The biggest block from having society in harmony with the universe is the belief in a lie that says it’s not realistic or humanly possible. —Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)





When faced with the opportunity to do good, I really think it’s the instinct of humanity to do so. It’s in our genetic memory from our earliest ancestors. It’s the altered perception of the reality of what being human truly is that’s been indoctrinated in to every generation for the last 2000 years or more that makes us believe that we are born sinners. I can’t get behind that one. We all struggle with certain things, but I really think that all the “sinful” behavior is learned and wisdom and goodwill is innate at birth.  —Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)



















Register for Thursday, April 9th Virtual Conference



Dear Readers, this is a very important list of demands crafted by the group, Socialist Resurgence, that appears at the end of their statement on the COVID-19 pandemic. The article itself is quite long but the most comprehensive statement I've seen and well worth reading at the URL below. Please circulate widely.
—Bonnie Weinstein




A program of action and solidarity

Capitalism stands totally disgraced. Even amidst a global pandemic and the coming ecological collapse, the ruling class in every country is trying to save its own profits at the expense of humanity. Workers have nothing at all to gain from supporting the capitalists, their programs, or their parties. Instead, working people must put forward our own solutions to the crisis and struggle with every weapon we have to achieve them. We call for:

  • Centralized, international commissions of doctors and engineers to coordinate a global response to the pandemic!
  • Retool all non-essential production to provide medical and safety equipment and begin a massive build-out of green infrastructure!
  • No bans, no walls, amnesty for all immigrants and refugees, with full citizenship rights now!
  • Democratic decision-making carried out through public discussion on all restrictions of movement!
  • Free housing, food, and medical care throughout the crisis! Pay for it through the military budgets, with 100% tax on all income over $250,000!
  • Hazard pay of at least 200% for all workers and full implementation of workplace safety measures! Completely free child care now! Stop all foreclosures, freeze all rents and mortgages, and stop all evictions for the duration of this crisis!
  • Evacuate the prisons! Free all non-violent, immuno-compromised, and elderly prisoners, and provide quality housing!
  • Drastically increase funding for domestic violence resources and education! No one stuck in quarantine with an abuser!
  • Decrease hours without a decrease in pay for all who must work! All the necessities for those who are not working!
  • Abortion is an essential service! Free and safe access for all who need it!
  • Aid, not sanctions! Reparations for colonized countries now! Cancel all imperialist debt!
  • Removal of all imperialist troops from the neo-colonial world; re-assign them for immediate use in aid efforts!
  • No bailouts for big business or the banks! Nationalize production and finance under democratic workers’ control!



COVID Newsletter #2020-2 March 25, 2020

Migrants on Hunger Strike at the Laval Immigration Detention Centre: Act Now in Solidarity

Solidarity Across Borders, March 25, 2020

– Stay in touch! Look here for updates and renewed calls for support

Migrants detained at the Laval Immigration Detention Centre have launched an indefinite hunger strike to demand their release in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 30 men are currently being held on the men’s side of the detention centre. The ten hunger-strikers are refusing all meals, despite pressure from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to desist. Like other prisoners across Canada and around the world, they are demanding to be released for their own safety. Read their statement here.
We are joining the detainees to demand the immediate release of everyone currently detained, safe and decent housing for everyone released, and an end to new detentions!
Free them all!

Support the prisoners (see details and more background info below)

  • In Canada, call Ministers of Health and Public Safety (contacts and script below)
  • Everywhere, echo their demands on social media, alternative media and mainstream media by passing this message on, or by posting or writing articles demanding their release (background on migrant detention in Canada).


The 34 detainees are inmates of the Laval Immigration Prevention Centre, a prison where migrants are held if they don’t have identity documents, or if Canada wants to deport them and does not think they will comply. Detention is an important tool that Canada uses to keep its borders closed to colonized and racialized people from the global south, while continuing to exploit their labour and natural resources.
Afraid for their health, the prisoners in the migrant prison in Laval point out in their petition the high risks of being kept in a confined space. They are exposed to hundreds of guards, food workers, and health staff entering and leaving the facility every day.
Their demand comes as urgent calls for the release of prisoners multiply – in Quebec, across Canada and elsewhere – as a public health imperative. The pandemic has exposed how interrelated we all are in society, within and across borders, within and outside prison. It calls for solidarity with those who will be hit hardest – those already in the most precarious situations, such as detention.
Meanwhile, visits to the prison for migrants have been cancelled, leaving prisoners even more isolated. Detention is already a major source of psychological distress, especially for trauma survivors, in addition to poor nutrition and sleep, and limited access to healthcare. The lack of visits also poses a significant barrier to legal advice. Mandatory detention review hearings now take place by phone. Last week, CBSA announced that it was halting deportations for at least three weeks, but failed to address detention.
On Thursday, March 19th, the detainees issued a call in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their hand-written petition was sent to the Federal Minister of Public Safety, Federal Minister of Immigration, Prime Minister of Canada, the Federal and Quebec Ministers of Health, and international bodies such as the UNHCR. After a week of inaction on the part of government officials, detainees launched an indefinite hunger strike to demand their release.


  • Federal Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair
Telephone: 613-995-0284
Fax: 613-996-6309
  • Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendocino
Telephone: 613-954-1064
Fax: 613-952-5533

What to say

– Ten migrant detainees at the Laval Immigration Detention Centre are on hunger strike to demand their release. The situation is urgent and demands immediate action to ensure their safety.
– Locking people inside this facility and taking away their freedom is unjustifiable to begin with, but to force people to remain inside in the midst of a pandemic is beyond unjust, it’s dangerous for everyone
– I am asking for the immediate release of everyone currently detained and decent and safe housing for all of the people who are released.
– I am also asking for an end to new detentions

Communiqué From Prisoners In The Laval Immigration Holding Centre: Hunger-Strike Until We Are Free (Laval, 24 March 2020)

Following the petition we wrote , which had little impact on our situation of detention, we have decided to move to the second phase of our plan. This is to go on an indefinite hunger strike, starting today. This will be done in the most peaceful way and we are not breaking any detention centre rules. Thank you for your support and all help is welcome.
*Petition to free the detainees, sent to Ministers of Immigration and Public Safety on 19 March 2020: We are currently detained at the Laval Immigration Holding Centre. Given the urgent situation of the propagation of the coronavirus, we believe that we are at high risk of contamination. Here in the detention centre we are in a confined space, every day we see the arrival of people, of immigrants, from everywhere, who have had no medical appointment nor any test to determine whether they are potential carriers of the virus. There is also the presence of security staff who are in contact with the external world every day and also have not had any testing. For these reasons we are writing this petition, to ask to be released."

#HungerStrikeLaval #FreeThemAll

Dear Folks,
This is the Kersplebedeb email list, normally devoted to telling you where and when you can buy books i distribute (and sometimes publish); only, all my tabling plans are obviously postponed indefinitely now.
I’m trying something new.
This list will be used proactively to share information about the current unfolding COVID-19 catastrophe, and the resulting political and economic turmoil. These won’t all be articles i agree with, but they will all be articles that i think are worth reading.
Good luck everyone, and stay safe
p.s. You can also see previous newsletters or other documents on COVID-19 on the Kersplebedeb website



We Sit Inside

by Caitlin Johnstone
We sit inside and wonder
what the hell is going on
and what the hell is going to happen.
How we're going to pay the bills
and how the store can still be out of fucking toilet paper.
What the government is hiding from us
and how they'll screw us over this time.
If we'll be okay when we get sick
or if we'll be one of those weird anomalies you read about online.
If those we live with will get bored of us
or if they already are.
If we're going to be okay.
If the world is going to be okay.
If maybe, just maybe,
out of all this chaos and confusion,
in some secret, safe, and sacred space,
something truly good might be birthed.
We sit inside and wonder.
We sit inside and wait
for the lockdown to end
and for the uncertainty to end.
For the latest disturbing news story
and the latest round of disturbing statistics.
For the delivery person
and the video chat ringtone.
For a family member to awaken from sleep
so we don't feel so alone and afraid.
To again hug our elderly loved ones
and to have block parties with our neighbors.
To again meet a set of eyes and smile warmly
at a stranger across the room in a public space.
For the earth to heal itself.
For humanity to heal itself.
For that primal sanity
which lies dormant in our cells
to finally awaken.
We sit inside and wait.
We sit inside and change
our old habits
and our old assumptions.
Our fear of stillness
and our fear of ourselves.
Our hearts
and our minds.
From restless
to rested.
From doing
to being.
From a posture of sprinting
to a posture of meditating.
From frenzied momentum
to the fan blades fully stopping.
From guardedness with our loved ones
to vulnerability and intimacy.
From war with the world
to peace with ourselves.
From an insane species in an awkward adolescence
to who knows what the hell comes next.
Our eyes crack open.
Our hearts crack open.
Our cells sprout leaves.
We sit inside and change.



To the initiators of the “Letter of 

Dissent”: Antiwar Commemoration of the

 Kent State Massacre, May 4, 2020

March 24, 2020

To the initiators of the “Letter of Dissent”

Dear Friends,

Much has happened since last September when we initiated the Open Letter Calling for an ANTI-WAR COMMEMORATION of the KENT MASSACRE, May 4, 2020.  It’s an entirely new world - and not the most copacetic of times.

Yet even in the midst of the unfolding social and economic crisis, it’s heartening to see an organic, working-class solidarity begin to emerge.  People are pitching in to help one another and are beginning to organize - demanding  that human needs come before corporate profits.

