boulevard Magenta, and amid blaring loudspeakers and occasional firecrackers, commuters struggled to find ways to get to work. Subways were largely shut, children left for school early and only about one in eight suburban trains were running in many areas, if they were running at all.

    The festive mood in Paris gave way to a more tense one as the day wore on, as sporadic violence broke out, especially near the Place de la République. Some violent protesters burned vehicles and threw projectiles at the police there, and officers fired tear gas and charged the group. There were also reports of isolated standoffs in other cities, including in Bordeaux, where security forces also fired tear gas.


    Throughout the country, workers stayed home to register opposition to the proposed changes pushed by President Emmanuel Macron. The widespread participation in the strike suggested deep social discontent, creating a new test for the government after its largely successful efforts to tamp down last year's "Yellow Vest" protests.


    "They are changing the rules mid-game, said Christine D., a 52-year-old schoolteacher who was protesting and declined to give her last name. "They don't communicate enough with the people."

    "He is completely out to lunch," she added of Mr. Macron.

    The government deployed thousands of additional police officers in Paris alone to prepare for potential violence. Stores and banks were boarded up, especially along the route of the main demonstration in Paris, in anticipation of action by "casseurs," or "breakers," who have caused havoc in previous protests.

    In Paris, the police announced that officers had carried out 9,350 "preventive checks" and 71 people had been arrested by 3:30 p.m. The checks were widely used by the police during the Yellow Vest rallies to keep those suspected of violent activism from reaching protest areas, a tactic that has also been criticized for infringing upon the right to demonstrate.Philippe Martinez, secretary general of the General Confederation of Labour, one of the unions opposed to the pension plans, said his group would not back down until the overhaul was scrapped, calling instead for an improvement of the current system.

    "Either you listen, or you continue to be stubborn the way the president has been since he was elected," Mr. Martinez told reporters at the start of the Paris demonstration. "There is no reason to abandon a system that the whole world is envious of."


    President Emmanuel Macron is "calm and determined" in the face of Thursday's strike, though he is concerned about disruptions to daily life, a senior official at the Élysée Palace, the French presidency, told reporters at a news briefing.

    Mr. Macron is "watchful that public order be respected, watchful as to the difficulties for French people, and watchful also that the right to strike is respected," said the aide, who spoke anonymously in line with French government rules. But the aide underlined the president's determination to see his pension overhaul through. 

    The aide was also at pains to dismiss the idea that Mr. Macron had cut himself off from ordinary citizens over the changes. The president has yet to make a comprehensive address explaining his ideas, and his critics say he is out of touch. 

    The government has also been sensitive to the notion that the pension overhaul is complicated and difficult to understand. Mr. Macron wants to get rid of France's 42 different retirement schemes and replace them with one program managed by the state.

    "No doubt the reform is complex," the aide said. "But it's a commitment he's made."

    France has one of the world's most generous pension systems, and past efforts to change it have long proven perilous in French politics. But President Emmanuel Macron is pushing ahead, hoping to streamline a byzantine system of 42 different pension plans that collectively are headed toward a $19 billion deficit.

    Mr. Macron proposed merging the various plans, public and private, into one state-managed system, in which workers would accumulate points throughout their careers and then cash them in. He has promoted the idea as a fairer system, but some are concerned that they would be left with lower payouts. 

    One protester, Philippe Lauberthe, 47, who works at the railway company SNCF, said the proposed changes were "a race to the bottom for our pensions." He said that a point-based system was risky for workers, since it was not clear how much points would be worth at retirement.

    He said the strike was "an investment," adding: "We are doing it for our children." And he said that the government was "making a mess," calling Mr.. Macron "le président des petites phrases," referring to the president's off-the-cuff quips that many have found arrogant.

    "Finance is governing, said Ludovic Varlet, 52, a hospital worker at the protest from Dourdan, about 30 miles from Paris. "It was the best system in the world, and they are about to destroy it."

    For some, the demonstrations brought to mind protests in 1995 against attempts to overhaul pensions and other social services. Millions protested in November and December of that year, and strikes paralyzed the country for three weeks until the government backed down.


