Sunday, December 15, Noon 


(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:  A Livable Planet for my Grandchildren's Grandchildren.

2020 WISH:  Single Payer Healthcare Justice!

2020 WISH:  World Wide GENERAL STRIKE!


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


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


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  




Save The Date: Black Lives Matter at School Week, February 3-7, 2020.

Mark your calendar! The Black Lives Matter at School national week of action will be held from February 3-7th, 2020–and educators from coast to coast are organizing to make this the biggest coordinated uprising for racial justice in the schools yet. 

Black Lives Matter At School is a national coalition educators, parents and students organizing for racial justice in education.  We encourage community organizations and unions to join our annual week of action during the first week of February each year. To learn more about how to participate in the week of action, please check out the BLM@School starter kit

If you or your organization would like to support or endorse the week of action, please email us at: BlackLivesMatterAtSchool2@gmail..com.  

During the 2018-2019 school year, BLM@School held its second national week of action in some 30 different citiesaround the country. During the nationally organized week of action, thousands of educators around the U..S. wore Black Lives Matter shirts to school and taught lessons about the guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, structural racism, intersectional black identities, black history, and anti-racist social movements. 

In addition to centering Blackness in the classroom, BLM at School has these four demands:

1) End "zero tolerance" discipline, and implement restorative justice

3) Mandate Black history and Ethnic Studies in K-12 curriculum

The lessons that educators teach during the week of action corresponded to the guiding principles of Black Lives Matter:

Monday: Restorative Justice, Empathy and Loving Engagement

Tuesday: Diversity and Globalism

Wednesday: Trans-Affirming, Queer Affirming and Collective Value

Thursday: Intergenerational, Black Families and Black Villages

Friday: Black Women and Unapologetically Black

With your help, this year's BLM at School week of action can continue to grow and provide healing for Black students.  Learn more about how to participate by visiting our website, www.BlackLivesMatterAtSchool.com. Let us know what you are planning for BLM at School week this school year or ask us how to get involved with the action by emailing us at: BlackLivesMatterAtSchool2@gmail.com.





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

- Roberto Vargas, Nicaraguan poet 

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

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

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

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


Contact Us

Alliance for Global Justice

225 E 26th St Ste 1

Tucson, Arizona 85713-2925



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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

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


On Wednesday, September 25, Kevin Cooper's cell at San Quentin Prison was thrown into disarray and his personal food dumped into the toilet by a prison guard, A. Young.

The cells on East Block Bayside, where Kevin's cell is, were all searched on September 25 during Mandatory Yard. Kevin spent the day out in the yard with other inmates. In a letter, Kevin described what he found when he returned:

"This cage was hit hard, like a hurricane was in here . .. . little by little I started to clean up and put my personal items back inside the boxes that were not taken . . .. I go over to the toilet, lift up the seatcover and to my surprise and shock the toilet was completely filled up with my refried beans, and my brown rice. Both were in two separate cereal bags and both cereal bags were full. The raisin bran cereal bags were gone, and my food was in the toilet!"

A bucket was eventually brought over and:

"I had to get down on my knees and dig my food out of the toilet with my hands so that I could flush the toilet. The food, which was dried refried beans and dried brown rice had absorbed the water in the toilet and had become cement hard. It took me about 45 minutes to get enough of my food out of the toilet before it would flush."

Even the guard working the tier at the time told Kevin, "K.C., that is f_cked up!"

A receipt was left in Kevin's cell identifying the guard who did this as A. Young. Kevin has never met Officer A. Young, and has had no contact with him besides Officer Young's unprovoked act of harassment and psychological abuse..

Kevin Cooper has served over 34 years at San Quentin, fighting for exoneration from the conviction for murders he did not commit. It is unconscionable for him to be treated so disrespectfully by prison staff on top of the years of his incarceration.

No guard should work at San Quentin if they cannot treat prisoners and their personal belongings with basic courtesy and respect.. Kevin has filed a grievance against A. Young. Please:

1) Sign this petition calling on San Quentin Warden Ronald Davis to grant Kevin's grievance and discipline "Officer" A. Young.

2) Call Warden Ronald Davis at: (415) 454-1460 Ext. 5000. Tell him that Officer Young's behaviour was inexcusable, and should not be tolerated.

3) Call Yasir Samar, Associate Warden of Specialized Housing, at (415) 455-5037

4) Write Warden Davis and Lt. Sam Robinson (separately) at:

Main Street

San Quentin, CA 94964

5) Email Lt. Sam Robinson at: samuel.robinson2@cdcr..ca.gov



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


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

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

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

In peace and solidarity,

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Support Committee




Support the return of Leonard Peltier's Medicine Bundle

November 1, 2019

Dear Friends and supporters,

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

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

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

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

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


Paulette Dauteuil ILPDC National Office

Sheridan Murphy- President of the ILPDC Board


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


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

by Levi Rickert

Published November 23, 2019

COLEMAN, FLORIDA – Leonard Peltier, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, who is incarcerated at the U.S. Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida, for his 1977 conviction in connection with a shootout with U.S.... government forces, where two FBI agents and one young American Indian lost their lives..

Peltier, who is considered a political prisoner of war by many, released this statement on Thanksgiving through the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee:

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

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

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

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

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

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


In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier

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



Eddie Conway's Update on Forgotten Political Prisoners

EDDIE CONWAY: I'm Eddie Conway, host of Rattling the Bars. As many well-known political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal continue to suffer in prison…

MUMIA ABU JAMAL: In an area where there is corporate downsizing and there are no jobs and there is only a service economy and education is being cut, which is the only rung by which people can climb, the only growth industry in this part of Pennsylvania, in the Eastern United States, in the Southern United States, in the Western United States is "corrections," for want of a better word. The corrections industry is booming. I mean, this joint here ain't five years old.

EDDIE CONWAY: …The media brings their stories to the masses. But there are many lesser-known activists that have dropped out of the spotlight, grown old in prison, or just been forgotten... For Rattling the Bars, we are spotlighting a few of their stories... There was a thriving Black Panther party in Omaha, Nebraska, headed by David Rice and Ed Poindexter... By 1968, the FBI had began plans to eliminate the Omaha Black Panthers by making an example of Rice and Poindexter. It would take a couple of years, but the FBI would frame them for murder.

KIETRYN ZYCHAL: In the 90s, Ed and Mondo both applied to the parole board. There are two different things you do in Nebraska, the parole board would grant you parole, but because they have life sentences, they were told that they have to apply to the pardons board, which is the governor, the attorney general, and the secretary of state, and ask that their life sentences be commuted to a specific number of years before they would be eligible for parole.

And so there was a movement in the 90s to try to get them out on parole. The parole board would recommend them for parole because they were exemplary prisoners, and then the pardons board would not give them a hearing. They wouldn't even meet to determine whether they would commute their sentence..

EDDIE CONWAY: They served 45 years before Rice died in the Nebraska State Penitentiary. After several appeals, earning a master's degree, writing several books and helping other inmates, Poindexter is still serving time at the age of 75.

KEITRYN ZYCHAL: Ed Poindexter has been in jail or prison since August of 1970. He was accused of making a suitcase bomb and giving it to a 16-year-old boy named Duane Peak, and Duane Peak was supposed to take the bomb to a vacant house and call 911, and report that a woman was dragged screaming into a vacant house, and when police officers showed up, one of those police officers was killed when the suitcase bomb exploded.

Ed and his late co-defendant, Mondo we Langa, who was David Rice at the time of the trial, they have always insisted that they had absolutely nothing to do with this murderous plot, and they tried to get back into court for 50 years, and they have never been able to get back into court to prove their innocence. Mondo died in March of 2016 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and Ed is going to turn 75 this year, I think.. And he has spent the majority of his life in prison.. It will be 50 years in 2020 that he will be in prison.

EDDIE CONWAY: There are at least 20 Black Panthers still in prison across the United States. One is one of the most revered is H. Rap Brown, known by his Islamic name, Jamil Al-Amin.

KAIRI AL-AMIN: My father has been a target for many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many years of the federal government, and I think him being housed these last 10 years in federal penitentiaries without federal charges show that the vendetta is still strong. The federal government has not forgotten who he was as H.. Rap Brown, or who he is as Imam Jamil Al-Amin.

JAMIL AL-AMIN: See, it's no in between. You are either free or you're a slave. There's no such thing as second-class citizenship.

EDDIE CONWAY: Most people don't realize he's still in prison. He's serving a life sentence at the United States Penitentiary in Tucson...

KAIRI AL-AMIN: Our campaign is twofold.. One, how can egregious constitutional rights violations not warrant a new trial, especially when they were done by the prosecution.. And two, my father is innocent. The facts point to him being innocent, which is why we're pushing for a new trial. We know that they can't win this trial twice. The reason they won the first time was because of the gag order that was placed on my father which didn't allow us to fight in the court of public opinion as well as the court of law.. And so when you don't have anyone watching, anything can be done without any repercussion.