Ultimately, overcoming the ongoing disasters will require all of society’s means  – and for that we must dismantle the insatiable war machine and use those vast resources to heal the planet.  We must continue the fight to end US wars, occupations and sanctions

This letter goes out to the 59 original signers of the Letter of Dissent. Over 1000 additional antiwar activists have signed, making our initiative an authoritative statement from the antiwar community. 

The KSU administration refused to respond to our concerns, proceeding instead with a corporate, celebrity-filled program designed to cover up the truth of the massacres and the war. The university has now cancelled the official planned program. An online event is being developed, but it will undoubtedly have the same sanitized character.

As antiwar activists under quarantine, we cannot use traditional marches, pickets and rallies - we will need to create new forms of struggle.  That has already begun, with protests of empty shoes, spaced out picket lines, car caravans and internet actions. 

I’m writing to ask you to help form an online commemoration of the massacres at Kent, Augusta and Jackson.

We can encourage groups and individuals to initiate memorial events or include May ‘70 in other planned actions. Some sites already exist, notably the Kent State Truth Tribunal, which has carried on activities for years and created a large video collection of personal narratives about May 4.  They are here:  https://www.truthtribunal.org/about

For my part, using a previously established blog, there is now a temporary site for individuals to contribute written experiences from May 1970, the national student strike, the GI antiwar movement and similar antiwar experiences.

This is an open venue for anyone and everyone to help write our rich history.  You can share your stories on the Kent Massacre Wall (Click on Share Your Stories): https://kentmassacre.wordpress.com/author/mikealewitz/

Most importantly, this letter is also an invitation to help begin a new Facebook group, KENT MASSACRE ONLINE ANTIWAR COMMEMORATION – a place to post news of events, photos, articles, videos, comments and discussion related to the 50-year commemoration. Please join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2850853628362946/

Today’s social media discussions are focused on issues of staggering importance, such as the elections, pandemics and mass extinctions.  But the civil rights, labor, antiwar and other great movements of the past contain valuable lessons of how to fight and win. We need to spread the collective consciousness and history of the massacres, the national student strike and the antiwar movement. 

Humanity faces unprecedented challenges in the times ahead - but we know that the creative power of the working class is a mighty force when it is unleashed.

In Solidarity,
Mike Alewitz
 - - - - - - - - - -
A slightly altered version of this letter will go out to the 1000+ signers on the Change.org site: http://chng.it/QTLkTvX6


Professor Emeritus


Art Department / Mural ProgramCentral CT State University
1615 Stanley Street/ New Britain, CT  06050

Red Square
116 Federal Street
New London, CT  06320

Mobile: 860.518.4046




Chiapas: EZLN Closes Caracoles Due to 

Coronavirus and Calls on People to Continue Struggle


On March 16th, 2020, the EZLN published a communiqué about the actions that they are going to take against the Coronavirus and a strong call not to give up the struggle:











For more information in Spanish:
EZLN cierra sus centros de reunión, por COVID-19, Chiapasparalelo, 16 de marzo de 2020






Filling sails with warm breeze

The ship Capitali set to sea,

The crowd was cheering  

The vessel was glistening,

Golden nails its timbers fastening.

At the helm stood Captain Narcissus

The Realm’s one stable genius,

Waving he steered west,

On a voyage of conquest.

The moonlight lay over the sea,

By sunrise land was seen. 
After Capitali dropped anchor,
Narcissus went to reconnoiter. 

The Captain stepped onto the beach
And spied a diamond at his feet,
To the natives then he spoke:
“I am a civilized folk,
From a Great Realm come I to negotiate,
This diamond must be mine I so state
Golden glitter from my ship you may take.”

The natives agreed, then with great speed
Returned to his cabin and down on his knees,
A golden nail did he pry,
From floor boards inside.

The exchange then he did make
“I’m incredible” did Narcissus state.
With diamond the size of a fist,
He rowed to his ship through the mist.
From under his bed pulled a treasure chest
Tying rope from leg to chest he lay down to rest.

Many lands did they encounter
So many gems did he pilfer,
And many golden nails he did offer.
Admiring his gem filled chest on the floor
Narcissus said “this has never been done before!”
“”My success” said he, “you wouldn’t believe.”
Tying rope from leg to chest he lay down to sleep.

Returning to the Realm,
The Capitali hit a storm.
A mighty wave did strike the ship,
And timbers shuddered from tip to tip.
Narcissus awoke as the cabin floor split
The Treasure Chest then did fall fast,
Dragging the Captain down into the dark,
Smashing through the hull he shot down like a dart.

The ship drew on water,
The crew did scamper,
Over the side
They all did dive
Into the darkness-- to survive.

Nayvin Gordon 3/30/20



High Court Declines Case of 60s Black Militant H. Rap Brown

By The Associated Press, April 6, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is declining to take the case of a 1960s black militant formerly known as H. Rap Brown who is in prison for killing a Georgia sheriff’s deputy in 2000.
As is usual, the justices didn't comment Monday in turning away Brown's case. Brown had argued his constitutional rights were violated at trial.
Brown converted to Islam and now goes by the name Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. He gained prominence more than 50 years ago as a Black Panthers leader and was at one point the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. 
In 2002, Al-Amin was convicted of murder in the death of Fulton County sheriff’s Deputy Ricky Kinchen and the wounding of Kinchen’s partner, Deputy Aldranon English. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Al-Amin had argued that a prosecutor violated his right not to testify by directly questioning him during closing arguments in a sort of mock cross-examination.



Chelsea Manning Ordered Free From Prison

Chelsea Manning, photographed in Washington, D.C., in January 2018.
Photo: Jesse Dittmar/Redux





Coronavirus, Epidemics and Capitalism:

The Bugs Are in the System

Radical Women supports and recommends this thoughtful analysis of the novel coronavirus by our sister organization, the Freedom Socialist Party. The statement raises excellent demands to protect workers, women, the poor, and people of color being scapegoated for the crisis. 
Woman cleaning bus

Governments around the globe have had since December to prepare for the novel coronavirus. And while some countries have done better than others with their response, here in the U.S. the for-profit medical industry is practically ensuring that more people catch the virus and more die from it. As with other disasters and emergencies, capitalism makes things worse.

Billionaire White House occupant Donald Trump shot us all in the foot when he fired his pandemic response team in 2018. A year later, his administration scaled back the Centers for Disease Control’s pandemic prevention teams in several countries, including China. His 2021 budget proposal includes a 16% cut in the CDC’s budget, this after the department endured over a decade of budget cuts going back to the Obama administration. Now in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Trump visited the CDC and asked, “Who would have thought?” (New York Times, 3/8/20).

Coronavirus has so far claimed more than 4,600 lives worldwide. Cases of people with COVID-19 have been confirmed in 114 countries, including the United States, with the disease reported in 42 states so far. Washington state is the initial epicenter with over 330 cases confirmed and possibly 1,000 or more undetected.

On one hand, there is a constant drumbeat from corporate media outlets that invites panic. On the other, elected leaders are too concerned with the economic disruption to take this threat seriously enough. Testing for the virus is a good example of this. Initial kits from the CDC were faulty and the agency was slow to remove senseless restrictions on who could be tested. In Washington state, the insurance commissioner directed insurance companies not to charge any co-pays for the tests — but those without insurance still have to pay. This guarantees greater suffering for homeless people and the lowest-paid and most marginalized workers, meaning women, immigrants and people of color.

And there are still shortages of test kits, letting the virus continue to spread. Congress passed an $8.3 billion anti-coronavirus spending package on March 4, which should buy more testing kits. But if a tenth of that money had been spent years ago developing a coordinated, international strategy of prevention we might not be in this fix. Not to mention Trump’s ridiculous revolving-door Cabinet that has included four different Secretaries of Health and Human Services and his appointment of Vice President Mike Pence as his coronavirus czar. Pence is famous for his slow response to an outbreak of the AIDS virus as governor of Indiana, a delay that caused it to spread far and wide.

Trump and his fellow far-right world leaders are using the virus as an excuse to double down on xenophobic nationalism, upping the rhetoric and shutting down borders. Racist bigots everywhere are following their example. Violence against Asian people has escalated, as witnessed in London and on a New York City subway last month. Asian-owned businesses across the U.S. have been shunned and hotels have turned away customers because of their race.

It doesn’t help matters that 24% of all U.S. workers and 58% of those in the service industry receive no paid sick leave. That leaves them to choose between being getting fired or potentially causing their co-workers and customers to fall ill. The Healthy Families Act would give everyone at least a week’s sick leave, but even if it becomes law it won’t be enough. Many serious illnesses are contagious for more than a week and many workers, especially women, need to care for sick family members.

Like other epidemics before it, coronavirus is a threat compounded by capitalist greed and callousness. As disease ecologist Peter Daszak recently put it, “Unprecedented road-building, deforestation, land clearing and agricultural development, as well as globalized travel and trade” make pandemics likelier than ever, especially when “between outbreaks, the will to spend money on prevention wanes.” Global warming and nuclear proliferation have shown that capitalists will always trade tomorrow’s welfare for today’s dollar if we let them.

Now is the time to mobilize our unions and community organizations, along with small businesses to insist on immediate and effective action to protect public health.

