Car Caravan / Socially Distanced in Person Protest

at the Israeli Consulate - 456 Montgomery 

Wednesday, July 1st @4:30PM

The San Francisco/Bay Area Chapter of Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition calls upon all Palestinians and supporters of freedom, equality and justice - in Palestine and around the world, to protest the planned annexation of more Palestinian land on July 1st. We call on the Palestinian community, and those engaged in indigenous/anti-colonial, anti-racist/anti-white supremacist struggles against state violence and racial oppression, to link arms and struggle together in an act of international solidarity!

Join us in person, with social distancing, OR in a car caravan around downtown San Francisco, in support of demonstrations across the U.S. and throughout the world. July 1st let’s take a unified stand against racism and the wars on our communities - locally and abroad, from ongoing and ever increasing racist settler-colonial violence. 
7_1 Day of Action (5).png 
We are seeking organizational endorsements to confront the latest U.S.-Israeli efforts to liquidate the Palestinian cause and people.
Let us stand together in demanding an end to US militarism locally and imperialism abroad, and instead of sending billions in financial aid to Israel and in war and militarism - to spending on our communities at home! 

The Zionist state is the hallmark of racial oppression and military repression in the 21st Century.  Its murderous military provided the knee-on-neck training to the killer cops in Minnesota and elsewhere. Enough is enough! Let’s end these deadly exchanges


To endorse this action, please email your organization’s name and contact to: sfbay@al-awda.org

To see and endorse: Al-Awda's statement on annexation.

This continued land theft, comes in addition to the ongoing denial of the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, most of the Palestinian population- who have been forcibly expelled and denied this right for 72 years. Palestinians are a majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean sea – with access to less than 10% of the land, while Israel applies military rule over Palestinians and continues to usurp more land for illegal Jewish-only colonies. Most of these colonies are inhabited by White Europeans and Americans, with the latest on occupied Syrian land, to be named “Trump Heights.” Despite 72 years of genocide, ethnic cleansing and dispossession, Palestine lives, and the Palestinian people will continue to defeat all efforts to liquidate our cause and our people. Stand united against Zionist apartheid and US-sponsored genocide. 



Rayshard Brooks, 27 years old, was shot to death while running away from police in Atlanta Friday, June 12, 2020.





Kimberly Jones

If you haven't seen this, you're missing something spectacular:

On Saturday May 30th filmmaker and photographer David Jones of David Jones Media felt compelled to go out and serve the community in some way. He decided to use his art to try and explain the events that were currently impacting our lives. On day two, Sunday the 31st, he activated his dear friend author Kimberly Jones to tag along and conduct interviews. During a moment of downtime he captured these powerful words from her and felt the world couldn’t wait for the full length documentary, they needed to hear them now.

Kimberly Jones on YouTube 



Awesome! I always wonder about what protests accomplish. Here’s a list:

So what has protesting accomplished?

👉🏾Within 10 days of sustained protests:
Minneapolis bans use of choke holds.

👉🏾Charges are upgraded against Officer Chauvin, and his accomplices are arrested and charged.

👉🏾Dallas adopts a "duty to intervene" rule that requires officers to stop other cops who are engaging in inappropriate use of force.

👉🏾New Jersey’s attorney general said the state will update its use-of-force guidelines for the first time in two decades.

👉🏾In Maryland, a bipartisan work group of state lawmakers announced a police reform work group.

👉🏾Los Angeles City Council introduces motion to reduce LAPD’s $1.8 billion operating budget.

👉🏾MBTA in Boston agrees to stop using public buses to transport police officers to protests.

👉🏾Police brutality captured on cameras leads to near-immediate suspensions and firings of officers in several cities (i.e., Buffalo, Ft. Lauderdale).

👉🏾Monuments celebrating confederates are removed in cities in Virginia, Alabama, and other states.

👉🏾Street in front of the White House is renamed "Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
Military forces begin to withdraw from D.C.

Then, there's all the other stuff that's hard to measure:

💓The really difficult public and private conversations that are happening about race and privilege.

💓The realizations some white people are coming to about racism and the role of policing in this country.

💓The self-reflection.

💓The internal battles exploding within organizations over issues that have been simmering or ignored for a long time. Some organizations will end as a result, others will be forever changed or replaced with something stronger and fairer.


🌎 Protests against racial inequality sparked by the police killing of George Floyd are taking place all over the world.

🌎 Rallies and memorials have been held in cities across Europe, as well as in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.

🌎 As the US contends with its second week of protests, issues of racism, police brutality, and oppression have been brought to light across the globe.

🌎 People all over the world understand that their own fights for human rights, for equality and fairness, will become so much more difficult to win if we are going to lose America as the place where 'I have a dream' is a real and universal political program," Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to the US, told the New Yorker.

🌎 In France, protesters marched holding signs that said "I can't breathe" to signify both the words of Floyd, and the last words of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who was subdued by police officers and gasped the sentence before he died outside Paris in 2016.

🌎 Cities across Europe have come together after the death of George Floyd:

✊🏽 In Amsterdam, an estimated 10,000 people filled the Dam square on Monday, holding signs and shouting popular chants like "Black lives matter," and "No justice, no peace."

✊🏽 In Germany, people gathered in multiple locations throughout Berlin to demand justice for Floyd and fight against police brutality.

✊🏾 A mural dedicated to Floyd was also spray-painted on a stretch of wall in Berlin that once divided the German capital during the Cold War.

✊🏿 In Ireland, protesters held a peaceful demonstration outside of Belfast City Hall, and others gathered outside of the US embassy in Dublin.

✊🏿In Italy, protesters gathered and marched with signs that said "Stop killing black people," "Say his name," and "We will not be silent."

✊🏾 In Spain, people gathered to march and hold up signs throughout Barcelona and Madrid.

✊🏾 In Athens, Greece, protesters took to the streets to collectively hold up a sign that read "I can't breathe."

✊🏾 In Brussels, protesters were seen sitting in a peaceful demonstration in front of an opera house in the center of the city.

✊🏾In Denmark, protesters were heard chanting "No justice, no peace!" throughout the streets of Copenhagen, while others gathered outside the US embassy.

✊🏾 In Canada, protesters were also grieving for Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old black woman who died on Wednesday after falling from her balcony during a police investigation at her building.

✊🏾 And in New Zealand, roughly 2,000 people marched to the US embassy in Auckland, chanting and carrying signs demanding justice.

💐 Memorials have been built for Floyd around the world, too. In Mexico City, portraits of him were hung outside the US embassy with roses, candles, and signs.

💐 In Poland, candles and flowers were laid out next to photos of Floyd outside the US consulate.

💐 And in Syria, two artists created a mural depicting Floyd in the northwestern town of Binnish, "on a wall destroyed by military planes."

Before the assassination of George Floyd some of you were able to say whatever the hell you wanted and the world didn't say anything to you...


Don't wake up tomorrow on the wrong side of this issue. Its not to late to SAY,

"Maybe I need to look at this from a different perspective."

"Maybe I don't know what its like to be black in America..."

"Maybe, just maybe, I have been taught wrong."

There is still so much work to be done. It's been a really dark, raw week. This could still end badly. But all we can do is keep doing the work.

Keep protesting.


How beautiful is that?








*I do not know the original author*

Copy & paste widely!






Ultimately, the majority of human suffering is caused by a system that places the value of material wealth over the value of
human life. To end the suffering, we must end the profit motive—the very foundation of capitalism itself.
(Bay Area United Against War Newsletter)



Tens-of-thousands protest in San Francisco June 3, 2020



George Floyd's Last Words
"It's my face man
I didn't do nothing serious man
please I can't breathe
please man
please somebody
please man
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
man can't breathe, my face
just get up
I can't breathe
please (inaudible)
I can't breathe sh*t
I will
I can't move
I can't
my knee
my nuts
I'm through
I'm through
I'm claustrophobic
my stomach hurt
my neck hurts
everything hurts
some water or something
I can't breathe officer
don't kill me
they gon' kill me man
come on man
I cannot breathe
I cannot breathe
they gon' kill me
they gon' kill me
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
please sir
please I can't breathe"

Then his eyes shut and the pleas stop. George Floyd was pronounced dead shortly after.






Trump Comic Satire—A Proposal
          By Shakaboona

Hello everyone, it's Shakaboona here, on May 29, 2020, Friday, it was reported by NPR and other news agencies that when protestors marched on the White House, the Secret Service (SS) rushed Pres. Trump to a protective bunker in the basement of the White House for his safety. When I heard that news I instantly visualized 3 scenes - (Scene 1) a pic of Pres. Saddam Hussein hiding in an underground cave in fear of the U.S. Army, (Scene 2) a pic of Pres. Donald Trump hiding in an underground bunker shaking in fear beneath a desk from U.S. Protestors as Secret Service guards (with 2 Lightning bolts on their collars) in hyper security around him with big guns drawn out, and (Scene 3) a pic of Pres. Trump later stood in front of the church across from the White House with a Bible in hand & chest puffed out & threatened to activate the U.S. Army against American citizen protestors.
 ~ I think this would be an underground iconic image of the power of the People & the cowardice/fear of Pres. Trump, not to mention that I think such a creative comic satire of Trump would demolish his self image (haha). I ask for anyone's help to turn my above visual satire of Trump into an actual comic satire strip & for us to distribute the finished comic satire strip worldwide, esp. to the news media. Maybe we can get Trump to see it and watch him blow a gasket (lol).
 ~ Please everyone, stay safe out there, b/c Trump is pushing this country to the verge of Civil War. Be prepared in every way imaginable. Peace. - Ur Brother, Shakaboona

Write to Shakaboona:
Smart Communications/PA DOC
Kerry Shakaboona Marshall #BE7826
SCI Rockview
P.O. Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733



Liz McAlister, the eldest of the King Bay Plowshares 7, was sentenced today via video to time served, three years supervised release and for a portion of the restitution for the seven of just over $30,000. She was the first of the defendants to be sentenced. The remaining six are scheduled to appear in the Brunswick court, June 29 and 30. Thirty-seven years ago Liz first stood before a Syracuse federal judge to hear the court render a sentence for her Griffiss Plowshares direct action protesting nuclear weapons. Today, with her attorney Bill Quigley in New Orleans and her family beside her in Connecticut, Liz appeared via video before Judge Lisa Godbey Wood who sat in Georgia's Southern District Federal Court in Brunswick, to hear today's sentence, maybe the last in the long career of indefatigable hope and courage and unrelenting opposition to nuclear weapons.

Last October, Liz, and the six others were found guilty of trespass, conspiracy and destruction of federal property, three felonies, and a misdemeanor in all, at the Kings Bay Naval Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia, where they had the audacity, in the middle of the night, to symbolically disarm a shrine celebrating US nuclear weapons and to protest the preparations for omnicide—the death of everything. Kings Bay is home to 6 Trident submarines that deploy one-quarter of the US nuclear arsenal.

The world has changed since October 2019 when activists gathered for the trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 in Brunswick, Georgia. We heard testimony and watched a video describing their incursion into the naval base. We heard the defendants explain why they chose April 4—the anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination—to carry out their act of faithful obedience. They described hanging banners, the first, a quote from the Rev. Dr. King that read, “The ultimate logic of racism is genocide,” and another that said "The ultimate logic of Trident is Omnicide." They also painted messages of peace and prayerfully poured baby bottles of blood at the naval base.

In the intervening months, while federal marshals prepared presentencing reports for the Kings Bay 7, the COVID-19 pandemic rose up to take more than 400,000 lives globally—reminding us all, if we have ears to hear, of the peril of complacency in the face of low-probability/high-risk events. It is no exaggeration, and not meant to diminish the suffering of those who have been ravaged by or lost loved ones to the novel corona virus, to say that a nuclear war would make the current struggles look like a paper cut by comparison.