EDDIE CONWAY: Another well-known political prisoner that has been forgotten in the media and in the public arena is Leonard Peltier. Leonard Peltier was a member of the American Indian Movement and has been in prison for over 40 years and is now 75 years old.

SPEAKER: Leonard Peltier represents, in a very real sense, the effort, the struggle by indigenous peoples within the United States to exercise their rights as sovereign nations, recognized as such in treaties with the United States.. For the government of the United States, which has colonized all indigenous peoples to claim boundaries, keeping Leonard in prison demonstrates the costs and consequences of asserting those rights.

EDDIE CONWAY: Leonard Peltier suffers from a host of medical issues including suffering from a stroke. And if he is not released, he will die in prison.

LEONARD PELTIER: I'll be an old man when I get out, if I get out.

PAULETTE D'AUTEUIL: His wellbeing is that he rarely gets a family visit. His children live in California and North Dakota. Both places are a good 2000 miles from where he's at in Florida, so it makes it time consuming as well as expensive to come and see him. He is, health-wise, we are still working on trying to get some help for his prostate, and there has been some development of some spots on his lungs, which we are trying to get resolved. There's an incredible mold issue in the prison, especially because in Florida it's so humid and it builds up. So we're also dealing with that.

EDDIE CONWAY: These are just a few of the almost 20 political prisoners that has remained in American prisons for 30 and 40 years, some even longer. Mutulu Shakur has been in jail for long, long decades. Assata Shakur has been hiding and forced into exile in Cuba. Sundiata has been in prison for decades; Veronza Bower, The Move Nine. And there's just a number of political prisoners that's done 30 or 40 years.

They need to be released and they need to have an opportunity to be back with their family, their children, their grandchildren, whoever is still alive. Any other prisoners in the United States that have the same sort of charges as those people that are being held has been released up to 15 or 20 years ago. That same justice system should work for the political prisoners also.

Thank you for joining me for this episode of Rattling the Bars. I'm Eddie Conway...



Courage to Resist

Reality Winner, a whistleblower who helped expose foreign hacking of US election systems leading up to the 2016 presidential election, has been behind bars since June 2017. Supporters are preparing to file a petition of clemency in hopes of an early release. Reality's five year prison sentence is by far the longest ever given for leaking information to the media about a matter of public interest. Stand with Reality shirts, stickers, and more available. Please take a moment to sign the letter

Vietnam War combat veteran Daniel Shea on his time in Vietnam and the impact that Agent Orange and post traumatic stress had on him and his family since.. Listen now

This Courage to Resist podcast was produced in collaboration with the Vietnam Full Disclosure effort of Veterans For Peace — "Towards an honest commemoration of the American war in Vietnam." This year marks 50 years of GI resistance, in and out of uniform, for many of the courageous individuals featured.. If you believe this history is important, please ...


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



Mumia Abu-Jamal: New Chance for Freedom

Police and State Frame-Up Must Be Fully Exposed!

Mumia Abu-Jamal is innocent. Courts have ignored and suppressed evidence of his innocence for decades. But now, one court has thrown out all the decisions of the PA Supreme Court that denied Mumia's appeals against his unjust conviction during the years of 1998 to 2012! 

This ruling, by Judge Leon Tucker, was made because one judge on the PA Supreme Court during those years, Ronald Castille, was lacking the "appearance of impartiality." In plain English, he was clearly biased against Mumia. Before sitting on the PA Supreme Court, Castille had been District Attorney (or assistant DA) during the time of Mumia's frame-up and conviction, and had used his office to express a special interest in pursuing the death penalty for "cop-killers." Mumia was in the cross-hairs. Soon he was wrongly convicted and sent to death row for killing a police officer.

*     *     *     *     *

Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning and intrepid journalist, a former Black Panther, MOVE supporter, and a critic of police brutality and murder.  Mumia was framed by police, prosecutors, and leading elements of both Democratic and Republican parties, for the shooting of a police officer. The US Justice Department targeted him as well. A racist judge helped convict him, and corrupt courts have kept him locked up despite much evidence that should have freed him. He continues his commentary and journalism from behind bars. As of 2019, he has been imprisoned for 37 years for a crime he did not commit. 

Time is up! FREE MUMIA NOW!

*     *     *     *     *

DA's Hidden Files Show Frame-Up of Mumia

In the midst of Mumia's fight for his right to challenge the state Supreme Court's negative rulings, a new twist was revealed: six boxes of files on Mumia's case--with many more still hidden--were surreptitiously concealed for decades in a back room at the District Attorney's office in Philadelphia. The very fact that these files on Mumia's case were hidden away for decades is damning in the extreme, and their revelations confirm what we have known for decades: Mumia was framed for a crime he did not commit!

So far, the newly revealed evidence confirms that, at the time of Mumia's 1982 trial, chief prosecutor Joe McGill illegally removed black jurors from the jury, violating the Batson decision. Also revealed: The prosecution bribed witnesses into testifying that they saw Mumia shoot the slain police officer when they hadn't seen any such thing. Taxi driver Robert Chobert, who was on probation for fire-bombing a school yard at the time, had sent a letter demanding his money for lying on the stand.. Very important, but the newly revealed evidence is just the tip of the iceberg! 

All Evidence of Mumia's Innocence Must Be Brought Forward Now!

Mumia Abu-Jamal's trial for the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner was rigged against him from beginning to end. All of the evidence of Mumia's innocence--which was earlier suppressed or rejected--must now be heard:

• Mumia was framed - The judge at Mumia's trial, Albert Sabo, was overheard to say, "I'm gonna help 'em fry the n____r." And he proceeded to do just that. Mumia was thrown out of his own trial for defending himself! Prosecution "witnesses" were coerced or bribed at trial to lie against Mumia.. In addition to Chobert, this included key witness Cynthia White, a prostitute who testified that she saw Mumia shoot Faulkner.. White's statements had to be rewritten under intense pressure from the cops, because she was around the corner and out of sight of the shooting at the time! Police bribed her with promises of being allowed to work her corner, and not sent to state prison for her many prostitution charges.

• Mumia only arrived on the scene after Officer Faulkner was shot - William Singletary, a tow-truck business owner who had no reason to lie against the police, said he had been on the scene the whole time, that Mumia was not the shooter, and that Mumia had arrived only after the shooting of Faulkner. Singletary's statements were torn up, his business was wrecked, and he was threatened by police to be out of town for the trial (which, unfortunately, he was).

• There is no evidence that Mumia fired a gun - Mumia was shot on the scene by an arriving police officer and arrested. But the cops did not test his hands for gun-powder residue--a standard procedure in shootings! They also did not test Faulkner's hands. The prosecution nevertheless claimed Mumia was the shooter, and that he was shot by Faulkner as the officer fell to the ground. Ballistics evidence was corrupted to falsely show that Mumia's gun was the murder weapon, when his gun was reportedly still in his taxi cab, which was in police custody days after the shooting!

• The real shooter fled the scene and was never charged - Veronica Jones was a witness who said that after hearing the shots from a block away, she had seen two people fleeing the scene of the shooting. This could not have included Mumia, who had been shot and almost killed at the scene. Jones was threatened by the police with arrest and loss of custody of her children. She then lied on the stand at trial to say she had seen no one running away. 

• Abu-Jamal never made a confession - Mumia has always maintained his innocence. But police twice concocted confessions that Mumia never made. Inspector Alfonso Giordano, the senior officer at the crime scene, made up a confession for Mumia. But Giordano was not allowed to testify at trial, because he was top on the FBI's list of corrupt cops in the Philadelphia police force. At the DA's request, another cop handily provided a second "confession," allegedly heard by a security guard in the hospital. But at neither time was Mumia--almost fatally shot--able to speak. And an earlier police report by cops in the hospital said that, referring to Mumia: "the negro male made no comment"!

• The crime scene was tampered with by police - Police officers at the scene rearranged some evidence, and handled what was alleged to be Mumia's gun with their bare hands. A journalist's photos revealed this misconduct. The cops then left the scene unattended for hours. All of this indicates a frame-up in progress..

• The real shooter confessed, and revealed the reason for the crime - Arnold Beverly came forward in the 1990s. He said in a sworn statement, under penalty of perjury, that he, not Mumia, had been the actual shooter. He said that he, along with "another guy," had been hired to do the hit, because Faulkner was "a problem for the mob and corrupt policemen because he interfered with the graft and payoffs made to allow illegal activity including prostitution, gambling, drugs without prosecution in the center city area"! (affidavit of Arnold Beverly).

• The corruption of Philadelphia police is documented and well known - This includes that of Giordano, who was the first cop to manufacture a "confession" by Mumia. Meanwhile, Faulkner's cooperation with the federal anti-corruption investigations of Philadelphia police is strongly suggested by his lengthy and heavily redacted FBI file.

