2/17/2020

bauaw2003 BAUAW NEWSLETTER, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2020

 



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Stop the Extradition! Free Julian Assange!


Julian Assange is an innocent political prisoner. He is a journalist and publisher. His work with Wikileaks has provided vital information about what is being done behind our backs by the US government, information that we need to know. His upcoming trial on the 25th of February in London threatens him with likely imprisonment for life. 


See article, below.


Upcoming events in defense of Assange:


Monday, 24 February:

Global Protests: First Day of Julian Assange's extradition hearing

New York City: 11 am: UK Consulate, 2nd Ave & E 48th St., New York City.

San Francisco: 12 pm: British Consulate General, 1 Sansome St, San Francisco


Also:

Bay Area: Every Friday 4 pm: Basta! Free Chelsea and Julian, Fruitvale and MacArthur, Oakland


And see: Courage Foundation at couragefound.org





Tuesday, 25 February: Extradition trial begins in Belmarsh Prison, London.

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This Article is from Socialist Viewpoint, Jan-Feb, 2020.  socialistviewpoint.org


The Torture of Julian Assange:

US Takes One More Step Towards Fascism

By Chris Kinder

Julian Assange is a journalist who has committed no crime. He is only "guilty" of publishing information revealing the war crimes and other deceits of US imperialism, ie, things we the public should all know. Yet he--the truth teller and publisher of Wikileaks--is treated by the US as if he was the worst criminal the world has ever seen. This is all done to intimidate the media, and cover up the crimes of the imperialist ruling class of the US... 

The crimes of the US include the murder of innocent civilians, including children and journalists. The now famous video "Collateral Murder" showing one such incident in brutal detail, had been provided by Chelsea Manning, formerly (as Bradley Manning) of the US military in Iraq. Manning is a heroine truth-teller who was jailed once for releasing documents, and is now locked up for a second time by the US for refusing to testify against Julian Assange in a kangaroo-court grand jury set up to frame Assange.

Manning is not the only one jailed for refusing to testify against Assange before this secretive grand jury. Jeremy Hammond, a member of the hacktivist network Anonymous, is serving a decade in prison for allegedly disclosing information about the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor), revealing that they had been spying on human rights defenders at the behest of corporations and governments; documents which were published by Wikileaks.  

Assange Faces Bogus Charge of Espionage

Assange is accused by the US, under the World War I-era Espionage Act, of conspiring with Manning to obtain secret documents.. There is no evidence for this alleged conspiracy whatsoever. Assange is a journalist/publisher, not a whistle-blower.. He receives documents from whistle-blowers and publishes them. No one has ever accused him of illegal activity, nor shown his revelations to be inaccurate in any way. Furthermore, all the major US media, the NY Times, Washington Post and many others, have published the same material, straight from Wikileaks!

That is what the US ruling class wants to never happen again.. But they can't treat the US media as they are treating Assange! After all the US media is already about as subservient as it can be, and is owned by big corporations, for whom the US government is the lap-dog. But what they can do is the modern-day equivalent of putting Assange's head on a spike, displayed for all to see.. The message to both journalists and publishers is: first amendment rights be damned, don't publish leaked material ever again! The threat to freedom of speech is blatant.(1)

UK-US Extradition Is Not For Political Offenses

This is why the US is determined to extradite Assange from Britain--even though he is not a US citizen (he's Australian) and his work with Wikileaks is based in Britain, not the US. They want to give him a life sentence--likely in solitary confinement--to shut him away in some US dungeon until he dies. And that's if they don't manage to kill him while he is in Belmarsh. All this is to intimidate any journalist or any publisher from repeating Assange's exposure of US war crimes..

Assange is falsely accused under the Espionage Act, but his actual "crime" was in exposing US war crimes for all to see.. He didn't steal this evidence, he just published it, after it was already revealed. Clearly, this was a political act, not a criminal one.. If the law actually played any role in this, which obviously it does not for the US and UK officials, it would prevent Assange's extradition from the UK to the US, because extradition for political offenses is illegal under the treaty governing extradition between the US and the UK..... The treaty is clear: "Extradition shall not be granted if the offense for which extradition is requested is a political offense." (2) 

Assange had Asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy, Until...

Assange now awaits an extradition hearing set for February 2020.. He is currently confined in Belmarsh, the top-security prison in Britain, a hell-hole on the outskirts of London where accused "terrorists" are sent to be tortured, rot away and/or die. Assange is kept there in isolation for 23 hours per day. Assange is no terrorist, and indeed no criminal whatsoever... He was sent there after police, at the behest of the US, invaded the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and dragged him out. He was then locked up in Belmarsh for the crime of... skipping bail! Normally there would be no jail time for this at all, and certainly not in Belmarsh. But not so with Julian Assange. 

Assange's earlier political asylum, granted by Ecuador under Rafael Correa had been withdrawn by the new right-wing president Lenin Moreno.. Moreno has allowed the US to use the Galapagos Islands--a precious natural site explored by Darwin--as  a military airfield, signed an agreement with the IMF, and agreed to hand over Assange to the US and its CIA vultures.(3)  

Police were allowed to come into the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where Assange had found refuge from the threat of extradition to the US for years.. The US now had Assange where they wanted him: imprisoned, and on a fast-track to extradition to the US, under a trumped-up charge of "espionage." But that is just the beginning.

US/CIA Interference Against Assange In UK Court

In order to cater to the support of the US on the eve of Britain's separation from the European Union, British authorities have bent over backward to do whatever the US wants. That was shown in the Westminster Magistrates Court on 21 October 2019 in which Assange appeared for a hearing on the management and timing of the extradition proceedings. Assange's lawyers wanted to allow more time for Assange to prepare his defense before the extradition hearing. All of Assange's records and documents had been seized when he was arrested and forced out of the Ecuadorean Embassy, and he has been allowed only very limited contact with his lawyers while in Belmarsh prison. 

As if to add insult to injury, officials from the US embassy were seen to be openly conferring with the prosecution in the Magistrates Court during the hearing.. And the magistrate (judge), Vanessa Baraitser, completely ignored all the defense arguments and denied their claims for delay at the end of the hearing, without any further consideration. This was the same magistrate who a month earlier had ruled that Assange will remain in prison, despite the fact that his sentence for "absconding" bail expired on September 22. The extradition trial stays set for February, but in addition, it will now be held, not in the Westminster Magistrates Court, but in the much more restricted court in Belmarsh prison, which is hard to get to and has only 3 seats for public observers of the proceedings!

The CIA Spied on Assange's Privileged Contact With His Lawyers!

Even more importantly, a case now proceeding in a Spanish court shows that the CIA had contracted with a Spanish company to spy on Assange while in the Embassy, including recording privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers, in which his defense against the up-coming extradition proceedings was discussed. Such a charge would normally be grounds for the immediate dismissal of the case for extradition. Assange's lawyers sought a delay to the extradition trial in order to allow time for the Spanish court to submit its findings, so that they could be heard at the upcoming extradition hearing. But Magistrate Baraitser ignored this.

All this was reported by a former British ambassador and friend of Assange, Craig Murray, who attended the hearing, and who said, "The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process." (4) 

Did the CIA Torture Assange in a British Prison?

