1/17/2020

bauaw2003 BAUAW NEWSLETTER, FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020

 



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Updates from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

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Committee to Stop FBI Repression (stopfbi.net)


National Call in Day, Wed., Jan 22 to demand:
Drop the Charge against Venezuelan Embassy Protectors

Call Prosecutor Danielle Sara Rosborough,
U.S. Attorney's Office at:
202-252-6837


Tell the prosecutor:


"I (state your name) request that you drop all charges against the four Venezuelan Embassy Protectors: Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers, Adrienne Pine and David Paul.. The four did not violate any U.S. or international law during their 37-day stay in the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC. Their stay in the Venezuelan Embassy building was with full permission of the legitimate, elected Government of Venezuela, as recognized by the United Nations and its Charter..


I believe it is the United States government that has violated the UN Charter by unlawfully raiding and transferring the control of the Venezuelan Embassy to an unauthorized opposition group in Venezuela that has little support among the people of that country.


I don't think that the charge of 'interfering with the protective functions of the state' can be legitimately applied to this case, and if abusively applied, it will open the door to any foreign government or entity to do the same with the United States diplomatic premises anywhere in the world."


The Web site of the Defense Committee is:

www.DefendEmbassyProtectors.org



 

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Copyright © 2020 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights reserved. 

Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists! 

Our mailing address is: 

Committee to Stop FBI Repression

PO Box 14183

MinneapolisMN  55414


Add us to your address book


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12:00 Noon

Powell and Market

San Francisco



U.S. aggression against Iran threatens to begin yet another disastrous, bloody war. The people of the world must fight back and demand: No war on Iran!

On Saturday, January 25, actions across the world will oppose a new war in West Asia. Now is the time for all those opposed to war to speak up. 


Initiators for this call include  United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), the International Action Center, ANSWER Coalition, CODEPINK, Popular Resistance, Black Alliance for Peace, National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), Veterans For Peace, U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW), Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Pastors for Peace/Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), International Workers Solidarity Network, United For Peace and Justice, FIRE (Fight for Im/migrants and Refugees Everywhere), Alliance For Global Justice (AFGJ), December 12th Movement, World Beyond War, Peoples Opposition to War Imperialism and Racism (POWIR), Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Dominican Sisters/ICAN, Nonviolence International, No War on Venezuela, Food Not Bombs, and many other antiwar and peace organizations.


Please join:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScNrf_CDr9uilSQtUvnbcxNIaC29QwMnEqVPlPFane8ktEtqA/viewform

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday: Restorative Justice, Empathy and Loving Engagement

Tuesday: Diversity and Globalism

Wednesday: Trans-Affirming, Queer Affirming and Collective Value

Thursday: Intergenerational, Black Families and Black Villages

Friday: Black Women and Unapologetically Black

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

Related

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










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

Sanctions Kill!

Sanctions are War!

End Sanctions Now!


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


Help expose this war crime against people of the world.


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


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

Sanctions Kill!

Sanctions are War!

End Sanctions Now!


Please add your endorsement and help spread the word



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Party for Socialism and Liberation

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Presidential candidate Gloria La Riva denounces Trump's new Iran sanctions

La Riva speaking on human impact of U.S. Sanctions

Campaign tweet of La Riva at anti-war protest speaking on the human impact of U..S. sanctions

"Sanctions are a silent killer that have already had devastating effects in Iraq and Iran. I denounce Mike Pompeo's and Steven Mnuchin's announcement of more sanctions on Iran, which are solely intended to create suffering on the Iranian people," said Gloria La Riva, 2020 presidential candidate and longtime anti-war activist.

"It is clear that the Trump administration is not backing down from its belligerence. In fact, Trump is forcefully pursuing further confrontation, and is all the more reason for us to remain mobilized against a new war on Iran."

Join the Sat. Jan. 25 – Global Day of Protest – No War On Iran!

"Sanctions are an act of war," she continued, "I traveled three times to Iraq during the 1990's when the United States government imposed a total blockade of the country for more than 12 years. I witnessed the human toll, thousands of people dying every month from the blocking of food, medicine, and infrastructure materials after the 78-day U.S.. military bombing of 1991."

La Riva produced the 1998 award-winning documentary, Genocide by Sanctions: The Case of Iraq, based on her investigative work there.

"And now President Trump, via executive order, is virtually tightening a noose on Iran." In the Friday address Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced that Trump's sanctions included penalties that would be applied to any individual or governments trading with or involved with Iranian construction, manufacturing, textiles or mining industries.

"Sanctions are designed to destabilize a country's society, they are part of a larger war drive," La Riva said. "They hit the most vulnerable people first, the sick, young children, elderly and the poor because they lose access to necessary items. In Iran the prices of potatoes have already increased over 300% from previous sanctions. The costs of rice and chicken and many other goods have gone up. The point of sanctions is to create suffering—with these kinds of acts it is no wonder Iran and the Iraqi Parliament have called for the expulsion of the U.S. military from the region.

"There is no justification for these sanctions. In fact United Nations resolutions state that there is no justification for policies that target a whole population. Such an act of aggression is recognized as genocide."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was behind imminent threats to Americans but when asked for specifics, he only cited the death of a U.S. contractor killed in Iraq. However, that was weeks prior to the killing of Soleimani.

La Riva said, "by logic and definition a past occurrence does not constitute not an imminent threat. What we know instead is that with Trump's abrogation of the JCPOA, he embarked a while ago on an offensive that the people of the United States and worldwide are extremely worried about.."

La Riva has been in the streets of San Francisco with thousands of other people demanding No New War on Iran..

She is running nationally for the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and in California she is seeking the Peace and Freedom Party nomination. Her vice-presidential candidate is Leonard Peltier, Native political prisoner unjustly held in federal prison now for 43 years.

Point five of La Riva's Presidential 10 Point Program reads, "Shut down all U.S. military bases around the world—bring all the troops, planes & ships home. U.S. foreign policy uses the pretext of national security to enforce the imperialist interests of the biggest banks and corporations. That is what is behind the endless wars and occupations. Use the $1 trillion military budget instead to provide for people's needs here and worldwide. Abolish nuclear weapons. Stop U.S. aid to Israel. Self-determination for the Palestinian people, including the right of return. End the U.S. blockade of Cuba and sanctions against Venezuela, Iran and all countries. Independence for Puerto Rico and cancel its debt!"