• Do cops kill other cops? There are other cases in Philadelphia that look that way. Frank Serpico, an NYC cop who investigated and reported on police corruption, was abandoned by fellow cops after being shot in a drug bust. Mumia was clearly made a scape-goat for the crimes of corrupt Philadelphia cops who were protecting their ill-gotten gains.

• Politicians and US DOJ helped the frame-up - Ed Rendell, former DA, PA governor, and head of the Democratic National Committee--and now a senior advisor to crime-bill author Joe Biden--is complicit in the frame-up of Mumia. The US Justice Department targeted Mumia for his anti-racist activities when he was a teenager, and later secretly warned then-prosecutor Rendell not to use Giordano as a witness against Mumia because he was an FBI target for corruption.

*     *     *     *     *

All this should lead to an immediate freeing of Mumia! But we are still a ways away from that, and we have no confidence in the capitalist courts to finish the job. We must act! This victory in local court allowing new appeals must now lead to a full-court press on all the rejected and suppressed evidence of Mumia's innocence!

Mass Movement Needed To Free Mumia! 

Mumia's persecution by local, state and federal authorities of both political parties has been on-going, and has generated a world-wide movement in his defense. This movement has seen that Mumia, as a radio journalist who exposed the brutal attacks on the black community by the police in Philadelphia, has spoken out as a defender of working people of all colors and all nationalities in his ongoing commentaries (now on KPFA/Pacifica radio), despite being on death row, and now while serving life without the possibility of parole (LWOP).

In 1999, Oakland Teachers for Mumia held unauthorized teach-ins in Oakland schools on Mumia and the death penalty, despite the rabid hysteria in the bourgeois media. Teachers in Rio de Janeiro held similar actions. Letters of support came in from maritime workers and trade unions around the world. Later in 1999, longshore workers shut down all the ports on the West Coast to free Mumia, and led a mass march of 25,000 Mumia supporters in San Francisco. 

A year later, a federal court lifted Mumia's death sentence, based on improper instructions to the jury by trial judge Albert Sabo. The federal court ordered the local court to hold a new sentencing hearing. Fearing their frame-up of Mumia could be revealed in any new hearing, even if only on sentencing, state officials passed. Much to the chagrin of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)--which still seeks Mumia's death--this left Mumia with LWOP, death by life in prison. 

Mumia supporters waged a struggle to get him the cure for the deadly Hepatitis-C virus, which he had likely contracted through a blood transfusion in hospital after he was shot by a cop at the 1981 crime scene. The Labor Action Committee conducted demonstrations against Gilead Sciences, the Foster City CA corporation that owns the cure, and charged $1,000 per pill! The Metalworkers Union of South Africa wrote a letter excoriating Governor Wolf for allowing untreated sick freedom fighters to die in prison as the apartheid government had done. Finally, Mumia did get the cure. Now, more than ever, struggle is needed to free Mumia!

Now is the Time: Mobilize Again for Mumia's Freedom!

Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

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

November 2019

"There is no time for despair, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language.. This is how civilizations heal."

-Toni Morrison



Board Game


Solidarity against racism has existed from the 1600's and continues until today

An exciting board game of chance, empathy and wisdom, that entertains and educates as it builds solidarity through learning about the destructive history of American racism and those who always fought back. Appreciate the anti-racist solidarity of working people, who built and are still building, the great progressive movements of history.. There are over 200 questions, with answers and references.

Spread the word!!

By Dr. Nayvin Gordon



Action Alert for Shaka Shakur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

What You Can Do to Support Shaka:

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

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

As Shaka stated:

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

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

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



50 years in prison: 


FREE Chip Fitzgerald 

Grandfather, Father, Elder, Friend

former Black Panther 


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

NOW is the time for Chip to come home!

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

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

Parole for Lifers basically stopped under Governors Deukmajian, Wilson, and Davis (1983-2003), resulting in increasing numbers of people in prison and 23 new prisons. People in prison filed lawsuits in federal courts: people were dying as a result of the overcrowding. To rapidly reduce the number of people in prison, the court mandated new parole hearings:

·        for anyone 60 years or older who had served 25 years or more;

·        for anyone convicted before they were 23 years old;

·        for anyone with disabilities 

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

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

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

The California Board of Parole Hearings is holding Chip hostage.

We call on Governor Newsom to release Chip immediately.

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

1)   Sign and circulate the petition to FREE Chip. Download it at https://www.change.org/p/california-free-chip-fitzgerald

Print out the petition and get signatures at your workplace, community meeting, or next social gathering.

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

3)   Write to Chip: 

 Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald #B27527,


P.O. Box 4490


Lancaster, CA 93539


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



One Democratic State of Palestine


Why One Democratic State of Palestine

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

Call for a Palestine Liberation Movement

Call initiated by the One State Assembly, February 9, 2019

We are calling for signatures on the statement to create national and global public opinion specially among Palestinians, Arabs and international supporters about the genuine, just and long lasting solution to the seven decades of the ethnic cleansing war and catastrophe of 1948. The One Democratic State  of Palestine (ODSP) initiative stands in opposition and objection to the dead solution of the two states, the Oslo Accords and exposing the latest racist Nation-State Law that was issued by the apartheid state of Israel which emphasizes the real nature of this manufactured colonial state.

This is a crucial time in the history of our struggle, which needs all activists, individuals and organizations, to consolidate and coordinate their efforts in an organized manner to make an impact, make a difference towards the only solution that guarantees the right of return and deals with our people as one united nation on one united homeland: the One Democratic State of Palestine.

Signatories include: Richard Falk, Alison Weir, Ann Wright, Cindy Sheehan, Tariq Ali, Paul Larudee, Kevin Zeese, Joe Lombardo, Tim Anderson, Amal Wahdan, Judith Bello, Ken Stone, Issa Chaer,  Ali Mallah, Alicia Jrapko …..

Endorsers: Free Palestine Movement, Palestine Solidarity Forum (India), Syria Solidarity Movement, International Committee for Peace Justice and Dignity, Hands Off Syria Coalition, Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, United Front Against Facism and War (Canada), Communist Reconstruction (Canada), Palestine Solidarity Association/University of Western Cape (South Africa), India Palestine Solidarity Forum, Venezuela Solidarity Network, Free Palestine Movement, Akashma News, Media Review Network,  Solidarity Net, Kenya, Human Rights in the Middle East, Cleveland Peace Action, Interfaith Council For Peace In The Middle East Northeast Ohio, Pax Christi Hilton Head, Portsmouth South Downs Palestine Solidarity Campaign


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

We say YES to the just national struggle for our rights, which unifies the living energies of our people. We are inspired by our glorious history, our great leaders and their decisive battles, our martyrs, our prisoners, our restless youth and those in refugee camps, waiting on the realization of their inalienable right of return. We say NO to begging at the doors of the occupiers in pursuit of crumbs. This has led Palestinians and will lead them to more division and bloody infighting

Palestine was colonized for strategic, imperial reasons: it is at the junction of three continents, with key transport links and easy access for the hegemonic powers on their way to the oil wealth of the Arab nations. But the colonists could not evacuate the Palestinian people, who have lived here for more than 6,000 years.

After a century of dealing with the European colonial states and American imperialism, our Arab nation has been betrayed, and is still being betrayed, by the terror of these countries.

The illusion that Zionists want peace must be confronted. When will we wake up? We cannot speak of a national state for the Palestinians if we do not liberate ourselves from our petty differences while under siege and occupation.. We have to recognize reality: that we continue in a period of national liberation, not in a period of state building.

For this reason we believe in the need to withdraw completely from farcical negotiations with the colonial entity. These only cover up and legalize the occupation. They suggest fair solutions which don't exist, deepening Palestinian conflicts and leading to bloody infighting..

The national liberation stage must precede the construction of the national state. Recognizing this provides a compass to guide us in our national priorities and relations with others. This means no more agreements with the occupiers. They will not commit to agreements, and experience shows they are part of a great deception, falsely called a 'peace process'.

This 'Peace Process' became a façade for the colonial entity to proceed with a so-called 'political solution'. Really, they needed Palestinian participation to pave the way for the oppressive Arab regimes to end the boycott and 'normalize' relationships with the entity.

As Arab markets were closed to the Zionist entity by a blockade, it was necessary to find ways to open them through 'normalization'. But Palestinian resistance had generated popular sympathy in the Arab and Islamic world, and formed a major obstacle to this 'normalization'. Zionist leader Shimon Perez admitted: "The main goal of the Oslo conventions was not Palestinians, but rather normalization with the Arab world and opening its markets."

Yet national liberation requires confronting, not submitting to, foreign hegemony. We say that the leadership of our national movement has ignored this, and has instead engaged in binding relations with the occupying entity and its patrons.