Murray also said that from his appearance at the hearing, Assange appears to have been viciously tortured while in Belmarsh Prison. Murray reported: "I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated aging. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before.. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight." Murray goes on, "But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both... it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought." 

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, who found earlier in 2019 that Assange was the victim of a protracted campaign of "psychological torture," has repeatedly condemned the British authorities for jailing him in a maximum-security prison. In a letter to the British government in May, Melzer stated that the conditions of Assange's detention had resulted in his "continued exposure to progressively severe psychological suffering and the ongoing exacerbation of his pre-existing trauma."(5)

Assange's Health--and Life--is at Stake

On 25 November 2019 the New York Times reported that "The mental and physical condition of Julian Assange has so deteriorated that he could die in a British jail before his February hearing on extradition to the United States, a group of international doctors has warned." In an open letter to the UK Home Secretary, the doctors called for Mr. Assange to be transferred from the high-security Belmarsh prison in London to a university teaching hospital to receive an expert medical assessment.(6)

These alarming reports about Assange, who was coherent and relatively healthy when arrested, combined with the US Embassy officials directing the prosecution with British officials at the October hearing, which signifies their deep and direct involvement, leads to only one conclusion: the CIA is torturing Assange in Belmarsh Prison to the point of incapacity to deal with his own case. This severe treatment could be destroying his mind, and even threatening him with death.

The CIA MK-Ultra Program

Death was a frequent occurrence for the victims of the CIA's secret MK-Ultra program, run for 20 years in the 1950s through early 1970s. This CIA "mind control" program involved giving huge doses of LSD and other drugs to various experimental victims who were often not informed that experiments were being performed on them.. Besides LSD, MK-Ultra used other chemicals, electroshocks, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, solitary confinement, and verbal and sexual abuse, all amounting to torture.

A new book by Stephen Kinzer reports on this in a description of how one man, Sidney Gottlieb, conducted this "work" in secret--even in secret within the CIA. CIA tops ordered it, but didn't want to know about the gruesome details. The original purpose was to both destroy a person's mind completely, and then recreate it in accordance with the desires of the perpetrators. As reported by Kinzer, this CIA project "was a continuation of the work begun in World War II-era Japanese facilities and Nazi concentration camps on subduing and controlling human minds."  Kinzer cites evidence that this was a continuation of a Nazi agenda, pursued at the Dachau concentration camp, and facilitated through the CIA's secret recruitment of Nazi torturers and vivisectionists at the end of the war.(7)

The MK-Ultra program was terminated in 1973, but anyone who thinks that the CIA would not now use these techniques to attempt to destroy the mind of a perceived enemy such as Assange is delusional.

Torture, a Long CIA Record

The MK-Ultra project headed by Gottlieb began on the order of CIA director Allen Dulles; it was a part of the Cold War against the Soviet Union. The conclusion of this particular program was that while it was possible to destroy a person's mind, it was not possible to recreate a new mind in it's place. But that was not the end of the story.

"Rendition" proved that the US was not done with torture, far from it. Ronald Reagan authorized a rendition in 1987, and Clinton authorized rendition to nations known to practice interrogation, which was dubbed "torture by proxy." George W Bush rendered hundreds for detention in foreign sites, and "extraordinary rendition" was continued under Obama. The UK authorities, specifically MI5 and MI6 (British security units), were complicit in renditions done by the US. "The Report," a new documentary film on CIA torture in rendition sites, displays CIA "enhanced interrogation" techniques, including use of graphic images, and shows that the real extent of this torture has been underestimated and hidden from the world.(8)

Belmarsh prison is the latest "rendition" torture site, with Assange in the CIA's cross hairs.

Did Assange Commit Rape?

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of this case for some leftists to understand is the "charge" of the rape of two women in Sweden which was leveled against Assange in the press. In general, believing the woman in a rape charge is important for many reasons: women are often afraid to come forward after the fact, the police are highly disrespectful and don't bother to process "rape kits," and while DNA evidence may be available, often the lack of con-sensuality in the act is difficult to prove.. And while Assange has always maintained his innocence in this, and offered to be interrogated by Swedish officials, the charge still leaves a question as to his character. 

But unlike most rape cases, this one is vastly different: it has the footprints of the CIA all over it!

First of all, this alleged "rape" came up just months after Assange enraged the US war makers with the release of the "Collateral Murder" video, which showed the blatant killing of civilians in Iraq by US troops from a helicopter. 

Secondly, no official charge of rape has ever been leveled against Assange! The two women involved did not allege rape, and would not sign onto a charge of rape. A Swedish tabloid went public with the story of an alleged rape, which is how Assange found out about it.

It Was All About Assange's Extradition to the US 

After a senior Swedish prosecutor cancelled an arrest warrant for Assange, saying the evidence "disclosed no crime at all," another prosecutor mysteriously re-started the case. Assange went to the police to make a statement, and waited for 5 weeks to be questioned. He left Sweden only after being told by a prosecutor that he was not wanted for questioning.

After Assange left Sweden, Interpol strangely issued a Red Notice for Assange, something usually used for dangerous criminals and terrorists. At the same time--as we now know--a grand Jury in Eastern Virginia (which is notoriously in the home turf of the CIA-US Intelligence community) had begun proceedings to find a way to put Assange to death or jail him for life. 

As grand juries often are, this was a set-up. For us to not add 2 and 2 to make four... 

"You Would Have To Be Out of Your Mind"

We should have no doubt: the "rape" charge against Assange was a CIA construct from day one. Since when does the US or UK governments concern themselves with rape charges abroad (or even at home)? Yet the UK Supreme Court ruled that Assange should be extradited to Sweden for something he was not even charged with; and the Swedish government refused to give any assurance that Assange would not be extradited from there to the US! This--in 2012--is when Assange sought and received asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. 

Caitlin Johnstone, who defines herself as a 100% reader funded "rogue journalist" believes that, "rape culture is a ubiquitous societal illness that needs to be rolled back far beyond the conventional understanding of rape as a stranger in a dark alley forcibly penetrating some man's wife or daughter at knife point.."

And about Assange? Johnstone said, "...you'd have to be out of your mind to believe a completely unproven allegation about a known target of US intelligence agencies. It's just as stupid as believing unproven claims about governments targeted for US regime change, like believing Saddam had WMD." (my emphasis) And: ".....the fact remains that even if Assange were somehow to be proven guilty of rape, the argument 'he's a rapist' is not a legitimate reason to support a US extradition and prosecution which would set a precedent that poses a threat to press freedom everywhere." (9)

The Official Swedish Report  

A piece in the Observer, a London-based weekly newspaper, revealed facts as laid out in the official Swedish report on the Assange alleged rape case.. Published in 2016, this report confirms that 1. neither woman charged Assange with rape; 2... both women kept him in their respective abodes for days after the sexual incidents concerned; 3. The two women "make it clear that their negative feelings after their sexual adventures with Mr. Assange were entirely due to the broken condoms and their fear of HIV"; 4. Assange remained in Stockholm for 5 weeks in mid-August 2010 in which he was wanted for questioning, and left only after the Swedish prosecutors dropped the case. (10)

The investigation was immediately reopened by another prosecutor, but after Assange was safely locked up and expected to be railroaded into US clutches for extradition, the case was closed for a final time in November 2019.