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Party for Socialism and Liberation

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La Riva / Peltier 2020 Campaign
10-Point Program

10 Point Program

The 10-Point Program of the La Riva/Peltier 2020 Campaign is a fighting program that represents the interests and needs of the vast majority of people of the United States and extends international solidarity to the peoples of the world. Our campaign will reach to every corner of the U.S. with the message that only socialism can solve the crises of climate change, racism, poverty and war. It will take a people's movement for real, lasting and sustainable change. We hope you will join us!

★ 1 | Make the essentials of life constitutional rights

The U.S. has more than enough so that all the essentials of life — food, housing, water, education, health care and a job or basic income can be guaranteed rights — rather than distributed only for profit. Create a completely free and public healthcare system.. Make education free—cancel all student debt. Fully fund rebuilding of the infrastructure in transport, water and utility systems. Stop all foreclosures and evictions. End all discrimination based on ability/disability.

★ 2 | For the Earth to live, capitalism must be replaced by a socialist system

Global warming, pollution, acidified and depleted oceans, fracking, critical drought, plastics choking the seas, nuclear weapons and waste — it is clear that capitalism and production for profit are destroying the planet and threatening all life. The crisis is already here, with the most vulnerable and oppressed areas of the U.S. and Global South bearing the brunt. Using truly sustainable energy and seizing the oil and coal companies to stop fossil fuel pollution, are urgent steps needed to reverse climate change. Ultimately, only the socialist reorganization of society can assure the future of the people and the planet.

★ 3 | End racism, police brutality, mass incarceration. Pay reparations to the African American community

Mass incarceration and racist policing are symptomatic of the 400 years of brutal repression meted out to African-descended peoples in the U.S. Reparations must be paid! More than 2.2 million people are behind bars in the largest prison complex in the world. End mass incarceration of all oppressed and working-class people. Fully prosecute all acts of police brutality and violence. Free Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners!

★ 4 | Full rights for all immigrants

Abolish all anti-immigrant laws. Stop the raids and deportations and demonization of immigrants..... Shut down ICE and the concentration camps and reunite families. The government's war on immigrants must end. The border wall must be dismantled. Amnesty and citizenship for those without documents. Full rights for all!

★ 5 | Shut down all U.S. military bases around the world—bring all the troops, planes & ships home

U.S. foreign policy uses the pretext of national security to enforce the imperialist interests of the biggest banks and corporations. That is what is behind the endless wars and occupations. Use the $1 trillion military budget instead to provide for people's needs here and worldwide. Abolish nuclear weapons. Stop U.S.. aid to Israel. Self-determination for the Palestinian people, including the right of return. End the U.S. blockade of Cuba and sanctions against Venezuela, Iran and all countries. Independence for Puerto Rico and cancel its debt!

★ 6 | Honor Native treaties. Free Leonard Peltier now

Both major parties have continued to allow the destruction and theft of Native lands by mining and corporate agricultural interests in blatant disregard of indigenous sovereign rights. 33% of Native children live in poverty and many of the poorest U.S. counties are reservations. The crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and the over-incarceration of Native peoples shows the bankruptcy of capitalism from its earliest inception in the Americas until today..

★ 7 | Full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people

Fight back against anti-LGBTQ discrimination and violence. Defend marriage equality. Full equality in all matters governed by civil law, including employment, housing, healthcare and education. No to "religious exemption" laws that allow discrimination against LGBTQ people!

★ 8 | Equality for women and free, safe, legal abortion on demand

Stop the attack on women's reproductive rights and defend Roe v. Wade... Women must have the fundamental right to choose and to control their own bodies. Women still earn 22 percent less than men, and the gap is even more severe for Black and Latina women. Close the wage gap and end the gender division of labor...

★ 9 | Defend and expand our unions

Support the right of all workers to have a union. Fight back against the attacks on collective bargaining. Require employers to recognize card check union votes. Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act. Focusing on low-wage worker organizing, rebuild a fighting labor movement.

★ 10 | Take over the stolen wealth of the giant banks and corporations – Jail Wall St. criminals

The vast wealth of the giant banks and corporations is created by workers labor and the exploitation of the world's diminishing natural resources. The billionaires looted and destroyed the economy. It is time to seize their assets and use those resources in the interests of the vast majority. Power must be taken out of the hands of the super rich, and Wall Street criminals must be jailed.

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Chelsea Manning just spent another birthday behind bars.


Sign the Petition: Free Chelsea Manning Now

Judge Anthony Trenga

Chelsea-1000x600

In 2010, former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning disclosed earth-shattering information about the nature of asymmetric warfare and U.S. handling of global affairs. And she paid dearly for it. Chelsea was incarcerated for years, including long stretches in solitary confinement, under conditions that the United Nations condemned as torture.

After millions of people around the world spoke out and demanded her release, Chelsea's sentence was commuted. But the US government did not stop persecuting her.

Now, Chelsea has been back in jail for nine months, and faces nine more. Not because she has committed any crime, but because of her conscientious objection to participating in a secretive grand jury investigation into the publication of her 2010 disclosures.

Between their original forensic investigation and Chelsea's detailed statement at court martial, the government gained exhaustive knowledge about her role in the disclosures. They have no need for her testimony—they obtained at least one indictment a full year before she was called to testify before the grand jury, and disclosed another two months after she was jailed for her refusal to do so.

Chelsea's refusal to participate in this process is part of a long history of resistance to grand juries, which are routinely used to harass and entrap activists, journalists, and truth tellers. In a shocking move, the judge in the case has imposed massive fines on Chelsea, charging her $1,000 per day while the US government holds her in "coercive confinement," ostensibly to convince her to agree to their demand that she give testimony to the grand jury.

We know Chelsea Manning's name because she is a principled and fearless advocate for her beliefs. She is prepared to spend another nine months in confinement, and to bear the crushing debt of these unprecedented fines.... Senior U.S. officials, including the Secretary of State and the President himself have publicly expressed their hostility toward her. It could not be more clear that the government wishes to punish Chelsea further for her 2010 disclosures. It could not be more clear that she will never comply with the grand jury.

Chelsea has already served half of the 18 month maximum that the government can hold her. She's about to spend another birthday in a jail cell. The US government has no legal justification for continuing to imprison her. This must stop. Sign the petition now to send the following letter to Judge Trenga demanding Chelsea Manning's immediate release.

To: Judge Anthony Trenga 
From: 

Dear Honorable Judge Trenga,

I am writing to ask you to recognize that continuing to keep Chelsea Manning behind bars is both futile and cruel. She is known to the world as a principled advocate, and everything she does and says demonstrates her strong will and commitment to her ideals. Her testimony in this grand jury is not needed, and her current incarceration appears to be an attempt to punish her further for past offenses. As she will never be convinced to betray her principles, even by jail time or burdensome fines, her imprisonment does not serve the interests of the grand jury, the government, the court, or the law.