To address this crisis, the Freedom Socialist Party raises these demands:
  • A universal, free, nonprofit, nationalized medical industry, including pharmaceuticals, managed by healthcare workers and patients
  • Free testing, treatment and vaccines
  • International cooperation on the virus treatment and vaccine research; outlaw profit-making from the crisis
  • Unlimited paid sick leave for all workers, with government assistance as necessary plus full compensation for lost wages due to closures or quarantines
  • Free laptops and Wi-Fi at home and free lunch programs for all students when schools close; free childcare for parents who have to work
  • Emergency financial assistance for small businesses hurt by the epidemic, including subsidies for paid sick leave
  • Increase public and private staffing levels to perform the intensified cleaning required
  • Train all at-risk workers and provide proper protective equipment
  • Stop the racist scapegoating of Chinese and all Asian and immigrant communities
  • No abridgement of civil liberties
  • Redirect military spending and border wall funding to coronavirus response, prevention and cure

You can find fiery Radical Women writings on the RW webpage. Learn more about RW through The Radical Women Manifesto, an exhilarating exploration of Marxist feminist theory and organizing methods. Buy a copy or read it on Google Books.
Donations are appreciated! As a grassroots group, Radical Women is sustained by support from people like you. Please contribute online or mail a check, payable to Radical Women, National Office 5018 Rainier Ave S Seattle, WA 98118 USA.

Check out the Freedom Socialist newspaper, a bi-monthly socialist feminist newspaper with news and analysis from around the globe. It also features book reviews, irreverent political cartoons, movement news and letters-to-the-editor. You can read or listen to articles online. Subscribe online or send $10 for one year or $17 for two to Freedom Socialist, 5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle WA 98118. (Students $8 for one year, strikers and unemployed $5.)

Mailing Address:
Radical Women, National Office
5018 Rainier Ave. S.
SeattleWA  98118

Add us to your address book

For more information
Phone: 206-722-6057





Friday post   Hate%2BSocialism



The American way of life was designed by white supremacists in favor patriarchal white supremacy, who have had at least a 400 year head start accumulating wealth, out of generations filled with blood sweat and tears of oppressed people. The same people who are still on the front lines and in the crosshairs of patriarchal white-supremacist capitalism today. There's no such thing as equality without a united revolutionary front to dismantle capitalism and design a worldwide socialist society.

—Johnny Gould

(Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)






National Solidarity Events to Amplify Prisoners Human Rights 


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.


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

August 21st - September 9th, 2020


Dare to struggle, Dare to win!

We are--

"Jailhouse Lawyers Speak"  


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



Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist



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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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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! Donate to our campaign today!
★ 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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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 puTHCIdZoZCFjjb-800x450-noPad 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



Eddie Conway's Update on Forgotten Political Prisoners

November 19, 2019


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.....



Letters of support for clemency needed for Reality Winner 

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 SIGN THE LETTER 

Support Reality Podcast: "Veterans need to tell their stories" – Dan Shea 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 ... DONATE NOW 
to support these podcasts

COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT! 484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559 www.....................couragetoresist..org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist 



Mobilization4MumiaM4B4NPhPzWJt87DARVR5-kdDE-Zg2kjzd9P8nMAFdnq1BkTLxJK1Xa51LKuxjKkeEz-kux6VKGqePHOFaWubSaquw7k5tBjwuV6BgOokFROdNa14U07z2Ec-zMrrLptAlmM8JoO4215-724-1618 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



Mumia Abu-Jamal: New Chance for Freedom

Police and State Frame-Up Must Be Fully Exposed!

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

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

*     *     *     *     *

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

Time is up! FREE MUMIA NOW!

*     *     *     *     *

DA's Hidden Files Show Frame-Up of Mumia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*     *     *     *     *

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

Mass Movement Needed To Free Mumia! 

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

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

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

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

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

Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal


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

November 2019
"There is no time for despair, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language.. This is how civilizations heal." -Toni Morrison




Board Game


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

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

Spread the word!!

By Dr.... Nayvin Gordon



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/



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



Celebrating the release of Janet and Janine Africa 150bb949-a203-4101-a307-e2c8bf5391b6 
Take action now to support Jalil A. Muntaqim's release
63cefff3-ac06-4c55-bdf9-b0ee1d2ce336 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. 
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



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!



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.....  Sign now! 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. Sign now! [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/ Sign this petitionhttps://internal.diem25.....org/en/petitions/1 



Words of Wisdom LouisRobinsonJr77yrsold 

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


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 Email:  exec.director@tdcj.texas.....gov Senior Warden Philip Sinfuentes (McConnell Unit) Phone: (361) 362-2300






1) Jailed on a Minor Parole Violation, He Caught the Virus and Died
Two weeks after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo promised to release 400 Rikers inmates held on minor parole violations, only half have been freed.
By Jan Ransom, April 9, 2020
Credit...Dave Sanders for The New York Times

Last summer, Raymond Rivera was arrested on a minor parole violation and sent to Rikers Island, where he waited months for a final decision on his release. As his case dragged on, the coronavirus spread through the jail complex and he became sick.

On Friday, state parole officials finally lifted the warrant against Mr. Rivera as he lay in a bed at the Bellevue Hospital Center. He died the next day.
“It was a tragedy the way it happened,” said Mr. Rivera’s wife, who asked not to be named to protect her privacy. “Why did he have to wait so long?”
Nearly two weeks ago, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo promised to release about 400 people who were on Rikers Island for minor parole violations as part of an effort to reduce the impact of the coronavirus in the city’s crowded jail complex.

“We’re releasing people who are in jails because they violated parole for nonserious reasons,” Mr. Cuomo said in a television interview on March 27. “And wherever we can get people out of jails, out of prisons, now we are.”
But carrying out that order has proved difficult, defense lawyers say. The state parole system has largely ground to a halt because of the pandemic, leaving hundreds of people in limbo, including those like Mr. Rivera who were detained on technical violations. So far 195 parole violators have been released from New York City jails, city officials say.
Aides to Governor Cuomo dispute that number and defend their efforts, saying the state has been moving as expeditiously as possible to release people who pose little danger to the public but who are at a high risk of dying from the virus — mostly older inmates with underlying medical problems.
On Tuesday, the governor’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, said about 700 parole violators who were deemed to be a “low-risk to public safety” had been released across the state, including about 240 from Rikers Island.
Still, public defenders and civil liberties groups say too many people arrested on technical parole violations — like breaking curfew or missing an appointment — are still in city jails waiting for a hearing.

Mr. Rivera and one other inmate, Michael Tyson, a repeat offender who was also sent to jail on a minor parole violation, became the first two people to die after being detained for months at the jail complex during the current pandemic, which has sickened hundreds of people there.

In the month since the virus was first detected in the city’s jails, the situation has worsened. By Wednesday, 288 inmates, 488 correction staff and 78 health care workers had tested positive for the virus. Seven jail employees had died, and 11 percent of the city’s 11,500 correction officers had self-quarantined.
At Rikers Island, parole hearings have, for the most part, been suspended as the rate of coronavirus infections continued to climb, forcing officials to quarantine 59 percent of the city’s jail population.
A judicial center at Rikers where parole revocation hearings were held was shuttered after a senior parole officer contracted the virus last month. The cases being heard now — via telephone conference without the parolee present — are limited to some preliminary hearings and those in which state officials have agreed to release the person. But because hearings were on hold, people have been arrested and held on Rikers without lawyers, who are assigned to represent them at the first hearing, knowing that they were there.
“Every day that they wait to release people is life-threatening at this point,” said Lorraine McEvilley, director of the Parole Revocation Defense Unit at the Legal Aid Society. “Every day matters.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio has been working with prosecutors, public defenders, the police and courts to secure the release of vulnerable people awaiting trial for nonviolent crimes or who have served most of their jail sentences. To date, more than 1,500 people have been released from city jails, including those serving a year or less, inmates held on minor crimes and those who are older and have underlying conditions.

State parole officials have, so far, lifted warrants on 242 people detained in city jails for minor, or “technical,” violations, like breaking curfew or missing an appointment, said Colby Hamilton, spokesman for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. There are still 476 technical parole violators in city jails, he said.
“We look forward to receiving from the state as soon as possible the balance of the people who they will consent to release during the remainder of the pandemic,” Mr. Hamilton said.
Mr. Rivera, 55, was convicted on burglary charges in 2014 after he walked into a garage in Queens and took a motorcycle cover. He had also stolen bicycles from another address, according to his parole report. He served over four years in state prison and was placed on parole.
Last summer, Mr. Rivera, who had long struggled with heroin addiction, was arrested with another person at a Family Dollar Store on shoplifting charges, which he denied. A parole officer ordered him into a residential drug treatment program, but he left the facility and did not report to his parole officer.
On Aug. 19, parole officers showed up to the family’s home in Queens and arrested him, taking him to Rikers Island, said his son, also named Raymond Rivera.
Mr. Rivera’s case was delayed. He had to change lawyers because of a conflict of interest with a co-defendant, and then waited months. Six weeks ago, an administrative judge decided to release him.
After that hearing, Mr. Rivera should have been freed in five days, public defenders said, but it took six weeks. The Department of Correction and Community Supervision said the circumstances surrounding his case are under investigation.