In quiet, quintessential southern, Brunswick, Georgia, the spotlight that shone briefly on nuclear weapons during the trial in October shifted abruptly in May when the pandemic of racism re-entered the public’s line of sight and the world learned that Ahmaud Arbery, a young African-American man was hunted down by three armed white men. Arbery, out for a morning jog in February, the men in pickup trucks, shot and killed him. Going into May, none of the men had been indicted or faced any charges. They had, literally, gotten away with murder. Now the three men sit in the Glynn County jail where Fr. Steve Kelly has been for more than two years.

Because of COVID, Instead of gathering in the Brunswick court with activists and supporters, complete with a festival of hope, we gathered in spirit to listen to the court proceedings on a conference call line. The night before, friends, family, and supporters had gathered for a virtual blessing and liturgy via a Zoom/ Facebook event that will be available on our website later this week.

Martin Gugino, the elderly man who was knocked down to the sidewalk by Buffalo police and lay bleeding from his head is a long-time peace activist. He recently made a series of video statements in support of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 activists. He knows them from drone protests at The Hancock AFB in Syracuse, NY and Witness Against Torture actions in Washington, DC. Martin primarily works through the Western New York Peace Center. He texted today to let us know he is alive and in recovery.

Frida Berrigan's Statement

Frida Berrigan, Liz’s daughter, gave a spirited statement of support for her mother attesting to her lifelong commitment to peace. “…as a 46 year-old white citizen in a nation that is going to spend $720 plus billion on the military this year, even in the face of an economy smashing pandemic that has killed 100,000 people and laid bare the stark inequity and fundamental brokenness of every fiber of the social safety net, I am grateful that people like my mother are willing to stand up and say: “Trident is a crime.”

As a 46 year-old white citizen in a country where white supremacy and militarized policing are so emboldened that Derek Chavin can crush George Floyd’s life out of him in front of a crowd, in front of cameras, where the McMichaels father and son can gun down Ahmaud Arbery in broad daylight as he jogged through the streets of a quiet Georgia town, I draw hope and inspiration from white people who continue to invoke Dr. King’s framework of the giant triplets of racism, militarism and materialism… these weights that cripple our collective humanity. I draw hope and inspiration from my mom and her friends who declare that “Black Lives Matter” who wed their anti-nuclear analysis with an anti-racist ethos, and declare that the ultimate logic of trident is omnicide.

So, I am here as a daughter who doesn’t want her 80 year-old mother sent back to jail and a human being who wonders how anything ever changes if people like my mom aren't willing to take that risk.

I’m hoping you agree with the government that Liz McAlister has served enough time in jail already and you’ll help our family close this long and challenging episode of our lives today by sentencing her to time served. I also hope that you will recognize that as a person who owns nothing but the clothes on her back and the water colors she uses to paint with her grandchildren, you will waive all fines and restitution. "

(Frida's full statement is on the website: Sentencing Statement.)

Liz's Statement

Finally Liz spoke about what motivated her to join this action and take such risks. She quoted the biblical exhortation to “Beat swords into plowshares” from Isaiah and said, “All my life I've tried to follow the prophet, Isaiah, to stop learning war... All my life I have spoken and written against nuclear weapons and I believe these are contrary to life, destructive of life on every single level.”

The sentencing hearing began with technical glitches and was adjourned for more than a half hour at the beginning while these were worked out. There were 270 people listening to the audio feed when adjourned and due to some confusion about getting back on only 230 were on for the actual hearing which went on for another hour. Judge Wood said that she had read several hundred letters which had come to her from plowshares supporters and considered each of them. However, the judge then ruled against all the defense arguments for mitigation.

The defendants are considering doing another webinar before the end of June. Stay tuned.

EMAIL: Media: kbp7media@gmail.com
General: kingsbayplowshares@gmail.com
WEBSITE: www.kingsbayplowshares7.org
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Kingsbayplowshares
TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/kingsbayplow7
INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/kingsbayplowshares7







This will make you smile!

Atlanta called in the NG. Know what the NG did?




Still photo from Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove"released January 29, 1964

Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons 

Spending 2020

  In its report "Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons Spending 2020" the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has produced the first estimate in nearly a decade of global nuclear weapon spending, taking into account costs to maintain and build new nuclear weapons. ICAN estimates that the nine nuclear-armed countries spent $72.9 billion on their 13,000-plus nuclear weapons in 2019, equaling $138,699 every minute of 2019 on nuclear weapons, and a $7.1 billion increase from 2018.
These estimates (rounded to one decimal point) include nuclear warhead and nuclear-capable delivery systems operating costs and development where these expenditures are publicly available and are based on a reasonable percentage of total military spending on nuclear weapons when more detailed budget data is not available. ICAN urges all nuclear-armed states to be transparent about nuclear weapons expenditures to allow for more accurate reporting on global nuclear expenditures and better government accountability.
ICAN, May 2020



Shooting and looting started: 400 years ago

Shooting, looting, scalping, lynching,
Raping, torturing their way across
the continent—400 years ago—
Colonial settler thugs launched this
endless crimson tide rolling down on
Colonial settler thugs launched this
endless crimson tide leaving in-
visible yellow crime
scene tape crisscrossing Tallahassee
to Seattle; San Diego to Bangor… 
Shooting Seneca, Seminole, Creek,
Choctaw, Mohawk, Cayuga, Blackfeet,
Shooting Sioux, Shawnee, Chickasaw,
Chippewa before
Looting Lakota land; Looting Ohlone
Looting Ashanti, Fulani, Huasa, Wolof,
Yoruba, Ibo, Kongo, Mongo, Hutu, Zulu…
Colonial settler thugs launched this
endless crimson tide—hot lead storms—
Shooting, looting Mexico for half of New
Mexico; a quarter of Colorado; some of
Wyoming and most of Arizona; Looting
Mexico for Utah, Nevada and California
So, next time Orange Mobutu, Boss Tweet,
is dirty like Duterte—howling for shooting;
Next time demented minions raise rifles to
shoot; Remind them that
Real looters wear Brooks Brothers suits;
Or gold braid and junk medals ‘cross their
chests. Real looters—with Capitalist Hill
Steal trillions
Not FOX-boxes, silly sneakers, cheap clothes…
© 2020. Raymond Nat Turner, The Town Crier. All Rights Reserved.       




Respected Elder Jalil Muntaqim 

Hospitalized with COVID-19

Widely respected elder Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom), who in his teens joined the Black Panther Party, and who was convicted at 19 and has been incarcerated for 49 years in NYS prisons on a 25-year minimum sentence, became ill last week, and has tested positive for COVID-19. His health deteriorated over the weekend and he has been hospitalized since Monday.

For months, public health experts, faith leaders, Congress members, and hundreds of others have warned NYS officials that the prisons are potential death traps in the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing this, a New York State judge on April 27th ordered Jalil's temporary release from Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, NY, based on his extreme vulnerability to the virus. Jalil is 68 years old and suffers from serious chronic health conditions that can make COVID-19 deadly.

However, NYS Attorney General Letitia James, acting on behalf of NYS DOCCS Commissioner Anthony Annucci, appealed the ruling, blocking Jalil's release and forcing him to remain in prison. Just as we feared, Jalil, who was ordered released a month ago, eventually contracted COVID-19.

Tomorrow, May 28th, a NYS Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments from Jalil's attorney and the DOCCS attorney. We ask you to call and tweet the AG and DOCCS commissioner today and tomorrow urging them to withdraw the appeal so that Jalil can be released from the hospital to the community, where he has medical and other support awaiting him, rather than be returned to the prison where his recovery will be impeded, and where he will again be vulnerable to contracting another COVID-19 infection.

Here's what you can do:


@TishJames @NewYorkStateAG Withdraw your appeal of Judge Shick's 4/27 order releasing Anthony Bottom. If you had not appealed/blocked his release, Mr. Bottom wouldn't have contracted COVID & wouldn't be seriously ill now. Withdraw the appeal so he can go home, recover & stay safe

@NYSDOCCS Cmr. Annucci should withdraw his appeal of the release of Anthony Bottom. On 4/27, Judge Stephan Schick ordered Mr. Bottom's release to protect him from COVID-19, but DOCCS appealed, blocking release. Now he is ill. Withdraw appeal so he can go home, recover & stay safe

CALL  the Attorney General and Commissioner

Attorney General  Letitia James - (718) 560-2040

Sample Script For AG: 

My name is [X]. I am calling to urge the AG to withdraw her appeal of the release of Anthony Bottom, DIN# 77A4283, which was ordered by Sullivan County Supreme Court Judge Stephan G. Schick on April 27. Had the AG not originally appealed that decision, Mr. Bottom would not have contracted COVID-19, as he recently did, and would not be seriously ill and in the hospital now. The AG's appeal was responsible for his current life-threatening illness. She must now withdraw her appeal so that Mr. Bottom can return to his community after he recovers from COVID-19 and avoid being re-infected. The communities that elected her, and whom she claims to represent, demand this of her.

Commissioner Annucci - (518) 457-8126

Sample Script For Commissioner: 

My name is [X]. I am calling to urge Commissioner  Annucci to withdraw his opposition to the release of Anthony Bottom, DIN#77A4283. On April 27, Sullivan County Supreme Court Judge Stephan G. Schick ordered Mr. Bottom's release to protect him from COVID-19, but DOCCS appealed and he was not released. Predictably, Mr. Bottom contracted the virus and now he is hospitalized with COVID-19. If DOCCS had not appealed this decision, Mr. Bottom would not have contracted COVID-19, as he recently did, and would not be in the hospital now. DOCCS should withdraw the appeal so that Mr. Bottom can return to his community after he recovers from COVID-19 and avoid being re-infected. Alternatively, the Commissioner should expedite and ensure approval of Mr. Bottom's supplemented request for medical parole.  

Read more about the case (with additional articles coming soon):

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



We Need Your Support: Unite to Send Deputy Chairman Kwame Shakur to Minneapolis!

In light of recent protests following the May 24, 2020, state-sanctioned lynching of George Floyd, a black man, and resident of Minneapolis, MN we recognize the protests happening there as an organic demonstration of resistance to imperialist oppression by the people and understand the importance of having the New Afrikan Black Panther Party on the ground in order to give proper leadership and direction to this important struggle. Because of this, we believe that it is necessary to get our Deputy Chairman, Kwame Shakur from Indiana, where he resides, to Minneapolis, MN.  We are calling on all of our friends and supporters to materially assist us in accomplishing this task!  Kwame will need resources that will enable him to travel to Minneapolis, MN, remain for as long as need be, and return to his home in IN.  You can donate to this cause through PayPal at PayPal.me/drayonmiller or through CashApp at $PantherLove2005.

Kwame has been actively organizing and leading mass demonstrations in Indianapolis IN in response to prisoner abuse and police killings there. His involvement and development of wide community support can be seen in the many live recordings made on the ground, which can be seen on his Facebook page (see link below) and podcasts on YouTube. We want to take this revolutionary guidance to Minneapolis and develop new forces to build and advance the work of the mass struggle there. We want boots on the ground! All power to the people!
Copyright © *2020* *Kevin Rashid Johnson*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Kevin Rashid Johnson
D.O.C. #264847, G-20-2C
Pendleton Correctional Facility 4490 W. Reformatory Rd

PendletonIN  46064

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Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin 

conviction integrity unit—confession and all

Petition update - Please sign at the link above!
May 23, 2020 —  

We have submitted our application to the @FultonCountyDA #ConvictionIntegrityUnit demanding a retrial for Imam Jamil Al-Amin FKA H. Rap Brown. 

We must now show the establishment that we care more about justice than they do about corruption and injustice. 

The proof of misdeeds is clear, the proof of innocence is clear, a retrial or release are the only acceptable options. 