    But Mr. Macron's government has tried to dispel any notion that 2019 will prove similar, noting that in 1995, the changes were not part of President Jacques Chirac's electoral platform — unlike Mr. Macron's — and that major unions and other groups had not been consulted.


    This time, the government has been discussing the project with labor unions, though the groups have expressed frustration with the lack of specifics.


    The protests have drawn comparisons with the Yellow Vest demonstrations of 2018 that ultimately forced Mr. Macron to make concessions over fuel prices and government subsidies. 

    The strikes are not directly tied to last year's protests, which channeled deeper discontent with economic inequality into a movement that brought tens of thousands into the streets.

    But many Yellow Vest activists have joined the new action, as have a wide spectrum of unions and political parties. Many of those marching in cities across France on Thursday wore the fluorescent vests now ubiquitous among the group.

    Ingrid Levavasseur, a nurse and well-known Yellow Vest activist, said she hoped the general strike would bring momentum back to the movement. 

    "The government is still not listening to us, but they can't go against the people's opinion," Ms. Levavasseur said from her home in Louviers, in northern France. "If the government keeps ignoring our demands, this will go much further than one day of protests."

    Getting to work on Thursday morning was especially challenging for residents of Paris, where all but a few metro lines were completely shut down, and many buses remained idle in their depots.

    At 9 a.m. at the Trocadéro station, the metro entrance was closed. Confusion reigned as commuters checked whether the No. 9 line was up and running. (It was, but only during rush hours, and only on a limited stretch that did not include that station.)

    El-Kabir Abdoulhamid, 37, looked at the map on his smartphone and concluded: 25 minutes by foot. He had already taken a packed commuter train from the suburb of Evry, and his full journey would be at least 30 minutes longer than usual.

    "But I support their right to strike,'' said Mr. Abdoulhamid, who works in banking. "It'll force employers to reflect." 

    Not everyone was as familiar with the issues. Two teenagers who were headed to school turned away from the station, confused. 

    "I don't even know what this is about,'' said Kenzo Kemache, 15.

    "Pensions,'' said Aboud Diop, 15..

    Mr. Kemache voiced his support but noted that the temperature had dipped below freezing. "Couldn't they have picked a different day?" 

    Châtelet, a major metro hub and station for regional trains, was empty by late morning, and virtually all the stores inside were closed. A screen displayed all lines to the outer suburbs of Paris as being on strike, as well as most Paris metro lines.

    A scattering of security guards and cleaners working in the giant shopping mall Les Halles, which is connected to the station, said they had woken up earlier than usual to take trains in from the suburbs.

    "I can't afford not to work," said one cleaner who would only give his first name, Manu, as he washed the floor in front of an empty escalator. He said he was employed on minimum wage for a cleaning company subcontracted by the mall. "I know people are striking over pensions, but it makes things a lot harder."

    The Gare de Lyon, a major hub in eastern Paris that has an elegant clock tower and from where trains leave for cities such as Lyon and Marseille, was nearly empty. One traveler, Alexandra, 28, who declined to give her last name, was trying not to fall asleep, bundled up in a scarf to ward off the biting cold. She said she was waiting for a train to visit family in Lyon, but it had been canceled, and she now had to wait several hours for the next one.

    While she felt concerned by pension changes, she said, she disagreed with the strike.

    "It's inconvenient," she said, adding that for tourists, like those on their way to see the famed festival of lights in Lyon, "It gives a bad image of France."

    But when people strike in France, Alexandra said, "they don't do it halfway."

    Along the normally bustling Rue St.-Denis in central Paris, almost every store was shuttered.

    At one clinic, only a handful of patients and doctors milled about. Most doctors had canceled appointments for the next two days, and the waiting room was nearly empty.


    Diego Piemental, 34, a manager at a nearby hair salon, gestured to his only client on Thursday afternoon. His bookings had fallen by more than half, he said.

    "It's close to a holiday, when business is normally up," he said. "And if the shops remain closed, tourists won't come here, so that will mean even fewer clients."