Please make the right decision and order her release so that she may return to her community and heal in peace.

Questions and comments may be sent to info@freedomarchives...org


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

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


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


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


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


A bucket was eventually brought over and:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Main Street

San Quentin, CA 94964

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



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

US ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR

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


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


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


In peace and solidarity,


The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Support Committee

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




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Support the return of Leonard Peltier's Medicine Bundle


November 1, 2019


Dear Friends and supporters,

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

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


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


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


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


Miigwech

Paulette Dauteuil ILPDC National Office

Sheridan Murphy- President of the ILPDC Board

--

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863......9977 https://freedomarchives..org/




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

by Levi Rickert

Published November 23, 2019


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Doksha,

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier



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


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Eddie Conway's Update on Forgotten Political Prisoners


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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Courage to Resist


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



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

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





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

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

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Mumia Abu-Jamal: New Chance for Freedom

Police and State Frame-Up Must Be Fully Exposed!

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

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

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

Time is up! FREE MUMIA NOW!

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DA's Hidden Files Show Frame-Up of Mumia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mass Movement Needed To Free Mumia! 

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

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

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

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

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

Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal


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



November 2019


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


-Toni Morrison


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Board Game

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


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

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

Spread the word!!

By Dr. Nayvin Gordon



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Action Alert for Shaka Shakur

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Furthermore:


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


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


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


What You Can Do to Support Shaka:


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


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


As Shaka stated:


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


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


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



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50 years in prison: 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!


FREE Chip Fitzgerald 

Grandfather, Father, Elder, Friend

former Black Panther 

              

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


NOW is the time for Chip to come home!


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


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


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

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

·        for anyone convicted before they were 23 years old;

·        for anyone with disabilities 


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


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


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


The California Board of Parole Hearings is holding Chip hostage....


We call on Governor Newsom to release Chip immediately.


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



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

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


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


3)   Write to Chip: 

 Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald #B27527,

CSP-LAC

P.O. Box 4490

B-4-150

Lancaster, CA 93539


--

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.....9977 https://freedomarchives.org/



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Support Chuck Africa for Parole

Michael Africa Jr. started this petition to Pennsylvania Governor


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

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

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

http://chng.it/Yprs8pXBBp


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On Abortion: From Facebook


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

Sent from my iPhone


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Celebrating the release of Janet and Janine Africa

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





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


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


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

Write:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of the State of New York

Executive Chamber State Capital Building

Albany, New York 12224


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


Call: 1-518-474-8390


Email Gov..... Cuomo with this form


Tweet at @NYGovCuomo

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

ANTHONY JALIL BOTTOM, 77A4283,

Sullivan Correctional Facility,

P.O. Box 116,

Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116




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Funds for Kevin Cooper

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


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


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


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


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


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






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Don't extradite Assange!

To the government of the UK

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Words of Wisdom



Louis Robinson Jr., 77

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


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


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

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


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Get Malik Out of Ad-Seg




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


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

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


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


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



Who to contact:

TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier

Phone: (936)295-6371


Senior Warden Philip Sinfuentes (McConnell Unit)

Phone: (361) 362-2300

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MAJOR TILLERY FILES NEW LEGAL PETITION

SEX FOR LIES AND MANUFACTURED TESTIMONY



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

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


Sex for Lies and Manufactured Testimony

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


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


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


Major Tillery Needs Your Help:



HOW YOU CAN HELP

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

    Go to JPay...com;

    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC


    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:

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

    Call: 215-686-8000 or


    Write to:

    Security Processing Center

    Major Tillery AM 9786

    268 Bricker Road

    Bellefonte, PA 16823

    For More Information, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery.org

    Call/Write:

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

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





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    Articles:



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    1) Who Killed The Knapp Family?

    By Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, January 9, 2020

    "If the federal minimum wage in 1968 had kept up with inflation and productivity, it would now be $22 an hour. Instead, it's $7.25."

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/opinion/sunday/deaths-despair-poverty.html


    The Knapps around the Christmas tree in Yamhill, Ore., circa 1968. Dee Knapp is in the back, and from left the kids are Nathan, Rogena, Farlan, Keylan and Zealan.Credit...via Dee Knapp


    YAMHILL, Ore. — Chaos reigned daily on the No. 6 school bus, with working-class boys and girls flirting and gossiping and dreaming, brimming with mischief, bravado and optimism. Nick rode it every day in the 1970s with neighbors here in rural Oregon, neighbors like Farlan, Zealan, Rogena, Nathan and Keylan Knapp.

    They were bright, rambunctious, upwardly mobile youngsters whose father had a good job installing pipes. The Knapps were thrilled to have just bought their own home, and everyone oohed and aahed when Farlan received a Ford Mustang for his 16th birthday.

    Yet today about one-quarter of the children on that No. 6 bus are dead, mostly from drugs, suicide, alcohol or reckless accidents. Of the five Knapp kids who had once been so cheery, Farlan died of liver failure from drink and drugs, Zealan burned to death in a house fire while passed out drunk, Rogena died from hepatitis linked to drug use and Nathan blew himself up cooking meth. Keylan survived partly because he spent 13 years in a state penitentiary.


    Among other kids on the bus, Mike died from suicide, Steve from the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, Cindy from depression and a heart attack, Jeff from a daredevil car crash, Billy from diabetes in prison, Kevin from obesity-related ailments, Tim from a construction accident, Sue from undetermined causes. And then there's Chris, who is presumed dead after years of alcoholism and homelessness. At least one more is in prison, and another is homeless.


    We Americans are locked in political combat and focused on President Trump, but there is a cancer gnawing at the nation that predates Trump and is larger than him. Suicides are at their highest rate since World War II; one child in seven is living with a parent suffering from substance abuse; a baby is born every 15 minutes after prenatal exposure to opioids; America is slipping as a great power.

    We have deep structural problems that have been a half century in the making, under both political parties, and that are often transmitted from generation to generation. Only in America has life expectancy now fallen three years in a row, for the first time in a century, because of "deaths of despair."

    "The meaningfulness of the working-class life seems to have evaporated," Angus Deaton, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, told us. "The economy just seems to have stopped delivering for these people." Deaton and the economist Anne Case, who is also his wife, coined the term "deaths of despair" to describe the surge of mortality from alcohol, drugs and suicide.