The history of the colonial entity in Palestine is nothing more than a history of the destruction of the Palestinian people and their civilization. Two thirds of our people have been displaced and more than 90% of our land has been stolen. Our land, water and houses are stolen and demolished every day, while apartheid walls are built and the racist nation-state law is being enforced by Israeli legislators. There is also a permanent aggression against the peoples of the region, to subjugate them through Salafist terrorism and economic siege.

The USA supports the Zionist entity with money, weapons, missiles and aircraft, while protecting it from punishment at the UN, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, abolishing its financial support for the United Nations Refugees and Work Agency (UNRWA) and halting its financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. How can the USA or its regional puppets ever be 'honest brokers' for the people of Palestine?

The invaders falsely used divine religion in attempts to destroy the indigenous people and their cultures. They said this was an 'empty land', available for another people with no land, but with the 'divine promise' of a religious homeland. Yet hiding settler colonization behind the banner of Judaism wrongly places responsibility on religion for the crimes of the colonizers.

We have no problem with 'Jewish' people in Palestine. That problem emerged in capitalist Europe, not in our countries. We are not the ones to create a solution to Europe's 'Jewish problem'. Rather, we have to deal with colonization and foreign hegemony in our region.

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

Yet the old Palestinian leadership has presided over regression.. They make agreements for the benefit of the colonial entity and its patrons.. They abandon 1948 Palestine and the refugees. They collaborate with our enemies while delivering no tangible benefit for our people.

For these reasons we say that this leadership has become a real obstacle to any future development or advancement for our people... This leadership has lost its qualifications to lead national action. It looks to its own benefit and is too weak to learn the lessons of the anti-colonial movements of the peoples of Asia, Africa and the Americas.. It does not see the advances elsewhere in challenging US hegemony. It does not even see the resistance in the Arab and Muslim World, when they manage to foil US and Zionist projects..

Our movement must be an organic part of the Arab Liberation Movement, putting an end to foreign hegemony, achieving national unity and liberating Palestine from the current apartheid system. Yet this great humanitarian goal directly clashes with the interests of the dominant triad - the forces of global hegemony, settler apartheid and the comprador Arab regimes.

We warn all against chasing the myth of 'two contiguous states' in Palestine.. This is a major deception, to portray ethnic enclaves within Palestine as an expression of the right to popular self-determination. The goal must be to replace apartheid with equal citizenship and this can only be achieved by establishing One Democratic State in historic Palestine for all, including its indigenous people, the refugees who we were forced out of the country and its current citizens, including those who were drawn into the country as settlers through the Zionist project.

Palestinian parties negotiating for unity and reform should focus on restoring liberation to the core of the Palestinian National Charter. The Arab homeland will never be liberated and unified by subordination to the USA! It will only be liberated by confronting and ending colonial and imperial dominance.

We say YES to national unity in the framework of our Palestinian Liberation Movement, freed from deceptive agreements which only serve the hegemonic powers and comprador regimes.

LONG LIVE PALESTINE, liberated from racial colonization and built on the foundations of equality for all its citizens, rejecting segregation and discrimination by religion, culture or ethnicity; friends with its regional neighbours and with all progressive forces of the world!

**Your Signature**




Support Chuck Africa for Parole

Michael Africa Jr. started this petition to Pennsylvania Governor

Charles Sims Africa #AM 4975 has been in prison since age 18.. He is now 59 years old and a recovering cancer patient. He has been eligible for parole since 2008 but continually denied because of  his political views.

Charles has 8 codefendants. Two has died in prison, four has been released from prison onto parole.. Chuck's sister Debbie Sims Africa is one of the four codefendants released onto parole.

Since coming home from prison, Debbie is thriving. Our community of support has supported Debbie to excel and we are committed to do the same for Chuck so that he can excel as well. 




On Abortion: From Facebook

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

Sent from my iPhone



Celebrating the release of Janet and Janine Africa

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

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

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



The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of the State of New York

Executive Chamber State Capital Building

Albany, New York 12224

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

Call: 1-518-474-8390

Email Gov.. Cuomo with this form

Tweet at @NYGovCuomo

Any advocacy or communications to Gov. Cuomo must refer to Jalil as:


Sullivan Correctional Facility,

P.O. Box 116,

Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116



Funds for Kevin Cooper


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

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

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

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

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



Don't extradite Assange!

To the government of the UK

Julian Assange, through Wikileaks, has done the world a great service in documenting American war crimes, its spying on allies and other dirty secrets of the world's most powerful regimes, organisations and corporations. This has not endeared him to the American deep state.. Both Obama, Clinton and Trump have declared that arresting Julian Assange should be a priority. We have recently received confirmation [1] that he has been charged in secret so as to have him extradited to the USA as soon as he can be arrested. 

Assange's persecution, the persecution of a publisher for publishing information [2] that was truthful and clearly in the interest of the public - and which has been republished in major newspapers around the world - is a danger to freedom of the press everywhere, especially as the USA is asserting a right to arrest and try a non-American who neither is nor was then on American soil. The sentence is already clear: if not the death penalty then life in a supermax prison and ill treatment like Chelsea Manning.. The very extradition of Julian Assange to the United States would at the same time mean the final death of freedom of the press in the West. 

The courageous nation of Ecuador has offered Assange political asylum within its London embassy for several years until now. However, under pressure by the USA, the new government has made it clear that they want to drive Assange out of the embassy and into the arms of the waiting police as soon as possible.. They have already curtailed his internet and his visitors and turned the heating off, leaving him freezing in a desolate state for the past few months and leading to the rapid decline of his health, breaching UK obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights. Therefore, our demand both to the government of Ecuador and the government of the UK is: don't extradite Assange to the US! Guarantee his human rights, make his stay at the embassy as bearable as possible and enable him to leave the embassy towards a secure country as soon as there are guarantees not to arrest and extradite him.. Furthermore, we, as EU voters, encourage European nations to take proactive steps to protect a journalist in danger.. The world is still watching.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/16/us/politics/julian-assange-indictment-wikileaks..html

[2] https://theintercept.com/2018/11/16/as-the-obama-doj-concluded-prosecution-of-julian-assange-for-publishing-documents-poses-grave-threats-to-press-freedom/




Words of Wisdom

Louis Robinson Jr., 77

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

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

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




Get Malik Out of Ad-Seg

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

Keith H. Washington
TDC# 1487958
McConnell Unit
3001 S. Emily Drive
Beeville, TX 78102

Friends, it's time to get Malik out of solitary confinement.

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

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

Who to contact:

TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier

Phone: (936)295-6371

Senior Warden Philip Sinfuentes (McConnell Unit)

Phone: (361) 362-2300






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

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

Sex for Lies and Manufactured Testimony

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

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

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

Major Tillery Needs Your Help:


    Financial Support—Tillery's investigation is ongoing... He badly needs funds to fight for his freedom.

    Go to JPay..com;

    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC

    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:

    The Conviction Review Unit should investigate Major Tillery's case. He is innocent.. The only evidence at trial was from lying jail house informants who now admit it was false.

    Call: 215-686-8000 or

    Write to:

    Security Processing Center

    Major Tillery AM 9786

    268 Bricker Road

    Bellefonte, PA 16823

    For More Information, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery.org


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

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






    1) Cheerleader Punished for Taking a Knee Is Awarded $145,000

    Kneeling during the national anthem is a "completely appropriate protest" that should have been protected by Kennesaw State University, a lawyer for the student said.

    By Derrick Bryson Taylor, December 7, 2019


    Tommia Dean, front center, is one of five cheerleaders who took a knee during the national anthem at a Kennesaw State University football game in 2017.Credit...Cory Hancock/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Associated Press

    A former Kennesaw State University cheerleader was awarded a $145,000 settlement two years after she faced repercussions for taking a knee during the national anthem at a college football game, court documents show.

    The former cheerleader, Tommia Dean, who is still a student at the Georgia university, received $93,000, and the remaining $52,000 was disbursed to her two lawyers, Bruce P. Brown and Randolph A. Mayer, for legal fees and expenses, according to the documents. News of the settlement, which was paid in October, was published on Wednesday by The Marietta Daily Journal.

    Ms. Dean, along with four other cheerleaders, took a knee during the national anthem at a football game on Sept. 30, 2017, the lawsuit said. According to the complaint, they were then prohibited from appearing on the field during the national anthem at two subsequent home football games.

    Ms. Dean filed the lawsuit in September 2018 against Samuel S. Olens, the school's president at the time of the protest and a former Georgia attorney general; two men in the Kennesaw State athletic department; Sheriff Neil Warren of Cobb County, Ga.; and Earl Ehrhart, a former Republican state legislator. The suit accused the defendants of violating her First Amendment rights, and accused Sheriff Warren and Mr. Ehrhart specifically of conspiring to cause the violation of her civil rights by pressuring the university's president to take action.