    With a large number of employees taking part in the protests, the Musée d'Orsay and the Eiffel Tower were also closed. The Louvre was open, though visitors were not able to see all of the collections, and the Palace of Versailles was recommending that visitors reschedule for a later date.

    The Trocadéro Esplanade, which provides the best vantage point to photograph the tower, is normally packed with tourists, but on Thursday there were only a few.

    "You can see for yourself, it's empty,'' said one annoyed vendor, one of only four selling plastic replicas of the tower and other trinkets.

    "It's noon — usually this place is packed with tourists,'' said Zehar Chakri, 31, whose family owns a tourist kiosk, Souvenir de Paris, in front of the esplanade. "We haven't sold anything today. I hope the strike doesn't last beyond this weekend. December is usually our best month.''

    Deniz Uras, 27, a Paris-based Turkish guide, had brought two clients from Turkey to the esplanade. They had been forced to cancel plans to move on to Amsterdam.


    "They're stuck, and they don't understand why," Mr. Uras said. "I've been here for 10 years, so I know striking is in the French culture.''

    Officials in tourism and in some French cities have expressed worries about the effect of the general strike. Already, officials in Lyon and Strasbourg have reported widespread cancellations by nervous tourists.

    Adam Nossiter, Liz Alderman, Norimitsu Onishi, Aurelien Breeden, Daphné Anglès, Elian Peltier, Elizabeth Paton, Daniel Victor and Michael Wolgelenter contributed reporting.

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    6) At Least 58 Migrants Drown After Boat Capsizes Off Mauritania

    The boat left Gambia last month aiming for Canary Islands, part of Spain. But it approached the coast in West Africa seeking fuel and food.

    By The Associated Press, December 5, 2019

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/world/africa/mauritania-migrants-sea.html


    NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania — At least 58 migrants have drowned after a boat capsized off the West African nation of Mauritania and scores tried to swim through rough waters to safety, officials said.

    It was one of the deadliest disasters this year among people making the perilous journey to Europe.

    The boat, which left Gambia on Nov. 27, was headed toward the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the northwestern coast of Africa, when it tried to approach Mauritania to get fuel and food, Laura Lungarotti, chief of the Mauritania mission with the United Nations migration agency, said on Wednesday.

    "Many drowned," she added.. "The ones who survived swam up to the Mauritanian coast close to the city of Nouadhibou."

    At least 83 people swam to shore and were receiving treatment, the agency said. Interior Minister Mohamed Salem Ould Merzoug said 10 people were taken to a hospital for "urgent" treatment. The survivors were receiving care in accordance with "human solidarity, fraternity and African hospitality," the minister's statement said.


    The Mauritanian authorities also said security forces had found 85 survivors, and the search for an unknown number of missing people continued on Thursday. The boat held as many as 180 people, most of them ages 20 to 30.

    Mauritania will open an investigation into those responsible for the tragedy, including possible trafficking networks, the statement said.

    Between 2005 and 2010, thousands died off Mauritania's coast in attempts to reach the Canary Islands, but that traffic later calmed, the statement said. But in recent months, the authorities have detained boats carrying hundreds of migrants mostly from Senegal, a neighbor of Gambia, it said.

    There was no immediate statement from the authorities in Gambia, where tens of thousands of people have set off in hopes of reaching Europe in recent years. More than 35,000 Gambians arrived in Europe between 2014 and 2018, according to the United Nations migration agency.

    President Yahya Jammeh's 22-year oppressive rule severely affected the country's economy, which contributed greatly to the exodus. Since Mr. Jammeh fled into exile in January 2017 after a surprise election loss, European countries have been pushing to return asylum seekers.


    But Gambia's economy still suffers. The coastal nation was shaken this year by the collapse of the British travel company Thomas Cook. At the time, Gambia's tourism minister said the government had convened an emergency meeting on the collapse, while some Gambians said the shutdown could have a devastating impact on tourism, which contributes more than 30 percent of the country's gross domestic product.


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    7) France's Weekend of Discontent: Yellow Vest and Pension Protesters Gather

    Few trains were running and most Paris metro lines were closed in the face of a strike and the long-running protests.