    The kids on the No. 6 bus rode into a cataclysm as working-class communities disintegrated across America because of lost jobs, broken families, gloom — and failed policies. The suffering was invisible to affluent Americans, but the consequences are now evident to all: The survivors mostly voted for Trump, some in hopes that he would rescue them, but under him the number of children without health insurance has risen by more than 400,000.


    The stock market is near record highs, but working-class Americans (often defined as those without college degrees) continue to struggle. If you're only a high school graduate, or worse, a dropout, work no longer pays. If the federal minimum wage in 1968 had kept up with inflation and productivity, it would now be $22 an hour. Instead, it's $7.25.

    We were foreign correspondents together for many years, periodically covering humanitarian crises in distant countries. Then we would return to the Kristof family farm in Yamhill and see a humanitarian crisis unfolding in a community we loved — and a similar unraveling was happening in towns across the country. This was not one town's problem, but a crisis in the American system.


    "I'm a capitalist, and even I think capitalism is broken," says Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund.

    Even in this presidential campaign, the unraveling of working-class communities receives little attention. There is talk about the middle class, but very little about the working class; we discuss college access but not the one in seven children who don't graduate from high school. America is like a boat that is half-capsized, but those partying above water seem oblivious.

    "We have to stop being obsessed over impeachment and start actually digging in and solving the problems that got Donald Trump elected in the first place," Andrew Yang argued in the last Democratic presidential debate. Whatever you think of Yang as a candidate, on this he is dead right: We have to treat America's cancer.

    In some ways the situation is worsening, because families have imploded in under the pressure of drug and alcohol abuse, and children are growing up in desperate circumstances.. One of our dearest friends in Yamhill, Clayton Green, a brilliant mechanic who was three years behind Nick in school, died last January, leaving five grandchildren — and all have been removed from their parents by the state for their protection. A local school official sighs that some children are "feral."


    Farlan, the oldest of the Knapp children, was in Nick's grade. A talented woodworker, he dreamed of opening a business called "Farlan's Far Out Fantastic Freaky Furniture." But Farlan ended up dropping out of school after the ninth grade.

    Although he never took high school chemistry, Farlan became a first-rate chemist: He was one of the first people in the Yamhill area to cook meth. For a time he was a successful entrepreneur known for his high quality merchandise. "This is what I was made for," he once announced with quiet pride. But he abused his own drugs and by his 40s was gaunt and frail.

    In some ways, he was a great dad, for he loved his two daughters, Amber and Andrea, and they idolized him. But theirs was not an optimal upbringing: In one of Amber's baby pictures, there's a plate of cocaine in the background.

    Farlan died of liver failure in 2009, just after his 51st birthday, and his death devastated both daughters. Andrea, who was smart, talented, gorgeous and entrepreneurial, ran her own real estate business but accelerated her drinking after her dad died. "She drank herself to death," her uncle Keylan told us. She was buried in 2013 at the age of 29.

    In the 1970s and '80s it was common to hear derogatory suggestions that the forces ripping apart African-American communities were rooted in "black culture." The idea was that "deadbeat dads," self-destructive drug abuse and family breakdown were the fundamental causes, and that all people needed to do was show "personal responsibility."

    A Harvard sociologist, William Julius Wilson, countered that the true underlying problem was lost jobs, and he turned out to be right. When good jobs left white towns like Yamhill a couple of decades later because of globalization and automation, the same pathologies unfolded there. Men in particular felt the loss not only of income but also of dignity that accompanied a good job. Lonely and troubled, they self-medicated with alcohol or drugs, and they accumulated criminal records that left them less employable and less marriageable. Family structure collapsed.

    It would be easy but too simplistic to blame just automation and lost jobs: The problems are also rooted in disastrous policy choices over 50 years. The United States wrested power from labor and gave it to business, and it suppressed wages and cut taxes rather than invest in human capital, as our peer countries did. As other countries embraced universal health care, we did not; several counties in the United States have life expectancies shorter than those in Cambodia or Bangladesh..

    One consequence is that the bottom end of America's labor force is not very productive, in ways that reduce our country's competitiveness. A low-end worker may not have a high school diploma and is often barely literate or numerate while also struggling with a dependency; more than seven million Americans also have suspended driver's licenses for failing to pay child support or court-related debt, meaning that they may not reliably show up at work.

    Americans also bought into a misconceived "personal responsibility" narrative that blamed people for being poor. It's true, of course, that personal responsibility matters: People we spoke to often acknowledged engaging in self-destructive behaviors. But when you can predict wretched outcomes based on the ZIP code where a child is born, the problem is not bad choices the infant is making. If we're going to obsess about personal responsibility, let's also have a conversation about social responsibility.

    Why did deaths of despair claim Farlan, Zealan, Nathan, Rogena and so many others? We see three important factors.


    First, well-paying jobs disappeared, partly because of technology and globalization but also because of political pressure on unions and a general redistribution of power toward the wealthy and corporations.


    Second, there was an explosion of drugs — oxycodone, meth, heroin, crack cocaine and fentanyl — aggravated by the reckless marketing of prescription painkillers by pharmaceutical companies..

    Third, the war on drugs sent fathers and mothers to jail, shattering families.

    There's plenty of blame to go around. Both political parties embraced mass incarceration and the war on drugs, which was particularly devastating for black Americans, and ignored an education system that often consigned the poor — especially children of color — to failing schools. Since 1988, American schools have become increasingly segregated by race, and kids in poor districts perform on average four grade levels behind those in rich districts.

    Farlan's daughter Amber seemed the member of the Knapp family most poised for success. She was the first Knapp ever to graduate from high school, and then she took a job at a telecommunications company, managing databases and training staff members to use computer systems. We were struck by her intellect and interpersonal skills; it was easy to imagine her as a lawyer or a business executive.

    "PowerPoint presentations and Excel and pivot charts and matrix analytics, that's what I like to do," she told us. She married and had three children and for a time was thriving.

    Then in grief after her father and sister died, she imploded. A doctor had prescribed medications like Xanax, and she became dependent on them. After running out of them, she began smoking meth for the first time when she was 32.

    "I was dead set against it my whole life," she remembered. "I hated it. I'd seen what it did to everybody. My dad was a junkie who cooked meth and lost everything. You would think that was enough.." It wasn't. She bounced in and out of jail and lost her kids.


    Amber knew she had blown it, but she was determined to recover her life and her children. We had hoped that Amber would claw her way back, proof that it is possible to escape the messiness of the Knapp family story and build a successful life. We texted Amber a few times to arrange photos of Farlan, and then she stopped replying to our texts. Finally, her daughter responded: Amber was back in jail.