    Ms. Dean, who claimed in the lawsuit that she had suffered an increase in migraine headaches and emotional distress over the loss of her constitutional rights, sought unspecified damages.

    Sheriff Warren and Mr.. Ehrhart were dismissed from the lawsuit in February, but Mr. Brown said an appeal of the decision to dismiss the sheriff was underway.

    "The appeal is important because it calls into question when private parties can be liable under the civil rights laws of causing a public official or conspiring with a public official to violate a citizen's First Amendment rights," Mr. Brown said.

    This fall, Ms. Dean reached a settlement with the Georgia Department of Administrative Services, Mr. Brown said, and the $145,000 award was paid in October. The department did not immediately return a request for comment on Saturday.

    The agreement was to "buy peace of mind from future controversy and forestall" future lawyer fees, according to a copy of the settlement provided to The New York Times. The agreement represents the "economic resolution of disputed claims," it says, but is not an "admission, finding, conclusion, evidence or indication for any purposes whatsoever, that the K.S.U. defendants or Ehrhart acted contrary to the law.."

    The university was made aware of the case's resolution, Tammy DeMel, Kennesaw State's assistant vice president for communications, said in a statement on Saturday that noted the settlement did not involve the university.

    It is not unusual for the government to pay damage awards for civil rights violations by public officials, Mr. Brown said.

    Asked what message his client wanted to send with her lawsuit, Mr.. Brown said, "Kneeling during the national anthem is respectful and a completely appropriate protest that should be protected by the university under the First Amendment. It should not be prohibited or punished, ever.."

    Aimee Ortiz contributed reporting.



    2) Two New Drugs Help Relieve Sickle-Cell Disease. But Who Will Pay?

    Adakveo and Oxbryta could be revolutionary treatments, but each costs about $100,000 per year and must be taken for life.

    " 'Drug companies want us to ask this question: What are we willing to pay to ease the pain and challenge of living with sickle cell?' he said. 'When it's your child facing the disease, or your friend in unbearable pain, the answer is 'anything..' But that's the wrong way to approach pricing, he added, and the more appropriate question is: 'What amount should drug companies make on these drugs?' "

    By Gina Kolata. December 7, 2019


    Red blood cells distorted by sickle-cell disease seen under an electron microscope. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved two new drugs to treat the disease.Credit...Omikron/Science Source

    The Food and Drug Administration recently approved two transformative new treatments for sickle-cell disease, the first in 20 years. But the drugs are wildly expensive, renewing troubling questions about access to cutting-edge medicines. 

    Adakveo, made by Novartis, can prevent episodes of nearly unbearable pain that occur when malformed blood cells get stuck in blood vessels. Approved only for patients aged 16 and over, it is delivered as an infusion once a month.

    Oxbryta, made by Global Blood Therapeutics, can prevent severe anemia from the disease that can lead to permanent damage to the brain and other organs. A daily pill, the drug is approved for patients ages 12 and older. 

    Each treatment is priced at around $100,000 a year and must be taken for life. While it is not uncommon for a drug treating a rare disease to carry such a high price, there are 100,000 people with sickle-cell disease in the United States, and millions more around the world.

    Those prices are about double the median family income in the United States, "highlighting a growing dysfunction in the pharmaceutical market," said Ameet Sarpatwari, assistant director of the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

    Questions of access worry sickle-cell specialists even as they welcome powerful new treatments expected in the next few years. About 30 more sickle-cell drugs are now in late-stage clinical trials.

    "This is an extraordinary time," said Dr. Alexis Thompson, former president of the American Society of Hematology and a sickle-cell expert at Northwestern University. 

    Novartis and Global Blood Therapeutics have been speaking to insurers about covering the new drugs, and both say they are optimistic that most insurers will pay for them. 

    The companies argue that without drugs, management of sickle-cell disease itself is expensive. It costs an average of about $10,000 a year to treat children, and about $30,000 a year to treat adults, for complications like pain crises, organ damage and strokes.

    The medical costs do not begin to capture the economic burden. Many adults with sickle-cell disease are disabled to some degree, and many have brain damage, making it difficult for them to work. Family members often wind up as caregivers, and so the economic burden ripples outward.

    "In sickle cell, we are not providing great care and we are paying a lot," said Dr. Ted Love, chief executive at Global Blood Therapeutics.

    A spokeswoman for Novartis said: "We've taken a thoughtful approach to the price of Adakveo, balancing the innovation it brings to the treatment of sickle cell disease, the benefits it can provide to patients, and the importance of ensuring that appropriate patients have access to it."

    But Dr. Sarpatwari is leery of companies' cost-benefit analyses, which he said are based on limited evidence and assume that the drug makers ought to be able to extract a maximum price for the treatments, without regard to actual development costs or any taxpayer support that may have been involved.

    David Mitchell, founder of Patients for Affordable Drugs, an advocacy group, said patients and insurers should not agree to just any price for these medications.

    "Drug companies want us to ask this question: What are we willing to pay to ease the pain and challenge of living with sickle cell?" he said. "When it's your child facing the disease, or your friend in unbearable pain, the answer is 'anything.'"

    But that's the wrong way to approach pricing, he added, and the more appropriate question is: What amount should drug companies make on these drugs?

    Medicaid covers about 50 percent of patients with sickle-cell disease, and Medicare covers another 15 percent. It's not clear how these programs can afford to pay for all who might need the new drugs.

    An older drug approved in 1998, hydroxyurea, is now generic and costs about $1,000 a year, and it is approved for children. 

    Hydroxyurea can reduce the incidence of pain crises and strokes by half. Some patients on public insurance programs have no co-pays for it, noted Dr. J. Eric Russell of the University of Pennsylvania. 

    Yet only about 30 percent of sickle-cell patients take it. So should sickle-cell patients be required to try hydroxyurea before moving on to one of the newer, pricier treatments?

    Insurers, said Dr. Enrico Novelli of the University of Pittsburgh, "will want at least an attempt to treat with hydroxyurea. Why jump to a very expensive drug as front-line therapy?"

    And there are concerns about whether patients will take the new drugs regularly if they are prescribed. Many adults with sickle-cell disease have subtle or overt brain damage, which can make it difficult for them to fully understand, plan or adhere to treatment, said Dr. Sujit Sheth, a sickle-cell expert at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.

    Primary care doctors handle most health care for patients without access to major medical centers. Even if the patients can afford Adakveo and are able to stick to the monthly regimen, Dr. Sheth said, those doctors may not be prepared to administer complicated infusions.

    Still, most experts agree that the new drugs are significant advances in molecular biology and show what may be achieved now that researchers have renewed interest in sickle-cell disease.

    For more than half a century, scientists have understood the cause.. Patients with sickle-cell disease have two copies of a mutated gene that produces hemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen in the blood. 

    The mutation makes the molecule warp into a rigid sickle shape. Blood cells like platelets and white blood cells clump together and stick to blood vessels, injuring the lining and blocking them.

    Adakveo can make patients' blood cells less sticky. In clinical trials, Novartis found that the drug reduced episodes of pain by 45 percent, compared to placebo, whether patients also were taking hydroxyurea or not.

    But the study did not show an effect on the severe anemia that is a grave consequence of sickle-cell disease. Red cells carrying sickle hemoglobin molecules survive only one-fifth as long as normal cells. A lack of red blood cells injures organs, including the brain. 

    "What is killing patients is limited oxygen delivery," said Dr. Love, of Global Therapeutics. Oxbryta was developed to help red cells retain oxygen and prevent them from becoming misshapen.

    In trials sponsored by the company, patients who took the daily pill saw an increase in their hemoglobin levels within two weeks; some returned to levels near normal. 

    Should the two new drugs be used together, one to prevent pain and the other to prevent organ damage? Dr. Thompson, of Northwestern University, advised against it, because the safety of taking both has not been studied. 

    But other experts, like Dr. Novelli, would like to try giving both drugs to severely affected patients.

    "It will come down to cost and what providers will pay for," Dr. Novelli said.



    3) The Price of Recycling Old Laptops: Toxic Fumes in Thailand's Lungs

    The e-waste industry is booming in Southeast Asia, frightening residents worried for their health. Despite a ban on imports, Thailand is a center of the business.

    By Hannah Beech and Run Jirenuwat, December 8, 2019


    Foreign workers sorting through piles of shredded e-waste on the premises of New Sky Metal in Thailand in September.Credit...Bryan Denton for The New York Times

    KOH KHANUN, Thailand — Crouched on the ground in a dimly lit factory, the women picked through the discarded innards of the modern world: batteries, circuit boards and bundles of wires.

    They broke down the scrap — known as e-waste — with hammers and raw hands. Men, some with faces wrapped in rags to repel the fumes, shoveled the refuse into a clanking machine that salvages usable metal.

    As they toiled, smoke spewed over nearby villages and farms. Residents have no idea what is in the smoke: plastic, metal, who knows? All they know is that it stinks and they feel sick.