Women Against Rape Oppose Extradition of Assange

We do not tolerate any phony defense arguments against a rape charge, such as "how was she dressed" or "she was asking for it," or "having unprotected sex without the woman's permission shouldn't qualify as sexual assault.." That is not what this is about! 

As Women Against Rape spokespersons Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff put it in a Guardian article, "When Julian Assange was first arrested, we were struck by the unusual zeal with which he was being pursued for rape allegations. It seems even clearer now, that the allegations against him are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on Wikileaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction."

Axelsson and Longstaff also point out that the two women involved have been mistreated as well, both by the system and the public. This not withstanding, they oppose extradition for Assange.(11)

Socialists Must Defend Julian Assange

This a no-brainer: No extradition! Free Julian Assange immediately! And, freedom for Chelsea Manning and Jeremy Hammond now!

 Assange falls in the category of muckraker, or in modern usage, investigative reporter... But journalists like Assange have played an important part in exposing the crimes of capitalism and imperialism throughout history. Consider, Upton Sinclair (1878–1968) who wrote The Jungle (1906), which exposed the US meat-packing industry; John Spargo (1876–1966), who was an early biographer of Karl Marx, a reformer and author of The Bitter Cry of Children about child labor; and Lincoln Steffens (1866–1936), who produced The Shame of the Cities (1904), which uncovered the corruption of several political machines in major cities.

Also, Ida M. Tarbell (1857–1944). She was one of the leading muckrakers of the Progressive era, and an early pioneer of investigative journalism. She wrote the exposé, The History of the Standard Oil Company



And Ida B.. Wells (1862-1931), an African American investigative journalist who was born in slavery. Wells came to co-own and write for the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight, and was one of the founders of the NAACP. She condemned the flaws in the United States justice system that allowed lynching to happen, and supported the women's suffrage movement, among many other things. 



Working people need these important truth-tellers.

The harsh treatment of many of these Progressive Era journalists and investigators was severe.... But what Assange is going through today? The treatment of Assange shows how the US imperialist ruling class has used modern control of information and advanced torture techniques to tighten the screws on opposition, wherever it arises. This is not fascism yet. But the essential ground work needed to solidify the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in a fascist fashion is being built... The torture of Julian Assange is one important tentacle of this capitalist octopus.

Julian Assange is a libertarian, not a socialist, but his cause is critical to the class struggle against imperialist capitalism: we must know the truth of ruling class crimes.  

The working class needs to mobilize behind a program which includes defense of muckrakers and whistle-blowers such as Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Jeremy Hammond. This is an important part of revolutionary solution to the increasingly corrupt and oppressive bourgeois society that confines us all.


Notes:

(1) Displaying heads on a pike after the crushing of a revolt, and posting them on the roads leading into town, is an ancient tyrannical practice which was widely used by slaveocracy rulers in the US after crushing slave revolts.

(2) See the US-UK Extradition Treaty, at: https://fas.org/irp/world/uk/extradite.pdf 

(3) The Long Coup in Ecuador 




(4) Craig Murray, "Assange In Court," 22 October 2019. www.craigmurray.org.uk.. 

(5) "British Judge Jails Assange Indefinitely, Despite End of Prison Sentence..." https://williambowles.info/2019/09/14/british-judge-jails-assange-indefinitely-despite-end-of-prison-sentence-by-oscar-grenfell/  



(7) Stephen Kinzer, Poisoner In Chief, Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control, New York 2019..  

(8) "The Report review – gripping, fiery drama on CIA torture investigation," The Report review – gripping, fiery drama on CIA torture investigation. "The Report" is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.



(9) Caitlin Johnstone, "Responding To Assange's Critics 1-3," in Tariq Ali and Margaret Kunstler, editors, In Defense of Julian Assange, OR Books, 2019. Find the complete original Johnstone article, "Debunking All the Assange Smears," (29 total) at The Medium: Debunking All The Assange Smears 



(10) Celia Farber, "Exclusive New Docs Throw Doubt on Julian Assange Rape Charges in Stockholm," Observer, 05 February 2016. Exclusive: Best Western Rides Off Into the Sunset With J Public Relationsnew-docs-throw-doubt-on-julian-assange-rape-charges-in-stockholm/.




(11) Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff, We are Women Against Rape but we do not want Julian Assange extradited, the Guardian, 23 August 2012. We are Women Against Rape but we do not want Julian Assange extradited | Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff




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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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Please forward widely
The Prosecution of Julian Assange and the Fight for Free Speech
Sunday, April 19, 2:00 - 5:00 pm 
Humanist Hall 390  27th Street, Oakland
Donation: $20 -$10 sliding scale; Student $5, No one turned away for lack of funds
Benefit for the Courage Foundation, for Julian Assange's defense

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Join us for a panel discussion of leading attorneys, human rights defenders and social justice activists as the London trial of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is underway. If Assange is extradicted to the United States, he faces the first-ever charges under the Espionage Act of 1917 for the publication of truthful information  in the public interest. Speakers will present  the ctitical  legal and policy issues involved as well as rebut  government efforts to undermine the reputation and credibility of Assange. In these difficult times for civil liberties and democratic rights we demand: Free Julian Assange! Defend Free Speech and the First Amendment!

Panel Speakers: Jim Lafferty, Executive Director for three decades, National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles
Representative, Bay Area National Lawyers Guild
Jennifer Robinson, Julian Assange's London attorney (message)
Joe Lombardo, National Coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition
Nathan Fuller, Executive Director, Courage Foundation*
Nozomi Hayase, author, contributor to the new book, In Defense of Julian Assange
Margaret Kunstler, editor, In Defense of Julian Assange (tentative) 
Moderator: Jeff Mackler, author, Obama's National Security State: The Meaning of the Edward Snowden Revelations
*Courage Foundation www.couragefound.org, an international whistleblower support network, campaigning for the public and legal defense of Julian Assange and for the protection of truthtellers and the public's right to know, internationally.  

Sponsors: Bay Area Julian Assange Defense Committee • National Lawyers Guild Bay Area • Courage Foundation  • United National Antiwar Coalition
Initial co-sponsors: CodePink Bay Area • Social Justice Center of Marin • Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, US Section • Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance, advisory board, Courage Foundation, past Steering Committee member  Chelsea  Manning Support Committee, Venezuelan Embassy defender • Marin Peace and Justice Center • Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

Contact information and to co-sponsor: Event coordinator, Jeff Mackler, jmackler@lmi.net


With video messages from Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky and Alice Walker
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: National Solidarity Events to Amplify Prisoners Human Rights 

AUGUST 21 - SEPTEMBER 9th


To all in solidarity with the Prisoners Human Rights Movement:

We are reaching out to those that have been amplifying our voices in these state, federal, or immigration jails and prisons, and to allies that uplifted the national prison strike demands in 2018. We call on you again to organize the communities from August 21st - September 9th, 2020, by hosting actions, events, and demonstrations that call for prisoner human rights and the end to prison slavery.


We must remind the people and legal powers in this nation that prisoners' human rights are a priority. If we aren't moving forward, we're moving backward. For those of us in chains, backward is not an option. We have nothing to lose but our chains.


Some people claim that prisoners' human rights have advanced since the last national prison strike in 2018. We strongly disagree. But due to prisoners organizing inside and allies organizing beyond the walls, solidarity with our movement has increased. The only reason we hear conversations referencing prison reforms in every political campaign today is because of the work of prison organizers and our allies! But as organizers in prisons, we understand this is not enough. Just as quickly as we've gained ground, others are already funding projects and talking points to set back those advances. Our only way to hold our ground while moving forward is to remind people where we are and where we are headed.