    Yet it's not hopeless. America is polarized with ferocious arguments about social issues, but we should be able to agree on what doesn't work: neglect and underinvestment in children. Here's what does work..

    Job training and retraining give people dignity as well as an economic lifeline. Such jobs programs are common in other countries.

    For instance, autoworkers were laid off during the 2008-9 economic crisis both in Detroit and across the Canadian border in nearby Windsor, Ontario. As the scholar Victor Tan Chen has showed, the two countries responded differently. The United States focused on money, providing extended unemployment benefits. Canada emphasized job retraining, rapidly steering workers into new jobs in fields like health care, and Canadian workers also did not have to worry about losing health insurance.

    Canada's approach succeeded. The focus on job placement meant that Canadian workers were ushered more quickly back into workaday society and thus today seem less entangled in drugs and family breakdown.


    Another successful strategy is investing not just in prisons but also in human capital to keep people out of prisons. The highest-return investments available in America may be in early education for disadvantaged children, but there are also valuable interventions available for adolescents and adults. We attended a thrilling graduation in Tulsa, Okla., for 17 women completing an impressive local drug treatment program called Women in Recovery.

    The graduates had an average of 15 years of addiction each, and all were on probation after committing crimes. Yet they had quit drugs and started jobs, and 300 people in the audience — including police officers who had arrested them and judges who had sentenced them — gave the women a standing ovation... The state attorney general served as the commencement speaker and called them "heroes," drawing tearful smiles from women more accustomed to being called "junkies" or "whores."

    "I thought we'd be planning a funeral instead," said one audience member whose younger sister had started using meth at age 12 and was now graduating at 35. Women in Recovery has a recidivism rate after three years of only 4 percent, and consequently has saved Oklahoma $70 million in prison spending, according to the George Kaiser Family Foundation..

    Bravo for philanthropy, but the United States would never build interstate highways through volunteers and donations, and we can't build a national preschool program or a national drug recovery program with private money. We need the government to step up and jump-start nationwide programs in early childhood education, job retraining, drug treatment and more.


    For individuals trying to break an addiction, a first step is to face up to the problem — and that's what America should do as well. Our own reporting in the past focused on foreigners, affording us an emotional distance, while this time we spoke with old friends and had no armor..... It has been wrenching to see them struggle. But ultimately we saw pathways forward that leave us hopeful..

    One of our dear friends in Yamhill was Rick "Ricochet" Goff, who was part Indian and never had a chance: His mom died when he was 5 and his dad was, as he put it, "a professional drunk" who abandoned the family. Ricochet was a whiz at solving puzzles and so dependable a friend that he would lend pals money even when he couldn't afford medicine for himself. We deeply felt Ricochet's loss when he died four years ago, and we also worried about his adult son, Drew, who is smart and charismatic but had been messing with drugs since he was 12.


    Drew's son, Ashtyn, was born with drugs in his system, and we feared that the cycle of distress was now being passed on to the next generation. We exchanged letters with Drew while he was in prison but lost touch.

    Then, when we were visiting a drug-treatment program in Oregon called Provoking Hope, a young man bounded over to us. "It's me, Drew," he said.

    We have been close with Drew since, and he fills us with optimism. With the help of Provoking Hope, Drew will soon celebrate two years free of drugs, and he holds a responsible job at the front desk of a hotel. He has custody of Ashtyn and is now an outstanding dad, constantly speaking to him and playing with him. Drew still has a tempestuous side, and occasionally he has some rash impulse — but then he thinks of Ashtyn and reins himself in.


    "I'm a work in progress," he told us.... "The old me wants to act out, and I won't allow that.."

    Drew keeps moving forward, and we believe he's going to thrive along with Ashtyn, breaking the cycle that had enmeshed his family for generations. With support and balance, this can be done — if we as a society are willing to offer help, not just handcuffs..

    "It's a tightrope I'm walking on," Drew said. "And sometimes it seems to be made of fishing line."

    Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are the authors of the forthcoming "Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope," from which this essay is adapted.


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    2) General Strike Expected to Bring a Fifth of India's Population into the Streets

    By Sou Mi, January 7, 2020

    https://www.leftvoice.org/general-strike-expected-to-bring-a-fifth-of-indias-population-into-the-streets


    Image: BrighterKashmir.com


    Almost a month after India's masses took to the streets to protest the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the popular uprising in India continues to spread across towns and cities and to force a confrontation with India's current political order.

    Earlier in December, the Narendra Modi-led government passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or the CAA, which provides a path to citizenship for immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh who are Hindu, Jain, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, or Parsi.. The Act is not only openly discriminatory against Muslims, the largest immigrant group in the country, but also sets a dangerous precedent of religion-based citizenship in the region. Coupled with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in the state of Assam, the CAA can potentially disenfranchise millions of Muslims who've known no home but India. In the final publication of the NRC list, 1.9 million people were excluded for not being able to adequately prove their citizenship. They now face the possibility of indefinite imprisonment in detention centers. 

    The NRC placed the burden of proof on individuals, the majority of whom were working class or poor, to prove that they belonged in the country. To the surprise of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, the majority of those excluded from the NRC list were found to be Bengali Hindus. By easing the conditions required for citizenship for the six communities outlined by the Act, the CAA now gives them a second chance at citizenship–a path to full rights and freedoms that will be denied to other marginalized and vulnerable groups, particularly Muslims.

    In addition to the CAA and NRC, the Modi-led government previously abrogated Article 370, a special status granted to the state of Kashmir that protected its autonomy. Modi put Kashmir under a  complete communications blackout and sent hundreds of troops to repress potential unrest. The only Muslim-majority state in India and one of the world's most densely militarized regions, Kashmir continues to be on military lockdown now for over five months. In its second term, the BJP has fully committed itself to actualizing its vision of creating the Hindu rashtra, or an ethno-nationalist Hindu state.

    The CAA Protests

    While the current political regime implemented their program with little resistance, the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act marked a crucial tipping point.... Protests broke out across the country almost instantaneously, rallying hundreds of thousands to the streets in all major towns and cities. While cities like Mumbai and Kolkata have been drawing large numbers to the protests since the early days, recent weeks have seen mobilizations of hundreds of thousands of protesters in cities like Hyderabad and Kochi. Similarly, although early protests saw severe repression by the police in Bangalore, protests there in recent days have drawn out over 100,000 protesters to the streets.