    The factory, New Sky Metal, is part of a thriving e-waste industry across Southeast Asia, born of China's decision to stop accepting the world's electronic refuse, which was poisoning its land and people. Thailand in particular has become a center of the industry even as activists push back and its government wrestles to balance competing interests of public safety with the profits to be made from the lucrative trade.

    Last year, Thailand banned the import of foreign e-waste. Yet new factories are opening across the country, and tons of e-waste are being processed, environmental monitors and industry experts say.

    "E-waste has to go somewhere," said Jim Puckett, the executive director of the Basel Action Network, which campaigns against trash dumping in poor countries, "and the Chinese are simply moving their entire operations to Southeast Asia."

    "The only way to make money is to get huge volume with cheap, illegal labor and pollute the hell out of the environment," he added.

    Each year, 50 million tons of electronic waste are produced globally, according to the United Nations, as consumers grow accustomed to throwing away last year's model and acquiring the next new thing.

    The notion of recycling these gadgets sounds virtuous: an infinite loop of technological utility. 

    But it is dirty and dangerous work to extract the tiny quantities of precious metals — like gold, silver and copper — from castoff phones, computers and televisions.

    For years, China took in much of the world's electronic refuse. Then in 2018, Beijing closed its borders to foreign e-waste. Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia — with their lax enforcement of environmental laws, easily exploited labor force and cozy nexus between business and government — saw an opportunity.

    "Every circuit and every cable is very lucrative, especially if there is no concern for the environment or for workers," said Penchom Saetang, the head of Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand, an environmental watchdog.

    While Southeast Asian nations like Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines have rejected individual shipments of waste from Western countries, Thailand was the first to push back more systematically against the electronic refuse deluging its ports.

    In June of last year, the Thai Ministry of Industry announced with great fanfare the ban on foreign e-waste. The police made a series of high-profile raids on at least 10 factories, including New Sky Metal.

    "New Sky is closed now, totally closed," Yutthana Poolpipat, the head of the Laem Chabang Port customs bureau, said in September. "There is no electronic waste coming into Thailand, zero."

    But a recent visit to the hamlet of Koh Khanun showed that the factory was still up and running, as are many others, a reflection of the weak regulatory system and corruption that has tainted the country.

    Despite the headlines about the police raid, New Sky Metal was fined a maximum of only $650 for each of its licensing infractions.

    Since the e-waste ban, 28 new recycling factories, most dealing with electronic refuse, began operations in one province east of Bangkok, Chachoengsao, where Koh Khanun is located, according to provincial statistics. This year, 14 businesses in that province were granted licenses to process electronic waste. 

    Most of the new factories are in central Thailand between Bangkok and Laem Chabang, the nation's biggest port, but more provinces are allowing the businesses. 

    Thai officials say that some incinerators may still be burning because factories are working through old stockpiles. Plants may also be processing domestic rather than foreign refuse, they say.

    But neither explanation is likely, according to industry experts. Hoards of imported waste wouldn't last this long. And the amount of electronic trash that Thailand produces is far outpaced by the number of new factories.

    Foreign e-waste might be smuggled into the country mislabeled as scrap, said Banjong Sukreeta, the deputy director general of the Department of Industrial Works.

    "Ask customs about falsified declarations," he said. "Rules are not enough if the people who implement them are not up to it."

    But Mr. Yutthana, of the customs bureau, said every box that landed at his port was inspected thoroughly.

    "We are 100 percent careful," he said.

    In October of this year, the Thai legislature unveiled loosened labor and environmental regulations for all factories, a move that has benefited the e-waste industry. Under one provision, small companies are no longer subject to pollution monitoring.. 

    At the same time, a draft bill that would ensure tighter control over Thailand's electronic waste industry has languished in legislative purgatory. 

    "Thailand is welcoming environmental degradation with its own laws," said Somnuck Jongmeewasin, a lecturer in environmental management at Silpakorn University International College. "There are so many loopholes and ways to escape punishment."

    The consequences are frightening.. 

    If some types of electronic waste aren't incinerated at a high enough temperature, dioxins, which can cause cancer and developmental problems, infiltrate the food supply. Without proper safeguarding, toxic heavy metals seep into the soil and groundwater.

    Locals who fought against the deluge of trash have been attacked. 

    "Why don't you in the West recycle your own waste?" said Phayao Jaroonwong, a farmer east of Bangkok, who said her crops had withered after an electronic waste factory moved in next door.

    "Thailand can't take it anymore," she said. "We shouldn't be the world's dumping ground."

    Phra Chayaphat Kuntaweera, a Buddhist abbot, has watched as several waste-processing factories opened around his temple. Two more are under construction.

    First, the monks began to cough, he said. Then they vomited. When the incinerators burned, their headaches raged.

    "Monks are people, too," he said. "We get sick from the fumes just like anyone else."

    Earlier this year, the abbot put a sign in front of his temple in Khao Hin Sorn, east of Bangkok.

    "Cheap temple for sale," the banner read, blaming "fumes from burning factories" for the desperate measure.

    At King Aibo Electronics Scrap Treatment Center, one of the factories near the temple, schedules written in Chinese note the dates that shipments will be arriving. The three workers in the office on a recent visit were all Chinese.

    "We know that Chinese people set up factories in Thailand," said Mr. Banjong of the industrial works department. But he said that since the ban on electronic waste was instituted, "we are more strict."

    King Aibo is one of the factories that began operations this year. 

    Other factories never shut down, despite repeated infractions. 

    One, Set Metal, was ordered to shut in April 2018, officials said. It never had a license to import electronic waste, and locals complained about the stench. 

    But on a recent visit, a Thai-Chinese interpreter, speaking through a gate, said the company was open for business, even if some operations had moved to a nearby village. Behind him, containers overflowed with electronic waste. About 100 Burmese workers live on the factory's grounds.

    Even in cases in which wrongdoing is acknowledged, follow-through is weak.. This year, officials admitted that 2,900 tons of electronic waste seized in last year's raids had gone missing. 

    The police had left the stockpile in the care of the Chinese manager, who later skipped the country.

    In September, Sumate Rianpongnam, an activist, campaigned against the e-waste industry's polluting his hometown, Kabinburi. That night, men on motorcycles shot bullets into the air near his home and raced off.

    Shortly afterward, men in a pickup truck tossed small grenades, known as Ping-Pong bombs, at his friend's house. The grenades exploded, but the friend was not injured.

    Others weren't as fortunate. 

    In 2013, a village chief spoke out about the illegal dumping of toxic waste. He was shot four times in broad daylight. The man charged with ordering the killing, an official in the local Department of Industrial Works, was acquitted in September.

    Mr. Sumate and his friend were campaigning against a landfill that illegally mixes electronic waste and household rubbish. On a visit to private land adjacent to the landfill, muscled men packed in a pickup truck tried to block the path out.

    "I've chosen to do this work," Mr. Sumate said. "I am not scared of death."

    In the shadow of the corroded smokestack at New Sky Metal, Metta Maihala surveyed her eucalyptus plantation. The lake that waters the farm has clouded over, and the smell is nauseating.

    Suddenly, through the rows of trees, a pair of Burmese workers emerged. The man showed burns on his arms from his work at New Sky Metal but said he had no idea what liquid had caused his wounds.

    The woman, Ei Thazin, said she received $10 a day for sorting metal. "I didn't know this was dangerous work," she said.

    In Thailand, millions of undocumented workers from poorer countries like Myanmar and Cambodia are vulnerable to abuse, environmental watchdogs say, adding that the need for such laborers will only intensify. 

    Of the 14 factories granted licenses to process e-waste this year in Chachoengsao Province, six are in Koh Khanun. Five are linked to the man whose name is associated with New Sky Metal, or with his wife.

    "We can't choose the air we breathe," said Ms. Metta, the eucalyptus farmer. "Now there will be even more factories. We are all going to die a slow death."



    4) Documents Reveal Misleading Public Statements on War in Afghanistan

    Documents obtained by The Washington Post paint a stark picture of missteps and failures in the American effort to pacify and rebuild Afghanistan.

    By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, December 9, 2019


    American soldiers in Alam Khel, Afghanistan, in 2011.Credit...Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — Thousands of pages of documents detailing the war in Afghanistan released by The Washington Post on Monday paint a stark picture of missteps and failures — and were delivered in the words of prominent American officials, many of whom publicly had said the mission was succeeding.

    After a quick but short-term victory over the Taliban and Al Qaeda in early 2002, and as the Pentagon's focus shifted toward Iraq, the American military's effort in Afghanistan became a hazy spectacle of nation building, with a small number of troops carrying out an unclear mission, the documents show. 

    Even as the Taliban returned in greater numbers and troops on the ground voiced concerns about the American strategy's growing shortcomings, senior American officials almost always said that progress was being made. 

    The documents obtained by The Washington Post show otherwise.