We make the news so let our voices once again be heard loudly and in unison…we demand a retrial…we demand justice!   #FreeImamJamil

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

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#FreeOurYouth Chicago
Chicago community members have been active in #FreeOurYouth actions to call for the release of incarcerated young people during the pandemic. Photo: Sarah-Ji @loveandstrugglephotos 

Dear Friend,

More than 50 years ago, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign taught us what COVID-19 remind us of today. Living wages, health care for all, jobs, and labor rights are issues of right vs. wrong and life vs. death.

On June 20, please join AFSC and partners across the U.S. for a digital gathering of the new Poor People’s Campaign to demand our government prioritize the needs of the poor and working class—and ensure all people have the resources they need to thrive.

Here are this week’s resources to help you stay informed and support your activism.  

Video: How we're responding to COVID-19 in the U.S. and around the world: AFSC’s Joyce Ajlouny, Kerri Kennedy, and Sayrah Namaste share how AFSC is responding to the needs of communities around the world in this pandemic. And join us on Facebook every Thursday at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT for our weekly updates from AFSC staff! (Facebook)

AFSC and partners file class-action lawsuit demanding the release of all immigrants from for-profit detention center: One employee has already died from the virus, and 18 people in detention and another 17 staff members have tested positive. (Gothamist)

As we honor health care professionals, let's remember Razan al-Najjar and all health care workers in Palestine: AFSC’s Mike Merryman-Lotze explains the challenges facing health professionals in Palestine and invites all to join AFSC’s social media day of action on June 1.

If the state fails to act, prisons will become death camps: New Jersey must immediately release more people from prison and provide adequate medical and social services to those incarcerated, co-writes AFSC’s Bonnie Kerness in this op-ed with attorneys Jean Ross and Daniel McCarey. (Star-Ledger)

4 things you need to know about the Supreme Court case on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals): A decision on the fate of hundreds of thousands of young people is expected any day now—here’s what could happen and how we can advocate for permanent protection for DACA recipients, writes AFSC’s Peniel Ibe.

The call to #FreeOurYouth during COVID-19: In Chicago, community members are demanding the release of incarcerated youth—and real investments in their health and future, writes AFSC’s Mary Zerkel.

Be well and take care. 


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Resolution for Funding for the Undocumented

Whereas, Governor Newsom recently announced the creation of a $125 million emergency relief fund for undocumented workers, none of whom are eligible for the federal stimulus, the centerpiece being a one-time payment of $500 to 150,000 individuals;

Whereas, the undocumented pay $3 billion in state and local taxes every year;[1]

Whereas, California's cost-of-living is extraordinarily high;[2]

Resolved:  Adult School Teachers United considers the one-time $500 grant to undocumented workers at best, token.  It is barely 25 percent of the weekly wage or six percent of the monthly wage the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) considers necessary to lift a family of four in the Bay Area above the poverty line. This is approximately $47.50-an-hour total per household before taxes extrapolating from figures provided by HUD.

As the fifth largest economy in the world, and with Silicon Valley, agribusiness, defense contractors and Hollywood sitting on huge capital reserves, California must provide a living wage to all. Instead it has failed to even match the $600 a week Unemployment Insurance (UI) boost provided by the federal government which itself is grossly inadequate.

We will attempt to circulate our position widely in the labor movement and in the immigrants' rights community, and we call for united labor actions to fight for the necessary level of financial support.”


Kristen Pursley, President,

Adult School Teachers United (ASTU)


[1] https://www.kqed.org/news/11809657/new-covid-19-relief-benefits-leaves-out-some-undocumented-immigrants
[2] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44725026





Veterans Join Call for a Global Ceasefire, The Lasting Effects of War Book Discussion, Sir, No Sir Viewing, VFP's Online Convention, Workshop Proposals, Convention FAQ, No More COVID-19 Money For the Pentagon, Repeal the AUMF, Community Conversation on Hybrid Warfare, St Louis VFP Delivers VA Lunch, In the News and Calendar

Veterans Join Call for a Global Ceasefire 

Veterans For Peace, as a United Nations Department of Global Communication affiliated NGO, is most gratified to see UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres make his plea for a worldwide ceasefire during this global pandemic. 

The first line of the Preamble of the UN's Charter says that they originated to save “succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. But sadly, because the UN was created by the victors of WW2 who remain the powers of the world, and because the UN depends for funding on those same militarily and economically dominant nation-states, primarily the U.S., much more often than not the UN is very quiet on war. 

Please join Veterans For Peace in appealing to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft to support the Secretary General's call for a GLOBAL CEASEFIRE! 

For more information about events go to:




Courage to Resist

Support a strong legal defense for National Guard members refusing to deploy against Black Rights Matter protesters!

Dear Friend,
When you are in the Army National Guard, it takes courage to disobey a direct order from the Commander-in-Chief. But after being ordered by President Trump to deploy to cities around the country in preparation to attack and disperse protesters, violating the constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful assembly, that is exactly what some National Guards members have decided to do. And now, facing potential disciplinary action and court martial, they need our support.
Will you support a legal defense for National Guard members who are refusing Trump’s illegal order to attack and endanger peaceful protesters?
After failing to condemn the police murder of George Floyd, which has sparked protests in 430 cities and counting, on June 1 President Trump decided to use military and police to blast peaceful protesters in front of the White House with rubber bullets, noxious gas, and flash bangs. This isn’t an isolated incident. Trump has a history of praising authoritarians who have killed and brutalized protesters Thirty years ago, he even complimented China’s massacre of pro-democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square.
Trump’s threat to send the National Guard to cities around the U.S. to crackdown on protests poses a direct threat to our democracy and freedom of speech. Resisting these orders deserves our respect. But those who are willing to disobey these orders need your support now to fight back against the threat of court martial and imprisonment.
Your contribution can help the young men and women fighting back against Trump’s illegal orders to resist court martial and imprisonment. Take action today!
One young man who is resisting Trump’s orders originally joined the National Guard with hopes to join medical missions assisting in natural disasters. Now he says, “I can’t do it. Even looking at my uniform is making me feel sick that I’m associated with this, especially after [the National Guard unit] shot that man who owned that barbecue shop [in Louisville, Kentucky].” He added, “I live with the history of Kent State. I’m not being a part of that,” referring to a 1970 incident in which the National Guard shot and killed students who were peacefully protesting the Vietnam War.
The weapons that police and the National Guard are today being instructed to use against protesters, like rubber bullets, are classified as “less-lethal” vs. non-lethal, and have already caused serious injury, permanent vision loss, and death. Tear gas, used in recent days across America, is banned internationally as a chemical weapon.
Another National Guard member who is resisting these orders says, “I feel that I cannot be complicit in any way when I’ve seen so many examples of soldiers and police acting in bad faith … No aspect of my training has touched on this subject … We have not had any training or conversation relating to de-escalation tactics.”
We are living in a historic time. From police brutality, to the COVID-19 crisis, to growing economic inequality, to voter suppression there are many reasons for citizens to mobilize to defend our democracy. Trump’s threats to suppress protest are those of an aspiring authoritarian. It’s essential we support those who set a strong example by resisting these orders.
Will you support a strong legal defense for the young men and women refusing Trump’s illegal orders to suppress the Black Lives Matter protests?
Thank you Friend for supporting the troops with the courage to resist!

Please share this link on social media:
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist





















From Business Insider 2018



"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." 

"If Obama taught me anything it’s that it don’t matter who you vote for in this system. There’s nothing a politician can do that the next one can’t undo. You can’t vote away the ills of society people have to put our differences aside ban together and fight for the greater good, not vote for the lesser evil."

—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)



















Support Major Tillery, Friend of Mumia, Innocent, Framed, Now Ill

Major Tillery (with hat) and family

Dear Friends of the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia,

Major Tillery, a prisoner at SCI Chester and a friend of Mumia, may have caught the coronavirus. Major is currently under lockdown at SCI Chester, where a coronavirus outbreak is currently taking place. Along with the other prisoners at SCI Chester, he urgently needs your help.

Major was framed by the Pennsylvania District Attorney and police for a murder which took place in 1976. He has maintained his innocence throughout the 37 years he has been incarcerated, of which approximately 20 were spent in solitary confinement. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture has said that 15 days of solitary confinement constitutes torture.

When Mumia had Hepatitis C and was left to die by the prison administration at SCI Mahanoy, Major Tillery was the prisoner who confronted the prison superintendent and demanded that they treat Mumia. (see https://www.justiceformajortillery.org/messing-with-major.html). Although Mumia received medical treatment, the prison retaliated against Major for standing up to the prison administration. He was transferred to another facility, his cell was searched and turned inside out repeatedly, and he lost his job in the prison as a Peer Facilitator.

SCI Chester, where Major is currently incarcerated, has been closed to visitors since mid-March. Fourteen guards and one prisoner are currently reported to be infected with the coronavirus. Because the prison has not tested all the inmates, there is no way to know how many more inmates have coronavirus. Major has had a fever, chills and a sore throat for several nights. Although Major has demanded testing for himself and all prisoners, the prison administration has not complied.

For the past ten days, there has been no cleaning of the cell block. It has been weeks since prisoners have been allowed into the yard to exercise. The food trays are simply being left on the floor. There have been no walk-throughs by prison administrators. The prisoners are not allowed to have showers; they are not allowed to have phone calls; and they are not permitted any computer access. 

This coronavirus outbreak at SCI Chester is the same situation which is playing out in California prisons right now, about which the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia, along with other groups, organized a car caravan protest at San Quentin last week. Prisons are enclosed indoor spaces and are already an epicenter of the coronavirus, like meatpacking plants and cruise ships. If large numbers of prisoners are not released, the coronavirus will infect the prisons, as well as surrounding communities, and many prisoners will die. Failing to release large numbers of prisoners at this point is the same as executing them. We call for "No Execution by COVID-19"!

Major is close to 70 years old, and has a compromised liver and immune system, as well as heart problems. He desperately needs your help. 

Please write and call Acting Superintendent Kenneth Eason at:

Kenneth Eason, Acting Superintendent
SCI Chester
500 E. 4th St.
Chester, PA 19013

Telephone: (610) 490-5412

Email: keason@pa.gov (Prison Superintendent). maquinn@pa.gov (Superintendent's Assistant)
Please also call the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections at:Department of Corrections
1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Telephone: (717) 737-4531
This telephone number is for SCI Camp Hill, which is the current number for DOC.
Reference Major's inmate number: AM 9786

Email: ra-contactdoc@pa.gov
Demand that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections immediately:

1) Provide testing for all inmates and staff at SCI Chester;
2) Disinfect all cells and common areas at SCI Chester, including sinks, toilets, eating areas and showers;
3) Provide PPE (personal protective equipment) for all inmates at SCI Chester;
4) Provide access to showers for all prisoners at SCI Chester, as a basic hygiene measure;
5) Provide yard access to all prisoners at SCI Chester;
6) Provide phone and internet access to all prisoners at SCI Chester;
7) Immediately release prisoners from SCI Chester, including Major Tillery, who already suffers from a compromised immune system, in order to save their lives from execution by COVID-19.

It has been reported that prisoners are now receiving shower access. However, please insist that prisoners be given shower access and that all common areas are disinfected.

In solidarity,

The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal



Kiah Morris

May 7 at 6:44 AM

So, in MY lifetime....

Black people are so tired. 😓

We can’t go jogging (#AhmaudArbery).

We can’t relax in the comfort of our own homes (#BothemJean and #AtatianaJefferson).

We can't ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).

We can't have a cellphone (#StephonClark).

We can't leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).

We can't play loud music (#JordanDavis).

We can’t sell CD's (#AltonSterling).

We can’t sleep (#AiyanaJones)

We can’t walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).

We can’t play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).

We can’t go to church (#Charleston9).

We can’t walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).

We can’t hold a hair brush while leaving our own bachelor party (#SeanBell).

We can’t party on New Years (#OscarGrant).

We can’t get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).

We can’t lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).

We can't break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).

We can’t shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)p^p.

We can’t have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).