    In Delhi, members of the Muslim community, responding to calls by Dalit activists, defied the no-protest orders mandated by the police and converted a Friday prayer service at the country's most historic mosque into a day of protest–one that could not be breached by the police. In Shaheen Bagh, a largely working class neighborhood in South Delhi, protesters have occupied a highway and continue to keep vigil around the clock in the midst of one of the coldest winters in the city. Thousands of protesters, led largely by Muslim women, have held steadfast in their occupation and refused to leave, even as members of their leadership have attempted to call it off and asked them to disperse. In fact, the numbers in Shaheen Bagh have multiplied since the start.

    Police repression and violence

    Protests against the CAA have also been met with violent repression, particularly in states where the government or police are under the control of the BJP. While the BJP political machine has been using a targeted disinformation and PR campaign to garner support for the CAA, their supporters and the police have seeked to manufacture complicity with brute force. In the BJP-run state of Uttar Pradesh alone, 20 people have died, 1,100 people are under arrest, and 5,558 have been detain preventatively. The police also forcefully seized property of those they suspected to be a part of the protests. 

    Some of the worst instances of violence have been reserved for those of the Muslim community. The violent crackdown that began with the targeting of historic Islamic universities like Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligargh Muslim University, where students were tear-gassed in libraries and forcibly expelled from their hostels, continues in cities like Lucknow and Muzzfarnagar, where police have indiscrimately attacked and arrested civilians, including Maulana Asad Raza Hussaini and his students who were violently beaten in police custody.

    More recently, 50 armed assailants sympathetic to the right-wing stormedDelhi's prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, vandalized property, and beat up students and teachers, landing over 25 of them in the hospital with severe injuries–all under the protection of the Delhi police.. This latest attack on the students at JNU–who often represent the vanguard of the student movement–has only given more fire to the protests; the youth across the country have only become more resolute, not only in their denunciation of the violence, but also in their resistance to the political regime.

    General Strike

    This polarization in India is unfolding against the backdrop of a major economic slowdown, increasing unemployment, and precarity for India's large working class and poor population. This is largely the result of the neoliberal policies of the current government. Modi's bid to push for privatization, erasure of labor laws and protections, and provision of tax cuts to the rich has only worsened the lives of the vast majority. The government announced in September that it would cut corporate taxes from 35% to 25%. Meanwhile, unemployment is at an all-time high of 8..5% and the country's growth has reached its lowest point in five years. In November 2019, moreover, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the sale of major publicly owned companies–including Bharat Petroleum and Air India.

    In September 2019, ten central trade unions, along with other independent federations and associations, announced a nationwide general strike for January 8, 2020 in response to the government's attacks on workers. While early demands by the unions included an increase in the minimum wage, the roll-back of anti-labor policies, an increase in pensions, and an end to the privatization of public sector undertakings, the scope of the strike has widened in the light of current protests against the CAA and NRC.

    In recent weeks, 175 unions of farmers and agricultural workers extended their support to the strike and added their charter of demands to the slate. Over 60 student organizations, unions, and elected office bearers from universities have expressed solidarity with strike. In a statement released on Monday, January 6, the trade union leadership estimated a participation of 250 million people in Wednesday's strike–the largest of its kind in history.

    A Chance to Win

    If history is any witness, reforms aren't won by appealing to the goodwill of bourgeois politicians, particularly those who've peddled communal division and violence. They are won by the masses taking to the streets, led by the working class and youth who refuse to accept anything less than what they deserve. In tomorrow's general strike, there is now a real opportunity to not just win the economic reforms that have been put forth by the trade unions, but also the political reforms that have been fought for in the streets for over a month.

    Political opportunists from other parties have attempted to throw their lot in with the anti-CAA protests. Over 11 state governments have committed to not implementing the CAA. The Left parties announced seven days of nationwide action in the week leading up to the general strike. None of these parties that now so boldly stand against the BJP regime and in opposition to Modi, however, ever passed legislation to ensure the complete democratic rights and citizenship for all immigrants in their many years in leadership.

    If the potential scale of this general strike is any indicator, however, the masses in India have a real opportunity to win against the political order and secure their rights and freedoms. Those in the streets protesting and preparing for tomorrow's strike should take inspiration from the hundreds of thousands of protesters in places like France and Chile who, instead of giving in to offers of reforms by their governments, continue to fight in the streets for more because they know they can win more. In the prospect of this general strike in India, there is a strength in alliance between the working class and the youth–the most advanced sectors of the movement. The power of the strike can be used not only to win workers' immediate demands for reform, but, if harnessed into sustained and continuous action, can have the power to challenge the current government and win more expansive demands for broader sectors of society.

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    3) At the Heart of France's Long Strikes, a Fight Between the Haves and the Have-Nots

    A protest over President Emmanuel Macron's pension overhaul, now in its sixth week, is amplified by 200 years of French history....

    By Adam Nossiter, January 9, 2020

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/world/europe/france-strikes-pensions.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

    Sébastien Preaudat, center, and Bérenger Cernon, right, from the C.G.T. union, preparing for a protest. "It's very difficult for us to find common ground with this government," Mr. Cernon said.Credit...Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times


    PARIS — A bright red tapestry featuring the Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara over the words "Onward toward victory!" exhorts strikers not to give up, in the union's dingy local headquarters. Outside, the local's boss shouted through a megaphone at the Gare de Lyon train station: "The rich should never forget: There will always be the sweat of the poor on their money!"

    The transportation strike against the French government's pension overhaul plan is already the longest in the country's history. As it entered its sixth week on Thursday, thousands of protesters again took to the streets all over France. 

    Who stands to gain and lose in the pensions overhaul demanded by President Emmanuel Macron is debated every day. Nobody agrees on the details.

    But beyond them is a much larger conflict over class, privilege and money amplified by 200 years of French history. Those deep underlying issues are helping sustain a marathon movement that is testing the patience of the French, hurting their economy and again exposing the class fault-lines in Mr. Macron's would-be reformist presidency.


    The bitter class-themed rhetoric at the Gare de Lyon in Paris is not an accident.. The current fight has roots, real and perceived, in much earlier ones — first the overthrow of centuries of upper-class privileges during the French Revolution, and then decades of bitter conflict between capital and labor in the 19th century, from which emerged the pension system that Mr. Macron wants to scrap.


    The language of those older fights echoes deeply in the current one, hardening positions on both sides, and especially on the union side.

    The French are growing weary. Train transportation is at the heart of French life in a way it is in few other countries. Reduced train service has cut the provinces off from Paris, where the subway's virtual absence has cost millions in lost sales and striking cultural workers have forced dozens of theater and opera cancellations.