Mr. Rivera became ill and fainted in jail. He was sent to the prison ward on the 19th floor of the Bellevue Hospital Center, where he not only tested positive for the coronavirus, but doctors discovered he had cancer. Though an administrative judge had said he could be paroled, a correction officer stood outside of his room.
“He’s supposed to be a free man,” his son said.
On April 3, state parole officials lifted the warrant against Mr. Rivera, releasing him from custody. That meant Mr. Rivera was moved out of the prison ward to a hospital room three floors down, where he died hours later. “Somebody messed up somewhere,” said his son.
“He needed to be home,” Mr. Rivera’s wife said.
A day later, Michael Tyson, 53, who had been held on Rikers Island since Feb. 27 after he failed to report to his parole officer, also died at Bellevue Hospital Center following complications from Covid-19. His sister, April Wade, said he had heart surgery and was coping with diabetes and high blood pressure.
In his case, state officials said they would not have supported release. He had done seven stints in state prison for convictions that included attempted rape and attempted robbery.
Still, he never had a chance to make his case before a judge, public defenders said. He had a parole revocation hearing scheduled for April 20 but was hospitalized on March 26.
Ms. McEvilley said Mr. Tyson’s lawyers did not know he was at the jail. They only learned about his case after he was taken to the hospital. “This was at the height when the pandemic was really hitting,” Ms. McEvilley said. “This is the black hole that people are sent into.”
Jesse McKinley contributed reporting.



2) Everything Is Awful. So Why Is the Stock Market Booming?
Investors are betting that powerful interventions from Washington will protect the long-term profitability of major companies.
"The large companies that make up major stock indexes tend to have reliable access to capital, particularly after the Fed’s latest actions to prop up corporate lending. They may be more likely than small, independent-owned businesses to weather the economic storm and come out on the other side with greater market share and profits."
By Neil Irwin, April 10, 2020
Credit...Johannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

What on earth is the stock market doing?

Death and despair are all around. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits each of the last two weeks was about 10 times the previous record — and is probably being artificially held back by overloaded government systems. Vast swaths of American business are shuttered indefinitely. The economic quarter now underway will most likely feature Great Depression-caliber shrinkage in economic activity.
Yet at Thursday’s close, the S&P 500 was up 25 percent from its recent low on March 23. It is down only about 14 percent this year — and is up from its levels of just 11 months ago. There are answers as to why (more on that below). But that doesn’t take away the extremity of the juxtaposition between an economy in free fall and a stock market that is, in the scheme of things, doing just fine.
Two powerful forces are pushing in opposite directions. Commerce is being disrupted to a degree that seemed impossible just weeks ago. But simultaneously, stock investors are betting that powerful interventions out of Washington — including an additional $2.3 trillion in lending programs from the Federal Reserve announced on Thursday — will be enough to enable major companies to emerge with little damage to their long-term profitability.
It’s a battle between collapsing economic activity and, to use a silly meme from finance Twitter, the federal government’s money printer going “brrr.” In the stock market, at least, the revving of the money printer is winning.

Paradoxically, said Gene Goldman, the chief investment officer of Cetera Investment Management, the shockingly high numbers of jobless claims can even be viewed as helpful to the market, as they increase political pressure on Congress to scale up rescue measures beyond the $2 trillion legislation already enacted.
“Imagine you’re a Democrat or a Republican talking about 16 million people unemployed,” he said. “It really creates more bipartisan pressure to support the next stimulus package.”
The large companies that make up major stock indexes tend to have reliable access to capital, particularly after the Fed’s latest actions to prop up corporate lending. They may be more likely than small, independent-owned businesses to weather the economic storm and come out on the other side with greater market share and profits.
The analysts who project corporate earnings are, in the aggregate, forecasting a relatively mild hit. They expect the companies that make up the S&P 500 to experience only an 8.5 percent decline in earnings in 2020, with revenue falling a mere 0.1 percent, according to FactSet.
Then there are technical factors.
Some of the strongest performers in this market rally have been the companies most severely affected by the coronavirus crisis, like cruise lines, hotel chains and airlines. That suggests “short squeeze” dynamics, in which a small upturn forced investors betting against those companies to close out their positions, turning the small rally into a large one.

And Saudi Arabia and Russia apparently reached a truce to reduce oil output, causing a rally in oil prices, which is good news for oil companies that have been hammered by plunging prices of crude.
Finally, the gush of money into safe investments, both from private savers and the Fed, is pushing down longer-term interest rates. That makes even weak or uncertain future earnings for shareholders more appealing than they would have been when interest rates were higher.
But just because there are reasons for the stock market rally doesn’t mean those reasons are good ones.
Stock prices are always based on what the world will look like in the future, not the present. In the global financial crisis, stock prices bottomed out in March 2009. The economy did not begin expanding again until July, and the unemployment rate would not peak until October.
But current market pricing suggests that investors are counting on a speedy rebound.
“If this doesn’t go on much longer than expected, if it really is a three- to six-month event from the time we turned the switch on the economy off to when we turn it on, then markets have already accounted for that and are looking ahead,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist for the Leuthold Group. “It could be that the virus stays hot, and this situation stays in place for three or four quarters, and we’re not priced for that.”
In effect, financial markets are betting that there is some reasonable approximation of normal on some foreseeable horizon.
The current pricing assumes that a cascading series of failures will not happen. That widespread job losses and drops in income won’t cause the mass closure of businesses. That people will have a job to go back to and will be willing to spend when the public health crisis ebbs.

Everything about this crisis has been incredibly fast, with the economy going from full health to devastating recession within weeks. In that sense, the financial markets are pre-emptively adjusting to a possible world in which trillions of dollars from the Treasury and the Fed do the trick and prevent the virus from doing lasting damage.
“The stock market during periods of stress can be quite manic,” said Jason Pride, chief investment officer of private wealth at Glenmede. “What is happening here is a flip-flopping of perception from the ‘sky is falling’ for the majority of March, to being able to glimpse a light at the end of the tunnel today.”
It is, in other words, an unusual time in which we can only hope that stock investors know something that millions of people facing a catastrophic economic situation don’t.



3) A New Front for Nationalism: The Global Battle Against a Virus
Every country needs the same lifesaving tools. But a zero-sum mind-set among world leaders is jeopardizing access for all.
"Now, just as the world requires collaboration to defeat the coronavirus — scientists joining forces across borders to create vaccines, and manufacturers coordinating to deliver critical supplies — national interests are winning out. This time, the contest is over far more than which countries will make iPads or even advanced jets. This is a battle for supremacy over products that may determine who lives and who dies. ...'The parties with the deepest pockets will secure these vaccines and medicines, and essentially, much of the developing world will be entirely out of the picture,' said Simon J. Evenett, an expert on international trade who started the University of St. Gallen project. 'We will have rationing by price. It will be brutal.'"
By Peter S. Goodman, Katie Thomas, Sui-Lee Wee and Jeffrey Gettleman, April 1-, 2020
Max Guther

As they battle a pandemic that has no regard for borders, the leaders of many of the world’s largest economies are in the thrall of unabashedly nationalist principles, undermining collective efforts to tame the novel coronavirus.
The United States, an unrivaled scientific power, is led by a president who openly scoffs at international cooperation while pursuing a global trade war. India, which produces staggering amounts of drugs, is ruled by a Hindu nationalist who has ratcheted up confrontation with neighbors. China, a dominant source of protective gear and medicines, is bent on a mission to restore its former imperial glory.
Now, just as the world requires collaboration to defeat the coronavirus — scientists joining forces across borders to create vaccines, and manufacturers coordinating to deliver critical supplies — national interests are winning out. This time, the contest is over far more than which countries will make iPads or even advanced jets. This is a battle for supremacy over products that may determine who lives and who dies.

At least 69 countries have banned or restricted the export of protective equipment, medical devices or medicines, according to the Global Trade Alert project at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. The World Health Organization is warning that protectionism could limit the global availability of vaccines.

With every country on the planet in need of the same lifesaving tools at once, national rivalries are jeopardizing access for all.
“The parties with the deepest pockets will secure these vaccines and medicines, and essentially, much of the developing world will be entirely out of the picture,” said Simon J. Evenett, an expert on international trade who started the University of St. Gallen project. “We will have rationing by price. It will be brutal.”
Some point to the tragedy playing out around the world as an argument for greater self sufficiency, so that hospitals are less reliant on China and India for medicines and protective gear.
China alone makes the vast majority of the core chemicals used to make raw materials for a range of generic medicines used to treat people now hospitalized with Covid-19, said Rosemary Gibson, a health care expert at the Hastings Center, an independent research institution in New York. These include antibiotics, blood pressure treatments and sedatives. “Everyone is competing for a supply located in a single country,” Ms. Gibson said.

But if the laudable goal of diversification inspires every nation to look inward and dismantle global production, that will leave the world even more vulnerable, said Chad P. Bown, an international trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.
President Trump and his leading trade adviser, Peter Navarro, have exploited the pandemic as an opportunity to redouble efforts to force multinational companies to abandon China and shift production to the United States. Mr. Navarro has proposed rulesthat would force American health care providers to buy protective gear and medicines from U.S. suppliers.
“We just don’t have the production capacity,” Mr. Bown said, noting that Chinese industry is restarting, while American factories remain disrupted. “Just as you don’t want to be too dependent on China, you don’t want to be too dependent on yourself. You have now walled yourself off from the only way you can potentially deal with this, in your time of greatest need, which is relying on the rest of the world.”

For seven decades after World War II, the notion that global trade enhances security and prosperity prevailed across major economies. When people exchange goods across borders, the logic goes, they become less likely to take up arms. Consumers gain better and cheaper products. Competition and collaboration spur innovation.
But in many countries — especially the United States — a stark failure by governments to equitably distribute the bounty has undermined faith in trade, giving way to a protectionist mentality in which goods and resources are viewed as zero-sum.
Now, the zero-sum perspective is a guiding force just as the sum in question is alarmingly limited: Potentially vital supplies of medicine are in short supply, exacerbating antagonism and distrust.

Last week, the Trump administration cited a Korean War-era lawto justify banning exports of protective masks made in the United States, while ordering American companies that produce such wares overseas to redirect orders to their home market. One American company, 3M, said halting planned shipments of masks overseas would imperil health workers in Canada and Latin America. On Monday, 3M said it struck a compromise with the government that will send some masks to the United States and some overseas.