We can’t read a book in our own car (#KeithScott).

We can’t be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).

We can’t decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).

We can’t ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).

We can’t cash our check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).

We can’t take out our wallet (#AmadouDiallo).

We can’t run (#WalterScott).

We can’t breathe (#EricGarner).

We can’t live (#FreddieGray).

We’re tired.

Tired of making hashtags.

Tired of trying to convince you that our #BlackLivesMatter too.

Tired of dying.




So very tired.

(I don’t know who created this. I just know there are so many more names to be added and names we may never hear of.)









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/  



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



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 




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) Over 2,000 Black People Were Lynched From 1865 to 1877, Study Finds
The Equal Justice Initiative has documented a rate of killing in the period following the Civil War that was far higher than the decades that followed.
By Campbell Robertson, June 16, 2020
Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, speaks at the E.J.I. Legacy Pavilion in Montgomery, Ala., in January. Credit...Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser, via Associated Press

In the fall of 1870, Guilford Coleman, a black man, was abducted from his home in Alabama, beaten to death and thrown into a well for having voted at a political convention to nominate a Republican governor. The message was received, according to local newspaper accounts: Those in favor of Reconstruction dared “not canvass the district, lest they lose their lives.”

Mr. Coleman’s murder, one of thousands carried out by white mobs after the Civil War, is documented in a new report by the Equal Justice Initiative, a 31-year-old legal advocacy group based in Montgomery, Ala., that is dedicated to exposing the country’s legacy of lynching and white supremacist terror.

Reconstruction began after the end of the Civil War, and in its first years brought the registration of thousands of black voters and the election of hundreds of black officials. But it was met with fierce resistance, and, having been drained of resources, was abandoned in 1877.

An earlier report published in 2015 by the Equal Justice Initiative documented more than 4,400 lynchings of black people by whites in the 74 years following Reconstruction. The names of the victims were etched in stone and brought together in the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala. Since opening in 2018, the memorial and accompanying museum have drawn 750,000 visitors.

The new report, released Tuesday, focuses just on the dozen years of Reconstruction itself.

The organization has documented more than 2,000 lynching victims in that time, a rate of killing far higher than the decades that followed, and a toll that the report itself acknowledges is likely thousands below the true figure. Many of the lynchings differed from those in the Jim Crow years, when jeering white crowds would gather for public hangings. But the violence was as grotesque, the pretexts as absurd and the motive — the assertion of white supremacy — just as clear.

Many of the attacks during Reconstruction, particularly after black people began to gain political power, were even more brazen in their defiance of the law than those that came after. White mobs killed or assaulted stunning numbers of black elected officials and activists, including Jack Dupree, the president of a political club in Mississippi, who was dragged from his home by a group of Klansmen. The Klansmen beat him, according to the report, “slit his throat, cut out his heart and intestines and threw his corpse into a nearby creek.”

This violence would define America’s racial history for generations.

“As we opened the museum, the memorial, it just became clearer and clearer that the 12-year period following the Civil War was the really critical moment,” said Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. “It’s only because we gave in to this lawlessness and abandoned the rule of law and decided that these constitutional amendments would not be enforced that it was possible to have nearly a century of racial terror.”

The murders described in the new report include politically-motivated massacres, such as the killing of as many as 150 black people who were protesting a fixed election in Colfax, La., and singular instances of brutality, such as when three white men set fire to a black man in Tennessee in 1873, “just for the fun of seeing” the man “jump,” as one of the killers later said.

As the report acknowledges, it is impossible to fully account for the white supremacist violence in the Reconstruction era, when campaigns were carried out by vigilantes, terrorist groups like the Klan and the local authorities themselves. Even the records kept by the offices of the Freedmen’s Bureau, among the most reliable accounts of the time, are far short of definitive. As stated bluntly in the correspondence from one Freedmen’s Bureau office in Texas, “It is impossible to give the number of Negroes that have been killed.”

Congressional hearings from the time have provided some details on violence in the era, said Eric Foner, a historian and author of numerous books on Reconstruction. They also reveal just how endemic the violence was.

“The local minister, the local doctor, the local lawyer, the head of the City Council — these are the guys inflicting violence,” Mr. Foner said. “Even more than that, it’s supported by the vast bulk of the population.”

Given the challenges of documentation, the new report focuses less on the numbers than the larger tragedy of Reconstruction, a period when schools for black people proliferated and black politicians held office all across the South. That it was over within 12 years — violently resisted by white Southerners, dismantled piecemeal by the U.S. Supreme Court and ultimately abandoned by the federal government — proved how fleeting progress can be, Mr. Stevenson said.

It is a lesson particularly relevant to the current moment with nationwide demands for racial justice. Such changes will only be lasting, Mr. Stevenson said, if we face up to the reality of how the country has viewed black people for hundreds of years.

“It’s important that we quantify and document violence,” he said. “But what’s more important is that we acknowledge that we have not been honest about who we are, and about how we came to this moment.”



2) After Rift Over Protests, N.Y.P.D. Pulls Out of Prosecutors’ Offices
The police commissioner said the timing had nothing to do with the prosecutors’ decisions to drop charges against certain protesters, but it seemed to reflect a growing divide.
By Jan Ransom, June 16, 2020
Four district attorneys in New York have said they will drop charges against protesters arrested on minor charges like unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct. Credit...Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

A few hours after the Manhattan district attorney announced he would not prosecute some of the protesters who had been arrested during demonstrations against police brutality, the Police Department sent him a message: All the officers assigned to his office would be pulled off the job to help with crowd control.

The district attorneys in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens made similar decisions and received the same news.

Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said on Friday that the timing was unrelated to the prosecutors’ decisions. Resources were pulled from the entire department to cover the protests, he said.

But to some in the prosecutors’ offices, the episode was emblematic of a growing divide between the police and most of the city’s district attorneys over how to address public outrage about racial disparities that pervade the criminal justice system.

As thousands have taken to the streets in New York City to protest the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and more broadly, systemic racism in America, the city’s prosecutors have taken an increasingly liberal stance on issues of policing.

The prosecutors went so far last week as to support the Legislature’s decision to make chokeholds a crime and to repeal a law that kept police misconduct records secret — a forceful disavowal of the status quo, which largely protected abusive officers.

“We must take action against the use of excessive force by the police,” said a statement signed by four of five of the city’s district attorneys. In a separate letter, the Staten Island district attorney expressed his support for the Legislature’s actions.

In a sense, the growing distance between the two pillars of local law enforcement reflects a political reality. Unlike police commanders and police union leaders, the prosecutors must stand for re-election in a city where public opinion has swung hard over the last month in the direction of reining in the police department and cutting its budget. But the decision to drop charges against some of the protesters is also part of a longer-running trend.

In recent years, the district attorneys in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx — now joined by Queens — have scaled back prosecutions for minor crimes like marijuana possession and turnstile jumping, because disproportionate numbers of black and Hispanic residents were arrested for these offenses, and prosecutors did not believe they were serious enough to justify a criminal record. More recently the prosecutors have declined to seek convictions for many social-distancing violations for the same reason.

On Friday, Mr. Shea denied that the police leadership and the district attorneys were at odds. For the last six years, he said the Police Department also has been steadily shifting its strategies, though, he added, “maybe not as fast as some people like.”

“Are we always in lock step? No,” he said. “We’re human beings and from different agencies.” Still, he noted arrests and summonses have been cut dramatically over the years, and officers have been focused on violent crimes rather than minor offenses.

But some senior police commanders were furious about some district attorneys’ decisions not to prosecute, people familiar with the matter said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal meetings. Police union leaders said some of the prosecutors were caving in to public pressure and picking which laws they wanted to enforce.

“It is a dereliction of duty to their oath of office,” said Edward D. Mullins, the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association. “More important than undercutting the work of the N.Y.P.D., it is undercutting public safety.”

Police personnel were also pulled from the district attorney’s office in Staten Island, which tends to take a more conservative approach to law enforcement than the prosecutors in the other four boroughs. Ryan Lavis, a spokesman for the office, did not respond to several requests for information on how the office was handling protesters accused of minor offenses.

Two weeks ago, a few days into the protests, demonstrations turned violent as police officers and protesters clashed in the streets. Images of burning police vehicles and looting led the mayor to impose a curfew.

But videos of officers using excessive force on demonstrators also appeared on social media and on the evening news, and after the curfew was imposed, officers were filmed using batons on peaceful demonstrators who appeared to have done little more than march past the deadline. The mayor and the police drew fire from many elected officials.

On June 6, four of the city’s five district attorneys said that they would not pursue convictions against people arrested on minor charges at protests, though they all said they would prosecute people accused of violence against officers and looting. District attorneys in other major cities like Los Angeles and Miami had made similar announcements.

“The protests are important, powerful and are very positive,” the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., said in a recent interview. “We need to make sure we protect that activity.”

The Brooklyn district attorney, Eric Gonzalez, took a similar position, saying, “We stand for the right of people to protest.” In Queens, District Attorney Melinda Katz said her office would not prosecute anyone who had merely protested, “which is a First Amendment right.”

Beyond immediate political considerations, the prosecutors’ decisions reflected differing philosophies on law enforcement in the city. The district attorneys have moved away from their traditional role as law-and-order enforcers and have embraced efforts to put fewer offenders in jail.

Mr. Gonzalez has been at the forefront of the move to reduce the jail population and has clashed with the police over gun arrests. He has tossed many cases in which searches were possibly unconstitutional and has diverted young gun offenders into community programs instead of jail.

Mr. Vance also has said that he is committed to minimizing unnecessary interactions with the criminal court system and reducing racial disparities and the impact on people’s lives that low-level prosecutions have.

“The justice system shouldn’t be the first resort,” Mr. Vance said in an interview. “It should be used only when necessary, especially for low-level offenses, which tend to fall on men and women of color and those economically less resourced.”

Ms. Katz, who is in her first year as the Queens district attorney, has taken a similar stance, saying that it makes more sense, for instance, to divert low-level drug offenders to social service programs. “You shouldn’t have a record for that following you for the rest of your life,” she said.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement policy nonprofit, said the police still feel a responsibility to respond to “quality of life issues,” like people who congregate on a street corner where marijuana is being sold. But he said that prosecutors “feel like it’s low-level crime and nothing really happens, so why spend the resources?”

“There’s two competing perspectives here,” he said.

The scaling back of the types of crimes district attorneys are willing to prosecute has widened the rift between the police and prosecutors, some policing experts said.

“There are no more law-and-order district attorneys,” said Joseph L. Giacalone, a retired N.Y.P.D. sergeant and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “The pendulum has swung so far left.”

Not only have the district attorneys declined to prosecute protesters charged with unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct and curfew violations, but they have been aggressively going after police accused of assaulting protesters. About 40 officers are under investigation, officials have said.

In Manhattan, employees in Mr. Vance’s office have been scouring social media for videos of police abuse. The office is investigating allegations that officers assaulted the Wall Street Journal reporter Tyler Blint-Welsh, who is black and was covering the protests and had his press badge displayed.

The office is also reviewing the conduct of officers from a violent social-distancing arrest on May 2 in the East Village in which one of the officers sat and knelt on the neck and upper torso of a man he was arresting.

In that case, Mr. Vance declined to prosecute the men accused of violating social-distancing rules. Enforcement of these rules has targeted black and Hispanic men, The Times has reported.

In Brooklyn, Mr. Gonzalez charged police officer Vincent D’Andraia with misdemeanor assault after video showed that he violently pushed a woman during a protest. The woman was hospitalized with a concussion as a result of the encounter.

“Individual cases are one thing that we can do as district attorney," Mr. Gonzalez said. “But we have to make structural and systemic changes to prevent these acts from happening again.”

Ali Watkins contributed to this report.