    Support for the strike, which was initially high among French people anxious over their retirement, is edging down. Mr. Macron is counting on a further decline even as he cedes some ground — to the police, to ballet dancers at the opera, to the military — in the face of unrest in the streets and unease in much of the population over his plans.


    The president wants to replace the current system of 42 pension regimes, most of which are tailored to match individual professions, with a single points-based scheme that will be the same for everybody.. 

    But it is these individual regimes — fought for tooth-and-nail over the years by the different working groups, and jealously guarded as embodying rights, not privileges — that are at issue. 

    Mr. Macron wants to do away with them; the workers are demanding that he throw out his whole overhaul.


    Behind the marathon rail and subway shutdown is a simple French confrontation, older even than the revolution of 1789: haves versus have-nots, rich against poor, the protected against the exposed.

    It is a face-off that exists in the minds of the strikers as much as it does in fact, but it is no less real. Perception has become reality, egged on by history and the rhetoric of the strike leaders.

    "It's two ideas of social protection, two different notions of the social project, that are in conflict," Philippe Martinez, the leader of the hard-line General Confederation of Workers union (known by its French initials, C.G.T.), said as he emerged from another fruitless meeting at the prime minister's office just before Christmas.


    "It's a choice of society that's at the heart of this reform," Mr. Martinez said again on French television this week.

    That language, criticized as excessive by some analysts, has nonetheless penetrated the thinking of thousands of strikers, especially in the C.G.T., the fiercely anti-Macron union at the heart of the strike.

    For decades the union was closely tied to the French Communist Party. Mr. Martinez is a former party member; the union's deputy who heads the rail workers' branch has a bust of Lenin in his office.

    Protesters marching near the Gare de Lyon train station in Paris this week.Credit...Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times


    "It's very difficult for us to find common ground with this government," said Bérenger Cernon, the union's local head at the Gare de Lyon station. "On their side it's about, 'You make out for yourself.' With us, it's all about solidarity: liberty, equality, fraternity." 

    "They think, 'We've succeeded, so everybody else can also,'" he added. "But individual success has never allowed society to advance. It has never benefited the collective." 

    That point of view has seeped deeply into the union's rank and file, and it motivates them.

    "There's Macron's vision: He's always about making profits," said Sebastien Preaudat, a C.G.T. ticket-checker at the station. "But we're not here to make money. We're here to provide a service to the public. And those people" — Mr. Macron's government — "they come from the world of finance. We're fighting just to say, 'We've worked all our lives, and now we have the right to rest.'"


    The railway workers have become a target of derision on the French right, because many of them are allowed to retire as early as 52, with a substantial pension that in some cases is considerably higher than the average. The workers see this not as a privilege but as an essential affirmation of their special status in French society.

    "To a reformer like Macron, this kind of corporatist protection, it's an archaic vision," said Philippe d'Iribarne, a sociologist at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris. "But France remains a society composed of ranks, and it is permanently threatened by the arrogance of the strong and the resentment of the powerless."


    "In France, the equality that people dream about is: everybody gets to attain the same noble status," Mr. d'Iribarne added.

    So Mr. Macron's rationalist pensions overhaul finds no favor in a union movement uninterested in that brand of equality. Mr. Macron aims to offset the system's likely looming deficit and its shrinking ratio of workers to retirees. He wants to put everybody on the same footing in a points-system accrued by workers. 

    "Macron's a financier who only sees things in terms of competition. We, we have a collective vision," said Arnaud Bourge, a train driver who listened in the Gare de Lyon courtyard with hundreds of other workers as they were exhorted to remain on strike. "It's two completely opposed views."

    Mr. Macron has a manager's-eye view of France's pensions problem that has found favor with his upper-middle-class supporters, some intellectuals, and analysts, but not with workers who want to preserve their gains.


    "Really, it's not two 'projects for society,'" said Dominique Andolfatto, a unions expert at the University of Burgundy, rejecting the view of Mr. Martinez, the union boss. "There's one that takes into account certain social and economic realities, and there's the other that says, 'We're not touching anything, the ship goes in the same direction, never mind about the iceberg.'"


    But as the strike wears on, lawmakers in Mr. Macron's party are getting nervous. 

    "We are witnessing the return of the opposition between employers and workers," said Jean-François Cesarini, a member of Parliament who supports Mr. Macron. Lawmakers are particularly disturbed by the government's intransigence on a sore point with the unions: the plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

    One important moderate union, the French Democratic Confederation of Labor, has suggested a potential compromise, so far without result.... 

    "When a country is deeply divided, not seizing the hand that is extended to you is extremely dangerous," said Aurélien Taché, another lawmaker in Mr. Macron's party..

    In the Gare de Lyon courtyard, the dozens of strikers milling around were asked for a show of hands about whether to prolong the strike. Every hand shot up, and there was a roar of approval.


    "Now, they are proposing to take everything from us,'' said Mr. Préaudat, the ticket-checker. "And I'm not going to go along with it."

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    4) Everyone Knows Memory Fails as You Age. But Everyone Is Wrong.

    Even 20-year-olds forget the simplest things.

    By Daniel J. Levitin, January 10, 2020

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/opinion/sunday/age-memory.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    No Ideas


    I'm 62 years old as I write this. Like many of my friends, I forget names that I used to be able to conjure up effortlessly. When packing my suitcase for a trip, I walk to the hall closet and by the time I get there, I don't remember what I came for.

    And yet my long-term memories are fully intact. I remember the names of my third-grade classmates, the first record album I bought, my wedding day.

    This is widely understood to be a classic problem of aging. But as a neuroscientist, I know that the problem is not necessarily age-related.

    Short-term memory contains the contents of your thoughts right now, including what you intend to do in the next few seconds. It's doing some mental arithmetic, thinking about what you'll say next in a conversation or walking to the hall closet with the intention of getting a pair of gloves.


    Short-term memory is easily disturbed or disrupted. It depends on your actively paying attention to the items that are in the "next thing to do" file in your mind. You do this by thinking about them, perhaps repeating them over and over again ("I'm going to the closet to get gloves"). But any distraction — a new thought, someone asking you a question, the telephone ringing — can disrupt short-term memory. Our ability to automatically restore the contents of the short-term memory declines slightly with every decade after 30.

    But age is not the major factor so commonly assumed. I've been teaching undergraduates for my entire career and I can attest that even 20-year-olds make short-term memory errors — loads of them. They walk into the wrong classroom; they show up to exams without the requisite No. 2 pencil; they forget something I just said two minutes before. These are similar to the kinds of things 70-year-olds do.