    By Aurelie Breeden, December 7, 2019

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/07/world/europe/france-strike.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage

    Yellow Vest protesters marched in Paris on Saturday, which also saw annual union demonstrations.Credit...Francois Mori/Associated Press


    PARIS — One protest movement started a year ago in France and drew hundreds of thousands at its peak to roundabouts across the country in angry "Yellow Vest" demonstrations against planned increases in gas taxes. 

    Another — a nationwide strike expressing fury over President Emmanuel Macron's plans to overhaul the pension system — began this past week. On Saturday, it continued to paralyze parts of the country.

    Even as the strength of the long-running Yellow Vest protests has dissipated over the year, the movement's simmering anger at the president has run smack dab this weekend into the latest turmoil over his pension plans.

    Both events have harnessed broader discontent with the policies of Mr. Macron, who is viewed both by both Yellow Vests and labor activists as arrogant and disconnected from their daily struggles. At their most violent, the Yellow Vest protests saw people break shop windows, the police fire tear gas and rubber bullets and Mr. Macron consider a state of emergency.


    More Yellow Vest rallies were expected in Paris and other cities on Saturday, and so were traditional union demonstrations against unemployment. But the size and impact of both are uncertain. And though neither is directly tied to the pension demonstrations, both could get a boost from the latest social unrest. 

    On Saturday, about a thousand Yellow Vest protesters marched from the Economy Ministry to southern Paris. The demonstration was mostly calm, despite brief scuffles with the police, who fired tear gas. A separate union protest gathered in the Montparnasse neighborhood, while labor activists also demonstrated in cities like Marseille and Caen.

    There is little sign of any coordination among any of those causes: The Yellow Vests — named for the fluorescent emergency gear that all French drivers must have in their vehicles — are largely leaderless and the union rallies are held annually on the first Saturday of December. 

    But the pension fight has given new energy to both movements, and some Yellow Vests took part in this past week's labor marches, a stark contrast to last year, when they rejected unions as inefficient and archaic.

    And the government was gearing up for more protests in the coming week. Labor unions have called for huge street demonstrations on Tuesday, the day before Prime Minister Édouard Philippe is expected to unveil fresh details of the pension plans.


    Mr. Macron has promised to standardize 42 public and private pension schemes into one state-managed, point-based plan. But for many protesters, nothing less than the future of their vaunted social safety net is at stake. Many fear losing money and having to work longer before retiring.

    The protests have already unleashed days of public transportation chaos that halted trains and led to canceled flights.


    On Saturday, the impact of the continuing strike was limited, since weekday workers did not have to commute.. But train traffic was still heavily disrupted across France, and some businesses have started expressing worries that the strike could affect Christmas shopping.

    "This new movement and the risk of continuing strikes are a further hard blow for shopkeepers who were already seriously affected by one year of the Yellow Vest movement," said Yohann Petiot, the head of the Alliance du Commerce trade group, in a statement

    Only one in six scheduled high-speed trains was running, and in Paris, nine out of 16 metro lines remained shut down. Unrelated protests by truck drivers over fuel tax hikes worsened the disruptions, as trucks were used to block highways and tollbooths, slowing traffic to a crawl in places like Normandy and the Toulouse region. 

    France's national railway company, S.N.C.F., warned residents of Paris and its suburbs that crowds at some regional express stations on Monday could be "dangerous" because there were expected to be five times fewer commuter trains.


    "S.N.C.F. is asking those who can to cancel their trips," the company said on Twitter.


    Labor unions, expecting a protracted struggle against the government, have activated strike funds to mitigate the loss of income for striking workers. Some supporters of the protesters have also started fund-raising campaigns. 

    One was even started on Twitch, the video game streaming platform, where a collective of streamers and artists have vowed to keep broadcasting games, artwork and political discussions as long as the strike continued. 

    The stream has raised more than 33,000 euros, nearly $36,500, so far. 

    "It is not always possible to take to the streets or to go on strike," the collective said on the website for the project. It added that it was important to "invent new spaces for mobilization and other ways of accompanying the movement." (The French government has had similar ideas.) 