In recent weeks, Turkey, Ukraine, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa and Ecuador have all banned the export of protective masks. France and Germany imposed bans on masks and other protective gear, lifting them only after the European Union barred exports outside the bloc. India banned exports of respirators and disinfectants.
Britain has prohibited exports of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug now being tested for potential benefits against the virus. Hungary has banned exports of the raw material for that drug and medicines that contain it.
“The export bans are not helpful,” said Mariangela Simao, assistant director general for medicines and health products at the World Health Organization in Geneva. “It can disrupt supply chains of some products that are actually needed everywhere.”
President Trump has been especially aggressive in securing an American stockpile of hydroxychloroquine, disregarding the counsel of federal scientists who have warned that testing remains minimal, with scant evidence of benefits.
India is the world’s largest producer of hydroxychloroquine. Last month, the government banned exports of the drug, though it stipulated that shipments could continue under limited circumstances.
“In this situation, each country has to take care of itself,” said Satish Kumar, an adjunct professor at the International Institute of Health Management Research in New Delhi. “If we are not able to take care of our population, it will be a very critical situation.”

After Mr. Trump demanded that India lift the export restrictions on Monday night while threatening retaliation, the government appeared to soften its position.
“In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic,” said India’s foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava, the government would allow exports “to some nations who have been particularly badly affected” — an apparent nod to the United States.
Arithmetic suggested that a policy of stockpiling for national needs might leave other countries short. India is likely to require 56 metric tons, but now has only 38 metric tons, said Udaya Bhaskar, director general of the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India, an industry body set up by the government to promote exports of Indian medicines.
One manufacturer, Watson Pharma, owned by Teva Pharmaceuticals and based in the western Indian state of Goa, was seeking to triple its production of hydroxychloroquine over the next two weeks.

As global pharmaceutical companies explore new forms of treatment for the coronavirus — a complex undertaking even under ideal laboratory conditions — they are having to navigate an additional layer of real-world intricacy: geopolitics.
Companies steeped in genomics and the rigorous demands of manufacturing must find a way to develop new drugs, begin commercial production and also anticipate how the predilections of nationalists running major economies may limit supplies.

One of the most closely watched drugs, remdesivir, is made by Gilead, an American company. Though clinical trials have not yet been completed, the company has been ramping up manufacturing to meet global demand in advance of the drug’s approval.
Like many newer drugs, remdesivir’s formula includes “novel substances with limited global availability,” according to a statement on the company’s website.
Gilead is increasing production in part by expanding beyond its own facilities in the United States, contracting with plants in Europe and Asia, in a move that appeared to hedge its bets against trouble in any one place. “The international nature of the supply chain for remdesivir reminds us that it is essential for countries to work together to create enough supply for the world,” said Daniel O’Day, Gilead’s chairman and chief executive, in an April 4 statement.
Gilead says it has enough of the drug to treat 30,000 patients, while aiming to amass enough to treat one million by the end of the year. But outside experts questioned whether that would be sufficient.
“There is going to be a real fight over the allocation of the remdesivir supply if indeed it proves effective,” said Geoffrey Porges, an analyst for SVB Leerink, an investment bank in Boston.
Another drugmaker, the New York-based Regeneron, is preparing a U.S. plant to produce a cocktail of antibodies developed in genetically engineered mice, with tests planned for hospitalized patients and as a preventative treatment. A similar antibody cocktail proved effective against Ebola.
The company is planning the extraordinary action of shifting the production of some of its most profitable drugs — one that treats eczema, another for eyes — to a factory in Ireland to make room for the experimental treatment.

Regeneron’s chief executive, Dr. Leonard Schleifer, said the decision to make the new drug cocktail in the United States was both geopolitical and practical.
“You want to make it close to where the need is, and we anticipate there will be great need in the United States,” he said.
He acknowledged that making products overseas now posed risks that they could be subject to export bans in that country. In addition, Regeneron is receiving federal funds to expand its manufacturing of the vaccine, which carries the expectation that the company will prioritize the American market.
“It just made good sense to us to do this in the United States,” Dr. Schleifer said.

China has seized on the pandemic as an opportunity to present itself as a responsible world citizen, in contrast to Western democracies that failed to reckon with the threat — not least the United States, now the epicenter of the outbreak.
Ever since President Trump took office, unleashing tariffs on friends and foes alike, China’s paramount leader, Xi Jinping, has sought to exploit the American abdication of global leadership as a chance to crown himself champion of the rules-based trading system.
Given that China is ruled by an unelected Communist Party that subsidizes state-owned companies and tolerates the widespread theft of intellectual property, those claims have strained credulity.

China’s reputation has also suffered as it pursues its Belt and Road Initiative, a $1 trillion collection of infrastructure projects stretching from East Asia to Europe and Africa that has been engineered to spread Beijing’s influence and generate business for Chinese companies. Some recipients of Chinese credit have come to see the terms as predatory, prompting accusations that China is an ascendant colonial power.
China has dispatched doctors and ventilators to Italy while offering aid to France, Germany and Spain. Last month, as the European Union banned exports of protective gear, Serbia’s president, Aleksandar Vucic, embraced China’s largess, even kissing the Chinese flag.
“European solidarity does not exist,” Mr. Vucic declared. “I believe in my brother, my friend, Xi Jinping, and I believe in help from China. The only country that can help us now is China.”
Chinese factories make 80 percent of the world’s antibiotics and the building blocks for a huge range of drugs. Chinese officials have pledged to continue to make these wares available to the world. Such moves may bolster China’s standing, yet appear unlikely to pacify the Trump administration.
“Certainly, it would help in projecting China’s soft power,” said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. “But I don’t know whether this would ease concerns in the West, particularly the United States, on the need to diversify the supply of the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients.”
President Trump has long obsessed over the trade deficit with China as a supposed scorecard of American victimization. But given China’s role as a dominant supplier of hospital gear and medicines, American health effectively depends on being able to buy more from Chinese factories.
“Right now, the brightest shiny hope that we have is imports of this stuff,” said Mr. Bown, the trade expert. “We’d like to run the biggest trade deficit we could possibly find.”

“It’s not that we are buying this stuff from China that’s made us vulnerable,” he added. “It’s that we are buying this stuff from China, and we decided to start a trade war with them.”

China aims to become the first nation to crack the code for a vaccine, a milestone that could cement its status as a world superpower, resonating not unlike the United States’ putting a person on the moon.
“Its importance lies in being able to display our scientific and technological prowess to other countries,” said Yang Zhanqiu, a virologist at Wuhan University, in the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged.
About 1,000 Chinese scientists are now engaged in creating vaccines for the virus, with nine potential versions in development, according to the government. The government is considering bypassing some phases of planned clinical trials to rush potential vaccines into emergency use as soon as this month.
But one element appears in conspicuously short supply — international collaboration.
In 2003, when another coronavirus, known as SARS, spread through China with deadly impact, officials from the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deployed to Beijing to help the government forge a containment strategy. In the years that followed, Chinese and American authorities collaborated on epidemics in Africa.
But in recent years, American public health authorities have sharply diminished their presence in Beijing at the direction of the Trump administration, said Jennifer Huang Bouey, an epidemiologist and China expert at the RAND Corporation.

“Given the overall sentiment that any scientific research will be helping China, the United States is really trying to reduce any collaboration with China,” said Ms. Bouey. “That really hurts global health.”
“There’s a lack of trust,” said Mr. Huang at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Nationalism remains very strong among the Chinese public.”
Some international collaboration is taking place. Dr. Seth Berkley, the chief executive of the Gavi Alliance, a nonprofit group started by Bill and Melinda Gates that works to get vaccines to the world’s poor, noted that one of the best Ebola vaccines was discovered by a Canadian public health lab that was transferred to an American drug maker and then manufactured in Germany.
“That’s how science is done, and we really ought to follow that paradigm,” he said. “Nothing illustrates the global nature of this problem better than Covid-19, which started off in Wuhan and spread to 180 countries within three months. This is a global challenge that requires a global response.”
But even before a vaccine is confirmed, national governments are already seeking to lock up future supply.
In Belgium, a company called Univercells is preparing to manufacture two vaccines that are under development even before clinical trials are completed, according to its co-founder, José Castillo. Univercells expects to begin production by September, with the eventual aim of making as many as 200 million doses a year at a pair of plants south of Brussels.
One country — Mr. Castillo declined to disclose it — has already ordered half of the supply of vaccines that his company will initially make, a share that would decline to 10 percent as production increases.

Some countries will most likely fail to secure enough vaccine. “It’s really a matter of scarcity,” Mr. Castillo said.
More than overwhelming demand explains the anticipated shortfall. Though the science behind developing vaccines has advanced substantially, making them often involves labor-intensive techniques that are not designed to quickly produce billions of doses.
“The bottleneck is to produce it, to make it in very large quantities,” Mr. Castillo said.
The sense of urgency appears to have inspired President Trump to try to persuade a German company that is developing a possible vaccine to relocate to the United States. The company, CureVac, has denied it was approached by the United States, and said it had no plans to move.
The president has other weapons. He could cite the Defense Production Act to force American companies to give the United States government priority over other buyers for potential vaccines.
A little-known unit within the Department of Health and Human Services, whose mission is to protect American residents from bioterrorism and pandemics, gives grants to companies to speed their vaccine development. It also often comes with the requirement that recipients supply the government with a stockpile, said James Robinson, a vaccine manufacturing expert who sits on the scientific advisory board of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, an international consortium dedicated to making vaccines available worldwide.
That division, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, recently gave nearly $500 million to Johnson & Johnson to help it develop a coronavirus vaccine and set up a U.S. manufacturing facility.
Johnson & Johnson declined to say whether its arrangement with the government would require it to set aside vaccines for American use. It said it currently had the ability to produce as many as 300 million doses a year at its facility in the Netherlands, was preparing to manufacture a similar number in the United States, and was working with outside partners to add capacity elsewhere.