3) Deeper Inquiries Launched Into Hanging Deaths of Two Black Men in California
By Reuters, June 15, 2020

PALMDALE, CA - JUNE 13: A woman attaches balloons to the tree that authorities say Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old black man, was found hanging dead from near Palmdale City Hall, as people demonstrate on June 13, 2020 in Palmdale, California. Officials have been quick to rule Fuller's death a suicide despite an autopsy report not yet being completed. Fuller's family and community activists are asking for further investigation into his death. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities in the Southern California city of Palmdale are investigating the death of a 24-year-old black man found hanging from a tree near City Hall, which they originally described as an apparent suicide, prompting outrage in the community.
A passerby reported seeing Robert Fuller's body around 3 a.m. Wednesday. Emergency personnel responded and found that he appeared to have died by suicide, Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials said.
Fuller's death has generated intense scrutiny, especially after nationwide protests rebuking the police killing of George Floyd. In a surprising turn, the case brought to light the death of another black man found hanging from a tree on May 31 in Victorville, a desert city about 45 miles (72 kilometers) east of Palmdale.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Palmdale, a city of 150,000, marching from the park where Fuller’s body was found to the sheriff’s station. Many carried signs that said “Justice for Robert Fuller."
More than 100,000 people signed an online petition demanding a full investigation into Fuller's death. Community members confronted city officials at a contentious news briefing Friday, asking why they were quick to label his death a suicide and demanding an independent autopsy.
“I have doubts about what happened,” Marisela Barajas, who went to the press conference and joined a crowd gathered at the tree where Fuller's body was found, told the Los Angeles Times.
“All alone, in front of the City Hall — it's more like a statement,” she said. “Even if it was a suicide, that in itself is kind of a statement.”
Lt. Kelly Yagerlener of the county medical examiner-coroner’s office said a decision on the cause of death is deferred pending an investigation. A full autopsy is planned.
Residents demanded surveillance video around the time and place where Fuller's body was found. The city said there were no outdoor cameras, and video recorders on a nearby traffic signal could not have captured what happened.
Sheriff's Capt. Ron Shaffer said homicide detectives were investigating the circumstances leading to Fuller's death to determine if foul play was involved. He urged members of the public to contact detectives if they have relevant information, particularly about where Fuller had been and who he had been with in recent weeks.
Palmdale officials wrote in a statement that investigators have been in contact with Fuller's family. A statement posted on the city website said it supports calls for an independent investigation and independent autopsy.
KPCC-FM reports that at the march Saturday, Fuller’s sister Diamond Alexander insisted her brother was not suicidal.
“Robert was a good little brother to us and it’s like everything they have been telling us has not been right ... and we just want to know the truth,” she said.
In neighboring San Bernardino County, authorities there said they were still investigating the cause of death of 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch, whose body was found hanging in a tree near the Victorville City Library. A sheriff's spokeswoman, Jodi Miller, told Victor Valley News foul play was not suspected in Harsch's death but the man's family said they were concerned it will be ruled a suicide to avoid further attention.
In a statement to the publication on Saturday, the family said a few people who were at the scene told them there was blood on his shirt but no indication of a struggle. They said Harsch didn't seem to be depressed and had recent conversations with his children about seeing them soon.
“The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible,” the statement said. "There are many ways to die but considering the current racial tension, a black man hanging himself from a tree definitely doesn’t sit well with us right now. We want justice not comfortable excuses.”
Messages seeking comments from Miller and the coroner's office have not been returned.



4) Aunt Jemima Brand to Change Name and Image Over ‘Racial Stereotype’
Quaker Oats, which owns the 131-year-old brand, said it was making the packaging changes as it worked “to make progress toward racial equality.”
By Tiffany Hsu, June 17, 2020
The Aunt Jemima brand, founded in 1889, is built on images of a black woman that many see a symbol of slavery. Credit...Tony Cenicola/The New York Time

Aunt Jemima, a syrup and pancake mix brand, will get a new name and image after Quaker Oats, its parent company, acknowledged that the brand’s origins were “based on a racial stereotype.”

The brand, founded in 1889, is built on images of a black female character that have often been seen as a symbol of slavery. Aunt Jemima has gone through several redesigns; pearl earrings and a lace collar were added in 1989.

On Wednesday, Quaker Oats, which is owned by PepsiCo, said that it was taking “a hard look at our portfolio of brands” as it worked “to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives.” The packaging changes, which were first reported by NBC, will begin to appear toward the end of this year, with the name change coming soon after.

“While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough,” said Kristin Kroepfl, Quaker’s chief marketing officer, in a statement.

Amid nationwide protests over racism and police brutality in recent weeks, many companies rushed to express their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, often running into accusations of hypocrisy. But PepsiCo was already familiar with the fallout: In 2017, it apologized for running an ad featuring Kendall Jenner, a white model, that was criticized for trivializing the movement.

PepsiCo bought Quaker Oats in 2001, inheriting the Aunt Jemima brand. Ramon Laguarta, the chief executive of PepsiCo, wrote in an article in Fortune this week that “the journey for racial equality has long been part of our company’s DNA.”

The Aunt Jemima brand was inspired by a minstrel song called “Old Aunt Jemima” and was once described by Riché Richardson, an associate professor of African-American literature at Cornell University, as “an outgrowth of Old South plantation nostalgia and romance grounded in an idea about the ‘mammy,’ a devoted and submissive servant who eagerly nurtured the children of her white master and mistress while neglecting her own.”

Last week, the glorified depiction of slavery in “Gone With the Wind,” which included a portrayal of an affable black character named Mammy, led HBO Max to temporarily remove the film from its catalog.

Quaker Oats said in its statement that Aunt Jemima’s marketing had “evolved over time with the goal of representing loving moms from diverse backgrounds who want the best for their families,” but that it would gather more perspectives internally and from the black community to further shape the brand.



5) Juneteenth Is a Reminder That Freedom Wasn’t Just Handed Over
I’ve celebrated this holiday all my life. It’s different this year.
By Brianna Holt, June 17, 2020
Ms. Holt is a culture writer and editor.

An early 20th century photograph of two women in Texas sitting in a buggy decorated with flowers for the annual Juneteenth Celebration parked in front of Antioch Baptist Church located in Houston’s Fourth Ward in 1908.Credit...Reverend Jack Yates Family and Antioch Baptist Church Collection, via The African American Library at The Gregory School, Houston Public Library

For me, celebrating Juneteenth was like planning a birthday party or hosting a family reunion. My father organized the first Juneteenth gathering in Grand Prairie, Texas, in 1987 and continued his efforts throughout my childhood, implanting me in the process. Weeks before the holiday, my family and our friends would draft itineraries and search for soul food caterers, trying to create an environment different from the previous year’s, to keep people excited about attending, on a tight budget. Some years there were multiple music performances and expensive activities. Other years there were contests with no monetary prize, but every year, no matter how much funding was provided, two themes remained true: community and Texas pride.

On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers arrived in Texas to report that the Confederacy had surrendered two months earlier and that enslaved people were now free. Texas was the last state to receive the news. In celebration of the long overdue ending of slavery, black Texans come together every year to remember our ancestors and the harsh treatment they endured for centuries. In a red state where white-supremacy groups still congregate and Confederate flags fly from the back of trucks, it’s an indication that we are just as Texan as anyone else and our culture has influence in a place that once delayed our emancipation. Juneteenth is a reminder that our freedom was fought for and not just handed over to us. It’s the blueprint for the hundreds of movements that followed to further guarantee that freedom was achieved.

And in 2020, during a national outcry for justice, awareness of Juneteenth seems at an all-time high: An increasing number of companies, including Vox Media, Twitter and Square, will now observe June 19 as a permanent company holiday. The day also feels more timely and relevant than ever, a reminder that freedom is still long overdue.

The morning of Juneteenth always began with a parade. Dance teams, high school bands and church groups would showcase their talents while small businesses and local recreation centers drove floats to show their support for the black community. If I wasn’t marching along with friends, I’d catch a ride on the back of my grandfather’s pickup truck and sit next to my dad. Prince would blast from the speakers while dancing pedestrians followed behind the car. Several people would yell “Thank you” to my father, and I could see that he was proud of his work, and even more proud of the kinship present in his own neighborhood.

The 30-minute route would lead us to the park, where bounce houses, horseback riding, basketball courts and a swimming pool waited for the children. The adults and elders would congregate around the stage or browse through the vendors, debating what makes someone a true Christian and spreading neighborhood gossip. At 2 p.m., lunch was served, led by a grace, carried by guest speakers and concluded with tons of hugs and kisses from people who somehow were related to you. By the evening, parents would trickle off while the older kids would hunt fireflies or listen to the elders tell stories of how much the neighborhood had changed since they were children. And by night, families headed home or to the lake to pop fireworks.

The entire celebration lasted only six hours but had the vitality to keep you feeling warm and loved throughout the summer. It acted as a reminder that there was a community of people who were rooting for you, supported you and wanted to see you succeed. Every time you left a Juneteenth celebration, you took with you new stories, new connections and a new sense of what it meant to be black, but specifically what it meant to be black in Texas.

As I watch predominantly white brands post their Black Lives Matter statements and sift through my emails from editors who finally are interested in my opinion, I remember everything I was told and overheard during Juneteeneth celebrations. “Never shop where you won’t get hired” and “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something” ring deep in my ears as I navigate embedding myself into this movement. I am reminded of history lessons and uncomfortable conversations regarding systemic racism that I heard not in a classroom but instead from speakers on Juneteenth.

Attending a Juneteenth celebration was freeing: I had the freedom to wear my hair however I wanted without judgment, to dress however I wanted without comments and to express myself without microaggressions. All of these freedoms granted to me as a child have molded me into the proud black woman I am now. It’s the one day each year that I’ve been able to exist, unapologetically and unproblematically, in a space surrounded by people who have my growth in their best interest.

In response to the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, protests and advocacy online and on the ground have spread worldwide. From a nationwide plea for justice to the cancellation of “Cops,” and now the observance of a holiday celebrating emancipation, our asks are finally being answered. And the importance of Juneteenth is finally receiving widespread recognition. It’s also likely that this movement will lose its momentum as businesses begin to reopen and “normal life” makes its return. Whatever might come, I know where I’ll be on Friday: celebrating the continued fight that the brave and relentless people before me expect for my generation to carry on.

Brianna Holt is a culture writer and editor in New York City



6) A Black Cowboy Confronts the Whitewashed History of the West
Larry Callies comes from a long line of black Americans living and working on the frontier.
Video by Dillon Hayes
Mr. Hayes is a filmmaker and photographer.
Larry Callies

Cowboys are among the most iconic figures of the American West. They’re mythologized as strong, independent people who live and die by their own terms on the frontier. And in movies, the people who play them are mostly white. But as with many elements of Americana, the idea of who cowboys are is actually whitewashed — scholars estimate that in the pioneer era, one in four cowboys were black. The historian Quintard Taylor writes about how before then, enslaved people “were part of the expansion of the livestock industry into colonial South Carolina, passing their herding skills down through the generations and steadily across the Gulf Coast states to Texas.”

In the short documentary above, we meet Larry Callies, who comes from a long line of cowboys. Growing up in Texas, Callies dreamed of becoming like Charley Pride, the first African-American inductee in the Country Music Hall of Fame. As with the cowboy, there’s an assumption of who makes up country music, despite its diverse history. The breakthrough of artists like Lil Nas X, Jimmie Allen and Kane Brown has returned attention to the contributions of black artists to the genre. Callies’s journey shows what we lose when we don’t acknowledge the full breadth of history.



7) Delbert Africa Rest In Power!
MOVE’S Minister of Defense and Former POLITICAL Prisoner, Delbert Africa, Passed on Monday Night, June 15th at Home Surrounded by His MOVE Family.
The Campaign To Bring Mumia Home
Delbert Africa after being released from prison in January 2020.