    Mr. Philippe lamented in a televised address on Friday the spread of "fake news" about the pension overhaul.

    He specifically blamed a number of "simulators" that some unions have put online to show people how they would be affected by the changes, under which workers would accumulate points over the course of their careers and cash them in when they retire. Noting that the details of the plan had yet to be unveiled, he said that such simulators "correspond to nothing." 

    But the lack of clarity from the government has left many people in France fearful that their pensions will be diminished.


    Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the far-left France Unbowed party, said on Saturday that the "real problem" for French workers was that they retired "too late" and "too poor."

    "We have three days left to put the maximum amount of pressure so that it gives up on the idea of a point-based retirement system," Mr. Mélenchon, speaking to reporters in Marseille, said of the government.


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    8) 'I Got Tired of Hunting Black and Hispanic People'

    Multiple police officers in Brooklyn say they were told by a commander that white and Asian people should be left alone. 

    "Between October 2017 and June 2019, black and Hispanic people, who account for slightly more than half the population in New York City, made up nearly 73 percent of those who got a ticket for fare evasion and whose race was recorded. They also made up more than 90 percent of those who were arrested, rather than given a ticket."

    By Joseph Goldstein and Ashley Southall, December 6, 2019

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/06/nyregion/nyc-police-subway-racial-profiling.html

    Lt. Edwin Raymond and other officers who policed the subway in Brooklyn are suing the Police Department for discrimination.Credit...Celeste Sloman for The New York Times


    At a police station tucked into an end-of-the-line subway terminal in South Brooklyn, the new commander instructed officers to think of white and Asian people as "soft targets" and urged them to instead go after blacks and Latinos for minor offenses like jumping the turnstile, a half-dozen officers said in sworn statements. 

    "You are stopping too many Russian and Chinese," one of the officers, Daniel Perez, recalled the commander telling him earlier this decade. 

    Another officer, Aaron Diaz, recalled the same commander saying in 2012, "You should write more black and Hispanic people."

    The sworn statements, gathered in the last few months as part of a discrimination lawsuit, deal with a period between 2011 and 2015. But they are now emerging publicly at a time when policing in the subway has become a contentious issue, sparking protests over a crackdown on fare evasion and other low-level offenses.


    The commander, Constantin Tsachas, was in charge of more than 100 officers who patrolled a swath of the subway system in Brooklyn, his first major command. Since then, he has been promoted to the second-in-command of policing the subway system throughout Brooklyn. Along the way, more than half a dozen subordinates claim, he gave them explicit directives about whom to arrest based on race. 

    Those subordinates recently came forward, many for the first time, providing signed affidavits to support a discrimination lawsuit brought by four black and Hispanic police officers. 

    The officers claim they faced retaliation from the New York Police Department because they objected to what they said was a longstanding quota system for arrests and tickets, which they argued mainly affected black and Hispanic New Yorkers. 

    The authorities have deployed hundreds of additional officers to the subways, provoking a debate about overpolicing and the criminalization of poverty. Videos of arrests of young black men and of a woman selling churros in the subway system have gone viral in recent weeks. Demonstrators have taken to the subway system and jumped turnstiles in protest.


    Six officers said in their affidavits that Mr. Tsachas, now a deputy inspector, pressured them to enforce low-level violations against black and Hispanic people, while discouraging them from doing the same to white or Asian people.


    Inspector Tsachas declined to comment when reached by telephone this week, but his union representative said the inspector denied the allegations of misconduct. The Police Department also declined to address the allegations. 

    The department has said in the past that its enforcement of fare evasion is not aimed at black and Hispanic people.. 

    More than three years ago, when Inspector Tsachas was promoted to his current rank, the police commissioner at the time, William J. Bratton, said that allegations Inspector Tsachas pushed quotas were false. 

    "I have full faith and support in him," Mr. Bratton said. He added that Inspector Tsachas had "the requisite skills and comes highly recommended."

    Most of the people arrested on charges of fare evasion in New York are black or Hispanic, according to data the Police Department has been required to report under local law since 2017.