“If the current administration is still in place when the vaccines are available, they are going to be really merciless in terms of privileging the U.S. for supply versus the rest of the world,” said Michel De Wilde, a vaccine research consultant, and a former executive at Sanofi, a French vaccine manufacturer.
Around the world, 50 potential vaccines are now in the early stages of development, according to the W.H.O. If history is any guide, scientists will eventually produce an effective version.
What is less certain is whether the benefits will be shared.
“I’m worried about every country that has the potential to manufacture the vaccine,” said Dr. Richard Hatchett, the chief executive of the vaccine consortium. “They all have the ability to impose export controls. They all have the ability to nationalize their vaccine industry.”
If that is what happens, the dangers proliferate.
“If there are epidemics out of control in parts of the world,” said Dr. Berkley, of the Gavi Alliance, “we will never get control of this because the virus will come back and continue to spread.”
Reporting was contributed by Hari Kumar, Karan Deep Singh, Kai Schultz, Javier Hernandez and Andrew Jacobs.



4) Hedge funds 'raking in billions' during coronavirus crisis
Managers are pocketing large sums while care workers can barely scrape by, says TUC
By Rupert Neate and Jasper Jolly, April 9, 2020
Jonathan Ruffer, the founder of Ruffer Investment, told clients it had made £2.4bn during the global stock market collapse. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

Hedge funds have been accused of raking in billions from market bets during the coronavirus crisis while care workers in high-risk environments can barely scrape by.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC trade union body, launched a stinging attack on hedge fund managers on Thursday after it was revealed one London hedge fund had made £2.4bn betting on market moves as investors panicked over a global economic shutdown.
News of the multibillion-pound windfall came as Crispin Odey, the Brexit supporter who made millions betting against the pound in the run up to the EU referendum, said his fund had made its biggest monthly gain since the financial crisis.
O’Grady told the Guardian: “It’s a sign of our broken economy that hedge fund managers are raking in billions, while care workers who are putting their lives on the line can barely scrape by. When the immediate crisis has passed, we need to rebuild a more equal economy. The super-rich must be made to pay their fair share and ordinary workers should get the respect and pay they deserve.”
Ruffer Investment, which was founded by multimillionaire financier Jonathan Ruffer, told clients it had made $2.6bn (£2.4bn) during the coronavirus pandemic-induced global stock market collapse after a series of cheap “protective investment” bets on market volatility delivered huge returns. The story was first reported by the Financial Times
It also came to light that a US hedge fund made a 4,144% return betting on a stock market collapse in the year to the end of March. The Miami-based Universa Investments fund, which is advised by The Black Swan author Nassim Taleb, made a return of 3,612% in March alone. “I think we’ve shown Universa’s method of risk mitigation to be the most effective,” Mark Spitznagel, the fund’s president and chief investment officer, said in an investor letter seen by Bloomberg.
Odey Asset Management declined to comment on the TUC’s call for hedge fund owners to pay a “fair share” towards the fight against coronavirus. The fund made a return of 21% in March.
Odey, who has an estimated £800m fortune, privately told clients that the world was facing a crisis as bad as the Great Depression in the 1930s.
In a letter to investors on Thursday and reported by Bloomberg, Odey said: “This is not like 2008-9, nor 2001-2, nor even 1989-92. The fall in global gross national product for this year will echo 1931-2. That was a terrible time when countries and institutions disappeared and characters like Adolf Hitler seized their chance to take over Germany.”


5) Poultry Worker’s Death Highlights Spread of Coronavirus in Meat Plants
Some employees are coming in sick, and one woman died after being ordered back to work. “Our work conditions are out of control,” a longtime Tyson employee said.
By Miriam Jordan and Caitlin Dickerson, April 9, 2020
Annie Grant, front row center, during a family reunion, in a photo provided by her family. Ms. Grant, a Tyson Foods worker, died on Thursday after spending more than a week on a ventilator.

Annie Grant, 55, had been feverish for two nights. Worried about the coronavirus outbreak, her adult children had begged her to stay home rather than return to the frigid poultry plant in Georgia where she had been on the packing line for nearly 15 years.
But on the third day she was ill, they got a text from their mother. “They told me I had to come back to work,” it said.
Ms. Grant ended up returning home, and died in a hospital on Thursday morning after fighting for her life on a ventilator for more than a week. Two other workers at the Tyson Foods poultry plant where she worked in Camilla, Ga., have also died in recent days.

“My mom said the guy at the plant said they had to work to feed America. But my mom was sick,” said one of Ms. Grant’s sons, Willie Martin, 34, a teacher in South Carolina. He said he watched on his phone as his mother took her last breath.

The coronavirus pandemic has reached the processing plants where workers typically stand elbow-to-elbow to do the low-wage work of cutting, deboning and packing the chicken and beef that Americans savor. Some plants have offered financial incentives to keep them on the job, but the virus’s swift spread is causing illness and forcing plants to close.
Smithfield Foods’ pork plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., announced Thursday that it would close temporarily, after more than 80 employees tested positive for the coronavirus. Workers have come down with Covid-19 in several poultry plants in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.
JBS USA, the world’s largest meat processor, confirmed the death of one worker at a Colorado facility and shuttered a plant in Pennsylvania for two weeks. Cargill this week also closed a facility in Pennsylvania, where it produces steaks, ground beef and ground pork. Tyson halted operations at a pork plant in Iowa after more than two dozen workers tested positive.
Industry analysts said the plant closures were unlikely to result in serious disruptions to the food supply.

But if the pandemic keeps plants shuttered for an extended period, some products could become harder to find in stores, said Christine McCracken, a meat industry analyst at Rabobank in New York. “If workers don’t feel safe, they may not come back, and we don’t have a large pool of people that are lining up to work in these plants,” she said.

At some plants, workers have staged walkouts over concerns that they are not being properly protected. But an untold number remain on the job, most of them African-Americans, Latinos and immigrants.
The Trump administration has urged food-supply workers to step up to meet growing demand. “You are vital,” Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday. “You are giving a great service to the people of the United States of America and we need you to continue, as a part of what we call critical infrastructure, to show up and do your job.”
Mr. Pence said the administration would work “tirelessly” to ensure the workers’ safety.
There is no evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted through food, but public health experts have advised consumers to wipe down packaging because the virus could survive on those surfaces for days.
Several major meat-processing outfits are offering workers cash incentives to continue showing up for work.
At the Tyson plant in Camilla, the company offered its 2,100 workers a $500 bonus if they worked in April, May and June without missing a day.

Many of the employees live a 15-minute drive away in Albany, Ga., which has emerged as one of the epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak.
“How many more have to fight for their life, how many more families got to suffer before they realize we are more important than their production,” said Tanisha Isom, 36, a deboner on line four at the Camilla plant. She recently learned that she had bronchitis and missed two weeks of work.
She has continued to cough, she said, with a low-grade fever and fatigue — and hopes to finally get tested for the coronavirus later this week.
“We are crying out for help but no one is listening,” said Ms. Isom, who has worked at Tyson for years and earns $12.95 an hour.
“Our work conditions are out of control. We literally work shoulder to shoulder daily,” she said. She said that two people she works closely with are currently fighting for their lives.
Gary Mickelson, a spokesman for Tyson Foods, said the company was taking the temperature of workers before they entered and had implemented social-distancing measures. These included dividers between work stations and slower production lines to widen the space between workers.

If there is a confirmed case at one site, “we notify anyone who has been in close contact with the person and instruct them to go home and self-quarantine,” he said. He noted that workers who are sick continue to be paid while off the job.
He also said that Tyson was coordinating with federal agencies to secure “an adequate supply of protective face coverings for production workers” and other protective coverings.
But workers and union leaders said the response by Tyson and other chicken companies, which produce the bulk of the nation’s meat supply, has been inadequate.
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which represents thousands of poultry processing workers in the South, said that it had been “imploring” producers to take steps to protect workers’ safety while securing the nation’s food supply chain.
Day after day we hear reports of our members contracting the Covid-19 virus and even succumbing to it,” said Stuart Appelbaum, the union’s president. “The poultry industry can and must do better to swiftly protect workers.”
“Saying you are still scrambling for protective supplies when much of the supply chain has been protecting workers for weeks is a pathetic excuse for companies that make billions in profits annually,” he said.
Fatalities among workers have lent urgency to the demands for protection.
Cameron Bruett, a spokesman for JBS, confirmed that an older man who had worked for 30 years at its beef plant in Greeley, Colo., recently died from complications of Covid-19.

Operations have been halted at a plant the company operates in Souderton, Pa., until April 16, after several managers displayed “flulike symptoms,” he said.
In at least seven states, workers at Cargill, the nation’s third-largest meat producer, have tested positive for the virus, according to Dan Sullivan, a company spokesman.