    "We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn't know what we were doing," said Douglas Lute, a retired three-star Army general who helped the White House oversee the war in Afghanistan in both the Bush and Obama administrations.

    "What are we trying to do here? We didn't have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking," he told government interviewers in 2015.

    The 2,000 pages of interviews were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and years of legal back-and-forth with the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, known as SIGAR, according to The Post. Formed in 2008, SIGAR has served as a government watchdog for the war in Afghanistan, releasing reports quarterly on the war's progress, many of which clearly depicted the shortcomings of the effort.

    In one interview obtained by The Washington Post, a person identified only as a senior National Security Council official said that the Obama White House, along with the Pentagon, pushed for data that showed President Barack Obama's announced surge in 2009 was succeeding. 

    "It was impossible to create good metrics. We tried using troop numbers trained, violence levels, control of territory and none of it painted an accurate picture," the official told interviewers in 2016, according to The Post. "The metrics were always manipulated for the duration of the war."

    In 2010 this pressure trickled down to troops on the ground, as they answered to commanders eager to show progress to senior leaders, including Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, then the commander of all American troops in Afghanistan. But the facts were that the fledgling Afghan military performed poorly in the field and the American "clear, hold, build" counterinsurgency strategy had little hope of succeeding.

    But this tension, between rosy public statements and the reality on the ground, has been one of the key elements of the war in Afghanistan. Now, 18 years into the war, the American-led mission in Afghanistan has all but cut off outside access to United States troops on the ground in an attempt to execute their mission in near-secrecy. 

    The Washington Post said the new document trove has a precedent in the Pentagon Papers, but also drew distinctions with that 7,000-page study of the Vietnam War, which was based on internal government documents kept secret until published in 1971 by The New York Times and The Post.

    In contrast, The Post describes the new documents as drawn from interviews conducted between 2014 and 2018 that were used by the inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction to write a series of unclassified "Lessons Learned" reports that have been publicly released. "About 30 of the interview records are transcribed, word-for-word accounts," The Post said. "The rest are typed summaries of conversations: pages of notes and quotes from people with different vantage points in the conflict, from provincial outposts to the highest circles of power."

    Since 2001, more than 2,200 American troops have been killed in Afghanistan, along with hundreds from allied countries that have contributed forces to the war. Since 2014, after the Pentagon officially and euphemistically ended "combat operations," putting the Afghan military in the lead, more than 50,000 Afghan security forces have died. And the war has cost the United States nearly $1 trillion.

    The Washington Post published its report just as talks between the United States and the Taliban have restarted for another round of peace negotiations in Doha, Qatar. In September, President Trump abruptly called off months of the talks following a suicide blast in Kabul that killed an American soldier and 11 others. 

    During a recent trip to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan over the Thanksgiving holiday, Mr. Trump said that the United States will stay in Afghanistan "until such time as we have a deal, or we have total victory, and they want to make a deal very badly." Mr. Trump also reaffirmed that he wants to reduce the American military presence to 8,600 troops in the country, down from about 12,000 to 13,000.



    5) What Did the U.S. Get fo $2 Trillion in Afghanistan?

    By Sarah Almukhtar and Rod Nordland, December 9, 2019


    The Taliban are gaining strength.

    Opium production has quadrupled.

    Osama bin Laden is dead.

    Most Afghans live in poverty.

    All told, the cost of nearly 18 years of war in Afghanistan will amount to more than $2 trillion. Was the money well spent?

    There is little to show for it. The Taliban control much of the country. Afghanistan remains one of the world's largest sources of refugees and migrants. More than 2,400 American soldiers and more than 38,000 Afghan civilians have died.

    Still, life has improved, particularly in the country's cities, where opportunities for education have grown. Many more girls are now in school. And democratic institutions have been built — although they are shaky at best.

    Drawing on estimates from Brown University's Costs of War Project, we assessed how much the United States spent on different aspects of the war and whether that spending achieved its aims.

    When President George W. Bush announced the first military action in Afghanistan in the wake of terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda in 2001, he said the goal was to disrupt terrorist operations and attack the Taliban.

    Eighteen years later, the Taliban are steadily getting stronger. They kill Afghan security force members — sometimes hundreds in a week — and defeat government forces in almost every major engagement, except when significant American air support is used against them.

    Al Qaeda's senior leadership moved to Pakistan, but the group has maintained a presence in Afghanistan and expanded to branches in Yemen, northern Africa, Somalia and Syria.

    The $1.5 trillion in war spending remains opaque, but the Defense Department declassified breakdowns of some of the three most recent years of spending.

    Most of the money detailed in those breakdowns — about 60 percent each year — went to things like training, fuel, armored vehicles and facilities. Transportation, such as air and sea lifts, took up about 8 percent, or $3 billion to $4 billion a year.

    In a report last year, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction described counternarcotics efforts as a "failure." Despite billions of dollars to fight opium poppy cultivation, Afghanistan is the source of 80 percent of global illicit opium production.

    Before the war, Afghanistan had almost completely eradicated opium, according to United Nations data from 1996 to 2001, when the Taliban were in power.

    Today, opium cultivation is a major source of income and jobs, as well as revenue for the Taliban. Other than war expenditures, it is Afghanistan's biggest economic activity.

    One of the major goals of the American effort has been to train thousands of Afghan troops. Most of American spending on reconstruction has gone to a fund that supports the Afghan Army and police forces through equipment, training and funding.

    But nobody in Afghanistan — not the American military, and not President Ashraf Ghani's top advisers — thinks Afghan military forces could support themselves.

    The Afghan Army in particular suffers from increasing casualty rates and desertion, which means they have to train new recruits totaling at least a third of their entire force every year.

    President Barack Obama had planned to hand over total responsibility for security to the Afghans by the end of 2014 and to draw down all American forces by 2016. That plan faltered when the Taliban took quick advantage and gained ground.

    The American military had to persuade first President Obama, and then President Trump, to ramp up forces. Some 14,000 U.S. troops remained in the country as of this month.

    War-related spending has roughly doubled the size of Afghanistan's economy since 2007. But it has not translated into a healthy economy.

    A quarter or more of Afghans are unemployed, and the economic gains have trailed off since 2015, when the international military presence began to draw down.

    Overseas investors still balk at Afghanistan's corruption — among the worst in the world, according to Transparency International, an anticorruption group — and even Afghan companies look for cheaper labor from India and Pakistan.

    Hopes of self-sufficiency in the mineral sector, which the Pentagon boasted could be worth $1 trillion, have been dashed. A few companies from China and elsewhere began investing in mining, but poor security and infrastructure have prevented any significant payout.

    American taxpayers have supported reconstruction efforts that include peacekeeping, refugee assistance and aid for chronic flooding, avalanches and earthquakes.

    Much of that money, the inspector general found, was wasted on programs that were poorly conceived or riddled with corruption.

    American dollars went to build hospitals that treated no patients, to schools that taught no students (and sometimes never existed at all) and to military bases the Afghans found useless and later shuttered..

    The inspector general documented $15.5 billion in waste, fraud and abuse in reconstruction efforts from 2008 through 2017.

    Thanks to American spending, Afghanistan has seen improvements in health and education — but they are scant compared with international norms..

    Afghan maternal mortality and life expectancy remain among the lowest in the world. Most girls still receive little or no schooling, and education for boys is generally poor..

    To finance war spending, the United States borrowed heavily and will pay more than $600 billion in interest on those loans through 2023. The rest of the debt will take years to repay.

    In addition to the more than $2 trillion the American government has already spent on the war, debt and medical costs will continue long into the future.

    More than $350 billion has already gone to medical and disability care for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Experts say that more than half of that spending belongs to the Afghanistan effort.

    The final total is unknown, but experts project another trillion dollars in costs over the next 40 years as wounded and disabled veterans age and need more services.

    Sources: Neta C. Crawford, professor of political science at Boston University; Costs of War Project at Brown University; Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction; Department of Defense; The Long War Journal; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; Brookings Institution. | Note: War costs include money specifically earmarked for war spending in addition to increases to the overall Department of Defense base budget. Estimates are for authorized budget amounts in 2019 dollars.



    6) Despite Warnings, Trump Moves to Expand Migrant Family Detention

    Tiny prison uniforms were replaced with T-shirts. Healthcare and schooling improved. Experts say there is still no safe way to incarcerate families.

    By Caitlin Dickerson, December 9, 2019


    The South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Tex., is part of a system of detention facilities for migrant families.Credit...Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

    DILLEY, Tex. — On a burning hot day last summer at the South Texas Family Residential Center, a federal detention facility for immigrant families, Kenia and her son, Michael, 11, were hunched over a foosball table in an air-conditioned recreation room when Michael dropped to the floor and started sobbing.. He curled his body into a ball and writhed as if he were in pain.

    The other parents and children in the room looked up from their jump ropes and boomboxes as Kenia knelt down and pleaded into Michael's ear: Would he please go back to their room before the guards noticed him?