On August 21 - September 9, we call on everyone in solidarity with us to organize an action, a panel discussion, a rally, an art event, a film screening, or another kind of demonstration to promote prisoners' human rights. Whatever is within your ability, we ask that you shake the nation out of any fog they may be in about prisoners' human rights and the criminal legal system (legalized enslavement).


During these solidarity events, we request that organizers amplify immediate issues prisoners in your state face, the demands from the National Prison Strike of 2018, and uplift Jailhouse Lawyers Speak new International Law Project.


We've started the International Law Project to engage the international community with a formal complaint about human rights abuses in U..S. prisons. This project will seek prisoners' testimonials from across the country to establish a case against the United States Prison Industrial Slave Complex on international human rights grounds.


Presently working on this legally is the National Lawyers Guild's Prisoners Rights Committee, and another attorney, Anne Labarbera. Members of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP), and I am We Prisoners Advocacy Network/Millions For Prisoners are also working to support these efforts. The National Lawyers Guild Prisoners' Rights Committee (Jenipher R. Jones, Esq. and Audrey Bomse) will be taking the lead on this project.

The National Prison Strike Demands of 2018 have not changed. As reflected publicly by the recent deaths of Mississippi prisoners, the crisis in this nation's prisons persist. Mississippi prisons are on national display at the moment of this writing, and we know shortly afterward there will be another Parchman in another state with the same issues. The U.S. has demonstrated a reckless disregard for human lives in cages.


The prison strike demands were drafted as a path to alleviate the dehumanizing process and conditions people are subjected to while going through this nation's judicial system. Following up on these demands communicates to the world that prisoners are heard and that prisoners' human rights are a priority.


In the spirit of Attica, will you be in the fight to dismantle the prison industrial slave complex by pushing agendas that will shut down jails and prisons like Rikers Island or Attica? Read the Attica Rebellion demands and read the National Prison Strike 2018 demands. Ask yourself what can you do to see the 2018 National Prison Strike demands through.


SHARE THIS RELEASE FAR AND WIDE WITH ALL YOUR CONTACTS!

We rage with George Jackson's "Blood in my eyes" and move in the spirit of the Attica Rebellion!

August 21st - September 9th, 2020

AGITATE, EDUCATE, ORGANIZE

Dare to struggle, Dare to win!

We are--

"Jailhouse Lawyers Speak"  

NLG EMAIL CONTACT FOR LAWYERS AND LAW STUDENTS INTERESTED IN JOINING THE INTERNATIONAL LAW PROJECT: micjlsnlg@gmail.com

PRISON STRIKE DEMANDS:  https://jailhouselawyerspeak.wordpress.com/2020/02/11/prisoners-national-demands-for-human-rights/  



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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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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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Mobilization4Mumia

215-724-1618

Mobilizatio4Mumia.com

  mobilization4mumia@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE

Contact Sophia Williams 917-806-0521, Ted Kelly 610-715-6924 or Joe Piette 610-931-2615


Philadelphia, Jan. 30 - Mumia Abu-Jamal has always insisted on his innocence in the death of police officer Daniel Faulkner, blaming police, judicial and prosecutorial misconduct for his politically-tainted conviction. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner is expected to announce his response this week to the legal briefs for Post Conviction Relief Act hearings and the request to remand Abu-Jamal's case back to Common Pleas court, filed by his attorneys in early September 2019.


Abu-Jamal's supporters will rally outside DA Krasner's office at 4:30 on Friday, January 31, whether or not he challenges Mumia's appeals. We call for Mumia's release...


Recent exonerations of 10 Philadelphia residents unfairly convicted for crimes they did not commit reveal a simple truth - the Philadelphia police, courts and prosecutors convicted innocent Black men based on gross violations of their constitutional rights. The same patterns of constitutional violations plague the case of Abu-Jamal.

Since Jan. 2018, Sherman McCoy, James Frazier, Dwayne Thorpe, Terrance Lewis, Jamaal Simmons, Dontia Patterson, John Miller, Willie Veasey, Johnny Berry and Chester Holmann III have all been exonerated by DA Larry Krasner's Conviction Integrity Unit


Philadelphia is not alone. The National Registry of Exonerations counted 165 exonerations last year. The registry has tallied 2,500 wrongful convictions since 1989, costing defendants more than 22,000 years of incarceration.

Seven of the ten men released in Philadelphia were convicted by longtime district attorney Lynne Abraham, a "tough-on-crime" prosecutor who regularly sought maximum punishments and death spentences. Abraham as Common Pleas Court Judge arraigned Abu-Jamal in 1981and years later as District Attorney fought his post conviction relief hearings..


Ineffective counsel, false witness testimony, witness coercion and intimidation, phony ballistics evidence, prosecution failure to turn over evidence to the defense as required by law, racist jury selections -- these and other legal errors led to the exoneration of these innocent defendants after decades in prison.. These are the same police, judicial and prosecutorial misconduct practices Abu-Jamal's attorneys and supporters have been citing since 1982.


In the late 1970s and early 80s, Abu-Jamal was a daily radio reporter for WHYY and NPR who earned acclaim for his award-winning reporting. As a journalist who reported fairly on the MOVE organization's resistance against state repression, he drew the ire of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police and the notoriously racist Police Commissioner and later Mayor Frank Rizzo.


On Dec. 9, 1981, while driving a cab to supplement his income, Abu-Jamal happened upon his brother in an altercation with Faulkner. Faulkner was killed. Abu-Jamal, who was shot and severely beaten by police, was charged in Faulkner's death, even though witnesses reported seeing another man, most probably the passenger in Abu-Jamal's brother's car, running from the scene.

Imprisoned for nearly four decades, Abu-Jamal has maintained his innocence. He successfully won his release from Pennsylvania's death row in 2011.. In December 2018 he won the right to appeal his 1982 conviction because of biased judicial oversight by PA Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille

In early January 2019, DA Krasner reported finding six boxes of previously undisclosed evidence held by prosecutors in the case and allowed Abu-Jamal's attorneys to review the files.

In September 2019 Abu-Jamal's lawyers filed new appellate briefs, including a request that the case be returned for a hearing before the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court based on finding of concrete evidence of prosecutorial misconduct by the DA's office in his 1982 trial.

A Sept.. 9, 2019 Abu-Jamal's attorneys Judith Ritter and Sam Spital filed a brief in PA Superior Court to support his claim that his 1982 trial was fundamentally unfair and violated the Constitution. They argue the prosecution failed to disclose evidence as required and discriminated against African Americans when selecting the jury. And, his 1982 lawyer did not adequately challenge the State's witnesses.                                                                                              

The attorneys also filed a motion revealing new evidence of constitutional violations such as promises by the prosecutor to pay or give leniency to two witnesses. There is also new evidence of racial discrimination in jury selection.

Attorney Ritter contends that the new evidence shows Abu-Jamal's trial was "fundamentally unfair and tainted by serious constitutional violations."