Mr. Sullivan confirmed that Cargill had closed a plant in Hazleton, Pa., after several employees tested positive.
The federal government has deemed food-industry workers essential, and Cargill has encouraged employees to stay on the job through the pandemic with extra pay and bonus offers. Workers are eligible for up to 80 hours of paid leave for any virus-related absence.
But some employees say they, like Ms. Grant in Georgia, feel pressure to come to work, and others say they cannot afford to remain at home past any paid sick leave.
Jose Aguilar, a representative of the union in Alabama, said many immigrant workers might not be eligible for unemployment benefits or payments from the federal stimulus package.

“For the immigrant population, it’s really sad because right now, there are a lot of people who don’t have a choice,” he said. “Almost everybody is going to work because they need money.”
A woman who has worked for 20 years at Pilgrim’s Pride in Guntersville, Ala., said that the virus was spreading in the meat packing area, where employees work side by side and social distancing is nearly impossible. Recently, the company took measures to bolster safety, she said.
“There are people cleaning the plant; they are checking our temperatures every time we come in the morning; they’re doing all that. They’re starting to give us masks,” said the woman, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution from her employer.
“But of course we’re worried because the truth is we don’t know if more people are going to get sick,” she said.
Pilgrim’s Pride did not respond to a request for comment. The company’s Facebook page said that workers who show symptoms were being told to stay home.
On Facebook, several employees of the Tyson plant in Camilla questioned why those who had been working alongside people who tested positive had not been told to stay away. Others expressed frustration that the facility remained open at all.
Shynekia Emanuel, who works nights on the deboning line in Camilla, said that his shift supervisors — the same people who had been checking workers’ temperatures — had tested positive for the virus.

A company spokesman said Tyson would not discuss specific employees.
Mr. Emanuel, who said that he was particularly vulnerable to the virus because he has Crohn’s disease, will not report to work again until the pandemic has passed.
“Enough is enough,” he said. “Nobody wants to risk their lives over some chicken. Sorry. My life and my son’s life is way more important.”
Before checking herself into a hospital, Ms. Grant had told her children that several co-workers on her line had been absent.
“If they had taken proper precautions, they would have prevented people from getting it,” her son said. “This just isn’t right. It’s about saving multiple lives.”



6) Checkpoints, Curfews, Airlifts: Birus Rips Through Navajo Nation
The coronavirus is tearing across the largest Native American reservation in the U.S. Facing a spike in deaths, Navajo officials are scrambling to respond.
"The scarcity of running water on the reservation, she said, makes it harder to wash hands. There are also pre-existing health conditions, including respiratory problems caused by indoor pollution because of the wood and coal used to heat many Navajo homes."
By Simon Romero, April 10, 2020
Police officers from the Navajo Police setting up a road block in Window Rock, Ariz., on April 3. Credit...Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — When Chad Yazzie joined the Navajo Police Department just a few months ago, he expected to issue speeding tickets or break up the occasional fistfight.
But the coronavirus is now tearing across the largest Indian reservation in the United States. The Navajo Nation’s casualty count is eclipsing that of states with much larger populations, placing the rookie cop on the front lines.

“My job is to tell our people to take this virus seriously or face the consequences,” Officer Yazzie, 24, said as he set up a police roadblock outside the town of Window Rock to enforce the tribal nation’s 8 p.m. curfew.

Faced with an alarming spike in deaths from what the tribal health department calls Dikos Ntsaaígíí-19 — or Covid-19 — Navajo officials are putting up checkpoints, assembling field hospitals and threatening curfew violators with 30 days in jail or a $1,000 fine.
The measures are part of a scramble to protect more than 150,000 people on the vast Navajo reservation, which stretches 27,000 square miles across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, and tens of thousands of others who live in towns bordering the Navajo Nation. As of Wednesday night, the virus had killed 20 people on the reservation, compared with 16 in the entire state of New Mexico, which has a population 13 times larger.

Navajo officials, who have traced the surge in the reservation’s coronavirus cases to a March 7 rally held by an evangelical church, warn that infections will rise in the weeks ahead, potentially reaching a peak in about a month.

Several factors — including a high prevalence of diseases like diabetes, scarcity of running water, and homes with several generations living under the same roof — have enabled the virus to spread with exceptional speed, according to epidemiologists.

While the Navajo Nation may not technically be at war with the virus, it does not feel at peace either.
The Arizona National Guard this month began airlifting protective masks, gowns and other equipment, using Blackhawk helicopters to deliver it to Kayenta, a town of 5,200 people near the sandstone buttes of Monument Valley.
Guard members also converted a community center in Chinle into a 50-bed field hospital for quarantining people who have tested positive for the virus. The Guard set up a similar tent hospital in Tuba City, near the Navajo Nation’s western edge.
Going further, Navajo authorities said their entire nation would be under curfew for 57 continuous hours, from Friday at 8 p.m. until Monday at 5 a.m. The holiday weekend offers the opportunity to practice extreme social distancing, the authorities said. Unlike many stay-at-home orders around the nation, the Navajo curfews are being enforced with checkpoints and patrols. Violators can face jail time and hefty fines.

Fearing pushback, the chief of the Navajo Police, Phillip Francisco, said that anyone knowingly exposing officers to the coronavirus would be charged with battery against a police officer.

The Navajo Nation’s president, Jonathan Nez, who has begun wearing a mask in public, said in a telephone interview that authorities were working under the assumption that the reservation’s peak in cases could be about a month away, in early to mid-May.
Mr. Nez said he was growing exasperated with delays in receiving federal emergency funds and by the requirements that tribal nations, unlike cities and counties, must apply for grants to receive money from federal stimulus legislation. The extra hurdles have led to weeks of additional bureaucratic delays, he said.

“We’re barely getting bits and pieces,” Mr. Nez said. “You have counties, municipalities, already taking advantage of these funds, and tribes are over here writing our applications and turning it in and waiting weeks to get what we need.”
The crisis among the Diné, as many Navajos prefer to call themselves, is echoing throughout Indian Country. Around the United States, and especially in New Mexico, tribal leaders have started barring nonresidents from reservations. In South Dakota, the Oglala Sioux tribe announced a 72-hour lockdown after a resident of the Pine Ridge reservation tested positive for the coronavirus. The Blackfeet and the Northern Cheyenne tribal nations in Montana have announced curfews.
The Hopi reservation, which is surrounded entirely by the Navajo Nation and includes some of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the United States, issued its own stay-at-home order. Signaling vulnerabilities elsewhere in the Southwest, large clusters of cases emerged this week in San Felipe Pueblo and Zia Pueblo, two of New Mexico’s 23 federally recognized tribal nations.

Native American leaders say they are also dealing with the potential for racist attacks as outsiders try to cast blame for the pandemic on tribal citizens.
Police in Page, an Arizona town bordering the Navajo Nation, said this week that they had arrested a 34-year-old man, Daniel Franzen, on suspicion of attempting to incite an act of terrorism. Mr. Franzen in a Facebook post had called for using “lethal force” against Navajos because they were, in his view, “100 percent infected” with the virus, the Page Police Department said in a statement.

Infectious disease specialists say the virus is thought to have arrived on the reservation later than in other parts of the United States. It began spreading rapidly after it was detected among members of the Church of the Nazarene, an evangelical congregation in the outpost of Chilchinbeto near the Arizona-Utah border.
Families traveled from far-flung parts of the Navajo Nation to attend the rally, which included a prayer service in response to the pandemic already spreading in parts of the country.
Dr. Laura Hammitt, director of the infectious disease prevention program at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, listed several factors that have made citizens of the Navajo Nation especially vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The scarcity of running water on the reservation, she said, makes it harder to wash hands. There are also pre-existing health conditions, including respiratory problems caused by indoor pollution because of the wood and coal used to heat many Navajo homes.

Exceptionally close-knit families, which have helped the Navajos endure extreme hardships, may also now heighten exposure to the virus.
“Instead of urban crowding in high-density cities like New York, you have indoor crowding with several generations living under the same roof,” she said.
That explains the special need for field hospitals where patients who have tested positive for the virus can recuperate away from their families. Officials are also searching for ways to mitigate the spread of the virus in the so-called border towns where many Diné live.
For instance, in addition to the field hospitals assembled by the Arizona National Guard, the iconic El Rancho Hotel in the town of Gallup near the Navajo Nation is planning to house homeless people who have developed respiratory problems in one of its buildings.
Despite such measures, fear is building on parts of the reservation, and some are taking it upon themselves to protect their families.

In a culture prizing communal contact, Julian Parrish, a computer science high school teacher in Chinle, said he and his girlfriend had taken the unusual step of going on Facebook to request that visitors refrain from coming to their home unannounced.
Mr. Parrish, 34, explained that he is prediabetic, his girlfriend is pregnant and her son has asthma that sometimes requires trips to the emergency room.
“We don’t want to go anywhere near the hospital at this time,” Mr. Parrish said. “No one knows where the hell this virus is going next.”

As the death count climbs, the virus is drawing grim comparisons with previous epidemics that shaped the history of the Diné. From the start of the European conquest, outbreaks of smallpox, bubonic plague and typhus ravaged the tribe.
A century ago, the influenza pandemic of 1918 spread to the most remote corners of the reservation, killing thousands. Estimates put the mortality rate as high as 10 percent; accounts from that time described how some survivors died from starvation with no one left to care for them.
More recently, a hantavirus outbreak in the region in 1993 stirred fear across the Navajo Nation. The virus, carried by deer mice, left 13 dead including young, otherwise healthy people who developed sudden respiratory failure.