Delbert Africa 

This past January, Bro. Delbert was released after 42 years of imprisonment.  Imprisonment never broke his revolutionary spirit.  May his revolutionary spirit live on in us as we continue the fight against a racist, oppressive and corrupt system.

We love and miss you Bro. Delbert...Rest in Power!




8) Why Did Cup Foods Call the Cops on George Floyd?
Nuisance abatement laws force stores in low-income neighborhoods to operate almost as an arm of law enforcement.
By Moustafa Bayoumi, June 17, 2020
Mr. Bayoumi is the author of How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America.
George Floyd visited Cup Foods in Minneapolis before his fatal encounter with the police. Credit...Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Ever since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers on May 25 after a grocery store reported that he had used a counterfeit $20 there, Muslim Americans have been asking why the store’s workers called the cops in the first place.

Like many grocery stores in low-income neighborhoods, Cup Foods is owned and largely staffed by an immigrant Muslim family, and the police call has prompted some to see racist motives.

Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, the Palestinian-American owner of Cup Foods, the grocery store, was away when a 17-year-old worker made the call. A statement from the store referred to a “state policy that requires stores” to notify the police about counterfeit bills and Mr. Abumayyaleh described the practice as “standard protocol” for businesses. He vowed that his store will no longer do so “until the police stop killing innocent people.”

For many small-business owners in low-income neighborhoods, the decision to not call the cops is not so easy. The problem isn’t that you will subject yourself to more crime without the police. It’s that the authorities often force the business owners to operate almost as an arm of the police. If they refuse, they risk being shut down by the city through nuisance abatement laws.

Commercial nuisance abatement laws allow municipalities to close businesses where undesirable activity, legal or illegal, is taking place, even if the shopkeepers are unaware of the behavior. Since the 1990s, such statutes have been increasingly deployed as a crime-prevention strategy, but these nuisance-abatement laws often land like a truncheon against immigrant-run business in low-income neighborhoods. Cup Foods, as Minneapolis court records from 2001 show, was also caught in a nuisance abatement case.

The immigrant store — be it a grocery, laundromat or deli — occupies a precarious position in the low-income neighborhood. Sociologists call such shopkeepers “middlemen minorities,” ethnic entrepreneurs who operate as intermediaries between low-income clients and the large conglomerates who want to sell them their goods but don’t want to deal with them directly.

The big box store or national grocery chain may determine that profits would be too slim or that insurance premiums too high to open in these locations. The stores run by immigrants and staffed by family members to keep costs down fill that space.

These stores become sites of gathering and sometimes sources of resentment. In Harlem in the 1960s, most such stores were Jewish-owned, and James Baldwin wrote, “It is bitter to watch the Jewish storekeeper locking up his store for the night, and going home. Going, with your money in his pocket, to a clean neighborhood, miles from you, which you will not be allowed to enter.”

Today, many of these stores in major cities around the country are run by Arab-American and South-Asian-American merchants, but the justifiable resentments remain the same. There ought to be more reinvestment in the communities by the shopkeepers themselves.

Yet these shopkeepers are often in a difficult position. Starting in the 1990s, more aggressive policing became the norm in major urban centers on the country, as did the growing use of nuisance abatement laws compelling shopkeepers into doing the police’s work for them.

In 2016, an investigation by ProPublica and The Daily News revealed that the New York Police Department was targeting small, immigrant-run stores in low-income neighborhoods. The police and the courts would shut down the stores through nuisance abatement laws. When the owners would petition to reopen, they would be forced into accepting warrantless searches of their premises or even electronic surveillance of customers for the police.

The investigation found that the police routinely ensnared unsuspecting immigrant shopkeepers with liquor purchases by underage customers when the store was busy or with selling stolen merchandise not to the store owner but simply to patrons. Any future infraction could mean the store would be closed for good.

In 2017, the New York City Council limited the use of the nuisance abatement statute after it became “clear that the wide and disproportionate usage of this law has negatively impacted law-abiding New Yorkers, and New Yorkers of color in particular,” in the words of Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson.

Nuisance abatement laws have been used similarly nationwide, including at Cup Foods. These laws are part of what is known as “third-party policing,” which transforms immigrant businesses into nodes of surveillance, expands the power of the police and the courts, and drives wedges between vulnerable communities.

The facts of third-party policing do not take away from the need for conversations about anti-black racism within Muslim American communities. Although Muslim Americans routinely have to deal with the bigotry of Islamophobia, many have been in denial for far too long about the anti-black racism among the believers.

About a third of American Muslims are African-American and the history of Islam in the United States is deeply connected to the African-American story. Yet research by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, which studies American Muslims, shows that African-American Muslims still often feel unwelcome in South Asian and Arab Muslim circles.

In a powerful Instagram post, Remaz Khalaleyal, a Sudanese-American activist, addressed the owner of Cup Foods. “I’ll be honest, some of the worst micro and macro forms of racism I’ve experienced as a black Muslim have not been at the hands of white people but white Arabs/desis,” she wrote. (“Desi” refers to people from South Asia.)

She is right. Nonblack Muslims have a lot of anti-racist work to do. And even if our current system of policing didn’t use crime and crime prevention as a way to pit stores and customers against one another, nonblack Muslims would still find ways to buy into anti-blackness. Racism isn’t limited to store owners, after all.

The death of George Floyd ought to show nonblack Muslim Americans two important things. As Americans, we must strive for better public safety for everyone. And as Muslims, we must find better versions of ourselves.

Moustafa Bayoumi, a professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, is the author of How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America.



9) Continued Layoffs Signal an ‘Economic Scarring’
With new state unemployment claims topping one million for the 13th week, the coronavirus crisis seems to be reaching deeper into the labor market.
“It was the 13th straight week that filings topped one million. Until the present crisis, the most new claims in a single week had been 695,000, in 1982. ‘It’s still more than twice the worst week of the Great Recession,’ said Heidi Shierholz, director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank. ‘It’s a sustained hemorrhaging of jobs unlike anything we’ve seen before.’”
By Ben Casselman and Tiffany Hsu, June 18, 2020

Hugh Nixon was laid off as a welder in Oregon. “If I was a company, I wouldn’t be hiring right now, because you don’t want to bring somebody in and two weeks later have to let them go,” he said. Credit...Leah Nash for The New York Times

Businesses are reopening after coronavirus shutdowns, governments are easing restrictions, and workers are gradually returning to their jobs. But the layoffs keep coming.

Another 1.5 million people applied for state unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, while 760,000 more filed new claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federal emergency program that extends benefits to self-employed workers, independent contractors and others who don’t qualify for standard benefits.

It was the 13th straight week that filings topped one million. Until the present crisis, the most new claims in a single week had been 695,000, in 1982.

“It’s still more than twice the worst week of the Great Recession,” said Heidi Shierholz, director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank. “It’s a sustained hemorrhaging of jobs unlike anything we’ve seen before.”

The pace of layoffs has slowed since early April, after unemployment filings topped 6.5 million for two straight weeks. And the total number of people receiving benefits has been edging down as businesses reopen and recall furloughed workers. About 20.5 million people were on state unemployment rolls in early June, down from a peak of nearly 25 million in early May, although economists caution that not all of that drop necessarily reflects people returning to work.

But even as some companies rehire, others are shedding workers, often by the hundreds or thousands. Hilton Worldwide, the hotel operator, said on Tuesday that it was eliminating 2,100 corporate jobs globally and would extend previously announced furloughs and cuts in wages and hours for 90 days. AT&T disclosed plans to eliminate 3,400 technician and clerical jobs nationwide and to permanently close more than 250 stores, according to one of its unions. The gym chain 24 Hour Fitness said Monday that it was filing for bankruptcy protection and would permanently close more than 100 locations; in posts on social media, many workers said they had learned they were laid off on conference calls.

Economists said the current layoffs, though smaller than the wave in March and early April, were in some ways more worrying because they suggested that the crisis was reaching deeper into the economy even as lockdowns eased.

“What you’re seeing right now is economic scarring starting to happen,” said Martha Gimbel, an economist and a labor market expert at Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative. “Layoffs that happened at the beginning of this likely were intended as temporary. But if you’re laying off people now, that’s probably a long-term business decision.”

Not all of the unemployment claims reported on Thursday necessarily reflect new layoffs. Some states are working through backlogs of claims filed earlier in the crisis; in other cases, people filing under multiple programs may be double-counted.

But economists say there is little doubt that layoffs remain elevated three months into the crisis. And they warn that job losses could worsen if government support that has helped prop up the economy is allowed to lapse too soon.

Deanna Mayo Lewis, who lives in Maine, lost her job as a customer relations specialist for a travel company in New Hampshire at the end of March. After a month out of work, she was hired back in early May when her company received a loan under the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

Now that loan is running out. Ms. Lewis, 50, and four of her colleagues expect to be laid off again next week.

“I’m hoping that once the travel industry comes back, they can rebuild and hire us back, but I don’t see that happening for a long time,” Ms. Lewis said. She is updating her résumé and preparing to hunt for jobs, but she isn’t optimistic.

“It’s not looking so great out there,” she said.

Even for businesses that can reopen, the landscape looks very different from what it was a few months ago. Restaurants, hair salons, retail outlets and other in-person businesses are serving fewer people, either because of occupancy restrictions intended to protect patrons’ health or because customers remain cautious about crowded areas. And virtually all businesses are expecting reduced demand as a result of the weaker economy.

“A lot of businesses are at an extremely reduced capacity,” said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at the investment bank Stifel. “A lot of them are operating under the assumption that they may be at this limited level of activity for some time. There’s the idea that all of these jobs are going to return, but that’s not necessarily true.”

Then there is the risk that the virus could force another round of shutdowns and accompanying job losses. Coronavirus cases are increasing in 20 states as restrictions ease and people resume normal activities.

In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown recently put reopening efforts on hold after cases began to rise again there. And even without new restrictions, employers in the state have continued to announce layoffs this month, including a metalworking company that expects to make 717 permanent job cuts.

“If we end up seeing a lot more community spread of Covid-19, I would anticipate that on their own, more businesses would shut back down,” said David Gerstenfeld, acting director of Oregon’s Employment Department, “and there might be more aggressive measures taken to stop the spread from getting out of control, which could lead to a spike in people getting laid off and seeking benefits.”

Hugh Nixon, 52, understands the caution. But he also fears for his ability to work.

After being laid off in early March as a welder in Portland, Ore., he filed for unemployment benefits. He heard nothing until this month, when after daily calls and more than a dozen unanswered emails, he learned that his application had been denied.

He is appealing the decision. His wife, a manager who had to lay off many colleagues, is supporting him and their young daughter. Without health insurance, he cannot have the knee replacement surgery he had scheduled before the pandemic.

Mr. Nixon, who peppers his conversation with exclamations of “gee willikers” and worries that employers will prefer younger workers over him, is now expanding his vegetable garden.

“We’re setting up for the winter, because we know it’s going to be bad,” he said. “If I was a company, I wouldn’t be hiring right now, because you don’t want to bring somebody in and two weeks later have to let them go when everything shuts down again.”



10) Probe of Old Drug Cases Raises Questions About 2004 George Floyd Arrest
Mr. Floyd was arrested in Houston over a $10 drug transaction. Now thousands of cases involving the officer who arrested him and his squad are under review.
“It’s more than a coincidence. It’s just a terrible example of how unfortunately some policemen deal with minority men. I don’t think the color of the cop is really the problem. I think the problem is police culture.”
By Manny Fernandez, June 20, 2020
Gerald Goines, a former Houston police officer, turned himself in at Houston’s Civil Courthouse last year. Credit...Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle, via Associated Press

“I spent 10 months in jail for nothing, behind jail bars,” said Steven Mallet, whose family lost their home in the aftermath of his and his brother’s arrest by Mr. Goines.Credit...Anastassia Whitty for The New York Times

HOUSTON — In many of Houston’s struggling neighborhoods, a black undercover narcotics officer worked for decades, making bust after bust.