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZgI0jvcWY5soAh_DXKdNnJJZSY0HEftuRwthQMurgd8/edit?usp=sharing


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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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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) Leaked Audio Captures Bloomberg Defending Racial Profiling and Stop-and-Frisk Policing

    By Elliot Hannon, February 11, 2020

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/02/leaked-audio-bloomberg-aspen-institute-racial-profiling-stop-and-frisk-policing.html

    Michael Bloomberg addresses the NYPD's Stop-and-Frisk practice on Aug. 12, 2013 in New York City.

    Andrew Burton/Getty Images


    Given his history, registered Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat Michael Bloomberg was always going to have to work to convince Democrats he was one of them.. On Monday night, recently surfaced 2015 audio from Bloomberg's Aspen Institute remarks on controversial "stop-and-frisk" policing in 2015 show why.


    Bloomberg:

    Ninety-five percent of murders- murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16-25. That's true in New York, that's true in virtually every city (inaudible). And that's where the real crime is. You've got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed. So you want to spend the money on a lot of cops in the streets. Put those cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods. 

    So one of the unintended consequences is people say, 'Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.' Yes, that's true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes, that's true. Why do we do it? Because that's where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids' hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them… And then they start… 'Oh I don't want to get caught.' So they don't bring the gun.. They still have a gun, but they leave it at home.

    Those comments were apparently controversial enough in real time, the Aspen Times reportedin 2015, that Bloomberg requested that video of the event not be made public. "We basically honor the wishes of our speakers, and Mayor Bloomberg preferred that we not use the video for broadcast," the Institute's chief external affairs officer told the Aspen Times. "He did not give a reason nor did we have any reason to ask for one. We often feature speakers who prefer that their presentations not be videotaped." It was a line of argument that Bloomberg made repeatedly however, digging himself into a theoretical vortex that somehow resulted in this 2013 radio interview. 


    Here's the text of that portion of the interview:

    One newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying 'oh it's a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group.' That may be, but it's not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the [crime]. In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little. It's exactly the reverse of what they're saying. I don't know where they went to school, but they certainly didn't take a math course. Or a logic course.

    The techniques and strategies used during Michael Bloomberg's tenure at New York City mayor were a known vulnerability in his new life as a Democratic presidential candidate. During his 12 years as mayor, Bloomberg advocated for the city's stop-and-frisk policy that gave police officers wide latitude to aggressively police stop and search anyone vaguely suspected of a crime. There was even an official "furtive movements" category for reason of arrest. As a result, New York City police piled into minority neighborhoods making millions of stops targeting black and brown young men in the name of deterrence. In 2013, a federal judge ruled the tactics a violation of the constitutional rights of largely minority communities. Bloomberg stood by stop-and-frisk even as it was phased out at the end of his term and then undone under his successor. 


    The racial disparity at the height of the stop and frisk era, which began under then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is startling. "Of 575,000 stops conducted in 2009, black and Latino people were nine times as likely as white people to be targeted by the police (even though, once stopped, they were no more likely to actually be arrested)," according to the New York Times.. "In 2011, police officers made about 685,000 stops; 87 percent of those stopped were black or Latino."

    As a Democratic presidential candidate, Bloomberg has made a U-turn after years of defending his approach even after the courts ruled it unconstitutional. "I was wrong," Bloomberg said in November before getting into the presidential race. "And I am sorry." Whether that's enough to convince minority voters remains to be seen. "Over time, I've come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong," Bloomberg said. "I got something important really wrong. I didn't understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I was totally focused on saving lives, but as we know, good intentions aren't good enough." 


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    2) Sugary Drink Consumption Plunges in Chile After New Food Law

    A study finds that a landmark law requiring warning labels on unhealthy foods made a swift difference in purchases of sodas, bottled water and juices.

    By Andrew Jacobs, February 11, 2020

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/11/health/chile-soda-warning-label.html?algo=identity&fellback=false&imp_id=451781010&imp_id=476765833&action=click&module=Science%20%20Technology&pgtype=Homepage


    Supermarket chocolates on a shelf in Santiago, Chile, bearing labels that warn of high sugar, calorie and saturated fat content.Credit...Martin Bernetti/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


    Four years after Chile embraced the world's most sweeping measures to combat mounting obesity, a partial verdict on their effectiveness is in: Chileans are drinking a lot fewer sugar-laden beverages, according to study published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine.

    Consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks dropped nearly 25 percent in the 18 months after Chile adopted a raft of regulations that included advertising restrictions on unhealthy foods, bold front-of-package warning labels and a ban on junk food in schools. During the same period, researchers recorded a five percent increase in purchases of bottled water, diet soft drinks and fruit juices without added sugar.

    "An effect this big at the national level in the first year is unheard-of," said Lindsey Smith Taillie, a nutrition epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the study's lead author. "It is a very promising sign for a set of policies that mutually reinforce one another. This is the way we need the world to go to begin to really combat preventable diseases like obesity, hypertension and diabetes."

    The rules, adopted in 2016, were a bold gambit by the government of a country with some of the world's highest obesity rates. Three-quarters of Chilean adults and more than half of children are overweight or obese, and health officials warned that the medical costs of obesity could consume 4 percent of the nation's health care spending by 2030, up from 2.4 percent in 2016.


    Since then, PeruUruguayIsrael have adopted Chilean-style front-of-package labels; Brazil and Mexico are expected to finalize similar labels in the coming months, and a dozen other countries are considering them as well.

    The Chilean regulations were championed by then-president Michelle Bachelet, a socialist, and passed by the National Congress over fierce objections from big multinational food companies. Despite his initial opposition, Chile's current president, Sebastián Piñera, a conservative billionaire businessman, has left the regulations in place.

    The law is far-reaching. It includes mandatory package redesigns that erased cartoons like Tony the Tiger from sugary cereal boxes, and television advertising restrictions that banished ads for unhealthy products from the airwaves between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. A study published last year by the journal Public Health Nutrition found that Chilean children were subjected to half as many ads for junk food and sugary drinks after the restrictions were put in place.

    The regulations followed a 2014 measure that raised the tax on sugary beverages to 18 percent from 13 percent...


    A centerpiece of the rules is a series of black stop signs that must appear on the front of packaged foods and beverages high in salt, sugar, fat or calories. Experts say the "high in" logos have had an unmistakable impact on the way Chileans shop for groceries. In focus groups, parents have described being reprimanded at the supermarket by their children if they reach for products emblazoned with the stop signs.


    "Children are learning at an early age what types of food they should eat and which ones they should avoid," said Dr. Camila Corvalán, a nutritionist at the University of Chile who also worked on the study. "We believe these regulations will change the way this new generation approaches eating, hopefully empowering them to demand healthier foods."

    The study, which tracked the purchasing habits of 2,000 households from 2015 to 2017, found that the drop in sugary-beverage consumption occurred both among the highly educated and those without a high school degree, although the reductions were somewhat greater among individuals who attended college.

    The food industry's initial resistance to the measures has largely faded. To avoid having to display the dreaded stop signs on their products, companies like Nestlé, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have reformulated hundreds of products, reducing the amount of sodium in salad dressings and substituting artificial sweeteners for sugar in carbonated drinks.

    Asked to comment on the new study, a number of companies expressed a grudging acceptance of Chile's laws but called for additional studies to assess their impact on obesity.