    "I don't want to be here, I don't want to be here," Michael shouted, his eyes clenched.

    The date of this particular meltdown, Kenia can't remember — not because it wasn't memorable, but because it was one of many times her son broke down during the four months they were detained after arriving in the United States.

    Kenia also felt like she was falling apart, unsure of what would happen to them. Guards had warned her that if Michael continued to misbehave, they would be punished, which she assumed meant being sent back to Honduras.

    "We were always being watched," she said.

    The experiences of migrant families like Kenia's who were held for months behind the locked gates of a secure facilty offer insight into what thousands of others could face if the Trump administration succeeds in creating one of the few long-term incarceration systems for families in the developed world. 

    Amid a wide-ranging campaign to discourage migration to the United States, President Trump has vowed repeatedly to end the practice he calls "catch and release," under which migrants are allowed to live freely in the United States while their lengthy immigration cases are in process.

    The administration wants to expand the system of secure facilities where migrant families can be incarcerated for months or longer. In late November, Justice Department lawyers appealed a federal judge's decision that blocked the government's attempt to eliminate a 20-day time limit on most family detentions. 

    If the appeal is successful, Kenia and Michael's experience of being detained for months — the result of a legal fluke that left them institutionalized far longer than current standards allow — could become the norm. Facilities like the one at Dilley, which is run by the private prison company, CoreCivic, could multiply to incarcerate more than 15,000 parents and children across the country.

    The practice of jailing migrant families has been fiercely debated over three administrations, in part because of years of scientific consensus that detaining children, even with their parents, can cause permanent developmental damage.

    "They have more difficulty learning, they have more difficulty socializing," said Amy J. Cohen, a child psychiatrist who works with the organization Physicians for Human Rights and has served as an adviser on legal cases over family detention. 

    Research at existing family detention centers found heightened levels of stress, which can damage neurons and lead to smaller brain masses in children who have been detained for long periods. 

    After controlling for trauma, age and country of origin, Dr. Cohen said, "It becomes extremely clear that it is detention which is the variable which is creating, literally, mental illness in these children."

    The Trump administration says that conditions in the family facilities are better than what many migrants left in their home countries, and last year it announced a plan to more than quintuple the number of family detention beds in the country.. There is currently space for about 3,500 detainees at the three existing centers in Pennsylvania and Texas. 

    Canada and much of Europe process migrant families in the way the United States does currently, with most detained only temporarily on the way into or out of the country. Under the Trump administration's plan, the United States would join Australia to become only the second country in the world with a policy to detain migrant families through the end of their legal cases — often for months or years.

    Kenia and Michael were among dozens of families who lived at the South Texas Family Residential Center for months beyond the legal limit of 20 days because they had previously been separated under the administration's "zero tolerance" policy and were being held while their lawyers sued the government over their asylum cases.

    The New York Times was allowed during a visit to Dilley to interview two parents who were detained there with their children. Kenia and Michael were interviewed after they were released. All of the families asked that their last names not be used in order to avoid endangering themselves or their immigration cases.

    Within days of their arrival, the parents said a comfortable facade began to crumble. They held their breath inside the smelly cafeteria and waited in long lines in the heat to get medicine for fevers or colds. Their children resisted going to school after they discovered the curriculum repeated after 20 days. During school hours, the mothers could meet with their lawyers or knit for hours.. Sometimes Zumba class was offered.

    The weeks felt like months, they said, and boredom and uncertainty weighed on them constantly.

    A woman named Cindy who was detained at Dilley for four months before being released said her 8-year-old son Jostin refused to eat while they were there and would vomit when she tried to force him into the dining hall. 

    Another, Patricia, said her daughter Christy had tried to kill herself inside the facility and was put on anti-anxiety medication and sedatives. Once a bubbly teenager, Christy cried every day they were detained and suffered from dizzy spells because she also refused to eat, her mother said. 

    "It's like I don't know her anymore. She has changed so much," Patricia said.

    Kenia and Michael landed in Dilley in July 2018 after they left Honduras to get away from a man who Kenia said had started to stalk her. He physically attacked her and threatened to kill her and Michael. When she threatened to go to the police, the man told Kenia that the police were his friends. 

    They escaped to the United States. And though he had struggled in the months leading up to their detention at Dilley, within days of arriving at the five-acre compound southwest of San Antonio surrounded by a high concrete-and-chain-link fence, he began to unravel. He blamed Kenia for their detention but, after he saw her scolded by guards, declared that she was clearly not in charge and refused to listen to her.

    "The more I would try to calm him down," Kenia said, "the worse he would get."

    Other families were struggling, too, and the children's outbursts seemed to trigger one another.

    A 6-year-old boy living in their dorm repeatedly grabbed his mother by the hair, choked her and threatened to kill her in front of the roommates, Kenia said. The boy's mother explained to the group they had fled Guatemala to get away from his father, who had done the same thing to her in front of the boy.

    Unlike other types of migrant detention centers that have drawn scrutiny for their conditions — like Border Patrol stations and children's shelters overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services — the facilities used for longer-term detention of families have received little public attention. 

    Established at a site in Pennsylvania under President George W. Bush, they were initially seen by some as a way to help incoming migrants by providing shelter and food to people who arrived without plans for how they would establish themselves.

    But after an unexpected surge in families crossing the border, officials began to suggest that incarcerating the migrants for long periods of time could be an effective way to discourage others from following behind them. 

    Two new detention facilities were opened in Texas in 2006 and New Mexico in 2014; both closed after lawsuits and government inspections found that children were rapidly losing weight because of inedible food and poor medical care.

    The scrutiny prompted changes to the standards for family detention. Tiny prison uniforms for children were replaced with T-shirts and jeans, and private bathrooms were installed in place of open-air, mixed-gender toilets. The current standards require schooling that follows state education standards and on-site medical care.

    Jeh Johnson, who served as Homeland Security secretary under President Barack Obama, created an advisory committee of experts to suggest reforms that would make the system even more humane.

    Instead, they concluded that there was no safe way to detain families and in 2016 voted unanimously to recommend that the system be shut down.

    The plans to phase out family detention that began to take shape during the final months of the Obama administration were immediately reversed when Mr. Trump took office. 

    The administration sought funds from Congress to expand family detention, but so far the requests have been blocked by the Democratic-controlled House. 

    The focus has since turned back to continuing litigation over legal restrictions on family detention that the administration is seeking to undo. The appeal filed in late November could eventually reach the Supreme Court, which now has a conservative majority.

    Problems in the facilities persist. A toddler's mother filed suitagainst the government last year, claiming mistreatment and neglect after her 20-month-old daughter, Mariee Juarez, died of a respiratory illness she caught at Dilley.

    Late this summer, Matthew Albence, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, led reporters around the Dilley complex, saying he was "extremely comfortable and extremely proud" of the facility.

    He and his staff pointed out a library stacked with books and spacious dodge ball courts. "I would say many of these kids, it's probably the first time they've had their own bed, it's probably the first time that any of them have had access to medical. We know for sure it's the first time that many of them have had a dental exam," he said, referring to the conditions that the families had fled. 

    "This is a very nurturing environment," he said. 

    After they were released from Dilley in November of last year, Kenia and Michael moved into an apartment in New York paid for by donations to an immigrant advocacy organization started by her lawyer, Kate Chaltain, and her friend, Jean Kim Chaix, after they met Kenia and Michael.

    Michael's mood swings have not improved. Kenia worries the months they spent detained permanently changed him. 

    "He's angry every day. He just wants to be alone," Kenia said. In their home country, he had loved to socialize and play sports with friends. But since they left Dilley, she said, "No park, no friends, he doesn't want to do anything."

    They are both attending weekly therapy, also paid for by donations, to work through the effects of their detention. 

    Because Kenia does not have a work permit, she could not afford a present for Michael's 12th birthday in August. Instead, she presented him with an almond cake from the grocery store and asked him to take a picture to send to their family in Honduras. 

    Michael had another outburst. He refused the picture and yelled at Kenia. They both started crying and Michael shoved his cake on to the floor.



    7) This Is What Racism Sounds Like in the Banking Industry

    A JPMorgan employee and a customer secretly recorded their conversations with bank employees.

    By Emily Fitter, December 11, 2019


    Ricardo Peters, a former financial adviser at JPMorgan Chase.Credit...Ash Ponders for The New York Times

    Jimmy Kennedy earned $13 million during his nine-year career as a player in the National Football League. He was the kind of person most banks would be happy to have as a client.

    But when Mr. Kennedy tried to become a "private client" at JPMorgan Chase, an elite designation that would earn him travel discounts, exclusive event invitations and better deals on loans, he kept getting the runaround.

    At first, he didn't understand why. Then, last fall, he showed up at his local JPMorgan branch in Arizona, and an employee offered an explanation.