    The relevant difference is not age but rather how we describe these events, the stories we tell ourselves about them. Twenty-year-olds don't think, "Oh dear, this must be early-onset Alzheimer's." They think, "I've got a lot on my plate right now" or "I really need to get more than four hours of sleep." The 70-year-old observes these same events and worries about her brain health. This is not to say that Alzheimer's- and dementia-related memory impairments are fiction — they are very real — but every lapse of short-term memory doesn't necessarily indicate a biological disorder.

    In the absence of brain disease, even the oldest older adults show little or no cognitive or memory decline beyond age 85 and 90, as shown in a 2018 study. Memory impairment is not inevitable.

    Some aspects of memory actually get better as we age. For instance, our ability to extract patterns, regularities and to make accurate predictions improves over time because we've had more experience. (This is why computers need to be shown tens of thousands of pictures of traffic lights or cats in order to be able to recognize them). If you're going to get an X-ray, you want a 70-year-old radiologist reading it, not a 30-year-old one.


    So how do we account for our subjective experience that older adults seem to fumble with words and names? First, there is a generalized cognitive slowing with age — but given a little more time, older adults perform just fine.

    Second, older adults have to search through more memories than do younger adults to find the fact or piece of information they're looking for. Your brain becomes crowded with memories and information. It's not that you can't remember — you can — it's just that there is so much more information to sort through. A 2014 study found that this "crowdedness" effect also shows up in computer simulations of human memory systems.

    Recently, I found myself in an office elevator in which all the buttons had been pushed — even though there were only three of us in the elevator. As the elevator dutifully stopped on every floor, one of the people standing next to me said, "Looks like some kid pressed all the buttons." We all laughed. I thought for a moment and offered, "I was that kid about 50 years ago," and we all laughed again. And then I thought: My memories of being 10 years old are clearer than my memories of 10 days ago. Shouldn't that seem odd?

    But in the warm, familiar privacy of my own mind, it didn't seem odd at all: I am that same person. I don't feel 50 years older. I can see the world through the eyes of that mischievous 10-year-old. I can remember when the taste of a Butterfinger candy bar was the most delectable thing in the world. I can remember the first time I encountered the grassy smell of a spring meadow. Such things were novel and exciting back then, and my sensory receptors were tuned to make new events seem both important and vivid.

    I can still eat a Butterfinger and smell spring meadows, but the sensory experience has dulled through repetition, familiarity and aging. And so I try to keep things novel and exciting. My favorite chocolatier introduces new artisanal chocolates a few times a year and I make a point to try them — and to savor them. I go to new parks and forests where I'm more likely to encounter the smells of new grasses and trees, new animal musks......

    When I find them, these things I remember for months and years, because they are new. And experiencing new things is the best way to keep the mind young, pliable and growing — into our 80s, 90s and beyond.

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    5) Iranian Jet Crash Has Eerie Historical Parallel

    The United States accidentally downed an Iranian passenger jet in 1988, killing all 290 people aboard, amid a battle with Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf.

    By Karen Zraick, January 11, 2020

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/11/world/middleeast/iran-air-flight-655-history.html


    Mourners carried coffins through the streets of Tehran during a mass funeral for the victims aboard Iran Air Flight 655, which was shot down by the U.S.S. Vincennes in the Persian Gulf in 1988.Credit...Canadian Press, via Associated Press


    The timing of the jet crash near Tehran on Wednesday — coming just hours after Iran fired missiles at Iraqi military bases housing American troops — immediately led to suspicion that the plane had been downed by a missile.

    Those suspicions were confirmed on Saturday, when Iranian officials accepted responsibility for the downing of the jet, a Boeing 737-800 operated by Ukraine International Airlines, saying it was an accident caused by human error. The 176 victims included many young Iranians, as well as Canadians, Afghans and Europeans from several countries.

    Many observers couldn't help thinking of a strikingly similar plane crash in Iranian territory amid hostilities, more than 30 years ago, in the waning days of the Iran-Iraq war.


    On July 3, 1988, as American and Iranian forces battled in the Persian Gulf, the United States Navy accidentally shot down an Iranian passenger jet, Iran Air Flight 655, which was bound for Dubai. Iranian outlets reported that 290 people were aboard the plane, including 66 children. There were no survivors.


    President Hassan Rouhani of Iran referred to that tragedy on Monday as he responded to a threat from President Trump to attack cultural sites.

    Last Saturday, Mr. Trump said on Twitter that his office had made a list of 52 Iranian sites — representing the 52 hostages taken by Iran in 1979 — that would be "HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD" in the event of an Iranian attack.

    In response, Mr. Rouhani wrote, "Those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290."


    Iran Air Flight 655, which Mr. Rouhani invoked with the hashtag #IR655, had set out for Dubai from the port city of Bandar Abbas, on the Iranian side of the Persian Gulf. At the same time on that July morning, the Vincennes, an American missile cruiser, was engaged in combat with Iranian boats in the gulf.

    The Navy said later that it mistook the passenger plane, an Airbus A300, for a hostile F-14 fighter jet. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. William J. Crowe Jr., said that the Iranian plane was flying at low altitude and failed to respond to warnings or transmit radar signals identifying it as a civilian plane. The plane was brought down with a surface-to-air missile.

    President Ronald Reagan issued a statement from Camp David, saying the United States regretted the loss of life but defending the judgment of the skipper, Capt. Will C. Rogers III. A subsequent Defense Department investigation also supported his actions, though it noted he was given inaccurate information as the plane approached. The investigators also faulted Iran for allowing the plane to fly into an active conflict zone.

    In a strange twist, the following March, Captain Rogers's wife, Sharon Lee Rogers, was driving near a shopping center in San Diego when what was believed to be a pipe bomb exploded in her car. She escaped uninjured. Investigators initially believed it was an act of terrorism related to Captain Rogers's role in the deaths, but later "all but ruled out" the possibility, The Los Angeles Times reported.

    Captain Rogers was later awarded the Legion of Merit for his service in the Persian Gulf; an accompanying citation praised the captain's "dynamic leadership" and "logical judgment.."

    A December 1988 report by an international panel of aviation experts faulted the Navy for failing to put in place procedures to keep civilian aircraft away from combat zones. The United States later paid millions to settle a lawsuit that Iran filed over the matter at the International Court of Justice.

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    6) In What May be the Largest Strike in World History, Millions in India Protest PM Modi's Policies

    An estimated quarter of a billion workers in India went on strike today, protesting the government of Narendra Modi's racist and "anti-people," "anti-worker" policies.

    by  Alan Macleod, January 8, 2020

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/largest-strike-world-history-millions-india-protest/263999/




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