    "We are committed to working with governments and other stakeholders to ensure that consumers have the information they need at their fingertips to support a balanced diet, and we offer a wide array of smaller-portion and lower or no-sugar options," the International Council of Beverages Association said in a statement. A spokeswoman for Nestlé noted that the company had eliminated more than 3,000 tons of sugar from dairy products and breakfast cereals sold in Chile.

    Experts say it is too soon to know whether the food regulations are making a dent in Chile's obesity rates. But the early results could embolden policymakers in Chile. Barry M. Popkin, a University of North Carolina nutritionist who is advising the government, said legislators there are considering what he called a "mega tax" on processed foods — the frozen pizza, instant noodles and fast-food meals that are responsible for two-thirds of all calories consumed by children..


    "Right now people are just focused on sugary beverages, which is a tiny part of the problem," he said. "This is just the beginning of a fairly profound change to encourage healthy eating."

    Sara Bleich, a professor of public health policy at Harvard University who was not involved in the study, said the early results suggested that a raft of food policies, not just stand-alone measures like soda taxes, were needed to address a growing obesity crisisthat is affecting nations rich and poor. "For countries hoping to move the needle on obesity, all eyes are on Chile," she said, noting that half of American adults could be obese by 2030. "We need policies like these that are going to make a meaningful difference. And we need them now, not in five or ten years."

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    3) More than two-thirds of migrants fleeing Central American region had family taken or killed

    Study finds 42.5% interviewees leaving Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador reported the violent death of a relative

    By David Agren, February 11, 2020

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/11/migrants-fleeing-central-america-guatemala-honduras-el-salvador-family-taken-killed-study?CMP=share_btn_link


    More than two-thirds of the migrants fleeing Central America's northern triangle countries – GuatemalaHonduras and El Salvador – experienced the murder, disappearance or kidnapping of a relative before their departure, according to a new study by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

    The MSF study said 42.5% of interviewees reported the violent death of a relative over the previous two years, while 16.2% had a relative forcibly disappeared and 9.2% had a loved one kidnapped.

    The study – based on interviews with migrants and refugees at MSF medical facilities in Central America and Mexico – once again showed the despair driving migrants to abandon some the hemisphere's poorest, most violent and most corrupt countries.

    "We're speaking of human beings, not numbers," Sergio Martín, MSF general coordinator in Mexico, said at the study's presentation on Tuesday. "In many cases, it's clear that migration is the only possible way out. Staying put is not an option."

    In 45.8% of the interviews, migrants said that "exposure to violent situations" was a key reason for leaving their home country. Of those fleeing due to violence, 36.4% had become internally displaced in their countries of origin, but were eventually forced to flee.

    The research was published at a time when the US border is becoming increasingly difficult to reach.

    Mexico has been launched a crackdown against people trying to cross its southern frontier and deployed its newly created national guard to dismantle large groups of migrants, while the Trump administration has made the asylum process practically impossible for most applicants.

    US officials are returning asylum seekers to dangerous Mexican border cities – where MSF has found many are kidnapped and preyed upon by drug cartels – under scheme known as migrant protection protocols to await their court cases. Some migrants are now being flown to Guatemala to apply for asylum in the impoverished Central American country.

    "The aggressive migration policies adopted by the US and Mexico mean that more and more people are trapped in a vicious circle," the MSF report stated. "Patients describe an increase in the predatory violence perpetuated by criminal organisations operating along the migrant route."

    Meanwhile, violence against migrants transit Mexico is escalating, the study found: 39.2% of interviewees were assaulted in the country, while 27.3% were threatened or extorted – with the actual figures likely higher than the official statistics as victims tend not to report crimes committed against them.

    Nearly 6% of migrants reported witnessing a death during their time in Mexico, according to MSF. In 17.9% of those cases, it was a murder.

    Members of MSF teams have themselves witnessed kidnappings outside migrant shelters.

    "The physical obstacles to entering the United States are taken for granted. But what surprises [migrants] … is the violence that they experience in Mexico," the report said.

    "Coming from a country where violence is endemic, they decide to make the journey because they have no other option."

    Violence is just of a range of factors driving migration, and motives vary from region to region and country to country.

    A 2019 survey from Creative Associates International found violence was the main driver of migration for 38% of Salvadorans, 18% of Hondurans and 14% of Guatemalans. In Guatemala – the main source of migrants detained at the US border with Mexico – 71% of respondents cited "economic concerns" as their main motive.

    Climate change is increasingly being recognized as a driver of migration – especially from areas in Central America's "Dry Corridor" – as is political corruption..

    "Over the last 20 years in Honduras, the poverty rate hasn't fallen beneath 60%," said Father Germán Calix, Honduras director of the Catholic Church's charitable arm Caritas.

    "The lack of policies and actions in favor of the poor has been such that people have lost confidence that this situation can ever be reversed from Honduras.

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    4) Who's Profiting From Your Outrageous Medical Bills?

    The same people who should be fixing them.

    "Surprise bills are just the latest weapons in a decades-long war between the players in the health care industry over who gets to keep the fortunes generated each year from patient illness — $3.6 trillion in 2018. ...So today your hospital and doctor and insurer — all claiming to coordinate care for your health — are often in a three-way competition for your money.."

    By Elisabeth Rosenthal, February 14, 2020

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/14/opinion/sunday/surprise-medical-billing.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage


    Michael George Haddad


    Every politician condemns the phenomenon of "surprise" medical bills. This week, two committees in the House are marking up new surprise billing legislation. One of the few policy proposals President Trump brought up in this week's State of the Union address was his 2019 executive order targeting them. In the Democratic debates, candidates have railed against such medical bills, and during commercial breaks, back-to-back ads from groups representing doctors and insurers proclaimed how much the health care sector also abhors this uniquely American form of patient extortion.

    Patients, of course, hate surprise bills most of all. Here's a typical scenario: A patient having a heart attack is taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital, and gets hit with a bill of over $100,000 because that hospital wasn't in his insurance network. A patient selects an in-network provider for a minor procedure, like a colonoscopy, only to be billed thousands for the out-of-network anesthesiologist and pathologist who participated.

    And yet, no one with authority in Washington has done much of anything about it.

    Here's why: Major sectors of the health industry have helped to invent this toxic phenomenon, and none of them want to solve it if means their particular income stream takes a hit. And they have allies in the capital.

    That's explains why President Trump's executive order, issued last year, hasn't resulted in real change. Why bipartisan congressional legislation supported by both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Health Committee to shield Americans from surprise medical bills, has gone nowhere. And why surprise billing provisions were left out of the end-of-year spending bill in December, which did include major tax relief for many parts of the health care industry.


    Surprise bills are just the latest weapons in a decades-long war between the players in the health care industry over who gets to keep the fortunes generated each year from patient illness — $3.6 trillion in 2018.


    Here's how they came to be:

    Forty years ago, when many insurers were nonprofit entities, and being a doctor wasn't seen as a particularly good entree into the 1 percent, billed rates were far lower than they are today, and insurers mostly just paid them. Premiums were low or paid by an employer. Patients paid little or nothing in co-payments or deductibles.

    That's when a more entrepreneurial streak kicked in. Think about the opportunities: If someone is paying you whatever you ask, why not ask for more?

    Commercial insurers as well as Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans, some of which had converted to for-profit status by 2000, began to push back on escalating fees from providers, demanding discounts.