Despite the rising death toll from the newest virus, epidemiologists say the Diné may have advantages in the mitigation fight that other tribal nations do not.
They point to the nation’s relatively large number of diabetes specialists, who could help with outreach or trace the spread of the virus. Robust civil society groups within the reservation have also sprung into action, with volunteers replenishing water tanks for hundreds of families.
As one of the largest tribal nations in the United States, the Diné, who number more than 330,000 on the reservation and beyond, can also draw on resources unavailable to other tribes.
That includes the 200-strong police force now charged with enforcing the curfew every night in towns and along lonely stretches of road that connect far-flung homesteads and sheep ranches.
“We have to get the situation under control,” Officer Yazzie said, between chasing down curfew violators, writing citations and telling motorists over a loudspeaker to “just go home” where it was safe.
“If we don’t do this,” he said, “it’s our own families at risk.”



7) Trump Has Emergency Powers We Aren’t Allowed to Know About
Given that they could make their first appearance in the coronavirus crisis, Congress should insist on having full access to them.
By Elizabeth Goitein and Andrew Boyle, April 10, 2020
Doug Mills/The New York Times

The past few weeks have given Americans a crash course in the powers that federal, state and local governments wield during emergencies. We’ve seen businesses closed down, citizens quarantined and travel restricted. When President Trump declared emergencies on March 13 under both the Stafford Act and the National Emergencies Act, he boasted, “I have the right to do a lot of things that people don’t even know about.”
The president is right. Some of the most potent emergency powers at his disposal are likely ones we can’t know about, because they are not contained in any publicly available laws. Instead, they are set forth in classified documents known as “presidential emergency action documents.”
These documents consist of draft proclamations, executive orders and proposals for legislation that can be quickly deployed to assert broad presidential authority in a range of worst-case scenarios. They are one of the government’s best-kept secrets. No presidential emergency action document has ever been released or even leaked. And it appears that none has ever been invoked.
Given the real possibility that these documents could make their first appearance in the coronavirus crisis, Congress should insist on having full access to them to ensure that they are consistent with the Constitution and basic principles of democracy.

Presidential emergency action documents emerged during the Eisenhower administration as a set of plans to provide for continuity of government after a Soviet nuclear attack. Over time, they were expanded to include proposed responses to other types of emergencies. As described in one declassified government memorandum, they are designed “to implement extraordinary presidential authority in response to extraordinary situations.”
Other government documents have revealed some of the actions that older presidential emergency action documents — those issued up through the 1970s — purported to authorize. These include suspension of habeas corpus by the president (not by Congress, as assigned in the Constitution), detention of United States citizens who are suspected of being “subversives,” warrantless searches and seizures and the imposition of martial law.
Some of these actions would seem unconstitutional, at least in the absence of authorization by Congress. Past presidential emergency action documents, however, have tested the line of how far presidents’ constitutional authority may stretch in an emergency.
For example, a Department of Justice memorandum from the Lyndon B. Johnson administration discusses a presidential emergency action document that would impose censorship on news sent abroad. The memo notes that while no “express statutory authority” exists for such a measure, “it can be argued that these actions would be legal in the aftermath of a devastating nuclear attack based on the president’s constitutional powers to preserve the national security.” It then recommends that the president seek ratifying legislation from Congress after issuing the orders.
Much less is known about the contents of more recent presidential emergency action documents — but we do know they exist. They undergo periodic revision to take into account new laws, conditions and concerns. The Department of Justice reviews the proposed changes for legal soundness, the Federal Emergency Management Agency plays a coordinating role and the National Security Council provides policy direction and final approval.

Based on budgetary requests from the Department of Justice to Congress and other documents, it appears that presidential emergency action documents were revised in the late 1980s, in the 2000s and again starting in 2012 and continuing into the Trump administration. The latest numbers available suggest there are between 50 and 60 such documents in existence.
There is no question that presidential emergency action documents could be used in a pandemic like that caused by the coronavirus. A 2006 Nuclear Regulatory Commission memorandum addressed that agency’s plan under President Bush’s 2005 “National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza.” The concern was how to maintain operations in response to a pandemic that proved to be “persistent, widespread, and prolonged.” The memo’s authors offered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission 14 bullet points of actions, including to “review presidential emergency action documents” and “select those most likely to be needed” by the commission.
The most notable aspect of presidential emergency action documents might be their extreme secrecy. It’s not uncommon for the government to classify its plans or activities in the area of national security. However, even the most sensitive military operations or intelligence activities must be reported to at least some members of Congress. By contrast, we know of no evidence that the executive branch has ever consulted with Congress — or even informed any of its members — regarding the contents of presidential emergency action documents.
That is a dangerous state of affairs. The coronavirus pandemic is fast becoming the most serious crisis to face this country since World War II. And it is happening under the watch of a president who has claimed that Article II of the Constitution gives him “the right to do whatever I want.” It is not far-fetched to think that we might see the deployment of these documents for the first time and that they will assert presidential powers beyond those granted by Congress or recognized by the courts as flowing from the Constitution.
Even in the most dire of emergencies, the president of the United States should not be able to operate free from constitutional checks and balances. The coronavirus crisis should serve as a wake-up call. Presidential emergency action documents have managed to escape democratic oversight for nearly 70 years. Congress should move quickly to remedy that omission and assert its authority to review these documents, before we all learn just how far this administration believes the president’s powers reach.
Elizabeth Goitein is a co-director and Andrew Boyle is a lawyer at the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.


8) ‘We’re Going Down, Down, Down, Down, Down’
Staggering job losses are not a foregone conclusion. There is still time to fix the federal government’s aid program.
By The Editorial Board, April 10, 2020
Ben Sklar for The New York Times

The federal government is struggling to deliver financial aid to faltering employers — and workers are suffering the consequences. Roughly 10 percent of American workers filed for unemployment benefits in the past three weeks, a wave of job losses that has no precedent in modern American history. Millions more are struggling to submit unemployment claims to overwhelmed state agencies. And still more face the loss of their jobs in the coming weeks.
The scale of the economic damage is breathtaking. In one recent poll, more than half of all Americans under the age of 45 said that they had lost their jobs or suffered a loss of hours.
Some businesses may survive the crisis by shedding workers now, but they face long-term costs, too: the loss of trained and experienced workers, the uncertainties of hiring new ones.
The federal government was slow to react to the pandemic. Local officials began ordering businesses to shut down weeks before Congress moved to provide those businesses with the lifeline they so obviously needed. Timely action by itself could have saved millions of jobs.

When Congress did act, it failed to grasp the magnitude of the crisis. The aid bill passed at the end of March allocated $349 billion to support small businesses despite warnings from experts that the government needed to provide two or three times as much money to limit job losses. Already Congress is considering $250 billion more in spending, which still is insufficient.
And on top of all that, the aid program is poorly designed. The Small Business Administration, tapped to oversee the program, manages a loan portfolio of about $120 billion in normal times. Unsurprisingly, the agency has been overwhelmed by the expansion of its responsibilities. Congress also erred in relying on banks to make the loans. Crisis lending requires a degree of imprudence — the goal is to get money out the door. Banks, on the other hand, are legally required to exercise caution. The result: Banks quickly started imposing new conditions, such as refusing to deal with new customers, leaving many businesses bewildered, frustrated — and unable to get the money they desperately need.
It’s not too late for Congress to take a different approach to limit the damage. What’s needed is a blank-check promise to provide the money necessary for employers to pay workers.
European nations, including France, Germany and Britain, are fighting mass unemployment by paying companies to hold on to their employees. The government gives money to the companies, which give it to the workers; the workers stay home and get paid.
Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, has proposed an American version. Under his plan, the government would pay up to 80 percent of payroll costs for each employee up to the median wage — which the Social Security Administration pegged at $32,828 in 2018.

Mr. Hawley’s whatever-it-takes plan recognizes the immensity of this crisis.
“It’s like, ‘Wow, we’re going down, down, down, down, down.’ Nobody can see the bottom,” he told The Washington Post. “I personally don’t care to find out where the bottom might be!”
Crucially, the money would be distributed by a much larger arm of the government, the Internal Revenue Service. (The program is technically designed as a payroll tax rebate.)
The plan also would provide a bonus for rehiring workers laid off since the crisis began.
And the same aid would be available to larger employers affected by the crisis, too.
The most important shortcoming with Mr. Hawley’s program is that it’s still not big enough. It would provide a maximum of about $500 per week per employee, which is less than the $600 per week in extra unemployment benefits that Congress authorized in March.
Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington, proposed on Friday that the government pay 100 percent of weekly wages for workers making up to $100,000. That’s overly generous. The payment is basically an unemployment check with the added bonus that people will eventually return to the same jobs.
The government doesn’t need to carry workers making $100,000 at their full salaries to get them through the crisis. But it shouldn’t be hard to find a sensible middle ground between the two schemes.
There is clear value in preventing unemployment. The loss of a job is traumatic and, in the United States, it often includes the loss of health insurance, too. When the economy revives, both workers and employers will benefit from resuming their former relationships.

American businesses and workers urgently need federal help: More, better help.



9) Dumped Milk, Smashed Eggs, Plowed Vegetables: Food Waste of the Pandemic

With restaurants, hotels and schools closed, many of the nation’s largest farms are destroying millions of pounds of fresh goods that they can no longer sell.

"In recent days, Sanderson Farms has donated some of its chicken to food banks and organizations that cook meals for emergency medical workers. But hatching hundreds of thousands of eggs for the purpose of charity is not a viable option, said Mike Cockrell, the company’s chief financial officer. 'We’re set up to sell that chicken,' Mr. Cockrell said. 'That would be an expensive proposition.'”














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Posted by: Bonnie Weinstein <bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com>

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