He often focused not on drug kingpins, but on those much farther down the supply chain, many of them residents of public housing projects where people still dried their laundry on clotheslines. The officer, Gerald M. Goines, made numerous arrests for “dime rocks” — a tiny amount of crack cocaine worth $10. Over a 30-year career, he helped send hundreds of people to jail, the majority of them African-Americans.

But now, years later, many of his old cases are being looked at with new scrutiny.

Mr. Goines is at the center of one of the biggest police scandals in Houston’s history, after a botched drug raid he orchestrated led to the death of a local couple in their home in 2019. Prosecutors said Mr. Goines had lied about drug transactions happening at the house in order to obtain a no-knock warrant for the raid, and that as a result, thousands of cases that he and his narcotics squad handled were under review.

So far, more than 100 people whom Mr. Goines helped arrest over an 11-year period are on track to have their cases dismissed and three others have either had their convictions overturned or judges have concluded that they were innocent.

One new name has emerged as a possible victim of a wrongful arrest by Mr. Goines — George Floyd.

Mr. Floyd, who died after a white officer held him under his knee in Minneapolis, igniting a protest movement against police brutality, grew up in Houston and was arrested by Mr. Goines in 2004 over a $10 drug transaction. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to jail.

The 2004 arrest is now being re-examined by Kim Ogg, the district attorney in Houston’s Harris County, as part of the review of the former officer’s now-questionable cases. The arrest was not the first time Mr. Floyd had had run-ins with law enforcement in Houston. But it sent him to state jail for 10 months. He later moved to Minneapolis to try to turn his life around.

“His interactions with at least two policemen were quite negative — one likely led to a wrongful conviction, the other to his death in custody,” Ms. Ogg said. “It’s more than a coincidence. It’s just a terrible example of how unfortunately some policemen deal with minority men. I don’t think the color of the cop is really the problem. I think the problem is police culture.”

Prosecutors, public defenders, defense lawyers and some of those Mr. Goines helped wrongfully convict said the former officer left a devastating legacy, framing people for drug deals they never made and sending them to jail on charges that hung over them for years, ruining job prospects and personal relationships.

One of them was Steven Mallet, 62, who was arrested in 2008 and spent 10 months in the Harris County Jail. Mr. Goines claimed that while he was working undercover, Mr. Mallet and his brother Otis sold him $200 worth of crack cocaine out of a blue can in his brother’s truck. Last year, after their cases were reopened, judges found there was no evidence that the narcotics transaction happened and that the brothers were actually innocent.

Mr. Mallet was born in the same neighborhood where Mr. Floyd grew up, in Houston’s Third Ward, one of the city’s historic black communities.

“I spent 10 months in jail for nothing, behind jail bars,” said Mr. Mallet, whose family lost their home in the aftermath of the brothers’ arrest. “You lose everything when you’re locked up that long. You’re starting over when you get out.”

The problems with Mr. Goines’s cases came to light after last year’s botched drug raid. The officer, who has since retired, faces both state and federal charges in connection with the raid, including felony murder and tampering with a government record.

The raid happened in January 2019, when officers moved in on a house in the city’s working-class Pecan Park neighborhood, where a Navy veteran, Dennis Tuttle, lived with his wife, Rhogena Nicholas. Officers burst into the home in the early evening, based on information that Mr. Goines and confidential informants had purchased heroin at the house.

The raid went awry almost immediately. Officers shot and killed the couple’s dog, and a shootout ensued that left five officers, including Mr. Goines, wounded. Mr. Tuttle was shot nine times and his wife was shot twice.

Afterward, local and federal prosecutors said it appeared Mr. Goines had lied about his drug purchase at the house and the purchases by informants.

Mr. Floyd’s case had unfolded many years earlier, in February 2004, outside a corner store across the street from the Cuney Homes public-housing complex where he was raised.

Mr. Goines said in his report that he was working undercover when he pulled up near the store, slipped a man some cash for a “dime rock” of crack and watched as the man gave the money to Mr. Floyd, who was standing nearby. Mr. Floyd reached into his pants and handed the man the drugs, he said.

Mr. Floyd was arrested. Mr. Goines wrote that the decision was made not to arrest the other man, who was not identified, in an “attempt to further the narcotic trafficing in this area.” His meaning was unclear, but it likely meant that Mr. Goines was using the man as a confidential informant.

Mr. Floyd fought the charges. For more than five months, the case was rescheduled and delayed. Prosecutors then offered Mr. Floyd two years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea, but he declined the offer. He ultimately pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of 10 months.

“It was reset time after time after time, which may suggest that Floyd was insistent that it didn’t happen,” said Bob Wicoff, Mr. Mallet’s lawyer and the chief of the post-conviction division of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, which represents others fighting convictions in cases handled by Mr. Goines.

Tera Brown, a cousin of Mr. Floyd’s who was raised with him in Houston, said she was happy Ms. Ogg was reviewing the 2004 arrest.

“I do think he was innocent in that case,” Ms. Brown said. “I’m also looking into that issue and trying to get some resolve.”

Nicole DeBorde Hochglaube, Mr. Goines’s lawyer, said there was no evidence that there was anything wrong with her client’s arrest of Mr. Floyd, and said that politics were behind the district attorney’s decision to open up past cases for review.

“She’s doing this with two purposes,” she said. “One purpose is to poison any potential jury pool that will ultimately hear his case when we finally get our day in court, which we very much are looking forward to. And the second purpose is to get her re-elected.”

After Mr. Floyd’s release from jail following the 2004 arrest, it was not long before he got into trouble again. He was arrested in 2008 for his role in a home-invasion robbery. A group of men forced their way into a home seeking drugs and money, and one of the victims “tentatively identified” Mr. Floyd as the man who pointed a pistol at her abdomen, according to court documents.

Mr. Floyd pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. After serving four years in state prison, Mr. Floyd was released in 2013.

Ms. Brown, Mr. Floyd’s cousin who grew up with him, said the 10 months her cousin spent in jail after his arrest by Mr. Goines had a lingering effect on him and his relatives.

“I know it impacted him and it impacted the family, because he was away, and nobody wants to be locked away in jail for something that they didn’t do,” Ms. Brown said. “There were some important holiday and birthday events he missed because he wasn’t with the family.”

After his release from an East Texas prison in 2013, Mr. Floyd returned to Houston and started rebuilding his life — reconnecting with his children, getting involved in church and speaking out against crime and violence in the Third Ward.

“His story is a redemption story,” said Patrick Ngwolo, the pastor of Resurrection Houston, a church that Mr. Floyd worked with to organize basketball court services. “He was telling the folk who were on the streets — he was a father figure to them and telling them, ‘Hey, this is not the way. We’re trying to do something different.’ He was convincing some of them that there was a better way to do it, and he was living proof that you could do it.”

Overall, prosecutors intend to dismiss the cases of 151 people whose convictions relied on evidence from Mr. Goines, if the criminal appeals court approves, and more dismissals are likely as the investigation continues.

Lawyers said it was not surprising that people had pleaded guilty to crimes they may not have committed. According to court documents, Mr. Mallet said that while he was in jail, he rejected an early plea offer because he did not want to lie and say he was guilty, and that he eventually pleaded guilty because he wanted to get out of jail and would receive credit for time served as part of the deal.

“What are they supposed to do, when it’s one officer against you, and the officer says that’s what happened, and you say, ‘No, it’s not’?” said Celeste Blackburn, who represented another defendant whose conviction was overturned in the review of Mr. Goines’s cases.

No one has determined whether Mr. Floyd’s arrest was improper. Houston prosecutors last year notified Mr. Floyd and his lawyer from the 2004 case that Mr. Goines was under criminal investigation, but Mr. Floyd probably did not receive the letter. It was sent to an old Houston address and he had already moved to Minneapolis, and his lawyer had died in 2015. Ms. Ogg said that prosecutors would likely have agreed to throw out his conviction had Mr. Floyd contacted them.

“Gerald Goines was the only witness to the alleged crime,” Ms. Ogg said. “And we’ve already determined that Gerald Goines’s credibility is bad, that he’s a liar and that we know he frames people for crimes.”



11) Port of Oakland shut down by dockworkers in observation of Juneteenth
By Shwanika Narayan and Roland Li June 19, 2020
Civil rights icon Angela Davis pumps her fist during a Juneteenth protest against police brutality as longshoremen shut down the Port of Oakland and 28 other ports along the west coast on Friday in Oakland.

[Note: We were driving across the Bay Bridge June 19th around 7:30 P.M. and saw no less than 10 cargo ships just sitting out on the bay. —Bonnie Weinstein]

Economic activity at the Port of Oakland came to a halt on Friday as thousands of workers and supporters gathered on Middle Harbor Road to protest police brutality and racism in the United States.

The demonstration, organized by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, coincided with demonstrations planned today at 28 other seaports in California, Oregon and Washington.

The day of action — expected to shut down the port for all of Friday — was held on Juneteenth (June 19), a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. With support of the ports, workers stopped processing cargo and rallied to mark the anniversary and call for police reform.

The Juneteenth stoppage follows mass protests on June 9 at all 29 West Coast ports which idled terminal operations for 8 minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time a police officer in Minnesota knelt on George Floyd’s neck— an African American man — leaving him gasping for air before he died, on May 25.

Sparked by Floyd’s death, protests have continued for three weeks across the country, toppling Confederate statues amid a flurry of announcements from companies that are pledging to do better on diversity initiatives. The protests, which also include outrage over the police killings of Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and others, have spread beyond the United States and into other countries.

Local 10, Local 34 and the African American Longshore Coalition led the rally at the port. Demonstrators drove in a caravan, and marched, to the Oakland Police Department headquarters and City Hall from the port.

"You represent the potential and the power of the labor movement," Angela Davis, a longtime activist who was a member of the Black Panther Party, said at the rally. She said she hopes that other labor unions will join in the effort of "abolishing the police as we know them" and "re-imagining public safety."

Other speakers included actor Danny Glover, who called in to voice support, and Michael Brown Sr., the father of Michael Brown Jr., the 18-year-old black man who was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014.

"We're not working today. We're standing in solidarity," said Willie Adams, president of the ILWU, at the Port of Oakland. He said dock workers in Genoa, Italy had stopped work in solidarity. "Good cops have got to start checking those bad cops. You can't stand by and let something happen. You're just as guilty," Adams said.

Cestra Butner, the board president for the Port of Oakland and a prominent African American business leader, said there’s no question that the port stood behind the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We want this country to live up to what it’s supposed to be,” he said in a Friday video addressed to employees and the public.

On June 6, the port issued a statement supporting the movement for social and racial justice. Butner called for more. “I’m proud the Port has a statement on this issue,” he said in the video. “Now we have to follow that up with our actions. We must ask: Are we making everything equal?”

The mood in downtown Oakland was exuberant as cars honked, music from James Brown played and over 100 bikers sped up and down Broadway with raised fists. A troupe of drummers performed in front of City Hall starting around 1 p.m. as the crowd swelled to thousands around Frank Ogawa Plaza, which activists are calling Oscar Grant Plaza for the black man killed by a BART policeman in 2009.

Rapper and film director Boots Riley said in front of Oakland City Hall that the port work stoppage and other labor efforts would maintain pressure for meaningful change.“We don’t want to just ask for things to get better. We’re going to say, ‘It’s going to get better or else,’” he said.

Oakland resident Gwendoline Pouchoulin displayed homemade signs that said “All Black Lives Matter” and a quote from author Alice Walker (“The most common way people give up power is by thinking they don’t have any)”. She first started attending local protests in 2013 and said this year’s were much larger.

“I think if there’s a moment to show up, it’s now,” she said.