    Hospitals and doctors argued about who got to keep different streams of revenue they were paid. Doctors began to form their own companies and built their own outpatient surgery centers to capture payments for themselves.


    So today your hospital and doctor and insurer — all claiming to coordinate care for your health — are often in a three-way competition for your money.


    As the battle for revenue has heated up, each side has added new weapons to capture more: Hospitals added facility fees and infusion charges. Insurers levied ever-rising copayments and deductibles. Most important they limited the networks of providers to those that would accept the rates they were willing to pay.

    Surprise bills are the latest tactic: When providers decided that an insurer's contracted payment offerings were too meager, they stopped participating in the insurer's network; either they walked away or the insurer left them out. In some cases, physicians decided not to participate in any networks at all. That way, they could charge whatever they wanted when they got involved in patient care and bill the patient directly.. For their part, insurers didn't really care if those practitioners demanding more money left.

    And, for a time, all sides were basically fine with this arrangement.

    But as the scope and the scale of surprise bills has grown in the past five years, more people have experienced these costly, unpleasant surprises.. With accumulating bad publicity, they have became impossible to ignore. It was hard to defend a patient stuck with over $500,000 in surprise bills for 14 weeks of dialysis. Or the $10,000 bill from the out-of-network pediatrician who tends to newborns in intensive care.. How about the counties where no ambulance companies participated in insurance, so every ambulance ride costs hundreds, or even thousands of dollars?

    These practices are an obvious outrage. But no one in the health care sector wants to unilaterally make the type of big concessions that would change them. Insurers want to pay a fixed rate. Doctors and hospitals prefer what they call "baseball- style arbitration," where a reasonable charge is determined by mediation. Both camps have lined up sympathetic politicians for their point of view.

    So, nothing has changed at the federal level, even though it's hard to imagine another issue for which there is such widespread consensus. Two-thirds of Americans say they are worried about being able to afford an unexpected medical bill — more than any other household expense. Nearly eight in 10 Americans say they want federal legislation to protect patients against surprise bills.

    States are passing their own surprise billing laws, though they lack power since much of insurance is regulated at a national level.


    Now, members of Congress have yet another chance to tackle this obvious injustice. Will they listen to hospitals, doctors, insurers? Or, in this election year, will they finally heed their voter-patients?

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    5) A Graphic Novel Remembers Attica

    A friend of an inmate, Big Black, who helped others during the uprising, tells his story in "Stand at Attica."

    By George Gene Gustines, February 14, 2020

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/14/books/big-black-stand-at-attica-graphic-novel.html


    The graphic novel tells the story of Frank Smith, known as Big Black, and the 1971 riot at Attica prison.Credit...Améziane/Archaia


    Telling the story of Frank Smith, a prisoner who was a central figure in the 1971 uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility in western New York, was a life's mission for Jared Reinmuth, an actor and playwright whose family was friends with Smith.

    Reinmuth is finally seeing it fulfilled on Tuesday when the original graphic novel "Big Black: Stand at Attica," which he co-wrote with Smith, arrives in book stores.

    The novel recounts the siege, when inmates rebelled against conditions there and state troopers stormed in, killing dozens of people. Smith, known as Big Black, was tortured by officers because he acted as security chief for the inmates during negotiations.


    Lawyers for 1,281 inmates filed a lawsuit against state officials in 1974 for civil rights violations, including being denied medical care and forced to crawl naked over broken glass. The legal battle culminated in 2000 with an $8 million settlement for the inmates and $4 million in lawyers' fees.

    In 1997, Frank Smith was awarded $4 million by a federal jury in Buffalo for the abuse he suffered in Attica. The decision, depicted above, was overturned. But in 2000, inmates, including Smith, won a settlement.Credit...Améziane/Archaia


    Reinmuth spent significant time with Smith for "Big Black," which is being published by Archaia, an imprint of Boom! Studios. Smithdied from kidney cancer in 2004.

    "I come from a very political family," Reinmuth, 52, said during a recent telephone interview.

    As a child, Reinmuth said, he saw news about Attica on TV in his living room. "My mom vowed that if there was any way to help the Attica brothers, we would," he recalled. Years later, his mother, Joan Max Reinmuth, met and married Daniel L. Meyers, a lawyer representing the Attica prisoners in a class-action lawsuit. Once Meyers became Reinmuth's stepfather, "Attica became this family project," Reinmuth said.

    The Reinmuths were friends with Smith and his wife, Pearl. In 1997, as a civil suit for Smith's case went to trial in Buffalo, about 30 miles from Attica, Smith and Reinmuth talked a lot about his life, with the goal of telling Smith's story. (Smith was awarded $4 million by a federal jury that year, but that award was overturned two years later.)


    "He was such a wonderful storyteller," Reinmuth said. "He would captivate you," he added, "but he didn't really write things down." Reinmuth, however, took copious notes. The result was a screenplay, but a friend suggested that the story might work as a graphic novel.

    "Big Black" follows in the footsteps of recent nonfiction graphic novels. "March" is a personal account of the civil rights movement by the U.S. Representative John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; and "They Called Us Enemy" tells the story of George Takei (written with Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott) and his family's time in internment camps during World War II.

    In 2016, a graphic novel about Muhammad Ali was written by Sybille Titeux de la Croix and drawn by Améziane, who also drew "Big Black." "I love stories that tell the whole life of a character, and if you choose wisely, you could have stories that are better than fiction," Améziane said in an email.

    'Big Black: Stand at Attica' Events

    Jared Reinmuth, Daniel Meyers and Pearl Smith will speak Feb. 17, 7 p.m., at Strand Bookstore, Manhattan; and Feb. 22, 3 p.m., at New York Public Library, Grand Central Branch.

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    6) Border Patrol Will Deploy Elite Tactical Agents to Sanctuary Cities

    Agents from a special tactical team that normally confronts smugglers on the border are being sent to sanctuary cities across the country.

    By Caitlin Dickerson and olan Kanno-Youngs, February 14, 2020

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/14/us/Border-Patrol-ICE-Sanctuary-Cities.html?algo=combo_lda_unique_clicks_decay_6_20_ranks&fellback=false&imp_id=253599767&action=click&module=moreIn&pgtype=Article&region=Footer&action=click&module=MoreInSection&pgtype=Article&region=Footer&contentCollection=U.S.%20News


    An agent with the U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit, known as BORTAC, an elite group that functions essentially as the SWAT of Border Patrol.Credit...Adrees Latif/Reuters


    The Trump administration is deploying law enforcement tactical units from the southern border as part of a supercharged arrest operation in sanctuary cities across the country, an escalation in the president's battle against localities that refuse to participate in immigration enforcement.

    The specially trained officers are being sent to cities including Chicago and New York to boost the enforcement power of local Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, according to two officials who are familiar with the secret operation. Additional agents are expected to be sent to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, N.J.

    The move reflects President Trump's persistence in cracking down on so-called sanctuary cities, localities that have refused to cooperate in handing over immigrants targeted for deportation to federal authorities. It comes soon after the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security announced a series of measures that will affect both American citizens and immigrants living in those places.

    Lawrence Payne, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, confirmed that the agency was deploying 100 officers to work with ICE, which conducts arrests in the interior of the country, "in order to enhance the integrity of the immigration system, protect public safety, and strengthen our national security."