12) Trump 'furious' about 'underwhelming' crowd at Tulsa rally
"This was a major failure," one outside adviser said.
By Monica Alba, Kristen Welker and Carol E. Lee, June 21, 2020
Screen shot of empty seats at rally: "While the Trump re-election effort boasted that it would fill BOK Center, which seats more than 19,000 people, only 6,200 supporters ultimately occupied the general admission sections..."

furious" at the "underwhelming" crowd at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday evening, a major disappointment for what had been expected to be a raucous return to the campaign trail after three months off because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to multiple people close to the White House.

The president was fuming at his top political aides Saturday even before the rally began after his campaign revealed that six members of the advance team on the ground in Tulsa had tested positive for COVID-19, including Secret Service personnel, a person familiar with the discussions said.

Trump asked those around him why the information was exposed and expressed annoyance that the coverage ahead of his mega-rally was dominated by the revelation.

While the Trump re-election effort boasted that it would fill BOK Center, which seats more than 19,000 people, only 6,200 supporters ultimately occupied the general admission sections, the Tulsa fire marshal told NBC News.

The campaign was so confident about a high turnout that it set up an overflow area, which it had expected to attract thousands. But the plan was scrapped at the last minute when only dozens gathered at the time the vice president and the president were set to address the crowd inside.

"It's politics 101: You under-promise and overdeliver," a Trump ally said, conceding the missteps the Trump 2020 team took in the lead-up to the event by saying nearly 1 million people had responded to requests for admission.

Much of the blame is falling on campaign manager Brad Parscale, who in the days leading up the event aggressively touted the number of registrations, but those close to him stress that his job is safe, for now.

Last month, after dismal polling revealed that the president is trailing the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, in key battleground states that Trump won in 2016, Parscale was reprimanded and a deputy was brought in to help steer the ship.

There are growing concerns among Trump campaign officials that neither the president nor the 2020 team have a coherent message for why he should serve a second term. Saturday evening's meandering, nearly two-hour rally speech is the latest evidence of a lack of a targeted strategy to attack Biden with less than five months to go until the general election.

Many issues could have contributed to the poor attendance in Tulsa: a fear of contracting the virus, concern over potential protests and torrential thunderstorms in 95-degree heat. But outside advisers see the visuals of empty seats overshadowing Trump's remarks as a significant problem for a president and a campaign that are obsessed with optics.

"This was a major failure," one outside adviser said.



13) White Americans Say They Are Waking Up to Racism. What Will It Add Up To?
Anti-racism activists have detailed concerns that are not only about symbols or slurs but also about entire systems governing how Americans live.
By Amy Harmon and Audra D. S. Burch, June 22, 2020
An art installation in Minneapolis honors 100 people who died in lynchings, in custody or at the hands of the authorities. The corner where George Floyd was killed is three blocks away.Credit...Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

One recent afternoon, while washing his car, Greg Reese, a white stay-at-home dad in Campton, Ky., peeled off the Confederate flag magnet he had placed on its trunk six years earlier. He did not put it back on.

It was a small act for which he expected no accolades. It should not have taken the police killing of George Floyd, Mr. Reese knew, to face what he had long known to be true, that the flag he had grown up thinking of as “a beautiful trophy” was “a symbol of hate, and it’s obviously wrong to glorify it.”

The sustained outcry over Mr. Floyd’s death has compelled many white Americans to acknowledge the anti-black racism that is prevalent in the United States — and to perhaps even examine their own culpability for it. It is as though the ability of white people to collectively ignore the everyday experience of black people has been short-circuited, at least for now.

Large numbers of white Americans have attended racial justice demonstrations, purchased books about racial inequality and registered for webinars on how to raise  children who are anti-racist. Some have asked themselves pointed questions, like how much professional advantage they have garnered from being white, and whether they would willingly cede it if they could. Others are going to tattoo parlors to cover up images of Confederate flags, swastikas and Ku Klux Klan symbols on their bodies.

It is hard to know how deep or wide these responses run — and whether they are the result of pressure from peers to appear tolerant, or if meaningful action will follow. Anti-racism activists have specified concerns that are not about only symbols or slurs but entire systems governing how Americans live.

Some of the same communities where white liberals have been marching with Black Lives Matter signs have seen steep resistance to efforts to integrate public schools and neighborhoods. And what some consider a profound questioning of white supremacy to others can seem laughably little and unconscionably late. The most frustrating thing about this moment, said Jeremy O. Harris, a playwright and the writer of “Slave Play,” is “listening to white people say this is the first time they realize how bad it is.”

In interviews, some white Americans admitted that even the process of reflecting on racism underscored for them how little they grasp the everyday experience of being black in America.

Research shows there is scant interpersonal contact between white and black Americans: One in five white respondents to a  poll from the Public Religion Research Institute last year said that they rarely or ever had an interaction with someone of a different race. In a 2013 study by the same group, a nonpartisan nonprofit, respondents were asked to identify the race of as many as seven people with whom they had discussed important matters in the six months before the survey. Among white respondents, 75 percent named only white individuals as their core friendship network.

“Many white Americans have chosen places to live, places to send their children to school, places to vacation, jobs to pursue, in ways that allow them to avoid thinking about racial inequality,’’ said Jennifer Chudy, a political scientist at Wellesley College. Her research suggests that only one in five white Americans consistently express high levels of sympathy about racial discrimination against black Americans.

The combination of the coronavirus pandemic, economic collapse and a bungled emergency response by the Trump administration indirectly laid the foundation for the furor among white Americans that followed the cellphone video of Mr. Floyd’s death.

“All of that, I believe, is converging at this point to make people, white people in particular, think through America,” said Carol Anderson, author of “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide” and a professor of African-American studies at Emory University. “What kind of nation is this, that can be comfortable with a police officer kneeling on someone’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds? And when you start asking that question, then all of the kinds of narratives and shibboleths begin to quake.”

It was the words of Mr. Floyd’s daughter, Mr. Reese said, that propelled him to join the activist group Southern Crossroads and to create a “Rednecks for Black Lives” decal that he hopes will appeal to politically conservative friends and neighbors. The group’s leaders say that majority-white, working-class communities like Mr. Reese’s stand to benefit themselves from forming multiracial alliances.

“The one thing that flipped me and made me really want to do something was when that baby said that her daddy changed the world,” said Mr. Reese, referring to comments by Mr. Floyd’s six-year-old daughter, Gianna. “And I want to make that true. I want that baby’s words to come true.”

A shift in the priorities of white Americans regarding racial equality, race scholars said, is critical to achieving it. In the first two weeks of coast-to-coast protests, support for Black Lives Matter increased by nearly as much as it had the previous two years, according to Civiqs, an online research firm. Just over half of American voters support the movement, and in dozens of towns that held protests, the population was almost exclusively white.

“This is the first time that I think a lot of us have felt that the battle is legitimately joined,” the author Ta-Nehisi Coates said on “The Ezra Klein Show’’ last week. Significant swathes of people in nonblack communities, Mr. Coates said, have come to perceive something of the deep pain and suffering experienced by black Americans. “I think that’s different.’’

One source of angst for white Americans who say they want to dismantle racism, though, is not knowing precisely where to start. They worry about sounding racist and not sounding sufficiently anti-racist. Some have made misguided offers of cash to black acquaintances who feel condescended to. Others have formed anti-racist study groups with other white people — but worry that those, too, are lacking.

“I’ll be thinking, ‘Constantly acknowledging racism right now, it’s so draining,’’’ said Erin Lunsford, 29, of Richmond, Va., who has engaged in dozens of conversations regarding defunding the police, a popular policy proposal among anti-racism activists that she initially rejected.  “And then I’m like, ‘Imagine being a black person doing that your whole life.’’’

In the month since Mr. Floyd’s death, a museum on the courthouse square in Sumner, Miss., dedicated to Emmett Till, whose horrific 1955 murder helped to galvanize the civil rights movement, has received 10 times the usual number of calls. Patrick Weems, executive director of the Emmett Till Memorial Commission — which founded the museum —  said the callers were white Americans wanting to contribute to preservation projects or to help develop curriculum. Dozens more downloaded a smartphone app which guides users on a virtual tour of civil rights history.

Since the first week of protests, Akbar Watson, the owner of a black bookstore in Boynton Beach, Fla., has been slammed with book sales and requests from customers as far away as California and Maine. One day, he said, he sold 40 books before lunch. Another day, a woman in Ohio purchased 34 black children’s books for her daughter’s school classroom. And for the first time in his 28 years in business, he has he sold out of his titles about racial inequalities.

“These are white Americans who are calling and ordering books to try to educate themselves and to try to figure out what to do as a response to what is happening,” said Mr. Watson, 60, the owner of Pyramid Books, who spent Saturday hand-delivering books in Palm Beach County.

Matt Bartley, a tattoo artist in Pikeville, Ky.,  has fielded more than 20 requests to cover-up racist tattoos since he began offering the service for free after Mr. Floyd’s death. One client had the words “Mein Kampf” tattooed on him, by his father, when he was a teenager, Mr. Bartley said. Similar services are being performed by tattoo artists in Dallas, Murray, Ky., Charlottesville, Va., Maryville, Tenn., and Nashville.

Among Mr. Bartley’s clients was Kyle Kessler, a 29-year-old who had a Confederate flag tattoo covered last week.

Mr. Kessler said he never saw the Confederate flag as a racist symbol, until recently. He got the tattoo when he was 18, in tribute to one of his favorite bands.

But in conversations with his wife and sister about Mr. Floyd’s death, he began to wonder what impact the flag has on black Americans. He also wondered what the repercussions could be for his 3-month-old son and whether he’d be setting the wrong example.

“With everything going on, he’s going to be taught that’s racist, which I now know it is,” Mr. Kessler said. “I didn’t want him thinking, ‘Daddy’s got that and it’s racist, so it’s OK to be racist.’”

Mr. Kessler said Mr. Floyd’s death, and the protests that followed, have made him think differently about the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, Mr. Kessler said he appreciates that people are standing up for themselves and their right to equality. His new tattoo — the same guitar but without the Confederate banner — reflects that changing perspective.

In Somerset, a small town in southwestern Pennsylvania, Cindy Kinsella, 61, said she knows far more police officers than black people — her brother is a state police officer in Maryland, and she knows plenty of corrections officers.

She wasn’t sure what to make of the protests when her son told her that he was helping to plan a demonstration. She wished him luck. Then she thought a little more about it.

“I got off the phone and thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to take my grandson, who is 12, and we’re going down,’” she recalled. “Just because I thought we could educate ourselves a bit.”

They went to the rally and though they didn’t march, they watched and listened to the speakers. It was peaceful, nothing like some of the violent protests she had seen in photographs and videos.

It’s unclear what he got out of it. But she said she changed her thinking on some things. For example, the phrase Black Lives Matter.

“Before,” she said, “I thought, ‘Why do we have to say Black lives matter? Because all lives matter, police lives latter, white lives matter.’ But as they explained a little bit, ‘We’re not saying all lives don’t matter. It’s that all lives can’t matter until Black lives matter.’”

Dana Goldstein, Campbell Robertson, Will Wright and Jack Begg contributed.



14) How Was My Son Ahmaud Arbery’s Murder Not a Hate Crime?
Georgia is one of only four states without a bias crime law. This must change.
By Wanda Cooper-Jones, June 9, 2020

Screen shot of Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery

After Ahmaud Arbery was chased down and killed while he was jogging in Glynn County, Ga., investigators say, one of the white men accused of shooting him used a racial slur. In the above video, Wanda Cooper-Jones, Mr. Arbery’s mother, demands that these men be prosecuted not just on charges of killing her son but also for targeting him because of his skin color. Yet as it now stands, that can’t happen: Georgia is one of just four states in the country without a hate crime law.

Georgia lawmakers can change this. They’re going back into session next Monday, giving them the opportunity to decide whether to bring a hate crime bill up for a vote.

If we can’t stop these hate-inspired attacks, we can at least prosecute them for what they are.

Wanda Cooper-Jones is the mother of Ahmaud Arbery.













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

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