    The deployment of the teams will run from February through May, according to an email sent to C.B..P. personnel, which was read to The New York Times by one official familiar with the planning.

    Among the agents being deployed to sanctuary cities are members of the elite tactical unit known as BORTAC, which acts essentially as the SWAT team of the Border Patrol. With additional gear such as stun grenades and enhanced Special Forces-type training, including sniper certification, the officers typically conduct high-risk operations targeting individuals who are known to be violent, many of them with extensive criminal records.

    The unit's work often takes place in the most rugged and swelteringly hot areas of the border. It can involve breaking into stash houses maintained by smuggling operations that are known to be filled with drugs and weapons.

    In sanctuary cities, the BORTAC agents will be asked to support interior officers in run-of-the-mill immigration arrests, the officials said. Their presence could spark new fear in immigrant communities that have been on high alert under the stepped-up deportation and detention policies adopted after Mr. Trump took office.

    In a statement, ICE's acting director, Matthew T. Albence, said the deployment comes in response to policies adopted by sanctuary cities, which have made it harder for immigration agents to do their jobs.


    "As we have noted for years, in jurisdictions where we are not allowed to assume custody of aliens from jails, our officers are forced to make at-large arrests of criminal aliens who have been released into communities," he said. "When sanctuary cities release these criminals back to the street, it increases the occurrence of preventable crimes, and more importantly, preventable victims."

    But Gil Kerlikowske, the former commissioner of C.B.P., which oversees tactical units along the border, said sending the officers to conduct immigration enforcement within cities, where they are not trained to work, could escalate situations that are already volatile. He called the move a "significant mistake."

    "If you were a police chief and you were going to make an apprehension for a relatively minor offense, you don't send the SWAT team. And BORTAC is the SWAT team," said Mr. Kerlikowske, who is a former chief of police in Seattle. "They're trained for much more hazardous missions than this."

    It was a gun-wielding BORTAC agent who, in April 2000, seized Elian Gonzalez — a Cuban boy who was embroiled in an international asylum controversy — from his uncle's arms after agents had forced their way into the home where the boy was staying.

    The Border Patrol squads will be charged with backing up ICE agents during deportation operations and standing by as a show of force, the officials said..

    ICE agents typically seek out people with criminal convictions or multiple immigration violations as their primary targets for deportation, but family members and friends are often swept up in the enforcement net in what are known as "collateral" arrests, and many such people could now be caught up in any enhanced operations.

    ICE leadership requested the help in sanctuary jurisdictions because agents there often struggle to track down undocumented immigrants without the help of the police and other state and local agencies. Law enforcement officers in areas that refuse to cooperate with ICE and the Border Patrol — which include both liberal and conservative parts of the country — often argue that doing so pushes undocumented people further into the shadows, ultimately making cities less safe because that segment of the population becomes less likely to report crimes or cooperate with investigations.


    The goal of the new joint operation, one of the officials said, was to increase arrests in the sanctuary jurisdictions by at least 35 percent.

    The operation reflects an increasingly hawkish approach to immigration enforcement, following the firings and resignations of leaders who have been viewed in the White House as unwilling to take the harsh steps Mr. Trump and his advisers view as necessary to slow illegal immigration.


    Other recent attempts at aggressive enforcement by ICE have faltered, such as a series of raids targeting more than 2,000 migrant families that were planned during the summer of 2019. Mr. Trump's advance warnings on Twitter led many of those who were targeted to refuse to open their front doors, and ultimately, only 35 of those who had been targeted were arrested in the operation's first several weeks.

    Even with the added show of force from BORTAC, agents will be limited in their abilities compared to the police or sheriff's deputies. Unlike operations on the border, where BORTAC agents may engage in armed confrontations with drug-smuggling suspects using armored vehicles, immigration agents in cities are enforcing civil infractions rather than criminal ones. They are not allowed to forcibly enter properties in order to make arrests, and the presence of BORTAC agents, while helpful in boosting the number of agents on the ground, may prove most useful for the visual message it sends.

    The agents will not be busting down doors or engaging in shootouts, said one official with direct knowledge of the operation, who like the other official would not be identified because he was not authorized to discuss it.

    Some C.B.P. agents are permitted certain enforcement powers, including setting up immigration checkpoints, within 100 miles of a land or coastal port.


    Naureen Shah, senior advocacy and policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, questioned whether the teams would use that authority in the targeted cities, most of which are within that 100-mile zone.

    "This is about further militarizing our streets," Ms. Shah said. "It could actually have deadly effects. We could see C.B.P. officers who aren't trained for interior enforcement using aggressive force."

    Many ICE agents say their jobs have become increasingly difficult, three years into Mr. Trump's presidency, because of robust campaigns by immigrant advocacy organizations seeking to safeguard undocumented immigrants by educating them on the legal limitations that ICE officers face. As a result, in many communities where undocumented immigrants live, people now turn immediately to their phones when ICE agents are spotted to alert neighbors that they should stay inside.

    Mr. Trump campaigned on a promise to crack down on sanctuary cities. Within a few months of taking office, the Justice Department moved to withhold certain federal funds from the jurisdictions. Last week, the department filed suit against state and local governments in California, New Jersey and Washington State over sanctuary policies there. Also this month, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would ban New Yorkers from enrolling in programs that allow travelers to speed through customs checkpoints in airports and at the border as a result of the state's decision to offer driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants and bar Homeland Security agencies from accessing the state's motor vehicle database.

    The president again highlighted the issue in his State of the Union address, arguing that sanctuary cities "release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public."

    In January, a New York City Council member wrote an open letterfor his fellow councilors expressing concern about increasing ICE activity in the region, including collateral arrests. Last week, an acquaintance of a man in New York who was being arrested by ICE was shot in an incident that the agency later blamed on sanctuary policies.

    The aggressive immigration enforcement tactics being implemented around the country are not limited to any one agency. In a widely circulated video recorded in El Paso on Tuesday night, Border Patrol agents are shown subduing and using a Taser to apprehend a man in a Burger King restaurant.


    The video shows the man pleading repeatedly with the agents while shouting that he had done nothing wrong. A bystander asks the agents to leave the restaurant, as she cries while witnessing the episode. While the man was writhing in pain on the floor after being stunned repeatedly, another woman in the video approached the agents and asked, "Why are you still hitting him?"

    A Border Patrol spokesman said in a statement that the apprehended man was a "suspected alien smuggler," without offering any evidence to support that assertion. The spokesman did not respond to a request for the man's name and nationality.

    "The man refused to cooperate with the verbal instructions and attempted to avoid being handcuffed and a struggle ensued," the Border Patrol spokesman said.

    In the same statement, the spokesman said that a "citizen" had notified law enforcement of a suspicious vehicle parked on his property. The Border Patrol said the man apprehended by the agents on Tuesday was the driver of the vehicle and that "record checks indicated that the man was in the country illegally and had a positive criminal history."

    An ICE spokesman declined to comment on the specifics of the latest effort in sanctuary cities, citing the agency's policy against sharing information about enforcement operations before they have taken place.. However, the spokesman added that the agency had "made it abundantly clear for years that, in jurisdictions where we are not allowed to assume custody of aliens from jails, our officers would be redirected to make at-large arrests."

    Simon Romero, Miriam Jordan and Annie Correal contributed reporting.